elp and ms. menard

i went to see emerson, lake and palmer when i was thirteen with my 8th grade french teacher. my first concert and in my mind, my first real date. i was crazy about her. she was maybe 25 and had short curly, chestnut hair. she laughed easily and had a slight southern drawl. you might say she was bubbly. terry menard. the other boys would hide her purse out on the window ledge when she was out of the classroom and i would tell her where it was. i didn't care what the other kids would say at lunch. at thirteen, i already wasn't popular at my prep school in suburban st. louis and ate with the dorks, burn-outs and brains. 

somehow the crazy idea was hatched that if we could get a grown-up to go with us, my drummer buddy and i could go to the show. neither of our parents would take us so i asked ms. menard. she brought a girlfriend and we all went. it was in the arena near forest park. elp set up at one end and our seats were on the side so ms. menard was next to me and i had to look past her to see the band. in between keith blowing up a patch bay, shooting sparks out of a strap-on keyboard, stabbing the B3 organ and carl's rotating drum kit, i would stare at ms. menard and imagine us together. then the band left greg lake alone on the stage and that meant he was going to play his sappy acoustic guitar songs. boring. but terry thought it was pretty and she turned and smiled at me. then she said, 

'this is fun! thanks y'all for inviting us.' 

i wanted to say something like, what do you want to do after? or, let's get out of here. but i had no game. i said, 

'thanks for taking us,' like she was babysitting. 

the concert ended and the girls drove us home. i rode in the front with ms. menard and my buddy rode in the back with her friend. we talked about the show and does some roadie pick up all those pieces from the patch bay and glue them back together so keith can blow it up in the next town tomorrow, or what? i really wanted to figure out a way to be alone with terry. or figure out a way we could go park somewhere. i knew that parking lead to making out even though i had never done it. but i didn't know how to bring that about and i actually got dropped off first. and then there i was in the driveway watching them drive away, ms. menard's girlfriend now in the front seat. terry's hair blew in her face and she pushed it away, waving to me at the same time. she smiled a smile that meant only that she was happy and then she was gone. 

now whenever i read a news story about some female teacher getting together with a boy student, i think about terry menard and what might have been. rape? i would've been the happiest kid alive. 

maybe something like this was destined to happen to me because when i went to my first college, john carroll, i actually did have an affair with my freshman english teacher. she turned me on to woody allen. i get it. 'woody' allen. that's not a joke. it's funny, but it's true. we watched every woody allen movie together and i read all his books that year. 

interesting missouri factoid - 'felony statutory sodomy' refers to 'deviate sexual behavior' which would include anal sex but also includes oral sex. 


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