I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.
This introduction was needed and when you finish reading this personal narrative, you will agree. Not that I am going to uncork some secret military-based information that might lead to my hometown, Hamilton, Ala., of being taken-over by the Liberal Front, it’s just so there should be no confusion or misunderstanding anywhere in this piece.
Friends, I Want to Introduce
you to my good female gal pal, Faye, who rode the school bus with me in 1967 when I had broke into junior high, met puberty (in some ways), and was slowly-beginning to see how an adult male thinks in daily life. My first thoughts of “this” stage of life: SCARY! And I do not need famed Marvel Comics publisher, writer, Stan Lee to publish any artwork of this era in my life. But on further recollection, having a few cherry pieces of artwork in my left hip pocket might prove beneficial if life became too heavy for me to cope with.
My friend, Faye, was a good 16 years of age and I was an awkward 13. But man, oh man, was she a doll! The very first time that she boarded the school bus, I swore that a professional lingerie model (from the Sears-Roebuck Catalog) had stepped into my life. No, I didn’t tell anyone except that my heart that was beating the drum solo by Ron Bushy in Iron Butterfly’s Golden Hit: “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”--stick-for-stick, Bushy knew early on that he was in a drum match.
Faye, although 16, looked 22. She had the prettiest brown doe eyes and full, red lips and if that were not ammunition enough to take my ability to speak away from me, her body was one more work of art. I swore (secretly) that Picasso would be jealous if he had met Faye. Our first meeting was good. Not Picasso and me, but Faye and me. That statement just proves how silly Faye could make me then and now in 2018. We both smiled at each other and I took notice to how soft her voice was. Let me put it this way: everyone who has ever ridden a school bus knows that riding to and from school is tumultuous at most. But when Faye would say a few words, I heard them as if we were the only two souls on the bus.
And somehow, and maybe I was the only one who noticed, but not a whole lot of guys young and old never bothered to talk to Faye. I guess our school bus carried a lot of idiots. I didn’t say that I was an idiot. But Faye only had to pass her gorgeous eyes at me and my mouth grew drier than the middle of the Sahara. I cannot make this any plainer. Faye, I always thought, had reached her full age of womanhood a lot of years earlier than her natural maturity. And I was still a novice in the ways of Male Puberty. Needless to say, my clothes were burning and I was standing *smack dab in the middle of a great Japanese firecracker factory in San Francisco.
Not one to put things off, I am going to tell you a few thoughts about how Faye affected me and what I thought when we sat across from each other while we were on the school bus.
Take Faye’s name for instance. I secretly-thought that no other female name would fit but the one that her mother gave her. I assumed that she had been raised by her mom and older sister, but there was never no mention of her having a dad. I was always too fearful in opening my big mouth to find out why she never spoke of having a dad. I figured such knowledge was hers and I didn’t want to pry. But if I were going to write a good, old-fashioned, no-holds-barred, smash-mouth P.I. paperback, “Gene,” “Laura,” even “Donna” would not work as Faye’s name. And I would talk about Faye in my private eye books that was made into Hollywood films with Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney in the star’s role. The name, Faye fit like a glove. That much I knew.
Faye would have been perfect as a married woman whose husband had a terrible habit of sleeping around with what available whores were in town when he “was in need” of female passion. I mean just look at Faye and you would instantly share my adoration for her—even if you were her unfaithful husband that I was going to put into my paperback. Faye’s beauty was more of a God-send, Godly-designed beauty than just having to be a lot of paint and perfume. Among my other secrets about her, I always thought that she was as pretty when she woke up in the morning as she did when she went to bed. I lived on faith on this one because I wasn’t at her home at either time to know for sure.
Faye’s mouth and lips were perfect. So perfect that she could have made a few easy thousands of bucks as a body model and let ad agencies use her facial features to be featured on make-up, lipstick and other female products.
Sometimes I would be tempted to write my secret thoughts about Faye on a few pieces of paper and share them on the school bus, but the moment that I wanted to act upon these whim’s, an alarm went off in my head telling me to stop, think about what I was about to do, and then not do it. One thing that caused me to NOT write down any of my fantasies about Faye was due to a few “School Bus Bullies” who would have loved to grab my thoughts and have a big guffaw about how I felt about Faye. Something of this nature would have hurt her so much, so I just put the air brakes on such thinking.
I would really feel bad if I didn’t include what Faye wore most of the time. The first time she wore it, my heart broke into a gazillion pieces. Now up to the morning when Faye got on our bus wearing the prettiest red dress that I had ever seen, I had not seen such a woman wearing anything resembling an article of clothing such as what Faye wore. Her red dress fit just right—not too short and not too long. Just the right length to enhance her perfect legs and I tell you. God, when He designed her, did not have to break a sweat.
I would be very glad to include more nice thoughts about Faye, but I would be talked about as being someone who used overkill. And I won’t do that.
The school year ended and in the fall when our school bus stopped at her house, I was ready to enjoy how she had matured and how great she was tanned during summer vacation . . .but the bus driver shook his head as a signal that Faye and her family had moved. I got to tell you. My heart sank like a piece of granite *smack dab into the middle of Niagara Falls. I’m sure that my heart wasn’t the only heart that sank at knowing that Faye had moved, but this narrative is about me, not anyone else.
In the years to come, I would think of her while I was at my job at the local newspaper in my hometown: Hamilton, Ala., and I would smile widely because women like Faye are rare. But one night, my wife and I were doing some grocery shopping and I just happened to look down the Canned Goods Aisle and I saw a woman who was wearing the prettiest red dress like Faye wore and I noticed how the color of her hair was very similar to the color of Faye’s hair.
I summoned my courage and slowly walked up to this woman who was standing with her back to me. I softly said, hey, are you Faye? Then I heard some of the best Big Band Music that could only come from the years of 1940 through 1947—but I knew that the music was all in my heart. The lady slowly turned around and the first thing I noticed was her full red lips. Then her big, doe eyes. It was her alright! Faye! She smiled and said hello as soft as any rose petal.
We chatted for a few minutes and exchanged the expected niceties. I told her that I had thought of her a lot and I had missed her. She blushed and looked down at the floor and said that she would be seeing me.
And I’m still waiting . . .
August 23, 2018____________________________________________
© 2018 Kenneth Avery