This blog post may not be suitable for all my readers. It addresses my naiveté in the pre-teen and perhaps teen years. It did not just come to mind. It has been on the list of potential topics for some time but the times have made me ever more aware of where I come from, where I’ve been, what has shaped me.
Some of these posts are more difficult to write than others. My memory serves me, but not always well. Details are fuzzy and blanks are filled in by the writer as best as I can. Some of this incident’s details are crystal clear.
Through today’s glasses the three players are seen differently than they were then:
- The friend is totally inappropriate,
- I’m a naive little twerp,
- The girl on the rocks is tragic.
Riverside Park had many tunnels which passed under the West Side Highway in the 70’s and 80’s (streets that is). They were stone and dim and a little scary. Outside of the one I’m seeing in my mind were rocks worthy of climbing and sitting. Turns out the memorable event actually occurred outside one of these mysterious spaces.
The friend (unnamed here) and I were in the park as I frequently was. We were headed to this eastbound underpass when there she was on the rocks by the western entrance just sitting I thought. A Girl on the Rocks.
What I remember is a young woman, legs spread wide, the seam of her pants open, wearing nothing underneath, just sitting on display. Being ten or eleven I think (1959 or 1960) not only did I not know what I was seeing, I did not know what to do. Be it enough to say that my friend knew what to do.
This friend was only a year or so older, not part of my party group. If I was supposed to learn stuff from my friend on the street corner, it didn’t happen here. There was no discussion that I recall, just some groping and moving on.
I don’t remember if I was scared or mystified. We were kissing girls by then but I was doing nothing else. It was the early years of exploration.
I’ve thought of this occasionally over the years. In today’s climate I look back in horror and sadness and wish the relationship I had with my parents was more like the relationship we had with our kids as they grew up, pretty open on the subject of sex. It was a different time.