Just the thought of returning to Starship Records and the unholy alliance of Stan and Robert made my palms sweat. I couldn’t handle another year of working for those bastards, though I still thought the world of Scott, the district manager.
Here’s how we did simple things like register for school and job/apartment hunt prior to the internet: We drove 300 miles out of our way to drop off our checks and knock on doors. Jody and I borrowed her mother’s Cordoba and took off for Savannah.
“How old is this car?” I asked.
“It’s a 1980,” Jody said.
“That’s weird. 1980 still sounds like the future to me.”
“I know, me too. It’s weird that this car is from this decade but it looks like a grandma car.”
Five hours separate Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. FM stations came and went and the big, gray land yacht cruised along as smooth as fine Corinthian leather. Jody reclined the passenger seat and wrapped her long blond hair across her eyes like a blindfold.
I drove in silence, just me and the radio. Jody shifted and her knee emerged from beneath her flowery peasant dress. She moved again and her hem crept higher. Her legs were tan and perfect. Hairs so fine they were normally invisible caught the sunlight bouncing off of her thighs.
I reached over and wrapped my hand around her leg. It was sun-warmed and soft. Jody didn’t budge. I stroked her thigh lightly with my fingertips. She remained still, but her peasant dress crept farther upward. My fingers continued their hesitant northward migration. Jody’s thighs parted slightly, and my hand found its way past that last plump curve of inner thigh.
And there we were, barreling down I-26 in Ricardo Montalban’s favorite ride, Jody’s dress hiked up around her waist and my fingers basking in the heat radiating from her body. I don’t know how many miles passed before I noticed the semi truck pacing beside us, its driver hanging half out the window for a better look. I sped up, and so did he. I slowed down, and so did he. I pulled Jody’s dress back over her knees, and he lost interest and peeled off.
When we got to Savannah we went straight to the registrar’s office. A young blond woman took my tuition check and handed me a fall schedule.
“Do you have an apartment yet?” she asked.
“No, we haven’t even looked.”
“I manage a Victorian over on 31st. I have one unit left. It’s a studio, but it’s huge — it’s the whole attic.”
“Sounds cool,” I said. “How much?”
“$250 a month.”
“We’ll take it.”
We drove to the mall and I talked to the manager at Record Bar. “Didn’t you used to manage the Starship on the other side of town?” he said.
“What happened there?”
“Do you know Stan?”
“Yeah, I’ve met him. Okay, I get it. You sure you’re just not applying here so that you can negotiate more money from Stan?”
“I can’t make you a manager, I already have an assistant manager.”
“I’m okay with that.”
“When can you start?”
“Whenever you need me,” I said.
It was just that simple. In one afternoon I was employed, housed, and back in school. Jody and I piled back into the Cordoba and headed back to Spartanburg to pack up our shit and start over again one more time.