Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Foreplay On The Edge Of Forever
I bought a pair of gaudy low hanging earrings and had them in the glove compartment of my car, ready for the next time I got Ramona alone. For most of the week however semester finals kept us busy and I hadn't had the chance to make my move yet.
Kevin K. Hanson was spending every available moment in the college library pouring over textbooks and waging a losing battle against academic disaster. Marv, on the other hand, had already stopped attending classes after scoring ridiculously well on the Postal exams.
The History final went great, Algebra not so great and everything else fell somewhere in the middle. Between the finals I went to the cafeteria and divided my attention between class notes and copies of Doctor Who Monthly. One day I found myself approached by three of my friends, Ginger, Will and Pricilla.
“Hello Albert.” The first to speak was Ginger; she was one of the many returning students I had befriended. It seemed to me that only the older students were able to understand that just because I liked clowning around didn’t mean I shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Oh and also when I say ‘older students’ I mean she was in her forties- of course I’m in my forties now and I suddenly find myself thinking that isn’t so old after all.
“Ginger!” I hastily hid my magazine beneath a textbook. “How are finals treating you?”
Her eyes shone with excitement “Only one more semester and I’ll be ready for law school.”
Back then I thought that by your forties it was a little too late to go changing careers. Now at forty three, I just wish I had something that remotely resembled a career.
“That’s great.” I said.
Will was my age, like me he lived at home and had intermittent success with the ladies. He was all about karaoke; he even carried a karaoke machine with him in his station wagon so he could perform his favorite Elvis tunes if the opportunity ever came up or worse yet he would do it if the opportunity hadn’t come up at all. Will also fancied himself as something of a writer. He saw me as something of a mentor and with judgment that good I was sure it would only be a matter of time before he was riding my coattails to the paperback mid list. He asked me, “Did you know the school had a literary magazine?”
“Can’t say I have.” I said, “But then again after the yearbook disaster I doubt the school would want to print anything ever again.”
Ah, the Scotia County Community College yearbook, a project of intermittent degrees of success even at the best of times. However this year had been one of the worst of times. A pretty young second year student had taken it upon herself to resurrect the yearbook, she had gotten pictures and prepayments and begun to set up the layout.
Then she quit school, leaving chaos and ruin in her wake. Since the deposits were non-refundable from the printers the faculty and student volunteers had struggled to complete the project but it was a lost cause.
No one knows why she suddenly dropped out but I am absolutely sure it had nothing to do with me asking her for a date.
So apparently the school had a long-neglected literary magazine and Ginger had latched onto the idea of reviving it. She already had Will and Pricilla helping her; of course I was next on her hit list.
Oh, and who is Pricilla you might ask? Well, she’s just one of the other girls that I knew in college; the weird thing was that back in high school I dated her sister for a time.
No, she wasn’t my first love’s sister, Pricilla was the younger sibling of one of the other girls I had dallied with briefly. Those lucky three or four girls that didn’t have me perseverating on them for the better part of a decade.
And before you wonder, I wasn’t interested in Pricilla, dating her sister had been traumatic enough.
Will however was crazy about the girl he talked incessantly about her warm curves and raven hair.
Pricilla asked, “We have to make a presentation to the student council to try and get funding. We figured you would be just the man to write up a professional and passionate proposal.”
Ginger nodded in agreement, “Of course I’ll have Will edit it for archaic language and cursing.”
“No offense buddy,” Will added.
“Offense?” I said, “Where do you get the idea that my mind might birth such a churlish notion?”
“So,” Ginger asked, “are you with us?”
I smiled, “Of course I am.”