I hadn’t been home since I was there with Cooper. I tripped the light fantastic and followed where he led, believing that his way of life would be superior to mine, that my attributes were less than his. Home seemed quaintly parochial. I wrote to my father and he wrote back. I became a prolific card mailer. Ambrose wrote long letters with all the news and comments from anyone else who cared to contribute. I looked forward to those long missives as proof that I was worth quite a lot to the people who really knew who I was.
Ambrose and I continued to have telephone cocktails. We got trashed from coast to coast. Once I passed out with the phone off the hook for hours, Cooper couldn’t contact me and, much to my surprise, he was in a panic when he finally got through. In those days, when I was seducing colleagues from Scripps, and elsewhere, I had a lot to say to Ambrose.
The calls often began with a whisper- “Ambrose, it’s me. The most awful thing has happened. Cooper was supposed to be offshore for 3 months except he got home in the middle of the night. No, of course I was happy to see him. Anyhow, today, Scott, the scientist from NOAA I told you about, well, maybe not all about, stopped by to see if I needed anything downtown. Cooper opened the door and Scott asked if I was home. He said I was getting out of the shower so Scott just leaned in around him and called out to me. When Scott finally left Cooper came into the bathroom and asked me if I’d slept with him. What do you mean what did I say, what do you think I said? I looked right up at him and smiled and said No, why would you ever think that?”
Ambrose lost patience. He counseled aborting the mission. “Why are you wasting your time punishing someone who isn’t even aware he’s committed a crime? Leave, leave while you still have some dignity to leave with.”
Cooper was in the North Sea when I left.