Thursday, January 17, 2008
Ripped from the pages of the Brothers Grimm, this is the cautionary tale of a farsighted teenage boy, forced to move across the country to live with his stern father and evil stepmother, and the thin walls that separated him from his aloof step-sister.
The year was 1981 and young John was but a wee lad of 15. His parents had recently divorced and he was made to pack his bags and move to the proud, albeit perpetually decaying, kingdom of Metuchen. John's father, a caterer, took a new woman and remarried, and both families moved into a home to begin their new lives together (a home, it should be noted, that was previously inhabited by the teenage actor Robert Hegyes, aka Juan Epstein, and an attic that featured a life size poster of Robert in his high school football uniform, smiling and striking a straight arm pose). Despite the gleeful, can do, presence of Mr. Hegyes to comfort him, young John was still lonely. He missed his friends, his school, and the familiarity of the young girls in his class who had just begun to transition from pigtails to push-up bras.
As the season was summer and school was not yet in session, John had no one to play with save his step-sister, Ramona. A bookish girl of 14, Ramona occupied the room directly next to John's, separated only by one thin wall. Unwittingly cruel, beautiful Ramona wanted nothing to do with John, and preferred to spend her time in the company of Messrs. Dickens, Nabakov, and Flaubert. And so, poor John spent many hours alone in his room, contemplating his sad fate. One night, as he turned the lights off in anticipation of yet another sleepless night, John noticed something most peculiar-- a thin ray of light streaming out of his wall. Most curious, he walked towards it and, putting on his thick coke-bottle glasses, pushed his eye against the wall. And there she was-- wearing her pink, frilly nightie and curled up in bed with that affable Mr. Twain, she was a vision of purity and lust!
From this night forth, John was lonely no more. As Ramona's mind wandered across the English countryside in flights of romantic fancy, John let his eyes wander up and down her body, pushing his eyes ever harder against the wall. And so it continued for quite some time.
Years passed and John's parents decided it was time to redecorate the home. From the cottage cheese ceilings to the sagging Robert Hegyes poster to the conspicuously eyeglass-smudged hole in young John's room that was never spoken of before or since, everything was updated, retrofitted, and in the case of the hole, spackled, painted, and sealed forever more.