Let It Bleed
Dear Dana, my fried.
You have asked us to write a piece of fiction about a particular song in a particular brand of car. Your assignment kicked off something in me, so let me share this with you, even if I must admit that neither do I remember the brand name of the car, nor is my story fiction at all. To the contrary, it's a piece of memory from many years ago, faded and broken. But while I write, more and more details come back, and I will describe them exactly as I remember.
I was sitting in the front passenger's seat of this small red nameless convertible, and Al was driving me to a public pool. It must have been one of the first warm days of early summer. She had the Stones playing and I remember "Let it Bleed". This particular moment, driving through the sunlit city streets, idly laying back on the passenger seat, blue sky above, my hand touching her leg, being driven to the pool by this beautiful girl: an unbelievably light and agreeable moment, which will stay with me forever.
The story around this moment is harder to dig out.
I was studying computers and was rolled in to this quite esoteric and useless class in Linguistics. The university owned a cabin in the mountains, and Fred - a friend of mine who was also attending this class - found out that it was possible to book the cabin at taxpayer's cost to organize some kind of weekend workshop in connection with the class. He promoted his idea and after some back and forth we were successful in securing this cabin some date in December.
In order to get the cabin free of charge, we had to set up some academic sessions during the weekend, but I have totally forgotten what they were about, and in any case these sessions were just an excuse to spend a weekend in the mountains. I do remember that we were about twelve men and four girls - about half of the regular crowd in this class.
One of the girls was not only exceptionally pretty, but she turned out also to be very entertaining and funny. In no time all the men were completely smitten with her and she ran the whole show. Her name was Al.
Fred in particular became more and more talkative and after a while Al and Fred were the only ones talking, joking, laughing and feeding each other's lines.
Then we all decided we wanted to do an evening walk. The open hills were covered with a thin layer of snow, and the sun was just about to set behind the mountains. At the center of the group, Fred and Al were doing the cheerful chatting and everybody else was just trotting along, listening. A complete waste of time.
I remember that along the path there was a shrub of blackthorn and I never before and never after tasted blackthorn berries that sweet. Normally they are revoltingly sour, but these berries just had enough time and sunshine to be perfectly ripe on this snow-covered December day. I stayed behind the others, because I couldn't stand Fred's and Al's meaningless babble, and I enjoyed the sweet berries. Then I walked a different track.
A single big tree with thick low branches made an easy climb up to a fork, where it was easy to lay back and relax. I didn't have any plan, but I know that I had enough of this moron Fred - who by the way was my roommate then, and normally a really nice and agreeable person - and I just hated to be his audience when he rhapsodized with that girl.
Sitting and brooding I suddenly was addressed by Al, who had come to ask what I was doing up there and I must have replied something utterly silly like: watching the colors of the sky, which coincidentally was looking like a cheap postcard. In any case she asked me if she could join, and she climbed up to my place in the fork. We had to squeeze tight, admired the colors of the postcard sky and in no time went from talking directly to hugging and kissing, like lovers do.
I must repeat that she was really very pretty, tall, slim and muscular, and her kisses were breathtaking. We spent some time kissing and noticed that the others obviously had lost interest in the evening walk and made their way back to the cabin. Since it was getting dark and cold, we climbed down the tree and Al insisted that I lifted her down, carrying her a bit, which she enjoyed a lot.
We were the last ones to arrive at the cabin. There was some late night supper, Al was beaming as ever, Fred was ostensively quiet, Al and I exchanged smiles from time to time, and then it was time for bed.
There were separate dorm rooms for the men and the women, but at that time this was perceived as old-fashioned and utterly conservative, and after the janitor had assigned us the rooms, Al decided to stay in one of the men's rooms instead. The room had four double-floor bunk beds and Al was lying directly above me as the only woman in this room. The normal procedures were followed, light went out and Al hung her arm down to me. I kissed her hand and caressed her arm, when she - after general quiet had set in - kept pulling me, signalling that I should climb up to her.
I am dead sure that not all other men were in fact sleeping, but nobody made any movement or noise, not now and not later, so I can't really tell. I climbed up to Al and we embraced and kissed, and then she whispered that she couldn't let me go further, because she was sparing herself for her marriage, but she would be happy to offer me her backside for my pleasure, and she even had a condom handy. So, for the first time in my life, I had this type of tight intercourse, trying not to make the bunk bed squeak too much, and climbing down before dawn.
The group dispersed quickly the following day; nobody seemed to have a lot of interest in the scheduled sessions, and we all drove home.
For the next months we were together often. I am getting to the limits of what I can describe. Al's face was truly pretty, and her eyes always sparkled. But I was most excited by her shoulders. She had the perfect shoulders, no model could compare with her. These shoulders connected her long and slim neck with the most well-formed young breasts. I spent hours, touching, kissing, fondling and admiring all these regions.
Al was very catholic. She had the concept of going into her marriage untouched. So, as much as she enjoyed being with me, she never liked me to touch her lower lips. These were reserved for the good catholic husband she would one day find to raise good catholic children with him. It was - as I realized more and more over time - not me, who she was waiting for.
How we split up, I can't remember. It must have been shortly after this ride to the pool. There was no drama. Somehow we were not meant to be together. And I hope that she found her good husband. To me she gave some of the most pleasant memories I have.
That's my story, Dana, and in one point I have to make a confession: This was not the first time that I heard Let it Bleed. But I swear, I never heard it the same way before, and when I hear it today, it is always this drive next to Al in the little red convertible that springs to my mind.
© Hajo v. Kracht, 4. Jan 2011