Christine. Christopher. Mark. My three closest friends in college (at UofA Fayetteville). I don’t even know where to start. I met Mark in 1976. He was in the Masters program in the music department, where I still had lots of friends, though I shifted to an English major that year. Along with my then-friends Peggy and Pat, we became inseparable, and spent three nights a week at the gay disco, 42nd Street. That extended to spending other quality time together, and we were close friends and across-the-hall neighbors at Brown Apartments for about 2 years.
I was besties with a guy named Logan, whose ex Christopher was. So I’d heard about Chris for a while, then we finally met when he moved from Russellville to Fayetteville and was visiting Mark one evening. That night, I found a gigantic spider in my apartment (I was a bit of an arachnophobe back then), and knocked on Mark’s door to have him “rescue” me. Chris did the deed, and I was immediately smitten. I spent the evening mooning and listening to Erik Satie.
Both Chris and Mark were beautiful, beautiful men. We were all just friends with various interdependent crushes on each other. When beautiful Christine came into the picture in 1980, we became a couple for a bit of a while before settling into friendship. She, Chris, and Mark also bonded tightly, and moved into a lovely Victorian house, together with another dear friend of mine, Jerry, in 1981, the year I graduated and moved in with my folks for nine months to save money to move to NYC. I think the pix below were taken a little before I moved.
The house was dubbed “Belle Reve” after Chris’s favorite play. All of the following photos were taken in or around Belle Reve and that golden time. I hadn’t seen any but one of these photos until this day at Christine’s.
Christine and I lost contact a bit after about 1985, but I remained close to Chris until his too-soon-gone death in 2016, and Mark and I manage to see each other twice a year or so, and have pretty much ever since I moved away from Arkansas. Christine and I got back in touch thanks to Facebook several years ago, and have managed to visit each other twice – once when she came to California (2014) and my visit to Sheringham.
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