Tony Amorino was not the kind of guy I could bring home to Mom and Dad. Handsome, sexy and charismatic, Tony had baggage that could not be safely unpacked in a traditional household. The Italian leather goods store he ran moved more mob money than calfskin wallets. Meanwhile, his romantic conquests left Warren Beatty (and Tony's wife) in the dust.
It was the 1980s. Olivia Newton-John was getting "Physical." Diana Ross was "Upside Down." Lionel Richie told us to do it "All Night Long." I had no problem complying. Neither did Tony. We were in our late 20s, immortal and moving at the speed of light thanks to prodigious amounts of a drug that went by the name of a popular beverage. Not Pepsi.
Every woman deserves at least one purely erotic fling without any thought of "Where is this going?" And what better time to indulge than when you are young, hormonal and as tireless as Energizer bunnies? Tony and I never went on a date. We didn't go to restaurants, movies or parties.
Here's how it would go. Every few weeks, I would call Tony at his store.
"Hey, baby. Where are you?" he would purr as if he hadn't had any loving in months and identical Swedish twins hadn't just skipped out of his office.
Unlike the nice Jewish boys I dated before, during and after my escapade with him, I had no expectations of emotional intimacy or monogamy. That was Tony's wife's problem. In fact, I was so unconcerned about what and who Tony did in my absence that I happily introduced him to my best friend Cindy. And not for a discount on leather goods. Why was I willing to dismiss the wildly revolving door on Tony's libido? Because, unlike the earnest young men in my life, Tony was F-U-N. Always smiling, bursting into song, laughing and treating me as if I was the most exciting woman he had ever met ... give or take a couple of double-jointed Malaysian gymnasts. Every time I entered his store, he acted as if he has just won the lottery.
First came laughter-filled conversation and flirtation in the privacy of his office. Next, the rolling of a crisp dollar bill and snorting of Bolivian Marching Powder. Followed by a seduction scene straight out of "La Dolce Vita." Never crude or lewd, Tony's technique was disarmingly romantic and sensual. I never felt used. I felt pampered, adored and oh-so-satisfied. Tony had the talent and instincts of a Great Lover. I always left with a smile on my face and my underwear in my purse.
Cindy and I both filed Tony under "R"—for recreation, not relationships. When his wife was in the hospital giving birth to their first child, rather than buying Tony a cigar, we had a menage a trois with him that night.
Neither Cindy nor I had any regrets. Those were our official wild and crazy days, which ended as inauspiciously as they began. Cindy soon entered into a monogamous relationship and I moved to another city to focus on my career. Now, viewed through the soft focus lens of passing decades, Cindy and I often laugh at our youthful exploits and indiscretions. We idly wonder whatever became of the incorrigible Tony Amorino? Is he in jail, dead or working on his golf stroke?
After almost 40 years of not knowing (or caring) about his whereabouts, I recently did a search for Tony on Facebook. A photo popped up showing the same handsome face and devilish smile, the only difference is that his thick, wavy, raven hair is now platinum. Next to him was a woman who looked nothing like wife number one. I'm guessing she's number three or four. Tony's not peddling leather goods these days. He's selling multimillion-dollar mansions. Same hustle. Different product.
Before I could stop myself, I sent him a message. "Still lookin' good!"
Within minutes, he shot back an equally complimentary message. It felt harmless. Safe. There were thousands of miles between us. And I'm no longer a party girl, unless there's a smoked fish platter and plenty of Danish. But Tony took it further.
"Where do you live these days?" he asked.
I told him.
"I get up there from time to time. I'll be in touch next time I'm in town."
WHOA! I was just playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon on social media—not looking to rekindle a flame that went out with disco and shoulder pads.
For several days, I was awash in the sexual excitement of my twenties. Then reality settled in. I decided to keep my memories of my young, insatiable lover, rather than find out that all we have in common now is the name of the statins we take.