Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wonder Who's Cryin' Now?

July 4th, 1991

“I’m for-ev-er yours….Faith-ful-ly.”  

And like clockwork, he started sobbing in my arms.

At first I thought it was kinda sweet how Joe always liked to listen to Journey’s Greatest Hits whenever we made out. I wasn't delusional. His lameness became quite evident the day he borrowed his cousin’s pager just so he could wear it in the belt loops of his Z. Cavaricci’s.  He thought it would make him look cool at the premier of “Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man.” A terrible movie only made worse by Joe's determination to have my hand in his lap. No matter how much he begged, I refused to unzip his pants. It would take a much better film to elicit such actions.

The only reason we were dating in the first place was by default. We’d all met running the main drag on Eureka road a few weeks before. One of the great things about my best friend Kim was that her mom worked midnights at General Motors. That meant - any dudes we met out cruising could always be invited back to her house. By nature's rule, I’d get the less attractive one. Meaning-Kim was a hot cheerleader in High school while I played the flute.

Initially, I couldn’t believe my good fortune as I’d snagged the second hottest guy in the pack-Dan Turner. We rambled through a long night of heavy petting but before his Chevy Citation hit the streets that A.M., he invited us to a party the next evening. Curiously enough, Dan had neglected to mention that his girlfriend would be there, or what's more, that he HAD a girlfriend. I'm just being anatomically/politically correct when I say GIRL by the way. I remember her more as a mythical forest beast with fists not much different than baltine hammers.

My face became well acquainted with those hammers that night as she beat my drunken ass senseless. I'd been  passed out in the backseat of my car when she heard through the grapevine (drunk party bitches) that her boyfriend was a total douche. Kim peeled her off before she could exact full vengeance and as she turned her wrath on my friend, Dan kicked She-Beast right in the crotch. Rampage over.  That's what happens when you get kicked in the crotch. You simmer down pretty quick.

The next day I started dating third stringer Joe who previously had only been considered an ensemble character. My only excuse was that it was summer and there was no way I was going to be a third wheel to Kim's much hotter romance. Joe Kowalski was a red head and not an attractive one.  He was one of those “Children of The Corn”…  “Malachi”…. looking mother fuckers. The gross kind.

He loved to wear this hideous neon green Newport cigarettes hat that only accentuated his gingery.

I’d hidden it behind the refrigerator in the garage twice but somehow, he tapped into his dork radar and continued to find it.

Then there was this business of the crying whenever Journey’s “Faithfully” would come on. It usually started right at the "Wheels go round and round" line.

His insistence of listening to Journey didn’t bother me in the beginning, I was a fan. I was white and it was the early nineties so it was somewhat mandatory. When I inquired as to why he cried during “Faithfully”  he declared that it reminded him of his ex-girlfriend. She was beautiful, funny and smart but tragically,  had been struck by a car walking to class at Michigan State one night. She died instantly. Very sad. So I would hold him.. and he would cry…then “I’ll be Alright Without You” would give him a foot hold back into reality and we’d start making out again. It was ridiculous.

Even worse though- on this particular night- he started crying AGAIN when “Open Arms” cued up.

I’d decided this was too much bullshit. I refused to hold his dumbass through TWO songs. I excused myself and was surprised to find his cousin Mike sitting in the dark at the kitchen table,dramatically puffing on a Newport (Michigan's state cigarette) trying to quench his anguish. Seems Kim had gotten pretty wasted and was far too drunk for illicit, teenage sex.

I complained of my night sucking as well, seeing how his cousin was crying about his ex-girlfriend again. 

“What the hell are you talking about?”  His expression begat complete ignorance.

“I’m talking about Sarah. You know… his girlfriend that was run over and killed by a drunk driver?”

Mike’s spontaneous laughing fit caused his head to jerk back, cracking it loudly on the window sill. The blunt force trauma still wasn’t enough to stop him from howling. Instead, his laughter intensified to snorts, peppered with “Ow’s!”  as he clutched his skull and rocked.

Turned out- there was indeed a Sarah- who was a gorgeous, funny, intelligent girl- who definitely suffered an untimely death on Michigan State’s campus.  

But, as it turned out, Sarah was Mike’s brother’s girlfriend. She'd only met Joe ONCE at a party and afterwards, he'd become silently obsessed with her. Mike commented on how the family found it very strange when Joe threw himself on the coffin at her funeral, shouting “Why?!!!” to the Heavens. 

Joe and I broke up that night.

I'd love to say I never spoke to him again and I could too if  Kim hadn't got knocked up, forcing Mike  to begrudgingly marry her.  No... sadly, I was forced to socialize with this idiot several more times over the years. Yet, no matter how much I tried, I could never forgive him for ruining Journey for me. 


  1. Another great (well great in the sense that its engaging to read, not great as in great to happen to someone) story.

    "I was white and it was the early nineties so it was somewhat mandatory" that is the excuse I use as well.

    1. Haha...thank you for reading it Barnes. I'm glad you dug it!

      shhh....I DO still kinda like Journey though. :)