Monday, January 11, 2010
Not one of my "Best" reposts but actually one of my Favorites
How many times can a juke box loaded with 45’s play a particular record without the needle wearing completely through? “It’s My Party, I’ll Cry if I Want To” has only one more opportunity and it’s dust.
In Texas it is a common knowledge that if a town is large enough to have at least one stop sign, there will be a Dairy Queen. Maybe an exaggeration , maybe not. That Saturday night was different from the others. Well, Leslie Gore was again ever present coming from the Wurlitzer. The players, we all gathered in our prospective places. It is important that we all pay attention to protocol. Settled in with cheeseburger, fries and Dr.Pepper, I watched the episode unfurl and weave its story.
Hank and Shelia always showed up early. Everyone was aware that the back corner booth was nest to the love birds. Sitting on the side facing the back wall must have been a ploy so no one could hear what they were saying or even read their lips, like they were doing much talking anyway. The glaring fluorescent lights did little to dampen their enthusiasm. They had already been there for quite awhile. Outside, leaning back against his red Camero, Bud motionless, with his arms folded across his chest, was patiently taking his eternal butt chewing for something or another. That relationship was set to last-Right. Actually, it did for thirty five years and counting. Tommy was causing a furor or at the pin ball machine. He was sort of the mystery guy. He actually went to another school a few miles down the highway, but their only filling station didn’t have a pin ball machine. He was one of those fairly good looking guys that they girls were always asking us guy things that we might know about him. Tommy was the first one to make a name for himself. It is engraved on a big black granite wall in Washington, D. C.
Going through high school, you seem to develop a picture in your mind of how the world turns. Suddenly you see that the world can turn you. Deb and Rob suddenly got up, cokes and fries hardly sampled, got in her mothers stationwagon and drove away. The never ending fear. Everyone knew before she did. Deb would be a senior next year and Rob was headed over to Louisiana to start collage in the fall. He had been in the middle of explaining,,,, well, you have seen that movie. Almost everyone had drifted in and faded out. For me, it was only a brief visit this evening. I was the senior this year so mine was already away at collage. Phone bills can be a financial suck.
Countless others wandered in and out. Many important participants were scattered with other commitments. Tomorrow was going to be a big day. Graduation. Tonight no one had shown interest in heading over to the cleaners parking lot after closing. Joe flicked off all the lights after the others had all ambled out. The light over the dish washing bin in the kitchen and the soft drink dispenser was the only illumination inside. A sign to go. Leaving, I gave a glance toward the many remnants of masking tape on the kick wall at the ordering counter. Evidence of the many posters hawking football “reception” dances at the community center.
I shut the door of the 59 Chevrolet Apache pick up and rolled down the window. Spring had already gotten hot. I sat for a few minutes just to watch the yellow tube bug light flicker and send out its Morse code ( buzzzzz, buz,, buzz-buzz ) signal A bead of apprehensive sweat slowly trickled down the center of my back.. A shiver. The damp air carried a mixed aroma of Niagara spray starch and Old English Leather. Hesitant but determined, I started the engine. The grousing of the gravel beneath the mud grips, sang a resounding dirge as I quickly drove onto the highway, away from the past. I still use Niagara spray starch.