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Ode to a Bad Album: The Rolling Stones' Some Girls (1978) photo

Track #8: "Before They Make Me Run"

We walked home along the railroad tracks. One day I tried to time my stride so each foot would come down on a weathered tie and not the cinder stone. I was running in air. I was running without touching the ground. When I tripped and broke my fall with my hands, I got a splinter in the pad of my thumb but stood up laughing because I was strong.

Ahead of me G said, Stop it, fucker, because S had her arms behind her back and was turning her around so I could see her chest, which had gotten big.

G's sweater had picked up pieces of seed from going through the brush on the hillside. She was angry. I laughed out loud.


Track #3: "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)"

A big pine tree pointed straight up at the stars in front of G's apartment. You can go in there, she said about the pine tree. I looked. Do you want to go in there?

We sat with our backs to the trunk without quite touching. She put her hand on my knee, which was raised, and I scooched away so I could roll back, and her tongue flicked into my mouth. We eased down. Her tongue had a vanishing silver taste that I liked and wanted to keep tasting.

Later I looked in the bathroom mirror and the skin around my mouth was red. G was waiting. She'd paused the video game. I peeked into her cheerleader sister's room as I walked down the hall towards the colors on the screen and her sister's door slammed shut.


Track #4: "Some Girls"

At T's locker I talked with S and T about N, whose gym shorts didn't completely hide the falling curve of her ass.

We talked about P, who wore tight leotard tops, and L, her friend, who didn't wear those but had let someone unzip her pants.

We talked about G.

We talked about G's older sister, who was full grown but wore ribbons in her hair.


Track #7: "Respectable"

G's mom came over for Passover. My mom had invited her and G came with. G and I took turns reading about the plagues as our moms drank Pablo Rossi. Afterwards my sister pulled G down the hall to her bedroom so they could play Barbies.

I went out back. I was thinking that G would come out but she never did.


Track #10: "Shattered"

G's bra was supported with solid wire and my fingers couldn't get in. She pushed away from me. She brought her hands to the clasp in the middle and gave it a twist. I was cheeks and lips. I was forehead and eyelids and tongue. It took me a while to understand I might have gotten a nosebleed. When I pulled up she screamed.

The next day we walked down the hall between lockers. S didn't talk to us. Nobody did. G and I didn't talk to each other.

I asked her if she was going to the football game and in the field where the cars were parked I took hold of her belt and twisted the buckle, to see. She became still but she didn't say no.


Track #6: "Far Away Eyes"

T asked G to a dance in the auditorium and she went.

G's mom came over to help my mom rake leaves and G wore hiking boots. Later we walked to the bowling alley and fed dollars into the change machine and played pinball. There were pieces of leaf in G's boots. She used english and the game kept tilting.


Track #9: "Beast of Burden"

My sister said, Let's call G. I was home babysitting. I called.

G and my sister sat on my sister's bed and G read her a story and gave her a kiss and turned off her light.

Then she came down the hall. My room hadn't been redone since my father had gone. The wallpaper embarrassed me. I'd done my best to cover it up with posters of rock stars and girls.

I lit a warped candle. It smelled like allspice. I poured two glasses of Pablo Rossi. G put a record on the turntable and dropped the needle on the edge where it was smooth, and there was a punching sound. There was a hiss.

Then for a long time in the small square room we slow-danced. G had the tips of the fingers of one hand on my shoulder and the tips of the fingers of the other on my cock, which she'd pulled through the zipper.


Track #1: "Miss You"

At home G's sister was petty and mean and G hated her. But at school they talked sometimes. G's sister might pass without speaking. Or she might stop and grab G by the elbows and do a jump and say, G! G!

One time we pulled G by the sleeves through the side doors of the auditorium, where the cheerleaders were practicing. G's sister was front center. She was the point of the triangle they made. S and I watched G's sister and when we turned around G was gone.

We kept watching. The bi-color pleats of G's sister's skirt flew when she jumped. They fluttered back down. Sheets of black hair would whip over her face and whip back as she went through her stances. I thought of her name. I thought of the sound of G's sister's name and I said it and S did too, as if it contained the thing we liked best about what we saw then as our future. We were headed back home. We were down by the railroad tracks. We were laughing and saying that name, the name of G's sister. Her name was J.

image: Ryan Molloy