In those days there was a pandemic, called disco, and I was a victim.
My symptoms were manifest in the repeated play of “Kung Fu Fighting,” a 45 I cherished as much as any stuffed animal, teammate, or family dog. It was a call to action.
I set the needle gently on the record and scrambled on top a nearby card table. When the music started, I got in position. The second Carl Douglas began singing, I roundhouse-kicked myself off the edge of the table and on to the floor where I finished out the song performing my Bruce Lee-inspired moves. It was during one of those moments when I heard a knock on the side door.
My mother welcomed David into our home so she could babysit while his mother took care of whatever it is mothers take care of. That is to say, it did not matter why he was there, only that “babysitting” was code for “Like it or not, Leslie has to play with him.”
David’s idea of fun was to play with my brother’s G.I. Joe and the Barbie dolls someone dared buy me for Christmas. I begrudgingly obliged. So he stripped both dolls naked and proceeded to place Joe atop of Barbie. Much noise-making followed, until a neighbor girl tapped on the basement window. I went to the door to see what she wanted.
“Ooh, I’m telling,” she started, “you and David are doin’ it!” It was Angela*, a slightly older girl who thought bullying was an extra-curricular activity for which she would get credit.
“Doing what?” I asked.
“It,” she said, as if that made things clear.
Strangely, it did. I understood “it” was sex and that sex was bad; and now, she was accusing me of it.
Strange how the fog of childhood trauma weighs down some memories while others play out clearly in my mind. I recall David standing behind me confirming we did indeed “do it” as I stood mute, incredulous but confident that once they left the lies would end. Yet that was a dream.
Read Summer 1975 – Part 2 and Summer 1975 Part 3
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Wow! What a memory. I bet David remembers that day, as well. Don’t you wish you could sit down and talk to him about it now all these years later?
I look forward to reading more from you – that last sentence did a good job of snagging me!
Happy #mondayblogs to you. :)
Thank you for your encouraging words! A conversation with David would be fascinating.
I just love this story. I can SOOO see you tackling poor lil David and Kung Foo Fighting yourself off the table.