Jamie EasterlyMay 25, 2007
I Need You
I had a friend in 7th and 8th grade who had thick aviator glasses like those modeled here by Jamie Easterly. Later, after we began drifting apart as friends, he also grew a sparse Jamie Easterly puberty-stache. But before that there were a couple years where I guess he was the closest to me of the homely acquaintances I sat across from in the cafeteria and at the library. In other words, I guess he was my best friend for a while. His name was Jeremy.
Both of us lived far out in the country and took separate buses to school. One day, by prearranged plan, we both brought our boom boxes to school and decided to stay after school to “go upstreet.” This meant trudging about a half-mile from the combined junior high/high school, past the concrete wall with the anti-school graffiti from the Pink Floyd song that unironically misspelled a key word (“We don’t need no educatin”) to the couple streets in town that had stores on them. I never really figured out what you were supposed to do upstreet. Go into the mini-mart and play asteroids, I guess. Go to the hamburger joint and eat french fries while “Rock and Roll Fantasy” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” played on the juke box. Stand around. Maybe steal some candy from the old mostly blind Italian guy.
Anyway, that day we brought our boom boxes constitutes the sole specifically memorable time I went upstreet, and I only remember the first couple minutes, when we walked with a couple of our other lurching, bespectacled library colleagues and tried to play the title song of each of our new cassettes of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” in synch on our boom boxes. We never were able to time it right, however, so finally I just shut mine off (Jeremy’s boom box was bigger) and just lugged it around the rest of the afternoon uselessly while Jeremy rewound and played “Big Balls” over and over on his superior machine. Eventually I wandered back to school and caught the long and winding late bus home through the dusk. Jeremy didn’t live on the late bus route. Maybe the weird guy who lived with him and his parents came and picked him up.
Jeremy got a girlfriend near the end of our days as a dynamic boom-box carrying, chess-playing duo. He said he was having sex with her, which I believed. I believed everything anyone told me, especially about sex. One day Jeremy went on at some length about how great sex was, how it was his favorite thing on earth, but instead of describing what actually occured during sex he emphasized the need, during a long night of constant sex-having, to take lots of showers. A huge part of the whole allure for him seemed to be getting to clean off at the end of each sexual inning. Jeremy’s other major contribution to my mind’s growing museum of hazy conceptions of sex came in an anecdote he told about getting two girls from the grade behind us into one of my town’s many gravel pits one night. He claimed they both insisted on ripping off their shirts, at which point he discovered that the brown-haired girl’s nipples were brown while the blond girl’s nipples were white. I not only believed him completely, from that point on my fantasies often included me coaxing girls from my gym class or the women from WKRP in Cincinnati into a nearby gravel pit, where shirts would fly off and I’d be guided lovingly out of the prison of virginity.
(to be continued)