Some sad and some very bad things have happened to the girl who went to orgies. She was a daring girl but she was also unlucky. She had been raped a few times, once as a child. She had also had a baby, which she gave up for adoption. Her parents found some friends who wanted a baby. TGWWTO found out, when the girl was five, that she was very sick and might die. After that, she tried not to find out anything more about her for the fear her heart would break.
TGWWTO was from a very wealthy Indian family, the kind of family that perhaps had some sort of royalty in their background. They were now diplomats. She had lived all over the world, spoke 5 languages, always wore clothes that you would have to take to the dry cleaners. And French perfume.
TGWWTO did things that amazed me. In the university library she made eye contact with this guy at the card catalog and had sex with him in the stacks. Later, she said he was ugly. She had sex with a stranger on a plane. Then she had the embarrassing moment of walking past him as if she never met him because he was greeted by his wife and children. She had many beautiful women friends, most of whom she slept with at least once. One was a beautiful Spanish woman whom she claimed sometimes wet the bed.
Some things she did I didn't understand. Often she slept with her friends' boyfriends or crushes. She did this to me. It would always be the girl she cared for--why did she sleep with the boyfriend? One of these sleazy paramours would come around to our place in secret, and give her very bad poetry that annoyed her. She despised him. She loved her friend. And yet she slept with him.
She was pretty and it seemed that could have any man she wanted but not only because she was pretty. She wasn't classically beautiful but she was sultry with smooth, cool dark skin and perfect white teeth. Incredibly confident. There was an edge to her--an edge of anger almost. A kindness also. At least for those whom she didn't hate. "Peasants!" she would call those whom she disdained. I always cringed at that one, since she was the daughter of the wealthy in a country where the peasants did not have it so good. But I think she got the phrase from rich Italians she knew when her father was some kind of assistant ambassador from India to Italy.
The good thing about having rich roommates is that they have good life stories. The bad thing is that rich people are a little crazy and have difficulty picking up after themselves. Her haughtiness, her slovenliness, her endless smoking so enraged our other two quadmates (one from France, one from China) that they ended up leaving. The bond I had with her began with cigarettes but went far past that.
There were some embarrassing and terrible moments between us that I can barely stand to remember now.
She said she would never forget the first minute she saw me. I could not understand how she could be impressed with me and I cannot now remember the things she said to explain it. But she did say one thing about me which might have been true then but probably isn't any longer: "You are free of malice," she said.
I can still hear her voice. I am still slightly afraid of her, afraid she would ever read this. Twenty years later I can imagine the scathing things she would say in response.And she went to orgies. For the life of me I can't remember where she heard about the orgies or how she ended up in them. She found them in New York City. I wanted to know the details. I thought an orgy was a kind of joke--that they never would happen in real life and could not imagine what sort of people would want to go to them. I was very innocent and for the most part stayed that way. I thought I might learn about sex or about life from her. I think the only generalization I could draw from our year of friendship combined with some other tougher roommate situations was: Don't live with people who grow up in rich families. They don't clean up much and if you don't also come privilege you will end up being bossed around. I must confess that more than once I did TGWWTO's dishes.