You Can See For A Hundred Miles

Some people say that our earliest sexual experiences shape our lives.  They tell us those experiences mold our sexual personas and preferences, the styles and roles we choose, the partners we seek out, and the specific sexual acts that turn us on. This is a fascinating idea.  If it is true that we are formed by our earliest sexual experiences, then perhaps, if we look closely at our own lives, we may find a pattern, a thread we can follow that begins early and weaves through time.

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It was the late 1960’s, and I was driving my uncle’s 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass into town from the ranch where he and my grandpa ran cattle and grew wheat thirty miles to the south.  The Cutlass was my uncle’s town car, and for the trips he took to Rapid City in the fall to sell calves and drink when harvesting was finished.  The car was big, smooth even on gravel, and easy to drive.

This was wide open, high plains prairie with gently rolling low hills, a few small, lazy rivers, and hardly a tree in sight, farmed where it wasn’t too rocky, grazed mostly by cattle and a few sheep everywhere else.  It was fiercely hot in the summer, bone-chilling cold in the winter, and the wind seemed to blow all the time.  In those achingly cold, windswept winters, my grandpa would say that “the only thing between here and the North Pole are fenceposts.”  But by the time I came along, people out there had learned to survive and even thrive, to live lives as rich – and dramatic, and complicated – as people anywhere else.

Growing up, every summer I lived for several months on the ranch, daydreaming, riding horses, and playing in the river, gradually taking on chores like milking cows, bucking bales, and driving a grain truck when we harvested wheat and oats.  I was there this particular summer, which was to be my last at the ranch, to help with the farming, but also to work as a waiter in a café my uncle had, he claimed, won in a card game.  This seemed likely: he had always been a rancher and a gambler, and gambling seemed the most likely reason he would end up owning a cafe.

This day, I was driving into town in the late afternoon to work the dinner shift at the café.  It was in a very plain, white, two-story clapboard building, flanked by other businesses – grocery, clothing store, drugstore –  in the two block main street.  It had probably been built sometime soon after the railroad reached the town in 1915.  Inside, it had the linoleum and formica of a diner from at least the 1940’s.  But it had a nice feel, with comfortable tables and booths, and a high ceiling with lazy overhead fans – a blessing with no air conditioning.  It served decent food at a fair price, and we had a green Hamilton Beach milkshake mixer that seldom got a rest.  My uncle, who was hardly ever around, didn’t care if people sat around and drank coffee all day.  And a lot of old ladies did just that.

I was wearing black slacks and a white button down short sleeve shirt, the only clothes I owned that weren’t jeans and t-shirts, and which gave me at least the veneer of a waiter.  But I was tall, awkward, and self-conscious, and really not a very good waiter.  Luckily, most of the customers had known me growing up, they were in no hurry, and they were patient and kind.

None of that mattered to me: my thoughts were filled with hormone-fueled fantasies about one of the waitresses at the café.  She was short, dark-haired, and busty, and she teased me relentlessly.  When we met, the first thing she said to me was, “ You are so tall, how am I going to kiss you?”

She wore short skirts that hugged her round ass and blouses that displayed her full breasts, and she kept her long, black hair tied in a pony tail.  She had dark eyes, slightly olive skin, and full lips; she was smart, cute, and sexy and when I met her I was immediately lost in a fog of lust and love.

Her name was Linda, “actually Linda Sue Delaney,” she said, as she showed me her high school class ring with her initials. “LSD, you know what that means,”  she whispered, smiling. 

Whether that was an invitation or just a joke, she immediately let me know she was not just another girl stuck in a small town a million miles from nowhere.  She was someone, someone special, she knew things, and she was going somewhere.  The Animals “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” had found its way to our jukebox and she played it a lot that summer.

And she wasn’t shy.

Through the summer, she took every opportunity to touch me and flirt with me.  When business was slow, she would lead me into the back room of the café, stand on a milk crate, put her arms around my neck, and kiss me. Before long, her tongue was in my mouth, and soon enough we were in the storeroom French kissing at every opportunity.  She would push her breasts against me and rub her body against my cock, which was hard whenever I was around her.  And often when I wasn’t.

One day, after weeks of kissing and grinding against each other, she took my hands and put them on her breasts.  “Squeeze my tits,” she whispered, then sucked my tongue back into her mouth and nearly knocked me over rubbing against my cock.

A few weeks later, she put my hands under her blouse, and soon enough, I had her bare breasts in my hands.  “Squeeze my nipples,” she whispered, and then “harder, squeeze them hard.” Her tongue was in my mouth, my hands on her breasts and nipples – and then her hand was rubbing my swollen cock outside my pants.  I didn’t cum from all of this, although I don’t know how, but every night after we had been together at the cafe, I pulled off the road on my way home, took out my aching cock, and furiously masturbated.

And so the summer went: Linda and I kissing and groping whenever we had the chance, she slowly showing me what to do with a woman.  I was in a constant state of arousal, from kissing and touching her, missing her and looking forward to being with her, and imagining what we would do if we ever had time and the opportunity to really be alone.

We each have a soundtrack to our lives; many people still live with the songs of certain times of their lives, but even if we aren’t aware of it, we are all bathed in sound and music, and they are a part of our story.  A lot of my soundtrack for that summer came from CKCK radio in Regina, a Top 40’s station that covered that corner of Saskatchewan and a little way down into the U.S.  It was a lifeline out to young people living so physically isolated from the world.  You could not turn on the radio that summer without hearing “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  That song surely  inspired a million romantic fantasies, including mine.  Those tender, romantic dreams—”the”beating of our hearts/is the only sound”—vied w with the incredible sexual cravings I felt for her, and I was jerked back and forth between them by her body and the songs on the radio.

When we are in those moments, we will do anything to have the tension resolved, have the uncertainty and the anxiety disappear.  And eventually they do and we find some peace.  And yet, it sometimes happens that down the road, we suddenly remember that feeling of being fully alive, fully engaged in the stuff of life.  We remember that feeling, and we want it again, that passion and fear, hope and dread.  And we want it so badly that we are willing to do it all over again, do whatever it was that made us come alive. I learned this truth that summer with Linda.

Sometime that summer, while we were in the back kissing, for the first time I really looked at, really noticed her eyes.  Most of the people who had moved into the area as homesteaders and later farmers were Scandinavian, many of those Norwegian.  They were generally fairly tall with fair skin and blue or brown eyes.  She was unusual.

“You have black eyes,” I blurted out. And immediately regretted it. “Sorry,” I said.

She laughed. “Do you like them?” she asked.

“Oh yes,” I said. “They’re just, you know, kind of unusual.”

“Yeah, well, I’m Irish,” she said, “not many of us here. My grandpa came in building the railroad and just stayed.  He was a blacksmith, later a mechanic and machinist, like my dad.”

I didn’t know anything about her family; I was surprised to learn they had been there almost as long as my grandpa, who had homesteaded there early.  “I wonder if your grandpa knew mine,” I said.

“I don’t know,” she said, “we were Catholic.”  And of course the Scandinavians were Lutheran or Methodist, and they didn’t mix with Catholics.  “But I’m pretty sure my dad knows your uncle,” she said.  “I think they drink together at The Slipper.  I’ve never waitressed before and I kind of think that’s how I got hired.”  She was Irish, and a Catholic, as exotic as anyone I had met.

And then there was a call from the kitchen and we both smoothed our clothes and slipped out of the storeroom, carrying something to show we were back there for a reason and not fooling around.

Linda had graduated from high school that spring; she was staying in town only until college began in the fall, and she was anxious to get on with whatever the world had waiting for her.  She was old enough to cross the border and buy beer in Canada, and she would tell me about the parties she and her friends had down by the river that would go on long into the night, mostly farm kids with a few priceless nights to let go.  She asked me to go,  and I desperately wanted to be with her.  She would be there and I had enough experience to have developed a taste for beer.  But I couldn’t go out with them, not with having to drive my uncle’s car an hour back to the ranch afterward on narrow gravel roads.  It was always a struggle, but the consequences always seemed too much to risk.

As the summer was winding down, Linda left on a family trip to visit relatives in Wisconsin.  She was gone for two weeks, and I was in despair: I wanted to be with her, I was sure I was in love with her, and I wanted to spend my life with her.  I lived in a frenzy of lust and yearning, masturbating to memories of kissing and touching her, only to almost immediately get hard again.  Looking back, I can see that I was in serious danger of going blind or jerking my cock off.

When Linda returned from vacation, it was as though nothing had changed, but it felt different.  We went back to our furtive storeroom petting, but with a renewed sense of urgency. We both knew that our time together was almost over: in another week, she would be leaving for college, and soon after, I would be going back to my town a thousand miles away.

One night, as we were closing the cafe, she asked, “Do you want to be with me?“ 

I had never imagined her saying this. I  didn’t know what to say. 

“You know,” she said, “BE with me?” 

It was one of the few time when she wasn’t joking or teasing, and she was, as she had always done, taking the lead.

She stood looking at me.  And I knew she was asking me if I wanted to have sex with her.

“Yes, I do,” I answered.  For at least this one moment in my life, I said the truth: “Yes, I want to be with you.”

She took my hand.  “How about I get some beer and you and I can have a little party of our own?  We can go out to the old Larson place south of town for awhile after work on Saturday, and then you can go on home.”

My mind was reeling—was I really going to have sex with her?  After all the fantasies, was it really going to happen?

“That sounds good.”  That was all I could say.

At the door, she took my hand, kissed me, and smiled.  “Saturday night, then.  We’ll have fun.”   She turned and walked down the street, her hips swaying beneath her short skirt, leaving me to turn out the lights and lock the door.

Out on the High Plains, there are places where you can see for a hundred miles, or so it seems.  People say that, from some of high these places, you can see into tomorrow.

It was Saturday afternoon, and I was cruising up one of those high, broad – shouldered hills, car windows down in the August heat, dizzy from the smell of wheat and sun and dust, with the radio blasting the top 40 from Regina.  Images of my waitress, her lips and tongue, her breasts and nipples and curvy body, were fused with the heat and the music, and I was singing with the radio “Come on, baby, light my fire” as I crested the hill and saw the town down below with the cafe and a delicious girl and beyond it the Canadian border and the plains rolling away into the summer haze.

When I walked into the cafe, Linda came over and whispered, “I got the beer. Can you come?”

“Yes,” I answered.  “I’ll be fine as long as it isn’t too late.”

This was, I knew even then, a lie.  This lie was trying to hide an important truth: that at that moment, I was ready to risk everything to be with her, whatever the risk, whatever the possible consequences.  And I would take those risks again and again with other lovers.

We often proclaim, and maybe even believe, that we are rational beings, when the truth is that we are a stew of emotions, of needs and fears and desires, whose demands we serve.  Because these desires live in the unconscious, we mostly don’t know why we do what we do. Every adulterous husband and every unfaithful wife testifies to this truth.  Linda had poured something into me, or maybe called out something already inside me – or perhaps some of both.  I had no idea then of the source, and now . . . .  well, now I don’t know.  Whatever the source, it felt to me then like the deepest of needs, like life calling.  The only possible answer was, “Yes, I want you.”

The cafe was no busier than usual that night, but we didn’t go back to the storeroom. I always assumed she was experienced,  and she may have been, but that night she may have also been nervous, maybe a little unsure about me.  She knew little about me: I was an unknown, and from a different world far away from the plains.  Sadly, we are hardly ever awake in these situations, whatever our age, but now I understand that she was taking a chance, a risk with me.

We kept busy, we both found things to do to pass the time. But there was a charge in the air.  I looked at her, imagining yet again what she would look like naked, what she would feel like, what she would do, what I would do.  And she looked at me. I had no way of knowing what she was thinking, I only hoped she shared my excitement.

And then it was nine, the last customers had drained the last coffee cups, tables were wiped, chairs up for the cleaning lady, the cash box locked away. We turned out the lights and walked outside.   She was wearing a pale blue blouse and a yellow pleated skirt, and I felt like she was just barely real.  It was dark but still hot, another long, hot August night, the air heavy with a chance of thunderstorms.  There would be farmers out running their combines across the wheat fields long into the night, hoping to get the crop in ahead of the rain, or worse, hail, and on a few of those hot August nights they would be blessed by the Northern Lights dancing across the sky.


I locked the door and took her hand. 

“Your car,” she said.  “It’s bigger.”  She was ready; she knew what she wanted.  If she had misgivings, I didn’t see them.  But I was so caught up in the surge of my own emotions that I’m not sure I would have noticed.

I drove south a couple of miles out of town, then turned east toward the rising moon that was waning but still bright above the low hills.  We followed a narrow, two track dirt road into an old homestead, the house and barn empty and weatherbeaten to raw wood but still standing, the poplar trees past their day but hanging on.

“Over there,” she pointed, by the Russian olives.

It did not occur to me then to ask how she knew where to park.  Now?  Much of the fantasy I had created around Linda grew out of my belief that she was experienced with sex, that she knew more than I did.  Now I know that beneath my fantasy of a teacher and an older woman, there was a voice telling me, “She has been fucked; she likes it; she wants it from you.” 

It would not be the last time I heard that voice.  It has been a siren’s song, and whether it was true that night, or true for other women I have known, I have listened for and followed that call.

Our lives, and especially our sexual lives, are lived in a confused and ever-changing muddle of reality and fantasy.  Our fantasy worlds are so much richer and vaster, so much more compelling, so much more real, and finally so much more satisfying than dreary objective “reality,” however porous it might actually be.  It is no surprise we live so often in our fantasies, certainly no more so than with sex.  But sometimes when these two worlds collide – as I was to learn much later with another woman – our fantasies can vanish in the harsh light of the material world.  So I am deeply grateful that it didn’t happen this night with Linda, that I experienced the fusion of fantasy and flesh that sometimes, sometimes makes us feel completely present and fully alive.

I parked behind the trees of the old shelter belt, turned off the headlights, and got out of the car.  I took two lukewarm cans of beer from the trunk and offered one to Linda.

“Let’s get in the back,” she said.  She took the beer I was holding, put it on the roof of the car,  opened the door and slid inside.  I left my beer outside and slid in beside her.  I had never been in the  back seat and I was surprised by how roomy it was, even for my long legs.

“Oh shoot,” I said, “I was going to leave the radio on.”

“We don’t need it,” she replied.  She pulled my head down and kissed me, hard, crushing my lips, and I kissed her back with the longing, the desperation that we feel when it seems we need to completely own and at the same time surrender to a lover.

I had my legs stretched out along the back seat with Linda lying half beside me, half on top of me.  After all the time we had spent together standing up, it was a shock to feel her weight, to realize in that moment that she was a body with substance and weight, that she was real.

As our tongues were twisting together, I slid my hands down her back and under her blouse, feeling her skin, fumbling with her bra, with no idea how it worked.

“Here, I’ll do it,” Linda said.  She leaned back, unbuttoned her blouse, shrugged it off and tossed it in the front, then reached behind her back and unhooked her bra.

And there were her breasts, pale in the moonlight and as full and round and exquisite as I had imagined, her nipples dark and already hard.  She leaned onto me, and we kissed again, my hands on her back as I stroked her delicious, soft skin, so smooth the first touch of another person’s skin, and when I moved my hand to her breasts, cupped them, stroked them and then fingered her nipples, she sighed.

She sighed.  The touch of my hand on her body was giving her pleasure.  It is fair to say that her sigh went to some deep part of me, a place ready and waiting, waiting without knowing what it was waiting for.   Her sigh was, what, a key? Did she open a part of me that, but for her, might have remained hidden?  Or was that sigh a stylus, a pen that wrote her message on the blank canvas of my desires?  Whatever the source, hearing that sigh and the ones that follow has been a thread I have followed through a lifetime of lovers.

When we kissed again, with my hand on her breasts, it was a different kiss, it felt softer but at the same time deeper, like she was both taking and giving something to me with her kiss.

“Take off your shirt,” she said. “I want to feel you.”

I unbuttoned my shirt, pulled it off, and tossed it in the front with hers.  She pushed me back and pressed her breasts against my chest,  then slowly rubbed herself back and forth, her naked skin against mine.

She pushed my head down toward her breasts. “Kiss them,” she said. “Kiss my tits, suck on them.”

I kissed her breasts, all of them, then ran my tongue over her nipples and carefully, softly, took one between my lips and gently sucked it.

“Harder,” she said, “suck harder.”

I sucked her nipple, hard, then pulled my head back and let it pop out of my mouth.  I did the same with the other nipple, licking it then sucking it, hard.  While I sucked her nipples, she was rubbing her hips against mine, grinding herself against the rigid length of my cock. We were both panting, straining against the clothes we still had on.

She broke our kiss, leaned back, and looked at me, dark eyes gleaming in the moonlight.

“Do you want me?” she asked.  “Do you want to fuck me?”

“Oh god, yes,” I gulped, “I want that.  I want… to fuck you.”

I had said it.  I did not know what would happen when a boy told a girl he wanted to have sex with her, wanted to fuck her.  Would she be offended, would that be the end, would it be over?

Her response was to pull at my belt. “Take them off, take off your pants.”

I kicked off my slip-on loafers, the only shoes I had that weren’t sneakers or cowboy boots, then unbuckled and unzipped my pants.  I slid them down over over my hips and pulled them off my legs.  As I did, I was watching her unzip and slip out of her skirt.   She was wearing pale blue panties, the same color as her blouse.  She didn’t hesitate as she slipped off her panties…  and then I could see all of her and she was perfect, her hair, face, breasts, round ass, toned legs, and the small patch of black hair between her legs all perfectly who she was.  My fantasies hadn’t begun to approach just how alluring, how tempting, how delicious  – and how real – she really was.

I was still wearing my underwear, partly because I didn’t know this dance, but also because I was embarrassed for her to see my raging erection.

“Take these off,” she said, pulling on the elastic of my jockey shorts.  “I want to see your cock.”

As I was pulling off my underwear, my cock sprang out; she wrapped her small hand around it while I was struggling to get my legs free.

“Oh yeah, that’s nice, you have a nice cock,” she said,  and as she stroked it up and down, sliding from the base to the head, she asked, “Do you like that?”

I had never liked anything more in my entire life.  This was so different and so much better than my own hand on my cock.  “Oh god yes,” I moaned, “I love that.”  I took one of her breasts in each hand, fondling them as she stroked my cock.

“Then I bet you will really like this,” she said.  She leaned over and put the head of my cock in her mouth.

I was stunned.  I had heard of blow jobs from my friends, and they were a regular feature of letters and advice in the nudie magazines we shared.  But my wildest fantasies about this night hadn’t included both of us naked in the back of the Oldsmobile with her lips wrapped around the head of my cock.

She slid down, taking more of my cock in her mouth, then started bobbing up and down, taking in a few inches then coming back up, licking and sucking the head, then sliding down taking as much as she could back into her mouth.  I ran my hands down her back and felt her lush, round ass, the source of so many of my fantasies, then I followed the cleft between her cheeks and she leaned over a little more so my fingers could touch and then stroke her pussy.  Her pubic hair was long and almost silky, and it was wet, her pussy was wet from what we were doing.

I rubbed the length of her pussy and it opened and my fingers slipped between her labia.  She moaned and reached down to grab my hand and push it harder against her and my fingers deeper inside her.  My cock had slipped from her mouth and she was straining and groaning as she humped my hand with her steaming pussy.

She sat up and put one leg over me, then she leaned down and kissed me.  My cock was pressed against her belly, but I knew it wouldn’t take much for me to slide it up into her pussy.  I wanted her.  I was ready to fuck her.

As much as I wanted to fuck her in that moment, I was deeply afraid of making her pregnant.  That was the greatest fear and the cardinal sin – for both boys and girls – in those days.

“I uh… I have a condom,” I said.  Like all my friends, I carried a condom in my wallet, praying it might some day get used.

She shook her head.  “I’m on the pill,” she said.  “My mom didn’t want me getting knocked up before I had a chance to leave town.”  In that sentence, I am sure there was a family story, one I will never know.

She lifted her hips, reached down for my cock, and placed it against her pussy, and in a miracle of synchronicity she pushed herself down on me just as I thrust my hips up to her.  My cock slid into her slick pussy, all the way in; I was buried in her, and I could feel her stomach and hips against mine.

We both gasped.  This was what it was all about, the entire summer of smiling and flirting and kissing was to get to this place: her body on top of mine and my cock deep inside her.

“Oh god,” I moaned, “oh god.”

“Yesssssssss,” she groaned.  She lifted herself up almost off my cock, then plunged back down.

She took my breath away. And she didn’t stop, she began riding me, fucking herself on my cock, as hard and fast as she could.

She leaned down with her breasts in my face and I was licking and kissing and sucking her into my mouth, her nipples and then as much of her breasts as I could, and she moaned and pushed her breasts harder into me.  I ran my hands down her back and she was slick, glistening with sweat from her exertions in the heat of the car.  I squeezed her ass, a handful in each hand, and I pulled her down onto my cock, following her rhythm as she fucked me, as I fucked her.

I’m sure I wasn’t thinking at all then, but later I knew this was heaven, that we were both in a paradise we had created together.  I did not know then how much I would, later in my life, long for that paradise and search for it with many other lovers, and learn  how rare it is, and how lucky Linda and I were that hot August night.

It was too much, too good, it couldn’t last.  Her breaths were short, she was gasping for air and so was I.

She was moaning, “Oh, oh, oh oh oh god oh god, oh yes oh yes.”

“Oh god,” I said, “I’m going to…”

“Yes,“ she said, “yes, do it, do it!”

I arched my back and shoved my cock into her as deep as I could.  And then I came, shooting deep into her pussy and she was leaning into my chest, tightening her pussy around my cock and moaning, ”Ahhh, ahhh oh, oh oh, ohhhh.”

I held onto her back and her ass and kept pumping her, pumping my cock deep into her and it seemed I would never stop cumming.

And then I was finished; I stopped and she fell against me, all of her weight on my chest in that delicious surrender we all know so well.  I stroked her back and kissed her hair, and she lifted her head and kissed me and it was a different kiss than any we had shared before.  It was the now familiar kiss of lovers who have somehow found each other, and who have created something beautiful and delicious together.

“Thank you, lover,” she said.  She kissed me again, and I kissed her, hoping she could feel how grateful I was.

“Thank you,” I said.  “That was… amazing…  it was wonderful.”

We lay there for awhile, her on top of me and my cock still inside her.  I knew I could get hard again, could fuck her again soon.  And I had fantasies of taking her from behind with her bent over the hood of the car, my cock disappearing into the darkness below her beautiful full ass.  But I didn’t feel like I wanted to.  I felt, I’m not sure what then, but now I would say I felt complete, the way we sometimes feel with someone when sex is profoundly good, when we are both fully satisfied, even though we could go on.

Finally she pushed herself off me and began looking for her clothes.  I got out of the car, opened the front door and handed her the clothes I could find.  As I was dressing, I watched her wipe her pussy with her panties and when she looked up and saw me watching, she smiled and held them out to me.

“Do you want them?” she asked with a grin.

I put them in my pocket, knowing even then what a treasure she had given me.

I took her in my arms and we kissed, leaning against the car, then we drove back into town.  She was sitting on the console between the bucket seats, leaning her head against me with her hand on my chest, and I had my arm around her, driving with one hand.  It was many years before I again felt that close to someone.

I dropped her off at her car near the cafe, we kissed, and then I drove away, south up the big hill toward home.  And from the top of the hill,  in the moonlight, I could see for a hundred miles.


Sun and heat and music, a fast car and a willing girl just down the road – was my persona etched, my desires and my path set in that golden summer?

There would be other cars and other girls, other girls with black hair and black eyes, other Catholic girls, Irish but also Portuguese and Italian.  There would be others who loved to have their nipples sucked and squeezed, who loved and wanted sex, who sought it out and gave themselves to it, who gave themselves to me, and with whom I took such great pleasure, such joy in pleasing and being pleased.

Now and then I wonder whether there was a pattern to it all, a thread that led me along, a story – my story – slowly writing itself out of desires unleashed and satisfied long ago.