Posts Tagged ‘girls vs guys’

Frustration 201

January 1, 2010

Our walk to the Base Exchange snack bar was uneventful.  We engaged in small talk for the ten-minute walk.  Overall, I’d have to guess that she talked around ninety percent of the time.  My responses were limited mostly to a quickly interjected ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

We pushed the door open and walked in to a noisy hubbub of music, chatter, clanking glasses, and loud laughter.  She spotted some of her friends sitting at a table and grabbed at my hand to pull me towards them.  I had already met everyone at the table, and most of them, both male and female, I could well do without, but allowed myself to be guided towards them.

“Hey Molly, Tom, how’s it going?”

I opened my mouth, but it was Molly who replied, “Fine. We have just enough time for a quick shake before going to the dance.  Are you guys going?”

Everyone indicated that, yes, they all were going.  One of the male-type people (I had immediately christened ‘The Big Bozo’) in particular put out his hand which Molly took so he could pull her to a chair next to him.  I bristled a bit, as I had to take the chair opposite the table from her.  What the hell, I thought; she was MY date, not his.

I already knew what she wanted so I went to the counter and ordered.  While I waited, I glanced back and saw her smiling and laughing at something the big bozo was saying.  My thoughts were only on how much fun we would have at the dance so I ignored the small voice at the back of my mind that kept repeating ‘you’re in trouble knothead.  She’s way out of your league’.  Against this, I argued ‘yeah, but how bad can it be?’

I suffered mostly in silence as the talk swirled around the table.  I learned who was going skiing, who had a new bunch of records, who was ‘going’ with whom, and all other bits of useless information.  Finally, Molly looked at me and said to the group “We’d better get going.”  En Masse, the entire group pushed back chairs and began putting on coats.  In one big gaggle we walked out the door and flowed towards the school.

So far, the evening was a total bust.  Not only had I really had a chance to get Molly alone much, but also now I was among a group of her friends that would surely monopolize her time.  My inner voice was getting louder, and yet I still ignored it.  After our coats were dropped off in the coatroom, I was able to cut Molly out of the herd and make her amble with me towards the edge of the room.  We found two open seats next to each other and began watching the activity from the sidelines.

There didn’t seem to be much dancing yet, but the music had started and we began tapping toes on the hardwood floor.  Since the dance was in the gym, the acoustics were not too great, but volume was the key, not quality.  As other kids headed for the middle, I asked Molly if she wanted to dance.

“Sure, let’s go”

About halfway through a fast one, I got tapped on the shoulder by Bozo.

“Can I cut in?”  It was not a question as he caught Molly in mid-spin and whirled her away from me.

Well, poop, I thought.  This isn’t going nearly the way I thought it would.  My inner voice agreed and added ‘like, wow, man’.

Molly came back to me on the sidelines just at the start of a nice slow dance and pulled me to my feet.  We started dancing and this time I was determined to keep predators at bay.  She nestled her head into the hollow of my neck and began humming the tune.  “Hey!”  I thought, “This might get better after all”.

Two dances later I was again cut in on by yet another person I had named Slick.  Slick had a high pompadour haircut and was dancing entirely too close to Molly for my tastes.  This was getting monotonous.

A couple of glasses of punch, several more fast dances and another slow one began.  We moved to the dance floor and were again wrapped in each other’s arms.  As we danced, I began to get an erection.  I knew without a doubt that she could feel it when she would bump against me, so I tried very hard to minimize contact.  I think she actually enjoyed my discomfort because I caught her smiling out of the corner of my eye.

‘Is that you?” she whispered as she nuzzled my ear.

“I certainly hope so” I replied.  Probably not the best time to crack wise, but it was the only thing I could come up with on the spur of the moment.

“I’m sorry.  Does this help?”  She asked, shifting her position slightly, which only added more pressure to the object in question.

“Not really” I said, trying my best to relieve pressure without being too obvious about it.  “Can we go sit down for a while?”

“Okay, if you want.  I’m sorry,” she added again.

“It’s okay Molly; don’t worry about it” I added, taking her elbow and moving her slightly ahead of me for cover towards our chairs.

I managed to get the two of us back against the wall without anyone laughing or pointing at my tented slacks and me.  I began mentally berating myself for wearing the tightest pants I own; what was I thinking!

Once seated, I arranged her light sweater across both our laps so I could ‘tend to my pressing problem’.  I was beginning to think that she was a lot cooler person than I had originally thought.  At first, she came on as a real bubblehead, but now, under these circumstances, she had a much calmer demeanor.

She scooted her chair closer to me and held one of my hands – as my other was busy – and then kissed me on the cheek.  Warning bells should have begun clamoring by now as this was very un-Molly-like.  If I had been using my brain cell I would have picked up on her intentions, but, no, not me.  I had almost finished adjustments, when, to my astonishment she reached under the sweater and put her hand directly on the ridge in my pants.

I quickly slammed the door on my little inner voice, turned off all of my situational awareness, and switched into lust mode.  I turned to look at her directly and found her already staring at me.  I think what finally put me into terminal tumescence was when she stuck the tip of her tongue out, slowly ran it over her lips, and squeezed with her other hand.

‘I know where we can go if you want.”

Did I want?  Did I want?  Of course I want.  My pulse rate doubled, my palms began to sweat, and my mouth went totally dry.  Here was what was arguably the prettiest girl of the class asking ME if I wanted to ‘go somewhere’ with her.  What a silly question.

Carefully, we got up and, using her as a cover again, I draped her sweater over my arm and held it in front of me.  As we started walking towards the exit, I felt as if everyone’s eyes were on me but when I glanced around, I saw that not a soul was even looking in our direction.  In a way, I was kind of disappointed. Here I was going to neck with Molly, and nobody I could brag to about it later.  With a gait just a little awkward, I escorted her from the dance and down one of the halls towards wherever she wanted me to go.

“Where are we going Molly?”  I whispered.

“Secret place.  Sheila and I found it last month.  You have to swear you won’t tell anyone.”

“Okay, I won’t” I promised, knowing full well that if it was a really cool place that I might not actually keep that promise.

We worked our way down one hall and over two smaller halls heading, I thought, towards one of the band rehearsal rooms.  I didn’t know of any place near there that would be private but I followed along.  I could hear my inner voice banging on the door to be let out, but I ignored it.  It wouldn’t do to have him ruining the mood.  I was fully capable of doing it myself without his help.

We did in fact reach band rehearsal hall number one.  Molly slowly opened the door, peered in, and took my hand to pull me in.  Once we got inside, she closed the door.  The only light was from a small bulb burning on the raised platform where the director stood during practice.  She kept my hand as she crept across the room and lifted a corner of a huge banner that almost covered the far wall.

Hidden behind the banner was a small, half-sized door with a pull ring on it.  She tugged at it until with a small snap it opened.  I looked hard, but nothing was visible inside.  I mentally mapped this end of the school and thought that this might be an area between the science lab and the typing room.  What it was doing here mystified me.  Mystified or not, I was as ready as ever to investigate.

Molly lifted a leg (showing a lot of sheer silky thigh), stepped over the threshold, ducked her head, and swing into the room.  She leaned back out, and reached for my hand.  Since I had moved a bit closer what she actually grabbed startled both her and I.

“Oops, sorry” she giggled and motioned with her fingers for me to follow her.

“Anywhere” I thought to myself; “I’d follow her anywhere.”

When I stepped over the sill and entered the room fully, she was standing below a small light on the wall.  The room was not very big, but had two larger doors on each side.  One door was definitely not in use because there was a huge piano pushed against it.  The other door was much larger, but had a twist-style lock on it which could be thrown from the inside.  I turned back to the hatch we had come through and could see that it was just an access panel, not a proper door.

“Molly,” I said, “how did you ever find this place?”

“A couple of us girls were in the band room last month and one of the windows was open.  A gust of wind came in and blew the banner a bit.  Sheila told me later that she’d seen a small door behind it.  After class, we peeked and there it was.  It was screwed shut, but she found a screwdriver and we undid the catches.  Now, we can open it when we want.  Neat, huh?”

“I’ll say.  It’s a perfect place to be completely alone.”

“Yeah” she said, and clicked the switch controlling the only light in the room.

Immediately everything went totally black.  I have a good memory, and now I was mapping the room as I had last seen it.  Molly was standing about ten feet directly in front of me, the piano was on my left and two small rolls of grey matting were on my right.  The little door was behind me because I reached back and touched it.  I also had very acute hearing and heard her stepping lightly to my right.  My head tracked the sound but I couldn’t see anything at all.  She giggled.

“Come and find me” she whispered, and then moved again to the side.

I did a Boris Karloff towards her with my arms outstretched and walking slowly.  I touched her shoulder, I think, but she dodged away again.  She must have been crouching down as she moved because there was nothing at shoulder height any more.  I turned towards rustling and again reached out.  This time I found smooth skin – an arm?

“Tag, you’re it” I teased and stood still.

An arm came at me from my left this time and wrapped around my waist.  When I turned towards it, she held fast and put the other one around me.  When she leaned in towards me I began to figure out what the rustling was.  She had unbuttoned the front of her blouse and her bra-clad breasts were poking me in the ribcage.  Oh, man, I thought.  This was something I had longed to see and couldn’t make out a thing.

She moved her head close to my neck and nipped at my collarbone with her lips.  This was the spark that ignited my lust again.  I shot to attention just as she pushed her hips against mine.  My erection was trapped against her firmly.

“Ooooh, that feels wicked and warm.  What are you hiding down there?”

“You know very well what’s down there Molly” I teased.  “The question is: what are we going do about it?”

Meanwhile, I had had enough of her breasts poking me in the chest and brought my hands up.  She grabbed them and stopped me before I made contact, telling me to wait.  Wait, I thought; wait for what?

More rustling.  This time I was sure she had taken off her blouse because she allowed my hands to complete their journey around her shoulders.  As I pulled her closer, they dropped down her back and encountered her bra strap.  While I was occupied in unfastening the clasp, she started a circular movement of her hips against mine.  I didn’t know if I could take much more of this without some serious relief.

The bra hooks finally opened (after I figured out there were more than one hook – who knew?)  It fell away to the floor and she pulled herself closer to my chest.  I could feel those soft breasts pushing against me as she slid her hands downward and rested them on each of my hips.

“So, now what can we do Tom?  How about this?”  She asked, pulling on my belt.

By now, the little voice had battered down the door I had locked him behind and was screaming in my inner ear “Dammit, Tom, she’s playing with you!  Listen to me.  She’s out to break you.”  I wasn’t listening; I was terminal and nothing short of all out sex was going to help me.  She yanked again on my belt, worked the pin out, and pulled it open.  This was followed immediately by my top button and soon the sound of my fly zipping down filled the air.

Oh, damn, she was really going to set me free here I thought, but she suddenly stopped and pushed against my chest.  This moved me away from her and, when I tried to follow, my pants fell down and tripped me.  Down I went holding my hands in front of me to break the fall.  I landed on both palms fortunately and did an impromptu push-up.  She had moved again because all I found was her blouse and bra.  She giggled in the darkness to my left this time.

I managed to pull my pants back up and stuff myself, painfully, back into them.  Where the hell was she now I wondered?  Standing completely still, I sensed that she was moving further to my left – over by where the rolled up mats were.  I moved quietly in that direction and reached out, low this time.

I touched her skirt on this try which caused another giggle.  Crap!  She WAS playing with me.  I reached out again with both hands and landed on each side of her hips.  I held tightly to the bunched up skirt as she turned to one side and back to the other.  When she did this I noticed that only she turned, not her skirt.  It was lying loosely around her hips and, as I moved closer, it began to slide downward.

Over the last few minutes my erection had waned, but now it popped back strongly and threatened to make an appearance without anyone’s help.  I was hit by so many emotions at once; I simply hadn’t the processing power to figure out what to do next since all the blood had drained from my brain.  Molly solved that by standing up straight and letting her skirt fall to the floor.  In a high-stepping movement, she managed to evade me again and danced away to the other side of the room.  This wasn’t my idea of fun at all.

“I’ll come back over if you promise not to grab me,” Molly’s voice from the gloom.  “Take your shirt and pants off and I’ll come back over.”

Now we’re talking.  I quickly unsnapped, dropped my pants to the floor, and kicked them away from my feet. My shirt followed them right away.  Her hand touched me on the chest and felt across it to make sure I had taken my shirt off.  Then it dropped to the bulge in my shorts.  In my mind’s eye I pictured her in front of me, wearing nothing but panties.  Things went a little crazy right then because for no reason she shouted “Now!”

The light popped on, brilliant after such a long time in total darkness.  A single pair of hands began clapping, followed closely by several more.  When I squinted out at them I found that there was a small crawl space over one wall and lined up on that wall were at least six heads.  Their hands hung over the edge and they were all clapping.  Molly stood before me, in nothing but panties and sported a satisfied grin.  I, on the other hand, was standing there in nothing but my shorts sporting a huge hard on.

Bozo, Slick, the Asshole Brothers, Sheila, and Simone were above me clapping like mad.  Molly had her hands to her mouth and was at least trying to stifle her laugh.  I had to give her that, but obviously I wasn’t going to give her anything else.  I was mortified beyond belief.  With as much dignity as I could, and that’s pretty hard when you have an erection to contend with, I gathered up my clothes, put them on hurriedly, and stalked to the little hatch.  I smacked it open and crawled through without a glance back at them.

Next:  Frustration, Post Grad

T.O.M.

Advertisements

Trip to the Worlds Fair – 1958, Part 2

October 27, 2009

I slept fitfully that night as I relived our evening and awoke almost as tired as when I went to sleep.  I was the first one out of the tent, followed by my parents.  Shortly after we got the coffee going, Colombe and Arianne came out.  Arianne caught my eye as she smiled and winked once slowly.  Colombe had surely confided in her what happened last night.  I smiled back.  I’m not sure, but I think my mom caught the exchange because there was a thoughtful look on her face.

My parents and the girl’s parents decided to join forces and we had a lot planned today so around nine we got started towards the fairgrounds.  After spending a fortune to park in the lot, we all walked directly to the Atomium.  This was (and still is, decades later) a huge model of an iron crystal magnified something like 160 billion times.  This, it was stated, is where we would meet again in the afternoon.  With that, we split up.

Arianne, Colombe and I wandered around through the various country pavilions until our feet began to hurt.  There was some small ‘bus trains’ with seats on them, but you were supposed to put money into the seat barrier in order to raise it and sit.  Granted that one Belgian Franc wasn’t a lot of money, but to do this every time you wanted to ride really took a lot of change.  We only did this a couple of times until Arianne spotted a open air restaurant with a table open.  We zoomed over to it and aced out another couple by arriving first.  This table, we determined, we would keep all day if necessary.  We would take turns holding it down.

Arianne, who was wearing new shoes, pulled them off and tended to a couple of blisters while she shooed Colombe and I away.  We took the hint and vanished towards the German building.  When I asked one of the attendants where I could get a couple of sodas she asked me where in the Rhineland I was from.  This made me feel really good so I told her I was from Stadt, but that I was American.  I actually had to convince her I spoke English.  My German appeared to be pretty good.

Colombe and I sat down on a bench and sipped our soda in silence.  I have no idea what was running through her mind, but I was again replaying our nighttime episode at the lake.  I glanced sideways at her and was rewarded by a shy smile and a slight reddening under her chin.  She told me she was sorry if I thought she was a bad girl.  I told her that nothing like that came to mind at all.  I said that she was an exceptionally great girl and I was very happy she liked me at all.  She thought a moment and put her arms around me and gave me a big kiss and added “tonight we will go dancing, no?”  I wasn’t much of a dancer but, I told her I was game for that.

The rest of the afternoon we spent wandering again through all the various building, patios, and verandahs of the member countries.  The Spanish pavilion was pretty cool because they had a huge table set up with dioramas of the various areas in Spain and linked them with a very extensive model train.  We watched those trains for half an hour or so.  It turned out that Colombe lived not a quarter mile from the main railroad to Paris so trains were a part of her life.

We rejoined Arianne about an hour later and she took off to tour the grounds herself.  Colombe and I just sat and drank soda and ate ice cream cones.  The two plain hot dogs (we were in the American section) cost the equivalent of eighty-five cents each – a exorbitant amount for the fifties.  I thought of my dad and how he would rant at the prices.

We went through our goodie collection bags and arranged all the free stuff we had gathered at the different pavilions. Most of it was pretty cheap and would probably be broken before I even got them home.  The brochures were nice to read and provided me with all sorts of arcane information to bore my friends with.

Arianne returned and motioned the two of us to our feet pointing to her watch.  It was time to head for the Atomium and ride back to the campground.  It took almost twenty minutes to locate our parents and over an hour to edge our way through the traffic crush back to Loonbeek Straat (I smile every time I say it).  Tired, sore-footed, and dusty we finally parked at the tents.

Before dinner, I affixed a small blue flag with the Atomium on it to our front tent stay in honor of the Worlds Fair.  Once that was done we all pitched in and prepared supper for the seven of us.  Colombe’s mom made a really great pasta casserole and my mom turned up with a Dutch oven version of a simple meat loaf.  After running all day on nothing but an expensive hot dog and soda I was ready for a good meal.  It was all delicious and, surprising my mom, the girls and I volunteered to wash up while the parents got ready for their evening.

About an hour later, they took off in the bus for downtown Brussels for some night life.  This left just the three of us to our own devices.  Arianne decided she would change into a swim suit and go down to the beach for what sun was left.  Colombe and I told her we would just stay here until the dance started in the friendship pavilion.  “Be good” was all she said as she walked away from camp.

Colombe took my hand and pulled me over to one of the folding chairs next to her tent, pushed me down, and sat in the one next to mine.  She had changed from rather tight jeans and a blouse to a pair of flannel pants and a bulky-knit sweater.  She looked very good to me in the lowering sun.  I asked her if she was warm enough to which she replied that she was fine.  Small talk if I ever heard it.  Brussels is only about fifty miles from the English Channel/North Sea and can get quite cool when the sun sets.

Colombe tapped me on the shoulder and motioned back into the tent, telling me that she had something to show me.  Several dozen scenarios flashed through my mind in an instant as I rose up and followed her into the tent.  She went into the right-hand room, pulled me into it, and closed up the flap behind us.  I glanced around and saw two sleeping bags, a very small box used as a dresser and an opened travel bag.  She reached into the travel bag and pulled out a sheer pink chemise topper.

Without a word, she pulled the sweater over her head and put the topper on.  “Do you like?” she asked me.  When I could find my voice, I told her that it was perfect.  She stood and struck a pose like a model.  Her breasts, unfettered in any way, moved provocatively behind the almost transparent material.  It was incredibly sexy to watch.  I sank to my knees to watch the show.  She turned this way and that, all the while smiling at me.  It really lit my fire to watch her; but, we were interrupted.

I heard footsteps outside and a voice that called “Hallo, jemand zu Hause (anyone home)?”  It was Arianne, come back from the beach.  “One moment” called Colombe as she frantically gathered up her clothes and put them on.  She led the way out, holding my hand, and into the sunset to greet Arianne who smiled a bit at my discomfiture.  They were both so matter-of-fact about what had happened that I turned out to be the one who was embarrassed.  I don’t know why though, nothing did happen.

I cleared my throat and began filling up the coffee pot as they both giggled between themselves.  Arianne was no dummy.  She knew what her sister was doing before she arrived.  Good thing she called out though – otherwise it would have been disastrous.

Our parents arrived just as the coffee was ready and we all sat down to tell of our adventures.  Naturally, I didn’t get into all of mine.  Dinner was again fixed for all seven of us.  This time it was simple hamburgers that, and this surprised me, Colombe’s family enjoyed heartily.  They had never eaten one before.  We showed them how to add lettuce, pickles, onions, mustard and ketchup to top them off.  They were pronounced ‘delicious’.

Dancing that night was a lot of fun.  The band knew just about every dance style from waltzes to rock’n’roll and they were really good.  The younger set, like Colombe, Arianne, and I, tended to congregate closer to the bandstand than the adults so when a particular dance got our attention we jumped up and went to the dance floor.  Arianne had found a guy of about twenty and introduced him to us as Gus.  I got the impression he was Belgian because his French was not quite the same as Arianne’s but no matter, we all had fun.

I managed a slow dance with Arianne who molded herself to me as we moved across the floor.  She and I whispered in each other’s ears while we danced.  She told me that she was very happy that Colombe had met me because she was very sad at home after her boyfriend left.  He apparently had enlisted in the army and didn’t tell her.  When he was ordered to training camp he simply left – not telling her until she got a letter in the mail that he wasn’t coming back home.  I thought that was a pretty rotten thing to do to anyone, especially one as pretty as Colombe.

The band closed down around midnight so we all headed back to our camp.  Following a final round of drinks there was much stretching and yawning as we headed into our respective tents for some sleep.  It took me a while to finally drop off.

T.O.M.

 

Tragedy & Triumph

June 16, 2009

We had our fair share of tragedy too.  One of the girls I was originally introduced to at the Teen Club so long ago ended up pregnant.  She and her boyfriend pleaded with both parents to give their permission to get married.  Neither set budged an inch.  They tried to run away, but got caught at the train station.  Trying parental house arrest for her didn’t work and, one morning, her younger brother told us she was found lying on her bed, dead, with a suicide note in her hand.  Her boyfriend was inconsolable.  Every one of us tried to get him through his grief but it didn’t help.  Within two weeks, he had disappeared from school.  We think he made it away somewhere and began another life.  Both sets of parents were shipped to different duty stations within two weeks.  Virginia and I wept long and hard for the both of them.  It was wonderful to see almost every kid from the school turn up for her funeral.

There was nothing like the anticipation of a trip to Paris in the late spring.  Virginia and I were out of school for the summer and our wanderlust had struck with a vengeance.  We had taken several day or overnight trips before to some of the outlying cities for photographic shoots in the Photo Club.

These trips were usually closely monitored by hawk-eyed chaperones that brooked no ‘funny stuff’.  Sometimes, it seemed as if they came out of your backpack to nip a fleeting kiss or caress in the bud before “anything happened”.  We were young adults and wanted to be treated as such.  To this end, we presented, to the ‘school trip powers that be’, a sort of contract.  If they would assign teachers of our choosing as chaperones we would abide by the rules.  Surprisingly, they agreed and assigned two teachers we wanted to the club.

Mr. Espana was to keep the boys in line, while Frau Bruggerman watched the girls.  I have already described Mr. Espana’s accomplishments and Frau Bruggerman’s effectiveness with the girls was legendary.  He was courtly and she was definitely a lady.  They always kept up their manners and didn’t let us revert to some of our more bad habits.  They tolerated a bit of foolishness, but only if it encompassed the entire group.

Our parents were cool with this arrangement but it was a closely guarded secret between us kids that the both of the chaperones, being European, had an entirely different, and more practical, view of young love.  What our parents didn’t know certainly wouldn’t hurt them.  ‘Funny stuff’ for an American mother translated to ‘let nature take its course’ to a European.

Letting us out on our own for an afternoon of picture taking, or just sightseeing was not unheard of.  In fact, it some cases it was encouraged.  Mr. Espana knew Virginia and I maintained a healthy attraction for each other, and I think, in part, he was interested in seeing how it would develop.  There is no doubt that he would have stepped in should I, for instance, gotten knee-walking drunk, or attempted to rip the clothes off some young girl (or both at the same time), and manacle me.  Other than that, if we treated him and Frau Bruggerman with respect, they would reciprocate.

Virginia and I pestered our parents mercilessly for a week until they finally gave in and gave their permission for a four-night and five-day trip to Paris by our Photo Club.  By the time every parent had returned their permission slips, we found that only eight of us were going.  The eight included Mr. Espana and Frau Bruggerman.  That meant that six of us students – oddly enough, three boys and three girls – would be going.

For three weeks, I baby-sat, washed cars, ran errands, and schemed ways to accumulate money for the trip.  I wanted it to be the finest trip I ever took anywhere.  Virginia was saving her money also so she could buy some really nice clothes there.  My money, a tidy sum of almost seventy dollars, was earmarked for sightseeing and candlelit dinners.  I took a crash course in conversational French in which included simple phraseology such as “where is the bathroom”, “please”, “thank you”, and “how far is the Folies Bergère from here”.

Soon, the big day arrived and we boarded the train for Paris.  I must have developed my love for all things train by living my young life in Europe.  Train travel is huge over there.  Even in the last bit of the 50’s the US had begun to turn their back on their train system and was allowing it to decline.  Not so anywhere in Europe.  Germany, in particular, had an extensive network of trains that ran every day around Germany.  All one had to do was head for the local Hauptbahnhof (main station) and hop aboard.  We occupied four adjoining compartments for the trip; we three boys together, the three girls together, and one each for Mr. Espana and Frau Bruggerman.

Amid chattering and final goodbyes the train chugged out of the station.  Yes, chugged, it was steam driven – a type I still love today.  On trips such as this, and in private with just the club members, Mr. Espana allowed us to call him Arlo.  Frau Bruggerman was affectionately known as ‘Mama’ to all of us.  Within the first hour, Arlo and Mama told us that they were heading down to the bar car for a drink until dinnertime and to amuse ourselves as we wished.  He surreptitiously passed me the key to his compartment and added a wink.  Did this mean what I thought it did?

In a preface to the following paragraphs I would like to say that things get a bit spicy.  If you condemn before reading it, you’re a prude.  If you do after reading it, you could be called a hypocrite.  If you read all of it, shake your head and say to yourself “yeah, I’ve been there”, then you’re perfectly normal and had a life pretty much similar to mine; mostly full of frustrations but an occasional triumphant success.  The following is from the male point of view, so please allow for this.

The evening before I left on the trip my dad astonished me by presenting a pretty forceful argument for abstention by making a pretty crass statement, considering what had happened not very long ago: “you get your girlfriend pregnant and I’ll kill you”.  We got a bit embarrassed after that pronouncement but soon began to talk freely.  Was this was the same guy that tossed me off a roof when I was young and now was giving me advice on what to do in a sexual situation?  Instead of scoffing like I normally did and telling him that I already knew everything (which is a given, being a teenager), I thought about it and asked some good questions.  My first question was “what happens when the situation calls for something other than abstention?”  His advice was to fall back on the second line of defense, condoms.  They were called ‘rubbers’ back then and only in hushed tones between father and son as far as I knew.  Sexual mores in the 50’s were very tightly controlled and not to be talked about as loosely as today.  The very mention of a Sex Shop in any community would have parents marching with firebrands and pitchforks raised. Instead, he handed me a small box that contained a strip of ten condoms saying “this is what you use if you can’t abstain.  I managed to wait until your mom and I were married, but you and Virginia may not be able to.  Please use them if you and she are intimate.”

My next two questions, as you may have guessed, were: “how?” and “when?” He opened the box and showed me the diagram printed on the inside.  I was a quick student, I got very good grades, so following the pictures didn’t seem like a really hard task.  I was still struggling with the fact that he had actually given me permission to make love to Virginia, albeit in a backhanded manner.  We talked for about an hour about pretty much everything I had wanted to know about love, not sex, but love.  Like: “how do you know when it really is love and not lust?”  A good question he acknowledged; and then answered: “The only way you can be sure is to take account of your feelings before and after anything as intense as sex; and it WILL be intense.  If you still respect her and want to remain with her as long as she will have you afterwards then you may have found the right girl.  If you lose interest, or even turn from love to hate, then you are only a shallow person and were only looking to have sex, not love”.  A pretty declarative statement to live by and I was thoroughly impressed by it.  We ended our chat with a small toast of very good brandy.  He toasted me with “bon chance”.  Another phrase I now knew meant ‘good luck’.

As the countryside clacked past us rapidly, the other two guys drifted out of our compartment quietly.  Virginia came into my compartment just as the others were leaving.  She had changed into a pleated skirt and a paisley peasant blouse.  She looked very good to me.  I offered her a sip out of my water bottle and motioned her to have a seat beside me.  We sat for a while watching the scenery go by.  Conversation consisted of wondering what Paris would be like, how much fun we would have there, and whether or not Carol and Shirley would be all right with Benny and Art.  I told her that Carol and Shirley could take care of themselves just as well as she could.  I added that I would never take advantage of her or try and force myself on her in any way.  She said “I know that; you’re too nice a guy” and laid her head on my shoulder.

Eventually, or maybe inevitably, I put my arm around her and held her tight to me.  Our heads turned and we kissed.  She and I have kissed before, but this one was somehow different to me.  It had a deeper meaning inside it I thought.  She seemed to put much more effort into this particular kiss than some of the kissing we had done in the theatre and in her living room.  She tapped me twice on my front teeth with her tongue.  I found this highly sensuous and allowed it to enter.  We tapped the tip of our tongues together twice.  This went on to be a ritual between us because it could be done in complete privacy even in front of her parents or mine.  Before we finished that initial kiss I was already into my first analysis: do I respect her now?  The answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

We had played the ‘wishing game’ before, but this afternoon it took on a more poignant theme when she asked me “what are you wishing right now?”  My brain pushed in the clutch and let my mouth freewheel so I told her that I was wishing I could take her in my arms and make love to her.  Aghast at what I had just blurted out, I began to stammer an apology but she wouldn’t hear of it.  She put her fingers on my lips and made a shushing sound. “That is my wish also” she said very quietly.

The afternoon was moving towards evening, and dinner time was only a couple of hours away, so she rose silently, kicked off her flats and locked the compartment door.  Nothing short of a porter or nuclear device would get that door open now due to good German engineering.  As she came back towards me she reached for the hem of her blouse and pulled it over her head.  Her breasts were hidden behind the cloth of her bra.  By the time she sat back down, she had removed it and firmly replaced its cups with my hands.  We sat face to face on the seat and kissed again as I moved my hands up over her soft shoulders, down her back, and pulled her close to me.  As her breasts touched my chest, she gave a nervous giggle.  She leaned back, reached out to unbutton my shirt, and pulled it off my arms.  We were now both nude to the waist.  We again embraced, this time with just a little nervousness and nothing between us but skin.

By now I had an erection and it was tenting my slacks.  Almost as an accident, she lowered her arm and brushed the back of her hand against the fabric of my pants.  Once could have been an accident, but twice more – this time with the palm of her hand – was beyond accident.  I reacted by putting both hands behind her waist and unfastening the snaps of her skirt.  I suddenly heard my dad’s voice in my head saying “make sure of your intentions” so I stopped and asked her if she was absolutely sure about this.  All she said was “yes, I am sure.  I know that I love you and want to be with you in every way.  I not only love you, but I want you to bring your love to me.”

She stood and the dress fell away to the floor.  As I stood, she unfastened my belt and I unzipped my pants which quickly joined her dress on the floor.  I was faintly surprised that I wasn’t embarrassed that my erection was showing fully in my shorts.  I glanced down and saw my second pair of occupied panties.  My pulse rate escalated, and I swallowed hard several times.  We met in the middle of the compartment and held each other for a moment as the train rocked to and fro.  I reached out and flipped the light switch which left only a small blue night light in the corner.  Before my eyes adjusted to the darkness I heard the wispy sound of her panties sliding down her legs and her steps towards the bench seat.  I turned around to my pre-positioned stash of condoms, dropped my shorts, and donned one before joining her on the seat.  We were both novices at this lovemaking thing so it took several trials and errors to find the right position.  During these efforts nothing was said except some more nervous, muffled giggling – from both of us.  Heavy breathing filled the small room as we settled into position – me on top of her and the both of us clinging tightly to each other.

I am definitely not going to tell fibs here and say that the lovemaking lasted for hours; it didn’t.  I managed to penetrate fully while mentally reciting the times tables, doing three-digit multiplication, trying to count the number of rail joints we passed over, and all manner of delaying the inevitable, but, in the end, I lasted maybe 30 seconds.  When I told her what had happened she just held me tighter and whispered in my ear that we would have four wonderful nights in Paris to make it better.  I decided then and there that I would also respect her afterward.

We both agreed that we would turn on the light before putting on any clothes.  I stood, went into the bathroom and cleaned up a bit.  When I returned, she was standing unabashedly in the middle of the lighted compartment with her arms out.  “Do I please you?” she asked, spinning in a circle.  I told her that she pleased me very much and asked her the same thing.  “Yes, my love” was all she said.  I went to her and we just held each other closely for a moment.  We alternately dressed each other.  Before we left the compartment, I wiped a single tear from her cheek as I held her and told her she was beautiful.  It had been her first time too.

We were the last to reach the dining car and sat down rapidly.  Each of the girls, Carol and Shirley, held an unspoken conversation with Virginia that consisted mostly of raised eyebrows, small smiles, and downcast eyes.  Shirley looked more teed off than happy for some reason. Dinner followed and a short session in the bar car was held before we all headed back to our respective compartments to get some sleep.

T.O.M.

Smoking, Rock and Roll, Fasching, and a hay ride

May 31, 2009

As I previously mentioned, cigarettes didn’t really attract me.  I was curious as to how they actually tasted though.  In an effort not to repeat the Big Booze Caper, I simply asked my mom if I could try one.  She smoked Kools, which were mentholated, and smelled strongly of, well, menthol.  Menthol, of course, was used to rub on a chest cold.  I couldn’t resolve the reasoning behind putting menthol directly into a cigarette and sucking it down into your chest from the outside.  But I persevered and she relented.

I lit up and took a huge drag directly into my lungs.  My eyes lit up like a pinball machine, my brain signaled that it was going to force me to my knees (and did), while my poor lungs tried their utmost to eject all that crap I had just put into them.  I was speechless – literally – for about two minutes while trying to catch my breath.  Finally, with tears in my eyes and completely closed up sinuses, I managed to gasp “that’s not too bad”.  I never smoked again until I joined the Navy at nineteen.

A short mention about Rock ‘n’ Roll: I was for it.  When I first arrived in Germany, Elvis hadn’t hit the European airwaves yet, but his contemporaries had.  Such artists as Bill Haley (and the Comets), The Platters, Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker, The Beach Boys (yes, they were together in 1955 and made “Kokomo”), and all the others that created songs in which you could actually hear the lyrics.  There were a few in the “Thwee Liddle Fishies” class, but not many.  Fast bops, slides, floats, and twists were guaranteed to make you perspire, but it was the very, very slow ones that made your knees turn to noodles and your breath come slow and shallow.  Neck tucked close into each other’s shoulder, arms wrapped tightly behind each other, and barely moving your feet to the music was really the soul of rock and roll.  It was meant for lovers.  Ballads far outnumbered flashy, guitar twanging, music.  I think the real reason parents were so much against rock and roll was that it had such a strong influence on their teen’s libido.  My goodness, they would say, look at them touching each other right out there on the dance floor.  How shocking!  My dad used to have to resort to banging a fist on my door to get my attention when I really cranked up the music.  His stock phrase of “turn that crap down!” came back to haunt me in later years as I blurted out those very same, exact, words to MY daughter up in her room.

My love and I had a favorite song; our song.  I suppose it is okay now to reveal what it was.  The song that really stilled our feet while on the floor was “Earth Angel” by The Penguins.  I had a copy and Virginia had a copy, both 45RPM (the ones with the big hole in them).  Never would a single night at either of our houses go by without that song being played by us.  No matter where we were we would always share a kiss when we heard it.

I eventually wore out my copy and was unable to find another one until CD’s started being produced with “oldies” on them.  Humph, I’m NOT an oldie, thank you very much.

Virginia and I had morphed into a couple.  We stopped being two different individuals and began to see ourselves as two halves of the same whole.  We had the same likes and dislikes. I tried very hard not to be clumsy both socially and physically and I like to think that I succeeded in both categories.  I was now able to talk to her, and parents, in whole sentences complete with subjects, verbs, and a few undangling participles thrown in.  I began to lose my physical gawkiness by way of taking ballroom dancing in gym.  I was hooted at mercilessly by my peers but I didn’t care at all.  By the time we graduated to mambos and tangos I was really fleet on my feet.

I only remember one time I got really flustered and that was at a birthday party at Wayne’s house.  We played charades and the subject was ‘song titles’.  I got handed my strip of paper and, as I unfolded it, I began to flush, I backed up and started stammering “no, no way, n-n-n-no way”.  Virginia picked up on this and clapped her hands in glee “He got mine!  He got mine!”  The paper read ‘Brazil’.

I am sure that Cary Grant or someone like that would have smoothly acted his way out of this situation but I locked up.  I was completely frozen.  Every thought left my mind as I immediately thought of the only way to convey the name of that song to my teammates.  The first syllable was simple, really; mime putting on (our taking off) a bra.  The second could be dealt with if necessary.  If it were just between Virginia and I, there would not be any hesitation, but as the rest of the girls started smiling, snickering, and clapping hands to their mouth to keep from bursting out in full cry, I stood rooted to the spot and let the entire two minutes expire.

When the timer went off, Wayne grabbed the paper, looked at it, bopped me on the shoulder and said “you idiot, what’s so hard about ‘bra – zil’?  At that, the girls burst out laughing and my humiliation was done to a turn.  I slunk away to my seat in disgrace; foiled by a bit of lace.  Back at her house, Virginia showed me, using a live training aid, what I should have done.  I should have done that to her back then – that’d show her.  There is nothing more useless than having a good retort – but an hour late.

One of Germany’s favorite seasons is Fastnacht (or Fasching) which begins on Fat Thursday and runs through February fifth.  It is the German version of Mardi Gras with costumes and all.  In a manner similar to our American Sadie Hawkins day, the women take of and run everything on the first day, or Weiberfastnacht (or ladies Fasching).  It is during this time that the town of Stadt began to come alive with the sounds of oompah bands and the clink of beer steins.  It would go on this way every night for the whole week.

Virginia and I loved to get mixed up in this celebration to the extent that we would get dressed up in costumes and join the merrymaking in the streets.  Strangers would ladle beer from huge vats by their side in doorways into your mugs as you passed.  If you weren’t careful imbibing, you’d really end up in your cups – and I’d already done that once.  We would be hard pressed to find any empty seats anywhere just to sit down and rest.  One time we got separated and couldn’t manage to get back together for almost an hour.  Fortunately, she was dressed as a brown fox and I spotted that long furry tail from across the street easily.

Our night would end in one of the local dance halls doing just that – dancing.  Our favorite was the dance called the Zwiefacher, which is a sort of waltz with an extra measure thrown in.  Neither one of us was very good at it, but we tried hard and got a lot of laughs.  By the time we got home, we were completely worn out.

Our parents got into the swing of costumery (is that a word?) for the Officer Club Fasching Ball on the base.  A lot of thought was put into their costumes.  My mom was decked out in fishnet stockings, a tight, and very short, black skirt and a highly peek-a-boo blouse.  She had on heavy eye liner, rouged cheeks and vivid red lipstick.  My dad had drug out one of his old summer uniforms and laid on every bit of brass he could find covering both shoulders.  He had added rank insignia all the way from his Lieutenant’s bars to actual General’s stars and added a huge ribbon across his chest that held up a six-inch across golden plate that was originally a souvenir of Mexico.  Attaching gold braid over each shoulder as an aiguillette completed the look.  He also sported blue trousers with a large red stripe down the outside seam.  He was going as a South American General with his consort.

Virginia’s parents were just as creative as mine were.  Her mom dressed up as a winged fairy complete with a very tight, light green lame’ gown and a push-up bra; she had even added ‘feelers’ sticking out of her beehive hairdo.  Her dad used one of his bear rugs and allowed him to be virtually sewed inside it.  The head sat atop his head and, with the bared fangs, looked pretty real considering how tall (and large) he was.  He just had to be really sweating in there.

I would have paid good money to get a peek at that Ball if our parents were any indication.

In our wanderings afield (literally) Virginia and I met a great many people.  One of our favorite places to visit was the farm of Wolfgang and Hilde.  Their farm was spread out across a small hill outside town and commanded a magnificent view of the river valley.  It is this view that first attracted Virginia and me.  We found a nice rocky outcropping with a flat area on top and would come out there every chance we got during the summer.  To throw a picnic lunch together, adding a camera or two, and bicycling over there was a real treat.

On our second trip there, a fellow about our age rode up on a huge horse, dropped to the turf and hailed us.  Over the course of fifteen minutes we learned that his name was Peter, he was eighteen, and his family owned the area we were picnicking in.  In the States, this would have been called trespassing and I’m sure we would have been run off with a shotgun, but in Germany, where the laws were a mite different, we were seen as friends.  Hiking across fields is not frowned upon at all as long as you take care not to damage crops or annoy the animals.  Most gates had signs on them advising such things as ‘leave open’ or ‘please close’ and one should take care to do just that.

In any case, Peter invited us back to the family home to meet the rest of his clan.  He had a sister (Anna) and a brother (Sig – short for Sigmund) and their parents were the aforementioned Wolfgang and Hilde.  Over time, Virginia and I were pretty much absorbed into their family.  I spent many hours helping with chores while Virginia learned how to prepare a lot of different German dishes in the kitchen.  I learned how to milk cows, pitch hay, drive a tractor, and handle horses – even the two huge Percherons Wolf owned.

Wolf, as he was known to everyone, had a huge garden close to the house that contained all sorts of melons.  The usual watermelon was not present, but other types were.  He didn’t worry about anyone slipping in and stealing them because that sort of thing just didn’t happen.  A portion of the garden was allotted to corn.  His corn stood very tall and had huge ears on them.  I remarked that they would be very good eating.  Wolf looked at me a bit puzzled and said that nobody ate the corn except his pigs.

I expressed surprise at this and told him that roasted or boiled ears of corn was a great thing in the States.  I helped him gather about ten ears and we took them to the kitchen.  Virginia and I had to convince Hilde also that ears of corn tasted good.  Finally, she located a big pot which we filled with water, added a dash of salt and put the dehusked corn into.  As it merrily boiled along, all of us got ready for dinner.  When we all sat down and began the meal all eyes turned to Virginia and I as we each grabbed an ear of corn and buttered it.  By the time we had eaten a couple of rows Peter had tried his and urged everyone else to give it a try.  Soon the entire family was happily slurping down corn on the cob.

Wolf’s comment was so typically American that I couldn’t help laughing: ‘learn something new every day’ (‘lernen jeden Tag etwas Neues’) was what he said.  At least there is one family in Germany that eats corn on the cob instead of feeding it to the pigs.

It turned out that hay rides existed even in Europe.  Peter and some of his friends invited Virginia and I to go on one with them one autumn evening.  The ride followed tradition because when we arrived, there was a huge four-wheeled cart with stake sides filled almost to the brim with hay.  Attached to the cart’s tongue were two of Wolf’s huge horses.  We had some refreshments in the house before we trooped out into the yard and jumped into the hay.  Altogether there were six couples but the cart was pretty large and we all fit in with room to spare.  Sig, Peter’s younger brother, picked up the reins and off we went.

Before too long, the sun had finally set and a huge harvest moon peeked over the rim of the surrounding hills and flooded us all with its silver light.  All of us lay back and watched the stars come out one by one while the horses clopped around the farmland.  From time to time, we would field a question from one of the other couples, or ask one ourselves of them.  It was so relaxing to lay on top of that sweet-smelling hay.

Virginia put her head on my shoulder and nuzzled up close.  I inhaled the delicate smell of her hair and perfume until I was almost dizzy.  I was truly, deeply in love and expressed that emotion often with tender kisses and touches.

The ride seemed to end much faster than the two-hour interval would indicate as we fetched up back at the farm house at what seemed just minutes from leaving.  We went into the house and had some more refreshments, plus a little of Hilde’s special apple strudel.  Soon it was time to say goodbye when Virginia’s dad pulled into the yard and tooted the horn.

T.O.M.

Drinking and “Wake Up Little Susie”

May 25, 2009

School was as boring as most of base life.  In winter, the rooms were steam heated and stifling, in spring when the heat had been turned off but before warm weather really arrived, the rooms would freeze your feet and force you to wear your coat all the time.  Our teachers – pardon me for dumping on them – were generally ones that managed to take a civil service examination and get hired.  They, for the most, part were only in Germany to take vacations and have fun; not to teach a bunch of hooligans (their word) who wouldn’t listen.  We had an art teacher whose only job previously was at a stateside kindergarten. She had us making cutout doilies and coloring in a book.  What a huge waste of air she was.  We also had a History teacher that would, in later years, remind me very much of Ben Stein’s speech delivery: very slow, halting and dry.

There were some very notable exceptions.  My language teacher, Mr. Espana, spoke six languages – all fluently.  He tried to teach us basic German but only managed to get mostly blank stares in return.  I tried mightily and received passable grades.  It was only until he introduced me to a group of local German Boy Scouts that I really took to the language.  There will be more on that later.

Another outstanding teacher was my Science teacher.  I have tried mightily to remember his name, but keep coming up with a blank.  Under his instruction, I learned physical science and loved it.  Our classes would go out into the countryside and visit ponds, rivers, forests, rock formations, and other great things.  He instilled in us a sense of wanting to learn instead of dreading being taught anything.  For some reason, but only secondary, his classes tended to attract more girls then boys.  Note I only say this in passing.  It was nothing to me at the time.  Right!

Aha, thought associations made the connection:  his name was Mr. Wagner, and he was great to be around.  Among other things he taught a group of us the different ways of communicating with each other: semaphore flags and Morse Code by light, buzzer and radio.  I studied diligently and passed my examination for a Novice Amateur Radio License under his tutelage.  There was no agreement with Germany at the time for licensing of US hams in country, but they did allow us to take the license downtown for a German license.  Of course, the exam was in German, which I knew well by then.  I passed the first time and received my operator’s license.

Not having a place for a shortwave radio at home (nor could I get permission from the base engineers to put up an antenna) I had to rely on buses to go downtown to the local club for operating experience.  I met a great bunch of guys and gals at the club.  The ratio was about even for boys to girls.  Technical issues appeared to not be a problem with the distaff side of the German populace.  Many of the American girls that I tried to teach Morse code to simply wouldn’t apply themselves hard enough to even learn the entire alphabet.  There was an exception though – Virginia.  She liked being able to send me love notes that nobody else could read.  In one class, we would chatter back and forth simply by waving our index fingers like flags.  Not one single teacher ever got wise to us as we passed the time ‘talking’ in class.

I mentioned that we did pass love notes in the previous paragraph; she and I had begun going steady during the Sadie Hawkins dance.  In any given school with over four hundred and fifty students you would find many pairings, splittings, hatreds, and attractions among the students – mostly between boys and girls – but not always.  Virginia and I weathered the storm by staying together for almost the entire three years my dad was stationed there.  From the day we met at the Teen Club until, once again, I had to say goodbye to a loved one as she left for Italy, we hardly ever dated anyone other than each other.  All was not clear sailing because I thought at one time that I had lost her to a jerk, er, jock, from the soccer club.  She only went out twice with him and then came right back to me because, as she put it, he had his hands all over her and she didn’t like that because it wasn’t me.

I had almost gotten used to having my heart torn out of my chest by saying goodbye to someone I cared for.  Being a service kid has advantages beyond measure, but knowing that any long-term relationship is doomed because a parent is being sent somewhere else looms large over it.  Virginia and I were seriously thinking of ways we could remain in Germany – like getting married on the quiet.  She nixed that idea, but not without thinking seriously about it.  I just wanted to run away to Paris and live like a Bohemian making love day and night.  I was later to get a portion of that wish.

One lonely Saturday night when Virginia’s family went visiting another family at a base nearby, and my parents were out also, I wondered just what my dad’s bourbon tasted like.  I had never even gotten a sip of it before so I was profoundly curious.  As my parents were gone for the night so I helped myself.  I had no idea what a ‘jigger’ was, so I simply filled a small water glass from the bottle.  I sat back on my bed and began sipping it.  Hey, that’s not too bad I thought.  A few more sips and it tasted right good to me.  Several sips later I was boiled as an owl.  When they came home, I was hanging over the edge of the bed, groaning that my eyeballs had fallen out and I couldn’t see to find them.

My head hurt, my stomach was turned inside-out and here was my dad’s smiling face floating in and out of focus asking me if I wanted another “shot”.  He could be so cruel at times and this was definitely one of them.  All I wanted him to do was put me out of my misery.  I wanted nothing to do with hard liquor for several years afterward.  Finally, to add injury to illness, (as my dad related to me the next morning) my mom had clapped a hand to her mouth and rushed from the room stifling a huge guffaw.

The next morning, for some reason, my head was reasonably clear and I went to my normal bowling league.  Did fairly well as I recall.  After that foray into alcohol, I stayed mostly sober for a long time.  I say mostly because I did allow a small beer from time to time when I found myself downtown during mealtime.  No more hard liquor though, no sir, not I.  At least until I discovered Schnapps.

Virginia and I did get into trouble once in what we termed the “What Were We Thinking” caper.  One fine Saturday, we decided to cycle our way over to a neighboring base about fifteen kilometers away (9.3 miles).  We packed a lunch on a nice, sunny day and headed out.  The first part was really great.  We would stop and take pictures, snack a bit, and just generally take our time.  The trip involved descending down to a river and climbing back up again on the other side to a small plateau.

The descent was made fairly fast as we flew downhill.  Once we hit the river, we stopped again to take pictures and drink lemonade from a small kiosk.  Refreshed, we started up the other side.  The grade was not very steep, but it certainly was steady.  Gradually, we slowed down to a crawl and, finally, gave up and walked our bikes the rest of the way up.  We still hadn’t tumbled to the fact that we would have to go back up the way we just came down so fast – and the grade on that side was really steep.

We arrived on top puffing for air and just sat at the side of the road for what seemed like hours.  Actually, I think we rested for about ten minutes.  Over to the base we went and did some visiting with friends.

On the way back, the sun was occasionally hidden behind clouds, but we just thought of it as relief from the sun.  Soon, the clouds cover was complete and we could hear rumblings in the distance.  Not good.

We blazed down the hill to the river in record time, crossed immediately and started up the other side.  We had just begun when the skies opened up and dumped heaps of rain on us.  Large trees sheltered us for the most part, but they began leaking and this added to our misery.

Virginia had me stop for a second as she noted her back tire was flat.  Somewhere on the trip down or across the river she had punctured it.  Oh, great, now we had rain and a flat.  We found a small open-fronted shed sitting next to a field and dragged the bikes into it.  Both of us carried a tool kit and patching material so we got busy pulling the tire off the rear wheel and did the patch.  Part of the procedure was that the tube had to be dry – this was a problem as nothing we had was dry.  All we could do was wave the tube around and hope it would help.

Finally, we got it patched and re-installed on the wheel.  During this process, we noticed it was getting hard to see very well.  It was getting very dark outside and the wind was coming up even more than before.  In what was probably the best decision we made all day we decided to just stay where we were until the rain abated.  Pushing a couple of hay bales around, we created a nice little nest where we could be out of the wind.  I stretched out and she cuddled up and laid her head on my chest.

We were so beat that within minutes we fell asleep.  A loud MOOO from a wandering cow jolted us awake – but two hours later.  We were now deep into twilight and going to be really, really late getting back home.  We still had about a mile-long climb ahead of us even before we got to the road to Stadt.  We were in so much trouble now.  Use your cell phone I hear you saying – hah; in 1957?

The rain had tapered off to a light drizzle so we started out trudging up the hill again.  Our food was gone, we didn’t have any more water, and it was almost full dark now.  Finally we hit the top of the hill and flew down the road towards home.  We eventually made it back to her house about four hours late.  Her mom was getting frantic but at least she hadn’t called Virginia’s dad yet.  She did call my mom though and got her started up so when I hot-footed it over to my house I got the third degree also.

I don’t think it would have been so bad if Virginia’s mom hadn’t found bits of straw stuck in her hair and, worst of all, in the waistband of her pants.  The “but, mom, all we did was get out of the rain” defense didn’t cut any ice with her.  The sentence was: three days confined to the house and school only.  I caught hell from my dad for getting Virginia into trouble but I think I made up for it by going over to her house the next day and apologizing to her parents.  The whole time I had the eerie feeling her dad was going to load up his shotgun.

T.O.M.

Intro to Germany, Virginia, and Sadie Hawkins

May 20, 2009

Life in Stadt became as humdrum and dreary as it could almost right away.  I found that I would be attending a US school right in the center of the housing area and that we had all the normal things to do right in one location.  Damn, I was looking forward to wearing lederhosen and yodeling a lot.  (I was influenced by a lot of movies.)

We had a movie theater, an Exchange (military five and dime), a commissary (military supermarket), barber shop, and other really attractive places.  We even had a Teen Club.  Imagine, if you will, a Quonset hut (a large corrugated steel barrel cut lengthwise and plopped down on a foundation – Google it if you are really curious) full of nothing but flat, dusty concrete, a really old phonograph, a rack of records that were old ten years before, and two bathrooms – guys at one end, gals at the other, and a laughingly named item called a ‘snack bar’.  No snacks were ever available except when a dance was being held.

This, was supposed to be the social venue for us teens.  Most of us would rather have a root canal with no Novocain than been seen entering (or leaving) the Teen Club.  Some of us, however, did venture in just to check things out of course.  I spotted one person that I knew, Benny, from the teen dance back at the Andrews Officers Club.  Several other guys were sitting at the three tables along with about five girls.  Benny introduced me all around.  Back then, introductions were made with handshakes, and standing when someone was introduced – not simply mumbling “yo” or ‘hiya”.  My name recall was almost perfect until he got to Virginia; after that, I don’t remember a thing.  She was a beautiful, dark haired, girl with a willowy body.  The best part was that when she stood, she was as tall as me!  She was very close, if not actually over, six feet tall and was nicely proportioned.  I surreptitiously took inventory:  nice face – check, great smile – check, nice breasts – check, narrow waist – check, shapely hips and long legs – check.  In short, I was in love again.

During the summer of ‘57, I turned fifteen.  This is a glorious age to be.  Old enough to attend senior high school as a freshman and get away from all the kids of lesser ranking, but, unfortunately placing yourself once again at the bottom of the totem pole of teen society.  It also makes you act really goofy around girls.  I have no idea if girls that age felt as self-conscious as us guys, but if they did it was well hidden.  I tried several times to interest Virginia in accompanying me to any place where I could be near her.  This was always rebuffed with what looked suspiciously like a smirk and a toss of her head.

Interspersed among my primary campaign for Virginia’s heart were the smaller struggles to make somebody of the female persuasion to at least ‘like’ me.  It seemed that the harder I tried, the faster the putdown struck.  I redoubled my efforts and began to receive acceptance, but only for a first date.  Anything beyond that was usually not in the cards.  I tried being studious, but that only attracted girls that wore horn-rimmed glasses, put their hair up in a bun, and buttoned their sweaters all the way to the neck; not that I had anything against that particular type.   Attempting to be a ‘jock’ only garnered bruises and pain – no cheer there so I moved on to class clown.  I found I could make girls laugh quite easily, especially when I asked them to a movie or dance.  Rats!  I was becoming ever desperate.

A few notable girls began letting me though their shields.  Sally was a ‘tarnished’ cheerleader who fell from grace after being dumped by a real jock.  She and I had fun, but then we drifted apart again.  Ann was very pretty, but was constantly snapping her gum in your face.  I endured it for almost two weeks only because she had the most magnificent breasts. They appeared able to defy gravity and bounced gently even when she stood still. Then, to my consternation, she switched to another guy who chewed gum also.  Last I saw of them they were happily swapping gumballs away.

Between working my way through the distaff side of the freshman class (it seemed) I kept trying to scale Mount Virginia.  She appeared to yield several times, but still only let me get near her in school, never in a social situation unless several of her friends were around.  It was finally one of her friends that gave me the final clue:  “stop trying so hard!  She likes you, so stop being a goof.”

I reevaluated my presentation, scaled it back a bit (stopped being a goof), and took Sandy’s advice.  It worked!  Soon I was able to hold whole conversations with Virginia without stepping on my tongue, embarrassing her, or, as the British say ‘dropping a clanger’.  We began to make music together.  Our first actual completely alone date took place in the very same teen club we met.  The record player turned out to be broken, again, but I was hearing my own tunes inside my head.  Movie producers and directors have been trying for years to show, on screen, this phenomenon but have never been able to convey it properly.  Soft violins, soothing woodwinds, classical guitars, sighing winds, crashing waves, and all the other visual representations can never actually convey what hits a guy when it suddenly dawns on him that “this may be what I’ve been looking for all along.”  Boom – right between the eyes.  You actually hear music inside your head.  Your conversation slows and then stops.  You slowly reach across the table, timidly hold hands, and look deeply into each other’s eyes.  Such was a defining moment in my life.  We were now ‘an item’ and I knew I was under her spell, my pulse had doubled, and I was having trouble breathing.

My age made me about eight months older than Virginia, which was cool.  Her dad worked in the motor pool as a mechanic and she didn’t have any brothers or sisters at all.  This, indeed, was good news.  We would go to her house instead of mine on our dates.  But, I get ahead of myself.  We made small talk for a while but then she said she had to leave for home.  I offered to walk her home, but she told me no because her dad was coming to pick her up.  We walked outside just as he pulled up in his car.  When he got out, he was the largest guy I had ever seen.  He topped six feet, six inches, and must have weighed at least two-seventy.  I mentally vowed not to dally with Virginia’s affections.  No sir, not me.

A couple of months later Virginia and I went to a Sadie Hawkins dance.  Sadie was a fictional character that existed in the Li’l Abner comic strip which was a basis for some very colorful costumes.

NOTE:  For those interested in this long-running November tradition, please check out this site http://www.lil-abner.com/sadiehawk.html and leave me a comment if this link fails.

According to tradition, she asked me to the dance, but not after fighting off two of her friends who were at the snack bar table with us.  I think they just wanted to get her goat, but maybe not.  She won out in any case and off we went later that week to the dance.  It was a costume dance and, when I went to pick her up for the walk to the gym, my eyes had a seizure.  The only word that came to mind at that time was ‘stuff’.  She had managed to ‘stuff’ herself into a highly erotic push-up bra under a red, polka-dotted silk scoop necked blouse.  A very tight, and very short, torn black skirt and sandals completed her getup.  In short, she was the embodiment of Daisy Mae.  I was costumed as my favorite character in the strip: Fearless Fosdick.  This costume, it was said behind my back, actually wasn’t far from my true nature.

Virginia’s arch enemy, Linda, came as Moonbeam McSwine, and, after slinking around me, Virginia was ready to send Evil Eye Fleegle after her with a quadruple whammy.  In any case Virginia kept me busy the whole evening on the dance floor so Moonbeam couldn’t get me.  When the line of kids waiting for Marrying Sam finally got short enough for us, we stepped into the arch and “got hitched”.  Later that evening she agreed to wear my small ruby ring and I gave her a stuffed Schmoo.  We were now going steady.

This event caused much consternation at her house as she wasn’t fast enough to hide my ring one afternoon after school.  She wore it on a small chain and would drop it into her bra when near anyone other than her friends.  She had an armful of books one day and her mom opened the door instead of her brother.  Ping – Bip went her mom’s sonar and she ranged on the ring immediately.  After running through the gamut of ‘you’re much too young’ and ‘there are other nice boys out there too’ she finished off with ‘just wait until your dad hears about this’.

Strangely enough, he didn’t seem to mind all that much.  I remained a bit nervous near him, but he never mentioned anything directly to me about our going steady.  After several more dinners and evenings spent with them I was accepted as a fixture in their house.

My parents, on the other hand, didn’t really have much to say on the subject one way or the other.  My mom remarked that she thought Virginia was a very nice girl and my dad was uncharacteristically silent on the subject.  I think he was basically happy I was beginning to settle on a just one girl as it did wonders for my grades and general attitude.

T.O.M

Across the Atlantic and aboard a train

May 15, 2009

Our cruise from New Jersey to Bremerhaven took about two weeks.  Modern cruise liners make the trip in just a few days, but this old, cranky, MSTS ship could only potter along at about six or eight knots and don’t even think about stabilizers.

The interval was good for me though as I spent a lot of time remembering all the good times Kathleen and I had had.  There was a small contingent of teens on the ship, but they were either too adolescent or intimidating for me.  The boy nearest my age was sixteen and had already developed the bad habit of smoking.  He tried to get me started, but I resisted because smoke from my dad’s cigars had always made me nauseated.  My mom also smoked, and that just made her look cheap somehow.

Now that I think about it, a tremendous amount of peer pressure was present back then for everyone to smoke.  We saw advertisements on television, billboards plastered all over extolled the virtues of smoking as well as seeing live entertainers on those very same televisions smoking while doing their thing.  I can recall dancing cigarette packs appearing on several shows.  Some of the shows were sponsored by cigarette companies and you always got the feeling that the performers were told they had to smoke just to do their shows.

On board there also was one girl named Mary who was sixteen.  Being tall for my age she and I were able to see almost eye to eye – me slightly taller.  She had wonderful breastworks and liked to show them off by wearing tight sweaters.  She resisted all of my efforts to obtain a better look at them and, at the end, practically had to carry a ball bat to whack me when I got too close.  The name of my game was called ‘fixation’.  I was fixated on breasts and would do anything, some things really stupid, to obtain my goal of another fondle.  After a particularly unsatisfying evening in one of the lounges, I finally gave up.  This was induced by an eighteen year old guy who threatened to move my ass somewhat nearer my head if I didn’t stop bothering Mary.  He was either her larger brother, or had been hired by her to fend me off.  Either way, it worked.

I did meet a very nice girl named Heather who turned out to be just six months younger than me.  I had noticed her from afar but never was brave enough to wade through her younger siblings to talk to her.  They would bust up any conversation I tried to start with taunts, chants, and just general goofiness.  On the few occasions we did manage to get alone, she turned out to be a bit shy.  She told me she had never before had any kind of boyfriend.  I also found out that she had never been kissed until we finally shared a few while watching the ship’s wake from the fantail.  She wasn’t kidding.  We bumped noses and teeth a couple of times until she learned how to do it properly.  It was a tough thing to do, but someone had to do it.

The rest of the time we teenagers spent playing shuffleboard, reading books, and just generally horsing around.  This being a military ship, not much thought had been given towards making the passengers very comfortable, but we made out fine – well, that should be put another way.  Actually, that way is just fine.  There was a very small bit of deck space allocated right between the stacks up on the highest deck we could reach.  We kids would take turns getting away from it all by stepping over the small chain across the ladder and sneaking up to this deck.  Except for the two stacks immediately fore and aft you could see everywhere around you – including any nosy crewmembers who might want to bother us.  There was a small life raft tied to the deck that one (or two) could sit (or lie) in and talk (or whatever).  A small piece of string draped over the chain let everyone know the observation deck was in use.

Mary had enough protection surrounding her so I never got a chance to escort her to what we called the ‘fun deck’, but Heather and I did whenever we could outsmart her noisy and inquisitive siblings.  I guess it should have been called the Libido Deck owing to all that went on up there.  If you didn’t police up the area before bringing your girl up, all kinds of surprises were to be found.  Someone even found a bra (36C) tucked under one of the raft seats along with two used condoms.  Yuk.

The one time Heather and I went up there was during the day.  The clouds were low and there was a bit of rain in the blowing wind so we hunkered down in the raft under my raincoat.  She and I cuddled a bit, and I was allowed to unbutton the front of her blouse and kiss above her bra but that was all.  When she accidentally dropped her hand into my lap and felt my erection I think she got a bit scared.  She said she was sorry, buttoned up everything and told me to take her back to her cabin.  Luckily, I had my raincoat with me on the way down.  She told me twice more that she was sorry and that it was her, not me.  I dropped her off at her parent’s cabin and headed for a cold shower.  “Missed it by THAT much” as Maxwell Smart would say.

The ships company held a dance for us kids one evening.  It turned out to be pretty good considering that some old records from the Forties were all we had to dance to.  Fortunately, I had learned how to dance to them and didn’t make quite a jerk out of myself as others.  Heather didn’t dance much so we mostly just sat at the table and talked with some other kids.  Since none of her younger brothers and sisters was allowed into the room, we could talk normally.  The chaperone did catch us kissing once though and told us to knock it off.  Once, we snuck out and headed for the ‘fun deck’, but when we got there a line had formed.  We would have been waiting for quite a while before our turn came.  Instead, we walked around the boat deck and found a nice dark corner to practice more kissing.  Once she got the hang of it, she was good at it.

We arrived in Bremerhaven in the dead of night, wearily dragged our baggage down the gangplank and boarded busses for the train station.  My dad was to be stationed in a town called Stadt, and the train was headed that way with stops all along the line to drop off US servicemen and their families.  The bus ride seemed interminable, but we arrived around one in the morning at the terminal.  We had been assigned rooms in a given railcar so they were fairly easy to locate.  All signs were in German so with the aid of a little Berlitz book we translated our way down to the waiting train.

My brother and I had been put into a small room adjacent to the rest of our family.  When I found the correct number, I opened the door and stopped in my tracks.  A very shapely woman had her hands over her head and was in the process of lifting a dress off her body.  In the flash of half a second, I noted (in order): she didn’t wear a bra, had a very even tan, her panties were light green, her dark hair framed a very pretty face, and her steely-eyed glint threatened to reach out and kill me.  At first, neither she nor I said anything, but I finally found my manners, stammered an apology, and got the heck out of Dodge.  When my dad saw me bowing and backing out of the room he asked why so I told him that we needed to verify our room assignments.

He checked with the porter and we definitely had these two rooms so something was amiss.  The woman came out (in her dress, dammit) and chatted with the porter briefly.  He indicated that she was in the car behind this car.  After a brief three-way conversation (my mother had taken the full German course at Berlitz) the woman accepted my apology for bursting in.  What the hell, it was my room anyway, why was I apologizing to her?  There was a lesson in there for me, if I would only think about it.  I filed the mental image of those bare breasts away in a special corner of my brain marked “to be opened in the event I want to salivate”.

Three rooms down another womanly shape appeared as a door opened to the corridor.  My radar switched ranges and homed in on Heather.  I had hung around with her on the ship, but almost always surrounded by the most obnoxious siblings I had ever seen (outside my family, that is).  She was alone this time, which gladdened my heart.  Actually, I needed no encouragement whatsoever to head for girls; it was the actual talking that got me into trouble.

We chatted for a bit about where we were headed (her for Kaiserslautern), how much we missed our friends back in the States, and what we were going to do about things that teens normally did.  For all we knew, we would end up speaking German and attending school downtown (on the economy as it was known). I told Heather I thought her name was great and that it made me think of fields of flowers.  Damn, I was a real romantic back then.

After obtaining permission from both sets of parents, Heather and I went down to the diner to get something to drink.  I had tasted something called Apfelsaft (Apple cider) in the ship’s cafeteria before, plus it was the only German word I could pronounce correctly so far (outside of Dumkopf which I loved to call my brother), so I ordered it for the both of us.  When it came time to pay (after two more of them) I pulled out a wad of cash.

Now normally this amount of bills would be impressive but before we left the ship all US cash, including our change, had to be turned in and we received what was called ‘script’ in exchange.  Even such things as nickels had their paper equivalent.  My ‘wad’ was worth about five dollars, but would definitely choke my brother (which, at times, wouldn’t have been a bad idea).  I paid for the cider and we strolled back to our car.

Her siblings were out in force and were continuously barging in on our conversation so we finally gave up at about two-thirty in the morning and went to our respective compartments.  Heather and I promised to either call or write, but I sent two letters and received just one from her.  But after that, I didn’t get any more.

Tomorrow afternoon we would get to our new home.

T.O.M

I’m a lover, not a fighter

May 9, 2009

Life as a kid transiting from pre-teen to mid-teenhood was definitely not a bowl of fruit.  Nasty ‘appointments’ with larger kids so that they could sharpen their fighting skills were the normal routine.  I tried to counter these semi-monthly beatings by offering friendship, but, for the most part, it was rebuffed with a taunt something like “come on you little shit, afraid to fight?”  This is doubly embarrassing when the whole interchange is almost always being viewed by your girlfriend since the two of you just got off the bus.  I figured out that there was just no answer to this type of tactic except to try and get in the first blow.  I’ll call him Mr. Galoot (but his real name was Dickie).  He was half a head taller than me and weighed more, but I had the reach on him for sure because, by then, I had grown out wiry.

I asked my dad if he could help me defend myself and got a lecture on how to ‘just walk away’.  Clearly, he had never been through this sort of thing back on his dad’s farm because this advice only caused more garbage to be dumped on my head.  Finally, he relented and signed me up for some boxing lessons at the base.  Now we’re talking, I thought.  Let him screw with me now.

While enduring several bloody noses and skinned knees (mostly from falling down after being hit), I graduated from the class.  During the time I was taking it, I never once let on that I was feeling a lot more confident that I could take out Mr. Galoot.

One fine day, I stepped off the bus and – WHAM – a book slammed into the side of my head.  Mr. Galoot had ridden home with his older brother and was waiting for me.  Turning to Kathleen, I handed her my books and turned to Mr. Galoot’s smirking face.  “Okay, let’s get this over with” I sighed, and moved to the side of the road.  His eyes tracked me as I walked towards him.  As I passed, I planted my foot, and crashed a fist into his side.  He woofed loudly, dropped to one knee, and then came up fighting.  I was totally familiar with his fighting ‘style’, which was, to say, nonexistent.  He aimed to overpower his opponent immediately, kick him on the way down and stomp on what was left.

He began to flail at my face and chest.  I parried almost every one of them but a windmill left that rocked me back a bit.  He saw that as an opportunity and waded in towards me.  That was his big mistake as I was waiting for it.  I lowered my head, drew my left arm way back (which I expected him to track) – and hit him squarely on the chin with my short right cross.  He dropped straight down and actually spit out a tooth.  I asked him if he wanted more and received a wave of his hand as he shook his head.  I offered him a hand to help him up but he just spat on it.  I shrugged and walked away.

Kathleen handed me my books, took my arm, kissed me on the cheek and we walked silently away.  Mr. Galoot never bothered me again, nor did any of his sidekicks; and, no she didn’t say “My Hero!”

One time, I invited Kathleen to a dance at the base Officers Club.  It was a spring dance that all the local teenage children of base personnel were invited to.  It took three or four tries for me to get up enough courage to ask her.  We had been going to the Saturday movies (by ourselves) for a long time, but this was a different thing entirely.  It was a dance where we got to hold each other out in public; tightly.

I was definitely no Fred Astaire, and she wasn’t Ginger Rogers but we managed to not step on each other’s feet while keeping time to the music.  I wasn’t brave enough to try a fast dance, and that was fine with her, so we sat them out at our table.  There were three other couples at our table that were just a bit older than Kathleen and I so they had plenty of dancing experience.  We exchanged small talk between periods on the dance floor and eventually found that one guy’s dad worked with mine.  This turned out to be a good thing because we were later reunited at another duty station.  Service life can make for a really small world at times.

Once, when the girls all took off for the powder room (does anyone know why this happens?), Benny asked if Kathleen was a ‘civilian’.  I told him that she was and that her dad was a pretty successful carpenter.  He told me she was very pretty, which made me feel great.  When the girls returned, a slow dance started and we all trouped to the floor.

When she put her head on my shoulder for the first time this evening and nuzzled my neck, my raging hormones reacted in a predictable manner and I (in the current vernacular) popped a boner.  I tried valiantly to keep from poking her in the tummy, but failed miserably.  No matter what I did, every time I moved I’d bump her with it.  I just knew she felt it.  This knowledge didn’t help me at all as I wondered if some erotic thoughts were controlling her thought processes like mine were.  My brain had turned to mush which put the rest of me on auto-pilot.  Casting chivalry to the winds I pulled her tightly to me which caused us to slow to a popular teen dance step called ‘barely moving’.  Perhaps we even stopped and just wiggled our toes, I don’t know for sure.  Mercifully, when the music ended, she saved me by handing her shawl to me as we walked off the floor.  I was able to drape it down over my arm in front and then on my lap as we sat down.  She was a pretty astute girl.  I decided that she knew fully what was going on.  It is said that girls mature earlier than guys and I really believe that.

Kathleen and I dated many more times throughout the years between 1953 and 1955.  We were young teens and full of life.  Whatever we did was notable only by its intensity and candor.  We would ask each other many questions that under other circumstances would embarrass the hell out of anyone but us.  We had grown up together, so to speak, and come from grade school kids playing together through that memorable moment in young love at the theatre when I first touched her breast.  Now, months later, we felt comfortable enough together to ask each other really personal things like: “do your breasts get sore being strapped down like that?” or “did it hurt when you bumped me at the dance that time?”

She and I never got to be total lovers in every sense of the word.  The main reason was that both her parents and mine began watching us like a flock of hawks hovering over a field of mice whenever we were together.  We had virtually no chance of ever being alone in private at all.   Kathleen told me one day, after a couple false starts, that she wanted to give me her virginity.  Internally, my mind snapped to visions of a naked Kathleen and I think I responded somewhat like “Ummm, whazzat, whuffo, eh” with a faraway look in my eye and my hair on end.  She repeated the simple declarative sentence and added that we just had to find some place we could go to be alone.  I thought to myself “Uh oh, what’ll I do, what’ll I do?” and mentally ran in ever-tightening circles while I tried to aim the conversation in another direction.  This succeeded, but I never forgave myself for just not going along with the hand dealt me.

It was not to happen though, ever, because one day our incipient love life was shattered as my dad announced that we were moving again – this time to Germany.  Kathleen and I had planned meticulously for our supremely definitive event for weeks.  I even managed to work up the nerve to buy a pack of condoms (‘rubbers’ as they were known back then).  Even this act took me several tries to complete.  I ended up with a lot of stuff from the drug store I didn’t need until I finally did it.  As it turned out, the guy at the counter never batted an eye.  They didn’t hang on shelf hooks back then, you had to ask for them at the counter – AND there was only one kind.  The sight of a wand glowing like a nighttime traffic cop’s flashlight would have sent the girls of the fifties into catatonic states, running from the room screaming or laughing hysterically – depending on their upbringing and sense of humour.

We had an extremely tearful farewell date and clung to each other too emotionally mixed up to try anything more than just to hold tight.  My heart broke to see the tears in her eyes as we said our final goodbyes. The movers had come, we had packed the car for our trip to New Jersey to catch the liner for Bremerhaven, and the time to part was on us.  Too soon, our time together had come to an end.  The chapter on my ‘first (read: intense) love’ had come to a close.

T.O.M

The BIG date

April 22, 2009

For our first major date, Kathleen and I settled on a movie followed by a trip to the local malt shop next door afterwards.  Since neither one of drove yet, it was agreed that my mom would take us there and her dad would pick us up.  On the appointed day, I spent approximately two-hundred hours getting ready.  The date was to be at six PM, so I began preparations around three-thirty immediately after getting off the school bus.  This was an acknowledged ‘special night’ because we were still in school and it was a Tuesday; a school night.  Kathleen and I walked home from the bus stop, me carrying her books (back then, our school busses had five designated stops in our nine-block community – they didn’t stop at every house on the route for us kids.  We were expected to meet at the stops for transportation to and from school).  By this time, other kids had stopped their hooting and hassling so we walked in peace.

As I was now fourteen, clumsy, and without a lot of social graces, I felt completely overwhelmed when Kathleen appeared at her front door for our date.  I can still remember exactly what she wore:  a blue summer skirt and a matching, button down the front, blouse with little flowers over her left breast, a thin blue band in her hair, and darker blue flats on her feet.  I have no clue what I wore, probably a fresh animal pelt that I had just skinned off a saber-toothed bunny.

With a whisper of nylons against a slip she slid into the back seat of our car.  I was socially conscious enough to at least hold the door for her and caught an altogether too short glimpse of shapely leg on her way in.  We arrived at the theatre unexpectedly soon because I was working up enough nerve to actually take her hand.  I was about ready to make my move when my mom announced that we were here.  What a drag.  “Once more around the block, Jeeves” wouldn’t have worked.

I sauntered up to the ticket booth, bought the tickets, and escorted her into the darkness.  I was, even at that early age, developing myopia, so to avoid having to wear completely dorky glasses which would absolutely guarantee I would never find a mate; we should have sat near the middle or front of the house.  She, on the other hand directed me to one of the last rows in the theatre.  This, according to local legend, was where the ‘make outs’ sat.  Did she know this?  I have to assume so because she smiled and pulled me into the very last row.  I began sweating (perspiring is for sissies, I was sweating) heavily as we sat down until the air conditioning kicked in and cooled me off.  I offered popcorn, which she took and began feeding kernels back to me from her hand.  When her fingertips touched my lips I lost track of time.  I stared into her hazel eyes and was gone.  No fourteen year-old should have to go through this but it seems that each and every one of us does.  Somehow we make it out the other side.  There is an absolute defining moment when you realize that girls can make you feel like an idiot and a knight at the same time.

The movie that night was called “Drum Beat” with Alan Ladd.  The usual cartoons and previews preceded it and, by the time the movie actually started, Kathleen and I had consumed our entire stock of popcorn.  I started to get up to buy more, but she held my hand tightly and told me it didn’t matter.  Didn’t Matter!  What heresy was this, no popcorn for a western; had she blown a fuse somewhere in her moviegoing circuits?

I was in the dark (literally) after she said that, but was illuminated immediately when she pulled my arm over the seat back and dropped it lightly over her shoulders.  Now, here was a situation that hadn’t been covered by the guy’s handbook – at least not the chapters I had been allowed to read yet – so what was I to do now?  Watch the movie, dummy, reverberated through my brain cell (note the use of the singular).  She shifted closer to me in her seat and reached for my other hand.  I was trapped!  Ahhhh-oOOo-gah!  Danger, danger!  Cue the shortness of breath, and clammy hands.  Focus my eyes and attempt, above all, to be cool. Here I was thirty years away from multitasking but multitasking I was.

A short time into the movie, she dropped her head onto my shoulder.  I didn’t feel it at first because my arm had gone completely dead from the neck down to my fingers on that side.  When attempting to shift slightly to allow blood flow again, she turned towards me at the same exact time I turned towards her.  Planned or not our lips met.  Oh, NO!  What the hell was I going to do now?  We’d have to get married or something I was sure.  My instinct was to bolt directly out of the seat and begin swinging from the chandeliers like an idiot.  In reality, I simply kissed back, like a knight.  Her lips were soft and inviting.  I could even taste the very light lipstick she was allowed to use for this date.  My heart began singing, my legs turned to rubber, and I completely lost the plot of the movie.

From time to time, we turned and kissed again.  Each time it was easier and more natural.  Once she even raised a hand and held my cheek as she kissed me.  I raised a hand myself, moved it over towards her chin, but somehow she moved slightly and I missed.  I ended up nudging her breast.  Not hard, but enough to establish firm tactile contact.  I snapped my hand back, narrowly missing her jaw, and tried stammering out an apology.  She said nothing at all, but reached over, grabbed my hand, pulled it over and placed it firmly on her breast again.  Not only that, but she held her hand over mine to keep it there.

I found at that moment that any male teenage palm contained millions of sensors capable of detecting heat, topography, clothing type, and other tactile data.  I knew, for instance, that she had very firm breasts, they were warmer than my hand, and that they were covered by her dress on top and a bra underneath it.  The term today would have been ‘steerable array of sensors’ as the actual antenna doesn’t move.

She sighed deeply (probably thinking “what is it with this guy, is he retarded?”), held my forearm, and caused my palm to circumnavigate her breast.  By that time, I was emboldened enough to try flying solo so I began using my fingertips to do some exploring.  First, I caused my left hand (the one over her shoulder), which was now completely awake, to rise up over her shoulder, head towards to her collarbone and dip down into the neck of her blouse.  The fit was a bit tight, but since the bones had disappeared from my hand it wasn’t a problem.  I slithered downwards until I encountered the top of her bra with the tip of one fang, er, finger.

Now, while this was taking place, predictable things had been happening to me:  my skin had gone very clammy, I began sweating again, and I had an erection.  Not just any old erection, but one that you had to look around to see the screen.  They say that a diamond is the hardest thing in nature, but I disagree.  A fourteen year-olds first major erection is harder.  Smaller ones in the privacy of your own bedroom cannot be compared to anything like what occurs in the presence of a well-rounded girl; and especially if you happen to have your fingers on her breast.  She appeared to be not aware of my plight though as her eyes steadily remained on the screen.

Directing your attention back to the bra (yoo hoo – over here), I soon discovered that there was enough room to slide my fingers between the cloth and her skin – which I did.  I soon had several inches of warm breast covered by my fingers.  Then she made a move I will never forget: she lifted her hand and unbuttoned the top three buttons on her blouse.  How this was done with one hand is a mystery but, then again, how they manage to take off a bra completely using one hand is another, but I was deeply grateful as my access was now unlimited.  As I moved deeper and deeper into her bra cup, she loosened a couple of straps that held the whole thing up.  For all practical intents and purposes she wasn’t wearing it any more.  My fingers dropped down until I encountered a very firm nipple.  I put my palm directly over it and stopped, holding it, and her breast, firmly in my hand.

She sighed again, and we watched the movie for a while.  My erection, however, had not abated one bit.  It was beginning to be a bit uncomfortable actually.  As quietly and with as little movement at all, I tried mightily to adjust it.  No matter how I pushed or prodded, I couldn’t find a comfortable position.  I gave up and tried to watch the movie.

As the movie came close to ending, and before the house lights came up, I reluctantly removed my hand from her breast and she closed up all the straps and buttons.  We turned towards each other and kissed deeply one more time.  Mercifully, my erection had subsided to a dull ache so that when the house lights did come up, I could stand without embarrassment (or doubling over in pain), and we exited the theatre.  Our next stop was the malt shop.

I have no clear recollection of anything that happened after that wonderful moment in the movie.  I replayed that petting scene in my head until the tape was worn out.  My one thought was that the sensation was wonderful and I was eager to learn more.

T.O.M

Saturday movies & a new school

April 16, 2009

Over the period of five years my family stayed on the East coast, Kathleen and I initially developed a friendship of sorts.  It wasn’t a boy/girl relationship at first, but, simply, a friend/friend.  Once I discovered a) how she looked in a bikini and b) erections, and what they were for, my relation changed into one with a bit more respect to it.  I watched her mature into a young lady and took note of the various ways to act around her.  My biggest help was movies.  By now I had given up corny westerns and had graduated to movies like “Roman Holiday” with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn and “Picnic” with Kim Novak.  (In later years, the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” cat scene would still bring tears to my eyes.)  I paid attention to how the male stars related to their female counterparts.  I wanted to be just like Gregory Peck or Cary Grant; suave, dapper, and always with the right word or phrase at the ready.

But at first, she and I would go, along with other neighborhood kids, to the Saturday movies in a nearby town.  Said trips would last all day from about nine in the morning to around three or four in the afternoon.  I have to think, in retrospect, that our parents used this time as a day of relaxation without having us kids underfoot; possibly fortified with a barrel of booze.

The theatre would be surrounded by hordes of kids with their ticket and candy money clenched in their hands.  A ticket would be only twenty-five cents which left a whole quarter left for various candies and/or popcorn.  You DO remember fifty-cent pieces, don’t you?  Most candy was a nickel and popcorn (the big one) was ten cents.  My favorite was to buy a roll of Necco wafers and dump them into a large bag of popcorn.  That way, they were nice and soft from the heat and wouldn’t chip your teeth. Another added treat was to buy a box of Dots (licorice) and add them to the mix.

Movie events generally started with a couple hundred cartoons – Droopy, Porky Pig, Bugs, Daffy, and the like.  Then followed the various serials that were popular at the time: such as Green Hornet, Lash Larue, Cowboy Bob, Gene Autrey, and Hopalong Cassidy.  If the main feature wasn’t long enough there might be several more cartoons preceding it.  Most main features, in that day, were either horror or science fiction (with an occasional western thrown in).  I remember such wonderful films as “The Brain Eaters”, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, “House of Blood”, and “Them” although my absolute favorite was “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.  Most of us kids would show a lot of bravado in the face of numbing fright by eating all their popcorn in handfuls and putting the bag over their head.  It must have quite a sight seeing all those popcorn bags bobbing up and down in their seats.  My mother couldn’t quite figure out why I sometimes returned home with hulls clinging to my hair. I told her that kids near me had a popcorn fight.

All good things must come to an end though and we filed orderly out of the theatre (in a pig’s eye) to find our parent’s car.  Once loaded, off home we went.

A word here on the trauma of entering a new school and trying to fit into the peer networks that have formed long before you arrived.  While still in grade school, things weren’t too bad because you stayed in one classroom all day (really boring, believe me).  But, once you graduated and moved into Junior High things got a lot more complicated.

First, and foremost, you were assigned a locker.  Said locker was usually several time zones away from where you classes were, and most had a tricky combination lock that took many attempts to trip.  Great fun was heaped on the new guys by dumping something (usually ketchup stolen from the cafeteria) into the ventilation slots in the locker.  If this wasn’t enough, those same fun guys would then clamp an extra lock on the hasp.  By the time you hunted up the custodian (back then they were janitors) the offending lock would be mysteriously missing – making you look like an idiot.

Next would be the light hazing offered by the usual group of rowdy boys who never managed to get caught.  “Kick Me” signs were popular, as was the angling blow in a busy hall that dropped your entire stock of books to the floor with a loud crash.  Backpacks hadn’t been invented back then so you had to carry a stack of books under your arm.  Some of the more nerdy kids (usually boys, but some girls too) carried a briefcase.  These were looked upon with derision as ‘sissy’ and even more demeaning terms.  Not realizing that these cases were ideal for carrying books, their detractors would guffaw and hoot at anyone carrying one.

Lunchtime was always a great time for social mixing.  All the members of one group would sit with their peers as would the members of each and every other group.  By mixing, I mean only with your group.  Once in a while an emissary would be sent from one group to another to offer a treaty of some sort.  If the emissary survived the mission they might eventually become part of both groups.  This happened several times to my recollection.

It was at lunchtime that Kathleen and I finally decided that we liked each other in a different manner.  I hadn’t come right out and said so – that would have been against the code of the male animal – but, nevertheless we boys were now expected to show something towards our opposite sex other than taunts, barbs, hair pulling and rolling in the mud wrestling matches.  They, on the other hand, appeared to be a bit more rounded now.  How had that escaped me since last year?  She had developed a chest, but hid it alluringly behind lacy blouses and loose sweaters.  She had also swelled out a bit from the hips and looked very good both coming and going in a tight skirt.

Why did I look away suddenly when she caught me looking at her?  What in the world was coming over me?  Why was I so damn clumsy?  Did love actually hit me?  Why am I asking you?

All of our parents worried when huge summer storms began showing up on the horizon.  We kids, on the other hand, eagerly awaited them.  This was mostly because we got to run around in the yard in bathing suits in the rain.  Distant rumblings and towering cumulonimbus clouds building up in the sky brought every one of us home and into our swim suits to await the first drops of rain.

Once the storm hit, we would all stream out into the yards and streets yelling, screaming, and dancing around like idiots.  We were not fearful of lightning strikes, or other odd occurrences, but, instead intent on building dams, scratching ditches, and floating plastic ship models down those ditches.

In the middle of one particular storm, we noticed that somebody was throwing ice cubes at us.  They would come crashing down and slam into the pavement with a huge SPLAT.  It wasn’t until on of my buddies got hit on the head and knocked cold that we realized that this was a Very Serious Thing.  We all scattered to the nearest porches as the hail storm built up.  Soon, huge piles of hailstones the size of baseballs were flowing down our streams and gutters.  The newspaper the next day said that one person had even been killed by a ball of ice that was softball-sized.  My mom was pretty upset that her car had seven huge dents in it from the hail.  This storm dampened (no pun intended) out enthusiasm for running out into storms – for about one storm.

One spring day we were playing out in the yard and we heard a huge ‘whoom’ followed by a big ball of smoke and fire about four of five blocks away.  “Quick, Robin – to the Batmobile!”

We pedaled furiously down the street seeking the source of what had become now a large column of black smoke.  When we rounded the final curve there was a wall of fire trucks and police vehicles blocking further access.  We didn’t want to get any closer because we could see the tail of a plane sticking out of the remains of a house.

A huge crowd had gathered and, once we asked around, we were told that a B-24 from the base had crashed into the house.  It sure looked the case now as most of us could identify the twin tail as it went up in flames.  As we worked our way around the bystanders, we could then see pieces of wing, a disconnected engine sitting partially through a neighboring roof, and another one burning in the street.

We must have stood there for hours watching firefighters trying to quench that blaze until four huge foaming trucks from the base arrived and shot retardant all over it.  Kids being kids, we were now not interested so we began drifting away.

Speaking of aircraft, how could I have possibly failed to mention my first aircraft love: the B-36?  When my dad was stationed up in Alaska, they flew all the time out of Ladd Air Force Base – and almost directly overhead.  When a flight of those wonderful birds began warming up I would run outside into the yard and await their takeoff runs.  First, you would hear a deep thrumming as those six trailing-edge-mounted propellers began to grab air.  The bass note would begin to climb the scale as the bird began to move down the runway.  By the time it was overhead, the noise had built into a ear-splitting, glorious roar.  If I was lucky, they would also cut in the four jet engines and pitched high above the propeller noise would be the shriek of those engines at max power.

Ladd was a SAC (Strategic Air Command) base and had a whole wing of B-36’s based there.  Those huge planes were longer by two thirds than even the B-29.  Their wingspan and tail height were even larger than the Soviet Antonov AN-22 and, until the Boeing 747 and the Lockheed C-5 appeared, no aircraft could lift a heavier payload.  Their in-flight profile was unmistakable – a long nose pushing out in front of those wide wings gave it the nickname of “Wild Goose” around the base.

If you really want to capture some stunning screen shots suitable for wallpaper on your desktop find a copy of ‘Strategic Air Command’ with Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson.  Some of the aerial shots are really breathtaking.

T.O.M