The Trad in '72
My Inspiration: Soul Train...
and my cousin's Esquire Magazine Oct 1970
I got a Nehru jacket the same year, man. Smoking cigarettes with Friday Shinnaberry in the junior high parking lot -- Mary Willersdorf comes over and asks for a Hampton Police Cadet Corps t shirt. The one with the short sleeves. Mary has the biggest breasts of any girl in 9th grade, but her face is a little smushed in. You know? Like one of those little dogs, her nose almost meets her chin. Not that it matters.
At home I find an extra t shirt. Size small. I laugh to myself. Mary calls and I take the kitchen wall phone receiver into the bathroom and close the door. She asks if I'll bring the t shirt to her house now since her parents are gone and won't be back for a couple hours. She'll try it on for me. I tell her it's a small. She tells me that's okay. It should fit. I tell her I'm on my way. I walk outta the bathroom. I'm dizzy. I'm scared. I'm so happy. I'm putting the receiver back and there's my mother.
"Yeah, well... I'm just heading over to Scott's house. He wanted a police cadet t shirt..." "You're not going anywhere. I heard you and you are not going to that girl's house." "You were...eaves dropping ?!" I turn it around and am pretty proud of myself and my vocabulary. After all, there's a lot at stake here. I add, "Can't I have any privacy in my own house?" That's good. I actually sound like a grown up. She snaps back, "No, you can't have any privacy and this is my house."
It's slipping away. What was there in the palm of my hand is turning into another fantasy for the palm. I can see Mary Willersdorf in that small t shirt running towards me while screaming her parents are gone. A lawn sprinkler comes on and 'Police Cadet' lettering folds into wet cleavage and dark areola while an early Fall chill marks the exclamation points. I wish my parents were gone, but there's always at least one of 'em hanging around. Minding my business.