You never know what the weather will be in late March in Indiana. Spring Break of my eighth grade year was unseasonably warm. Track was starting up after break and I wanted to keep in shape. I went for a daily two mile run. I hoped to compete in both the mile and 880 that year. Skip Gearhart was still going to be better than me, but maybe I could place in a few meets.
I had finished my run and decided to reward myself with a Wayne Bun candy bar. The maple flavored one was my favorite. I walked the few blocks to the drug store, still in my basketball shorts and pit-stained T-shirt.
Hook's Drugs shared a building with the Shop-Rite supermarket. There was a hollow entryway shared by both businesses, Hook's to the left, the grocery to the right. I was already unwrapping my candy bar as I exited the electric doors of Hook's. Dave Lefedge was leaning against the wall. Dave was a sophomore. Already more than six feet tall, he had seen some varsity playing time and was marked by the locals as the next great forward for the high school basketball team. Dave was wearing very wide bell bottoms, scuffed and dirty where the hem dragged the ground. He had on a a tie-died shirt that looked way cool. A faint wisp of a mustache graced his upper lip.
"Howsitgoing, man?" he intoned in my direction.
"Hey, man" I replied. I had known Dave my whole life. He lived on the street behind ours in the subdivision. In his younger days Dave had often played in the giant whiffle ball games we held in our backyard. I still remembered when Dave had administered a legendary ass whipping to Pecker Dupree at the bus sop back when they were both in the fifth grade. "You runnin' track this year?" he asked.
Trying to sound cool, nonchalant, and bored I gave a brief nod and told him "I suppose. There nothin' else to do around here".
"Heard that, man." He suddenly smiled and the hair on the back of my neck tingled. In a swift instant I felt someone come up behind me, I smelt a faint whiff of Love's Baby Soft and felt hands around my waist. Lynn Taylor's melodious voice hissed "Pussy!" in my right ear as she yanked my shorts, jockstrap and all, down to my knees.
The chunky woman pushing her cart from the grocery stopped dead in her tracks and laughed. Lynn shouted with glee. "You have a tiny dong!". I think she even pointed.
The day had started so well. Now I just wished I could find a hole and crawl in it and die. I fell to the ground trying to pull up my shorts. I rolled in my uneaten candy bar, smashing it all over my back. It is funny how I can remember that detail. I was squirming like a salted slug, wiggling up my shorts, frantically squeezing my eyes to halt the tears of shame.
If life had a soundtrack, mine would be nothing but peals of laughter at that moment.
It was my 13th birthday.