It was my birthday, but you know it wasn’t a big deal or anything. Like no one declared, “Let’s go out tonight and celebrate your birthday, Mark.” Going out just happened, as usual. It consisted, sadly, of driving up and down the strip — which I now real

Aug 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Exiled from Main Street XXXXI: for Kevin Flanigan

It was my birthday, but you know it wasn’t a big deal or anything. Like no one declared, “Let’s go out tonight and celebrate your birthday, Mark.” Going out just happened, as usual.

It consisted, sadly, of driving up and down the strip — which I now realize is no strip at all, but just a street like any other. But sometimes we would find something there, like a drag race maybe, or (preferably) the rear-end of a car full of girls. More often than not, though, there would be nothing.

This particular night, like most of the others, we sat inside McDonald’s. “We” consisted of my cousin Kevin, my friend Danny Sorensen and me. And, as luck would have it, some girl happened to be staring at Kevin; never one to be shy, he just walked right over and started talking with her. I admired him.

A few fries later, Kevin came back over and said, “We’re gonna hang with these two girls awhile.” There was no argument from me, but I could see Danny wanted to point out that there was three of us and only two of them. But he didn’t, at least not yet, and so we all five crammed into Kevin’s dad’s car, a 1980 Ford Fairmont, or “The Box” as we called it.

It was me, a girl named Tina on the hump and Danny in the back. Tina was tall, wore tight blue jeans and a matching jacket. Her eyes were red, too, as she mumbled occasionally about how much she had drunk.

Kevin sat idling in the lot, asking for suggestions as to where to go. Shelley, the girl in front with fully developed breasts and even bigger eyes, asked, “How about a park?”

Danny immediately protested,“The parks are closed,” but Kevin merely laughed in short loud bursts like he always did and asked “Really?” as he spun out from under the arches and squealed away towards his destination.

We entered the park, looked for cops and other cars, found none. I don’t remember where we parked — only that we did — and that as soon as we had, Kevin and Shelley exited the car to go I don’t know where. What I did know was Tina sat passed out with her head resting in my lap. This was foreign to me, and Dan was shooting a naughty schoolboy look at me while laughing.

On his way out, Kevin had hinted to Dan that perhaps he should sit up front and oversee the radio, so before long he climbed up there. Thus, it was Tina and I. And Dan. The latter mumbling nervously, “God, I hope no cops come. That would be Hell, wouldn’t it? Yep, that’s about the only thing this night is missing, don’t you think?”

The radio spat out AC/DC as Tina awoke (I doubted she was ever asleep) and tugged at my shirt and pulled me down to her lips. We then kissed, despite the fact that her breath was horrible, the smell of vodka or whiskey I wasn’t sure. Either way, it tasted like something that had been trapped inside for quite some time and suddenly was being unleashed, but I nonetheless pressed my tongue deep into her mouth, as if in search of something, something like a clue as to how to kiss, maybe.

Yes, I was searching for something as her hand went inside my shirt, between two buttons, and flicked at my left nipple as if at a switch for a light that wasn’t working. Then, I did what any other inexperienced boy would do: I decided to return the favor. I sat there thinking about how best to go about it as my hands became moist. I shut my eyes and slowly made my way from her waist towards her breasts, taking care to touch her body the entire way.

Just then Dan announced, “I need to take a piss.” He opened the door — it was December and so cold outside — and stepped out of the car.

“He’s so annoying!” Tina exclaimed, half-smiling.

Outside Dan finished; we watched as he shook himself dry and then returned to the front seat. “I didn’t see Kevin,” he lamented. “I wonder where he went? I mean, what if a cop comes? Shit, you guys, if a cop comes I’m just layin’ on the horn. That’s what I’m gonna do; lay on the motherfucker.”

Tina snickered with her red eyes lightly closed as Dan tried to stretch out across the length of the front seats, tooting the horn accidentally and turning up the radio (later, he told me, to quiet the sounds coming from the back — certainly an elaboration, but one I wouldn’t mind).

But my hand did soon reach towards Tina’s crotch, to the part in her jeans where you could see the shadow of something. I got excited.

And Dan laid on the horn just like he said he would. Kevin came running with Shelley close behind, both of them pulling at loose clothing. Dan was ecstatic, “I saw lights, man! I thought it was the cops; I didn’t know what else to do!” Then: “God, this sucks; sorry guys.” All the while, Kevin had that “Why’d we bring him in the first place?” look on his face as he laughed his laugh and bent into the car.

I felt sorry for Dan as my hand rested between Tina’s legs. It was warm there. It also was my birthday there and everywhere else and no one seemed to notice. I didn’t mind. Girls like Tina gave birthdays and life in general a purpose. I never saw her again.