copyright 2000 by D Lawliss Badger
First Edition Published by Balls to the Wall Press
I graduated from high school in June of 1967, The Summer of Love.
Bullshit! The summer of getting your ass shot off in Vietnam. The summer of running away and getting burned in california. Or maybe the summer of drinking a lot of beer with a bunch of people you imagine to be friends and not remembering shit about it.
The summer of being hopelessly in love with some big-titted, intellectual rubber hole who’s just as fucked up and irrelevant as you are. Jesus, life sucks! Then you die.
I was not looking forward to not knowing what the fuck I was doing in the summer of ‘67 and not really caring anyway. Yet there I was. Eighteen, clueless, miserable and feeling singularly unattractive. I’d have to make up for all that later.
But you know, after all this tie I still think of that rubber hole once in awhile. Shouldn’t. I wasted ten years doing that after it all went own. Mainly, now I think I should have fucked her. That last time we were together I should have just pulled off her sweater and slacks, yanked down her underwear, squeezed and sucked thos big firm jugs and pumped a huge load into that nasty, furry cunt! Would’ve aved me a lot of time and aggravation.
But that would hae been 1969 anyway. So I’m getting ahead of myself.
You know what’s funny, of all the great music that came out in ‘67 I remember listening to the weird stuff the most. Happy Together by the Turtles, To Love Somebody by the Bee Gees, The Letter by the Box Tops, weird shit like that. I remember hearing Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Procol Harum and not thinking that much of them. Of course I hadn’t discovered dope yet so that might be an explanation. Anywy, that’s how I remember it now. Sitting on the hood of somebody’s car parked by a pond or a river, drinking a Budweiser, listening to the radio play Red Rubber Ball by Cyrkle. Weird.
I didn’t really want to go to college but figured it was better than shooting at gooks. So I went. Then I discovered dope but oddly enough was not that impressed, at first. Still, it got me thrown out and sent home. And after I wrapped my fathers new Ford Custom around a telephone pole, while being shit faced at 95 mph, the armed services suddenly seemed like a viable option. So there it was. Hello Air Force, so long Bungftck Backwoods, NY.
Here’s a strange flash. First day in the service, getting off the plane at Amarillo Air Force Base. It had been wickedly cold that morning in Albany, twenty below at least, but as I stumbled down the ramp in Texas, my green wool blazer over a turtle neck sweater, the heat hit me right in the face. Had to be a one hundred degree temperature difference.
The less said about the service the better, I suppose. There is that whole making-a-man-out-of-you thing but I rather suspect that has more to do with being caught up in a very stressful yet highly organized situation at a particularly impressionable time of one’s life. All in all, the best part of it was the drugs. And the travel. I learned to love them. I did every kind of dope known to man, except smack (very unfashionable then). Sometimes the drugs and travel coincided and that was always an adventure. Hiding from the cops on an island to the Loch Raven reservoir in Baltimore while tripping on mescaline, having a conversation with a fire hydrant named Corey because I was completely whacked on bella donna, also in Baltimore, praying to The Frog in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia smoked up to the max on Turkish hash, dropping acid for the first time and wandering around the East Village in New York. Wild stuff for a country boy! There was the people and politics thing too. I discovered that African American guys were just like Irish or Italian guys except they listened to better music and had better dope. And for the first and last time I became highly political, caught up in the whole New Left/Anti movement. Interestingly enough, the only real casualties I’ve encountered in my life I met in the Movement, people who went the whole route from SDS to Weathermen or people who just cared so much you knew they were going to crash and burn. I knew guys and chicks who ended up in jail, underground or dead. It was the politics that got me out of the service. Seems that the United States Air Force in general and the OSI in particular were not so interested in keeping commie, pinko, junkie freaks on the payroll.
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All the time I was in love with her it never occurred to me, not even the summer of ‘67 when we went on that long canoe trip with the church youth group. I had a moment there, the second day we were camped out on Racquette Lake. She was reclining in the bow of the boat, very relaxed, catching some rays, wearing a midi style one-piece swimsuit. Her eyes were closed, her head slightly turned, long legs stretched out straight feet spread apart to keep her balance in the rocking canoe. I suppose I was taking a long loving look when I noticed what great thighs she had, full, firm seventeen-year-old thighs. (
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But still I did nothing! Said nothing! What if she’d actually been doing it all on purpose? I could have paddled to a little island nearby and taken her under the pines, peeled that suit down,…
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That’s what I should have done! That would have been the way to lose my cherry!
It was near the end of my time in the Air Force that I saw her for the last time. August 1969. She was visiting my parents at the end of her first summer break from O.U. I was taking my last trip from McGuire AFB with my buddy Al when I picked her up in his car and brought her back up the mountain for a quick chat. We took a long walk downhill, across a pasture and through a cornfield to lay under a hedgerow, talking inanely all the way, probably about Camus or Jung or some other philosophical constipated motherfucker.
(Stay tuned for more from D Lawliss Badger..)