This is a revision of my entry into CAW #23, for which we were to write something based on personal history.
My story is based on a real place, a real girl, and some real events. There's a basis of truth here, but my participation in much of this is "embellished". Note: The protagonists in this tale smoke marijuana in several scenes, since the story is set in the college culture of 1970.
If this is offensive to readers, I apologize. Some explanation and background for this fantasy have been added to the end.
*** The phone woke me on the first morning of summer break. It was a girl from high school. "You're up early, Martha." "Is it early? Oh, I guess it is. Sorry, Jeremy. What are you doing this summer?" "Not much.
Didn't find a job yet. Why?" "I have a huge painting project, and I need your help." "You know I suck at art. You even said it yourself. You were polite, but the message was clear." "Yes, and you know I suck at numbers.
I would have flunked algebra and geometry without you. Part of what I need is your math skills. I'm in kind of a jam here. This job is huge. It's the interior of a building." "What building?" "The old quonset hut near the train station on the north side of the city." "That big ugly metal thing? The truck repair shop?" "They moved out. The new owner gutted the place, put in sound-proofing and insulation, and stuck a big band of plywood over that, primed and ready for paint.
He wants a mural on the wood for his new dance club, 'The Hangout'. It'll be cool. This town has no night life if you can't go to a bar." "How big a mural?" "Eight feet high all the way around the inside. The place is a hundred fifty feet long and fifty feet wide, so that's … I dunno … a million miles or something" "Thirty-two hundred square feet," I corrected her.
"Still a hell of a lot." "Yeah. I have eight weeks to get it done. I guess I wasn't thinking. I don't see how I can do it alone now that I realize the size of the job. You know how to assemble scaffolding, don't you?" "From that shitty construction job two summers ago, yeah." "I helped some grad students with sculpture projects at school, so believe it or not, I do too.
The owner brought a bunch in 'cuz the painting will be up high. He's supplying everything, but I need someone to mix paint and hand me stuff. I'd feel better if there was someone with me, too, since I'll be all the way up there, and it will be a hell of a lot easier. This is gonna be like the Sistine Chapel a lot of work over my head, but maybe the thing that starts to establish me as an artist. Will you help? Please? I'll give you a third of what they pay me." "How much is a third?" "I'm an artist!
I can't do numbers. They're paying me five thousand dollars over the eight weeks. You figure it out. I really need help from someone. It could be fun if it's you." I hadn't found a summer job I felt like doing that paid enough to make it worth getting out of bed, so this sounded great.
Martha and I were close friends. We formed the common bond of being teachers' kids in high school, sharing tips on how to get away with stuff. She was in a few of my classes, and we hung out some times, but it was platonic. She was feminine, physically attractive in a skinny hippie chick way, but that wasn't what our relationship was about. "Okay, Martha. This could actually be fun, and I can goof off for a couple weeks before the fall semester.
A third of five grand is more than I made flipping burgers all last summer. Deal." She squealed her delight. "What are you doing right now?" "Nothing. Remember? You woke me up." "Wanna go see it? The owner gave me a key. Come get me." She was waiting on the sidewalk when I pulled up in front of her house and had my passenger's door open before the car stopped.
She had a sketchbook with her, and her face was split ear to ear in a grin. "You look happy." "This is my chance, Jeremy! For once, I don't have to work on what fits on an easel. I can think big.
BIG! Life-size people and scenes! I never did anything like this before. I'm painting what I want to paint at a place I think I'll want to go, and everyone will see it. That's far out! And I'm earning enough to pay you too. Pretty cool, if you ask me!" "What kind of mural do they want?" "I sketched the whole thing to get the job scenes from 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'The Wizard of Oz', Haight-Ashbury stuff, knights and fire-breathing dragons, designs like album cover art pretty much anything far out that isn't pornographic.
The owner's exact instructions were, 'Make it fuckin' cool.' As long as it's bright and looks good under black light, he doesn't care." "Black light?" "It's gonna be like a hippie dance club, no booze, eighteen and up for the college crowd. Wait till you see the lighting system! Strobes, spotlights, black lights, color wheels, the works. When you're fucked up it'll be a mind-blowing place to hang out.
Guess that's where he got the name." We parked near the door of the imposing metal structure. The outside had recently been commercially painted, but all that did was replace the ugly, rust-streaked galvanized gray with a bland shade of tan probably intended to not look filthy when it actually was. The overhead doors providing access for large trucks had been replaced by new sheet metal with more modest sized door for patrons.
Inside, we were sheltered from traffic noises, so it was deathly quiet.
The open, empty structure was like half a cylinder, the end walls flat but the sides curving up from the concrete floor in a series of corrugated metal arches.
It was dimly lit by security lights on the high curved ceiling and the signs over the exits. Martha went to the circuit boxes on the wall. "This is the lighting customers will see at the end of the night." The hall was bathed in blinding white light that showed scaffolding waiting to be assembled at the far end. There was a strip of white-primed plywood too high to reach from the floor going completely around the interior. This blank "canvas" hung vertical on the ends but sloped on the sides to follow the curve of the metal shell.
"This is gonna be a hell of a lot of painting, Martha." "I know, but it's, like, all mine! Think how cool it could look!" She turned off the white lights and flipped a new lever, filling the vast interior with the eerie purple glow of ultraviolet black lights. Then she played with the strobes and spots. "Psychedelic, right? And check this." She flipped a switch, and a monster exhaust fan in the roof whined to life, its wind opening the metal flaps above it to suck stale air from the building.
Smaller fans started in the end walls to blow in a fresh breeze. "We can keep cool enough with the fans, and they'll dry paint fast. This is gonna be great." "You can do some trippy shit in here," I agreed.
"Now do you see why I wanted your help? I'll need you to tear down scaffolding when I'm done in one area and set it up for the next so I can keep moving. You'll have to run the compressor for the spray guns and air brushes and keep me supplied with paint and clean equipment. We need to be out of here in eight weeks so they have time to paint this concrete floor and remodel the restrooms.
Grand opening is the weekend before everyone goes back to college. The local crowd will see it then, and it will be ready when kids come to campus here." "How do you want to start?" "With your numbers skills. The owner set up an account for me at the paint store. I need to buy stuff, but I have no idea how much to get. I brought a tape measure if that will help, and I have a tablet to write a list." We worked together to set up some of the scaffolding.
Martha sketched a portion of one design on the white boards with a broad black pencil, and I took measurements. We could reach roughly half the short wall, enough to estimate surface areas. "I'll spray and brush the big parts and do the detail with airbrushes," she said. "Most of the paint can be basic colors. I'll mix from there. The airbrush stuff will be black light paint." "Okay. Let's look at your drawings." We climbed down from the scaffolding and went through her sketch pad, noting each color to be used.
"Let's just get enough for now to do this short wall," she said, eyeing the faint full-size sketch above us from the vantage point of a club patron. "This could work, Jeremy. There's an air compressor here, but I have to rent some equipment and buy paint. Do we know enough to do that?" "I can figure out square footage. The guy at the store can tell us how much paint we'll need to cover it." "Can we start tomorrow?" she asked. "Pick me up at nine so we can go shopping. Don't bother packing a lunch.
There's a pizza place and a sub shop, like, almost next door and fast food a block away." The following day we unloaded supplies from my car. I turned on the fans to bring in fresh air.
She roughed in the sky and foreground of the scene she had drawn before. Eventually, she climbed down from the scaffolding. "That's about all I can do without sketching more. The paint is too wet to lay down more colors, so let's grab lunch." "Pizza?" I suggested.
"Get a medium with pepperoni on my half. I'd like a soda too." She handed me money. "Can you get it while I clean up?" When I returned, the black lights were on, and Martha was sitting on the scaffolding. "Jeremy? Do you have matches? I left mine down there in my bag." I climbed up to sit beside her.
She pulled a joint from her shirt pocket. "They ran trucks in here with those fans to clear the exhaust fumes, so a little pot smoke will go straight outside way above anyone's nose. I was going to save this for the drive home, but I thought, 'Why not get hungry for lunch?'" We passed the number back and forth, Martha producing a roach clip from her jeans so we could finish the entire joint.
When we were done, we laughed our way down from our perch and pigged out on pizza. Then it was time to work again. She mixed colors for her sprayers, and I kept them full and clean. By mid-afternoon, the vignette she was working on had real shape. From the floor, it was easy to see the twisted, dead trees around a cave entrance where a dragon waited for the knight who would ride in from the area not yet painted.
"Martha, that looks great!" "Hand me the cans of black and white paint and two brushes," she said. She worked for a couple minutes, adding slashes and bits of shadow and highlight to make the colored areas come alive. Then she climbed down from her perch and joined me in the center of the room. "Will you work the lights?" I went to the control panel, shut off everything but the exit signs, and turned on the black lights. "C'mere," she said. I walked across the weirdly lit hall to join her.
The artwork glowed dully in somber contrast to the stark white primer next to it, the dragon seeming much more menacing than pigment on plywood.
"Tomorrow, I'll add the black light paint. Whadya think?" "It's weird, especially since it's above us. Kinda scary, really." "Good," she said. "Imagine yourself in here with hundreds of other kids listening to Hendrix or Cream or Black Sabbath." "Lemme play with the other lights." I turned on strobes and moving spotlights for the area above the scaffolding. The scene flashed like it was lit by a violent storm.
"Yes! I know what it needs!" she exclaimed. "I bought black light paint that dries almost clear. Tomorrow I'll add lightning bolts, rain, and puddles." I joined her on the dance floor, and we walked around the empty hall together looking at her work. "We both forgot the first rule of dressing for club lighting," she chuckled, pointing at her little bra gleaming through her shirt and the waistband of my underwear glowing like neon where it peeked over my jeans.
"Hey, I kinda like seeing your bra." "Not much to see." "Doesn't matter. Very pretty and feminine." "Oh, come on, Jeremy. I was the only girl in our class who wore a training bra under her graduation gown.
Do you have any idea how much shit I took in the gym showers?" "Here we are, two years later. Half those girls are fat, pregnant, or both, so you win. We never played that silly game anyway." "You mean the boy/girl thing?" "Yeah.
I mean, I see you as a girl, but not as a sex object, if that makes sense." "I'm well aware I have a figure like a boy. Not sure how insulted I should feel hearing you agree." "That's not what I meant!
You're very feminine! I mean … I think I just stuck my foot in my mouth." "To the knee. C'mon. You're good with words. Talk your way out of this one." "Our friendship doesn't involve the shape of your body. Sex isn't what we're about." "So you wouldn't have sex with me." "Martha, if we weren't such good friends I would have tried already. You're very attractive. But with us, I don't know.
It would change things, wouldn't it?" "Probably, if we let it," she agreed. I turned on the white lights again, and we continued working. Martha kept me busy cleaning equipment when she changed colors. By the end of the day, her scene was amazingly life-like. She helped me clean up for the night, and we admired her work for a minute under black light before we left. The following morning, I assembled the rest of the scaffolding while she added detail to the scene from the day before.
By lunch break, she was done. "I want a cheese steak, fries, and a soda," she said. "There'll be something rolled up to help our appetites by the time you get back." We smoked on the scaffolding like the day before and ate lunch under black light, wandering around the building inspecting the first part of her masterpiece. "Whadya think?" she asked. "The dragon looks alive." "Turn on the strobes, Jeremy." Lightning bolts flashed from the clouds, smoke billowed from the angry dragon's nostrils, and fire shot from its mouth in the slashing rain, all of it animated by dancing beams of hot light.
"Whoa! Far out, Martha! I always love your work, but this may be the best yet." "Can you imagine hundreds of kids our age in here? This is gonna be THE hook-up spot in this town." "Guys and chicks showing up alone and leaving together?" "Yeah," she said. "Too bad the motel up the street is expensive for a college kid's budget." "There's always the back seat of a car." "Nah, that's no good. They're putting up new outside lights for security. With just the black lights it'll be darker in here.
Plus," she deadpanned, "you can see all the girls' white bras." "One of the reasons I love black lights," I grinned. Then I looked at her.
There was nothing white showing under her tee shirt. She followed my gaze. "Now you're wondering if I wore a colored bra today." "You mentioned it." "My bras are all white.
It's not like I need one for support, and I can move better without it. Yesterday I was stretching a lot and tugging my damn bra back into place all the time.
I'm more comfortable braless. Besides, if I don't wear one, I don't have to wash it." I couldn't help looking at her chest. She chuckled. "Obviously, I don't stuff tissues in my bra to make me look bigger. What you saw yesterday is the same thing you see today minus some white cotton and elastic." She pulled the hem of her shirt down to tighten it against her. "See? Not much there. You know how I eat, but I can't put on weight. Unless I gain a hell of a lot of it, these little titties are as big as they're gonna get." "Boobs aren't the only thing guys like, Martha." "No?
Seems when they don't find them on me they go elsewhere." I laughed. "No, they just get behind you so they can look at your ass." "What's wrong with my ass?" "Absolutely nothing whatsoever." "Oh.
Well. Um … thanks, I guess. Now you made me self-conscious about that too." "Don't be. It's a very nice butt." "Do you really look at it?" "Sometimes. Like I said, our relationship isn't about that." "True, but you check out my ass." "Yeah." "You're such a guy." "Guys look at girls' asses.
So what?" "Nothing, really. Just never thought about you, in particular, looking at my body." "I don't mean anything by it." "I know you don't. It's just kinda … I dunno&hellip.
Guess we should get back to work." By lunchtime Friday, we were done with the end wall. I ran for food while she cleaned equipment for the weekend. When I got back, she greeted me with black light and an appetizer.
We smoked and then climbed down from the scaffolding to stroll, gobbling burgers and fries and admiring her work from all over the huge empty hall. "Martha, I love it. This place is gonna be far out." "Thank you! I made a decision," she said. "What's that?" "I'm going shopping this weekend for black lights. I'm getting an apartment off campus this year. The landlord said he doesn't care what I do as long as it looks 'normal' when I move out. If I could, I'd live in the world I'm creating here.
Since I can't, I'll scale it down for there." "That'll be wild." She sipped her soda. "Would it be weird if I asked you to help me paint my bedroom ceiling?" "I'd like to visit you on campus. Why would that be weird?" "The room's pretty small. The only way to really look at the ceiling is to lie on your back on the bed." "Okay." "It won't be weird lying on my bed?" "Should it be?
We lie on the couch together at our parents' houses to watch TV. We shared a blanket in the park to watch fireworks. We hang out all the time." "But now I know you look at my ass." "Wow. I am so sorry I told you that. Is this gonna stay awkward?" "It's not so much awkward as it is surprising." I looked at her critically, even though I knew her well.
Her skinniness was saved from being boyish by her lush, wild, dark hair and oddly pretty face. Her cheeks were flat, her nose too small for her big brown eyes, her lips a little thin, but somehow it worked.
She really didn't have anything upstairs, but it hardly mattered with the shape of the rest of her. Impossibly long for her modest height, her slender legs met at a sexy gap in the front and a magnificent little butt in the back. Her torso and shoulders were thin, her belly flat. She looked frail, but not unhealthy.
"Martha, why are you surprised? Sex isn't what we're about, but I look." "Okay." "You're making me feel like a pervert." "No, no, it's fine. I respect your opinion. As long as you like what you see, great. Now, I want to sketch as much as I can to get ready for Monday." I turned on the white lights, and we assembled all the scaffolding, enough to cover about a third of the side wall.
She expanded her rough drawing to fill the space she could reach. We measured, did the math, and made a shopping list. When everything was secure, she locked the door behind us, and we went home. Monday dawned sticky. I chose cut-off jeans, a tee, and sneakers.
Martha met me at the curb dressed the same. "I made us a big thermos of iced tea," she said. "It's supposed to get pretty hot today." The cavernous building was stuffy and warm by the time we unloaded the week's supplies, so I started the fans. After a few trips up and down the scaffolding with paint and equipment, I said, "It's much hotter up here than down on the floor." "What setting are the fans on?" she asked.
"Low." "Turn them up. Please. I'm sweating like a pig." I climbed down and checked the control box. The switch showed four speeds, so I turned it to number two. The fans sped up, and the whisper of warm air through the place turned to a breeze. I pulled a bandana from my pocket to mop my face and make a sweatband. "Is that any better?" I called. "Which speed is that?" "Two. There are four speeds." "Try number three." The third setting created wind.
"Too much!" she yelled. She clutched at drawings threatening to lift off her perch. I had already turned the fans down. They coasted to the lower speed, and the storm subsided. When I could be heard without shouting, I said, "There's a sign on the panel that says you have to open all the doors for the highest speed to let enough air in." "Don't do that while I'm up here!
I don't have a lot of weight holding me down." She combed her hair somewhat back into place with her fingers. "I'll deal with the heat." "It's pleasant down here," I called. "Yeah? Bring the iced tea up to me. You can climb for it when you're thirsty." She roughed in color, and I mixed paints using recipes I wrote down watching her earlier. Soon, it was time for lunch.
"They make salads at that pizza place, don't they?" she asked. "I don't want hot food." "Wanna split an antipasto?" "Yeah, and get me the biggest drink they have. We have the tea, but we should save it for later." We had our appetizer on the scaffolding and our lunch at a rickety table and chairs we found in a storage building attached to the main structure.
"Can't believe how pleasant it is down here," she remarked. "The building has heat, but the owner doesn't plan to air condition it until next year. Even with a bunch of kids in here, those fans should keep it manageable this fall." "I'm glad I brought a bandana," I said.
"Didn't even think of it this morning, but I'll be sure to bring one tomorrow. Are we ready to work again?" "We won't get done sitting here," I agreed. I spent the next half hour climbing scaffolding, carrying paint up and dirty equipment down for cleaning. Eventually, I pulled off my tee shirt for comfort. "Guys are lucky," she said. "Why? Because we can take our shirts off?" "I could probably walk down the beach in boy's swim trunks topless, and no one would notice." "Your boobs are bigger than that." "Not much." "They'll still look good at fifty." "What do you mean?" "Does your mom look sexy without a bra?" She made a face.
"She's kinda thick, so no, not unless you like big floppy tits." "Right. Can you picture my mother braless? I'd rather not. You won't have that problem. You look great now, and you'll make a cute old lady." "You're such an asshole, Jeremy.
No wonder you're my best friend." On my next trip up the scaffolding she asked, "Do you have a pocket knife?" "I have a hunting knife in the car." "I keep getting sweat in my eyes. This is an old tee shirt.
I don't really give a damn about it, so I want to cut a sweatband from the hem." I found the knife and gave it to her. She started hacking a strip from the bottom of her shirt, twisting it on her body to cut at the sides. "Want some help?" I offered. "I shoulda just gone in the restroom and taken it off to do this," she grumbled, "Can you get the rest?" She turned away.
I took the knife from her and finished the cut across the back of her shirt. She stepped out of the ring of fabric and cut it in two pieces, one to tie her wild mane on top of her head, and one to serve as a sweatband above her eyes. "Crude, but effective," she said. The exposed strip of bare flesh around her middle was pale and pretty. "I like the bare midriff look on you." "My white belly?
I sunburn right away, so I don't tan. Besides, I look ridiculous in a bathing suit. I pretty much have to shop in the girls' department." "I'm sure you look fine. Fashion designs are for thin chicks. You know that." "Thanks," she said.
"It's supposed to be hot all week. If we could turn the fans up, we'd be okay. Let's make sure nothing can blow around and run the fans on the next setting when we take breaks.
Maybe we can keep the temperature down that way. We still have a lot of weeks of summer work in here." The next morning we opened all the doors and turned the fans on high for a few minutes to suck the stuffiness from the building. Cooler air from outside helped us start work comfortably.
At mid-morning, we took a break and turned up the fans to clear the warming air high on the scaffolding. Martha came back from the restrooms with her hair tied back in a kerchief. She wore a faded two-piece bathing suit. "Pretty sad, huh?" she asked. "I bought this to wear to the community pool the summer before eighth grade. Still fits." It actually did. The suit top was a simple bandeau with strings tied behind her neck to keep it up.
The bottom stayed on thanks to decorative strips of elastic at her hips holding the front and back together. It was probably fairly modest when it was new. "Close your mouth, Jeremy. You'll catch flies." "Sorry." "I wouldn't wear this in public anymore, but no one comes in here, so I guess I'm safe.
It's not THAT revealing, is it?" "No! No. Not too revealing. It's fine." "You pervert," she smirked. She knew damn well I studied her walking across the room and climbing the scaffolding.
Every day after that, she dressed for comfort cut-off jean shorts and a tee with an old swimsuit underneath, or gym shorts with a ratty shirt cut down for ventilation. After a while, I almost got used to seeing her long slender legs and the covered gap between them.
The tight bare bottom part of her cute ass and the inviting pale skin of her upper and lower belly were a daily sight. The small curves of her firm little breasts peeking out the bottom of some cut-up shirts and the tiny nipples sometimes obvious under her tops didn't affect me. Not too much, anyway. She didn't flirt, so I didn't either. I just quietly enjoyed the view and wished our relationship were different.
We stayed late some evenings to push the schedule along. We gelled as a team, working hard enough to be nearly done a week before the deadline. Martha wanted to make sure we had time for any needed finishing touches.
The club owner was a paunchy man who always wore a leisure suit and white shoes and pulled his remaining hair into a ponytail. He stopped by every Monday morning to pay Martha and check on our work. At the beginning of the last week he said, "This looks fuckin' amazing! You're almost done, aren't you?
I got fuckin' crews scheduled in here next week." "We'll have everything cleaned up and the scaffolding stacked near the main door before we leave Friday," she answered. "That'll be fuckin' great. This place is far out! I want the investors to see this light show and all. Be here at ten Monday morning. I'll give you your final check with a fuckin' bonus then." We bore down and got it done.
Thursday and Friday were clean-up days. We returned the rented equipment, put the leftover paint in the storage building, and tore down the scaffolding.
When we got to her house Friday after we were done, she didn't get out of the car right away. "I don't know how to thank you, Jeremy." "As far as I'm concerned, it was a two month party, and you paid me. I consider myself thanked." "No, really. I'm very serious about this. You saw me through my first real art job. That means a lot. I'd still be on the second wall if it hadn't been for you. I would have failed miserably. You saved my butt." "Glad to do it.
Wanna go to opening night together?" "You mean, like, a date?" "I dunno. We're not in high school, Martha. What's a date, anyway? Let's be two kids getting high and checking out the new hot spot decorated by a great artist." She laughed. "By a brush-jockey and her friend. Sounds good." She got out of the car. I admired her little ass as she walked to her door. Monday morning, we went to the club early to start the fans.
At ten, an entourage pulled into the parking lot where we were waiting. The owner and a half dozen other men followed us into the building.
Martha led the group to the middle of the room in the light leaking through the fan housings, and I worked the control boxes. The full black light treatment made them gasp, and when I turned on the spotlights and strobes, there was applause.
"Fuckin' fantastic!" the owner yelled. Martha and I led him around the room pointing out details, as the others broke off to study things on their own. When we returned to the lighting panel, I switched on the white lights and turned off everything else. "Kids," the owner said, "I didn't think you could get it fuckin' done in time.
I knew you had the talent and vision, Martha, but you needed this guy's help. I used to hang fuckin' aluminum siding. I know what working on scaffolding is like. This place looks fuckin' amazing, much better than I hoped. Please come to opening night. The place has to be booze and drug free, but," he chuckled, "you know how it is. Here's your last check with a ten percent fuckin' bonus." "Ten percent?" Martha wondered. "Five hundred dollars," I said. "Oh, wow! Thank you!" she beamed.
"You were worth every fuckin' penny," the owner said. He lowered his voice. "I know fellow pot heads when I see them. Some fuckin' people aren't cool." He moved his head to indicate a few men on the far end of the room. "Here's a little thank you gift. Take this cigarette pack and fuckin' hide it." I stuffed the little box under my tee shirt and went to the rest room to transfer it to my sock inside my boot.
Under my bell bottoms, it was safely concealed. When I came back, Martha gave the owner his key, and we left. "What's in the cigarette pack?" Martha asked when we were on the road. "I didn't look. Kinda awkward to get to right now. It's in my right sock brake and gas foot. We can check it at my house. My folks aren't home." My bedroom was over the garage. I opened the window so it would be easy to hear a car coming. Then I pulled the cigarette pack from my sock and handed it to Martha.
"This is yours." "Mine to share with you, yeah." She opened the box. "Holy shit!" She dumped two fat joints and a note into her hand. I read the paper. "This is the GOOD shit. You probably never had anything like it before. Save one for opening night. It will be more than enough for both of you." Even though I was a derelict college kid on summer break, I dressed carefully for the first night at The Hangout my good boots, clean elephant bell bottom jeans, and a tie-dye shirt I bought at a concert and only wore on special occasions.
It looked great under black light. I pulled my hair back under a white sweatband (again for the lights), and I was set to party. Martha's parents sent me up to her room. "Are you ready, or are you going to be like a girl?" I teased.
She gave me the cigarette pack. "Can you hide this in your boot again?" I stuffed the box in my sock and pulled the leg of my jeans down over it. "I put it on the left side so I can get it out when I'm driving." "Do I look okay?" She turned slowly so I could inspect her. Frayed, acid-washed, hip-hugger bell bottom jeans dragged on the floor and were tight in all the right places. Her bleached linen top hung loose, hemmed a few inches above her navel.
Her wild dark hair was sprinkled with glitter and pulled back from her face into a carved and painted wooden clip behind her head. She wore a short, thin rawhide cord strung with brightly colored ceramic beads on her throat. "I made the jewelry myself." "Sexy! Guys are going to notice you tonight." "Oh, please," she smirked. "What time do you have to be home?" "My parents gave up on a curfew after high school.
As long as I'm quiet when I come in, it's cool. They know I'm with you, they know you don't drink, so they think I'll stay out of trouble." "Shit!" she laughed. "My folks think you're the good influence on me. They think I'd never smoke pot around a nice boy like you, so they don't care when I get home either." We said our farewells to her mom and dad and got in my car.
I fished the box out of my sock and handed it to her. "Wanna fire one up?" "Not now," she said. "I pulled one joint apart to look at it and re-rolled it. Didn't smoke any, just poked around. My room still smelled like grass in the morning. A friend had some at college that smelled just as strong not treated or anything, just super potent.
If this shit is like that, you don't want to smoke it and drive. We can park at The Hangout and walk down to the tracks. No one will see us." We picked our way through the debris beyond the parking lot and down to the railroad bed. There was enough illumination from the security lights for us to see. She opened the cigarette box. "I brought both joints. Think we'll get high?" I lit a match, and she inhaled. "Oh, wow! Shit!" she coughed, blowing out a cloud of smoke.
She passed the number to me. We quickly decided to save the other joint for later. "How far did we walk?" she mumbled when we were done. "Dunno. Hundred yards, maybe." "Damn.
Guess we should see if we can make it back." It was a lot of effort to walk to my car and hide the cigarette box under some junk on the backseat floor. We shambled to the newly-built club entrance. "There you two are!" the owner exclaimed. He marked the backs of our hands with two different stamps. Then, he appraised us in the light of the entryway and laughed. "You're destroyed, aren't you? That fuckin' shit's wicked." "You were right about one being enough," Martha admitted.
"I fuckin' warned you!" he cackled. "That should keep you going for a while. Now listen you guys don't pay for anything. The one fuckin' hand stamp gets you in and out free all night. The other is for sodas and munchies. Show your stamp at the snack bar.
They'll give you whatever the fuck you want. Check back here in an hour. I may have a little fuckin' surprise." We went into the eerily lit hall already filling with kids shouting to each other over the shrieking guitar music or moving to the rhythm of the drums. People milled about, pointing out details and scenes in Martha's strange paintings. She pulled me close to yell in my ear. "I'm really wasted." I mouthed back, "Me too." "Let's walk around," she shouted. We meandered about the room, looking at her work yet again and eavesdropping on people commenting on it.
"They love it!" I yelled in her ear. She motioned me to follow her to a corner of the huge room, an area where the blare of the sound system wasn't as harsh. "I'm so fucked up. That was a hell of a long walk," she said. "Let's get something to drink." We went to the snack bar and took large sodas back to our corner to sit cross-legged on the floor. "I'm so happy I don't know what to do," she said. "Cry?
Strip naked and run around the room screaming for joy?" "Crying doesn't sound like fun, and running around naked and screaming is kinda conspicuous. Lots of work, too. I'd pay to watch, but I should probably vote for laughing." She punched me playfully. Then she leaned against me and rested her head on my shoulder.
"We did this." "You did this." "I put paint up there, but if you hadn't built scaffolding, brought me everything I needed, and given me moral support, nothing would have happened." She squeezed my hand.
"I'll never forget this." I checked my watch. "We should probably look for the boss man and find out about this surprise." We struggled to our feet and made our way to the main door. He was standing outside smoking a cloves cigarette. "Martha! Everyone fuckin' loves your work! You think the crowd tonight is good? Wait till you see the write-up in tomorrow's newspaper! It talks about the whole fuckin' place, but the big thrust of the article is the art. There's nothing like this anywhere. I made sure the fuckin' reporter got your name right.
Call me Monday. I'm making a list of people you should contact for jobs. Maybe you can do some work on breaks during the fuckin' school year. I'm sure you can fill next summer. Say the word, and I'll find you fuckin' jobs." "You don't have to do all that!" Martha said. "No, but I want to. I've opened other clubs, but nothing like this, and nothing with this much fuckin' potential. Your art is the big difference here.
Don't know what your plans are after college, but you could make a fuckin' career out of this kind of work." "Never really thought about it, you know? I always worked small before. My paintings let people see through a little window into my world.
Here, they can join me in it." He laughed. "You're really fucked up, aren't you?" "Not as bad as before, but yeah." "Told ya! Remember I said I might have a surprise? Hold out your fuckin' hands, both of you." He gave us each a small brownie wrapped in cellophane. "They're made with the same pot.
You'll get really fuckin' high, maybe even some visuals and body rushes. Eat those, and in about forty-five minutes fuckin' shit will start happening." We enjoyed our chocolaty treats and went back to our corner inside.
After about a half hour, Martha shivered. "It's warm in here. How can you be cold?" I asked. "I'm not. I didn't eat much for dinner, so the brownie's getting to me. Starting to feel real good, different from before." She shivered again, a full-body motion that started in her feet and moved up until she shook her head, spilling a little glitter on her shoulders. "Fuck, yes! Don't mind me. Sometimes I get super body rushes." The strobes, moving spotlights, and black light made her top glow and the tiny bits of glitter shine like pin-pricks of intense colored light from within her.
I was getting seriously high. "We should move." She giggled. "Do you feel like you're gonna grow roots into the floor?
Me too. Help me up before it's too late." We wandered around the facility again. The colors of the paintings seemed more intense now, and the strobe lights made them move. Clothing glowed under the ultraviolet light. Sometimes spotlights backlit people as silhouettes. The strobes made everyone's movements jerky. "Martha, I'm having some real trouble focusing." "Let's go outside," she said.
"I need to slow down." We made it to the main door and breathed in the sticky air of a late summer city night. The parking lot lights spilled down to the tracks, illuminating the ugly wires and transformers on power poles against the night sky. We entered this new world, traffic noises from the streets a quiet calming contrast to the insistent beat of drums and screech of tortured guitars we left behind. "Jeremy, I thought the walls were gonna start, like, breathing.
When that happens, it's time for me to find someplace quiet for a while." "Some of the stuff in your murals got super intense." "I painted it, so I know what's up there, but I started seeing shit that wasn't. Kinda freaked me out. I'm still really high, but I'm okay now." "Girl, you and I need a mellow-out walk." We strolled around the outside of the building. The owner had hired bouncers to stop kids who wanted to drink or fight. They didn't seem to notice anyone making out in the shadows.
Martha whispered when we passed a particularly amorous couple, "You know what I wonder?" "What?" "How these crazy body rushes I keep getting would feel with sex." "You never had sex when you were high? "No. I never had sex at all." "You didn't?" "Who would I have sex with?" "I dunno. Lots of guys. You're in college." "No, Jeremy. When other girls are out getting laid, I'm in my room listening to weird music and fucking myself with my hairbrush handle.
There. Now you know everything about me. I'm a freak." "You're not a freak!" "My boyfriend is a piece of plastic! No one wants a flat-chested artsy chick with frizzy hair. I'm sexually invisible." "You're wrong." "Am I? We spent a lot of time together these last two months.
Some days I wore next to nothing. We even talked about you looking at me. Not a damn thing happened." "I didn't think it should." "Yeah, you kinda said that.
Forget it. It's okay." "No, it's not." Tears glistened in her eyes. "Why is it not okay? Suddenly you want to fuck me? Is this pity?" "No! It's not pity, Martha! It's just that now, I think of sex with you as a possibility. I didn't before, but if you're interested ." She shivered through another body rush.
"I think I am." I took her hand. "You shouldn't be this damn high your first time." We went back inside. The sound system played Pink Floyd, making the entire atmosphere of the place calmer. The walk cleared our heads enough to allow us to enjoy it. Her artwork looked spectacularly trippy as ever, but we both kept things under control. Martha asked, "What's that on her back?" "Who?" "The blond with the tied-up red shirt. What's that glowing on her back right above her jeans?" I looked where she pointed.
A busty braless blond strutted her stuff on the dance floor. Something glowed on her back under the black light and glistened when the strobes hit her. It took me a minute to figure out what it was.
Then I doubled over with laughter. "What?" Martha asked. I cupped my hand over her ear to be heard. "It's spunk." "It's what?" "Spunk. Cum. Semen. It glows under black light. Look. It's still wet.
Someone must have done her from behind and pulled out." "Oh, shit!" "Yeah." "Here?" "Who knows? She sure didn't drive here like that." Martha put her mouth to my ear. "We know this place better than her. I can't imagine where she went. I'm not as fucked up now, and I'm still interested in trying sex, but I'm not putting on a show." "You split your bonus with me. I can afford a motel room.
Come on." We left the club and walked up the street to the motel.
The desk clerk eyed us suspiciously, but a ten dollar tip got us a room with no further questions. We went up the ugly outside concrete steps and found the door. "Did you ever do anything like this before, Jeremy? Get a room with a girl?" "No." I unlocked the door and ushered her inside. The room wasn't horrible. At least it looked clean. She shivered again. "That wasn't a body rush. I'm nervous." "It's just me." "That may be the problem." She found a brush in her bag and went to the bathroom sink.
She pulled the handmade clip from her hair and removed as much glitter as she could. "Should I get undressed now?" I turned on the bedside lamp and turned off the harsher room lights.
"Let's sit down." We sat on the bed, not touching. "Are you sure you want to do this, Martha?" "Not if you don't want to. Be honest. It's okay. Do you want to go back to the club?" "No!" "So, you're being a gentleman?" "I don't want to mess things up between us.
I don't want you to do anything you'll regret tomorrow." "Tomorrow I may regret not doing it. I feel safe with you. I never even kissed a boy." "Why not?" "No one asked, dammit!" "I'm sorry. Didn't think I should be the one. We're like, you know, friends and all, and I …" "Stop, Jeremy, please. Will you kiss me?" Things moved along after that. The first tentative kiss heated up fast.
She couldn't stop trembling when I pulled her top off. When I placed the palm of my hand over her fast-beating heart, she rubbed against it like a cat until her nipple was a hard nub on her tiny breast. I licked the other one.
"Oh, shit, that feels good!" she moaned. I plumped a boob with my hands and sucked most of it into my mouth to tease with my tongue. She whimpered, and her hand went to her crotch. When I worked my fingers under hers to feel the warm denim between her legs, she moved her hand tentatively between mine. "I feel it," she whispered. "It's getting bigger. I never saw one before." "A dick?" "In magazines, and last year when my roommate and her boyfriend thought I was asleep, but not really.
Not up close. Sure as hell not hard because of me." "Let's get these off." I opened the two big buttons that held her hip hugger jeans closed, grabbed the top hem, and tugged. She retrieved her panties and pulled them back into place before they got too far down.
I removed her shoes, socks, and jeans. Everything went on a heap on a chair near the bed. "Should I take my necklace off?" "No.
I told you it was sexy." She covered her crotch modestly with one hand but rubbed her nipples with the other. "Now you. I've seen you with your shirt off, but that's it." I pulled my headband, shirt, boots, and socks off and started on my jeans. "Hang on. Gotta get something." I pulled my wallet out of my pocket. "What the hell are you doing?" "Getting a condom. I learned this trick from listening to my Dad's stories about going on evening leave in the service. Always carry a rubber.
If it's in your wallet, you'll probably have it when you want it." "My mom got the doctor to put me on the pill to go to college. She assumed I'd need it. Shows how much she knows about me. Gotta admit, though," she grinned, "I've been careful about taking them and haven't gotten pregnant yet. Please don't use a condom." I put my wallet back in my pocket, took my jeans off, and threw them on the chair with my shirt and her clothes.
"Holy shit! That," she pointed at the bulge in my shorts, "is supposed to fit in there?" She pointed at the crotch of her girlish bikini panties. "Not if you don't want it to." "I didn't say that. It's just different when you know it's for you." She yanked her panties off and used the waistband elastic to shoot them across the room.
In the dim light, her pale, fragile form was enticing. Her small breasts matched her thin waist and narrow hips. Close-cropped dark hair decorated her mound. "Oh, my God," I said under my breath. "I look that bad?" "No. That good." I pulled my jockey shorts off and kicked them away. She stared at my hard cock. "Shit," she whispered. We pulled the covers down and lay side by side on the bed. "Hold me?" she asked. I rolled on my side and pulled her close, folding my arms around her.
"What are you scared of?" "Not the thing my mother told me to worry about. I believe you'll respect me in the morning." I kissed her and played with her hard little nipple. "Relax." "Will it hurt? Pretty sure my hairbrush popped my cherry a while ago." I moved my fingers to her folds. She giggled when I touched her. "I'm pretty wet." "If your cherry's gone, there's nothing to tear. You'll feel stretching." Her fingers closed softly on my erection.
"I feel stretching with my hairbrush. It's not like this. You're bigger than that thing, and you're real." "We don't have to do this, Martha." She stroked me experimentally. "Yes, we do." I massaged her sex. When my fingers got slick, I teased her opening with the middle one.
She spread her legs for me, and I pushed a finger inside. She shivered again. "Oh, God. That's almost as big as my hairbrush." Her clit grew as I watched, and I moistened it with juice I pulled from her opening. She jolted and squeezed my cock. "I cum really fast.
You're gonna feel huge." "I'll get you wetter." I broke free of her grasp and kissed her torso, starting at her throat, nibbling with my lips on her compact boobs, and tracing patterns on her trembling belly with my tongue as I fingered her.
I moved between her legs and kissed her slender thighs. Then I teased her lips with my tongue. "Fuck! Jeremy! Damn!" "You like that?" I kissed her hard little clitoris. She jumped in response. "I think you do." I worked her with my fingers and tongue, bringing her off quickly.
She squealed and squirmed, so I rested my forearm across her pelvis to hold her still while I attacked her sex again. She came harder this time, writhing her slender body on the bed and grinding her head into the pillow.
I didn't stop. She got wetter and wilder. Finally, she yanked on my hair. "Stop! Please! I'm gonna pass out or something. Make love to me. Have sex with me. Put your cock in my cunt, and fuck me. Do something!" I dried my chin on the sheet and worked a second finger into her tight hole.
"Oh, shit!" she gasped. I tweaked her nipples gently as I finger fucked her. "You can only have one first time, Martha." She grabbed my dripping cock. "Yes. Now." She was so slick getting the head inside wasn't too difficult. Her outer lips shone with her moisture where they hugged me.
"Is this gonna hurt?" I didn't push any deeper.
"It shouldn't. The vagina is made to stretch." "How deep will you go?" I moved just a little. "How deep will you let me go?" She winced but pulled on my hips to urge me on. "Not sure it will all fit." "It will." I pushed some more, kissing her, and she relaxed enough to let me advance. A tremor shook her.
"Body rush?" "Half an orgasm. Push in more." It took a lot of willpower, but I advanced carefully, penetrating a little deeper with each slow thrust. She was incredibly tight, but so creamy slick it wasn't that difficult. Each time I pushed in her arms wrapped around me tighter. "So this is sex, huh?" she breathed. "Yeah." I was about as deep as I was going to get, so I pulled almost all the way out and then slid back in.
"Kinda hurts, but not really. I just feel so full." I pulled partway out and put my hand between us so I could play with her clit. Then I moved in again, my body pushing my fingers firmly on either side of her button. She bit her lip. "Keep doing that." Her orgasm was deep and luxurious, but when she gathered herself, she started fucking me back. "Make me cum again, Jeremy. Please make me cum again." I pulled out to fight my own urge to cum and moved to the foot of the bed to eat her steaming pussy.
Again, I had to hold her down to do it. Eventually, she grabbed my hair. "No more. Fuck me. Cum inside me." She wrapped all four limbs around me when I entered her. This time we went faster. After a few minutes, I grunted into her hair. "Won't be long now." "Do it." I pushed harder and faster as I felt my orgasm approach. She responded in kind. I tried to keep most of my weight off her upper torso when I erupted.
She reached up and wiped the sweat from under my eyes when I was done. "I felt you cumming. That was amazing," she murmured as we kissed. I dismounted and lay on my back, spent. She rolled on her side to cuddle. Neither of us spoke. Eventually, she said, "Thank you. I don't feel like a freak anymore." I grabbed her little ass to pull her close. "You're not a freak. A freak in bed, maybe." "What the hell does that mean?" "Some girls don't act out as much as you." "If I enjoy something, I enjoy it." I fondled her nipple.
"I noticed." "We have the room for the night, right?" "Yeah." She turned my wrist so she could read my watch. "Wanna go back to The Hangout before it closes?" We cleaned up the messy parts, neither of us now shy about our nudity.
We dressed, and I held Martha's wild mane up for her so she could clip it in a loose bun on top of her head. We walked back to the club. The owner met us at the door. "Thought you two fuckin' left." "We took a break." He gave us a knowing wink and turned to talk to another patron. Martha grabbed my hand and pulled us away. "Do you think he knows?" "Knows what?" "That we did it?
Had sex?" "He probably thinks we went out and smoked. Do you care?" She laughed. "The crazy part of me hopes he guessed." "We were careful. We washed. Nothing's glowing on us." "Oh, you!" She play-smacked my arm. "Let's dance." "I don't know how." "Neither do I. So what?" It was near closing time, so the DJ slowed the music down. The Moody Blues played "Knights in White Satin." We fit well together.
I held her close, and she rested her head on my chest. We didn't move much, since it's not a song that inspires it. "It's okay, you know," she said. "What is?" "Look around. Other boys are kissing the girls they're dancing with." A guy near me squeezed his girl's ass. I did the same to Martha. "Woo-hoo! Yeah, that's more like it!" She kissed me back when my mouth sought hers. When the lights came up, we joined the rest of the crowd and headed for the door.
The owner called us aside. "You two gonna be here tomorrow? My treat, of course. The fuckin' place will be packed. I can hardly wait. Hey," he said to me, "you okay to drive home?" "We're just moving his car to the motel," Martha offered.
"The motel? OH! Cool! You kids make a fuckin' great couple. See ya tomorrow?" "We'll be here," I said. In the car, Martha asked, "Are we a couple now?" "Not sure what that means." "He called us a couple." "Yeah, but what does it mean? To you, anyway?" "Not sure. When we got to our room, she flopped on the bed. "A couple enjoys each other's company." "Right." "And they have sex." "Sometimes, yes." "Not sure we should be a steady couple like some of those sappy kids in high school," she said.
"We can't be together all the time. Our colleges are an hour apart." She started getting undressed, so I did the same.
She lay on her back, unselfconscious about her nudity. "I think I like the sex part." "Me too." My cock sprang rigid from my shorts when I took them off. I joined her on the bed and pulled her to me. We kissed anxiously this time, and soon she grabbed me. "I'm a little sore, but I don't care.
Put it in me again." I assumed I should take it slow for this, her second time, but she would have none of it. As soon as I was seated in her opening, she used her heels on my back to pull me in. "I watched my roommate's boyfriend finish in her mouth. Do you like to do that?" "That's up to you." "We'll save it for next time.
I want to learn how to make you feel as good as you did me, but right now I want the same thing as before." I gave it to her. I learned to recognize her impending orgasms and to encourage them. She cried out with each one loudly enough I was glad the rooms on either side of ours were empty. Finally, I filled her. We rolled apart. "Holy shit," she chuckled. "What?" "Is it like this every time?" "I dunno. Sex is fun." "It is, but it's messy," she giggled.
"I need to clean up." When she was done in the bathroom, I took her place. "Can you bring a towel?" she called. "There's a wet spot on the bed." I handed her the towel and found my shorts. "Don't put them on. Let's sleep naked," she said. We covered the dampness and pulled the covers up. She spooned against me. "Do I feel what I think I feel against my ass?" "Yeah.
Sorry." "Don't be. You said you look at it." She plumped her pillow, pulled my hand over her to cup her breast, and fell asleep.
When we got to Martha's house the next morning, she asked, "What should I wear tonight?" "I dunno. What do you feel like wearing?" "Something that comes off easily.
I'll pay for the room. Women's Lib and all that." "We have the other joint," I reminded her. "No brownies tonight for me," she said. "Martha, you asked last night if we were a couple." "You tactfully avoided answering me, and I'm glad. I like what we have." "All of it?" Her hand moved to my groin. "All of it. We'll take this as it comes. In a couple weeks we go back to school." "My car could stand some highway miles.
I can visit. I need to help you paint your apartment." "Yes, you do the ceiling over my bed. When we're done, I'll inspect it lying on my back while we have fun." She kissed me and went in the house. *** About "The Hangout": The real name of the place wasn't that, but an eighteen-and-up club did, in fact, open when I was a college kid in the small city near the town where I grew up.
An entrepreneur bought an abandoned quonset hut that had been used as a heavy truck repair shop. The new owner steam-cleaned everything and turned it into a dance hall with a disc jockey and small-time bands. The character in my story is nothing like the real man, a legitimate business owner and developer. My guy is a caricature of several sleazy promoters I've seen in my day and is portrayed as he is for scene setting and comic relief. I'm "Jeremy".
"Martha" went to my high school. She was our graduating class' only hippie skinny, funky hair, bell bottom jeans, peace sign jewelry, and anti-Viet Nam war slogans on her clothes.
She was the first person I knew who tried that dangerous narcotic Mary Jane, a.k.a. whacky weed or grass, which was still very much a dirty Commie pinko radical thing way back then in our conservative little east coast town. By the time we were sophomores in college, many people our age smoked pot. Martha was a brilliant artist, good with every medium and style. She loved abstract, psychedelic, and surrealist art.
Before the club opened, the owner hired her to decorate parts of it, not nearly as much as in the story, but enough to make the place very "cool" for its time and a true novelty in the region. The owner supplied people to help with the project, so I wasn't involved.
I did, however, see the inside of the place before, during, and after she did her work. Very "far out". Martha dressed as I described for opening night. I ran into her there and admired her work with her for a few minutes.
The setting was real. The protagonists were real. The actions were not. We never made love. Martha and I didn't have as much contact after high school graduation as we did before, at least in part because she went to a prestigious art college in a city a distance from me. She aced every class. She was hugely successful in the local and collegiate art worlds, earning grants for several advanced degree programs, including study abroad.
She was also chosen as valedictorian for her college graduation. When it was time for the ceremony she didn't show up, so people went looking for her.
They found a note pinned to her folded cap and gown on the roof of her ten-floor apartment building saying she had realized all her dreams. Her broken body was in the parking lot below. "The Hangout" was her Sistine Chapel, her defining work, the one thing most people remembered about her after she was gone.
This romanticized fantasy is a sort of tribute to a brilliant, creative, and troubled young woman.