Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Under the Influence

"Oh, Angie, Oh Angie, when will those dark clouds disappear
Angie, Angie where will it lead us from here
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You can't say we're satisfied
But Angie, Angie, you can't say we never tried"
--Rolling Stones

Last night, as I lay awake waiting for sleep to come, I got to thinking about my rowdy friend, Angie. Angie was a proud Canadian but had ended up in Cleveland thanks to her parent’s divorce and her mom relocating in the States. Her brothers were older and remained in their central home province. Her mom worked as a live-in housekeeper so they moved around quite a bit throughout the metro area in the time I knew her. We met at the tender age of 12 and though I possessed my own rebellious streak, she greatly exacerbated the situation. The basic premise of our teenage friendship was she was the sparkling star and I was the plain second banana who by default always got paired with the cute guy’s obnoxious, repulsive wingman.

Angie morphed into gorgeous the day she turned 12 and it was very much a love-hate relationship on my end as my already low self-esteem plummeted to nonexistent. I recall a lot of sleepovers and on one occasion, her and her mom accompanied my family on our annual vacation to the Outer Banks. Normally we’d bunk down in the narrow motel efficiencies huddled next to the pier but this time we stayed in the nicer cottages with considerably more breathing space. Our very first evening there I was told in no uncertain terms to not go walking on the pier, but what did Angie insist on us doing? Go walking on the pier. With trepidation I knuckled under and we instantly met two local guys who escorted us to a cozy nook under the pier. Benji and Angie hit it off immediately and a vigorous makeout session commenced. I cannot say the same for Bill and I as immediate dislike took hold and we glowered menacingly from a considerable distance. Bill decided to make the best of a bad situation and his physical advances were greeted with snarling, sharp words, and a flurry of sand vigorously kicked in his direction. I’m sure he regretted tangling with the petite Northern bitch with the cutting tongue. Parental units discovered our whereabouts and I got grounded for the rest of the trip! Thanks Angie! Besides that memorable start, I recall continuously scarfing down butterscotch morsels purchased by the bagful at the nearby store while we played the card game, War. To this day, my stomach clenches in alarm when any food substance includes these chewy little additions. (Stomachs have a long memory.)

I can’t begin to tell you all the times this wild child got me in hot water but though she played all sweet and innocent, my mom had her number from the get go and watched her like a hawk. It was probably for the best she never shared any educational institutions with me as things could have been much worse. Ms Jailbait was notorious for dating older guys and when she got miffed would report their age discrepancies to authorities resulting in their arrest and incarceration. Our last encounter was right before her 16th birthday and once again she was seeing an older male. I later heard she ran away with him and never knew what became of her. The mystery was finally solved when I met her brother who was passing through Oklahoma and he informed me she had married the man and had been living in Greater Cleveland all along. He passed along her phone number and not long after I gave her a call and we caught up on our diverse lives, even exchanging a few letters. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge and all has long been forgiven and forgotten, but I’ll never forget my troublemaking buddy, non-angelic, Angie. :)

And yes, that is a pic of the exact pier, Jeanette’s Pier...

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