Prose Gallery Two
Susan sitting in front of me in Mrs. Davidson's third-grade classroom
and how she was recovering from a broken leg or some other
and how around mid-year she began to walk without her crutches
and shortly thereafter, Susan telling everyone that she was going
back to her "normal" school
and the day her skirt got caught on the back of her chair as she
and staring at her white panties all during arithmetic.
-Although Susan, at such a tender age, may not have had much
of a figure, it was much more interesting than those being posted on the
blackboard by Mrs. Davidson.
the day Lorraine was being examined by the school doctor
and how we were all examined periodically to assess our disabilities
[Lorraine had a mild case of Polio]
and how I watched from the waiting room through a partially
and telling Lorraine later that day on the school bus that I had seen
her in her panties
and not really having seen much of anything
and Lorraine testing me by asking what color they were
and my guessing:"Pink"
and her replying: "White"
and my feigning disbelief
and Lorraine saying that she would prove it to me
and my obvious exhilaration being short-lived since the school bus
had arrived at her house
and that next morning when Lorraine got on the bus
and her coming over to me and whispering: "Come with me to the
back of the bus and I'll show you my panties"
and how, in the back of the bus, away from prying eyes, and just as
my anticipation was truly peaking, Lorraine showed me
-She had been carrying them in her bookbag.
my first kiss with Cookie in the fifth-grade clothing room
and how she told everyone that she had lost her leg hitching a freight
train in Hoboken [It's likely that she lost her leg in less dramatic
fashion, but then again how less dramatically can a child lose a leg]
and her and I pressing against each other one day on the crowded
and that evening on the telephone, confessing to each other that we
had found the experience quite pleasurable
and agreeing to kiss the next day in the clothing room
and it being several days, perhaps weeks, until we had the opportunity
or, more accurately, the courage to go through with our plan, since
we were both very hesitant and shy.
and somehow finally managing to get close enough so that our
lips actually touched
and when it was over, backing up a bit and looking at each other as if
to say: Is that what this is all about? Did we do something wrong?
-As happens so often, the anticipation of an event is greater than
the event itself. We never really spoke about that kiss, but we did kiss
again some twenty years later when we met by chance at a New Year's
Eve party at which Cookie was a guest and my band was performing.
Although she appeared to be with a date, we did manage to say a few
words to each other during the evening. Quite unexpectedly, however,
just past the stroke of midnight, while I was on the bandstand playing
"Auld Lang Syne," Cookie came up to me and planted a long hard wet
one. Cookie had lost her shyness, and I nearly lost my glasses. Although
it took some twenty years, I think we finally shared a bit of that moment
we thought we'd missed out on that day in the fifth-grade clothing room.
This gallery contains three memories of youth relating to
A. Harry Moore School (an elementary school for the physically
disabled) and initial experiences with girls.