Hello Reader, when last we met, I had lost my virginity (read me). It was eleventh grade, 1975. We were in love and now we had had a taste of sex. Our first time was great. We weren’t nervous or too shy, everything felt like it was meant to be. It was as if we had done the deed many times before…no, that was yet to come. We were young and we were brave. We’ve all been there in some form or fashion; there would be no consequences to our risky actions. When’s round two?
The next day was a Sunday. I had made my way back to Joe’s house somewhere around 4am. Part of the deal with Joe of course was the sharing of the details. Ladies, get over it – we men are all slobs and we share details. Oh, don’t get me wrong. We don’t share details about you anymore, long after marriage about you…no, now we just fantasize about your friends – see how we’ve evolved? When I got home from Joe’s, I got to nap. Euphoria is no substitute for sleep, even for teens.
Over the course of the next several months, we enjoyed many exciting rendezvous at Chez “Sheila’s” bedroom. Sometimes Sheila’s mom would got to bed early. Sometimes it would be rather late and I’d be, (not so patiently), waiting outside Sheila’s window. Sometimes I’d make it in and out by 2am. On more than one occasion we’d fall asleep after sex in each other’s arms only for one of us to awake at 4am. I was usually riding my bike and so I’d have to beat it home before anyone in my family woke up.
To get out of my house, I’d sneak out after everyone fell asleep. Our steps were wooden and old so they creaked like crazy. The least creaky parts of the steps were on the edges so I’d tend to stick to those in order to make the least amount of noise possible. I also knew there were a couple of steps I needed to avoid altogether. The act of sneaking out would take maybe 5 minutes. Once out of the house though, things went relatively easy and free of instance. Coming home was just the reverse and if I got caught, I always had on running clothes so that I could use the ‘I went out for a jog’ excuse.
On two or three occasions, we screwed up by sleeping almost until dawn. I’d have to hustle out the window without making a sound and then scooting out on my bike without being seen. No sooner would I get home then would I have to get ready for my morning commute to school. On most days I was able to hitch a ride with my friend Randy. Sometimes Joe was allowed to drive his dad’s Nova and would pick up a couple of us. The roughest days were those that I’d have to walk to school after an all-nighter. Man, I can still remember being so sleepy by noontime that I couldn’t stand it. There were times too that I was so tired that I couldn’t even make it out of the house for a scheduled evening round. If we had been together 2-3 nights in a row, I’d be so sleepy that I would promise to come over, but wouldn’t wake up for the trip. My girlfriend would never be angry about those nights; she was tired too (he smiled glowingly).
And now, the night of all nights:
After many nights together, my girlfriend and I had fallen into a nice routine. We had found that we two fit together very well, (no pun intended), and we were falling deeper and deeper in love. It didn’t help matters with the sex being so awesome – we had become fearless. As will always occur, fearlessness often translates into recklessness.
I arrived one night as I always did and lightly tapped on the window. This was commonplace for us. She’d open the window and would give me a clue as to how much longer she thought we’d need to wait for her mom to go to bed. On this night, her mom had fallen asleep on the couch while watching the Johnny Carson Show. (Johnny Carson – personally responsible for millions of married men having to go to bed frustrated because their wives preferred to stay up late laughing at Johnny versus going to bed with their men). My girlfriend suggested I come in anyway and just lay on the floor by the bed until her mom made it to bed. Like I said, we had become confident that we’d never get caught in our routine – hey, Roadrunner never got caught, right?
So, like always, I quietly crawled in through the window. We had never done this before; previously we had always waited until we knew we’d be totally alone and safe. So far, so good. There I lay, on the floor, on the right side of the bed, the side furthest away from the bedroom door. And then, it happened, the phone rang! My exact words, (in whisper):
“Shit, that’s my mom!” (My eloquence tends to shine under pressure).
My girlfriend – “what, how do you know?”
Me – “I just do.”
Sheila quickly got into a ‘I’m sound asleep’ position when the door quickly opened. Like a possum on the verge of becoming roadkill, I lay there frozen. Had there been enough room under the bed, I would have been there. But there wasn’t.
As my mind was quickly running through how I was going to get out the window and into safety, meanwhile the back light outside clicked on. When it clicked off, I thought I was going to be safe. Sheila’s mom would go to bed and I’d quickly and quietly slip out into the safety of darkness. It couldn’t have been more than 60 seconds before the bedroom door opened yet again. From under the side of the bed, I could see the hallway light illuminating the shadow that was quickly approaching my side of the bed.
And there she was, as big as life itself, and for as long as I live I will never forget this night and all the words said:
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”
I didn’t get a chance to respond. It was pretty obvious what was going on. Thank God I still had my clothes on.
“That was your mom on the phone. If George, (Sheila’s dad), was awake, he might shoot you.”
Me – (in a hushing tone), well then, can’t we be more quiet so he doesn’t wake up?
There were a few more sentences uttered by us three, but nothing I specifically remember other than her mom telling us she knew something was wrong when she saw Sheila sleeping in a strange position. Next I remember is all of us going into the living room to sit down. Sheila’s mom got on the phone and called my mom to come over to pick me up. Sheila was sitting there on the couch in a short nightshirt and her mom told her to go in and put on a robe.
We were caught. Our ruse, our little rendezvous were over. The best thing we could do now was to make everyone think that it was a single event, so that’s the story we quickly gravitated to. Sheila and I didn’t say much. Kids always knew it was better to say as few words as possible, to just sit there and take our lumps. Soon, my mom appeared at the door to whisk me away to the other side of town. My girlfriend and I locked eyes and said goodbye to each other.
On the way home, my mom had told me that my brother Mike, (the brother referenced in my last story, the one who recently died), had woken up and saw I was gone. He went downstairs to ask mom where I was. I was known to do a lot of jogging, so my mom’s first thought was that I was outside jogging. Joe, (my stepfather), was out of town working as he always did during the weekdays. After 20-30 minutes of waiting, my mom phoned the hotel where Joe was staying and rang his room. She told Joe about Mike and my being missing. Joe was no dummy, his immediate reaction was “call over to Sheila’s house”. The rest, as they say, is history.
The ride home was generally quiet. It was about 7-10 minutes by car and just as we were turning onto Prytania, my mom finally asks:
So…were you and ‘Sheila’ going to have sex?
Even in the face of parental interrogation and punishment, I find it difficult to not see the lighter side of every situation. My response was, “well…we were thinking about it.” And I smiled.
This is not a spoiler but I’ll tell you now that my wife, (Sheila, name changed to protect the guilty), was not allowed to date me from this point in the early summer of 1975 until late Spring of 1976. The next story will focus on what I call The Summer of Discontent. Resolve gets much more strong when someone tries to prevent a person or a group from doing something, especially teenagers.
This night was the beginning of another round of growing up on Prytania. I’ll see you in the next chapter.
PS to the spirit of Johnny Carson – thanks, you might have saved my life. 🙂
(cute skit with Betty White looking pretty good here at 57)