Scott was the ultimate cool burner. He never wore shirts. He kept his ‘75 Camaro clean and tight and parked it high up in the driveway at the appropriately perfect angle. Damn, that fucking car ruled. Scott liked to blow bones out on his back porch while listening to Kiss Alive II on endless repeat. Sonofabitch had a portable 8-track. Scott turned Will on to Kiss, which became an obsession for Will all through junior high. Will joined the Kiss Army, drew the Kiss logo everywhere, even drawing the band members conquering historical inevitabilities; Gene Simmons on the battlefields of WWII stomping Panzers with his dragon boots, Ace Frehley slaying battalions with electric rainbow lightning bolts streaming from his guitar’s headstock.

Scott’s room was a den of late 70s cool; the red velvet Rush starman poster, the green and blue cracked lava lamp, the stacks of only the coolest new long players. Ashtrays filled with roaches, a thick brown rug covering the walls. Will wanted to be like Scott. Shit, everybody wanted to be like Scott.

Scott told Will about girls, women he called them. How he loved women, and their smooth bodies. That was his obsession, he told Will. That, and grass. Scott’s girlfriend Tracey spent a lot of her time lying on Scott’s bed. She didn’t say much. She might have been a junior, if that. Pretty, Will thought. She reminded him of somebody on TV, but he couldn’t remember who. Will wondered what she looked like naked. Do you love her? Will asked. Shit little man, you don’t love girls, they love youScott laughed, and then Will did too, but only because he thought he was supposed to. He wasn’t really sure why.

High school, so far away it was impossible to imagine. The only girls Will knew were the ones from across the cul-de-sac who used to pull their pants down in the fenced alleyway between apartment buildings. They liked to show the boys what was down there, but they never asked to see what anybody else had down there. Will wondered about that, too.

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