The Thrill of a Lifetime

by Jerry Ratch

I honestly can't say, with Lynda, who cheated first. More than likely Lynda did, because I know she was pregnant when I came home from college for the summer (this was 1963) and we had to go out and find a doctor who would give her some pills to get rid of it. She said it was mine, but even then the way she said it, I wasn't sure. And I was certainly naïve at the time. And this guy named Jeffrey from the bike shop in town came driving up on a motorbike when we were getting into the car to drive to this shady doctor's place down in Chicago. I remember Jeffrey giving her this weird look, sort of like mooning after her (right in front of me!) I honestly think she couldn't keep it in her pants for anybody — anybody! — as I was about to find out later that year, in the dead of winter.

This was about a month to the day, in fact, after JFK was assassinated, which swung the whole world around on a kite string.

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You are about to experience a voice from the past. Here we go…


I remember sitting in your bedroom for hours just watching you while you wrote poetry. I was in awe of you, thinking you were going to be the next Dylan Thomas!


I kept looking up at the ceiling, where I had imagined myself floating our first time. I guess that is where my soul still is, because maybe you put me there. As if I am God, an angel, a butterfly, a moth with speckled wings, but a pretty moth with short blond hair at my neck. You always said I was pretty, and I believed you. As if I am God watching you and me from the ceiling, joined together, and it was the thrill of a lifetime!


And I wore turtle-neck sweaters for months because my neck was a totally different color than the rest of my body!