Passive Echoes

Not on the Outside

"Young women often grieve pain from loss and may respond more depressively. Allowing themselves to feel deeply saddened, they are often able to reach out for social support to help them though a hard passage. At worst, they are at risk of doing themselves harm. "I can't live without him!" "I'll never be loved again!" - Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D

In mid-October 1970, Marcia was unexpectedly visited by a guy who had attended A&T with Larry and she. This suitor was extremely interested in Marcia and had pursued her relentlessly. He played the role of her lover, "Brack Weaver", in the "Down in the Valley" operetta at A&T. He took his role literally and perhaps supposed that Marcia would become his real life, sweet "Jennie Parsons", and sing a verse or two of the lovely aria, "Brack Weaver, My True Love", on that day.

Marcia had absolutely no romantic interest in this individual. Larry and he recognized each other while he was searching for Marcia and they talked for a while. He asked if Larry knew her whereabouts. Larry offered to escort him to where she was located, not knowing that she was attempting to avoid him. Marcia, contrary to the libretto of the operetta, wanted "her father" (Larry) to intervene and shoo him away.

She was very perturbed that Larry escorted him to her, not only because she had no desire to see this guy, but also because it indicated to her that Larry had lost interest in her judging by his lack of jealousy or concern. If Marcia could have found Larry's closest friend and her previously mentioned "big brother" Luke, who played the "Jailer" in the operetta, she would have cried out for him to escort "Brack" off campus imprisoned in his car.

Larry left them alone in the administration office where she worked. Before he left the office Marcia made sure that he was aware of her disenchantment with what he had done. She gave him the “evil eye” and told him they would talk about this later.

He was confused by her anger, because he thought that he was actually assisting and being helpful. Larry was also curious as to their relationship, and was relieved that she was not particularly pleased to see this individual.

He waited in the hallway to see what would transpire next. As they walked down the corridor, Marcia suddenly approached Larry and took hold of his coat pocket. Then as she pulled him along she said to her suitor that Larry wanted to walk with them to catch up on what has been going on with him. Larry protested to no avail.

Marcia refused to release her hold on him as he struggled to free himself from her grasp. Larry stated several times that he did not have time to accompany them because he was preparing for composition class the next day. They continued to finger and hand wrestle without the guy’s knowledge, because she was in the middle of the two of them.

This entire episode became somewhat humorous because the guy was talking to Marcia in one ear and she was whispering to Larry not to leave her alone with him. He either ignored their interchanges or was just naive. This went on for about ten minutes until they reached the Student Commons where they sat down together on a bench.

Marcia and Larry were still finger wrestling until she eventually grew weary and he broke free. Larry immediately stood up and stated that he really needed to get back to his writing and sarcastically said to them while looking into Marcia’s eyes as he began to leave, “I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone so that you can talk”.  

This really upset Marcia. As Larry was departing she politely asked the guy to excuse her for a moment while she discussed a private matter with Larry. They walked over to an area out of her visitor’s hearing range. Marcia then pleaded with Larry not to leave because she did not desire to be alone with this guy.

He reassured her that he was quite harmless and that she would be alright. She further implored him not to leave. He expressed amusement and again informed her that he had wasted enough time and needed to finish some writing before leaving for home. Disappointed, she shook her head appearing very dejected and said “okay, if you must, goodbye”.


“I do not remember much about what this guy said, or what transpired afterwards, or even when he left. I only recalled how heartbroken I was as I sat on the bench and watched Larry walk away. I followed him with my eyes until he disappeared from my sight.”

Larry had to resist the urge to go to her aid, he desired to, but in his mind it was necessary to remain firm in his resolve to not permit her to maintain the upper hand in the changing dynamics of their relationship.

Again, rather than maturely discuss matters as she attempted to do, embittered he simply ignored her flirtations and attention and essentially just "blew her off." If he had not been so presumptuous, they are both certain that during a thirty minute or so conversation they could have worked things out and avoided a lot of heartache for both of them from September through December, 1970.

However, the most painful and hurtful action of Larry's was committed one mid-morning when he was in his usual location composing. Marcia came out of the main office and proceeded to approach him.


"I left my work assignment to see if Larry was in the hallway composing at the large table near the library. I saw him and smiled and began walking towards him to simply say hello and hopefully to talk with him for a few minutes. I had not given up on us.
As I walked towards him he looked directly into my eyes and abruptly gathered his music and began to walk in the opposite direction without uttering a word. I gestured with my hands as if to say, 'Why are you running from me?'
I was dumbfounded, perplexed, hurt beyond words, and bewildered. My heart stopped beating momentarily as I stood in the center of the hallway and watched him leave the building.
Just recently, December, 28, 2013, we were listening to some old Delfonics recordings on Pandora Radio. Their song "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time" came on and flooded my mind with memories of the fall of 1970. I reminded Larry that the lyrics to that particular song expressed what I felt when he walked away from me that day, it totally 'blew my mind'.

Especially the lyrics:
'I gave my heart and soul to you, girl
(Now didn't I do it, baby, didn't I do it, baby?)
Gave you the love you never knew, girl, oh
(Didn't I do it baby, didn't I do it baby?)'
I knew that Larry had truly loved me in the past, but I now doubted that his feelings were the same because he was not the same and his actions were the antithesis of those in the past. I felt that I had waited too long to reveal my true feelings and he had grown weary of waiting for me to 'grow up'.  The lyrics continue:
'I thought that heart of yours was true, girl
(Now, didn't I think it, baby, didn't I think it, baby?)
But this time I'm really leaving you girl, oh
(Hope you know it, baby, hope you know it, baby)'
On that day I felt that I had lost him despite my efforts to reestablish our romantic relationship. It pained me intensely that I no longer was the sole object of his affection, something that I needed and desired. It appeared by his actions that I had missed my opportunity and perhaps his interests were now focused on a new love and he was truly putting me in his past.
I had attempted countless times to evidence my interest in him and the desire for a relationship during the months of September through early November with no response from Larry, just cold and unresponsive gazes through darkened shades. It was if he was singing the final verses of the song to me, which says:
'Ten times or more, yes, I've walked out that door,
Get this into your head, there'll be no more.'
In the past, Larry would not write or call me for weeks or months at a time, especially if he was dating someone. On those occasions I had concluded that he had gotten over me. Then, quite unexpectedly, he would surprise me with one of his heart throbbing love letters, a thoughtful gift, or a timely telephone call. It was my hope that I was wrong again.
I longed for those expressions of his love and missed his voice, his gentle touch, his affectionate embraces and kisses. However, this felt differently, most assuredly the finale. It sorely troubled me because now I deeply desired, needed, and wanted him with a fervency and passion unlike anything I had experienced before."
"Despite what my mind was telling me, I heeded what the voice of my heart compelled me to do. Hence, I was hoping to briefly see Marcia as I awaited my composition lesson with Dr. Mennini. Rather than go directly to the classroom where we held class, I waited for nearly an hour and made a few last minute changes to the composition that I was working on, a composition that I had dedicated to her. It was my intention to get just a glance of Marcia, to hear her voice, and momentarily indulge myself in the sweetness of her mere presence.
At the sound of a door opening I looked up and our eyes embraced. As she sensuously emerged out of the door smiling with the grace, air, and confidence of a model slowly strutting down the walkway, she was looking so fine that I completely lost my composure as she approached. 
At that moment, I felt my resolve withering and had no doubt that this would be the occasion that I would weaken under the spell of her awesome beauty and ultimately yield to her charm. In fact, I sensed a gentle smile actually forming and a gradual melting of the cold and icy countenance on my face.
If I had remained there until she was within a few feet, I feared that on this occasion I would have taken Marcia's hand into mine and led her to a nearby unoccupied classroom to satisfy the hunger for her warm embrace and the softness of her lips. Thus, I fled with swiftness and determination to avoid wilting from the heat of the passion in my heart for her.
The song that best describes my feelings is 'Not On the Outside' by the Moments. The song and the lyrics are imcluded below .

The lyrics aptly expressed what was in my heart:   

'So you think
My heart's made of stone
And when you're near me
There's no reaction
Well, you're wrong

From the tip of my toes
My love for you steadily flows
On and on
And each day you're not here
I'm left with my tears
Not on the outside, but
Inside strong.'

Marcia has stated time and again that she felt that I had lost interest and was no longer in love with her. Nothing could hve been further from the truth. I was nearly exploding within from my passion and desire for her and was often exhausted when she left because of the self-control and restraint excercised to keep my hands off of her and to appear 'stone-faced' and unemotional.

The shades that I wore prevented her from seeing the compassion and desire in my heart which would have been reflected in my eyes as they were on the first day that we reunited the following year. My genuine feelings were reflected 'Not on the outside' but truly they were 'strong' inside. What I wanted to say and confess to her is found in the hook and following verse:

'I love you, I love you
my baby
Without you I can't go on
I need you, I need you so badly
To keep this cold heart warm.

So when you smile at me
And I don't speak
It's not that I don't care
But I'm so weak
'Cause from my head to my toes
My love for you steadily grows
Not on the outside
But inside strong (etc.)'"



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