It was a long time ago--around the time of the first moon landing. It may have been the night the Apollo 11 astronauts set foot on the moon. I am not sure. I was trying to quit drinking. It seemed like everytime I tried, some friends showed up, and the party resumed. This time, it was Phil Denu and Doug Meyers. "Let's get some Jack Daniels and hitchhike to Cheryl's house, Phil suggested. My car was in the shop, so we would have to thumb our way. The idea was appealing. I had been dating Cheryl for a month and felt like I had to keep it going. There was nothing there except that she was cute and I was trying to get back in the mix. We went to the liquor store and bought three half pints of Jack in the black. It was a warm July evening. It was early, and we caught a ride right away. These were the hippy days. Woodstock was a month away, and people were friendly in spite of the turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War. Our ride took us to the Louisville suberb where Cheryl Monroe's house was. He let us out at a red light, and we walked the remaining distance. I was feeling the effects of the bourbon and 7 Up.
Cheryl's brother was in the driveway near his car. He saw us and waved. We gathered near a picnic table in the backyard. "Where is Cheryl?" I asked. After a moment's hesitation, her brother responded, "She's down the street at her ex-boy friend's house." I was quite. I was intoxicated by now. The anger rose in me. My temper was short, anyway, knowing I was about to be drafted and possibly sent to Vietnam. "Bitch! That bitch!" I blurted out." Her brother reacted, "What did you say?" "Bitch! Cheryl's a bitch!" I repeated. "Don't say that again," he said. "Bitch! That bitch!" I kept on. Her brother suddenly jumped me, and we began rolling around the yard. He was short but stocky. I was no match for him. Fortunately, my friend Doug was. Doug pulled him off me and punched him in the jaw. He went down. Phil stood aloof and smiling, apparently enjoying the fracas. The next thing I knew, Cherl's mother came running out of the house. She was on me. She began slapping me around the head. I was not going to hit a woman. I never have. She tugged at my tee shirt. She ripped it to shreds. Doug rescued me again. He got her off me and began calming her down. The fight was over. My glasses were no longer on my face. It was dark by now. I searched a few minutes and thought it better to get out of there. I do not remember how I got home that night. I only know I did.
My mother woke me the next morning at my grandmother's house, where I lived. She had my glasses. She and Doug had gone to Cheryl's house and combed the backyard until they found them. Doug talked to Cheryl's mother. She told him she never wanted to see him or Jim Colyer again. She got her wish. She has not laid eyes on either of us to this day.
JIM COLYER http://www.jimcolyer.com