Boy finds girl, briefly.
|Why it began, or how, I wouldn’t tell you if I could, and I can’t, so forget it. The fact that it began at all is amazing, and that it lasted as long as it did is astonishing. The fact that it ended, too soon as it turns out, is what my grandmother might have called, “a gall darn, motha-fuckin’ shame.”
We met on a lonely, drunken, graduation night. We knew each other, but until this night had never spoken. Our high school days were over as of this night, and our lives, we were promised, were about to begin. Any distant hope for Karen of a scholarship to college had ended several months ago, she told me. The very idea of such a venture for me had never entered my mind. I was destined for my father’s shoe store, mainly sports shoes, but a few penny-loafers, gum-soled lace-ups, socks and underwear, blah, blah, blah. All this I confessed to Karen out by the pool with long necked beer bottles in our hands.
We had danced that night, another first for the two of us, a swing-dance effort we knew nothing about and proved to everyone.
Karen had wild blondish hair and an oval face, and on the whole prettier than average, I suppose, but didn’t turn any heads when she walked by in the hallways at school. No more so than I did. We talked, she and I, alone and separated from the rest of the party. We drank beer, too many it turned out, and if I could turn back time, believe me, I would have cut my beer consumption in half that night, and I wouldn’t have tried to feel her breasts on the dance floor which won me no points with her, but many, many, many loud guffaws from those who were watching as she slapped my face.
Karen, her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open, her left hand still holding steady a half full beer bottle between her legs, lay stretched out and sound asleep on a lawn-chair on the back porch of a wide, sloping back-yard of freshly mowed grass. A slurping sound snorkeled from the Olympic sized swimming pool in the middle of the lawn, and the pool’s underwater lights were still aglow, while expired candles floated without movement atop gardenias half submerged in the metallic blue water. To the left of the pool was an oblong fish pond built with river rocks and completed with Lillie pads and a small stone figure of a boy peeing into the water.
I was lying flat on the grass on my back some distance away from her. We hadn’t spoken to each other since my badly timed feel-job to her boobs. I was going to hit the road after I got my face slapped, but drank more beers instead. At some point I passed out on the grass. It was now around three in the morning when I rose to my hands and knees and crawled on the grass to the fish pond where I puked all seven of the beers I had drunk that night into the mossy water. This in turn created what could only be described as a feeding frenzy by what I assumed were Carp, and which acted now more like piranha, their tails flashing in the blue light from the swimming pool. I saw, when I managed to gather myself to my feet that my new khaki pants had grass-stains at the knees which would never come out; a beautiful keepsake of a graduation party I would just as soon forget.
It was then, I saw Karen crawling as I had across the grass toward the fishpond. She leaned her head out over the water pretty much in the same fashion as I had moments before. I tried to help her as great splashes projected across and into the black water, at which point the piranha/carp began their chaotic dance again. A second, louder gagging sound erupted from out of Karen and as I tried to hold her hair back she swatted my hands away, and told me to go fuck myself.
The wise plan of hitting the road again came back into my aching head, and this time I followed suit. I left Karen leaning on the river rocks of the pond, still feeding the fish as I made my way home along Lombardy Street.
I never saw Karen all that summer, though I watched for her through the window of my dad’s shoe store. I actually never saw Karen Connors again, as I said our relationship ended all too early, which truly was “a gall darn, motha-fuckin’ shame.”