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Sweet Naivety

The smooth guitar lines of Jerry Ducette flowed from the pub speakers in the summer of 1978. “All I want to do, to be by your side girl, is to let you know the way that I feel.” Cindy stretched her limber body over the white fur blanket. Her long auburn hair flirted over perfectly rounded breasts, framing her fresh face with the sweetest smile. The line of her waist coasted into the delightful fleshy area just above her hips.

Everything about Cindy looked natural and comfortable – the perfect girl next door performing nude poetry in motion. A connoisseur of the female form might say she still had some “baby fat” at nineteen. She mentioned in conversation trying to be a good girl, alluding to temptations that come with the business. All I saw was innocence and light in a divinely lovely form.

I would have loved to be her boyfriend, though I was not alone in that notion. Chris from the band I played in was also smitten and asked her out. A few of the Lillooet locals also were there every night to watch her dance. So I never got into the competition. Our band played six nights a week in a small tavern over many hot summer weeks in the small town. Dancers like Cindy would perform Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, earning somewhat more in three days than the entire band got paid for six nights of five sets. Getting to know Cindy a little was one of the more pleasant aspects of the adventure.

Weeks later I went to see Cindy when she was dancing at The Drake, one of the top strip bars on the Vancouver East Side. The bar featured many of the finest dancers in town. Cold beer, fabulous music, and beautiful young women performing with often considerable artistry on a hot summer day was something of a ‘pig heaven’ for a young man.

Cindy ran over and gave me the warmest hug. Her smile lit up all around her. Again, I was not alone. Two of the men from Lillooet had also made a special trip to see her and were not particularly pleased to see me. I suspected that one was trying to entice Cindy to return to Lillooet on a more permanent basis. Chris could not get comfortable with the idea of bringing home a dancer to meet his mother and let go of his interest. I had no such hesitation. Still, I never saw her again after that day.

When I left the bar, a young woman in the parking lot asked if I would give her a ride. I naturally said yes. In the car she asked me if she “was presentable.” I looked at her in total naivety and said, “Yes, you look very nice.” She said some flattering things about my face and asked me to take off my glasses. When I asked where she wanted to be dropped off, still thinking she actually wanted a ride somewhere, she gave me a big smile and tender kiss and said that I could let her off at the next corner. I sometimes wonder if she now tells stories about some oblivious young man who missed all of the signals. Maybe Cindy is too.

Greg Dixon

August 25, 2011, Revised February 1, 2013