July 5th, 2016

being with someone

Lindy’s house felt like vacation every seventh grade weekend, and kept me away from my family.  She and I wore paisley print dresses and mock turtlenecks with semi-short skirts to our knees, hooked sandal toe nylons onto garterbelts, wore straight hair, imitated Cher, with thick “I got you Babe” bangs that squared off our faces, striving to look like that perfect blonde girl on Breck shampoo bottles.

My brown hair was growing straight as a stick, but I ironed it anyway, and we slept on curlers of large orange juice cans, for ‘the look,’ smearing our lips with “sugar pink-ice” lipstick.  Lindy and I took boxes of diet pills and drank Pepsi, sat in her parents’ den, watched late night TV with her mom, who let us smoke her Chesterfield non-filters.  Her white haired dad was a quiet, private man, even with seven daughters.  I don’t remember often talking to him.

He became newly elected as Marin County’s coroner which became important to me a few years later.

Lindy got a boyfriend for a short time, and the two of them looked like salt and pepper shakers when they close-danced.  Her green eyes glistened as her gentle, graceful hands and long tapered fingers caressed the back of his neck in such a mature, sexy way that it scared me. He looked so hip, especially at school, walking around with a Beatle haircut, tight pegged pants, white shirttail flapping, and pointy boots, curly brown hair, tawny complexion, square face, round nose, warm brown eyes, and full lips gave him a manly, Latin appearance.  Lindy’s boyfriend was a stud by junior high standards.

The Baker’s recreation room had open windows and slight breezes felt like our private mansion, party central, no parents hovered, random couples nestled, made out in corners. Rolling Stones, the Kinks and “I Get Around” Beach Boys albums blasted from their record player.

Being scared of boys and making out didn’t scare me anymore because I was drinking.  I kissed some guy while “Under My Thumb,” “Look At That Stupid Girl,” “Little Red Rooster” played over and over, and it was better than the doorknob kiss the year before.  I pretended to know what was going on, and “pour me another one.”  I blacked out a lot.  Even though I wasn’t into kissing strangers at her parties, I did.  Lindy hunted for damn near any boy that breathed, boyfriend or not.

“What’s he saying?”  Somebody asked when “Louie, Louie” lyrics repeated what the singer did to that little girl all kinds of ways.

It was about the music and dancing to Marvin’s “Grapevine,” Sam Cooke’s “Let The Good Times Roll”, Barbara Lewis’ “Baby I’m Yours,” and The Animals’ “House Of The Rising Sun.”

No one talked, we kissed and felt each other up.

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