The summer going into my junior year of high school I had a huge crush on my next door neighbor’s bricklayer. As in to say, he was laying brick on their front walk without a shirt on in the early summer heat. Yum. Turns out, I was my neighbor’s babysitter for a week when they went on vacation, so the day I left with them, I called my sister up and convinced her to run over there and give him my number. (well, actually, my family’s home phone number, this is pre-cell phone). First of all: what the fuck was I thinking? And second: what the fuck was my sister thinking?? Hannah called me a mere two hours after we got to the summer house with the kids and told me he called. She was almost more excited than I was; He called you Margaret, and he left his number! I took the number and discovered for the first time what butterflies really were. As I called him from my neighbor’s vacation house, we made plans for the next weekend to see the new movie coming out: The Patriot, with Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. (moment of silence).
My next door neighbor warned me: he’s a bricklayer for a reason Margaret…but of course, being the carefree and irreverent chick that I am paid no attention to her cautious remarks.
The next Saturday night, Frank came to pick me up in his wagoneer; I was wearing a cute orange top with some jeans. My father greeted him at the door with a smile on his face, and his eyes saying to him as he shook the bricklayer’s hand: my rifle is only two rooms away…
So we get in the car and we begin the whole small talk thing: so, what do you like to do, how old are you (he was 21 at the time…yikes, considering I was only 16) what are your hobbies? I told him I really liked traveling, plus it’s fun when you have friends in different places, you can stay with them. (I mentioned that I had gone to Berlin to stay with Anna recently.) Frank the bricklayer jovially responded: Oh yah! I love havin’ friends all ovah. As a mattah of fact, I drove up teh New Hampshaah just last weekend and went campin’ with my buddy Billy! Oh! I said. Deep breath Margaret, we’re almost at the theatre. At this point his words were just background noise to my brain berating me: why the FUCK are you on this date Margaret? He smells like cigarettes! He doesn’t get me at all!
So we go to the counter, and since it is the opening night of the Patriot, the 7pm tickets were all sold out, so we got tickets for 8:15. What do you want to do for an hour? Frank the bricklayer asks. Well, we could grab some food, perhaps go bowling or something? I suggested…well, let’s think about it, he says, but in the mean time let’s just walk around. The theatre we were at was (and still is) located in a mall, so we walked all around the mall. No no, like, the inside and the outside. We walked around the perimeter of the mall and then he wanted to walk around the Sports Authority. Each. Fucking. Aisle. I mean, seriously, there’s only so much small talk you can make about a fishing rod, am I right?
The movie came and went, he couldn’t stop chit chatting in the car, and all I could think was how do I get out of this car without him trying to kiss me?
The best solution I came up with was to open the door and jump out before the car actually stopped. Which is what I did.
Almost 13 years later and I’m still trying to figure out the opposite sex. Or rather, I think they’re still trying to figure out me. Whatever the case, it all started with a bricklayer named Frank.