The Porch Swing


As the blizzard of the century is bearing down on the Midwest, and the bottom falls out of our thermometers in Minnesota, I think it is time for some warm happy thoughts.

To hell with February! Today we will pretend it’s not winter. So put on your Members Only jacket, and your Ocean Pacific T-shirt, and come with me back to the summer of 1984.

(PS – Don’t forget to tuck a comb in your tube sock)

The streetlights cast a long shadow across the porch as we sit on the wooden swing. Only four more days until school begins. In some ways it cannot come quick enough, but in others I dread the start of school. What will become of us? Will this become just another summer romance? How will we manage to see each other once school is added to sports and work?

We sit quietly in the darkness, holding hands, and swinging back and forth. The lights of passing cars spin our shadows around us like the hands of a clock. It’s getting late and I will have to go home soon, but for now I am grasping for each moment with all my strength.

A breeze blows through the trees, and the velvety green leaves seem to breath all up and down the length of this sleepy street. Soon Fall will chase us inside. At fifteen, privacy is a luxury we do not have. Where will we go to kiss when the porch swing is covered in snow?

I pull her close, our hands begin to search. We are like two little kids flipping the pages of a book we are too young to understand. The shadows of the porch envelop us. We have no idea what might be waiting within our reach, and for this moment we no longer care.

There is no sound but the slow groan of the swing as we sway back and forth, teetering on the brink of a chasm whose bottom we cannot see. Our fingers interlock as we kiss, fumbling for a grip on the cliffs edge. Every creak of the swing sounds like her parents footsteps. Our hearts pound faster now. The swing keeps time like a pendulum. Wet mouths part and meet again.

With our eyes closed tight, we open our hands and let go.

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22 thoughts on “The Porch Swing

  1. You didn’t really tuck a comb in your tube sock, did you? That’s a trend that missed my area. We pegged our pants though, so there was probably no room for combs in our slouchy socks.

    • Yes, sadly. Back when shorts did not have pockets the tube sock was critical for carrying a comb and money.

      There is nothing more gross than sweaty sock money.

  2. You had me at “tube sock” but you delivered the knock out punch with “wet mouths part and meet again”.
    I remember very vividly the sound of approaching parents footsteps on a set of ancient creaky stairs alerting my boyfriend and I that we needed to DISENGAGE and sit at a respectable distance away from each other.
    Back then I could move so fast I don’t think I was detectable by the human eye.
    Also, Elly will appreciate this warm one in her sea of white misery. Stay strong girl, the snow will end. Someday.

    • We used to steal every moment we could. We’d be sitting in the living room with her folks, and if they went into the kitchen for a snack we’d be all over each other until they came back. Speed and silence were the key to “stealth” make out sessions.

  3. I don’t remember my first love kiss being so smooth as a creaky porch swing. It was more like dark corners of the all night skate. Heh.

    OP shirts, now there is a beachy warm memory. 🙂 In fact, 1984 is when I spent my summer in Pacific Beach California and became obsessed with surfing posters.

    • Ah… the roller rink! How could I have written over 400 posts, and still not written one about the wonders of the Roller Rink. For tweeners in the late 70’s, and early 80’s, it was our Studio 54. Without the coke. Well, at least in WNY we didn’t have coke at the roller rink.

      I sense a new story coming…

  4. I’m coming over here and interrupting your regularly scheduled programming, just like the nuns used to do at the co-ed dance when you got too close to someones “parts” – to show you what the US looks like from space right now.

    http://twitpic.com/3vkoqt

    Am I the only one freaking out about this?

    Sorry, go back to what you were doing.

  5. This was so sweet. I love it. It also made me smell the delicious fragrance of summer, isntead of the stench of burning scented candles that signifies a home covering up the closed doors of winter. Hurry spring, be light of foot and free of heart. We call to you……….

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