We’re in the multi-purpose room at Camp Seagull in Atlantic Beach, the smell of beans and franks still lingering in the air even after the chaffing dishes have been cleared and the tables have been pushed along the wall to make room for the thirty or so of us tenth graders to sit cross-legged in a circle on the cool linoleum floor.
“Now,” says Father Bill, “We’re going to go around the circle and sign our vows to stay chaste until marriage."
Father Bill is rather rotund with a huge bulbous nose that shines with oil. His glasses keep slipping down the shiny slope and he pushes them up with his Pillsbury Doughboy fingers every few seconds.
“He probably could never get a woman interested in him,” Shane Walsh whispers in my ear, “That’s why he married God.”
I laugh nervously. Shane is super cute. I can’t believe he just spoke to me. My heart is beating in my chest. I feel like I might pass out.
The clipboard is going around the room as Father Bill reads a passage from the Bible. Something about something thou shalt not do, but all I can think about is Shane’s pink lips and the slight scent of cigarettes on his breath.
Shane is a bad boy. I’m not supposed to associate with bad boys.
The clipboard comes to him. He quickly and confidently scribbles his commitment and passes it on to me. Huh. I’m surprised HE is buying into all this.
I look at his signature.
Eric Estrada, he wrote.
Farrah Fawcett, I write.
Later that night we make out in a sand dune.