A real kiss
Only The Lonely
The year was 1966, the tail end of a chilly, wet dismal year; a year of loss, a year of death and the abrupt eviction from childhood into an adult world she was totally unprepared to deal with. This young woman in body but child in emotional status and life experience. The raw starkness of a truck stop cafe bled her innocence each day as she floundered and fumbled to learn to work in an environment so stagnant, so far from the golden waves of her marsh home and so chaotic compared to the sighing wind and a whipper-o-will call in the tranquil evening. Yet, she had brought herself here, running from the death of that place and forcing herself to drink the bitter dregs of harsh reality.
The men ogled her full figure, they made derogative remarks to her, and she smiled her plastic smile and refilled their coffee cups. The manager threatened to dock her wages one night as she hid in the bathroom to avoid a groping drunk driver that the manager desired. She chopped off her long blond hair and had it coffieured in the latest style. She wore hated dresses and frilly laced aprons and slaughtered the poet within her with hours of caustic language. Her one sustaining life force, a bright and well-supplied juke box. The songs of choice; Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely" and Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely". The sad, melodramatic melodies gave voice to the misery of her dying soul and her shattered heart. She mourned for love lost but not one any of these fools would understand. She mourned a spirit filled with fire, fleet as the wind and as special as only a creature of God's making could be. She mourned a horse and a type of life that had died with the death of her mare. She wanted to live as Simon and Garfunkel's song " I Am A Rock" would later describe it but she had not that luxury. She was no longer a child...she was eighteen.
One October long night, a bad night, filled with innuendos of suggestive trysts in the nearest motel and quick dancing to avoid pinches from the truckers, she had ended the shift with a pocket full of tip change and a driving hunger to be dead. She nursed slowly the beer she was too young to buy (but heck, she worked for the place, didn't she) with its twenty-four cafe and bar. Small but powerful hands gripped the sides of the juke box, until the blood fled the knuckles and left them pasty white. She weaved to the music and the words of "Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight!"
"You okay, lover?" a soft, southern voice said behind her and her spine stiffened. She whirled to face her visitor with an angry retort and stared into the deepest brown eyes fringed with long black lashes. A vision of black, black glistening hair of the fifties style, black leather jacket and black jeans molded to a slender frame, and a face of concern, not black with lust or anger but with sympathy and inquisitiveness. She stared into the face of her future, a future that would stay long after he, too, had passed through the same final door as had her beloved horse.