It was summer and a very hot one at that. The apple that kept my boyish brain wet with desire was also the neighbour’s Delilah. Pamela, her birth given name, was a couple years older than I however we’ve never shared a disrespectful word between us. In fact we shared many words always me with one colourful interpretation of her intentions while her actions, flirtatious, as it was her style, seemed completely oblivious but more importantly, immune to my boyish charm.
We shared one thing in common and perhaps, now looking back, it was our secret signal. It was at worst our shared blessings for having endured our not so secret, unpredictable social isolation by those we considered friends. All the boys of my age and even a few older desired her. Those having failed to have secured her affection quickly labelled her Delilah.
Among our summer conversations where she felt most at ease was when in conversation at our local public swimming pool. She was an excellent swimmer and could easily out swim many of the senior boys. It was the summer of 69’!
I just love saying that as if somehow it gives my story more sensuality. The truth be told it more ages me than any other imaginary intent. However a most wonderful thing about time is its ability to make sweeter the memoires when recalled. We had been at the pool for most of the afternoon my staying made easier because Pamela had been most openly attentive perhaps even affectionate with me.
My friend, Ricky, himself having made several earlier attempts to have gotten a kiss from Pamela had now moved her into the category of Delilah. Still I was not deterred. I had dove into the pool along the line that separated the shallow water from that of the deep. I had done this because not being a strong swimmer I was most content to have stayed in that zone. I do not know when Pamela had jumped in but as I was about to surface there in front of me was Pamela heading directly to towards me.
She came up to me and without a single signal of any kind we kissed.
That night was the beginning of my life long obsession with poetic writings. My first line written that night was, “Today the only two Black kids in my neighbourhood kissed underwater at the pool.”
Sorry I could not do this in 100 words or less. Guess I still have a very long way to go. Love my Delilah of 69’.