Muscling through the back streets of the hilly suburban landscape of Taconic Heights, NY in Mom and Dad’s station wagon on the way to pick up a friend or six and pack them in the back for the night’s frivolous unfettered funmaking.  Gossiping idly, looking for that golden, as yet undiscovered, coveted nugget with which to regale the girl of choice and in the telling would get to see her head thrown back in private laughter or ear-to-mouth whispering incredulous intimacy huddled against the blare of the electrified din.

No beer yet, or maybe a couple of strays left over from last weekend when the curfews cut short the drinking.  Looking for others in the same speculation situation.  Looking for something to do, not just something, but something else, and being not only the discoverer of such a scene – not too crowded, just the right mix of maidens to match the squires arriving through the fallen leaves of the powerful autumn chill, “Yeah, we checked out that other place – not much goin’ on there.  Where are her parents?” – not just a discoverer, but being recognized as a co-creator as well.

And so the nights go and go and go and go on in this petty pace and the exhibitionist gossip producers will perform for the community – performing each weekend for the adolescent gossip mill to reproduce into the halls and classrooms of the stillness stilted standing week.  The viscereality of it all is fragmentary, almost totally hidden from view.  Seconds, minutes, sometimes hours of real human interaction under a cloak of darkness; actual caring conversations are snatched from the jaws of the repressed gossiping values police.  In between the posturing and flirting there appears a genuine feeling – briefly acknowledged but then quickly stashed away.

During the week, all is back to normal.  Some truths which shone so brightly over the weekend disappear like the gray Manhattan snow.  These truths which appeared so fleetingly late in the beer smell Saturday night have no place in the fluorescent school-day hallway.

(San Francisco, March 1990)

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