Price Breaks And Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Al And Tallulah’s Wild Ride
But my life wasn’t all dirty talk and buffing floors. My first year of college was winding down. I was doing well enough with finals, strong in History and English, weak in Math and the Sciences. I had a lot of friends and I had even become something of a campus character. Sadly being a campus character in a 2 year college is roughly equivalent to having an Internet following, it makes you feel good inside but it still doesn't give you anything to brag about at your high school reunion.
Not that I don't appreciate you dear reader and you wouldn’t catch me dead at a high school reunion.
When I wasn't attending classes I was in the common room joking around with my literary magazine pals, when I wasn't there I was at work or better yet with Tallulah. I hardly saw my family anymore, which meant we got along so much better.
I was happy and content for the first time in my life and even though I could hardly believe it sometimes I rarely thought of Lilly. I didn't imagine her getting undressed anymore, with the soft whisper of cloth over skin, the gentle curves of her body, the sound of the police as they dragged me off for peeping through her window...
Sorry. Where was I?
“The man the legend!” Will sat down beside me in the common room.
“Hey dude.” I looked up from my paperback copy of The Nightrunners, a book that contained scenes that would still haunt me twenty years later.
“I'm taking Priscilla out this weekend.”
“Oh that is awesome.” I high fived him. He had been trying to romance that girl for then entire semester and like me had had managed to walk that fine line between sweetness and stalking until he was rewarded.
“I'm going to take her out to sing karaoke.”
“Oh.” I said, knowing 'karaoke' is Japanese for 'tone deaf', “You sure about that?”
“You bet.” He was all smiles, “The way I figure it the minute she hears my rendition of Burnin' Love she's gonna be all over me.”
“Now when you say all over...”
Will was too busy staring off into space anticipating, “We're totally gonna do it Al. So long as my parents aren't home. I can see it now, the soft curves of her body, the light from my lava lamp tracing shadows across her skin-”
“Woah there!” I said, “Save it for the ladies pal.”
We talked long into the afternoon, I still can't believe some students used that room for studying.
Most Fridays my family went to Fonda Speedway to watch the modified sportsman stock cars race and to eat the cholesterol soaked food they served at the concession stand. Since I had the house to myself I invited Tallulah over and we watched a movie or two. We would snuggle down on the couch our arms around each other and pop a rented film in the VCR.
Now for those of you readers born after they canceled Happy Days let me explain before Video on Demand, Pay Per View, iPods and DVDs they had these things called Video Cassettes that were about the size of a hardcover novel that held two reels of magnetic tape that contained a video image. You would load these cassettes into a device called a VCR that would play them.
Oh wait. None of you kids know what a book is either do you.
Tallulah said, “This is terrible.”
“Yeah.” I agreed, “What do you want to do now?”
We were watching a film called Blood Hook the story of a fisherman driven mad by the sound of cicadas. It was structured like many slasher flicks of the time but the killer used a special fishing rod and a giant lure with cruel looking hooks on it.
It sounds better then it was.
Then again that was pretty much my plan. The worse the movie the sooner we could end up having sex on my parents' couch. Even now I wonder if I was really all that clever or if she was in on the plan, after all how many girlfriends would willingly let their boyfriend rent Make Then Die Slowly or Night of the Blood Farmers?
“Oh I don't know...” She said with a roll of her eyes but I was already unbuttoning her shirt.
We went from hand holding to caressing, shifting aside each other's clothing with practice, she had been wearing her hair in pigtails but soon let it hang loose, pooling around her. I wished I had the money to take her to a cabin in the woods somewhere with a fireplace, a brass bed and the wind howling in the distance.
But we had to let the flicker from the profoundly crappy film playing on the TV be our firelight, the rickety couch be our bed and the confused growls of my mother's favorite Shih Tzu be our wind. Together we lost track of time, lost track of each of the world, only knowing the feel of flesh against flesh. This was no cheesy romance novel or adolescent fantasy but God damn I’m writing it just like one.
When it was over we were both breathless, we held each other close listening to the hiss of static on the television and the sound of the VCR rewinding. As I have said before, despite all my tales of high slapstick and low tragedy I have been blessed many perfect moments in my life- this was one of them.
When we could speak again Tallulah whispered in my ear, “I think you broke the arm of the couch.”
“I think I had an out of body experience.”