Geelong, 1979

I was in Year 12, and somehow I saw this tall attractive blonde girl at a bus stop outside her school, waiting with other girls. I say “somehow” because the school she attended was on the other side of the city to mine, so I don’t know exactly how I came to see her there. But I suppose that doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I couldn’t get her out of my head. I wanted to get to know her, particularly as her school went to an annual formal dance with our school (a Catholic school connection). She could be my date, maybe, and perhaps we could go out other places, too. I knew that one of my classmates travelled on the same bus as her, so I asked him if he would pass on a note from me. (I had discovered her name—Tina.) He agreed. I don’t know what I put in the note, but it worked. We started going out, in a kind of innocent high school way, and I did end up taking her to the Formal. She was breezy and fun, and a great kisser.

We both enjoyed music, as most of our friends did; mainly mainstream rock. Foreigner was one of the popular bands around then and my sister Cheryl had bought their self-titled debut album, containing hits like Feels like the First Time and Cold As Ice, so I knew their stuff well. Tina told me one of her favourite songs was a ballad from the album, Fool For You Anyway; for a while, I listened to that song repeatedly and thought of her.

I remember one day I went to her place, when some time had passed since our last outing. I’d decided to be firm and say that I wanted to see her more often, and she responded by saying, “Maybe we should cool it for a while.” She may have simply meant that we should concentrate on the upcoming final HSC exams, I don’t know – but I took it as the end.

I was sad, feeling that I had blown something good by being too pushy, but I got over it without undue angst, unusually for me.

Now when I think of Tina, which I still do from time to time, Fool For You Anyway usually comes immediately to mind.

And maybe the song is a little daggy, but it was connected to young love – or, at least, a youthful, lovely crush.

Kevin Densley’s poetry has appeared in Australian, English and American journals. Densley’s latest poetry collection, his third, Orpheus in the Undershirt, was published by Ginninderra Press in early 2018. He is also the co-author of many plays with Steve Taylor, including Last Chance Gas, published by Currency Press