Monday, November 06, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part 23

Sherry and I walked back to where John and Linda sat on the ground next to the girls’ packed camping gear. It looked like more stuff than the two of them could carry by themselves, and I guessed they had made a couple of trips from the bus to get their things to the campsite.

John stood up as we approached and steered me away from Sherry with his hand on my shoulder. "Come on, man. Let's walk down here for a minute." We took a stroll down along the road until we were a good distance from Linda and Sherry. I thought John was getting me ready for some bad news when he stopped and turned and faced me. He smiled. "Everything’s cool." He slapped me on my back.

"Really?" I looked at his sunburned face. He looked proud of himself.

"Yeah, man. I talked to Linda and told her that you were just a shy little fucker and that you still liked Sherry."

"You told her I was a 'shy little fucker?’" I felt my face flush with embarrassment.

"Yeah, she thought it was funny. Besides, you are a shy little fucker."

"Yeah." I nodded my head reluctantly in agreement. "So Linda's going to talk to Sherry?"

"Yeah, she's gonna straighten everything out between you two. It's up to you to make the next move."

"What should I do?" I wasn't looking forward to facing Sherry.

"Tell her she's pretty. Tell her you like being with her. Tell her you enjoyed last night with her. Shit, the way you two guys were going at it I thought you was fucking her."

I probably could have if I'd known what I was doing. Sherry sure seemed she would've liked it. I wondered if she had been with a guy before. Probably. Hell, Sherry was older than I was, and there were girls my age that had had sex before.

"Have you taken a shit yet?" I looked at John kind of shocked. Of all the things he could have asked me at that moment he asked me that.

"Um, no I haven't."

"Me neither," he said. "Wonder why?"

"Don't know. Just haven't felt the urge."

"Just as well. I hate those plastic shit cans."

"You think those are bad? When we visited Aunt 'Nita last year all they had was an outhouse."

"I heard about that. I bet it was nasty, huh?"

"Oh God yeah. Down in the hole there were all these maggots crawling around in the shit. It smelled terrible. I used it once, and after that I just got some toilet paper and went in the cornfield."

"Sounds pretty gross."

"It was." I was quiet for a moment. "It was fun shooting Uncle Willard's guns, though."

"I heard you shot a bird while it was flying in the air."

"Yeah." I looked down. "I felt bad after I shot it. The birds were crazy, though. They kept circling around even after I had shot at them a couple of times. It was like they were playing a game." I paused for a moment. "I never actually expected to hit one."

"You kill it?"

"It was still alive when it fell to the ground. I shot it in the head to put it out of its misery."

"Damn." John looked at me, and I wondered what he was thinking. "Didn't you shoot a bird in your backyard?" he asked me.

"Shot two of them." I nodded my head. "They were different though. They kept waking me up in the morning. Mockingbirds." I thought about it for a moment. "That was before we went to Georgia. I don't think I would do it again."

"Did you use your pellet gun?"

"No, my dad has a .22 pistol."

"What's your dad doing with a gun?"

"I don't know. He told me he'd let his friend Vern’ keep it for him after he almost shot my mom by accident. That was when I was a little kid. Then when the riots started last year he went down and got it for protection." I thought about it for a moment then let out a chuckle.

"What?" John looked at me.

"Last Fourth of July my dad was shooting the gun into the air. The next day he showed me the hole in the floor where he'd accidentally shot the gun off in the house. He showed me where it grazed his leg."

"Your dad shot himself in the leg?"

"Yeah." I grinned.

We stood around for another minute, and then John said, "Let's go ahead and get back. You got to talk to Sherry."

I wished he hadn't reminded me of that. I wasn't looking forward to talking to her, much as I wanted to get friendly with her again. "All right," I said.

Linda and Sherry were sitting down talking when John and I got back to where they were, and when Linda saw we were coming she got up and walked towards us. "Go sit down with Sherry," John told me.

Linda smiled at John and me, and then she and John walked off together. I did as John said and went and sat down next to Sherry. She looked at me and smiled kind of timidly.

"Hi," I said.

"Hi," she said back to me. She looked down and fiddled with her fingers.

"I enjoyed last night." I looked at her.

"I did, too." She looked up at me cautiously.

"I like you a lot, you know," I told her. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings." I looked down. There were some moments of silence, and I began to think I'd said the wrong thing.

She reached out and touched my hand. "You're sweet." I looked up at her, and she looked back at me with those big brown eyes of hers. She had a Mona Lisa smile on her face.

I took her hand, and we exchanged a long glance.

"You have nice eyes," she said to me.

"You do, too." I squeezed her hand. "You're very pretty, you know." I was using John's lines, and they came out much more naturally than I had expected. I guess because they weren't just lines. I really meant what I said, and I guessed she could tell because she got a grin on her face.

"Thank you," she said.

"You have nice hair, too."

"It must look a mess," she said. She looked at me and smiled coyly.

"No, it looks great." I swallowed hard and said, "You look like an angel." I meant it, but I thought maybe it sounded phony.

Her face turned bright, and she leaned forward and gave me a light kiss on the lips. "That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me." She scooted a little closer so that our legs touched lightly. We gazed into each other's eyes, and she moved her head close to mine. I leaned forward and touched my lips to hers, and we kissed for what seemed like a long time. I guess I'd said the right thing.

She pulled away slowly from the kiss and touched her forehead to mine. "You kiss really nice," she said.

"I like kissing you." I looked into her eyes.

"I like kissing you, too." She smiled and then giggled. "Come on. Let's get up." She stood and pulled me up with her hand. I stood with her, and she let go of my hand and skipped over to where John and Linda were sitting. She turned and motioned for me to follow. She looked happy.

I went over and joined her, and we both sat down with John and Linda. She smiled at Linda, and Linda smiled back at the both of us. John had a satisfied look on his face. I felt good. Everything was cool again.


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