I have always been good at identifying my ‘kind’. The smallest of hints- certain jewelry, hair length, a word used in conversation, a reaction to music, even demeanor-could tip me off that here might be a person worth getting to know, who might enjoy the same music, the same ‘lifestyle’ so to speak. (At 15, my ‘lifestyle’ consisted of hanging out, skipping school, smoking pot and daydreaming about rockstars. You could tell I was really going places!) So, the first time I saw Jordan standing in front of the house across the street, (as I was glancing out of the living room bay window, on my way to the kitchen for a strawberry Figurine) I stopped dead in my tracks and took a second, third and fourth look. I deduced he was probably about my age, with brown hair at least to his collar and was wearing jeans, a black t-shirt, and an unzipped green parka, with a faded jean jacket visible underneath. I sensed a cool ‘vibe’. (If by ‘vibe’ one means that somebody good looking will also be ‘cool’) This was the foxiest guy I’d seen in a long time, not counting the bands on my bedroom walls. Of coarse, I couldn’t see his face clearly from this distance, but I had a feeling it would probably hold up under TGS (teenage-girl scrutiny) even up close. I didn’t want him to notice me gawking, so I relocated to a less obvious window-the one in Rob’s room. I sat on the edge of my brother’s twin bed, carefully off to the side of the window, my Farrah Fawcett ‘do blocked by the curtain and watched him like an undercover cop doing secret surveillance. And I couldn’t wait to report back to the precinct. In this ‘case’ the precinct was Cheryl.
I called her house (after said ‘subject’ went inside) and made an urgent and heartfelt statement.
“Cheryl! You are not going to believe the stone cold fox I was just looking at!” I said, and then I whistled for effect.
“Did you get the new issue of Creem?” she asked, assuming I was referring to a picture “Is it Joe Perry again?”
“Umm…nooo!” I said, as if her guess was completely ridiculous instead of more than likely. ”I’m talking real person!”
“Who? Where?!” she asks. Obviously it’s been awhile since the subject of a hot guy (in real life) has come up around here.
“You know the guy with the cool Corvette?” I ask. “The one across the street?”
“Oh, yeah! Love that car!” Cheryl says. We’ve been coveting the ’72 Black Stingray Corvette ever since the guy who owned it moved in last year. We don’t know much about him, except that he’s old (at least 35), a bachelor, and lives all alone in the large house, which seems weird, but hey- if you’ve got the cash, right? Free world.
“Yup! Well- this babe was just standing there! -right across the street! I walked by the window and I was like: Whoah!!”
Silence. It sometimes takes Cheryl a minute to gather her thoughts. Finally she says: “That’s cool”
“Wanna do something?” I ask her, “Go to the Remarkable Book Shop, or somewhere?”
“OK….I’ll come and get ya in about an hour” she says, yawning.
“Maybe he’ll still be there! Wait till you see!” I say, laughing. She laughs back.
When Cheryl comes to get me there’s no sign of the fox, and in fact, the house looks empty and locked down. It isn’t until a couple of weeks later that I see him again. I’m getting the mail, and there he is, standing on the edge of the garage, smoking a cigarette. My heart stops when I spot him. He blows smoke from his mouth and then waves at me. I give him a quick wave back and notice he’s stubbing his cigarette out on the driveway, grinding it in with his boot. And then he begins to walk towards me. Oh God! What do I say? I’m being ambushed by a complete babe, though, admittedly in a good way. It’s like a chemistry pop-quiz. As in- let’s see if we have any.
He walks towards me with a purpose, right up into my space, confident but not cocky. I’d only seen him from a distance before this, and up close he did not disappoint! In fact, I felt a little woozy just looking at him. He was my height, with chestnut brown hair (‘like a horse’s tail’ I later gushed in one of my horrible poems-though in his defense, his was soft and shiny, where some horse’s tails are not. I guess it was more like a Barbie’s horse tail?) It was the perfect length (about to grow past his shoulders) and he had big, hazel eyes,green and gold flecked, and lashes I’d kill for. He also had the the big, beaming smile,all straight white teeth that lit up his face, which was by now a staple of my ‘type’. (Years later when I would see Jon Bon Jovi on MTV for the first time, I’d pronounce him the blueprint of said ‘type’. Just me and a hundred million other girls and our little ‘secret’)
“Hi!” he said, reaching out a hand “I’m Jordan”
“Hey!” I said, shaking his hand, noting his strong grip. “I’m Lisa”
He was wearing a faded denim jacket, lined with sheepskin for warmth, and brown Caterpillar hiking boots with red laces. He was slightly bow-legged, a look that I loved. It was a subtle thing, a definition of sorts that spoke to me. Basically, Jordan was way better close up than from a distance.
“Do you live here?” I asked, indicating the house across the street from mine.
“No…My Dad does. I might move in with him, but right now I stay with my Mom in Fairfield”
All I heard was: “I’m moving here”
Then he leaned in, as if to tell me a secret, and asked in a hushed whisper: “Do you smoke reefer?”
Do I? I’m a freakin’ Professional!
“Yeah” I answered, thinking how good he smelled. Was that Paco Rabbane or just the scent that naturally emanated from hot guys?
“Well- I have a bone, if you have a place to smoke it” he said. Great, I thought, now I’ve got an assignment. Why was nothing easy?
It was a cold day towards the end of October- the sky was was an endless gray slate and it had been intermittently plopping down rain the temperature of melting ice-cubes. Not exactly conducive to a relaxing marijuana pow-wow. We couldn’t go in my house, what with my tattle-tale brothers present, and Faye expected home from Stew Leonard’s at any minute. Jordan said his Dad would be back soon, so that was out.
And then a light bulb came on. It’s amazing what my brain could come up with when faced with the possibility of not smoking a joint, especially with a cute guy like Jordan.
“There’s some houses at the end of Deer Run” I said, pointing to the end of our street. “They’re being built, but they’re a long way from being finished. I’m pretty sure we could go in one!”
Jordan smiled, and said “Let’s book!” and so we did.
We talked about music on the five minute walk….Jordan loved Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, and adored Black Sabbath (Note to self: Bingo!) He told me he was always in trouble with his parents and at school, and couldn’t wait to be out on his own. He had just turned 16, but couldn’t get his license because his parents didn’t trust him. But someday soon, he wanted to buy a souped up Camaro and jack it up in the back with GT Qualifiers and cool rims and put in a 427 small block.(Note: That’s gonna look sweet next to my imaginary 1970 Black Charger) After that, he wanted to get his own place where he could blast his stereo, throw keg parties, and get away from his parent’s incessant nagging. I listened and wished he had that place already and that we were there.
We arrived at the end of Deer Run Court and squeezed through a wall of wet bushes, which of coarse, snagged my cream colored cable knit maxi-sweater and practically ripped off one of it’s large brown ‘wood’ buttons. Jordan, who went first, tried to hold the bushes apart, but it was futile, and we both got soaked, though I appreciated the gesture. After we fought our way through, we found ourselves in the backyard of one of the unfinished houses. It was a large, two story raised ranch, very similar to ours, but brand new. There weren’t any doors or windows on the first floor, but we could see windows, still sporting big stickers across the panes, on the second. It would make a fine shelter for our purposes. We walked in, stepping over pieces of lumber and piles of sawdust, weaving around saw horses, and stepping on scattered remnants of sand-paper. It smelled of damp wood and winter. Our breath came out in little clouds from our mouths, as I followed Jordan up the finished staircase to the second floor. There we chose a room with windows, and sat atop two large tubs of unopened grout. Perfect!