It was the summer of 1985 in Croydon, PA, the boys on the block had long braided rat tails. Michele De Marco had the same rat tail below her pixie punk hair cut.
At 12, Michele was still one of the boys. Michele hid her hips in a pair of cutoff acid washed boy jeans. Her budding breasts were camouflaged in old band shirts. The other girls in the neighborhood wore Flash Dance shirts and teased their hair with Aqua Net.
Michele pulled on her Converse sneakers at the back step of her bungalow. She caught the long look her mother gave her. It was the look of disappointment. Sylvia DeMarco, was hanging laundry wearing Jelly pumps and a gold tank top with Jordache jeans, her hair was frosted blonde.
“Michele, you can’t go out like that, can we do something with your hair?” yelled Sylvia.
“I’m fine” Michele ran off.
The neighborhood was small. Stevie, Jimmy and Dan-O were her best friends. The train rattled through, dissecting the town. The small houses were furnished with hand-me-down plaid sofas from the 70’s.
Michele’s gang rode the streets on old bicycles with tackle boxes and fishing rods hanging off the back. They raced bikes down River Road to the Delaware River. They searched for worms in the mud along the Delaware River bed. Stevie sat poised on the dock talking about the summer movies. Jimmy threw a worm at Michele it landed on her forehead.
Her eyes crossed and she squealed. The sound was feminine and foreign to all of them. Michele was both shocked and embarrassed by it. They all stopped and looked at her. Michele shook it off and threw a lump of mucky sand at Jimmy in return.
“Goonies Never Say Die” Stevie said as he ran and jumped off the small fishing pier.
He splashed in the river next to a “No Wading” sign. On a hot summer day the sign meant nothing.
“You are a Fucking Goonie” said Jimmy.
“We are all Goonies” Dan-O said seriously. He threw a rock in the water.
“What the fuck, man? What do you fucking mean?” Stevie asks as he pulls himself out of the river.
“You are Mouth, Jimmy is Chunk”
“What the fuck, I’m not that Fat” Jimmy interjects.
“I get to be the main guy, Mikey, Michele is the weird girl with the glasses” Dan-O said.
Michele punches Dan-O’s arm.
“We should get that kid from the Chinese takeout place to hang out,” added Stevie.
“Don’t you get it? You fucking idiot! No one cares about us. You think anyone gives a fuck that my old Man can’t stop beating the shit out of me? Or that Stevie’s Dad won’t get a job? You think anyone gives a fuck about Jimmy’s older brother selling pot down at the field? Or Michele’s Mom fucking around? No. No one fucking cares.” Dan-O said.
Michele stood up and thought that she might run off and cry. That would be the dramatic “girl” thing to do.
“You’re fucking right. Goonies never say die!” She said.
They all laughed. They all stood up and ran for the edge of the dock screaming.
“Goonies never say Die.”
They splashed about and sunk in the muck up to mid calf. They were laughing and dunking each other in the rusty Delaware water. Jimmy dunked Michele. When she was under water he copped a feel.
“You’re an asshole” She said.
She swam over and spit water at Dan-O. But she knew it had happened. Sure, she was one of the Goonies, but now, she would never again be one of the boys.
Regina McMenamin Lloyd is a mother of two young children, a wife, and a Writing Arts Major at Rowan University. Regina recently was an honorable mention winner of the 2012 Denise Gess Literary Awards for poetry. Regina McMenamin Lloyd’s writing has been featured on Smithsonian.com, Your Kind of Town.