Wellington High Class of 1986 Senior Jon Davenport had this way about him that made everyone who met him either mad or jealous or furious or in love or in hate. He was tall, but not too tall. Dark skin, but not in that “I fell asleep in a tanning bed” way. He didn’t smell good. But he gave off a body odor that smelled like nothing else but Jon. At first you plugged your nose but, after awhile, it made you feel comfortable. He wore flannel shirts with holes and cigarette burns. He wore jeans occasionally but sweatpants most days. He wore a different Motorhead T-Shirt every day (he must have had at least 20 of them). He wore dirt and sweat. He was a disgusting human being that everyone loved and hated, though they didn’t know him at all.
“That guy gets more pussy than the entire football and soccer teams put together, “ said Freshman Don Henley on October 26th, 1986 at 10:36 AM, while sitting on the desk of history teacher Mrs. McConnell, waiting for Intro to U.S. History to begin. Don Henley was conceived under the bleachers of an Eagles concert in Poughkeepsie at the renowned Francisco De Marco auditorium, which was converted from a high school gym into a full blown stadium. This remarkably unimmaculate conception happened on October 26, 1972 at 10:36 PM. No one will ever be sure if this is a coincidence of cosmic proportions or just one of those things.
But Freshman Don Henley was wrong about his assumption regarding Jon’s sex life. Many girls had claimed to have slept with him. However, he had only slept with one person: Linda Lee.
Granted, is it technically sleeping together if:
a) No sleeping together occurred.
b) The act itself was done while standing in a broom closet wherein not even the smallest sleeping furniture or mattress could fit.
c) Neither wore PJs.
I’ll let you ponder this one on your own time. Regardless, he met Linda at Camp Morgan Lake, a summer camp in Lee, Maine, which they attended a couple of summers ago. They were camp counselors. This paid pretty well, actually. 100 per week, though 1/4 was typically spent at the Snack Shack.
So yes, the two became fast friends after meeting at a “Get to Know Ya” part on the first night of camp. They chatted, joked around, played Skip-Bo while listening to ZZ Top cassette tapes that her uncle had given her, walked around the lake that camp was named after, talked about whatever came to mind, made plans to meet in the laundry building at 3:00 am, and it was there that they made love. The rest of the week the two hung out, were assumed to be dating but, really, nothing official was ever made of it. They met at the Laundry building at 3:00 am every night of the whole week they were there.
Jon Davenport was always good at being sneaky.
Don Henley was always good at being terrible at accurately knowing anything about Jon Davenport.
As good as Jon and Linda Lee became at laundromat closet sex, they were more mutually touched by the friendship that would develop throughout their time at camp. Together Jon and Linda Lee created several dreamlike memories that stuck to their respective imaginations like the fog that hangs perfectly upon the sky in those unprofessional photographs most people take once in awhile that, by accident, look better than pretty much anything. Like the smell of nicotine on the shirt you wear to the bar on an exceptionally enjoyable evening. Like the smell of Christmas trees, autumn, and mowed lawns stick to you for the first time on some day you don’t even remember and then never leave you. Like those.
One specific memory involved the two in a car. Jon was driving, Linda was in the passenger seat, which was a flip from the norm because, well, Jon had no driver’s license. Jon was driving Linda’s 1975 Dart, blue as the sky and moved forward by gasoline and a slant six. Mr. Roger Corery, who was the camp’s director, gave them special permission to leave camp on Saturday for a day trip. The date was July 4th, 1984. The time was 4:42 PM. Destination: Bangor, Maine.
“It’s good to be away. I can’t believe they let us do this so, yeah. I’m alright with this. Yeah…yeah, this is good stuff,” said Jon, who for a boy without a license and really a whole lot of practice drove with impressive confidence and skill.
“Eh, Roger’s not a bad guy,” replied Linda as she searched her very shitty radio for some sign of life upon that invisible landscape of FM signals. “I think he realizes that our job isn’t as stress free as we had hoped.
“I like Roger. I like him,” said Jon. “I heard from his wife that, like, he was some fuckin’ crazy left-winger in his college days, before he got religious. And not some fuckin’ hippy or Abbie Hoffman wannabe. But just a really brave dude. Standing up to people and getting arrested for stuff he believed was right. Writing tunes about important stuff and, you know, getting in cops faces when necessary. Making riots that mattered, at least to him.”
Linda smiled with just her lips, then showed her teeth, then thought about it and laughed. “You do realize that you’re description of him really did make him sound like some fuckin’ hippy or Abbie Hoffman wannabe.”
Jon said nothing.
Then Jon laughed and said something.
“Yeah, you’re right. Fuck Roger. Fuckin’ hippy.” Linda nodded in mock approval.
“Fuck that hippy Roger,” she said.
To be continued.