Thursday, November 8, 2007

French Kiss

There are many things that can bring back memories of by-gone youth. In this case, It was a picture of Annette Funicello in a 'People' magazine that I was thumbing through at the dentist's office. The memories of Linda D. and that first time we met come flooding back. She was my first true love. Linda looked a lot like Annette. She was Italian and had that sensuousness and voluptuousness about her that Italian women get even at a young age; liquid brown eyes, dark chestnut hair that flowed in long curls past her shoulders and cafe au lait skin that so many Iberian women are blessed with; but I'm getting a head of myself.

 The day started like any other Saturday and the agenda was the same as every Saturday of that period of my life. I worked part time at Angelo’s Fruit and Veg. and would finish work around Five. I would receive my pay for the week (cash in an envelope) and go home to shower and change
 into my black chino's. On this particular night, I remember 
wearing a black and grey Oleg Cassini shirt. It was my favorite shirt that just 
happened to belong to my older brother Jack, which required me to sneak it out of the house without him seeing me. It was much like the ones that 
Charlie Harper wears on the sitcom 'Two and a Half Men'. I would slip on a pair black
loafers and white socks..(Shudder), Brylcreem in the hair, a la Elvis, and out the door to meet the guys at Fatso's Diner for the best cheeseburger in the universe, unmatched to this day.

 Brian, John and I sat in the back booth (our booth) and plugged nickels into the jukebox, listening to Runaround Sue, Runaway, Chantilly lace, while we waited for
 Gary to show up with his wheels. A sweet 55 yellow and black Ford Fairlane 
convertible with fender skirts and moon disks. God I wish I had that car today. It was Gary’s job to pick up the beer for the night. Gary 
worked at Bronco's Auto Wrecking yard after school weekdays and on Saturdays. It just 
so happened that Bronco ran an after hours, unlicensed, poker game and 
bootlegging establishment, so there was no problem getting booze as long as we had the 
money and kept our mouths shut if we were caught drinking under the age. . 

I remember we pulled into the parking lot of the social club 
around 9:00 p.m. It was really only three or four CPR boxcars joined 
together on the outskirts of town but it served it’s purpose as a local community club. The best thing about the place was that there was no Adult supervision. The dance was run
 by older teens and all the 45's were purchased with the admission charges and profits from a small canteen that sold chips and soft drinks by the door. The parking lot was full by the time we arrived and as 
usual there were boys that were too cool to dance sitting on the
 fenders of their cars, under a single parking lot light, drinking beer 
and talking about what all young boys talk about; girls, cars and sports. 
 There were couples making out in the back seats of cars and a large group by the door having 
a fag in the cool night air. It tended to get hot inside the club because there were no amenities like fans or windows that opened or indoor toilets for that matter. As soon as we got out of the car we popped a top and lit up a Camel. Camels were cool back then. God knows why, maybe because they fit nicely in a rolled up sleeve of a t-shirt. The James Dean rebel without a cause look. Brian and Gary wanted to visit the Jocks under the yard light 
while John and I were anxious to get in the dance hall. We finished our beers heeled out our fags and headed into the dance, after promising to meet up with the others later. John had his girlfriend, I think her name was Penny, waiting for him inside and I wanted to see if Linda D. was there. Linda was a big city girl whose family moved to our town to run the 'Big Boy' drive-in
 restaurant. She was in one of my classes at school but I hadn't spoken 
to her because she was always surrounded by the inner circle who had 
claimed her as their own. She was rich, by small town standards, and beautiful by any standard in the universe. She dressed
 in a manner that had all the old matrons in town clucking their tongues and shaking their 
heads. Her skirts were too her short, her sweaters too tight and she wore way too much make-up for a girl her age. 
A look that was soon to be copied by all the young girls in school, to the joy of all the young boys. She had all the young studs tripping over their tongues. You can include me in that group only I wasn't very studly. 

 I remember paying admission at the door and getting my hand stamped with a little green star and I remember that the colored lights were flashing around the hall. This 
usually meant that a specialty dance was coming up. As I turned to take my place along the wall with the rest of the dateless dipshits, there she was, standing in front of me, smiling with her pink frosted lips, with eyes that shimmered like two pools of liquid chocolate, smelling of mild soap and Juicy Fruit. "Ladies Choice", she said. 

 Do I remember what song they played? You bet I do! It was one of those few moments in one's life that can truly be defined as Serendipity. We danced to 'If you need
 me' by Solomon Burke. I remember she was wearing a soft pink mohair sweater and it felt like I was holding a soft warm baby bunny. She cuddled up real close to me, wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear; "If I waited for you to make the first move it would never happen." She was probably right because me and every one else in that town believed her to be way out of my league. To this day I have no idea why she chose to dance with me that night but she did and it felt like I had won a freak'n lottery. We danced every dance that night. We did the locomotion with little Eva, we did the stroll, we Twisted to Chubby Checker and Jived to a song by a new group from England. I walked her home that night, after we a shared an ice cream float at an all-night diner. There's not a lot I remember 
of those few short months with her, but I do remember this; 
standing on her front porch, bathed in a warm yellow light and lovely Linda in my arms, receiving my first French Kiss.

8 comments:

~willow~ November 9, 2007 at 2:32 PM  

Beautiful :-) I love how you build up the dreary/regular stuff then have the Ladies Choice dance just change everything. Well done :-)

Square1 November 9, 2007 at 2:41 PM  

Aww this is so romantic. I like how she is the aggressor in the story. That's a nice change up from the usual, "the man is the suitor, the woman the pursued."

Paul November 9, 2007 at 2:45 PM  

I think in real life girls do far more pursuing than they get credit for in fiction - good to see it reflected in the writing.

I know that growing up I was such a wallflower that if it hadn't been for confident girls I would never have had a date!

d sinclair November 9, 2007 at 4:32 PM  

i really enjoyed this - the details are all gorgeous.

paisley November 10, 2007 at 8:15 PM  

that was so beautiful... i missed out on fiction friday,, and i am sorry now that i missed this .....

gautami tripathy November 10, 2007 at 10:12 PM  

Very romantic and very real. Nowadays girls do pursue..

Josie Two Shoes November 11, 2007 at 11:39 AM  

Oooh, what a lovely memory, Webster, the stuff that adolescent dreams are made of! Even now, I'm sure thinking back to that time still makes you smile.

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