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Thursday, January 9, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 4 Learning to Kiss

Learning to Kiss
My first adventure resulted in Sue’s Ma thinking that I was come-a-courting her daughter.  Looking back I don’t know what I was doing.  

Something was stirring inside me and found expression in me going visiting. I was thinking I wish I knew what that feeling was so I could squelch it if it was a coming on me again.  
My sisters found it interesting and funny so much so they wanted to prepare me for my next foray into the house of love.

For a week I resisted Alice’s offer to teach me the right way to kiss a girl.

I made up all kinds of excuses but that stirring came on me again and I submitted to the learning experience.  After the first lesson I told Alice I needed several lessons so I could get it right.  

She winked at Elle and said, “I think you are beginning to like this ain’t you?”  

I said, “No… well yes I do, so another lesson if you please.”

It was all they could do to giving me an embarrassing laugh but the held it down to some giggles and hee hee’s.

I didn’t care so I licked my lips and puckered up.   Alice gave me a half hour lesson while Elle watched and commented every so often breaking my concentration.

Alice said, “You are much improved but the long three minute kiss needs improving as well as you’re over all technique.”

I wouldn’t tell it to a living soul but that was the most enjoyment I ever had.

It didn’t matter if she wasn’t my girlfriend that stirring didn’t want to stop.

After several more lessons she said I was ready for my first test but warned me not to be too aggressive with an inexperienced girl for it would scare her to tears.

Though I didn’t say it but I would have rather just kept on with the lessons but she said the lessons were over for that was all our friendship could afford.

The weather turned cold overnight and that seemed to cool my fevered brow so to speak.

I only had the few sows to feed and Alice helping me with the milking didn’t take me too long leaving most of the day free.

Trying to keep the house warm was almost a full time job and someone had to keep wood on the fire place during the night.  I’m not sure but I think Jake volunteered me for the job.  He said I could sleep during the day after doing my chores.

I brought in enough fire wood for the cook stove, the fire place, and the potbelly stove. Some time after midnight I was about to doze off when Alice came down and said she couldn’t sleep so she would keep me company for a while.

I was sitting on the settee and she came over and sat next to me.  We didn’t talk much and a couple hours later I woke up and fed the fire place and the stoves.  

When I came back her gown wasn’t exactly like it should have been so I covered her with a blanket.  My want to kiss mood tried to come on me but I fought it off.

After the fires were blazing once more I dropped off to sleep again and when I woke she had went back to bed and the fires were getting low.  I had to stoke the fires once again and it was time for chores.  First I did the hogs and then the milking.  Alice never showed up so I had to milk all the cows.  

By the time I fed the cows I was worn out and went to bed, and slept through the whole day.  By the time I awoke it was time to feed the hogs and milk the cows again.  At least Alice was there to help me for the evening chore.

This went on for a week except for the part where Alice came to keep me company.  Ma saw that I was worn out and said everybody would have to take turns stoking the fire at night, for it was too hard on one person.

This didn’t make the rest of the family happy but Ma always gets her way. The weather warmed a little so I told Ma I was going down to visit the neighbors.

She wanted to know why.  I said it was because I wanted to talk to the farmer about buying a couple of sows who would have some piglets in the early spring.

She said, “That sounds fine just as long as you are not going there to court one of his daughters.  You ain’t old enough to think about courting.  I went through the same thing with your brothers and I don’t intend to have the same trouble with you.”

Repeating an oft heard statement from his mom, he said I know I’m too young and I’ll understand it when I get older.

She said, ‘Remember Jake is out in the woods hunting so don’t get shot.”

He said, “I won’t,” and went to his room and put on his new clothes and headed off. He was about half way when he saw the two Stiles brothers coming to meet him.

He wanted to run for they were mean for no reason.  As he neared them they started to talk ugly.  As he tried to pass them they blocked his way, then they began to push him back and forth hurting him as they did it.  The bigger one hit him in the mouth cutting his lip and then they were taunting him saying we need them purty clothes.

He started fighting when they started to tear at his clothes and one of them got his shoes off.  About then he saw Jake come out of the woods with his gun pointed directly at the Stiles heads.

While he was getting dressed, Jake fired off a round between their heads and said down on your knees.  They dropped instantly.  He looked at Jake and saw someone he had never saw before.  Jake’s eyes were like cold steel.  His jaw was set and his face was like stone.  

He walked up behind the two scalawags and quickly hit each of them with the steel butt of his rifle.  The sharp end of the gun peeled back a large piece of scalp on each as they fell on their faces.  He then began hitting them on their legs and back with the gun butt.  Amid their screams the gun butt could be heard striking them.  

Suddenly he stopped and said, “Now it’s your turn.”

I wasn’t into beating someone but my split lip began to hurt and I thought of how much pain and embarrassment leaving me naked could have caused me.  I began to beat them with my fists until my fists ached.  Then I started to kick them until Jake said, “Enough.”

He helped them to their feet and while they were trying to stand upright and straight he said, “I’m always in these woods and I will shoot you through the heads if I see you here again.”

They stumbled off toward their home and that was the last time I saw them.  I heard the whole family had moved to another state.  I guess I’ll always remember the way Jake looked when he was infuriated.  He scared me and I didn’t want to see that look again.

Jake was always kind and gentle with everyone but no one had better mess with family.  He took me to his room and gave me a little pistol he called a derringer and said to keep it with me in case I ever saw those Stiles again.

I always kept in my pocket not thinking about using it but to satisfy Jake.

I lost interest in the “Sows” for I wanted to get home and see if my lip needed to be sewed up.  Ma took one stitch with black thread.  If I had any sympathy for those Stiles it left me somewhere between the time I first saw then and when they were beating me up.

Another thing that happened that day was I lost interest in kissing for about three months until they started having dances again.  With my lip all healed up and most of the scar faded out I wasn’t so self conscious about it.

I was anxious to see if there was any permanent damage done to the lip for kissing. When we arrived the dance had already started. I jumped down from our wagon and tied up the team.  I was wearing my new overalls, shirt and shoes and sox so I felt I was looking pretty good.

I glanced around to see if there were any girls that needed a partner when I spied skinny Sue although it looked like she had put on a little weight or something was different. When she saw me she grinned like a possum.  I could see she expected me to come over and ask her to dance so I slowly ambled over and sidled up to her.

She was still grinning at me which made me a little nervous. I said hello Sue that is a pretty dress you are wearing. She said it is new. I made it and a couple more during the winter.  

I was disappointed that she didn’t say anything about my new overalls.  Then I reckoned it may have something to do with the fact several of the guys were wearing some mail order fancy pants.  She did say my hair was combed nice.

I said, “Let’s get some punch and then if you want we can dance.”

She said she had promised to dance with a town boy named Tom but she didn’t know where he went.  We got some punch and were getting ready to get on the floor when Tom came up and said, “What are you doing with my gal?”

I could smell some bootleg whiskey on his breath and he was bigger than me.  So I said, “Since she has already promised you one dance she is all yours but the rest are mine.”

He looked surprised that I called his bluff for that was what he was trying to do.  He looked at Sue and said, “I wouldn’t dance with this thing and walked off looking for another girl.”

As we finished our drinks we went out on the floor and started to dance but I was thinking my mouth was braver than my heart was for the last thing I wanted was to get my lip split again.

While I had no intention of using my pistol I think just having it in my pocket made me a lot bolder.  

After several lively dances we got tired and went out to Sue’s folk’s buggy and rested there.  I wanted to see if my lip was still working as well as before it was injured.

I thought “It don’t matter” if it does or not… in fact yes it does matter.  


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