To this day, I have trouble getting all the way through Seasons in the Sun. It started in 1974, and although I am pretty sure Terry Jacks was singing of cancer or suicide or something like that, his song enjoyed a perversely high rotation at our classroom parties, probably because it was so perfect for rocking back and forth slowly and hanging onto a girl as tightly as you dared, amazed at the heat two bodies could generate, and telling her so, saying anything that came into your head, just to draw attention from this strange thing you were doing.
These weren’t the parties we’d had in Grade Six. Something new had taken over, pulled close the curtains, and turned out the lights. There was music, but no one dared dance, and so the girls at the record player would conspire to set up the most unlikely couples in what they called a “snowball.” They’d announce the names, and I’d have to slow-dance with Karen Carstairs for an excruciating three minutes and twenty-four seconds, then Beth Parker, and finally Brenda Duffy, except the joke’s on them because Brenda was probably the only girl in class at all interested in me.