Good Clean Fun

I was headed to Dawn’s after school one day late that fall.

Dawn had moved out of her parents’ house last spring when their condo was foreclosed upon.  My mother and I moved her into my bedroom just days before the rest of the family’s possessions were piled on the curb outside and they were evicted.  She stayed with us while her parents found a small hotel room to stay in with the little bit they were getting from the state; her father had long since been unemployed and her mother’s health issues prevented her from being able to find suitable work.

Over the summer Dawn moved out of my house and into her sister’s place to help her with child care while her kids were out of school.  Dawn’s parents had found her a rusty, twenty year old car to drive and so sometimes she would pick me up and I would stay with her in the tiny room they’d created in the basement for her while she was there.  We all wondered what her parents were going to do for the fall, when Dawn would need to be back in our area to start her junior year.

Finally, her parents found an apartment to rent in our school district that they could afford.  Two small bedrooms, a bathroom, galley kitchen and a living room.  It was enough for the three of them, but about a quarter of the size of the townhome they’d left in my neighborhood.    I came over often in my car once I had it, and we spent lots of afternoons behind the closed door of her new bedroom on the first floor.

I was headed to her house that day because she’d gotten mail.  We’d been to the Corey Hart concert a few weeks back, and enjoyed not only his show, but that of his opening act.  The group was a band named Candy, four young twentysomethings with hair up to there and tight leather pants, plus shirts in various stages of disrepair.  We both loved the music and of course we found the boys to be good looking, so we immediately added them to our obsession list.

Dawn had called me because she had gotten a response from the fan letter she’d mailed to the address inside “Whatever Happened to Fun,” their record.   When I got there, she ushered me back into her comfortable room and showed me the promotional photograph of all four of the boys, autographed by all of them.

I was impressed.  I looked at the boys, individually, because this photo was so much clearer than the artwork on the record.  “They’re cute,” I responded.  “Which one do you like the best?”

She pointed to the guy who played the drums.  “I like him.  Which one is he?”

I looked at the label.  “His name is Gilby,” I responded.  “I like the front man.  I always like the front man.  His name is Kyle,” I said.  It sounded like a good, midwest American boy name.  “Kyle Vincent.

In the absence of a close, present boyfriend, it was fun to think of these tight panted rockstars and how they would eventually meet them.  “Maybe next time they’re in town, they’ll break a guitar string and come to my store while I’m working,” I offered.

Dawn laughed.  “Sure, let’s go with that,” she said.  We all knew that our fantasies were not possible but they were fun to indulge in.


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