An earworm is trying to eat its way out of my brain. That’s earworm as in Ohrwurm which, according to Wikipedia, means "music being stuck in one's head” in German.
The Miracles (post-Smokey Robinson) are singing and dancing all over my cerebellum, punctuating the inane lyrics to Love Machine: “I’m just a love machine, and I won’t work for nobody but you.”
Comes a memory of a night on the leather couch in our basement den on Laurel Street, circa 1975. I was making out with the baddest of the bad boys at Harrisonburg High: M. J. Durell. This boy and I had no business together except monkey business. He had eyes green like hard candy and a crooked nose that made him tough and tender all at once. And I knew that he knew exactly what he wanted.
Dark. Late. Stoned. Horny. My parents off at a party. “Midnight Special” droning on the television. M. J.’s fingers hooking around the crotch of my cotton panties. My jeans out of reach under the coffee table. Me thinking maybe it’s time. Maybe this is what I want.
I don’t remember the exact words or the exact moves. It’s all murky mossy after 34 years underwater. But he had a rubber, and I looked away at Dad's recliner while he put it on. Then he was over me, breathing loudly and trying to get his thing in me.
That’s when The Miracles intervened, singing urgently from within the TV: “I’m just a love machine, and I won’t work for nobody but you. Yeah, baby, I’m just a love machine. A hugging, kissing fiend…”
The insistent beat, the burning vocals, calling, calling to me. Gosh, I thought, as M. J. adjusted and tried again, I’m not just a love machine. I won’t work for nobody. Not you. Not now. It's not too late to change my mind. It's not too late to say no.
He never called me again after that.