rewinding the walkman

He took his walkman to the bus stop and cranked it up so we could listen. TMBG’s “Don’t Let’s Start…” was muffled and scratchy, and we started making up our own lyrics. Due to the fact we were waiting to board the Giant Twinkie that would take us to our junior high, we were of the age where we covered up the barely audible lyrics mostly with the word “fart.”

C scuffed his sneaker against the ground, and blushed. You could hear almost hear his mother’s soft voice with a gentle reprimand, “That’s not very nice.”

The bus driver did not appreciate our repeated chorus of “Don’t let the wind part, I’ve cut a large fart.” Then again, the bus driver rarely appreciated our genius. He gave up on us completely the last week of 8th grade, and we had a substitute bus driver. The last day of school, she let us put up all the windows and have a crushed paper ball fight on the bus. The only stipulation was that we had to clean up afterward. I think it was her way of getting the bus thoroughly clean before it was retired for the summer.

Bus rides during junior high were both beautiful and tumultuous for me.  A, while sharing his TMBG lyrics and general joviality, teased me relentlessly. Once I got a boyfriend this subsided a bit. My boyfriend did not ride our bus, but his best friend F did, and F served as my bodyguard through most of the torment.

A always made waiting for the Giant Twinkie fun, even if it was fun at my expense. Our epic bike ride water balloon fights carried over from the weekend sometimes. One Monday, after the ride home,  A walked behind the sign for our housing development, “Sea Breeze,” and, using the sign as a barrier, started launching water balloon grenades at us from behind his fortress.

“Hey, this is a new skirt, a-hole!” I shouted. I went home frustrated and in tears.

“He likes you, that’s why he teases you.” My mom said, smoothing my hair and wiping away tears.

“Well, I wish he’d knock it off.” I said.

A isn’t around anymore, he died shortly after high school. Nobody even knew he was sick, his parents hid it. I would give anything for an epic water balloon fight these days.



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