Monday, July 18, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer pt. 1

 * (The beauty of the lounge is that the lackey, the low man, the errand boy, gets to run the show... not that i give a shit about running the show but mainly it's the autonomy to do whatever i want in this space and sometimes i feel the need to revisit or rewrite things for no other reason than i didn't quite like what i did the first time... and to be honest i've been plodding away here for so long i've probably repeated myself too many times to count... so fuck it.) 

As years go '92 could be one of those that i'd like to forget except... if any year started of shite it was this one and coming off the back of '91 i'm sure there are very valid arguments to file this year away and not pull it out unless absolutely necessary... then again that would be the wrong thing to do because though it may have been "one of those years" it was definitely one of the more important ones which had an impact on shaping our protagonist here... for better or for worse... 

The summer of '91 was the first of four migrant summers spent working the boardwalk of Ocean City, in fact the only summer between 91-95 that i didn't live in OC was the summer of 92 which i spent stuck in the small town of Podunk, Pa. where i was getting ready for the last year of my undergrad. If Podunk U. was considered a commuter campus during the year, a place where a vast majority of the students all shuffled home every Friday afternoon, a veritable exodus from the sleepy town, then  summer in Podunk was basically like being in exile. The summer of '91 was filled with acid, a gorgeous summer fling and a a bookstore that changed my life. The summer of '92? well, let's just say it was a little different. 

The tale begins not actually in the summer but in the winter. It was that fateful Friday of January 3rd where at approximately 7pm my parents summoned my big sis and i into the kitchen to tell us that our nuclear family was no more, had blown up, and that they were getting divorced. Though the news hit like a hammer i had this sense that something was wrong long before it was actually made public. Over Thanksgiving break i could tell that something was amiss, i remember at one point walking into the wooded area behind my house with my now ever present notebook to write about it, the first words written still etched in my mind, scribbled in a notebook with lined yellow paper, "I watched my family disintegrate in front of my eyes." 

Maybe it was the fresh eyes of someone who wasn't there on a day to day basis that gave me this insight... or maybe it was a kid who could tell something wasn't right at home. I remember my mother "sleeping over" her friends house, something that had never happened in my life and i remember the look of sadness in my father's eyes which i couldn't quite figure out at the time. Of course my life was rolling along just fine... a new girl, Cherry Red, had come on the scene and i was in my usual smitten phase with her. I had met Cherry after coming home from the beach that summer (91), she was dating my friend, she was what i'd call a hippie hipster, she loved the Dead but was also into the same music i was as well as hitting the clubs which is what i spent most of my few weeks at home doing before returning to school. That and finding some acid or mushrooms to take at said clubs. She would drive her boyfriend and i to the clubs mainly so i could dance and sweat and try to meet girls. It was a beautiful time, i had money from the summer and no reason to get a job because i'd have to quit in a week or so to head back to Podunk. 

Cherry had long auburn curls and light blue eyes and a personality i found quite attractive. While at the time i wasn't all that fond of young hippies i was rather found of those hippie girls in their flowered skirts and free spirited ways and Cherry fit that bill perfectly. We hit it off immediately and so when she called me to see if i wouldn't mind going to Coventry, the hip area on the East Side of Cleveland, to look for a present for my friend, her boyfriend's, birthday i said cool. Did it strike me as a little strange? sure, but i wasn't one to ever turn down hanging out with an attractive woman and so i got ready and waited for her to pick me up. I remember before i went out the door telling my dad what i was doing and him giving me a bit of a raised eyebrow. Pops knew what was up... even if i didn't. 

Of course once things kicked off and Cherry and i started seeing each other it came out pretty quick what that whole trip to Coventry was really about. She told me that after meeting me she wanted to spend some time with me alone because as she had stated, she was "quite taken with me." It had nothing to do with a birthday present and she talked about how much fun she had in the record store where i kept pulling out records and talking about the bands. She wanted to kiss me right there but for obvious reasons that was out of the question at the time and she stated that a when she broke it off with my friend she wasn't interested in finding a new boyfriend until i had come home from school... in fact the day i came home from break my mom told me i had a message, that some girl had called and left her number for when i got home, said her name was Cherry Red. I smiled. 

Yet i knew that this was going to cause some shit. There was some guilt involved in ostensibly poaching my friends' girl, a right shit thing to do even if i wasn't actively trying to do it but i realized that i was somewhat skirting the lines of the friend code that stated you didn't date your mate's ex until after a certain time frame (if at all). Now since no one had ever really laid out the time frame and since i wasn't even around to pursue said ex-girlfriend, who in fact was actually pursuing me i rationalized that a couple months was suffice. 

Once started the relationship raced right along to the point that i even came home from Podunk in the short span between Thanksgiving and Xmas to see her. After consummating our relationship on the waterbed in my childhood bedroom, an event that took place while Morrissey's Bona Drag played on my boombox above the bed and wrapped up just as Mozza was crooning "it was a good lay" in Suedehead, to which Cherry remarked it most definitely was while i stated that i couldn't agree more, we decided to go for round two while she explained that she had rules, that she wouldn't have sex with a guy until she had dated them for at least a month which was an effective way of separating the wheat from the chaff as we say. The ones who stuck it out were serious about her while the ones that did not where looking for one thing. I didn't want to tell her i probably fell somewhere in the middle... (to be cont.)

1 comment:

looby said...

My, kono, you do have a way wid da laydeez. And "Cherry Red", what a great name for a hippie girl! Looking forward to part two.