Lying on Crispin field, summer after my eighth grade year, with nothing but a radio and my Madonna inspired earrings…
“It’s all right if you love me, it’s all right if you don’t…” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was going to be the sound of my summer. Or so I thought.
“Hey, what are you doing out here all by yourself?” a puberty stricken voice called from the 30 yard line. Eric Herman, an upcoming senior. He was the starting quarterback since his sophomore year, and the town adored him. “I like the way your sparkling earrings lay on your skin”, Eric was forward, but his tone was wrapped in cashmere.
“Uh, um thanks,” I didn’t st-udder, but I might as well had. My heart was racing faster than my bike down Vista Road. Eric was the one we all dreamed about, eighth grade to the graduated class of ‘85. I had once fantasized about his proclamation of love for me; in the cafeteria, down the halls, and over the intercom of BHS. I’d be so popular that even girls in Bloomsburg would cry themselves to sleep.
“What’s your name? I have seen you before, haven’t I?” Eric kept the questions coming, and I sat in amazement with a Tootsie Pop in hand. “Oh, I know where I’ve seen you! You’re Marie’s sister, right? Yeah… yeah, that’s who you are.” He was so sure of himself that I boldly didn’t answer him.
“I’ve got to go”, I proclaimed after quickly gathering my blanket and the radio.
“Well hey, let me drive you home,” his voice was like a liquid kaleidoscope, dazzling. I followed him.
“My God, at least there’s body heat in the student section,” Val’s cursing me from the sidewalk.
“I’m not standing in the student section.” I’ve got Bailey’s in my coffee, and I never share.
“What to wear, what to wear … I’ve acquired countless band t-shirts, baja hoodies, and three replicants of Bon Jovi’s jeans over the years I’ve served at BHS (as if it’s a prison sentence). The fringed leather jacket in the back of my closet is beginning to speak to me, and paired with a fresh pair of Reeboks I’ll give the critics more to whisper about. I can’t help but think that the roar of accusations toward me, as to why I’m not wearing his letterman jacket, will be easy to ignore.
I always question our relationship the week of my period; this month has proven no different.
“Shit!” no one is around, but I can’t keep commentary to myself when it’s this fucking frigid outside. Thank God for Bailey’s and coffee. Many have criticized my drinking habits, but I’ll swear that it isn’t an issue. I just miss her, every day.
My grandmother passed away, and I’ve made it a ritual to sit in front of her old house at dusk, every Friday. I don’t know if this fuels the sadness and hardens my heart, but when I think about spending nights listening to the sirens from the power plant to wake up and eat breakfast with her by the pool has got that calming effect. She isn’t in there, she’s went to heaven and left us all in hell. But I’ll see her again, and when I said a good bye, it wasn’t. I told her I’d see her later.
There’s never any parking around here… and the predictability of being scolded by Jer after the game, for parking in the players’ lot, is something that I look forward to ignoring. Chiefing a Marlboro Red before I enter the war zone known as Crispin field, I saw Eric and I felt the icicle that is my heart drip.”—