It’s a lazy morning and I’m scanning through Facebook. I love reading Carla Birnberg‘s status updates. She either makes me think or laugh.
Carla made a comment about the ’70’s and key parties that triggered my memory. Not that I’ve ever attended a key party, but in 1977, at the age of 14, I did attend a funky party.
In Covington, KY, sits an apartment complex that overlooks the Ohio river. The complex has a perfect West side view of the Cincinnati skyline. I don’t know what kind of reputation the complex has now, but back in the ’70’s, The Bluffs were the cool place to live. If you were young, successful, and far out, then you lived at The Bluffs.
I had a friend named Bev who lived in our apartment complex. She lived with her dad and stepmom, Michael Ray. I hung at their apartment a lot. Her family was way cooler than mine, but nothing was cooler than spending a weekend at Bev’s mother’s apartment at The Bluffs.
One weekend at Bev’s mother’s included a Saturday afternoon club house party. There were disk jockeys at the party who were pseudo local celebrities. Bev’s mother pointed them out to us and told us we could go talk to them if we wanted. She had spent time with them before and found them lame. Of course, after she dismissed them, there was no way we would talk to them.
The smell of weed hung heavy in the air. Every woman in the room looked beyond glamorous to me with their thick head bands and crocheted pants. I remember what I wore. I wore cut off shorts, flip flops, and a red t-shirt that said ‘red neck’ on the front. I was wearing shirts ironically way before it was cool.
I probably remember details about that party because it was there that I saw my first penis.
Giving weed to kids is not cool, but this was the 70’s and shit like that happened all the time. Pretty toasted, Bev and I were sitting on a love seat when her mother brought a friend over to meet us.
I don’t remember the friend’s name so we will call him Mike Brady. He had curly dark hair like Mike Brady, but looked much seedier. Like Mike Brady’s cousin that the family never talked about. He looked like the type of guy you never wanted to loan money to.
Bev’s mom looks at her friend and says “Oh, you have to show my daughter your tattoo of Mickey Mouse. It’s adorable”.
Mike Brady looked uncomfortable and waved the suggestion away, but Bev’s mom insisted.
So, he showed us his tattoo.
Unfortunately, his Mickey Mouse tattoo was on his upper inner thigh.
I sat there and watched this strange man pull his pants down, cup his balls and pull them aside, so that we could see his Mickey Mouse tattoo.
I remember willing myself to keep a straight face. I thought, don’t react. Pretend like it’s not strange at all to have a penis directly in front of your face.
Y’all, it was close enough to touch. I know my memory is faulty here, but in my mind the penis looked blue and purple and pink and might have had a strobe light in it.
I remember Bev’s mother laughing. I didn’t understand, until I was much older, that she was laughing at our obvious discomfort. It was completely twisted. Her actions today would get her and Mickey Mouse penis man arrested. Quite possibly, they’d get a permanent place on the sex offender’s register.
I realize that this story sounds dark and upsetting. Yes, children shouldn’t be exposed to drugs and penises, but trust me, y’all, this did not have a lasting effect on me. Although, the story is dark and upsetting, the story is still mine. I’ve always been kind of amused by the fact that I have a Mickey Mouse story to go along with my first penis sighting.
I’m sure I freaked out at the time. I remember flitting around at the party, eating fondue, drinking champagne, and feeling like I was living on the edge of life. In Kentucky. And then a penis came along and fucked it all up.
It might have made some lasting impression. I don’t think I ever accepted another offer to stay at Bev’s mother’s house.
Okay, that story isn’t the only reason I don’t wear Mickey Mouse shirts. I have my standards and they don’t include wearing cartoon themed shirts. Besides, my closet is crammed with Doctor Who shirts.
So, anyone else have a Mickey Mouse/penis story? Just me, then?
Also, I had a guest post on Always Drunk this week. Check it out, I tried to write through writer’s block.