This is for those who may wonder whether Paula and I stayed friends after the debacle of fire alarms and chickens. Well, yes we did. Hapazardly. It is difficult for me to set the timeline during that time due to pure drunkeness. There was an early spring when my appendix burst, and during that time, I know that my husband to be, Bobby, and her brother, Bobby's best friend, were in Viet Nam when I was in the hospital. I would have been too weak to have ridden a path like we did in May of that year of thievery. Hmmm. I am thinking that earlier that year, in the winter...bear with me here, just sit back and take the trip with me as if you were listening to an elderly aunt...so be polite...Bobby and Alan were in bootcamp! Ok, so they hadn't gone to Nam yet, when we were put on Probation.
About four months before the last episode that I wrote about in Paula and I, I do remember through a bit of a fog, that a bunch of us had skipped school to party at Paula's house while her mother was at work. I believe that even Alan was there, but not Bobby. Other kids were also having a rousting time, when the local juevinile cop showed up. There was a different name for them then. Those were the days when the belief still held, that if you made kids mind, scared them with jail, they would come around and go to college. The officers name, and I kid you not; he will come up in other stories; was Officer Jake Lawless. Now is that not a perfect name. Just like my Dentist whose last name is Slaughter and for awhile his nurses last name was Blood.
Okay, I stray. We didn't have undercover cops then for a small town, and the cruiser was so conspicuous against the white snow, it was too funny. Or maybe it was just Paula and I saw the humour and added up one and one equals two, we are out the back door. Once again we grabbed out faithful horses and rode lickedly split out through the back yards of neighboring dwellings. All thankfully at work or too blind to see us. Then we snuck back, thinking of ourselves as Indians, crawling on our bellys thru the snow, with a horse in tow. We watched through the fence, next to the barn, out of sight, while all the other school skippers were taken out of the house and placed in the cruiser. I would be lying if I said that we felt sadness or even cared. We had to stick our faces in the snow so noone could hear our laughter.
I know we spent alot of time together. Her mother and mine were friends, both were seasoned alcoholics, and Paula's mother was involved with a creep who kept beating her up. I actually met up with him about three years ago and said my piece, not peace, but that will be in a different article. I remember being in Paula's bedroom, and she had these coverlets and a four poster bed with matching frillies running from post to post and over the top, as if we were in Africa or a jungle. Except these were definitely female, and when you rubbed them together at night in the dark, sparks flew every where. She kept telling me that they were no hot sparks but not ever knowing any other type, I was suspicous, but of course kept rubbing to see how many sparks I could make before the bed torched.
Because alcoholism had pretty much taken hold of our mother's and then us, all of our togetherness was imbued with alcohol. She had a grandfather who also was a drunk and we would find enough money to get him to go to the Bowen's store, not so far away, and buy us a six pack of Colt 45 Ale, and some nasty kind of brew that he liked. He was our middle man.
We did lose touch when the boys came home. During that winter before they did return, closer to spring, my appendix burst and nearly killed me. I don't have much memories around that. I do know that Bob and Alan were in Viet Nam and were due home the following fall. During the summer and into the fall, I got hooked up with a pretty rough crowd. Sometimes Paula was there, but mostly we lost contact. When her brother Alan came home, he left a huge part of his sanity back in the jungle. This had to be torment for Paula and her family and I know that Bob took it real hard. The next time I really saw Paula was in the hospital after we both had babies. She had had a C section and I had had mine the regular route. The problem was, my doctor was an f...ng indiot, who wouldn't believe me when I said I was having contractions, but felt it was time for this baby, and he induced labor. The nurse, a fat version of nurse Ratchet, had risen out of hell. Noone would explain to me what was going on. I was in such pain because I had been in labor, and the added pressure of inducing the baby caused my muscles to contract stronger than an anaconda snake around it's victim.
I kept mewing, and screaming, and tossing, and the nurse would come in and give me more meds to rush this birth. My mother was with me. She looked concerned. Something wasn't right. Of course I had no way of expressing anything and besides, the demon in the nurse outfit wouldn't listen anyway. She kept saying, "you better stop all that noise because it's gonna get alot worse!' Well it didn't because I was having the baby the flipping idiot. My mother finally asked her if she would check to see if I had dialated more, and the wicked woman said something about me only being four centemeters an hour before. But to appease my mother she pulled back the sheets and turned white. "Grab the bed forget the stretcher, we are having a baby!' Fortunately the Doctor was in the hospital, but by the time he got there, I had torn completely from my uterous on down. I had a little girl. And as sweet as she was, I was in such agony I was almost delerious. Did anyone tell me that I had torn so badly. Nope. Did I get anything for pain. Nope. When I was taken to my room, who should be there, but Paula! She had just had her first. By C Section. Didn't feel a thing. And she was being treated like The Queen of Child Bearers, while I was being looked upon as a lowly malingerer. And don't think Paula didn't enjoy this. The bad nurse would come in and go to Paula's bed, brush back her hair, and ask how the little dear was doing. Then she wo"uld give her pain meds. Turning to me, her face went from compassion to Master Sergeant. "Well," She said. "You should be glad. You didn't have to have your baby cut out of your belly!" and then she would push me to sit down straight on my donut seat. "You are going home tomorrow so I want you up and moving around." Of course I cried just trying to move. Today this would have shouted law suit. Paula however was serene. I still loved her and thought it was cool that we were there at the same time. Now to speed up to the last time I saw Paula.
When the fifteenth highschool reunion came to town, even though I had never graduated, I liked going to piss off the previous cheer leaders and college type. Funny thing was, on my fifteenth, I was at Smith College and sober for several years. There were still idiots who turned away, but I latched on to the more enlightened folk and had a good time dancing. Then in walked Paula. She was as drunk as she was many years before. We hugged. Then talked, and she told me how proud she was of me for being sober. One fellow, a man named Nathan who had always been shy and kind of a wall flower in school, walked up to Paula and I and introduced his wife. Then he said, "I would be proud to introduce my wife to the Bonnie and Clyde of Belfast High." I am smiling right now remembering his humility, and realizing that we had had fans. We both gave them both hugs and thanked them. I could see that Nathan was justa beaming.
Then the song, Born to be Wild, began to play. I looked at Paula and she back at me, and we said, "They are playing our song!" We headed over to the dance floor and had a whooping good time. Some people were looking as if they had chewed upon lemons, but most were laughing and having fun with us. Paula still drunk and me sober and still soul buddies for ever.