One of my camp summers happened after I just turned ten, on the Black Sea coast near Anapa. For reasons not exactly clear to me, the placement committee at the beginning of the camp term assigned me to a “force” of mostly 12-year-olds. Thinking back, I wonder if it was not done on purpose to ensure an especially nice stay for a nerdy Jewish kid, but that theory does not explain how there was also a single 10-year-old girl in our group. Something about match-making, maybe? I flatter myself!
Anyway, I was bullied a bit, as was expected, but I was largely accepted as equal by boys who were all older and bigger than me. Most importantly, the girls in the force decided that the two youngest kids had to be a “couple” and spent a lot of effort putting that one girl and me into “romantic” situations. Shy as we were, we definitely went along at least when it came to discotheques. Since there was little socialization across forces, the two of us had little alternative anyway.
It surely was my very first experience of dancing with a girl. Forget that I was still in that period of childhood where girls are to be disdained. Forget that we danced in “pioneer distance” style, awkwardly stepping sideways together, with my fully extended hands on her waist and hers on my shoulders. My heart must have been in my throat the whole time.
I only remember one song from those discos – and not one for slow dancing – a Russian pop number called “Blue Frost”. Years later, listening to a 70’s collection of European pop, I realized that it was set to music of Eruption’s One Way Ticket.
I don’t remember that girl’s name or quite what she looked like, but One Way Ticket always triggers a memory of that summer for me.