Monday, February 13, 2012
girl in a sunhat
yoo-hoo. see that girl in the sunhat over there—the one standing beside the red mustang convertible with her arms around a handsome, dark-haired boy? the one whose dad "grounds" her on a regular basis for pushing the limits of her curfew, for being routinely late?
on a saturday night it's way past midnight—more like one in the morning—and the girl's coach has already turned back into a pumpkin, she has lost her shoe, and she can't seem to find her way home. but don't worry, she's fine. she's a good girl, a "straight A"student—she just can't resist night. it's always one more beer, one more laugh, one more kiss, one more song on the car radio.
during the week the boxy, wall-mounted phone in the kitchen rings and rings, always for her, always guys with the same question: wanna go out dancing this saturday night? her parents are tempted to install another line, but they are frugal folks so they resist. they resign themselves to a life where the phone calls are never for them.
look—there she is every summer weekend hanging out with her crowd, gossiping, smoking cigarettes. her lashes are mascaraed dark and thick, her eyebrows plucked, her lids carefully colored in those 70's blues and greens, as she walks along the beach in a bikini. the girl looks so good, so brown, all slicked and shiny in baby oil with no SPF's on the label—who knew about SPF's?—that number was out of sight, out of mind. to speed up tanning their faces, she and her girlfriends wrap double LP record album covers in aluminum foil, lie down on their colorful beach towels, and open the albums like books under their chins for extra sun reflection.
oh, girl in a sunhat, maybe you should drop that album and put your sunhat back on. and, come to think of it, maybe you should start looking for that missing shoe.
~ the idea for this fictional piece came to mind the other day when i needed some aluminum foil to cover a dish that i was about to bake in the oven. i remembered wrapping double record album covers in foil (three dog night in vinyl!) exactly like this when i was a teenager, and then lying out in the sun with them. (maybe we used our old LP covers for this purpose because cassette tapes were rapidly replacing vinyl.) i shudder to think of it today; and, in case you're wondering, i NEVER, EVER came home too late from a date (haha—my father would have something to say about that!).