Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock part 27 (The End)

Chapter 27

I woke to my dad gently squeezing my big toe. Still sleepy, I got up, went to the bathroom and moved my bowels for the first time in four days. It was certainly strange how I didn't have to go until I got back home. I was glad for that. I sure didn't like those portable toilets. And there was nothing to wipe with if I went in the woods.

I brushed my teeth and hadn't realized how grimy I'd been till I put on a clean set of clothes after showering. After scraping off some of the mud into the toilet, I put my boots back on.

I went downstairs, and my mom told me how she'd been worried about me, and how it was good to have me back home. Then she asked me what I wanted for breakfast.

I ate and then went and sat on the couch and watched the clock, and when it was time I went out the door and up to the top of the block and waited for Lynn to pick me up. She was my cousin Bob's wife, and she gave me rides to White House Sightseeing in DC where we all three worked along with other family members.

I did busy work and go'fered until a little after three when my Uncle Ralph came by to pick up my Aunt Suzanne. They were John's parents, and I always caught a ride home with them.

As I came through the front door my mom told me a girl had called, and she'd left her number. I knew it was Sherry, and my heart did one of those roller coaster numbers.

Her number was by the phone in the dining room, and I grabbed it and raced upstairs to my room. I sat on my bed getting up the nerve to call her. I was half afraid she would back out of her wanting to be my first and half afraid she wouldn't. The phone was in the hallway, and I finally I made the call.

A woman answered. "Hello." She didn't sound happy.

"Is Sherry there?"

"Hold on." I heard her put the phone down and scream Sherry's name a couple of times.

Someone picked up. "Hello?" It was Sherry.

"Hi, it's John."

"Hold on." I heard her yell, "I've got it, mom." There was a pause, and then I heard the click of the other line being hung up. "Johnny Lee." I could hear the smile in her voice.

"Just call me John."

"Oh, but I like 'Johnny Lee'."

"Okay." I didn't like it myself, but if she wanted to call me Johnny Lee that was cool.

"What did you do today?"

"I went to work." And so opened the door for endless questions about White House Sightseeing, and a hundred other things. I didn't mind it, though. Then she told me in great detail how her mom had bitched half the night about her sneaking off to Woodstock. After her tirade stopped, she went on to tell me how she and Linda had gotten together earlier, copped some pot and gotten stoned. She talked about that for a while, and then came the question I'd been nervously anticipating.

"What are you doing tonight?"


"Can I come by?"

"Yeah." My heart did that roller coaster thing again.

"What time is good?"

"Around seven." We usually ate around six.

It took us about a half an hour for the two of us to figure out the best way for her to get to my place. I didn't know anything about Fairfax, and she didn't know anything about Arlington, but we finally we figured it out.

"I really want to see you again. I'll probably leave here around six thirty. I'll call you before I leave."


We said our goodbyes, and then I called my best friend David. We talked for a long time with my telling him all about Woodstock and all, and he gave me a hard time about missing Jimi Hendrix. "Man, how could you miss Hendrix?" He asked if I wanted to get together that evening, and I told him about Sherry's coming over. I told him about my meeting her and our subsequent adventures, and he said, "You lucky dog." We talked a little while longer and then hung up.

By then, it was almost time for my dad get home, and I went downstairs and put on Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. I was still bummed out over missing him.

Soon it was dinnertime, and I ate quickly and ran upstairs to listen for Sherry's phone call. I must've looked at my watch a dozen times waiting for six thirty to roll around. It was ten to seven when the phone rang, and I jumped. I'd pretty much given up on her calling.

She said she was getting ready to walk out the door, but she talked for ten more minutes before finally hanging up. I turned on the TV and tried to watch but after fifteen minutes I had to get out of the house. I was too full of nervous energy.

I ran down the stairs, told my parents I was going out, then opened the door and stepped out into the evening air. I walked to the top of the street and then to Fern, the next street over and began pacing back and forth between there and Fox. About every five minutes or so a car would come up Fern, and I would look to see if it was Sherry, but it was nearly half an hour before I finally saw her old station wagon chugging up the hill.

She turned the corner and pulled over to where I was. I got in, and she asked me, "Where to?"

The sun was going down, and I remembered a spot up at the end of Ridge Road were we could sit and watch it set. We drove up, parked, and smoked a joint while we watched dusk turn to darkness. We talked for a while, and before soon we were making out.

We didn't go all the way that night, or the night after, or the night after that. But by the time the Friday night rolled around I told my parents I was spending the night over at David's, but I was surreptitiously planning on spending it with Sherry.

She picked me up around eight, and we drove out to a big secluded house in a wooded area of Fairfax County. She seemed to know the guys and girls that lived there pretty well, they were all hippie types, and after we all sat around in the living room smoking pot and listening to music, Sherry asked one of the guys if we could use the spare bedroom. "No problem," he said. Pretty cool, I thought.

Everyone told me how happy they were to meet me, and then Sherry and I found our way to our borrowed hideaway. After she set the ambience by lighting candles and setting up a portable record player, she put on some music, and we lay down in the bed. Sherry took a long time kissing me and slowly undressing the both of us while we explored each other's bodies. The candles softly illuminated the room, and the music from the record player danced in my ears. She'd brought some albums and it was late in the morning when knowing how much I liked The Beatles put on Sergeant Pepper. And then she gave herself to me fully. As she had promised, it was very romantic, and I finally understood why they called it making love.

We stayed together about a year, and then she moved out to California after much protesting by me. I was heartbroken. I felt betrayed, but the bitter truth was she simply had outgrown me. We had been drifting apart for months, and when the chance came to make a clean break she took it.

I got over it of course. I was in tenth grade by then, and when the news of Sherry's departure spread through certain circles at Wakefield High -- it was no secret I was going with an older woman -- it wasn't long before another girl swept me away.

I never forgot Sherry. As they say, everyone remembers their first. And I thank that muddy, rainy concert for bringing us together.


Blogger Rosa said...

Damn bruda, I have a lot of reading to do!

7:45 PM  
Blogger John Ivey said...

It's actually too long. It needs to be shortened.

11:37 PM  

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