I have dated women before. Not that many, mind you, but I have had girlfriends in my past. There was a girl I dated named Mindy. Mindy was a pothead. Mindy was gorgeous in a pothead kind of way. I really liked her. I smoked a lot of marijuana during the course of our relationship. I never smoked as much as she did though. She was quite the toker.
I met Mindy while driving through Main Street in Crossville. It was a Friday night, I think. I was depressed as usual and thought I'd just drive around a while and listen to my tapes. I was driving a Chevy Nova at the time. It had four doors and was two different shades of gray. I loved that car. That car defined me perfectly. It was a really simple car. I was a really simple guy. We got along well together. I totaled it, but that was much later, and before you ask, I was not high at the time.
Back to Mindy. I was driving around in my Nova and decided just to pass through the weekend cruisers a few times with my music blaring. Something like Blind Melon or Nirvana. Crossville has a lot of rednecks in it. The young rednecks want to listen to rap music while wearing cowboy hats and country music while wearing ball caps backwards. Luckily, a lot of hippie type music and grunge music was still considered way fag back then by that crowd so I got plenty of horror-filled stares. I liked the feeling of making other people pay attention to me. At least with everyone focusing their hate at my little car I was getting noticed. A distraction is that which diverts attention.
Back to Mindy. So I have my unpopular music going and my sad face and I look over and there is this girl in the car going the opposite way. She is in the back seat and there are three other people with her. She's really checking me out. Me. It is me that she is looking at rather intensely and smiling. She says something and I say, "What?" and she says it again and I remember my stereo is way too loud so I turn it down.
"I said I like your music."
"Oh...thanks." I'm the man.
"So what are you doing?"
"Oh...I don't know...just driving around." Another point for me.
At this point the lights turned green and people were honking. I tried to keep an eye on the girl and the rear bumper of the car a few feet in front of me. Then she was gone.
So I circled around and thought she was gone and I'd never see her again and what did it matter because I suck and she probably couldn't see me clearly. Then as I drove slowly down a side street running parallel to Main I spotted her car. Or rather she saw me. She jumped out of the car and waved her arms. I backed up and turned up a dark street that emptied back onto Main. I parked next to them and got out.
My hair was longer and thicker back then. I looked pretty hippie-ish being skinny with chin-length hair and small glasses and a goatee. I bent down to look in the window as she had gotten back in the car she was riding in.
"So what are you doing?"
"Still driving." Brilliant.
"What's your name?" The rest of the car was silent. There were two guys up front and another girl in back with her. We all nodded to each other but that was as far as the introductions went.
"Brad. How about you?" What kind of person says that? She asked my name not where I was going to school. I sounded like the biggest idiot on the planet.
"Mindy." She smiled as she said it. Her hair was brown and wavy. It hung past her shoulders. She had a pretty face. I don't remember what she was wearing.
"So, Brad, do you really come out and cruise?"
"Um...No not really I was just driving around and thought I'd take a few turns through." Tell the truth and sound like a liar. Nice.
"Well we were gonna get out of here. I just want to go home. Are you leaving too?"
I am now...
"Yeah, I think I will."
This was followed by awkward silence. I'm really good at not knowing what to say to people. Especially women. This was my big chance though. Here was an attractive girl who came after me. Who flagged me down to talk. The moment of truth.
"Ok well...I guess I'll see you around then. Nice meeting you."
"Wait, let me give you my phone number. If you want it," she said.
"Here ya go. Call me when you get home ok?"
So we went our separate ways. I played happier music on the way home and reveled (To take great pleasure or delight) in the idea that someone, a girl no less, was after me. I called her later that night and we agreed to meet the following Saturday at her house.
Mindy is a great name. It's the type of name you don't run into every day. I like that. I always wanted to date someone like that, or a Betty even. That's another less recycled name around here. I was feeling good about myself. It was a cool thing. One thing got confirmed the first ten minutes I was at Mindy's. I really was smelling pot coming from the car the other night.
I dressed down for the night. Just laid back clothes. My dress clothes are all obvious dress clothes. Stuff you would wear to something formal where you were expected not to smoke or curse casually. Church clothes.
Mindy was looking hotter when I could see all of her and not just from the shoulders up. She gave me a lazy, "Hey" and invited me in. It was a small one story house on a Crossville side street. The room was comfortably warm. There was a pipe, a small bong, and some suspicious green sprinklings on the coffee table. Marijuana was in the air.
The television was tuned to some crappy standup comedy channel. Most of the comedians sucked. We talked a little bit while watching it and the subject quickly turned to drugs. I think she was, as the hippie community calls it, "jonesing"
"Have you ever smoked before?"
This is a question I felt stupid answering after that evening. Potheads assume you know they mean pot. Smokers assume you know they mean cigarettes. I've been stuck in situations where the subject of smoking came up and I had no clue what to say. No objects or smells to give me a clue. Cigarette smokers will kind of ignore you if you don't want to smoke with them. A pothead will either look at you like you're some rare artifact from Egypt or simply say, "cool, man. Just thought I'd offer."
"I guess I haven't really. Just more contact than anything else."
Mindy reached into a large hemp bag on the floor and pulled out papers and a small bag of grass. She started rolling a joint while she talked. I guess she was going to initiate me.
"I hope you're cool with this," she said. She stopped for a second to look at me.
"You wouldn't Narc on me would you?" She said this seriously but had a slight smile. What the hell was a Narc? I had no idea at the time. I struggle with abbreviations a lot. From the way she asked it though I guessed as to how I would answer.
"Nah. Not me." I said. She smiled more and continued separating the seeds and assembling the joint.
"I didn't think so. Here we go. You want me to light up, or do you want the first hit?" Hit...Hit....umm??....OH....ok.
"I'll let you." I said. Mindy fired up her Zippo and took a long drag. She talked tightly while keeping the pot smoke in her mouth and, I assumed, her lungs.
"Just...hold it in like this..." After about half a minute she exhaled a thin stream of smoke into the air.
I was already feeling a heavy pressure on my temples from the fumes. She passed the joint to me and watched as I tried to copy her. I couldn't hold it as long as her so I tried to let the smoke slide out of my mouth slowly. Mindy used her fingertips to close my mouth.
"Just hold it long as you can," she said. I finally coughed a curling stream of smoke into the air between us, which Mindy leaned forward to inhale.
It only took three hits. I got better at keeping the pot smoke inside and soon I was numbing up. I pushed my thumbs hard against each of my fingers. I could just barely feel them. They felt inflated. So did my head, but with the pressure still at my temples. It was the first time I could remember liking how empty I felt. We finished the joint and Mindy started rolling another one. I told her I'd just take the contact fumes for now. I felt sooo peaceful. I was hovering.
The thing I hated about Mindy was her racism. She just did not like black people. The crappy comedy show was still on the TV, and many of the comedians were black. She would get pissed and call them rather terrible names. I thought potheads were peaceful. She settled back down after getting halfway through the second joint however.
I don't remember much about that night. We ordered Dominoes pizza and sat there talking once in a while. Soon it was approaching two in the morning and I had come down enough to be ready to leave or sleep. She walked me the short distance to the front door.
"I don't really kiss on the first date," She said slowly and easily. "I hope that's ok?"
"I'll take a hug." A decent comeback for a change. Mindy smiled a big doped-up smile and leaned into me. It felt great hugging her like that. She let me hug her for a while. She hadn't passed out because she was giving my back little squeezes. That was nice to know.
"Mmmm...nice," she said sleepily and smiled up at me. Mindy was shorter than me, which was nice. We said our goodnights and I went home. On the drive home I had a sudden revelation: she said "on the first date" That implied a second date didn't it? I was genuinely happy for the first time in months.
As I turned on to my road a second revelation occurred: I smelled like pot.
I live at home still. I'll come back to that later but for now just know the home I came back to on that night is the same one I'm in now. With my parents. My parents are good people but they're none too keen on illegal substances. I slipped in quietly and though I was exhausted I showered and then hand-washed my clothes until the reek of pot was gone.
Mindy and I saw each other regularly after that. I'm a quiet person. I'm a private quiet person. I just gave a general description of Mindy and that was all my parents got. She never came to the house. We smoked and went to the nearby playground late at night. We barely made half a turn on the merry-go-round before seeing this was a huge mistake. I couldn't see straight and felt like I was going to die from it. We walked that off and stuck to the slide or just laying on the equipment.
By now we had advanced to kissing and that quickly moved to making out all the time. It was the most fun and happy I could remember feeling in my life. A good-looking girl liked me and wanted to hang out/make out with me. We went to this place in the Old City in Knoxville called the Underground. We would get high under the bridge and then wander around inside the dark loud club all night. We would drift apart and find each other and do it again. We did heavy kissing in the side room where the couches were, a thick wall deafening some of the music. Afterwards we'd go to the Boiler Room downstairs and stay until 5 or 6 in the morning. If we had to come separate we made out in the parking lot next to my car until whoever she'd come there with yelled at us to give it a rest. We did this several weekends as I remember it.
One night we were saying goodnight at her house. I had her backed against my car and we were feeling each other up. Kissing heavy. Mindy had small breasts and never wore a bra. Her breasts were hard and I loved them. I slid my hands up her stomach under the tank top she was wearing and tweaked her nipples. She gasped and planted her hands on the hood of my car. I kissed up her stomach and took her rock hard nipple in my mouth. Mindy had nice long nipples. I bit them and tongued them and sucked them. She was loving it and finally got her hands up my shirt and teased my nipples. I love that. I love the way it feels. We soon were on the ground in her driveway with my head propped on a railroad tie that ran down one side. She was on top of me kissing me like crazy. Mindy and I had never had sex. In all those times we pawed at each other nothing had ever happened.
Mindy looked at me and, breathing heavily, said, "I could just rape you right here."
Cars were passing by up and down the street every few minutes. I couldn't think of anything sexier at that moment. But for whatever reason, Mindy made us stop.
Not too much longer after that I got blonde highlights put in my hair, which was now getting closer to my shoulders. My aunt had told me I looked somewhat like Ethan Hawke with my unwashed hair and goatee. Possibly the biggest compliment I've ever gotten. I was...well AM a tad obsessed with Ethan Hawke.
I got my hair done in Crossville and decided to stop by Mindy's to surprise her. She was sitting on the couch with a couple guys I had seen over there before. One of them lived there off and on. I tapped on the screen door. One of them looked up and freaked screaming briefly and scaring the shit out of Mindy and the other guy. Mindy came over and opened the door. Pot smoke followed her outside as she came out and shut the door behind her. She had on a black t-shirt and shorts. Her hair was untidy and a little shorter than when we'd first met. She looked beautiful.
"I decided to get highlights put in my hair. I was going to go completely blonde but the stylist said..."
"Why did you do that?" She looked disgusted.
"You don't like it?"
"Should have left it like it was."
"Oh...well it's just streaks, nothing major."
Oh fuck, fuck, fuck.
"maybe you shouldn't come over anymore."
"What? Why? Because of my hair?"
"No... I just was thinking and well...my friends think you're kind of weird."
"So you're breaking up with me because your friends don't like me."
I just stood there not knowing what to say. I wanted to punch her right in her stupid pothead bitch face. I hated her right then. I hated myself. I wanted to die.
The above is part of a longer story I was working on, the topic of which was...well...me. Because this is part of a larger and indefinitely postponed piece, I realize the ending is rather lacking. But maybe it isn't. If it gets into your brains and eats at you with questions and hopes then feel free to send me a note. Who knows. Perhaps I'll go back to that worn down old shed of memories and kick the door wide open. Shift a few musty boxes around and see if there's anything stowed back there worth letting out. Until then...
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