dates

Saturday.

I had a faux-romanticized idea of what my date with Ann would be like: dinner, dancing, a movie, charming repartee and, if I was lucky, a light peck on the cheek at the end – a sign of better things to come.  I continued to have Ann pegged as a nice, normal, high school girl because up until then that was my experience of high school girls.  So I was not at all prepared for our first evening.  

We went to Zino’s, the upscale pizza joint on Little Vine, with the intention of going to a movie afterwards.  But half an hour later we were in the back parking lot literally steaming up the windows.  

The steam, in and of itself, impressed me.  Outside the car it was the middle of freezing winter.  But inside, even with the engine turned off, we were a living biochemistry experiment, generating actual heat.  Hey, condensation happens!  Here was this beautiful girl all over me and I was marveling at the science of it.  But then I let go and was in nirvana.  A rock star.  In just a few months I had transformed from dweeb loser to übermensch and the living proof was pressed up right next to me.  

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Dewars1a

The eye.  Wednesday night.  

Comics had to show up every Wednesday to get a number.  Shows were Saturdays, at first, then Fridays, then after a few weeks, Thursdays and Sundays, too.  Comics got $5 and a free drink for performing.      

Jack Previty hung out at the bar, a glassy, elfin smirk on his face, a bottomless mug of beer in his hand.  

“So, you what?  Yer in school?  Roger Bacon?  What?”

“Wyoming.”

“Wyoming?  Out west?”

“By Tri-County.  Near Hartwell.”

“Huh.  I thought you were comin’ from like California – now, that’s a commute!  An yer in what – seventh grade?”

“12th.  I’m a senior.”

“Senior!  So, how you – yer mom drop you off?”  He grinned at Ervin, the bartender.  “Mom drops him off!”

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