I Dream of Mustang Jeannie

I read in the New York Times today that Ford is discontinuing its passenger car line, with the exception of the Mustang. I was a bit surprised to read that 27 percent of Mustang owners are women, which triggered a memory.

I was in my mid-twenties, attending junior college in Southern California, living in a cute little guest house tucked behind the owner’s home at the end of his driveway. The couple had a young daughter, maybe 20 or 21, who had a job and owned a dark blue Mustang GT500. I no longer recall her name so I’ll call her Jeannie. She was incredibly cute, and we had one of those “Hi, Jack,” “Hi, Jeannie,” relationships.

That’s why I was surprised late one night to hear her car pull in the driveway, followed by knocking on my door. It was Jeannie, of course, drunk, tears pouring down her face. She collapsed into a chair and told me her boyfriend had just broken up with her, this news accompanied by more tears, followed by even more tears. I stepped over to console her. She jumped up and flung herself into my arms. We stood like that until I decided to return to my chair, where I comforted her in my lap. I can tell you it was not unpleasant doing so. Jeannie wrapped her arms around my neck and in the next moment was kissing me. Being a male, I of course returned in kind, thinking how I’d long dreamt of such a moment with her.

Our kisses grew deeper and more prolonged until . . . they didn’t. Her lips, then her arms, fell away from me and I realized she had passed out, sitting in my lap. I held her like that for a short while. Then I scooped her up and carried her out my door, down the driveway, up the steps to her own house, and tiptoed into her bedroom, where I gently deposited her, fully clothed, on her bed.

I saw Jeannie the next morning as she was leaving to work. We didn’t actually speak about what happened, but she said “Thank you,” and I knew why. Nothing more ever occurred between us. Life is like that sometimes, but the nice part about that memory is how it lives on in a scene from my novelĀ Wild Blue Yonder, fictionalized of course, and that’s satisfying enough.