An easy date to remember

Letter of introduction

... She was taller than me then. Her presence in my French class always made my day. Her hair was dark and very long, and sometimes it tangled in front of her face and she had to brush it away. She dressed conservatively with long skirts and baggy pants. Never glamorous, pretty much the way you’d want your sister to dress. She was bright, being a friend of mine for a time notwithstanding. Yes, and she wore braces when I knew her.

I took her to see the double feature at the Royal, or maybe it was the Center, in Bloomfield Center. Then, afterwards, we went to IHOP for a bite. We met another kid I knew (not too well, actually); he asked me if she was my sister. Fortunately, I don’t remember if I said anything witty, I doubt it.

I decided to make a habit about reading movie reviews before I took dates to them. One movie we saw that night had Marlo Thomas as an unwed mother. She talked about taking the pill, and never making love because no one might ever ask her, or not taking the pill and getting pregnant. At the end of the movie, she breast-fed the baby. It was some first date. I squirmed in my seat, and even now, I can remember how sweaty my palms were when that movie ended.

The other movie was about a cowboy named Zachariah, and it was biblically significant. All that went right over my Catholic head.

At IHOP, my date had a strawberry shake and told me there were real strawberries in it. I didn’t have anything witty to say. I called my mom to come pick us up. We brought her home. Every time I called to talk to her, her mom said she was out with Jeff.

I stopped bothering her April 14, that year. It was an easy date to remember. That was when Lincoln was shot and when the Titanic sank.

Talk about irony, didn’t know anything about her, really. I learned later her father was a minister, so she probably understood all that Bible stuff in the movie. And later, I learned that Jeff was her brother.

In my yearbook, the next year, she wrote, “It was nice.” I saw her once since then, at a funeral, but I couldn’t say to her what was racing around in my mind. But like I say, she wasn’t there, at the reunion. Her brother was. He was bald, and he sang a solo. She still adds music to my words but it’s a soft tune...

A Father's Place, an eclectic collection
by Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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