I love the Carole King song, “I Feel the Earth Move”. When I was in college every guy had Harvest by Neil Young (well, every white guy -- the black guys had the Stylistics and the hispanic guys had Eddie Palmeri) -- and every white girl (sorry, woman) had Tapestry. “I Feel the Earth Move” was the first song on Tapestry.
When I hear “I Feel the Earth Move”, I think -- flash back in time! -- waking up, in a new girl’s bed, in an off-campus apartment . . . we had sex last night . . . she liked it, I think (sometimes it was hard to tell) . . . smell of herb tea (or maybe coffee) she’s making for the both of us . . . I notice her copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves on a cinder block . . . she’s just put this, her favorite record, on the turntable . . .
A woman that age (like a man that age) is trying to figure things out, what the world is about and her place in it, and for the first time feeling like she’s getting a handle on it. Someone who writes erotic fiction is often telling us we’re witnessing what's happening in the mind of a young woman. (It’s usually a guy putting his fantasies into the mind of a girl -- and he’s not fooling anyone -- )
This segment of “Tami Beethoven” (end of Part 16) shows my guess, transplanted from 1978 or so (my “time”) to 2007 (when I wrote the story) as to what’s in the mind of a college age female, at least insofar as it concerns our nude heroine. (Note: “TL” stands for “Tami Licker”, a tale in itself, if you read the whole story):
Marianne watched, more or less helplessly, as Tami hefted the big trunk onto the top of Marianne’s little BMW. At least she was of some assistance when it came to tying it down, holding the rope down with her thumb as Tami did the knots. Soon the loading was done and Marianne, up until now a TL, stood there in her sweater coat and jeans and sneakers, car keys in her hand, looking down at Tami’s bare feet and legs on the wet gravelly shoulder, then again at her car, aimed down High Street in the direction of the interstate ten miles away. “It still seems odd to quit in the middle of your last semester,” Tami said. “It’s what I should do, Tam. My mother needs me at home.” “She has the nurse.” “Yes but she needs ME. I should be there. I think of all the times she took care of me when I was sick, all those years as a single parent, just me and her. Now it’s my turn to take care of her.” That her mother would likely recover from her latest relapse was known to both of them. Of course Tami did not point this out. “It was you who put me in a place where I could make this decision, Tami,” Marianne said, deciding this was the time to look her full in the face. “When I first came here I was a spoiled kid, only interested in myself. To make any kind of sacrifice was just not something that would have occurred to me.” Tami did not correct her, tactfully, because both of them knew it was true. “But with you I learned selflessness. At first I thought Georgene was some kind of New Age airhead for talking about the mysticism of licking you. But as I got better at it, and more into it, and you took me up with you to see the whole world at a glance, all around us, without having to turn, with you holding onto me to keep me from falling, my perspective expanded. It went way beyond sex. You taught me how to give of myself. How one gets more out of giving than out of taking. Any good mother knows that. As I now realize. And it is high time I become a good mother to my own mother.” “Best of luck,” Tami said. “Stay in touch. Tell your mother I said hi and we pray for her.” Marianne reached around Tami’s bare shoulders and gave her the biggest, teariest hug she ever gave. “Bye, my Queen,” she said with a chuckle and a sniffle. She got in the car and turned the key and then stuck her head out the window to say a few more words. She saw Tami waving in the rear view mirror and then the road curved and her permanently naked friend was out of her line of vision. Fortunately as she reflected on her long drive home, down past Brattleboro and Springfield and Hartford, the words she left Tami with, well-rehearsed, remained the exact words she had wanted to say. They were the words of a 21-year-old who was trying to be profound but was utterly sincere. “If we are lucky, we meet someone who shows us who we are, what the really important things are in this life, and how to pursue them in a way that is honest and worthwhile. It is hard to say in words because it cannot be taught in words, just by example. In the life that happens to be mine, that person was you, Tami Smithers.”