What was that date you just wanna forget? It could be now or a fake blast from the past. Here’s mine…
There was this girl. She was a gorgeous girl. Church girl. Sweet girl. Very intelligent girl. Dee transferred to my high school in the middle of senior year. I was geeked over another girl who really didn’t want anything to do with me outside of friendship and it was peace to have another pretty face to high school obsess over. She was the cousin of one of my boys (he died later that year in a military accident unfortunately. RIP Brent), so that gave me an angle to “push up” as we used to say back in the day. I can remember the dimples this girl had. My damn goodness! She was fly and had these eyes that bounced off ya mind the marvelous kind. Most cats were shook to approach, but hell, I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a shot. We talked, got cool…almost took her to my prom but already had a date…high school ended. In my yearbook will, I left her a phone. Didn’t see her at any graduation parties, so I thought I never would see her again.
I began working at the post office the next August but was still living at home with plans to get my own spot in February of ’88. One Saturday, I was in the den watching the 1987 Slam Dunk contest…specifically when Mike went Superman…baseline…hanging…damn. I would rewind that over and over. Incredible…when all the sudden, my step mom yells out, “Michael, some girl called, she said she got the phone.”
Huh? What? That’s what I remembered thinking and I called the number. Thought it was one of my friends playing a joke or some bs…So, when I called and heard that voice…
“I got the phone” sounding just that dream hampton sexy. The first thing I said was “When are we going hang out?” “How about tonight?” she said. She was up from Hampton for the weekend so that’s the reason for the urgency. I knew she wasn’t the type I was gonna get lucky with just like that, but of course I wanted to hit, I was 19. I wanted to hit everything.
Yeah…I thought I had ’em locked…
She lived on Tatnall Street in Wilmington, DE. Real chill part of town…reminded me of Overbrook (Wilt) in Philly. Gave her some roses, told her I owed her dinner, met her Father who was really nice and headed to Christiana Mall for the 9:45 show. It was a Valentines Day that wasn’t a Valentines Day if you can dig it.
I’m all excited, trying to front like I’m chill. Rockin’ the Drakkar Noir and making sure I’ll Be Gentle began as soon as we got in the car.
The mack was on…or so I thought.
We’re talking about her classes and my classes. Laughing and catching up on what I thought could potentially build into something. I’ll never forget the song that was on. It was Nightmares by Dana Dane. Uh, can you say foreshadowing? The track was firmly perched on the power nine at nine on Power 99 FM with I’ll be Gentle at number one (Yeah, so we were going to hear it again. I thought I knew what I was doing fellas). We’re on the highway about 5 minutes from the mall when the car…a 1980 Chevette, my first car…began sputtering.
Out of gas like a dumbass…
She cracked up. I mean really laughed. My stomach dropped.
What the hell was I thinking to have not filled up the tank on this date?
Mistake number two was asking her to look in the glove box for a flashlight.
“I guess you won’t be needing these.”
On top of the flashlight was a box of condoms.
OK, I’m really feeling like shit now. I get out the car to begin this walk…about a mile away…when a cop pulls over and asks if I need a ride. He must have felt sorry for me, because I knew I looked like a straight scrub.
I’m telling him the story and he’s cracking up…we get the gas and head back. It was a different time then, so I knew she was cool waiting in the car, thanked the cop, put the gas in the tank and all I could muster was “Wanna get something to eat?” She said yeah out of the kindness of her heart and we headed to Denny’s. We’re eating and I’m embarrassed as hell. She was such a sweet girl because she’s trying to lift my spirits. “It’ll be alright. You can still take me to that dinner you promised but I gotta new nick name for you.”
We cracked up…loudly. Couldn’t stop laughing. I’m laughing right now thinking about it.
“So you think it was funny I had to walk huh?”
“I wanted you to walk the whole way but the cop picked you up. Plus, you deserved it after I found the condoms. You really thought you were gonna get something.”
I wanted to sink in the chair. Just melt away right through it.
“You got that. I agree.”
So after we were both done clowning me, I paid the bill, took her home, walked her to the door, gave her a hug, a kiss on the cheek and told her I would get down to Hampton to check her out.
The next time I heard from her was last year…and she was still laughing.
OK, you can stop laughing now Dee.