Good ‘Ol Days

11-15 bench

Stella LaMont.  My first crush; first love.  Some forty-one years after I interrupted her eating sushi with friends at Taste of Tokyo, she still digs into my brain.  I suppose I don’t mind, though, because I often let my mind indulge in those delectable memories.

I feel the butterflies in my stomach, the same way I did when my macho bravado puffed my chest and told my friends I wasn’t scared of no girl.  I was terrified!  Led Zeppelin gave me courage.  “Stairway to Heaven” playing in the background, I sauntered over to Stella’s table.  Her friends giggled at my approach, shaking my nerve.

“Hey,” I said, thumbs hooked in my jeans pockets.  “I’m Tommy.”

“I know,” she whispered.  “Oh, I’m Stella.”

I knew.  “I’m seein’ The Godfather on Friday night.  Wanna go?”

“Welllllll…” She glanced at her friends.  “I suppose.  But my daddy has to meet you first.”

“No problem.”  As I turned to shuffle back to my friends, I grinned at the girly squeals behind me.

Little did I know those were the “good ‘ol days” revered by white hairs in rocking chairs.  Back then, I thought juggling was figuring out how to be at school enough to stay out of trouble, but not so much that I learned something.  My waking moments consisted of concocting some excuse to see Stella.  I craved the static electricity that sparked when she leaned on my shoulder at the movies, or when we made out at Dee’s drive-in over burgers and shakes.

My thoughts jolt into the present when my wife shifts on the sofa and rests her head on my lap.  Almost in reflex, I caress her shoulder.  We’re watching Steel Magnolia’s for the umpteenth time, but it doesn’t matter.  All four kids have left home, but our nest doesn’t feel empty.

My gaze rests on Stella.  She still has the golden glow I fell in love with all those years ago- the natural kind people wore before cancer fears and the spray tan fad.  I brush my thumb over her cheek.  Her skin, a thinning map of wrinkles, is a testament to our life together.  I smile when I think of how many times she’s accused me of causing them.

“I love you, Stella,” I whisper.  A thought flashes in my mind:  maybe I’m wrong.  These could be the good ‘ol days.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

So, here it is:  I’m a big fat liar.  I posted yesterday and said I wouldn’t post again until Monday because I wouldn’t have computer access this weekend.  It’s true that I won’t have PC access, but Susan, over at Polysyllabic Profundities, put up a writing challenge that I couldn’t refuse.  (See what I did there?  I shifted blame and became the victim.  I’m thinking of a career in politics :))

Seriously, I may have a writing challenge addiction, and I haven’t heard of a rehab program for that!  If there is one, I should consider checking myself in.

So, the sappy story above was prompted by the following words that we were challenged to include in a story of any length:

  • static electricity
  • Led Zeppelin
  • sushi
  • juggling
  • spray tan

This challenge is open to anyone – so go ahead, write your own story!  Just leave Susan a comment with a link to your story so she can mention it in a post with those who tried the challenge.

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28 thoughts on “Good ‘Ol Days

  1. TimW November 15, 2013 / 9:39 AM

    “And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV. ” — Mike Damone, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:13 AM

      Great quote, Tim! (I haven’t seen that movie, but I think every guy friend I’ve ever had has watched it many times :))

  2. SuziCate November 15, 2013 / 9:50 AM

    I love this one! Glad you accepted the challenge!

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:13 AM

      Thanks, SuziCate! I couldn’t resist the challenge, although spray tan was really hard to fit in 🙂

  3. Polysyllabic Profundities November 15, 2013 / 10:04 AM

    Oh Janna….I love this so much!! Thanks for taking the challenge! Have a great weekend.

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:14 AM

      Thanks for reading, Susan! I’m glad you posted the challenge…it was fun 🙂

  4. nrhatch November 15, 2013 / 11:33 AM

    Hahaha!

    When I saw this post pop up, I flashed back to your planned internet absence as announced yesterday and LAUGHED.

    While I enjoyed your take on the challenge, my favorite paragraph in the post is:

    “So, here it is: I’m a big fat liar. I posted yesterday and said I wouldn’t post again until Monday because I wouldn’t have computer access this weekend. It’s true that I won’t have PC access, but Susan, over at Polysyllabic Profundities, put up a writing challenge that I couldn’t refuse. (See what I did there? I shifted blame and became the victim. I’m thinking of a career in politics 🙂 )”

    The parenthetical being the best laugh producing piece of this post. “Hi. My name is Janna. And I am a writing challenge addict.”

    “Hi Janna!”

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:15 AM

      I wondered if anyone would call me out on my change-of-mind/blatant lie 🙂 I can count on you, Nancy! I imagine the support group for writing challenge addicts might be a good sized group…if we step away from the computers to go to the meeting!

  5. nrhatch November 15, 2013 / 11:35 AM

    Oh, guess what I heard on the radio this morning while running errands? Besides the premature ejaculation of Christmas Carols.

    “Stairway to Heaven” 😀

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:16 AM

      What a strange coincidence, Nancy! Nice break from the carols, I’d say 🙂

  6. Eric Alagan November 15, 2013 / 5:20 PM

    “…wrinkles, is a testament to our life together…” Love this and so very true too. And you’re right – now, for me, “is the good old days”

    Enjoyed this little tale. And you’re no liar – we’ve the right to change our minds 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:17 AM

      Changing my mind is a kinder way to think of it, Eric! Thanks for reading – I’m glad that part of it resonated with you.

  7. Debbie November 15, 2013 / 5:49 PM

    Your addiction is our gain, Janna — well done! You really nailed it with this one; love the ending, by the way!

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:17 AM

      Thanks, Debbie! I’d hoped it wasn’t too sappy 🙂

  8. vishalbheeroo November 17, 2013 / 4:32 AM

    Pretend rehab never existed coz ur addiction is the treat. Feel good to read such a sexy post with dollop of humor. Superb:)

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:18 AM

      Oh, thanks for the nice words, Vishal! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  9. injaynesworld November 17, 2013 / 6:59 PM

    That was quite a challenge! Awesome job, Janna, and a beautiful, moving story.

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 1:19 AM

      Thanks, Injaynesworld! I’m glad you enjoyed the story. (It’s hard to resist a challenging challenge :))

  10. Deborah November 18, 2013 / 5:44 AM

    I would like to nominate you for a new award created by my daughter, the Woman’s Skirt Award (long enough to cover everything, short enough to keep it interesting). You can find the information here: http://myriad234.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/the-womans-skirt-award/. Jenna, if anyone qualifies for this award, it’s you! I hope you can accept. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 7:13 AM

      That is so kind of you, Deborah! Love the description- at my age, skirt length is quite important 🙂 I’ll stop by and check it out this evening.

  11. Sean November 18, 2013 / 12:59 PM

    I enjoyed this story. It was interesting that you chose a man’s perspective to write from. At least you didn’t get all guy-ish with it. To me, this felt like the heart-felt side that so many people will never see from most guys. It’s a nice picture you painted.

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2013 / 5:41 PM

      I try to stay away from stereotypes, Sean. I think most guys do have a sensitive side (whether or not the rest of the world sees it.) I’m glad you stopped by to read the story!

  12. Imelda November 20, 2013 / 9:52 PM

    ah, how sweet. I like stories about young loves that last a lifetime. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 21, 2013 / 12:03 AM

      Me too, Imelda 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  13. pattisj November 25, 2013 / 1:21 PM

    What a sweet story.

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