One of the most quietly thrilling episodes of my teenaged life…okay, stop right there. Let me assure before continuing that this story won’t get icky. Okay? I was in eighth or ninth grade, about 14 or 15, and I hadn’t done a damn thing with a girl. No flirtations to speak of, no dates…nothing. Nudie magazines were the extent of it. It was 9:30 pm on a Friday night (or so I recall — it might have been a Thursday), and a friend and I had walked a couple of miles to the home of a cheerleader who was going out with a jock-type dude we were friendly with. The names of my friend, the jock and the cheerleader were Jack, Chip and Pam.
It was a surreptitious arrangement so Jack and I didn’t knock on the front door but waited for Chip outside of a basement den room on the side of the home. I remember we were playing around with Pam’s dog for a bit. It was a coolish evening. We were wearing sweaters or fall jackets…something like that. As as the hour began to approach 10 pm, we began to wonder what was up. Chip had told Jack he’d meet us at Pam’s home around 9:30 or 9:45.