50 Years Out of High School and What Have I Done? (you know the rest)
You know I gotta admit it. I really didn’t do anything since the days I left the halls of high school. No I didn’t sing for nickels and dimes on the street corners but shook my ass an made a few bucks from fucks with men who liked hot young things. I stuck out my tongue as much as I suck out my thumb going from place to place hanging out moving along with the times. No I never became a famous artist or a leader of the pack. I was terrible at singing, finances, sports or sitting in a cubicle at a machine all day, having to get along with people who had nothing in common with me or me with them. As I said old men and their memories are a strange thing. I always asked myself was it really as good or as bad as you remember it? Or could it be that I am only remembering the good parts but not all of the bad? Or does the bad come to the forefront and stand alive as can be, with a big fuck you and then I let out a sigh of relieve that the bad old days are gone? How can I write such a long day by days, of what I did over the years reports when all I did was try to live. Each day was each day nothing more. My life up to now was most likely not even as interesting as those who boxed themselves in. They probably had a good time and still did what was expected of them and today on the path of leaving this planet have something to show for it. Some several houses, kids, gran kids and great grans, degrees from universities, large bank rolls, living on islands where the prosperous vacation, condo here and there, helping to save people one by one in the Emergency Room. Settling in with just what they wanted to do from way back then, deciding early on and sticking to the plan. Here just old man memories and a apartment full of art, some close comrades and some not so close anymore. Sometimes I really believe I can go back but come to my senses and realize no I can’t, back is not in the cards. I get confused with the past and the present. Sitting in my chair, back then is alive, its safe I can manipulate all or none of it to my liking. Remembering men like I do makes me horny. I jerked off last night thinking of all the men I could remember from my past, Bobby, Frankie, Ethan, Guy, Kenneth, Moons, Harry, Mr. Barley, Out Door Billy, Jeff and a hand full of others that came across my mind and became my evenings one night stand.
But you know the one who I really still love is Petal. The one man who I never really had any hot sex with. The one man who was more of a sister to me than a lover. The one I hope is still alive today. The one who I screamed in the movie theater with when Carrie’s hand came up out of the grave, grabbing a hold of him we kept the screaming going. Yeah we could fly and fly we did. Silly girls near the back. So silly that Jeff finally walked out on us. Girls that made curtains together and sewed outfits for the Halloween parade came up with some outrageous designs for display windows (thinking back so many of the designs were rejected as being just too “modern” for the people of Davenport and of course offensive to the owners of the store. Its a wonder they allowed us to keep our jobs. I think the boss and the other workers vouched for us, yes we can do what we are told when we are told, yes we know their windows border on the outrageous, (give it a chance folks might be drawn in to the store), yes I will tell them they have to behave and if they don’t we will split them up.
Our biggest challenge once was a window Coming Soon–Getting Ready for Fall. I remember it like I know my hand. We explained our idea to the woman who ran the better dress department and she said, I love it! If anyone complains tell them I am behind you 100%. Petal and I constructed dresses, wigs, hats, shoes and whatever else out of brown paper. Instead of covering the windows like so many stores use to when changing from one window to another we dressed up the manikins in the change over. We hauled in some branches and hinted each with the colors of fall. We folded up several beach umbrellas and stuck them in the corner. Connie painted a back drop of two people walking on a deserted beach, helped make the leaves as she thought the window to be very artistic and wanted to be part of the art. Now that window was the talk of the store. Even old man Petersen came down from his office to see it, proclaimed it to be wonderful and said “I want to see more interesting things like this. Send the display people up to me, I want to talk about future windows.” Well we thought there is our in. The boss just shook his head and said, “You must have caught him on a good day.” But sometimes good doesn’t last that long and good can’t be pushed further to good, good as the things of life get in the way.
Petal was offered a job in Chicago by our boss doing window displays in some high end department store. The boss was leaving to go back to Chicago and I think he was so in love with Petal that he wanted to take him with him. Its a great opportunity for a career was all that I could say. I’ve been down the road of goodbyes before and this was just another one. But not just another one just like the other ones I went home and cried and cried. The boss and Petal left in late September. “Yeah just think of the store decorations we can do for Christmas. My head is spinning with new ideas,” Petal told the boss and me when we went out for a goodbye dinner. “Petal,” I said, “not to burst your Merry Christmas bubble but I am sure that by now most of the designs have been submitted for the holidays.” “I really thought you would stay here and together we can do many more windows, build our portfolio and then go on from there.” Nope he was going, “I have never been away from Davenport so now is my chance.”