The Summer Julie Wrecked Her Pontiac

It was the summer of ’82, I’m sure of it. I remember because that was the summer that Ray grew a mustache. I think Graham grew one, too. Come to think of it, we all had mustaches. It was a time of mustaches. Mustache time. I remember eating pepperoni slices at Feccini’s and feeling the grease tickle my whiskers.

I also remember that summer, because it was the summer that I became a dinosaur. I would hide in the sheds and garages of my neighbors, and jump out with a great big roarwhen they opened the doors. For a moment, things would be pretty tense. Then, they’d recognize me from my mustache and we’d both have a good laugh. My neighbors would forget whatever chores they had set off to begin and we’d all sit together on the back porch drinking High Life and watching the fireflies fill the night with their shameless flirtations.

It was on one such night that I met Eric. At first, I thought he looked delicious, and that I would eat him. Then I noticed his hairlip and felt momentarily sorry. I took himto my extra secret hiding place. We lay in the dark for what seemed like an hour, but was actually an hour and a half. We talked mostly of pasta. He said his favorite was tortellini, which I said didn’t really count as a pasta. Then he said I was drunk. Maybe I was.

Yes, it was shaping up to be a truly amazing summer. Then Julie wrecked her Pontiac. After that, I didn’t much feel like stuffing myself into dusty, dirt floor sheds. Not to mention the spiders. No, things were different after that. But we kept our mustaches.

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