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.