car we passed had one headlight out," I said. "That's a
we see a perdiddle and I call it first, you owe me a kiss."
don't want to mess with a perdiddle," I said. "According to
ancient myth, anyone who doesn't honor the legend of the perdiddle will
lead a cursed life."
headlights, huh?" Kelly knew this was a myth made up by 16-year-old
boys who couldn't think of a more clever way to break the ice. She took
pity. "Well, you can put those perdiddles in the bank and see if you
can collect later."
date was finally showing promise. I had ridden my Yamaha 250 to pick up
Kelly at her run-down home. She waited for me in the overgrown yard,
stroking an orange cat while a white puppy ran around her feet and a billy
goat stood guard on the roof of an old Plymouth. That was Kelly -- short,
blond, stacked, face of an angel, friend to all creatures, pure as the
snowy fluff on the pup's belly.
were cruising into town with Kelly sitting snugly behind me when the Plymouth roared up and pulled over my motorcycle. It was
Kelly's mom backed up by her burly young boyfriend. The mom could have
been Kelly's twin except for the hard miles she had on her. She dragged
Kelly into the car, yelling that no goddamn daughter of hers was going to
ride no goddamn motorcycle with no goddamn punk like me.
retreated to the coffee shop where we all hung out and related my sad
tale. Dickie had his dad's Ford Galaxie, but no date. He loved to ride my
bike and offered to swap for the night. I called Kelly and, to my
surprise, her mom said she could come out if the goddamn punk returned to
pick her up in a goddamn car. Dalton and Candy, who were hot to get at
each other but had no wheels, jumped in Galaxie's huge back seat.
be back by 11:30," Dickie said. "My dad will have my ass if I'm
not home by 12. Don't screw me up."
worry," I promised.
I had collected enough perdiddles, at Dalton's suggestion we parked in the
old cemetery overlooking the highway leaving town. While Dalton and Candy
quickly got at it, Kelly and I were tentative -- our kisses more sweet
than passionate. Even that came to a halt when my hand started to wander
up her blouse. Kelly pulled away emphatically. "I don't go that far
with anyone," she said.
sat uncomfortably silent until I blurted, "Can I at least have the
tag off your bra? The guys are collecting them."
had managed to gather a half-dozen bra tags without ever getting my hands
on an actual breast. I wasn't nearly as ashamed as I should have been that
two of my tags were lifted from my mom and sister.
declined to contribute. "People will think I let you feel me
was a loud rustle from the back seat and Candy's bra came flying into the
front. Kelly suggested we get some fresh air.
sat on the grass among the graves and talked, mostly about the biggest
thing we had in common -- a determination to blow this town the minute we
graduated from high school the next year. Kelly wanted to get away from
her mom. I was just restless for reasons I didn't fully understand. The
talking was far more comfortable than the kissing, and when I looked at my
watch it was 11:35.
I said. "Dickie's going to kill me."
ran back to the Galaxie and told Dalton and Candy we had to move out. They
scrambled to cover themselves as I started the car.
anybody seen my bra?" Candy whined. Kelly picked it off the front
seat. Before passing it back, she tore off the tag and handed it to me
with a sly grin.
was 11:50 when we got back to the coffee shop. Dickie wasn't there.
"He went looking for you," someone said. "He was pretty
I said. "If he comes back, tell him I'm running Kelly home and I'll
be right back." I was nervous. Dickie became unhinged easily and I
didn't know what he might do to my Yamaha.
was eager to get back to the coffee shop, but Kelly asked me to turn off
the engine in her driveway. When I hesitated, she said, "You've still
got one of those perdiddles left." She didn't have to ask again.
kiss was different. It started soft, but soon went deep and long. As I
wondered if it was time to pull back, Kelly scooted closer. She lifted my
hand and put it to her bosom. The feel was just through her clothes, but I
was soaring. When the kiss finally ended, she gave me a shy smile and
jumped out of the car, disappearing into her house with the puppy at her
back to the coffee shop, I saw a single headlight approaching. "Perdiddle,"
I said giddily.
the light got closer, it seemed to head straight toward me at a high
speed. I skidded to the side of the road to avoid a collision. The driver
went 100 yards down the road, then turned back toward me. As he pulled up
tightly next to me, I saw it wasn't a car but Dickie on my Yamaha.
rolled down the window. "What are you doing?" I demanded.
"I thought you were a car with a missing headlight coming right at
he said, and punched me in the face.
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