Springtime at the Paradise

Bottomless

[The Michelle in this story is the same girl as in these stories here and here. The protagonists are two City College of New York sophomores. All of the locations mentioned here existed in 1975. The Paradise Theater building is now a church.]

*****

In May 1975 I gave my girlfriend Michelle a tour of my hometown of the Bronx. We decided to take her car for the trip back and forth and for part of the excursion within the borough; I would drive because I knew my way around and she could be free for sightseeing. I went out by subway to Long Island City one sunny weekday morning to meet her around eleven A.M.

She met me outside her house and I noticed she had dressed up a bit for the occasion. What was most noticeable was that she had a cute little short skirt, a gray plaid item I had never seen before. She complemented that with white ankle socks and sneakers. As we stood on the sidewalk I commented, “I like that new skirt. It makes me feel like I should be carrying your books home from school.”

She put on a tongue-in-cheek coy act, holding her hands together and looking a touch shy, “You should be carrying my books, I mean we’ve been going steady for a while now.” A “while now” meant since last October, and I wasn’t sure how “going steady” would be defined in the present decade. We had since the beginning done whatever two horny college students could imagine doing.

I played along a bit more, “There’s a malt shop up there I could take you to if you wish.” That wasn’t an idle boast; there was a kind of luncheonette/ice cream parlor that had been serving generations of dating youth since at least the 1940s. Actually, the old fashioned soda fountain setup survived in quite a number of places both large and small throughout the city.

She said, “That would be swell, but don’t think that with just an ice-cream soda you can start getting fresh with me.” That was so silly we both laughed at it.

I drove her 1971 Coronet north and crossed the Triborough Bridge. We chatted a bit about the scenery, especially the impressive Hell Gate Bridge parallel to our route. We affectionately touched other, I squeezing her knee and she rubbing my shoulder. Soon after we entered the borough we drove under about ten blocks of the Third Avenue el that hadn’t been demolished yet. The trestle ended abruptly; I realized I would miss its 19th Century charms, its wooden stations and platforms.

Then I drove west into an unusual landscape of steep ridges and sharp valleys covered with dense blocks of apartment houses. I had grown up in this environment and still thought that this was the standard by which to assess the rest of the world. After we went through my old street and had seen my old schools and other landmarks, I drove north to Fordham Road.

We parked in a municipal garage on Jerome Avenue and then went for a stroll on Fordham Road, the major crosstown shopping street. One of the things that I wanted to show her were the movie theaters that still were an important part of the life of the street. Unlike today’s multiplexes, they each had a distinctive look and personality. There was the tiny Capri, little more than a storefront, the neoclassical Fordham, and the Art Deco Valentine.

A block down on the west side of the aptly-named Grand Concourse was the Loew’s Paradise, the grandest Bronx theater of them all. The front of the building went up several stories above street level.

We stood there for a few minutes as I reminisced about my eighteen-year-old self and my high school graduation that had taken place in there almost two years earlier. I described being on this sidewalk and seeing my hopeless crush Margot for one of the last times. It was hopeless in that I had been seated next to her in a class for all of senior year and we never could find much to say to each other.

Michelle knew about much of this already, “The human mind is amazing, I mean how could you waste so much time and energy on someone who wasn’t interested? What did she look like seks hikayeleri that day?”

“Instead of her usual blue jeans she was wearing a short white dress with white stockings and white shoes.”

“So virginal. Was she really one?”

“I don’t know, she sometimes dropped hints that she wasn’t, I mean I overheard her talking to other people.”

“Dropped hints, huh? Let me clue you in, girls can make up as many stories as boys to cover up the virginity thing. It ain’t 1957 anymore when maybe they did the opposite.” I had a couple of friends she knew about who had admitted that their tales of sexual exploits were fabrications or, to put it more plainly, lies.

I then went on recalling my movie palace experiences. “They had almost 4,000 seats in there and on a weekday afternoon there would be about fifteen customers. I remember seeing Serpico and The New Centurions here.”

She looked up at the marquee, “I see it’s a triplex now.”

“Yeah, it became a duplex in ’73 and just recently it went to three.”

“But there still must be a lot of room in there, and it’s only one o’clock.”

I think I knew what she was getting at although I still asked, “So what?”

“That means we can go in and fool around a bit, like people do at drive-ins.”

“Ok, but there’s no car in there.”

She came closer and put her arms around my shoulders, “Come on, let’s see what we can get away with. The Passion Pit, that’s what they used to call drive-ins.”

“Have you ever done this before?”

“No, but I’ve always wanted to try it. So what do you want to see?”

“What difference does that make?”

Always practical, she said, “Well, it case it doesn’t work out we can simply watch the movie.”

We checked the signs in the box office window and saw that The Day of the Locust would start in fifteen minutes. That happened to be a film I did want to see anyway. After I bought the tickets I asked here, “What exactly are we going to do here again?”

“We’ll assess the situation and then figure it out.” I suspected that she already knew more than she told me but I was used to that by now.

The ornate lobby was done in a “Venetian” style unlike anything seen in the actual Venice. Beyond that the vast auditorium had been divided into three parts. The balcony had been sealed off to become its own unit, while the main floor had been divided into two halls by a new wall down the middle. Our showing was going to be in the unit on the left side. We picked seats in the left rear corner, three rows from the back. Two of the old ornate walls formed the angle behind us.

There were only a handful of other customers there, perhaps five or six, and they were all many rows closer to the front. I supposed there weren’t a lot of Nathanael West fans in the Bronx. Some orchestral music was playing on the sound system at a moderate volume. Nevertheless we kept our voices down when we talked during the few minutes before the start.

Michelle looked down at her ankle socks and said, “I feel like one of those bobby-soxers that used to go to the Paramount. Didn’t they throw they’re underpants at the stage sometimes?”

“That was for Tom Jones, not Sinatra, as far as I know.”

“Did you think I’m wearing panties now?”

I knew she wasn’t the kind to walk around the streets without them but I said, “I guess I’ll have to find out soon, won’t I?”

“Maybe I don’t have any, which means you have a very bad girl on your hands.”

“Well, I can’t spank you in here, that’s for sure.” The idea of that was very exciting however. It would make an interesting role-play, the stern usher and the wayward female patron. Maybe it would be a tipsy girl who wouldn’t shut up during the show. It sounded promising but I knew Michelle would need some kind of plausible location for a game like that. It wouldn’t be today, of course, but if anyone could find the right place Michelle would be the one to do it.

Michelle gaziantep şişman escort was sitting on my left side and she put her arm around me. As soon as the lights went down and the trailers were on we began kissing. This was a lot better than going to the movies with my male friends.

After a bit I put my right arm over and placed my hand under her blouse. She said, “Just a second,” as she reached back to unhook her bra. Bare tit had been a staple of drive-ins for decades. However, I was aware of the lack of an automobile and I looked ahead to check on the other patrons. I glanced at the screen too, where the feature had begun. A blonde Karen Black, a male actor I didn’t recognize, and some 1930s cars were at the base of the Hollywood sign. It looked like it had been filmed on location.

Back on location at the Paradise I rubbed her nipples; she whispered, “That’s good, that’s really nice.” I put my other arm around her and pulled her in for more kissing. She dropped a hand into my lap, “This is having an effect on you too.”

“What did you expect?”

“Exactly this. Are you pleased?”

“Of course.” Those couple of words were enough here. She unzipped my pants and then her warm hand was stroking my erection. She said, “I’ve got some hand cream here. That will help.” A lot of girls carried moisturizer in their purses, but Michelle was one who was prepared for all it could be used for. I whispered, “Hold the base and stroke with the other hand.”

“I know, I’ve certainly done this enough times.”

I couldn’t help but check on the other moviegoers again; they appeared as silhouettes but I knew Michelle and I were bathed in the light from the screen. However, all half-dozen of them seemed engaged by Depression-era Los Angeles.

On the screen Karen Black and two men, one of them in a cowboy hat, were themselves watching a movie, a movie in which Black played another character. This was the kind of situation for which one had to be stoned to fully appreciate. Meanwhile Michelle and I coordinated our kissing and breast rubbing and cock jerking in real drive-in style. The Passion Pit was getting passionate.

Michelle kept track of what was going on with me; for one thing I started using one of my own hands to guide her along. After a short while she said, “I can feel it, you’re right there.” I whimpered an affirmation. I tried to turn a little to my right and then I shot most of my cum onto the next seat; however, a bit got on my pants. She giggled, “You know what they say about omelettes.”

I leaned back and relaxed. I had read a review of the movie but I had no idea where we were in the plot now. There was Donald Sutherland with a Hitler-like moustache and Burgess Meredith, the Penguin from the old Batman show. As I reached for my handkerchief with my right hand Michelle grabbed me. “Don’t be selfish, it’s my turn now.” She guided my hand between her legs. “Touch me, you know how.” What was this called, second base or third? I knew there was no shortstop. Those two American obsessions, sports and sex, mixed together. Casey wasn’t going to hit a home run today, but a triple was good enough.

She got her feet up on her seat and spread her legs; I felt her hands arranging things, pulling her panties aside and guiding my fingers to the right places. A moment later her own fingers were working in tandem with mine. “Keep rubbing and I’ll go in and out.” Then I heard, “Baby, you’re doing just great.” I looked at her face and I knew from her expression that she wasn’t acting. I supposed this whole scenario had once been called petting below the waist and under the clothes. Mutual masturbation was the more blunt but accurate term.

Just as she had felt my progress I could feel hers. As she went over the brink she whispered to me, “You’re going to make me come.” People rarely said anything original at these moments as I already knew. I felt her body clamp down on my fingers and her gaziantep sınırsız escort mouth opened but only a tiny sound like “Eeck” came out. She was indeed careful; none of the other patrons ahead of us could have heard anything.

Michelle liked post-coital – or was this post-semi-coital? – cuddling and kissing, which was fine with me. I asked her, “That went pretty well for you?”

“You felt it for yourself, I know it went well for you too.”

I glanced at the seat next to mine and said, “I feel sorry for whoever has to sit there next.”

“Do they ever clean these things? Remind me never to sit in the back again, or in the balcony.” She glanced at the screen. “I have no idea what is going on it this movie.”

“I’d say that is a good thing. Do you want to sit through the rest and then catch the beginning again?” As late as the 1970s people would sometimes arrive in the middle of a film and do that.

She said, “No, let’s get out of here. I’m really hungry now.”

In the lobby we peeled off for the rest rooms. Before cleaning up I sniffed the smell of her on my fingers. I thought of my two other girlfriends and then for some reason I remembered Dion Dimucci and his Belmonts. Dion had grown up a few blocks from here and I was sure he had been in this theater many times. Surely he had often necked and petting in here with cuties of the 1950s.

Every night I ask the stars up above Why must I be a teen-ager in love?

Now in the open-relationship 1970s I was doing pretty well in my last couple of weeks officially as a teenager. I was “spinning plates,” as the term is now, with those two other girls but being young and foolish I had no idea how precarious and contingent my situation really was.

In the lobby I had more musical musings and I imagined Rolf and Liesl from The Sound of Music dancing through the long room. Of course I’d have to modify the lyrics a bit.

I am nineteen, going on twenty, so I’ll take care of you.

Even if I had the nerve to try that myself I wouldn’t because I didn’t have the slightest knack for singing or dancing. When Michelle came out I said, “Let’s go over to Krum’s. I promised you a date at the malt shop.” Krum’s was the ice cream parlor one block up and across the Grand Concourse which had been serving movie patrons for years. We emerged from the Paradise and blinked in the sunlight. Our hands came to gather and I led her across the wide boulevard.

When we were seated inside the restaurant I looked at her as she examined the menu. She had a flustered/disheveled look that I recognized, the look she had after a good orgasm. I probably had the equivalent male expression; I wished I could have seen myself at that moment. To the other customers in there we were just a young couple having an afternoon lunch date.

She said, “Let’s not get ice cream sodas; just an egg cream would be enough.”

“What are those things?” I was one of the few New Yorkers who had never had one.

“It’s really simple, it’s just seltzer with a few squirts of chocolate syrup.”

I considered making a joke about squirts but – fortunately – I couldn’t think of anything. After we got our sandwiches and egg creams I told her, “A few minutes ago I was thinking of Rolf and Liesl from The Sound of Music. Did you ever want to be her?”

“I wanted to be Maria. I assume that you didn’t want to be Rolf.”

“I was about eleven-years-old. I didn’t want to be anybody in particular.”

“You probably thought girls were icky back then.

“I still think they’re icky except…” I stopped myself from adding, when they’re on their backs. It didn’t seem that funny after all.

Michelle gave me a knowing look, “I think I get the gist of what you were going for, but never mind.”

Going steady, that was a term that Dion might have used. To do it right I should have something like a 1955 Chevrolet. In reality there was a Dodge in my life, a 1971 Coronet, but Michelle owned it. Dion probably wouldn’t approve of this new era in which the girl was the one supplying the car.

I tasted my egg cream and liked it; it was sweet but refreshing. While I was drinking it Michelle said, “You know, this has been a big day for you, you lost your virginity.”

“How is that?”

“I mean you had your first egg cream. Congratulations! Today you became a man.”

******

[The Michelle in this story is the same girl as in these stories here and here. The protagonists are two City College of New York sophomores. All of the locations mentioned here existed in 1975. The Paradise Theater building is now a church.] ***** In May 1975 I gave my girlfriend Michelle a tour of…

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