Call me a hopeless romantic, but when I’ve got a love on my mind I can’t help but get carried away. I’m just an ordinary guy, with little dreams here and there. I used to keep to myself, was a bit of a goof, maybe a recovered punk. I’ve always listened to music, it’s kept me calm and turned my thoughts to a state of mind where I couldn’t do no wrong.
Kids these days underestimate the power of music. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that music can make an awful situation seem like it’s all nothing but a dream. I’ve got all the greats, even the less popular hits. Yeah, my collection of sides used to be the envy of every avid fan of all that good stuff: The Chordettes, Ol’ Blue Eyes, and even some of the older tunes like the ones from the Ink Spots. But don’t get me started on music or else I’ll never stop.
There’s a time in every man’s life when he decides to grow up and become an upstanding citizen, so I did just that. I went about the daily motions, did my work, and took care of the things that needed taking care of. Just like any other average Joe. Ma said I always had a good work ethic, ever since I was an ankle biter. I brought home the bread and took care of things and still had time to make a new scooch here and there. ’Course, it was always not far from home, in case if I was needed there, but the corral was only a little ways away from my front porch. At one point I started up a real racket with the boys there, while they were either getting ready for class or just heading out home. Bootlegged alcohol for the rest of the kiddies, and don’t get started in thinking I’m a bad guy. I only had to do it for a small stretch because suddenly the heat was on and I had to cut it out completely. Never did it long enough to earn me a far-out nickname, but I did get to meet someone real special. With the way that petered out, I ended up going back to the usual routine.
All of this was just the same old thing, and I was satisfied with every second. It sure was something to have that kind of fulfillment, and it seemed boundless, now that I think of it. All of this was the way it was. Before I laid eyes on her that one day at the school.
My god, the things I’d do for her. If only you knew. It’s just like in all the songs you’ve probably heard. I’d waited every night for this opportunity most young fellas want to have in their grasp and I knew I’d cherish it for the rest of my life.
She’s got such a hold on me, she’s had it for what feels like forever, even though it’s just been a short time, and there wasn’t anything anyone could’ve done to change it.
Funny how love works, making every moment feel like a lifetime or put it in reverse and make a lifetime feel like a second. I’m falling all over myself trying to get my senses straight because I want everyone to understand how swell she is. How it’s almost like everything I’ve ever done in my life would amount to this. I’d get my girl and we could be together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Two peas in a pod. Cut from the same cloth. But I’m losing track of my thinking here, I do that all the time. Might be a bad habit, but now I’m thinking of last week.
The other guys at the school stood around with the paper shakers, wearing their cute little skirts and putting on their lipstick. They were too busy zeroing in on the guys to even cast an eyeball my way. It was a real drag. Even now when I think of it, I get all red in the face and thin-lipped. Those guys had all the right stuff to get any Dolly they wanted. Jonny was the head of their group, and he was the real big talker. Every time I’d walk past the school, he’d be there in his chariot, hangin’ out the side and smoking the funny cigarettes. He threw his jacket at me once, course’ one of the other fellas ralphed on it and he meant to chuck it at my head. Lucky for me, I caught it. I never gave it back. That’ll serve him right for guffawing my way. Bet they wish they could see me now, anyway. I’m wearing Jonny’s jacket, and there’s no longer any vomit on it. I make sure my threads are well-washed and the leather’s been treated so it’s like new. Better than Jonny could ever fix it up on his own. Now every time I’d see any of Jonny’s friends, I just look at em’ and make sure they see my jacket. They give me some strange looks but I know they can’t help it.
“All’s fair in love and war,” that’s what I’d like to say to em’ but I wouldn’t want them to notice me that much. I was never one for friends. They only wanted my attention for the contraband I had for em’.
By then I’d thought about everything plenty, all by my lonesome, and I’d heard enough songs to know what life’s really all about. All I’d want is a baby of my own, friends could always wait. Having a gal by my side as we’d drive to the nearest passion pit to catch a flick or two on Friday nights... now that’d be awful great. I’ve got myself thinking of this girl I’m crazy about. I’m talkin’ googly-eyed and knees knocking together, turning into rubber. But that reminds me, Jonny doesn’t come around anymore. He drove right into a ditch and smashed into a tree and the rest of the boys split when they saw him after the accident. I never saw him myself but I hear he’s missing an eye and half his face was burnt off when the engine caught fire. Too bad for him. Now the rest of the boys keep their lips buttoned just cause’ he isn’t there. After he left, I could talk to any girl I wanted. And that was how I met Rita.