Beginning to leave the room, “Oh, yeah,” turning back, “when you meet Susan, don’t mention how I’ve been in school up to now, because she thinks I’m a B-plus student.”
“Mitchie, that’s no way to start out with a girl you say you love and are going to marry, by lying.”
“I know, Mom, I hated doing it, but you had to be there to understand.”
“Oh, by the way, if I can use the car, I’ll take Larry and Mortie sledding tomorrow.”
“Jesus Christ!” Walter said, “You’re volunteering to take your brothers someplace?”
“I’ll be damned!” Myra said. “When did you say you were getting married?”
December 8, 1951
In bed with his hands crossed behind his head, “Dear God,” he whispered to the milky darkness of the ceiling, “I know I don’t talk to you a lot, and I’m sorry for whatever bad things I do and that the only time I do talk to you is when I want something. But tonight, God, I don’t want anything. Tonight, God, I want to thank you for bringing Susan to me. And please, God, please keep us together forever. And always let her love me as much as I love her. And help me get into Rochester and to do whatever I have to do to make Susan happy. And please, God, please let us be married someday… Well, God, I guess I did want to ask you for something after all. Anyway, God, thank you for Susan and today. Amen… Oh, yes, and God, as long as I have Susan I promise to never do ‘it’ again. Amen.”
Turning on his side, imagining his pillow is Susan, hugging it, Mitchell Lipensky fell asleep with his face next to hers.
At 6133 Talman Avenue, already asleep, Susan Friedman slept with her face next to his also.
December 9, 1951
Too good to be true , afraid it was a dream, or possibly that she’d changed her mind, making the call with apprehension, “Hi, Sue, it’s…”
Each knowing the other was on the line, both silent a moment.
“Sue… Honey, I’ve got the car and whenever you want, me’n’the kids…”
“Mom, Dad,” Susan called. “Mitchie’s on the phone and he’s taking his brothers sledding and wants to know if Butchie and I want to go.”
He heard the muted background voices, then…
“Yes, Mitchie. They told me to tell you that they think it’s very nice of you to ask and wondered, if later, when we come home, if you and the boys would like to go for hot chocolate or ice cream.” Now whispering, “They’re crazy about you! They think you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever brought home. And you know what? So do I! Hurry up, I miss you.”
Oh, God! Thank you, God!
December 10, 1951
“Mitch, come on! No one’s that good looking!”
“Yeah, she is, Jack.”
“Just like Elizabeth Taylor, huh? Sure she does!”
“If you believe that, Brandon, you’ll believe anything.”
“Westguard, you shit! Yeah, she does!”
“Yeah, Mitch, an’ I’m the spittin’ image of Robert Taylor.”
“Yeah. An’ how’s ’bout me, Brandon? ’Cept for the little womb-broom, everyone says I’m’a double for Clark Gable.”
“The two’a you guys are a couple’a dicks. Wait; you’ll see!
“Mrs. Noblett, something happened over the weekend and, well, I’ve changed my mind about college.”
“Yes, ma’am. And I want to go to R.I.T.; that’s the Rochester Institute of Technology.”
Peering at him over her glasses, “Mitchell,” his class counselor said, “wouldn’t you say it’s a bit late, to say the least, for you to be thinking of going to a university?”
“Yes, ma’am, I know, but I’ve got to do it, so I’ll do anything to get in. I know I’ll have to take an entrance exam and I’m ready to go to New York to do it, but I’ve got to know what I’ll need, and I need you to find out so can get to work.”
“Work?” Knowing his record, she knew that work was not one of Mitchell Lipensky’s better habits. “You have no idea of just how much work you’re going to have to do!”
“I don’t care! I’ll do whatever I have to!”
“Okay, I’ll check on the curriculum and get back to you as soon as I find out. Think you’d like a tutor?”
“Mrs. Noblett, I’ll do whatever you think’ll help.”
“What I think is, Mitchell, is that it’s too late. But I’ll find out what you need.”
Coming from him, she didn’t mind being called “Suzie.”
“Mitchie, you just called a half-hour ago. Don’t you and Tom ever work?”
“Yeah, sure. But we have these contests, see, and if we don’t stop every few minutes to let ’em cool off, the drills’ll melt.”
“Yeah, Sue, it’s the truth, honest. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
Fingering the gold initial ring he’d received from his grandparents for his Bar Mitzvah, “Sue, I know we just met three days ago, but…” he added quickly, “I feel like I’ve known you all my life, and I was afraid to ask yesterday because then we’d only known each other one day, but… Sue, I’d love to go steady with you!” Please, God! “Will you?”
“God, Mitchell, I thought you’d never ask… Yes!”
By mutual agreement, seeing each other only on weekends, Mitchell spent Saturday mornings in the Skokie Library with a tutor, and during the week, on the evenings he didn’t work, outside of one call right after school—which was okay with Susan because she studied then, too—he spent every minute attempting to make up for three and a half years of wasted time.
For Christmas he gave Susan a gold and seed pearl bracelet, and she gave him the most beautiful gift he’d ever received: a cranberry-colored, long-sleeved, V-neck, butter-soft cashmere sweater that immediately became his most prized possession.
Wearing a rented tuxedo, Mitchell was invited to accompany Susan and her parents to the New Year’s Eve dinner and dance at Mister and Mrs. Friedman’s country club.
January 5, 1952
The front door closed, the foyer and outer doors next, then, within seconds, there was one, then the second, solid thunk of the driver’s door of the Friedman’s 1951 white Cadillac.
Three days short of a month since they’d first met, baby-sitting for Butchie, this night was their first opportunity to be alone in a home, on a sofa.
They’d “schnoogled,” oh, yeah, usually for a short time in the stairwell between the lobby and first-floor landing of Susan’s building, and on two occasions when it wasn’t too cold in the front seat of the Buick. Though he hadn’t attempted to touch Susan’s breasts, or anything else, their long, no-longer-chaste kisses had caused Mitchell to have erections that became, in his opinion, casebook examples of “blue balls,” and Susan a flood of fluid that, by the time they’d say goodnight, left the crotch of her panties drenched.
Having made no such vow to God as Mitchell, Susan occasionally—after each such session—“relieved” herself.
As difficult as it was, although he was, oh, so sorely tempted to do so, Mitchell, though, true to his word—outside of one nocturnal emission that he rationalized as something he had no control over so didn’t feel guilty about, and truly enjoyed, and, you bet, hoped for again—never did.
Now, on this night, reclining on the sofa, Mitchell was leaning against the padded armrest. On her left side, facing him, lying across his chest, Susan’s upper torso was cradled in his left arm, while his right hand, twining her hair between his fingers, was supporting her head.
Enjoying the feel, taste and thrill of each other’s mouths and tongues, unaware of time, depending on where they were, they would often kiss, sometimes without coming up for air for five or ten minutes at a time. With closed eyes, breathing each other’s air, replacing his usual Old Spice, she smelled the fragrance of the after shave lotion Mister and Mrs. Friedman gave Mitchell for Christmas while he smelled Susan’s own unique scents.
Their prolonged, passionate kissing always caused an erection that, if they were standing, Susan would feel pressing against her thigh, or—usually by her design—her pubis, which, of course, she pretended not to notice, which, of course, she did nothing to encourage, other than, of course, giving him, and permitting—actually, encouraging—full mouthed kisses, and, of course, allowing her thigh and, most especially, her pubis to be pressed, and sometimes rubbed against, which, because she loved him and, as they were not using their hands, she felt was okay because they were not going beyond her—changing—accepted protocol… But secretly Susan was always thrilled, and, oh, yeah, loved the feel of Mitchell’s erected penis pressing against her thigh, and especially her pubis…
Kissing deeply, the kiss lengthened…
Lying against and across Mitchell, the position of her left arm becoming somewhat uncomfortable, Susan, “innocently” and “unknowingly,” rested her elbow in… and onto his crotch.
Oh, God! Feeling Susan touch him, there, even if the touch was innocent, even if the touch was unknowingly, even if it was only her elbow, Oh, God! He moaned softly… And, within a few seconds, moving his hand from behind her head, cradling her chin in the palm of his hand, of course, having no place to put his crooked elbow, he, just as “innocently,” just as “unknowingly” put it on, and into her crotch.
Oh, yeah, Mitchell was acutely aware of where Susan had her elbow, and where he had his elbow…
And if Susan did realize where her elbow was and where his elbow was she did nothing to move either hers or his.
She may or may not have been aware that within minutes both he and she were slowly, minutely moving their elbows…
But if she was she did nothing to stop the, Mmmmm! erotic motion of either his, or her elbow….