It was after midnight on a Friday night
when I heard the gargoyle’s voice for the first time. I was a junior in
high school and had just come home from a date with my boyfriend. Don was a
senior and arguably one of the best-looking boys in the school—albeit not
one of the smartest. He was also one of the few boys who had his own car.
This contributed significantly to his allure and I suspect he loved that
Camaro with a passion far greater than anything he was capable of feeling
Most of our dates consisted of drag
racing on Telegraph Road, shooting the shit with Don’s friends, and
parking on Spinoza Drive, which is where kids went to either neck or pet,
depending on how meaningful their relationships were. Don was a master at
one-handed bra unhooking and I did my part by wearing a skirt for our dates.
This made it easy for him to push my panties aside and get his finger inside
me. This was as far as I’d ever gone with a boy and it triggered my first
orgasm, although I didn’t realize that was what it was at the time.
On this particular night, we’d been
kissing and groping each other in the back seat of the Camaro for the better
part of an hour when Don began unzipping his pants. This was my signal that
his pecker was about to start making demands I wasn’t prepared to
“It’s almost eleven-thirty. I’ve
got to get home,” I said, stuffing my boobs back into the cups of my bra
and reaching around to refasten the hooks.
“My balls feel like rocks; you
can’t keep doing this to me,” he said angrily. “For Christ sake, I
asked you to go steady, what the hell are you waiting for?”
“I want it as much as you do, but
it’s not very romantic doing it for the first time in the back seat of a
car,” I said.
Actually, I didn’t want it as much as
Don did. I wasn’t even sure I wanted it at all. According to the romance
novels, losing your virginity hurt and there was always the clear and
present danger of getting knocked up, since these were the days before guys
never left home without a condom or two tucked away in their wallet.
“Maybe I can work something out.
Ralph’s older sister has an apartment. I’ll see if we can use it for a
couple of hours next Friday night.”
When I got home, Dad was sitting in his
recliner in the den, watching television. He checked his watch when he saw
me walk by, but it was still a few seconds before midnight, so he was denied
the pleasure of grounding me. Once safely in my room, I changed into the new
pink shortie pajamas Mom bought Sybil for her birthday. Luckily, they were
too small for her and since they were on final clearance, she couldn’t
take them back.
I was lying in the dark, thinking about
how good it had felt to have a virile, incredibly handsome man like Don
putting his hands all over me, when I heard the voice coming from the
direction of the dresser.
“Don’s dumber than dirt and you
know it.” Hearing the gargoyle speak for the first time that night came as
quite a shock, although I should have suspected he could talk, since
everybody knows that gargoyles are highly magical creatures. When I reached
over to switch on the lamp so I could see him better, he spoke again.
“Please leave the light off, Maudie,”
the gargoyle said softly. “I prefer to do my talking in the dark.”
I quickly pulled my hand back as he
requested, propped my pillow up against the headboard, and sat back, anxious
to hear what else the gargoyle had to say.
“We both know you’re only dating
Don because he’s good looking and has a car.”
“That’s not true. He’s a great
guy when you get to know him.”
“Tell me another one. It’s a good
thing you two talk with your hands, because his IQ is lower than the air
pressure in the tires on that Chevy.”
“He told me he loves me.”
“What he loves is those big boobs of
yours. You can’t possibly think it’s your mind he’s interested in.”
Surprisingly, his criticism of Don
didn’t bother me quite as much as it should have. What did bother me was
why the gargoyle had waited all these years to reveal that he possessed the
ability to speak. “So, why now?” I asked. “Why did you decide to speak
for the first time tonight? And why didn’t you wait until you had
something nice to say?”
“You didn’t need my advice until
now. Besides, I’m not saying anything you don’t already know. The truth
is, Don’s an eighteen-year-old beer drinking bimbo who thinks girls were
put on this earth for the same reason as cars—so he can get in them and go
for a ride. If you keep saying no, he’s going to dump you. I know how
important having a boyfriend is to you, but the price you have to pay to
keep Don is just too high.”
“But I like having a good-looking
boyfriend,” I whined.
“I know you do, but your relationship
with Don is setting you up for a fall and that fragile self-esteem of yours
won’t handle it very well. You’re a smart girl, Maudie. Think about
That was the first of many late-night
conversations the gargoyle and I had over the years and the timing of this
one was impeccable. Two weeks after the gargoyle warned me about Don, I
refused to go all the way and just as the gargoyle predicted, the conceited
bastard dumped me.