He was almost a decade older than I was, which was not a problem in the eyes of the Lord, but it would have been a problem for my mom had she known. He was a member of the “leadership team,” and I was one of his followers. Our mission involved Christ and the great outdoors.
He liked to swig vodka from the bottle and talk about the supremacy of Hank Williams’ picking. I suspected that he liked me because he once saw me singing along to Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up In Blue.
“English major likes her Dylan, huh?” He asked as he walked past me scraping off my dinner plate. He didn’t wait for my answer, but I was ready to discuss Blood on the Tracks, should he ever inquire about my favorite album. (He didn’t.)
It was nearly impossible to sustain his approval, which added greatly to his appeal. It’s possible the whole of my attraction was composed of a singular desire to have him approve of me. When he gave me a nickname, I felt special. I was in a bit of an anorexic phase so he dubbed me Schindler Shoulders.
“That’s tacky,” my boss informed me the following fall when I resumed my waitressing duties and regaled her with stories about my summer job. I decided not to tell her about the night he kissed me after finishing off a bottle of Smirnoff on camp grounds. I would have told her about tender kisses under the big Texas sky. I might have even mentioned that I could hear Lyle Lovett singing in the background, but I would have edited out the slobber, his manic hands, and the mixture of relief and disappointment I felt when he passed out three seconds after our first and only kiss.
I never told her that he was one of my supervisors or that I couldn’t wait to go back next summer and get a few more vodka-flavored kisses. I’m pretty sure she would have realized that I too was quite tacky.
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If you want to share a story about work, an alcoholic supervisor, your time on a chain gang, or your stint as a tree surgeon, email me or let me know in the comments. (Christie.firstname.lastname@example.org)