He Wishes for the Window of Heaven
The Window looked down at the back door of The Boulders from the second floor of Mopoon Villa. It was Patricia O’Connor’s bedroom and represented The Promised Land to us, the local adolescent boys. As hormones flushed un-understood through our veins, Patricia’s blossoming beauty intoxicated us all.
We had all grown up together, a tight knot of same-aged children who bonded against the tyrany of older siblings and the overbearance of protective parents. We were rebels with a cause, expressing our independence with Saturday morning bike expeditions to find steep hills to conquer. Foster’s Avenue one week, The Scalp at Stepaside the next.
Rosemary, Patricia, Mark and I were inseparable. And then we went from single to double digit age and everything changed. Rosemary went from nine to nineteen in one night. Straight up and down to curvy all over. Suddenly, boys who shaved and rode motorbikes turned up to see her. We were completely outgunned and had to withdraw.
Patricia however, being younger, was worth fighting for. She was as cute as a shelf-ful of cuddly toys. As the youngest of six children with four older sisters, she worldly wise and very very naughty. These traits shone as a bright fluorescent night-light to our moth-like instincts.
Patricia’s journey into womanhood first commenced with an appearance at her window to proudly show off the presents her older sister, Mari, had given her. The bra and knickers were made of red silk and she couldn’t wait to show them off to what she knew would be an appreciative audience. She had obligingly stuffed the bra with Kleenex and we knew that it was an illusion but realised that we wouldn’t have to wait long for the Real Thing. And it wasn’t Coca-Cola we were interested in.
As Patricia’s transition was taking place, she became evermore rare at the Window. This was a disaster as far as we were concerned and had to think up cunning ways to draw our ballerina on to the stage.
A recce was undertaken. Simon Cudworth, the most agile of us, climbed onto the O’Connor’s garage roof and shinnied up the drainpipe to have a peek through the window. The light was off and he could see nothing, so he slid back down and reported to the awaiting troops. Undeterred, we waited until the light came on and threw pebbles at the Window to entice Patricia over. Wise to our ways, she turned the light out, stood well back and peered into the darkness. That the last we saw of her. We decided that we needed greater ammo and raided my mother’sageing tomato supplies. We plastered the Window with the rotting fruit and watched as pips and flesh dripped down the glass. A tomato plant sprung out of the wall beside the washing line the following Spring such was the ferocity of our attack. We caked the Window in snow one cold January night. Again, to no avail.
Our attempts at wooing were woeful, and we had to accept temporary defeat and devote our time to thinking of alternative approaches