During our conversation, Louise hadn't indicated that she was now involved romantically with anyone else. So when she wrote down on a piece of paper her Manhattan apartment's current phone number, handed it to me, and invited me to give her a call soon, I assumed that meant she was still as interested in possibly getting involved with me in the Fall of 1971 as she had seemed to be in the Spring of 1968. And, given the increased feminist consciousness I had acquired between the Spring of 1968 and the Fall of 1971, I was not now reluctant to possibly becoming involved with an older woman like Louise, who did not feel compelled to wait for a younger man she was interested in getting to know to make the first move.
So a few days later, I dialed the telephone number that Louise had invited me to call. But--to my surprise--instead of the telephone being answered by Louise, it was answered by former Columbia Spectator editor Robert. Yet when she asked me to give her a call, Louise hadn't mentioned anything about Robert or indicated that Robert might be the one answering a telephone in her apartment if I called.
After asking Robert to tell Louise that I had called, I quickly said "good-bye" and hung up the receiver. By 1971 I had become more open and interested in getting closer to Louise than I had been in 1968. But my interest in Louise in the Fall of 1971 had been based on my assumption that--like me--she wasn't then dating anyone else I knew from the Columbia scene at that time. And once I realized that Robert might now be romantically interested in or now already involved romantically with Louise, I had no desire to try to compete with him for Louise's affection.
In retrospect, I perhaps should have been willing to try to get closer in the Fall of 1971 to Louise as a friend who wasn't a lover. But in the Fall of 1971, I was then more interested in getting closer as a friend to a woman who also seemed likely and willing to become a lover, than in getting closer as a friend to a woman who already seemed to be involved romantically with another man.