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Published by randy boone
my second memoir piece...ohh la la...
my second memoir piece...ohh la la...

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Published by: randy boone on Feb 26, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Randy BooneMemoir round II
My Succubus, My Sanctuary
In truth, I probably should despise her for wrecking my heart for nearly six of mymost developing years. I should hate her for her aloofness, her indifference, and thesadistic sense with which she tortured me day in and day out. I should wish upon her swarms of locusts, all sorts of infectious and lingering venereal diseases, and multitudes of horrific pestilences. I should. But I don’t. After all these years, it’s hard to fault her for her malaise. Besides, it’s much easier, and much more deserved, to blame myself for allthe grief that I endured.I remember quite vividly the first time I ever saw her, despite the fact that theepisode occurred more than twenty-five years ago. My friends and I were playing “tennis ball,” an invented hybrid form of baseball and swimming, at the Fleetwood CommunityPool. The object of the game was simple. One person, the batter, stood outside the pool,about twenty feet from the water’s edge. A pitcher stood close to the edge of the pool andthrew a tennis ball to the Wiffle bat wielding batter. The batter tried to smack the ball clear across the length of the pool. If he didn’t, he had to dive in and swim to appointed bases before he was either tagged or, more often, pelted with the hard, soggy tennis ball. Chippywas the batter, and he lit a homer clear across the pool. As the previous person to have batted, I was relegated to the furthest position from home plate—the deepest end of the pool, which also served as our aquatic outfield. The deep fielder’s job was twofold—tocatch fly balls, and to chase homers (an unenviable chore, particularly on cool, breezydays). I swam to the back wall and pulled myself up out of the water onto the warmconcrete.As I stood, I noticed a pair of legs right next to me, smooth, female legs. Ifollowed them up and up, scanning the red one-piece bathing suit over the tummy and rightup Boobyville. Now, if there really was a god, and if he really had any mercy whatsoever,at this point he would have sent an errant, leftover July 4
bottle rocket right into my eyesocket so that it burned away my optic nerve while also rendering me blind in the other eye
as the boiling aqueous and vitreous humours flashed across my face. But, of course, thereis no god. Or at least there isn’t one who shows enough mercy toward a thirteen-year-old boy so that the remainder of his adolescent years aren’t destroyed by the unwitting gracesof a small town Siren. My eyes worked their way up her neck, and I caught my firstglimpse of her golden blond hair, damp and matted as it was. And then, I saw her eyes.My teenage world would never be the same. I would have smiled at her if I could have, but at that moment I was wholly incapable of it. I wasn’t the smoothest guy in the middleschool world, but to my credit, although I didn’t manage to speak a solitary syllable or flash a million dollar Zach Morris grin, I also didn’t fart or pitch a tent. In other words, allhope was not lost.I quickly scooted along my way in the most macho way possible and retrieved thesopping tennis ball from the grass behind the pool. Normally, I would have thrown the ball back into one of my teammates in the pool, but this occasion called for a conference on themound. I bounded past my angel from the heavens and huskily dove back into the deepend a la Mark Spitz minus any semblance of facial hair or muscle structure. Reber was pitching, and if anyone knew everyone, it was Reber. Reber’s mom had her nose ineveryone’s business, and her surveillance techniques and knowledge acquisition strategieswould have shamed the CIA, had they been able to detect her actions. At the tender age of fourteen, little Tommy had already learned much from his mom. I glided through thewaters and, with just a few strong and hurried kicks, made my way to Reber. I surfaced, a bit breathless.“Dude, what’s up with the chick in the red suit?”Reber put his chin down and looked at me from the tops of his eyes. “You noneedum knowledge. You smoke-um penis.”I punched him in the shoulder, hard. “Asshole! Who is she!”“Fuck you! What the fuck did you hit me for, dickface?” He punched me in themeat of the bicep.“Dude, who is she?!?!?” My patience was wearing thin, and Reber knew me wellenough to see that this wasn’t just some idle sighting; this was the real deal.“Her name’s Beth Barrell. She’s in sixth grade. She’s on the swim team. She liveson Vine Street, like a block up. Her mom is hot.”2
“No shit.” I was astonished. “How the fuck have I never seen her?”“Because you smoke-um penis.”And so the agony of the next six years of my life commenced with the utterance of those two simple yet alliterating proper nouns. Beth Barrell. That house on the corner of Vine and Maple streets would become the locus of my teenage years, as I rode by it on myred Schwinn ten-speed at least daily and usually much more often. Geographically, her house was only about four blocks from mine, but in the small town continuum of space, Iwas never able to shake the feeling that breezing by her place could be construed asanything other than intentional and purposeful. Fleetwood Pizza, Craig’s sandwich shop,the community park, and Turkey Hill were all in the opposite direction, and, well, that wasreally all there was for any kid to go to in town. Occasionally, I would see her out in her yard slapping around a ball with a field hockey stick or watching her brown poodle tumbleacross the lawn. I would pedal as hard as I could and zoom past, peeking out the cornersof my eyes to see if she was looking my way. This one-sided mating ritual endured for about a year, as frequently in December and January as in June and July, until I caughtwhat I thought would be my big break.It was seventh period study hall, and I was pretending to read a Civics textbook while doodling on a pad hidden underneath it on my desk. A small piece of meticulouslyfolded paper flew over my shoulder. On the outer edge was neatly written “
,” anickname I picked up earlier in my middle school tenure. I quietly unfolded the missive,trying to draw as little attention to myself as possible. I opened the last fold like a starvingstranded seafarer tapping the last tap to crack open a coconut full of beautiful white meatand delicious murky milk. There was a message: “
You Beth B.?
It was from Inky;the hieroglyphic was an intentional giveaway. Her renegade knowledge of my secret crushdidn’t surprise me in the least; that’s just how small towns (and even smaller schools)operate. I scribbled “You know her?” and sent the note back over my shoulder. A minutelater, it came flying back.
She plays hockey! She’s awesome!
For a moment, Iwas ecstatic. I had my in. But quickly, too quickly, all of the fanciful “what if” scenarios became painfully real and possible. With the benefit of twenty-five years of hindsightworking in my favor, I wish now that I would have responded at that point by writing,“You must kill one of us right now.” Unfortunately, that’s not how a fourteen-year-old3

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