History and Virginity Lost, Part 4 (final)
History And Virginity Lost
THE VOLKSWAGEN came careening into the driveway of a large ranch style house and ground to a stop. Metz pushed a button under the dash and a big double size garage door began to swing open. Ducky figured that they were somewhere in Peapack but the trip here had been a fast jumble of lefts and rights on back country roads. He couldnít say for sure where they were
"Come on", Metz said jumping out and heading for the garage
Roland Metz, it turned out, was a design engineer, and not just any design engineer at that. He worked for Grumman Aerospace and his team had actually designed some of the electro-mechanical systems on the Lunar Excursion Module. Ducky followed him into the garage
"My wife has my other car tonight but I generally keep spare stuff handy"
Ducky noticed that the workbench at the far end of the garage was cluttered with everything from alternators to windshield wiper blades. Metz was digging intently through a big bin in the corner that appeared to be full of miscellaneous parts. After a few minutes he emerged with a bumper bracket
"Here", he said handing it to ducky, "Try this"
A marking scrawled on the side of the bracket in yellow grease pencil said 68 glxy 500. Ducky tried putting it together with the jack mechanism. They fit perfectly
"All right!", said Metz "letís go change a tire"
I bit the foil packet open and pulled out my little round latex ticket to paradise. Iíd never used a condom before but had made enough water balloons out of them to have a basic idea what to do with it. I had gotten the dry kind instead of the lubricated ones. It may sound silly, but I had no idea what the purpose of lubricated condoms was. That is, until I tried putting a dry one on. I was beginning to get an idea. Iím not sure if I could even perform using one of those things today, but back then having my dick tightly encased in latex was just kinky enough to be interesting
I slipped in between Lisaís legs, leaned down and kissed her, letting my Chest hairs tickle her boobs. She took hold of my cock and rubbed her clitoris with the head before guiding it into her
I managed to remain fairly calm at first, though the penetration was more difficult than I expected. It seemed like I could only get a few inches into her and then I just kind of got stuck, as if she was dry which, of course, she was anything but. I tried grabbing on and pushing myself in by hand
"Easy!", she winced into my ear
Abandoning the hand maneuver I gently stroked for the few inches I could and waited to see what would happen. It wasnít long before I felt it. A slight snapping sensation, as if a tiny thin rubber band had broken inside her. I moved freely into her and for a moment the idiotic thought crossed my mind that Iíd somehow broken through my condom. At almost the same time I realized what I had broken through, and I froze. For some stupid reason it had never occurred to me that she was a virgin too
Iíve been with a pretty good number of women down through the years. Fewer than some men. More than others. Barely scratching the surface by NBA standards. But Iíll tell you this. Iíve never had that experience with anybody else. I was motionless, amazed at what had happened
"Get going!", Lisa said
"What? Hugh? Oh yeah, uh get going" I moved freely in and out of her with steady strokes
Was it great? Of course not. It was tense, clumsy, rudimentary and over way too soon. I am convinced that almost nobody has great sex their first time at it and that the few who do are too flabbergasted to remember it. After all, how many people do you know who do anything great the very first time they do it? We werenít experienced lovers. We werenít sophisticated. We were just two sixteen year old virgins. A couple of good kids who wanted to do something bad just to not be good for a while. Your first time isnít about great sex. Itís a right of passage. Itís about the things that happen only once in your life. An adventure that leaves you bad for good
Afterwards we lay on our semi dry beach towel entwined in each other and bathed in our badness. In the distance I could hear the unmistakable air cooled, four cylinder drone of a Volkswagen approaching out on the highway. Lisa heard it too
"Duckyís back", she said
"Yeah", I replied "we better get decent and get down there"
As we gathered our clothes together I looked out at the field rolling away and the landscape beyond and there hanging a little low in the sky was the moon. It was the first time all night Iíd seen it. Just an ordinary three quarter moon, unremarkable in every respect except one. Somewhere on itís illuminated surface tonight two men were looking back at us
"Wow". I said "Look at that"
"Look at what?"
"The moon. Look there it is"
"So?" Lisa didnít get what I was on about
"So theyíre up there. Armstrong and Aldrin, I bet theyíre walking around up there right now"
Lisa suddenly remembered and did a double take at the moon as if seeing it for the first time. We both looked at it for a while, then at each other. She kissed me sweetly as Neil and Buzz watched from afar
As we made our way back down the bank the mood at the roadside seemed to have changed from anxious to festive. Even Gene looked jovial as he tightened up the last of the lug nuts on the spare. Ducky Karen and Metz were gathered at the Volkswagen with the passenger door wide open and the radio playing. Metz was explaining lunar orbit rendezvous to Karen who was uncharacteristically amazed and hanging on his every word
"You mean they just cut the thing loose and let it go in space after you worked so hard on it?", she asked
"Yeah", Ducky chimed in, "That must be sort of frustrating"
"Not at all", Metz replied, "Everything does what itís designed to do and nothing is kept once itís no longer needed. The LEM is useless once theyíre back in the CM. It wouldnít even support its own weight on earth"
Gene had finished up and was joining us about then. He handed the bracket back to Metz
"Ya know", he said "Itís remarkable that we happened to meet up with you tonight of all nights"
"Yeah yeah", Metz replied reaching into the car, "Everybodyís gotta be somewhere". He turned up the volume on the radio. "Listen"
We gathered around the car like a group of campers listening to ghost stories around a fire. The crackling static ridden voice of Neil Armstrong issued forth from the speaker. He had exited the lunar module and was standing on the ladder starting his slow descent to the moonís surface. We listened, riveted, as he described the lunar surface, the light and the landscape. Words you may have heard before. The footpads of the LEM immersed a few inches in gray dust. It seemed to take forever for him to get down that ladder but he did. He stepped off the bottom rung and stood on the moon with both feet. For a moment there was only silence
"Thatís one small step for a man", said Armstrong "One giant leap for all mankind"
The six of us stood still and silent, our mouths all open. Lisa and I both turned and looked up at the moon barely visible above the bank. She grabbed me around the neck and kissed me. It was like a new yearís eve kiss
"Wow", said Gene
"Sonofabitch", uttered Ducky
"They really did it", Karen added
We all looked at Metz, who somehow didnít look like a nerd at all anymore. He stood stock still and didnít utter a word. He held up his hand in front of himself and clenched an empty fist as if it held the hope diamond. Still looking at the radio his face was sharp and focused. Tears began to well up in his eyes. If the five of us used our collective imaginations with all our might we may have managed to capture one tiny fraction of what he felt at that moment
"One small step for a man. One giant leap for all mankind"
Armstrongís words would, of course live forever in history. Even people who werenít born before 1969 remember them. And I was among those privileged to hear them live from the moon. They are the words of historical record, but they arenít the words that struck a true personal note with me. It would be another twenty six years before I heard those words. It was in a theatre in 1995. I was watching Ron Howardís superb movie "Apollo 13". (Still one of my favorites.)
The opening scenes of the film take place on the night of July 20, 1969. In one of the scenes astronaut Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks is standing in his yard looking up at the moon. He looks at his wife, played by Cathline Quinlan and says,
"From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the moon"
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the real Jim Lovell spoke those very words on that very night and it hit me like a brick. Words about how events in history can change everything. The way we see the world. The way we see ourselves. Armstrongís walk on the moon and my moment with Lisa Wass. The world did indeed change that night. In symbolic and substantive ways
"Wow", I said under my breath. My wife took my arm in the darkened theatre and asked if anything was wrong
"No", I said pointing dumbly at the screen. "Lovell was right"
I thought to myself, "From now on we live in a world where Dave DeFranco is no longer a virgin"
We thanked Roland Metz profusely for his help as he jumped back into the WV and took off for home. I would think of him again when the LEM took off from Tranquility base two days later and successfully docked up with the command module. Meanwhile we all piled into the Mercury and headed home ourselves. All of us concocting stories for our parents along the way. July 20 was but a memory when we rolled back into Morristown and went our separate ways, as we ultimately would in life
Gene, who had already graduated form High School that year went on to Oberlin University Where he majored in, you guessed it, music. We would see each other here and there just to say hi but other than that we pretty much lost touch
Ducky graduated the following year and went to UCLA. While out there in California he became an actor and had some success getting bit parts in B films
I know what your thinking, so let me tell you. Iíve seen quite a few blue movies in my time and I havenít seen him in one yet
Karen broke up with Ducky in September and took up with some rich guy. More money and less, well you know. I saw her briefly just recently, when I was in Morristown. She still looks exactly the same
Lisa and I continued seeing each other throughout August. Weíd have quite a few more sexual liaisons before the end of that eventful summer. The sex improving and becoming more sophisticated with each encounter. Sort of like the subsequent missions of the Apollo program. But, not unlike the missions to the moon, interest would fade with each one. You see, I never really loved her all that much and I couldnít sustain a relationship based on sex alone forever. I ended up dumping her for a girl I fell head over heals in love with. She wasnít even as pretty as Lisa and she brought me nothing but trouble. You live you learn
Iíd see Lisa from time to time after that but weíd never speak. She was too hurt. I was just too damm chickenshit to face her. I have no idea where she is today.
I love the summer. Itís my favorite season. And I have 45 years worth of summer memories, most of them fond ones. But nothing looms quite as large in my mental archives as that amazing summer of 1969. With its memories of Woodstock, playing gigs in the band with Gene, the historic voyage of Apollo 11 and a cute busty girl in tight white Levis who shared a significant first in my own personal history. Remember the summer metaphor? The ageless girl who taunts me as I grow older? Well, just between you, me and the Staten Island Ferry, She has long brown hair, sad puppy eyes and a cheerleader smile. And if I could talk with her for just five minutes Iíd apologize for treating her badly and really mean it. Iíd say I was sorry for not loving her more than I did. Iíd let her know what a sweet pleasure it was to be with her. And tell her that no matter who I had been with in this life or how much I loved anybody else there can only ever be one first, and nobody could or would ever be that to me but her. Yeah, I think thatís what Iíd tell her
So, anyway, where were you when Armstrong walked on the moon?
A last word:
Copyright © Bob Ayers