It was 1984, remember? The year Big Brother raised his ugly head and we all laughed at him because we had Macintoshes. I know. Some of you probably don't remember a time when Steve Jobs was only a minor demi-god instead of an ascended deity.
My fledgling graphics business was just getting off the ground and I was watching the publishing world change overnight. I was carting film from typesetter to printer when I first saw the billboard screaming, "Test Drive a Mac."
Of course, that's not what this story is about.
This story is about what happened when we went off Daylight Saving Time on that Saturday night before Halloween in 1984.
SHE MIGHT HAVE BEEN a real witch for all I knew. She certainly had all the men at the party under a spell. She was blonde, had huge tits, and her black, floor-length dress was slit up the right to her hip and down her front almost to her navel. She'd made it obvious that those tits were swinging free. Especially when she danced.
You could only stare and hope.
That's what happens when you emphasize your assets and diminish your liabilities. Once my eyes had found their way to her face, I was surprised to find she was rather plain-looking. Her nose was a little too large and her eyes set wide-apart. But when she smiled—which was most of the time—her lush full lips and beautiful teeth were all you could see. Assuming you'd managed to keep your eyes that high.
I knew most of the people at the party from my prior association with the various theater groups in town. I'd pretty much quit theater when my graphic design business started to take off and I was seriously considering quitting my day-job, too.
I still did occasional shows, but I was able to pick and choose from the directors that I still wanted to work with. Both of them were at the party. I'd worked on shows with over half the people there tonight and had been at parties with most of the others. The blonde witch was new to me.
For me, the costume party was an excuse to dress in my tux. Tails, actually. I stood just under six feet and 180 with a tightly trimmed beard. At that time, I still had most of my hair and it was pulled back in a pony-tail beneath my top hat. Theater people tend to make the most of any opportunity to wear a costume, but I was a little chagrined that the only time I wore my bib and tucker anymore was as a costume.
My girlfriend—if you can call what we had left that kind of relationship—had chosen a matching ensemble as Victor/Victoria. By default, I became King Marchand. Unfortunately, the costume wasn't working in her favor when stacked up against the blonde witch. Belle was seriously regretting having played down her femininity—especially when it came to attracting the attention of Blake Donovan, our host for the evening. Belle had come to the party intent on seducing him, but like the other men there, he seemed captivated by the witch.
"Fuck the big-tit blonde and get her out of here," Belle growled in my ear. She'd just come up behind me as I was about to renew an old acquaintance with a petite actress I'd once done Plaza Suite with—both the play and the hotel. Research, you know.
"Too much competition?" I asked snidely.
"Just do it."
Once Belle set her mind on something, there was nothing short of a flat-out rejection that could dissuade her. She'd long ago found me easier to manipulate than most of the men she threw herself at. I was really beyond caring.
"I'm going to sleep with Blake tonight," she'd said flatly as we were getting ready for the party. "You'll need to find your own way home."
How on earth did we ever get to this point? Belle was ten years younger than me and I was too stupid five years ago to realize that I was just the first rung on her ladder. When I quit acting and directing—and dragging her into shows with me—her interest suddenly flagged. I'd decided to run my own private experiment several months ago and quit initiating hugs and kisses, just waiting for her to come to me. That was the last time we'd kissed. I realized that for more than a year before that, I'd been the only one to initiate any intimate contact or to ever say "I love you" first.
Now we still lived in the same house, split the bills, argued over what to have for dinner, and slept on opposite sides of the same bed.
The kicker was that we still behaved outwardly like a happy couple. Even at home, we were casual about each other and seldom had an argument more serious than whether the chateaubriand was on her diet. We still undressed and dressed in each other's presence. I still got hard as a rock when I saw her bare tits as she crawled into bed next to me. Then we'd turn our backs to each other and go to sleep.
Lately, she'd become more aggressive about her conquests, having even propositioned my boss at the summer picnic. He was otherwise engaged.
The sum result was that I came to the party looking for someone to go home with.
"And just how do you propose that I manage this feat?" I asked. "It looks to me like she's headed for Blake's bed in about thirty minutes."
"Just follow my lead and get rid of her," Belle said.
She took my hand and led me across the dining room. It had been cleared of all furniture since it was hardwood and was officially the dance floor. We danced close to Blake and the witch, looking like two gay boys in our tuxes.
"Blake! Have you met Jonathon? He just finished A Moon for the Misbegotten at Park Square," Belle smiled sweetly.
"Oh. Hi, Jonathon," Blake said. He gripped my hand warmly. "I saw the show. Nicely done."
I was proud of the fact that I'd delivered a credible performance as Jim Tyrone in the tiny theater. We'd received a good notice and Tess was on my acceptable list of directors from now on.
"This is Lynn," Blake said, introducing us to the blonde witch. "She teaches Theater and English at Southside High. She was in my production of Anything Goes at TRP."
"Oh my god! Was that you with the incredible voice?" I exclaimed.
We had season tickets to TRP because they always seemed to have great singers. I turned to look fully into the eyes of my new conquest and was lost. I've got blue eyes myself, but I'd never looked into eyes so deeply cobalt—so intense and piercing. I think she said something like "thank you," but I couldn't hear past the ringing in my ears. The blood was pounding through my veins as she placed herself in my arms and let me dance her away.
I spared a brief glance over my shoulder at Belle and Blake who walked out of the room hand-in-hand.
That was quick.
Midnight found Lynn and me in a secluded window seat with the party going on unnoticed around us. I was completely captivated by her. We discovered that the spot was quieter than the rest of the house, not being willing to go to a completely secluded room yet. We talked. Oh God! We talked.
And for the life of me, I can't remember a word of the conversation. It seemed like we just poured out our souls to each other, connecting beneath the words and then letting that inner communication take over for us. As long as I looked into her eyes, time was suspended.
I was closer in age with Lynn than with Belle. We both grew up on The Beatles and could recite almost every song lyric. Belle had once commented to me, "No. Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?" Fuck her. For soft rock/jazz, Lynn and I both liked Donald Fagen in any of his guises. Aja and The Nightfly are still albums that I listen to over and over. Between the two of us we'd seen nearly every play and musical produced in our area over the past five years, but had never worked on one together. Of course, we'd both been working the semi-pro venues and neither of us had auditioned for the professional repertory companies. I was surprised that with a voice like hers she hadn't been recruited.
Somewhere along the line we stopped talking. I was just drinking in the color of her eyes, shocked and excited as they came closer and closer to me. I let my eyelids drift closed as she did when our lips touched.
Everybody has a word for what a first kiss is like. Electric. Breath-taking. Tender. Terrifying. Sensuous. Passionate.
Yes. All of the above.
That first kiss was just lips. No one was trying to force his or her tongue down the other's throat. We weren't trying to pet or get to the next base. We just had our lips softly pressed together, and neither of us was pulling away. I felt her hands wrap around my waist and mine pulled her shoulders toward me until the kiss of our lips was accompanied by the kiss of her breasts against my chest. She was soft and womanly and completely committed to that kiss. The rest of the room dissolved and we were alone in our own little world—a world that consisted entirely of the ten thousand nerve endings in our lips.
"You want to come up for air for a minute?"
We both jerked apart and I turned to find Belle standing behind me next to the window seat. Her neat bow tie was hanging loose and several studs on the formal shirt seemed to be missing. I hoped she had them in a pocket. Those were my studs. Lynn started to pull away, but my arms held her close. I just waited for Belle to say something.
"I assume you have your ride?" she asked. I glanced at Lynn and then nodded. "Great. I'm out of here. Goodnight."
With that, Belle pulled the car keys out of her jacket pocket and left.
That kind of broke the mood as Lynn pulled away a little and looked at me curiously.
"I guess she got what she wanted and is done for the night," I said.
"What did she want?"
.... There is more of this story ...