I'm Despondent, Yes...

by Jerry Ratch


Do you remember who Laura S. was? She was the one who tore out Shel's heart. (It so happened that she was one of Lynda's closest friends, and knew all her secrets.) Shel started seeing a shrink after Laura dumped him, and he would go around saying, “I'm despondent, yes. … I'm despondent, yes.” This went on and on, and I would go out and buy him half pints of blackberry brandy and hoist them up to his room on the second floor, (he would lower a string!) and he would drink the whole thing himself, and I'd have to go out on another run for more booze, while he sat up in his room saying, “I'm despondent, yes…” His parents made him stay in his room during this time, and no one could come up to see him (especially me — guess I was a bad influence!) thus the string for the blackberry brandy. I would sometimes bring a girl over and sit in my car in his driveway, making out, until he needed more booze.

            Then he met this girl Lorrie from Lombard, who had this friend, which was how I met Sharon. This was actually the summer you and I were together, in 1964. I remember lifting her top up in the front seat of my car when we were parked in a field and it was hot out and those breasts came spilling out. You may remember the chest on her. I know I do. They were lovely, hard to miss, and hard to resist. Though it wasn't until the next summer that anything happened between us, other than kissing and feeling her up, I mean.

            And I remember years later running into Laura S. when to my surprise she asked, “How come you never made a play for me?”