Untotaled: Stepping 49 (July 13th, 1969) My First Bikini…January 10, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Being painfully bored, I was greatly relieved when Marsha called and said that some of the kids from school were getting together to hang out, drive around Westerville and see if we could have some fun without getting in trouble.

She wanted to use my 1962 Chevy Impala because it was big enough to seat seven people.

I agreed.

We had a great time, but we did start running out of things to do, so we headed off to an area of our community where all the rich people lived. The locals usually did this because we wanted to drive by their houses and talk about what brats they were.

Suddenly Marsha suggested that Carol, who was with us and was about to get her driver’s license, take the wheel and try her luck. As unbelievable as it may sound now, in a moment of sanity, we all thought it was a great idea on that day.

Carol got in the car and the first thing she did was put it in reverse and back my automobile into a deep ditch.

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to get out of the predicament. Then Marsha noticed we were across the street from one of our friends from school, so she walked down the long drive to try to get some assistance. While she was gone, miraculously, we were able to wiggle the car out of the ditch, so by the time she returned with her friend the problem was solved.

As I looked up, there was the girl from the house down the long driveway, standing there, wearing a bikini. It was my first bikini.

Normally Ohio people wear clothing–similar to the reason that bears have fur–for protection, warmth and of course, modesty. But there before me was a bikini, displaying its fruit like a bowl full of cherries.

I don’t know why it shocked me so much. Perhaps I had never been that close to breasts that didn’t belong to my mother. I tried not to stare, and of course, when you try not to do something, it becomes even more obvious that you’re doing it.

She was dressed in a bikini because she had a swimming pool, which normally would have caused us to make fun of her, but since she was wearing a bikini, I reconsidered.

She was the same girl who believed the Easter bunny lived at her house, and who sat next to me in biology class like a timid lump of nothing.

But today she was a bikini.

We didn’t stay long, but all the way back to town I was thinking about the sight. I thought about it all that night. I woke up the next morning thinking about my first bikini.

So later that afternoon, I called the bikini girl on the phone and I asked her out on a date. I realized that some of my friends would ridicule me because they had characterized her as a rich weirdo, but I didn’t care. I was driven by a higher force–certainly not as high as the heavens, but floating somewhere above the earth.

I learned that day that romance needs more than love. It requires lust.

And lust has a very brief lifespan without love.

 

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Korny … March 23, 2012

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It’s what we decided to call it since we were in our early twenties and most of our smarts were south of our head.

The actual name was Kearney … Nebraska. And I was more than halfway there, crossing the Illinois border, before it finally soaked into my post-adolescent brain that we were driving too far to perform at a church with only fifty people.

But we were desperate. Now, there is a certain amount of desperation necessary to be twenty-four years old. But we had a rock/gospel group called Soul Purpose that had become a trio–nurturing a sound, writing songs and frantically trying to find people within a one hundred mile radius of our home in Westerville, Ohio, who had not heard us, rejected us, ignored us or were not already raving fans. (We originally were a quartet but soon discovered that it is chemically impossible for people of our age and maturity to co-exist in fours.) So the three of us were bound and determined to become famous for our musical abilities, writing talents and performance attributes, come hell or high water (whatever that means).

So when we were gigging at a coffee-house in Tiffin, Ohio, a young man from Kearney, Nebraska, invited us to come out to his church to share. Normal people would ask how far or how much. But we were musicians, so our only question was … “when??” It was set up, and through some careful budgeting we discovered that we would need twenty-five dollars to buy food supplies and gasoline for the journey there, which meant we would need twenty-five dollars to get home, and hopefully, if the people were generous, we could get an additional twenty-five dollars so we could languish in a motel one evening on the way back.

As you can see the plan was flawless, without error. There was only one hitch. We didn’t have twenty-five dollars. All we possessed was a birthday present one of the girls had just received from her parents, purchased at Lazarus Department Store. So with the agreement of my generous cohort, we took her present to Lazarus, returned it, got the cash and had the front money for “Tour Korny.” We went to the store and bought food supplies–baloney, bread, chips and candy (the basic four  food groups)–filled our van up with gas and launched. We were so excited. We were an American Band.

We arrived at the church and if possible, it was even smaller than our lowest expectation. There were thirty-eight people present–Nebraska farmers who stared at us a little bit like Three Dog Night had suddenly invaded their community. We sang our songs. We had some new ones. They were really good, even though I wouldn’t consider this particular group of people to be our target market. But they listened politely, kindly and even occasionally would applaud. The pastor seemed to squirm in his seat a little bit–because my hair was too long and the girls were not exactly dressed in normal Cornhusker fashion. But it was an era of greater tolerance–or perhaps simply better manners or just abundant fear.

We finished our program to an ovation minus the standing and prerequisite clapping. It was time for the offering. We needed seventy-five dollars to make the trip complete and to guarantee ourselves a nice motel room to sleep in and shower. I carried the offering plates out to my van and quickly counted the proceeds. $64.12.

We had suddenly moved to Plan B … or was it C? We had covered the cost of re-purchasing the gift at Lazarus, the money for eats and gas to return–and probably had enough left over to purchase some souvenirs to prove to our friends that we had actually left the state of Ohio. But we didn’t have enough for a motel room. I was tired, which by my standards today, I would refer to as totally exhausted. I knew we wouldn’t make it far on the road before crashing into a corn field. I didn’t want to sleep in the van at a rest area, so even though I was embarrassed, I walked up to the pastor and asked him if he would be so kind as to allow us to bunk out in the basement of the church for the evening, telling him that we wouldn’t be any trouble and would be gone before he arrived in the morning for coffee and morning prayers following hospital visitations.

He paused, wrinkling his brow. I wondered what he was thinking. I wanted to add further information, but really had none, so I just waited. He cleared his throat and then contemplated some more. Nervously, I interjected. “I’ll tell you what. We’ll even clean up the basement before we leave.”

It was so stupid that my brain wanted to run away in total humiliation. Finally he spoke.

“It’s not that,” he said. “It’s just … well, it’s just that I would want to make sure that you and the girls would not be in the lower regions of our Holy House–fornicating.” 

(To be continued)

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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