Short story identification
July 23, 2014 11:28 AM Subscribe
What is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up.
posted by Ideal Impulse to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I read this short story quite awhile ago-probably about 15 years ago. I was in high school when I read it, and remember being really struck by it/identifying with it/being kind of disturbed by it, and want to read it again as an adult. It was relatively contemporary when I read it 15 years ago. Author is almost certainly female. I remember reading it about the same time as I read Margaret Atwood's The Man From Mars (as the stories share some similar themes), so it's possible they were in an anthology together.
Plot as best I can recall: Narrator was a ~14/15 year old girl in the mid-1960s. Huge Beatles fan, and into a lot of the other teenybopper-type bands of the time. She has a friend who she is spending the weekend with. She and the friend aren't terribly close (although I can't remember why) and mostly what they have in common is their interest in the same bands. The majority of the story revolves around their interactions during this weekend, which I don't recall clearly.
The part I remember is during the last few pages. The girls are, for reasons I don't recall, at some kind of public place with a lot of adults (maybe a college campus?) with the friend's parents, but separated from the parents. The girls are hanging out on their own, and they end up meeting up with a group of older teen boys (or maybe even adult men). I think they are at a gym or a swimming pool. The boys are doing weird stuff to try to impress the girls. The narrator is anxious and self-conscious, but the friend seems to enjoy the attention. I can't remember what or why, but some weird act of violence takes place where one of the boys lashes out against another likely for attention. It's very shocking and the narrator is upset.
I can't remember if it's explicitly stated or just inferred, but a comparison is made between the narrator's affection for the teenybopper bands she likes (and her crushes on the men, more or less in her imagination) and the real men that she is encountering and interacting with.