Friday, February 6, 2009

ESCAPE by Bennett Neiman

When I was in high school, the major conversation that went on between me and my friends was about getting pussy. Of course, it was all talk. In the summer of 1964, in Cincinnati, Ohio, there really was no place that any of us knew, where pussy was hanging out ready to be gotten. And, even if there were such a place, neither me nor most of my chums would have much of a clue about what to do with it once we had it—except perhaps Carl, who was the cool one of the bunch.

Nonetheless, talking about such a place, did occupy quite a bit of our time. I’m not sure how it got started, but one of us must have seen the old movie, “Shangri La,” about an exotic, hidden paradise island—because we started referring to that amazing place where pussy fell like rain from the skies—as Shangri La.

So imagine our joy when one of us—Kenny Baker be exact—announced that he had accidentally stumbled into Shangri La the past Saturday night. We were all so excited, or so it seemed. I, myself, was. “What if they find out I’m a virgin,” I thought, “or what if they discover that I had never even seen a pussy, much less know what to do with one?” But, there was no backing down. I had to go on this exotic adventure with my brethren, whether I liked it or not.

So, it was decided that the next Saturday night, that the four of us: Kenny, Carl, Marc and I, would get into Kenny’s car—he was the only one who had a car—and take the majestic journey to the place we had been fantasizing about for at least the past year.

Kenny told us that Shangri La was down by the Ohio River on the Eastern side of Cincinnati, a place where none of us had been because it was know for being a very rough red-necked part of town.

We had all been on Columbia Parkway before, the highway that overlooked the river basin area in which Shangri La was nestled into—but none of us had actually been down there. The only reason Kenny had found it, was that he made a wrong turn off the Parkway, and found himself down by the riverside.

Kenny described the place to the other three of us as a small town filled with bands of gorgeous high school girls who looked very cheap and tawdry, who just roamed around like sexual predators, looking for who they could give the next blow job to. Kenny, who we knew was prone to exaggeration and hyperbole, told us that he was certain that these packs of divine, nasty goddesses were certain to throw us all to the ground and have their way with us, just as soon as they spotted us. Even though we all knew Kenny was spinning a tall tale—we made him repeat his prognostication again and again—on our way to high school boy paradise.

When we got on Columbia Parkway, I felt my heart jumping. I was so scared that I almost started crying. I thought, “What if I jumped out of the car at the first chance—maybe I could make up a story later about why I had to leave.

At first, it appeared that I was going to get a reprieve. It turned out that Kenny did not really remember exactly where he had made the wrong turn before and, consequently, didn’t know how to get down to Shangri La. But Carl, who was a very street-smart, clever fellow, figured out how to get off the Parkway and down to the river. Fuck you, Carl. Once down there, Kenny had no trouble finding the place he had been to before. Fuck you, Kenny.

Since we didn’t know exactly what to expect, it was decided that we would park the car up on the hill road that ran parallel to the river—and then walk the several blocks down to Main St. of Shangri La. I was very nervous as we descended into the village.

Well, it turned out that Kenny had been half right. This was clearly an edgy red-necked place, populated by former and current inhabitants of trailer parks. And, on this particular summer Saturday night, much like the one of Kenny’s first visit—there was, indeed, a roaming gang of high school age girls—mostly gorgeous—and all very cheap and tawdry. And, it was pretty clear to us that probably every one of them gave very good blow jobs.

What Kenny did not tell us—which he swore later that he never noticed—was that accompanying the pack of felacio-addicted female rapists, was a pack of dangerous looking, greasy hoods with cigarettes rolled-up in their t-shirt sleeves—looking very capable of brutal mayhem.

By the time we realized what we were walking into, it was too late. The pack of cock-suckers and future wife-beaters had spotted us and moved their way toward us. I looked around to assess our troops. Let’s see….we had Marc, the intellectual, who I doubted had ever been near a fight.…Kenny, a big lug of a guy, who looked like a small sumo wrestler, but was unfortunately more like a Jewish teddy bear….Carl, the ladies man, who might have been very familiar with pussy, but not much good to us now, unless the girls decided to fuck us to death. Then, there was me—certainly the weakest link of the bunch. My mind went into red alert. I looked up and saw a little old lady starting to cross the street. I quickly ran over to her and said in a very loud voice, “Excuse me, ma’am, let me help you cross the street. I figured no one could beat up a guy who was trying to help a little old lady cross the street.

My friends quickly caught on and came over to assist me. There we were, four frightened high school boys from the suburbs, helping a little old red-neck lady cross a small street with absolutely no cars in sight—to avoid being attacked and brutally injured.

When we got half way across the street, one of the young Shangri La maidens yelled out, “Hey, they’ve got granny and they’re taking her away…what are they going to do to my granny?”

With that, things broke into chaos. The mob broke ranks into a full attack, and the four of us turned and ran like we had never run before. Kenny yelled to us, “Meet me up on Columbia Parkway!” Carl took off in one direction, Marc in another. I went with Marc, I think because he was my best friend, so when I started crying and pissing and shitting in my pants, I wouldn’t have been as embarrassed as I would have been with either Carl or Kenny.

None of us were caught that night. I never looked back, so I don’t know what happened. I could imagine no one trying to get Kenny, because of his size—in that his Jewish teady-bearness was not distinguishable in the dark night. Why the rest of us got away, I’ll never know. I was never known for my speed. In fact, I believe granny could have caught me if she wanted too.

Anyway, we did escape, with everything but our egos in tact. Eventually, we all made it up to Columbia Parkway. Marc and I first met up with Carl, and it wasn’t too long before Kenny drove up and we all got into his car and made our getaway.

None of us mentioned Shangri La again. Not the place down by the river, nor the imaginary one. It wasn’t too long after, that I lost my virginity—but it wasn’t to a gang of horny girls. I escaped puberty and made it past adolescence into young adulthood. Now, I’m 60 years old. But, the truth be known, for a long while, I stayed open to the possibility and fantasy that someday I would stumble into the real Shangri La, that is, until I fully grew up and embraced the beauty of true love as the true paradise and the other as only fools gold…….that was about a year and a half ago...….some fantasies last a long time.