1973

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

Politics is a dangerous game, full of treachery and deceit as it hovers around smoky, back rooms, peddling itself like a crack whore for a few dollars to be made in a nefarious deal sealed with a handshake and the wink of an eye. Hiding behind closed doors with unsavory and unscrupulous bed fellows, surrounded by broken promises and Philistine fetishes, the skeletons in the closet sooner or later scream with delight. The campaign for senior class president of 1972/73 was no exception.

Arnold Pritchard was a pot head who had served as junior class president of 1971/72 following an election won by acclamation. His  platform of doing nothing ushered in a junior year of psychedelic serenity, which appeared to be exactly what the student body had been pinning for. Sandy Lynde, the blow job queen of Guy Lombardo High, had thrown her insanely short, pleated skirt into the ring kneeling firmly on the promise of an open mouth policy, offering up her student body that had been responsible for fueling wet dreams since her freshman year. There are always difficult decisions to make in electing officials, and the choice between Arnold’s policy of governance from eight miles high, and Sandy’s open wide and say ah approach, had the class divided.

As a writer for the school paper, I was assigned to cover the political wranglings of this heated campaign and interview the candidates. I was completely removed from the events that were unfolding, tripping through high school with a mind accosted by peyote and the occasional Percocet, but I caught up with Arnold in the  second floor stairwell on the north side of the school. There was a cloud of smoke that hung in the air like a London fog, as Arnold passed me a joint that had been circulating around the small group of regulars. He stated that he was looking forward to another mellow year, and referred to his vision of leadership as  nothing is everything. As the peyote, Percocet and pot joined forces on the battlefield in my head, I suggested that it all seemed very Taoist, although I was certain that Arnold had no idea what the hell I was talking about. It didn’t really matter though, I mean, the entire senior class would be led astray by a trail of dropped cheese doodles if he was elected. As I was leaving, Arnold placed a dime bag of pot in my hand and reminded me to vote Pritchard.

I met up with Sandy at her campaign headquarters, behind the bleachers at the football field. “I see you’ve come back.”, she said as soon as I was within earshot. “It’s been a long time.” It had been two years. Two years ago, at the very same spot, I  was on the receiving end of a Sandy Lynde special which despite being only moderately special, was still quite enjoyable.

“This time I just came to talk about the election.”, I told her.

“That’s a shame.”, she said. “I always kind of liked you.”

“Really?”, I replied. “Well so far I think I’ll be voting for Arnold.”

“Ya, I know he’s got the drugs.”, she said lifting her t shirt high enough to expose her tits. “But I bet he doesn’t have these.” I couldn’t be certain, but I was pretty sure that she was right. Sandy had nothing much to say about the campaign or the election. She had no real platform, and was relying on her campaign slogan, ‘wouldn’t you like to have a president who sucks’, to garner enough votes to win her the presidency. Much like her bleacher blow jobs, Sandy’s campaign, while certainly adequate enough, lacked substance.

Somewhere along the campaign trail things got ugly. In the dark and dirty underbelly of politics, it is inevitable that slander and libel become a necessary evil. Tales are told and rumors are spread with little, if any thought of the consequences, as the pundits follow closely behind with mouths wide open like fucking  Pez dispensers, encouraging this odious repartee and hoping  for an equally offensive retort. And so it was in 1973 at Guy Lombardo High a rumor spread faster than a California wild fire, involving Sandy Lynde, an English teacher, and a trip to an abortion clinic in Buffalo, New York, which completely overshadowed the story of Arnold Pritchard’s drug induced mental breakdown and subsequent vacation at the Queen Street Mental Health Center. As happens in all political campaigns, the three week campaign for senior class president was now a hotbed of sin, seduction and insanity. With careers, reputations, and victory hanging in the balance, a stop was put on the campaign and the election was suspended by the school administration until a viable solution could be reached. During the ensuing investigation into the allegations of teacher-student relations which revealed nothing, it was determined that in order to stop the circus of crap that was enveloping the student body , a co-presidency was deemed to be the only decision that could be made. The candidates agreed, and the news was revealed to the senior class. Sadly the gossipers and rumor mongers refused to accept the compromise and protested outside the  administration office demanding their right to vote. Unconstitutional or not, as the simpletons claimed, I was confounded by their failure to recognize the perfect union of sex and drugs. It all ended with the protesters getting up from their failed sit in, after most of them were rendered harmless by Arnold’s seemingly unlimited supply of dime bags.

Out behind the bleachers at the football field, Sandy was holding court with three or four junior co-eds, who were hanging on every word she said, which somehow seemed odd as I imagined that her words were almost always indiscernible as her mouth was otherwise occupied. “Thanks for all of your help.”, she told me. “I really appreciate everything you did.”

“I really didn’t do anything.”, I replied. “I just wrote about what was going on. But I’m glad it all worked out.”

“Me too.”, she said. “I owe you one.”

“Don’t worry about it.”, I said.

“Well.”, she turned to look at her entourage, “We all want to thank you. How would you like to be today’s practice volunteer for the young ladies?”

“Right here?”, I asked.

“Here and now.”, she answered. My pants were down before she finished that sentence, and by the time they hit the ground, the trainees and their coach were all on their knees in front of my now fully erect manhood. It was 1973, and amid all of the rock and roll hoochie koo that had been going on, I developed a balls deep appreciation for politics.

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It Was Tuesday, But It Wasn’t Belgium

by Solomon Tate

Sandy met me at Ben Gurion Airport. She was a family friend I had known most of my life. We grew up together, although she was a few years older, doing all of that family crap that family friends did back then. There were barbecues, picnics, and outings to an array of local attractions filled with animals, and non stop photographs that many years later were passed around, with that ‘weren’t they cute?’ precursor. There were drive ins and there were family vacations. It was on one such vacation that Sandy and I became close in the lane way behind the Red & White store in Jackson’s Point. We were young, we were foolish, and we were horny little shits. And now,  years later, I was staying in her Tel Aviv apartment, as she showed me around her adopted country. It was weeks of incredible scenery, centuries old artifacts, beaches, booze, banging and blow jobs.

I have no idea how I got there, but  that was nothing new. The mixing of Canadian whiskey and percocet usually had that kind of effect on me. Rivaled only by tequilla and peyote, there were many times that I had absolutely no idea how I got where I was. And now, I was in Tel Aviv, backpack at my side, passport in my jacket, and a pocket full of U.S. dollar traveler’s checks. There was an American weirdo in black tights and a cape who had been wandering through the airport, thinking he was some sort of super hero. I was certain that he was a paranoid schizophrenic who had been off his chlorpromazine for several days. He was apparently a regular at the airport, and as security whisked him away, he left without incident,  promising  that he would return to save us all from the evil doers hiding in the shadows.

Sandy was marginally fabulous,  with her 5 foot long legs crammed into a pair of skin tight jeans that, if I had to guess, were painted on. I wasn’t the only one who thought so. There always seemed to be testosterone saturated men gawking in amazement, with mouths opened and tongues hanging out like dogs in the summer heat, transfixed by what was not left to the imagination. She was insanely hot, usually drawing as big a crowd as nude jello wrestling. She worked for a tour company, leading visitors through the  historical and religious treasures, and once I was settled in the apartment, we began our journey.

We ventured to Bograshov Street, where she took me for what she claimed was the best falafel in town. To be fair, it was pretty damn good. We headed off to the beach, with Sandy leading the way, and me lagging behind, stopping to look at almost every bikinied body in my path. My eyes were darting back and forth, totally immersed in the tanned, beauty that lay before me like a beach blanket buffet. Sandy located a spot on the beach to lay down. She put down her towel and bag, and removed her street clothes, revealing that body that I had the pleasure of visiting years before. I had a brief conversation with my penis, asking it to keep sleeping, at least for the time being. Sandy went for a swim in the blue waters of The Mediterranean, and when she came out of the water, it was like watching Honey Ryder emerging from the sea in Dr. No. Ironically, I was silently praying that this would be a yes, as my penis had suddenly betrayed me,  having woken up and was now standing at attention. “Well, I hope that’s for me.”, Sandy said as she arrived at our spot on the beach.

“So does he.”, I told her.

“Damn, Tate”, she said. “I see you’ve still got your mind in the gutter.”

“It seems to be the only place I’m truly comfortable.”, I informed her as I watched beads of sweat roll down into her cleavage, while little kids roamed the beach selling popsicles out of boxes, and soldiers with weapons locked and loaded wandered around just about everywhere. It was often unsettling, but it was the way of life.

Sandy took me across the country, from Haifa to Eilat, from The Dead Sea to Ashkelon. We saw the Western Wall and Masada, visited Rosh HaNikra and Ein Gedi, and stood atop Mount Zion. The country was insanely beautiful, and I was particularly fond of the Old City of Jerusalem, Jaffa  and of course, Sandy’s Queen size bed, and couch, and kitchen table. I was comfortable there, and seemed to be at ease. The thought of remaining, of not returning home was bouncing around my head on a regular basis.

One night we went to see a movie, ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’. Interestingly enough, the film was shown with Hebrew subtitles, while the patrons in the theatre spoke during the entire film, leaving me, with my limited Hebrew to try and make out what the hell was going on. Following the movie, Sandy and I went to meet some of her friends at a cafe in Jerusalem. It was a good night, and I am pretty sure Sandy got drunk. As she was the one driving, and I was somewhat shitfaced, we were forced to spend the night in Jerusalem. We got a room in The King David Hotel, and were woken by an explosion that seemed not so far away. In the morning, Police and soldiers were all over the streets, and barricades were up blocking passage past the blast site. It seemed that our little cafe from the night before stood no more. Gone. Just like that. In the blink of an eye, what was once a building, was now merely rubble. Luckily no one was hurt, but I was a little scared. Alright, I was quite scared. My decision was made. While I was deeply moved just being there, I didn’t think I could live like that. Sandy told me that you get used to it after a while and that it just becomes part of life there. You don’t think about it, and you don’t worry about it. You just go about your life. That was all well and good, but this Canadian guy, who had finally grown accustomed to raccoons rummaging through the garbage cans at night, and the pigeons that attacked without fear, found it just a bit too overwhelming to come home one day and find my apartment had been blown into several neighboring communities. I just couldn’t do it. Several years later My wife and I and our children, inquired about making Aliyah, but were informed by the Israeli government that due to my daughter’s physical disabilities she would not be able to receive health coverage. My wife was worried about the kids going into the army at age 18. I told her I thought it would do some of them some good, but in the end, we stayed put.

I haven’t seen Sandy since then, about 40 years ago, and I couldn’t even be certain that she was still alive and well. We corresponded for a while, but as happens with old friends and lovers, you just lose touch. Time passes, people move, and I suppose, most of all, you just don’t care enough to look for them. I do miss her, I mean, I had known forever.

While I waited at the airport for my flight out of Tel Aviv the caped crime fighter emerged from the bathroom. As he raced through the terminal looking for a crime to fight, he was chased by security who again caught him, and escorted him into a room. My thoughts were that he was taken to a plane bound for the U.S., strapped in, sedated and sent about his way. Either that, or he was admitted to a psychiatric facility for observation and assessment. Either way, he didn’t come out of that room while I was waiting for my flight. I have not returned to Israel since that time many, many years ago and to be honest, with my advancing age, I think I have become afraid to fly. Well, its not flying that scares me, but rather being blown up in mid air or crashing into the ocean is what I wish to avoid. My grandfather, in his infinite wisdom had once told me that while he was unable to ever go to Israel, he did spend his winters in Florida, and it was pretty damn close to the same thing. And now I am currently considering a slow, leisurely drive down to Fort Lauderdale.