/ Stories / pk by Age / College /
2016 06 16 First a note on virginity: as a youngster I heard my mother advising my sister, eithteen months my elder, to save herself for marriage: it would be hard, very hard in the short term, but rewarding in the extreme in the long term. The Bible and Jesus were referred to, Saint Paul was quoted. It took me a while to notice that I got no such lecture. I heard lots of general comments in school as well as in church about chastity, but no specified advice to “save myself”: “sin”, yes; “copulation, no. Further, at no time were my parents behavior held b efore us either as an example or a warning. No one told us that the reason Mom had thrown Dad out had anything to do with his habit of taking any woman to a hotel and registering her as “Mrs. Knatz”.
Since early childhood neighborhood girls had presented their pussies to me: they wanted to be seen, they wanted to be ogled, touched: they loved to ogle and touch me. Around the sixth grade my penis started leaping at them.
It had begun to get unaccountably long and hard before the sixth grade, but I noticed no female stimulus: erections just came and went. The summer after the sixth grade is when I causally linked my jumping jack to my friend Carol and her urges to be naked before me.
But let me get to my story.
Visiting my sister at her college upstate NY I observed that my sister and her friends drank beer the way I and my friends drank beer: a lot of it, frequently: drunken stumbling our normal weekend behavior. I was taken to a roadhouse bar and shown the sorority sisters’ knack for getting the local men to pay for their drinks. Free drunks was their normal weekend behavior.
I was introduced to my sister best friend, a sorority sister, also from Long Island. That summer, 1958 or thereabouts, I saw more of that girl back home, dated her, took her to a few of friends parties. Funny how at around age nineteen bechelor affairs become co-ed.
Anyway, one of the first things Liz every told me was that she was a virgin. She was drunk when she told me. I was drunk when she told me. I suspected that my sister honored our mother’s advice to her, even when Liz and I saw her date’s hands all over her ass. Liz giggled and squeezed me. I labored to find some way to ask her to give me an orgasm while she remained a virgin, but then it was dawn over Jones beach and we went home.
Soon we had a party’s at John’s house: my group’s first coed party. Occasional dates had started appearing at our other parties but this was the first full-fledged coed party: bring a date was instruction #1.
We had beer by the keg and booze. Liz attacked both. Then she attacked me. We got into the back seat. She puked all over the place. Then she wanted me to kiss her. Then she wanted me to have a condom: I did: and a second condom a few minutes later, puke all over the back seat and floor.
She really sickened me. Within a couple of days she was calling, she had to see me.
Together, she told me she was a virgin.
Ah, so that’s what “virgin” means to drunken college girls. Yes. Well, then, everyone’s a virgin, aren’t they?
Now: let’s take virgin literally for a minute: I bet my sister was a virgin, actually, when she married. But how would she know? Didn’t she ever wake up hung and not know what had happened? I know what happened: she got those roadside drinkers to get her botto.
Who knows anything?
Rooftop Gun Fights
Crime in Rio, Olympics Coming
Freshman year I got a job setting luncheon tables in the Columbia Faculty Club, Morningside Drive, right around W 118th Street. I was fond of the career table setter: black guy, a Commie, knew the Village from way back, told funny stories about his Creole aunts and uncles down in Louisiana.
“Y est gone” he’s explaining to me means “He’s dead”.
My buddy visits New Orleans, knocks on Auntie Em, asks how Uncle Ned is: Auntie Em says “Y est gone.”
We both drop our silver, our linen napkins, our water goblets, whatever we’re juggling: race to the windows overlooking Morningside Drive: huge tall ceilings, huge tall windows, huge tall drapes: palacial glass at the edge of the cliff. The Faculty Club is perched on the eastern edge of Morningside Heights. There’s the Drive, then Morningside Park …
Do not go in there, no matter the hour.
That’s the edge of a social cliff, an economic cliff, a racial, historical cliff. There’s blacks down there! We’re up here: Columbia! sponsored by King George, older than the US. Down there? That’s Harlem, Baby. The Abyss. Off limits. What? do you want to commit suicide? Them’s niggas!
I stand with my buddy, my table-setting senior, a black guy don’t forget. He doesn’t go to Harlem, he likes the Village. This guy is an intellectual: he talks about Marx. He gives me lessons in Creole. We’re at the window, looking down, steep down, down over the roof tops of Harlem, from the high edge of academic authority. Bang, bang. There’s the guy! He’s running. He’s jumping from roof top to roof top, firing back over his shoulder as he runs.
We’re not afraid of the bullets. The running guy is firing back east, not up north, up the vertical toward us. Those cheap pistol bullets wouldn’t have had as much force as a bee if they did reach us, even had the windows been open. Though the real reason for my fearlessness was my youth. I believed in my mortality but not in my immediate mortality: God owed me a few stupid moves first. For the moment, I was bullet-proof.
Ah! A roof door opens. Here come the cops. White cops. Another one. They’re drawn. They shoot toward the fleeing black guy. Their bullets are headed west, but not verticle: I don’t feel threatened by the cops’ bullets either.
The guy disappears down a fire escape: one of the tenements right on the park. One cop follows, the other retreat to use the stairs: I doubt that those tenements have elevators: they’re like six stories. The six story tenements on Morningside Heights are walkups.
I’ll tag another story here: 1958, 59, It’s Friday night. I’ve gone to the Whitehorse Tavern, sat with Jose Garcia Villa, the poet, and his group. He’s introduced me to Silvia, one of his regulars. She has a slightly hunched back, but (gay) Jose has told me she’s horny and she likes me. So, for the Nth time I escort her home, I fuck her brains out, I’m resting up for another go, but I’m out of cigarettes. Stupid me, I still smoked in those days. I’m drunk, I’m horny, I just got laid, I successfully dodged Jose’s homosexual paws, the drunker I am the more I need to smoke … I go out, she lives on Riverside Drive, way up town, CCNY level. I walk to Broadway, nothing. I continu8e walking east: into Harlem. Not too bright, Knatz. If nothing was vending tobacco at Broaday, nothing east is going to be vending tobacco short of the Bronx, or Long Island City, or whatever I’d come upon if I kept breasting Harlem …
And ah! I see a shadow: No, it’s not a mugger, a black guy wanting to hurt me, to steal my thirty-five cents, it’s a cop! It’s a white cop! He’s hiding. He’s cowering in the shadows. That’s when I turned around and walked back to Sylvia’s: my drunk losing its edge, me getting ready to get laid again.
PS I should have been nicer to Sylvia. She was nice, smarthish, just not beautiful. She taught at CCNY, I think: psychology, I think.
I’ll string more college age stories here if I think of more, where they can snooze while I decide what further to do with them.
The summer before college I worked for the Rockville Centre Parks Department, so did a lot of other college guys. Some I knew, some were from the RC Cathedral school and I knew them only barely. One guy was from my class at South Side, another Paul. We couldn’t abide each other. I was laboring to resist what I saw as hypocritical American culture; they were working hard not to notice inconsistencies. The following summer I was offered a transfer from Parks to Sanitation: much harder work, but maybe I’d build myself up a little, I needed upperbody development. I leaped at it, hurray, I’ll get away from the college guys I can’t stand. It proved right. I loved the garbage men: hard working, honest, unpretentious.
Mom sold the Rockville Centre house the minute Beth and I were both off to college. She rented an apartment on the Freeport River which I loved, I loved it much better than the house on North Forest Avenue. The Freeport house was across from the stock car races, across from the Novy Reserves yard, across from the dump … next to a clam fleet, next to a dry dock … The owner kept a rowboat and outboard at the end of the yard: I went fishing every afternoon.
One great thing about Sanitation over Parks was Parks worked a 40 hour week. Sanitation worked till the job was done. Once or twice that meant a twenve hour day but most ofen it meant I was home by 3 PM: Gone Fishin’!
So one day I’m home with my flounder for tomorrow’s breakfast, and I’m watching TV with a stiff Jameson’s Irish and a splash of water. My mother comes home, parched, sees my highball, thinks it’s gotta be gingerale and ice, takes a big slug: almost faints.
“That’ll put hair on my chest”, she quips.
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