The Reader - Week 13
Alone Again, Naturally
Andy began reading:
A cold March night. We had hitched a ride into the suburb that was just north of ours: Brooklyn Park. Lonnie had a date with “Candy”, a girl who lived out there. Lonnie said that he heard Candy liked to fuck.
Candy lived in one of the new houses that had been built in the 1960s housing boom. A place where, in order to find it, you had to have the house number—they all looked the same with any color as long as it was beige. We found the place and she let us in, leading us down to a half-finished walk-out basement. Her folks were out. She was supposed to have a friend there as well; evidently it didn’t work out. The basement was cold, warmer than outside, but not by much. It stunk. An over-flowing litter box was in the corner. Candy must have been used to the smell. She was pretty, I thought. I would like to fuck her. The three of us hung out in the basement for a while, smoking cigarettes and chatting awkwardly. It would have been a better scene if Candy’s friend had shown up. We were waiting for her older brother to give us a ride to the Osseo VFW hall, where there was a teen dance. Her brother was eighteen, and a bit of a hoodlum. His presence was augmented with the aroma of hops. He didn’t look too drunk, however, and we did need the ride.
Candy’s brother had a beat-up ’58 Chevy. He liked to drive fast, whether to scare us or compensate for a lack of personality, I don’t know. All he said was “huh-huh-huh" as he managed to break the speed limit by at least fifty miles-per-hour, leaving us petrified. We did arrive at the hall in one piece; he left us there, to return by our own devices.
The dance was held in the basement of the concrete block structure, a five piece band, Jack and the Rippers, was already playing. The “front man” was the drummer, an older guy named “Shakey”, who was, in spite of his nickname, actually pretty steady and was known for his killer version of the Dick and DeeDee song Turn Around. The room began to fill up with teens, but I didn’t recognize any of them, they weren’t from my school. I was a pretty cool scene, though, not like some of the dances I had been to in downtown Minneapolis where there would be a fight of some sort every ten minutes or so.
The band was getting hot now, and the tunes they played were more in the R&B vein, rather that the top-40 covers they had been playing. When the organist started in on Green Onions some of the kids formed a circle and began to dance the “dirty dog.” Candy and Lonnie had disappeared. I stayed for an hour, until it the dance turned into a make-out party. The VFW was just off Osseo Road, and I hitched a ride within five minutes and was home, in bed, and jacking off, by midnight.
I saw Lonnie in school the next Monday. I asked him what he did, after he left the dance.
“Candy met up with some friends that had a car. We went over to their place,” he said, excitedly, “and we did it!”
“No way, man.”
“Yes we did.”
After this one-night stand, Lonnie never mentioned Candy again.
Andy put down the manuscript. After last night’s washout with Jennifer, reading a story about horny teens in the 1960s didn’t help his state of mind any. He thought he might send the manuscript back to its author, telling him not to send any more. Instead of doing that, however, he opened his computer and began to proof-read the technical manuals that had been queuing up over the week-end. It paid the bills, without mocking his solitary existence.
Andy wondered if he still had a chance with Jennifer.