Sellersburg, Indiana

It was a Sunday morning. I was listening to the first side of Nashville Skyline. I couldn’t get past the first track.

Girl From the North Country.

I was putting on lipstick and getting goose bumps. I was trying to remember all their names.

Just shy of 29 years, I was hearing this song for the first time. It’s been said I’m a late bloomer—crackling records and all—but I’ll never forget the first time.

When I think of him, I remember tired gas stations and the Second Street bridge. He had a truck, sometimes.  He only smoked cigarettes during the winter.

He came to a couple of my basketball games, hell, I was even late to a few ‘cause I had to pick him up.

“I don’t know why she tells me these things,” he told a friend of mine. “ I don’t give a shit about what she had for lunch.”

I can’t recall why my friend told me this, but it was a pivotal moment in my young world.

The afternoon I gave myself to him, he got up immediately and left the room. He had kept his polo shirt on and as he was about to walk out the door all I could say was,

“So that’s what’s it like, huh?”

I stared at the piles of clothes and junk in every crevice of his tiny room. While I was looking for my clothes, the phone rang. He came back from the bathroom and answered.

I finished getting dressed. He was still on the phone. I had almost made it out of his house without him noticing. He yelled at me from the front door. I had just unlocked the driver’s side door.  I heard him tell the person on the other line to hold on.

I met him at the door and he kissed me goodbye.

“Talk to you later?”

“Sure,” I said.


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