Teenage Kicks (Complying With The Pricks)
“Hello Claire, do you remember me?”
“Er....the name rings a bell”
“You worked in Sweetie World”
“Oh my God, you worked in the denim shop”
“Jean Jeanie, that’s it, yes, about thirty years ago”
“Wow, it’s amazing that you looked me up. How’s things?”
“You were the first girl who sucked my cock”
Jean Jeanie was a chain store that sold denim. I’d managed to wangle Saturday work there even though I wasn’t actually legally allowed to. The boss, Louise, was quite a sort, and would get me to do things like zip up her dress in the staff area, assist her choice of skin-tight skirt as she looked at her delicious round arse in the mirror, and other similar sensual engagements that had my fifteen-year-old balls a-bangin’ hard. Natalie, the supervisor, was also quite the sort. But at fifteen, you’d have to have Downs Syndrome, or be a bloke to not seem quite the sort. Actually, any female under forty – ish – and above fifteen had some kind of sexual element to me. And not much else. Which made someone who actually was super-hot – double plus sort - someone who I was actually attracted to without the petty frolics of such staff-room encounters, almost unbelievable, alien even. That actually attractive actual alien was Claire, who worked in Sweetie World in the same shopping center, and who ten years my senior was a ripe, buxom, sultry, permanently exploding, sex-bomb. A ‘crush’ they called it then, although I somehow already feared it was destined to be more of a splatter, a violent smear, a squash, a mash, a flattening, a thigh of lust ground down to the bone of loss when dragged along the tarmac of life in a car-crash of desire. But what you gonna do?
Like a fly to a bug-light I seized upon any excuse to get out of my denim-padded cell and walk past Sweetie World to give Claire a wave and one of my awkward, anemic, agonizingly still pre-pubescent, goofy, and yellow-skinned smiles. Louise needed some stamps? I’ll get them. Natalie needed a can of coke? I’d get it. Does anyone need anything, ever? I’m game. My lunch-break was spent mainly doing laps of the shopping center, managing to get in about fifteen Sweetie World walk-bys, with a hit ratio of about 2:5. ‘Stalking’, it’s called. Without Claire I doubt I’d have lasted at Jean Jeanie as long as I did – which was quite the while considering I had absolutely no interest in work. Although, being a clothes shop the customers were mainly women, and since it was the eighties, it was still an all-day bonertron. Being paid to look at women trying on their three-quarter length stretch Pepe jeans and crop-tops felt less like work and more like some kind of wonderful torture. Which is still torture, mind. But still wonderful. Slipping back into their ankle-breaking stilettos to see if the jeans adequately pushed their arses out enough for the meat-market that was Flicks Nightclub that night was a glimpse into a world I was just realising actually existed. After a diet of dad’s jazz-mags, the big-busted and bigger haired offerings of American telly - such as Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman, what seemed like an ever changing and increasingly sexual cast of hotties in Charlie’s Angels, Dallas, and Dynasty, and even the stingy but reliable titillating scenes in many an 80s British sitcom – Allo Allo’s French maids, the hit and miss but worth hanging out for skirt in Are You Being Served, etc,. I was not drowning but wanking - in a sea of hormones and the work of tart in the age of televisual reproduction. But ‘served’ I most certainly was not being. Oh, to be doing a fuck on an actual woman, the fleshy type with actual skin, and eyes, and lips, and smells, and hands, and sounds, and giggles, and legs, and necks, and boobs, and waists, and arses, and eye-lashes, and and and... all trotting along, cheap gold-plate jewelry swinging around and bouncing off the soft flesh of cleavages, or hanging loose around their ankles. Mum told me only whores wore ankle bracelets, which was kind of confusing since it seemed only whores shopped in Jean Jeanie – and staffed it, and managed it for that matter. In fact, for a while there it seemed the only woman who wasn’t a whore was my mum.
There’ll never be an era as sexy as the 80s. It was the orgy at the end of the empire. Women objectified themselves. That’s liberation. None of that hippy bullshit. Who wants to fuck a hippy, anyway? Good Lord I can’t think of anything less attractive than a woman in wool and flared trousers talking about runes or fucking astrology. Who doesn’t want to be a sex-object? Ridiculous. Not all the time, obvs – just most of it.
Claire was the epitome of everything I’d learned, of everything my hormones and the syrupy cultural sea of seduction I was permanently up to my neck in had been leading up to. Everything that had aroused, confused, shivered, wanked, and even repulsed me - in a sexy way - had found a target. And to it I wandered like a gender-based zombie, craving nothing but - yet knowing nothing of - the flesh of a woman, and trying to work out how the hell I was actually going to get any of it rather than have it dangled in front of me. I was close enough to inhale her like saucy glue, but too far away to touch, like not so saucy glue. A distance formed from cultural and social codes of which I was ignorantia. I was in fact, impotent in the language of seduction. I was seduced and at once silenced. I’d absorbed it, consumed it, got a taste for it, and now desired it. Claire, conversely, had absorbed it and now produced it. This thing, this angel, this object of lust; voluptuous, curvaceous, Oedipal disaster, kind mother, evil mother, chaos of bollocks rinsed and repeated, shadow-like love of an absent emotion, and emotional absence, a sexual persistence, a sensual resistance, dip my penis in honey and let the abject swarm take me to utopia with my face held tight to the heaving bosom of her...well, of her heaving bosom. What a cunting time to be alive.
Claire was all of that – and more - personified, all of it objectified, all standing there in Sweetie World, in her little red miniskirt and tight white shirt, tied in a knot above her navel and barely managing to contain her wobbling, ginormous, globules of milky love. She wore the same uniform as the rest of the staff, but she’d turned the slut dial up to maximum – rewired it through the car battery of the teenage jizz-o-meter. She wore little, white, lacey ankle socks, and black stilettoes, big hoop-earrings, and more make-up than the rest of the staff put together. But it was her eyes; her smokey, sultry, fuck-me eyes. Well not just them, but they were the icing on the cake of fuck, the gorging upon which I lived for. The one I walked past some twenty times a shift, sometimes more – just for that fraction of a second of bliss, fraction of a smile, fraction of a butterfly flapping its wings in my stomach and causing a hurricane in my Primark underwear. And then a girl from my school got a Saturday job in Sweetie World. Bingo.
Nicola Reynolds was not an attractive girl. She may well be now, of course but then she had the look of an old and battered woman about her. I’d rather have fucked her mother, which I guess isn’t so strange since with Nicola being fifteen her mother was probably in her thirties and hadn’t had the unfortunate and obviously dominant genes of her butcher father put into the mix. And although Nicola was in my class at school, we’d barely spoken in three years. Oh, how that was about to change.
Nicola knew I was obsessed with Claire. I told her. No point trying to hide something I wanted her to know. And I wanted her to tell Claire, which I assume she did as Claire was good enough to then humour me, to patronize me, to push me further from her with every ‘Aren’t you a cutie?’ and every fingernail she dragged down the front of my T-shirt. The little flirtatious smile, and those damn eyes. With every gesture I’d dreamed of and jizzed of, she was really just letting me know I was just a boy and she was all woman. I took every opportunity to speak with Nicola at school, just to – in some way – to be close to Claire. And I would hang around in Sweetie World, talking to Nicola about nothing on the off-chance Claire would appear, return, already be there – anything, everything. She once even told me that Claire had boyfriends with cars and that she went nightclubbing and shit. What a bastard. The closer I got the further away I realised I was going.
I stood looking in the mirror at my mum and dad’s house. My goofy teeth, my yellow skin, my under-formed, child body. What was a woman like Claire going to do with me? Nothing. I had nothing she wanted and she was everything I needed. Oh, terrible horn why do you make my life so?
I kept it up though, of course I did. There’s no pulling back from such attraction, such compulsion, such utter desire, such hypnotism from staring at a black sun; even the humiliation was better than nothing. Even the casual putting in my place was worth a heavy sniff for a lungful of her perfume, her hands on my shoulders asking me if I danced as I stood there, submissive, infantile, not dancing. She teased me and I took it – I wanted it. I knew it was all I’d get – and that would just have to do.
And one day she was gone. Sweetie World was just a load of different colour sugar and Nicola talking to me about things I no longer cared about. Claire had got a job in London, which I didn’t care about, as that was well out of my stalking range.
About a year later - full of vodka and hashish - I wound up at a party in the Sea Cadets Hall by Dartford lakes. Wandering around stealing wallets and purses from coats hung on the backs of chairs and helping ourselves to free drinks meant for other people, invited people, me and a couple of friends started work on a group of girls sitting alone on a table by the door. It was quite a laugh. A year is a long time when it involves puberty, and I wasn’t the goofy runt selling jeans any more. Barely a man too, of course, but progress had been made. And then she took me by the hand – Claire – and I felt my heart in my mouth, the taste of sin and dreams. I saw her red hair, swinging across her bare shoulders, I watched her arse swing from side to side as she led me out of the main hall, her heels like hooves, stretching her calf muscles as she clack-clack-clacked across the tile floor entrance and outside into the night.
After she let go of my hand and pushed me slowly to the ground, I could feel myself regressing, getting younger again and losing about a week with every second. By the time she unbuttoned my fly, I was just that kid in Sweetie World again, standing there lost and found, within and without, present and absent. That changed quite dramatically when she put my – on the verge of exploding - cock in her mouth though. The first girl to ever do it. The first girl who was doing it. We hadn’t said a word and now she was bobbing up and down, up and down, up and down. And it felt like everything I thought it would but everything more too – feelings, sensations, and Jesus wept, give me this life and give it to me forever. And then she stopped. And then she smiled. And as my cock throbbed, flinched, and jerked about like it needed air, like it needed the life Claire was breathing into it, illuminated by the flashing lights from the Sea Cadet Ball, and serenaded by Blondie’s Heart of Glass in the distance, she walked away, smiling as she went.
“Where are you going? You can’t go. What the fuck. You can’t start that and then stop like that. Claire! Claire!” But by now she was gone, taking my erection with her as she disappeared into the night, leaving me with my jeans around my knees, the damp grass making my back cold, and me looking into the starless sky - totally consumed by an overwhelming sense of sexual self-pity - whose face might just define my rapidly approaching, wondering, stumbling, fumbling, adulthood.
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