First love and The Ford V8.
We all remember our first love. I certainly do. Her name was Marga. She lived opposite us at 104 Liguster Straat, The Hague. We were of equal age but she was much more advanced than I. I mean, I was getting the occasional twinge but staring at it I wondered what it was all about and did as yet not associate it with having anything to do with the opposite sex. The details are hazy and are of 60 years ago.
She had a broad smile and budding breasts which she implored me several times to touch. She wasn’t asking it verbally. It was more the way she twirled around and did funny little hop-scotch things in front of me. She was most charming. I was too hesitant and shy but walking home afterwards for my dinner of mainly potatoes and mince, I regretted for not having done so. I made up my mind to do so next time. I was resolute. Yet, next time around, I again refrained. Why was that so?
I often wondered for the reason. It was at the time when my parents decided to give the three eldest boys sex instructions. We were given a few days notice of this monumental event and told not to play outside during the allocated hour or so when we would be informed of the important facts of life. I was the second eldest and had some rough idea of those facts already including that adults did some strange things together, but I had not as yet associated those ‘strange things’ as holding pleasure or joy. I thought it then as some aberration of mankind, seeing they had just bombed each other to smithereens during WW 2, nothing surprised me much at all.
Anyway, with Marga’s continuation with imploring me to touch her breasts and my parents’ well intentioned program to educate her sprouts with the basics, something stirred in me as well, none too late, and I finally touched her softness through her floral blouse. Hoorah. The sex education lesson at 5.30 pm (before the mince and spuds) was pathetic with my father being mainly silent and leaving it to his wife to address the main issue. The main issue being for my mother anyway was, to repeat several times; “whatever you do, keep your hands above the blankets, and don’t touch ‘it’!” Heaven only knows what she implored her husband to do or not to do, but she did have 6 children. Needless to say, I soon did nothing else but keep my hands under the blankets, relishing, rejoicing and reliving my recent bravery overcoming my reticence with the touch of the lovely softness of sweet Marga.
A few weeks after, I experienced an even more unforgettable and momentous event. We lived opposite each other on the third story of our block of apartments where we often used to see each other behind the windows. Holland bares their living space as nowhere else by hardly ever drawing curtains or blinds. One sultry summer evening, we, lovelorn, were looking at each other again across the street, when she lifted her blouse suddenly and utterly spontaneously, and with a smile, affording me a view of her small roseate breasts. Not only having touched them previously but now seeing them as well brought me almost to my knees. My lovely Marga. She soon moved away to Utrecht.
All these idyllic, romantic and sexual mores of my pre-teen years were rudely interrupted by my parent’s decision to migrate to Australia. What a schism. That suburb in Australia of single fenced off green painted fibro houses, empty streets and not person in sight, let alone a Marga. I could not share my loneliness no matter how lovely the rockeries or how well the suburban lawns were kept.
A great consolation was my first car. It was a 1950 Ford V8 single spinner and painted a light powder blue. That first time I brought it home after having traded in my Triumph ex police motor bike with side-car was a triumph. It was almost, but not quite as unforgettable as my memories of sweet Marga. Next morning, turning the key and pulling the starter knob it brought the eight cylinders to life with a roar that brought the whole street to attention.
It was this FordV8 car that I took my first Australian girl friend out in. I decided to show her the devastation of a small village named Woy Woy that had been blown to pieces by a huge swirling tornado named ‘Willy Willy,’ an obscure aboriginal name . The Newspapers were full of the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. I could not shake the title of those headlines and had to find out what this devastation was all about.
The trip was a disaster even more than the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. She was nothing like my soft Marga. She was unrelentingly practical, hard as nails and tough as leather jackets. She complained of my car giving out blue smoke, also, “Get me a malted banana milkshake” she demanded. Late in the afternoon I dropped her off at Sydney’s Coogee. Her father was formidable, over 6 feet and wearing bib and brace overalls with tools hanging from a belt. He was most suspicious. He should not have worried.
No twinges of any sort.