And That Ain’t Easy in a Pinto
When I was 17, I found the love I had been looking for. Finding that changed many things. I gained confidence in many areas, and especially in relationships. My prior experiences had taught me to be cautious with unfamiliar people. But I opened up with JJ, and soon her friends became my friends.
There was a day, I’d guess it was before Christmas, but after Thanksgiving, when we had a few inches of our favorite packing snow. I met up with JJ at a place between her home and mine. She brought along her friend from across the street. Diane was a bubbly blonde, a little younger than JJ and I.
Where we met up, there was a grassy patch covered with the fresh snow. I started playfully tossing snowballs at the girls almost immediately. It turned into a war with them against me and quickly devolved into a brawl. Snow down the back seemed to be the ultimate goal. Flirting was just a side effect. I wasn’t picky. I flirted with both girls. I expected JJ to get jealous, but she never did. There was nothing serious about it. We were just kids being kids.
Things eventually got too rough. When JJ fell and smacked her elbow hard on the frozen ground, it was time to stop. I’m not sure where we went next. But that evening, we took Diane to visit her boyfriend down on Main Street.
I don’t recall what day of the week it was, but I imagine it was Sunday. Main Street was nearly dead, and I noticed that the empty parking lot at the old A&P store was only partially plowed. A snowy parking lot was an open invitation to play.
I didn’t have my own care, but I often had the use of my grandmother’s 1972 Pinto wagon. The dark green two-door had about 70 horsepower, but even that anemic number was enough to spin the tires on slickery snow.
Diane had never been in a car doing donuts before. She was in the back seat and I don’t think wearing a seatbelt had entered her mind. She seemed a little nervous when I drove off the clear pavement into the snow, but her attitude soon changed.
As I sent the car into spins and slides, first to the left and then to the right, Diane began to laugh and then to squeal, as it tossed her side to side. JJ just smiled and enjoyed my infectious giggles… and maniacal laughs. Best donuts ever.