Saturday, May 2, 2009

Prom 1977: The Story (and Date) Goes On For An Excruciatingly Long Time.

Our harrowing story continues.  (If you're just joining us, please read the previous two posts.)

It was the night of the prom.

I stood in my upstairs room and waited for Fly Face to drive up the gravel road to our farm.  Looking in the mirror, I noticed how the brown and white dress I had loved in the store, now just seemed to hang on me. I looked in the mirror at the brown and white dress that seemed to hang on me.  There in the trash can beside the dresser was the wrapper from my Jaclyn Smith pantyhose.  I looked at Jaclyn's face, beautiful and smooth, smiling and confident, her hair sweeping back from her face. Then I looked at at my own gaunt, apprehensive face, my thin straight hair hanging down.   I shook my head, then nervously turned toward the window again.

In the still evening air, I heard the big Ford before I saw it, kicking up dust as it came up the road.  It turned in our driveway and I watched as FF got out and my dad greeted him, keeping Rufus back at a safe distance.  I was about to go downstairs when I saw Daddy and FF in conversation and then my dad, nodding his head and going to the front of the car.  I watched in bewilderment as my dad pushed the car as FF also pushed a steered it from the driver's side until the car was back out in the road and headed in the right direction.  Apparently, this car had no reverse.  I looked at Jacklyn again, and perhaps it was just my vision, straining through gathering tears, but she seemed to shake her head and roll her eyes.

I met FF downstairs, he presented me with a corsage and my mother took pictures.  Soon we were in the car, headed for the prom which was being held 20 miles away. I discovered that FF wasn't so bad when he was by himself.  He was actually a pretty nice guy and I found myself relaxing a bit as we drove and talked about school and friends. 

Then we heard it: the sound of something going hideously, terribly wrong with the car.  It was the sound of metal against pavement, some screeching noise, some thumping.  FF pulled over on the side of the road and got out to inspect the car.  He got back in, tried to start it up again, but it was obviously not going to start.  We sat there and waited.

Finally we saw a car coming down the road.  FF got out to flag it down and then ducked his head in the window and said, "We're in luck."  I breathed a sigh of relief and then looked back at the slowing car.  

There in the passenger's side she sat, puffed up more than usual in her prom dress, her hair teased into a cobra hood that had worked its way up to the back of her head, her eyes blazing at this imposition:  She looked at me and I felt the heat.  Indeed I wanted to melt right there in the front seat.  Joanie's boyfriend, who was actually a very nice guy named Mike,  got out, talked with FF and looked under the hood.  I sat, praying, willing the car to start.  Finally, FF came to my side, opened the door and said the words I had been dreading:  "Looks like we'll have to get a ride with Joanie and Mike."

Tomorrow: The ride.  The music.  The pork.  The end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh NO! your worst nightmare! WWJSD? What Would Jaclyn Smith Do?