When I was young I knew something awesome was going to happen to me one day. I was unjaded. Boy crazy. And I had Farrah hair and Dolphin shorts, a magic combo for that skate rat to zero in you you across the quad at Palms Jr High and find you foxy. It was the L.A. in the 70’s. It was Bennie and the Jets.
Everything I knew about boys and sex I learned from the ultimate teen sex smackdown Little Darlings. There was virginal little Ferris, like me at 15, who knew she was destined for something fantastic, a poetic soul who longed to experience everything she had read in books. Trash-talking, chain-smoking Angel was the opposite. But she was strikingly soft, even vulnerable when she had to be. She even cried over her post-coital non-virgin status. (People just don’t give this Jersey Shore prototype enough credit for turning a certain stereotype on it’s head. Tough girls have feelings, too, ya know.) And big surprise: neither chick experienced love and lust the way they thought it would be. They were disillusioned.
Ferris was pure and wore white. Angel was tricky; she sported wife-beaters and eye-liner. Ferris used her feminine wiles for man bait to try to seduce the (inappropriately) smolderingly handsome camp counselor. Angel used gum and beer. She wanted bad boy Randy, the Leif Garret type at the boys’ camp, the kind of guy who struts around, flips his hair and says “dude” a lot. Ferris stayed intact. Angel gave it up in a boathouse in the middle of a hot summer night. Both had more in common than they thought: fluffy hair, young lust, and curiosity about “the secret life”.
Something awesome did end up happening to me. I fell in love like Ferris did, the kind of love you can only feel at 17 years old. And it may not have been inspired Romeo and Juliet but it sure felt like it. Unabridged. Unhindered. And with a Devil on one shoulder and an Angel on the other (irony intended), I went forward, a Marlborough in one hand and a Budweiser in the other, and lost it on a boat on the water one night in January.
Maybe , unless you’re Charles Manson, we’re all amazingly good and pure inside. Like a great Beatles song. But even the Fab Four had a dark side: psychadelics, heroin, mistresses. Pacifist John was gunned down by a crazy fan. George, my favorite Beatle, died of cancer. It’s the sweet with the sorrow, the yin and yang, the “ism” and the sobriety. And it’s fantastic, my Little Darlings.