My teenage hormones were out of control. Every day I saw my brother Larry come and go in his new, mean-green AMC Javelin. A 343 cubic –inch, four-barrel V8, 280 horsepower machine that went from zero-to-sixty in less than seven seconds. I just wanted to jump on the roof of that car and pull out my penis, and swing it wildly over my head. Well, my penis isn’t that big, but that car gave it an extension I had never felt before.
I had just turned 15 and was a freshman in high school and Larry a freshman in college. I just wanted the freedom to jump into the black, bucket seat, and ride my dreams into the night.
I wanted a piece of that freedom machine and of an older girl named Karen with mean-green eyes as well. Two things I wanted and was too young to pursue. In my madness to control myself, I would impute the pain of my unrequited loves by listening to the Grassroots new song; “Temptation Eyes,” till one day an opportunity presented itself, and I snapped like a frustrated housewife tired of her philandering husband’s ways.
Larry was going to a party with his guy friends and wasn’t taking his Javelin. He left the keys for me to stare at while the 45 record of “Temptation Eyes” played over and over. That arm would reach the end of the record, scratch a couple times, and move back to the beginning to play the song again as phonographs did in those days.
Madness for mean-green eyes, and a mean-green machine made the temptation too great to stop my impulse. I was about to become a criminal, steal my brother’s car, drive without a license, and pursue a girl I wanted a chance to be near. Who thinks of consequences when raging hormones make you stupid?
I grabbed the keys, unlocked the door and slipped into the softest leather I had ever felt in my life. I turned the ignition switch and heard a purr like the biggest lion in the jungle. I knew Larry had an 8 track tape of the grassroots and into the slot it went and I headed to Karen’s house which wasn’t too far away. I thought about how when she saw me, she would run in her red, floral hippy dress and jump into the other bucket seat. With “Temptation Eyes” playing in the background, and her long, flowing hair whipping around in the car cruising down Pennsylvania Avenue Extended as we reached the speed of light that would make our time together stand still.
But then, like an old man whose prostrate awakens him from his dreams, I was urged to notice the sluggishness but ignored it. I was having too much fun. A car load of older teenage babes waved and smiled at me. What a chic-magnet I had become! Even the Maryland State Trooper passed me without trouble, so everything to me was going well.
The sun was going down as I pulled in front of Karen’s house. I knocked at the door confident and cocky, and when she answered I said; “Hi, just came over to take you for a ride.”
“Paul, you are in the 9th grade and I know you don’t have a license or a car,” she said walking off her porch toward the Javelin.
“Whose car is this?”
“It’s OURS for the night;” I said, as best a fifteen year old could romantically utter.
“What’s that burning smell?” Pausing briefly with her cute upturned nostrils snorting the air.
”You idiot, you are driving it with the emergency brake on!”
I watched the back of that red, floral hippy dress return to her front door as she muttered her love for me; “Look kid, you dumb ass, take that car back and go home.”
I didn’t feel like a kid, but just a dumb ass.
I found and released the emergency brake and headed down Marlboro Pike to the Dixie Pig, and sat in the car eating four pork bar-b-cue sandwiches. I gathered my wits and stopped at the gas station and filled the tank so my brother wouldn’t notice and by ten in the evening pulled back into the driveway of my house.
What I didn’t know was Joe, my best friend in the neighborhood said he was frantically looking for me. He did not succeed.
Remember those hot babes who waved at me early on? They were headed to the same party my brother was at, ratted me out, and he and his buddies came back looking for me.
Supposedly Joe couldn’t get to me before I entered the house, but once I did, and saw all the furniture moved from the living room to the dining room to create a boxing ring, I knew I was about to get my ass beat. Joe was hiding in the bushes outside listening and trying to catch a glimpse of the fight.
My brother Larry was more than angry. He was savage angry.
My adventure had gone from just pissing the bed, to fully shitting the bed. I didn’t even bother to raise my hands and protect myself. I was wrong. I let Larry vent his words and punch my face. The night of “Temptation Eyes” ended with my two black eyes and swollen cheeks.
Even at my current age, I still continue to pursue girls with mean-green eyes. Only now, I do it with the emergency brake off.