The Adolescents II

Outside, the rain dripped on.

“Whadda we do now?” Patty whined.

Clutching the steering wheel tightly with both hands, I glumly thought to myself, ‘I’ll be damned if I know.”

Across the way, the lovers in the pickup were getting ready to pull out. They offered to give us a ride in the back end of their truck to the nearest phone—a wet, disagreeable idea, but I grabbed at the offer.

Getting through the mud to firmer ground was another matter. I tried to carry the petulant Patty in my arms, but she squirmed and I slipped and she howled as she landed on her behind—splat—in the middle of the wet mud.

I jerked her up on her feet.

She was a mess, of course. A, muddy mess—and spitting mad.

“Don’t you touch me, goddammit,” she yowled. And she went on and on like that, as we sloshed through the muck—over to the waiting pickup.

The rain dripped on.

I called home from a nearby, all-night gas station. Frank Simmons showed up a short time later in his own heavy-duty pickup, with a sturdy, tow chain, a couple of blankets, a tarp and maybe the hint of a grin on his face. Maybe not. I don’t remember. Back at the scene of the fiasco, he pulled the Hudson out of the mud in minutes.

Without another word between us, I took the bedraggled Patty Karasak home. Then I drove the Hudson back to our flat.

An entire month passed, at least, before I was allowed even to touch my mother’s car a second time.- And Patty Karasak? She refused to go out with me ever again.


A Yugoslavian family named Borich lived in our neighborhood. I never learned for certain whether they were Serbian or Croatian. They proudly let it be known they were Yugoslavs—and the questions stopped there.

The youngest son, Dan Borich, was a classmate and sometimes buddy of mine in high school. His older brother, Nick, was a dockworker, avowed Marxist and incessant arguer. However, I remember Nick for a more prosaic reason. He played the accordion, badly.

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