After I left the job at the motel, I looked around for a job for a short time and then just quit looking. Another job wasn't what I really wanted anyway, I really wanted to return to California. I had brought the subject up to my family several times but the idea was immediately dismissed each time. I had no money to travel to California and no job if I did go. In my mind, I figured if I did get a ticket to go to California, I could stay with my friend Patty and her family until I found a job and saved enough for an apartment.
So one day when I was in Memphis, I walked over to the Greyhound Bus Station to check out the cost of a ticket to Los Angeles. There was a line and so I stood waiting for the information. After a short time, I noticed a guy standing in line in front of me. He was older than I, later I would learn that he was thirty-eight. He had light brown hair, slightly receding in the front. He was just under six feet tall and he was dressed in slacks, dress shirt and tie. He carried a sports jacket with him. He introduced himself as John and asked me if I was taking a trip. I explained that I was interested in going to California and was checking how much a ticket would cost. We made small talk for awhile and then he asked me if I wanted to get some lunch.
I went with John, and he took me to lunch, where he told me he was a photographer for Life Magazine. I wasn't sure if I should believe him or not, but since it really didn't matter to me, I accepted what he said.
After we ate lunch, we got into his convertible and we just drove around with the top down. It was a warm day, and John complained about the heat, and asked would I mind if he took off his shirt. I told him I didn't care. The next thing I knew he had stripped down into his underwear (boxer's) and was telling me "I hope you don't mind, I'm just so hot". John drove through the country in his underwear and we talked as he drove. I clung to the passenger door, just in case he turned out to be a nut case. After about twenty minutes, when I didn't react to his partial clothing, he decided he had cooled off enough to get fully dressed again. He sheepishly redressed.
I wasn't interested in John romantically, but I enjoyed talking to him. He was a bright man and he was older so he had good input about my dream of returning to California. John seemed to really like me and wanted to see me again. I toldd him I could never have him come to my home, because my parents would object to my seeing an older man. I did agree to meet him again though. I wouldn't even give John my phone number, but he was eager enough to accept that situation. So we agreed on a date and place where we would meet and have lunch again in about a week.