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Laura and Oscar: Week 2

A beautiful beginning continues... 

It was the start of my 8th grade year and Johnny Depp and Cindy Lauper were still reigning supreme in the hearts and minds of American adolescents. For my part, I spent a considerable amount of my morning perfectly rolling the pant cuff of my Levis 501 button-ups, then add applying copious amounts of Depp hair gel while listening to the music stylings of Huey Lewis and the News (my first LP Album “four” purchased at K-Mart with my birthday money). All this done, I was ready for whatever school would bring.

I headed into the band room chewing bubble-gum flavored SEX-WAX, which is a product made for surfboard and apparently chewing for no logical reason other than any other activities tweens and teens spend in some vain attempt to be something that is anything but average which simply produces a neurotic subculture of insane teens obsessed with themselves. I take my seat in the third row. In case you're unfamiliar, a typical band setup is flutes first row, woodwinds second row, and the saxophones in the third row. I never really paid much attention to what was behind me, but I knew the percussion section was there--you could feel it.  Saxophones are technically a woodwind since it produces its initial sound by passing air or the focused breath of a player quickly between a fixed reed which resonates through the horn which what just about any woodwind or brass instrument is broadly referred to with the exception of those pesky flute players--of which, a frizzy long-haired 7th grade flute player bouncing into the room wearing a red skirt and white blouse has currently captured my undivided attention. However, the sax is a rather late invention compared to other woodwinds and its true and only purpose is jazz. It’s simply mixed in with all these other instruments as practical matter of school district administration, which is a cheat to the player, to the horn, and to the jazz. But back to “frizzy red skirt”...

She was short and petite but had curves and a gentle swagger that would make a grown man blush (as I am now, describing this childhood experience). Laura did not walk so much as purposefully place one foot in front of the other as if she was walking along an imaginary balance beam which gave her an eloquent grace even for a 13-year-old junior high flute player.  

Her hair.  Well, her hair...let's pause for a second…okay I’m back. Her hair was…is long enough to rest between her shoulder blades in a collection of tightly woven ringlets that shimmer, reflected light in every direction as she unknowingly glows around. It’s soft and the ends seem to reach out and touch you when you stand too close to her, gently caressing your skin inviting you closer to breathe in her sweet redolent youth. You see, at this time in the 1980’s, girls at this age were literally spending hours  propping their hair up into a sort of fan of hair fixed in place by Aqua-Net Hair spray that resembles a lion's mane standing on end. 

So, needless to say, Laura was different, very different and the hair, that glorious hair, was just the beginning.

...to be continued next week. 

If you missed last week, here you go:
Laura and Oscar: a purple serial -- Week 1 


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