In 1972, I lost my way and have since spent my days wondering the wilderness. As a quiet and not particularly outgoing young man, I preferred the company of my earliest friends from the block and was not very interested in making new ones. If you weren’t from the block and in early, you were out. This applied doubly for those of the female persuasion. I had little understanding in the ways of the girls who inhabited the neighborhood in which I came of age, constantly darting to and fro, pointing and giggling and running away as we men went about our perfectly reasonable activities of capturing and torturing small insects and blowing things up with gunpowder obtained through painstaking dissection of firecrackers and red rolls of caps. Our world and theirs rarely crossed paths and all was well.
This indifference to all things feminine ended rather dramatically in what was my freshman year of high school, with my first glimpse of one of these formerly flat chested neighborhood girls seated in the desk row in front of me wearing what I later learned was something called…a halter top. This particular neighborhood girl, the skinny blonde sister of one of the guys on the block, had over the summer of my 14th year begun to follow the genetic map laid out by her Nordic ancestors and was starting to more closely resemble a Frank Frazetta heroine than the annoying pullet of just a few weeks before. As she seated herself in front of me her honey colored hair rose and fell across her bare back as she made small talk with those around her. I hadn’t remembered any of the girls from the block ever smelling this good. Finally noticing me in the chair behind she twisted her body to face me, placed her left elbow high on the seat back while making eye contact and coyly said “What’s your name?” I tried to speak but strangely I had been rendered mute. From the vantage point I now found myself in, her halter top opening slightly under her left arm as she twisted in her chair, I realized that I had forgotten my name entirely and was struggling to remember where I was. I tried to retain eye contact and regroup but to no avail. My 14 year old eyes fell to the gap in her halter and there they remained until tiring of attempting conversation with someone gasping for oxygen like a fish tossed on a hot sidewalk she turned away, leaving me with thoughts previously unthought. From this point forward things would be different. Like all men, I was now and forever to remain thoroughly lost in the presence of female beauty.