1985 was the year of my HSC and, having given myself an almost impossible goal, I studied every night and every weekend, for eleven months. ** Which meant that the Summer of 1985/86 was the summer to break free, the summer of beaches, parties and pubs. It was the summer I first saw a friend topless sun bathing ***, the summer I had my license and could drive anywhere I bloody wanted, and the summer I kissed a boy, even though I had a boyfriend.
My then boyfriend was the non-dancing type, and I swear I have a memory of him wearing a cap rigged up with its own drink holder and straw that connected two UDL cans of Jack Daniels and Coke to Marie Bell's 18th ****. This new boy was a dancer, and boy, did we dance. I can still smell his cologne, feel his arm around my waste as we danced to Mental as Anything's 'Live it up' and see his feet jiving to 'Wake Me up Before you Go, Go'.
The inevitable kiss (well, more of a snog really) happened the night after we'd been to see Pat Drummond at the Pennant Hill's pub, where (not that this was any excuse) I had been drinking Tia -Maria and milk all night. He drove me home. I knew what was about to happen, Mount Colah was about 10km off the direct route between Pennant Hill and his home in West Pymble. He was driving me home with purpose.
The Eurythmic's Must be Talkin' to an Angel was playing on the radio as he leant in to kiss me, and, as the song was finishing, he whispered in my ear 'must be an angel' and I never felt more desirable.
The next day I woke up sick to my stomach, I just wasn't the cheating kind of a girl, and, even though we vowed to still be friends, we stopped seeing each other.
The heart is nothing but a simple muscle, but like any muscle it can be trained, get stronger and weaker, and like any muscle exercising it lays down memories and, even 25 years later, I only have to hear one song to feel his breath on my ear ... 'Must be an angel'.
** I missed that goal (UTS communications) by some marks, but if I hadn't missed it I wouldn't have met my first husband, and wouldn't now be seeing my amazing girl through her HSC. It's strange the way life works out.
*** Sandie Flynn - you were such a rebel
**** This picture is from the patent application for the hat which was granted in, you guessed it, 1985