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Knuckledraggin My Life Away


I never had many serious girlfriends when I was a teenager, matter of fact I had exactly one. Oh sure, there was the sisters of friends that I played slap-n-tickle with when their brothers weren't around and we could get away with it, but as far as dating goes? Like going to movies and dances and shit? Uh-uh. Didn't happen.

Part of it (or at least I tried to convince myself) was the fact that with my dad being in the military, I was setting myself up for a heartbreak when either my dad or hers rotated to a new duty station. That was somewhat believable seeing as all my friends moped around like beaten puppies when their girlfriends moved, but what I failed to notice was that within 2 weeks, they were back to chasing anything that moved. Kids are pretty resilient - they can get over anything.

The truth of the matter was not only was I kind of a scrawny kid, but I was also bashful as hell around girls. At 15 years old I'd stand up and fistfight a full grown man even as small as I was, but a flirting glance and a smile on the side from a pretty girl would reduce me to a stammering mess. 

It is what it is, but I'll be damned if I was gonna admit to that, even to myself.

And then Rhonda came along.

I guess I could say that I remember vividly the first time I ever laid eyes on her and it was love at first sight, but I'd be lying. The fact of the matter was, she was a friend of my sister Barbara and had been since they were in 6th grade together so it seemed like she had always been around, a skinny little half German girl in jeans, T-shirts and PF Flyer tennis shoes who always looked at the ground and blushed when anybody talked to her. She was even more bashful than I was and I just didn't pay attention to her other than 'Hey Rhonda" when she came up to our place looking for my sister.