Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saturday Night

This is early even for me – not yet 2AM and I’m sitting at the keyboard which I can barely focus on my eyes are so jumpy – I’m awake and can’t go back to sleep, not after being awakened twice in the course of the previous two hours. I have a difficult time as it is getting nearly through a night – but with two interruptions I’m shot! So here I am. Should I consider this a continuation of Saturday or the beginning of Sunday? I know technically it’s Sunday but it feels like Saturday night …

Saturday night: what does that mean to me any more? What has it meant to me for a long, long time? It used to mean going out on a date or going out with a friend to look for girls. I was not one of those people for whom Saturday night was about getting dressed up and taking myself downtown to a club or mixing it up with the locals in a bar, nor was I ever really “one of the guys” who would hang out in groups and talk sports and ride around in their cars and drink, unless I count the period from 14-16 years of age when one of the older boys in high school let another friend and I ride around in his Cherry Red Chevy SS-396. Looking back I don’t know how he ever got to drive that car or why he let us ride with him, but he did and we did and we would often end up at the A&W Root Beer Drive-In where they had curb service and hung those metal trays on the side of your car. Late on a Saturday night in Columbia, South Carolina it was a scene, with cars cruising through the parking lot one after another, like toy trains linked at the nose and tail, around and around and around, some with couples inside, some with just girls and most with horny young boys like us who only knew we wanted a girl, but had no idea what to do if we were to actually get one in the car with us – which of course we never did.
Saturday night in the back seat of that car was also about drinking beer from a can and smoking cigarettes, about feeling almost old enough to matter but not quite, because at 14 you know you shouldn’t be doing the things you are doing, so as cool as you try to be you are always holding a little something back, never rising too far out of your seat as you participate in the merry-go-round the parking lot, less you actually catch someone’s attention.
Now Saturday night is just the night before Sunday morning, and I’m most often sitting here, not in the black leather back seat of a hot red muscle car, but in a squeaky old rocking chair in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains wide awake.


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