(Party Down)

Henry was first bit by the acting bug when his performance in the all youth version of Death of A Salesman at Camp Cucamunga caught the attention of Counselor Brittany Baumgartel.  She asked him for a “couples” paddle on Lake Michunamatoc but he’d read Cabin Three’s dog eared copy of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus and frankly, he was overwhelmed.

Henry promised himself to jump in wholeheartedly the next time an opportunity of love presented itself.  He did so, and had a steady relationship with Jenny Foster through junior high.  They practiced their parts for jazz band together, taking turns moistening her clarinet reed.  Learning lines for community theater plays – yes, by now Henry had branched out – was also a good time.  He was surprised when Jenny agreed to his suggestion that a blindfold would provide assurance that neither one was cheating and peeking at their lines, though simply tying a blindfold over Jenny’s eyes did not provide the intensely erotic sensation he’d hoped for from his glimpses of The Red Shoe Diaries.  Indeed, he soon admitted to himself that Jenny rarely caused him to need to hold his books in front of his pants as he saw the other boys doing.  So, he delivered his first “as a friend” speech, wiped her angry spittle out of his eye and tried to move on.

High school was when Henry realized that his ability to cry on cue made girls turn to putty in his hands.  It was a fun time, absolutely filled with breasts, but it left its mark.  No truly caring person is comfortable knowing that they’re running the show.  So, Henry eased up a little.  Oh sure, he’d still get a girl out of her back clasp Maidenform on her parents’ sofa in celebration of the weekend, but school nights became time for pondering the future.

In college he really thought he’d found her.  Two years together, just before Christmas break of their senior year – why not let fly with the ultimate romantic who lives deep inside?  As he watched her try to compose her shocked face into something resembling normalcy – watched her eyes fill with anxiety as she stared at the now terrible little velvet jeweler’s box – he suddenly became aware of the biting cold.  She said something but he only heard the wind howl.

With one semester to go he dropped out and headed to LA to pursue acting, the one love that hadn’t yet disappointed him.