Thus, as Sue and Melissa drifted off to sleep, I “Slept” with both eyes wide open in the dark. As if ordained by the Creator ,Lisa was closest to me, and using her sleeping bag for padding rather than warmth. I slowly rolled over so she was just within an arms reach. I moved my left hand like a crab or spider, inching toward my target, that being her hand. I got an elbow instead. If it was her left elbow she was on her back, if it was her right elbow she was lying on her stomach. I slid my hand up toward her hand. There was no resistance. She was asleep. Her hand was half open. I decided to flip over again, thus putting my right hand much closer. This time I found her fingers outstretched. I was sure this was not by luck or coincidence. I slid my hand into hers; she intertwined her fingers with mine, then curled our hands together. This was the beginning of a two year romance.
Lisa: So Barry, Cathy Martin was telling me your family has some wild fights and loud screaming matches. Is it true?
Me: Wow, that’s a long story, but my brother just got out of the hospital a couple of years ago. SO that was five years with Adam fighting for his life. Mom was in the hospital 24/7 and came home only one or two days a month. She came home mostly to sleep, but it meant the boys were on our own, and with the stress and all, she snapped. Before snapping she could bite your head off over nothing. She was always tough, but the arguments got worse, and louder, and longer because there was never a clear way to go to save him, so on good nights we’d just sit around crying, on bad ones, the blame game filtered into every aspect, every subject, every bit of our house.
With that, I had put a damper on the romance and possible sex talk. Fireflies were blinking outside, and mosquitoes were easily heard buzzing around inside the tent. Mosquitoes are so much easier to extinguish when there is a hard wall or ceiling to smash them on. It was about 65 degrees, so eventually the topic of sleeping arrangements came up.
Sue: I’m getting sleepy.
Me: Wow, that’s poetic. I think it’s funny how opposites attract, and how the couple that has the soft nerd guy with the jock tomboy girl is fairly common, but nowhere near as common as the beauty queen wanting to date the guy who majors in shop and street fights. Look at our parents, it seems to me the dads say they run the show, but the show they run is at work, while the moms pretty much call the shots, win the fights, and get what they want at home. Some people just can’t help but push their way into what they want. Then every once in a while a big fight breaks out when one is tired of being pushed around.
Lisa and Sue looked like the agreed with my assessment, but not Melissa.
Melissa: My parents don’t fight at all, and they seemto agree on mostmajor subjects. They’re still in love for sure.
Me: Lucky you.
Lisa: My parents are so busy they’re pretty much too tired to fight, and so into being doctors, they don’t bother us with demands. Both of my brothers are weird. Ones quiet, and always reading comics, not into sports at all, the other is a wild child running around half crazy . I get tired of being their mom, especially since one is older.
Sue: I’m off the hook lately because my sister is the problem. She gets an earful every day about college, pot smoking, her future, and anything else, like her hippie clothes, or sneaking out late. If my parents ever found her stash or caught her smoking pot at home I think my house would blow up. The good news is, I am free to do as I please without being overly inspected.
(Was Sue announcing she was on the prowl, anxious to catch up to her sister, in at least the romance department, or was I over-interpreting in my favor in case Sue became an option should Lisa stonewall me?)
Christmas 2006 (7?, 8?, 9?…2012)
(All Together now, in Chipmunk-esque squeals, just like Alvin and the Chipmunks have sung it since the 60s)
Christmas comes but once a year,
soldiers bloodied, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air,
it’s Christmas everywhere!
Barons sipping booze or tea,
greed leads to frivolity,
one man’s toil is another-kids toy,
it’s Christmas in Hanoi.
Farm girls walk to city lights,
paddies shimmer by moonlight,
no one left to grow rice high,
it’s Christmas in Shanghai.
Now she sits at sewing machines,
making clothes for Wal-Mart Queens
she takes home a buck a day,
it’s Christmas in Bombay. (Mumbai)
One hundred forty hour weeks,
raped and left no food to eat,
import maids, Sri Lanka’s poor,
it’s Christmas Singapore.
Catholic Mass in Spanish here,
Argentina has great fear
The IMF has had their say
Guess who is going to pay?
Now the Dems have won their seats
still no nerve to scream “impeach,”
It seems they’re also on the take,
Which SUCKS for goodness sake!
Bush is set on World War three
claims tax cuts will set us free
Look, a tear in Laura’s eye
The Whitehouse is a sty.
Habeas Corpus is long gone
Now King George can have his fun
The law was passed here just in time
To root-out left-wing slime.
Osama thumbs his princely nose
Knowing Dad is Bush’s Bro,
The oil secured keeps China at bay
It’s Christmas all the way.
Now Osama’s dead and gone
Who will be the next war pawn?
Syria, Libya, Iran, no WAIT!
Christmas is way past late.
Barack Obama’s our new man
He spreads the war to Pakistan,
Drones are flying up above
Spreading Christmas love.
So go out and shop some more
Buy something from every store
The fascist status quo gains power
with every shopping hour.
Christmas comes but once a year,
Bloodied soldiers, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air
it’s Christmas everywhere!
Bombs exploding in the air
It’s Christmas everywhere!
Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Silence ensued. It was the kind of pause that can kill a co-ed conversation at that age. I started to think it was going to be an early departure if the other tents were going that same way as ours. They weren’t though.
I found out during the boat ride home the next morning that both the other guys stayed awake until the girls started to sleep one by one. When all were sound asleep, both employed Thomas’ strategy: wait out the whole tent, then pick the girl of your choice. Both ended up making out quietly, and never got caught, nor did the girls raise a peep of protest, nor a scream, not wake up and kick the guys out. And there it was: a perfect example of mutually accepted lying.
As for our tent, the conversation jolted back to life.
Lisa: Isn’t there a way to learn each other’s language and communicate in a way that is understood?
Melissa: So you think men and women have entirely different languages?
Lisa: It’s not so much different languages, as a completely different set of ideas about who is the right type, and how to date the one that’s right for you.
Melissa: Maybe we worry too much about who is exactly right. I still think people who hardly know each other can fall in love in an instant under the right circumstances.
Me: If both are hormonally distressed with “Maximus Horny-Apes-Among-Us Disease, then sure, one glance is all it takes.
Sue: But it has a better chance of lasting if they’ve been friends a long time. Love at first sight, leads to break-up at first fight.”
With this Lisa looked at me, and without even having to put an upward-angled nod on her head, I knew her idea was to have us three boys boat home right away, even if it was 4am.
Me: I’m fine without a sleeping bag, I’ll just crash over here on this side of the tent.
Lisa: Isn’t it better if you take your friends home . Your parents will be missing you.
Me: I doubt that. After a deep alcoholic sleep they will wake up and see the boat gone and figure out we’re out messing around on the lake somewhere.
Lisa: You mean they don’t know you came down here at midnight?
Me: Your mom knew, but otherwise, except for longer lines at the bar, I bet no one noticed.
Lisa: Then that’s worse.
Me: Oh? But your parents have already come home, and they never even bothered ot look in on us. If your mom was worried about what we were doing, don’t you think she would have come up to say hello?
Me: Well, either we have parental approval, or the other guys are asleep already, or both. It’s more dangerous to try to get home in the dark than in daylight. I haven’t heard any of the girls scream, so it appears everything is under control, right?
Lisa: I guess so Barry; you sure have a gift for persuasion.