Black curves behind her black mask. Black leather boots with three-inch black heels. A gold sash draped about her sequined waist. A gold chain dangling between her breasts. Long gold fingernails at the ends of her black silk gloves. Black kitten ears in her brunette mane.
As an Oregon boy, I watched her show alone at least once a day, and usually three times in a row.
My parents didn’t know. Neither did my sister or friends. There I was, secreted away in my bedroom—first in Molalla, then later Oregon City—in the analog days, well before a boy had a large color television or thin computer at his private disposal, sitting on the floor. I would gather up the contraption with my left hand, load the reel into the slot with my right, bring it to my eyes, and point it to the light at the window or overhead. Through the binocular portals I’d see the first image of the show. All I had to do was depress the contraption’s lever with a finger and soon I would see the show’s star.
Click. The depressed lever rotated the reel forward revealing a new image of the drama. Each reel contained seven images, as well as a sentence or two of Spartan text in the white space between the binocular portals, which meant you had to retreat from the image to read the words.
I think I read the show’s text one time.
Another click—the star, the special guest villainess, and then click click click for a better image, and then I would stare at her for minutes, exploring every detail, every contour. She was always an undiscovered body and her legs like one of those maps with monsters at the edges, before Columbus invaded the New World.
Click to another image of the star, and then click click click to rotate and repeat. Surely the sound of machine gun fire could be heard beyond my door.
Reel one concluded, I slid in reel two, and clicked away. When it ended I loaded the third and last reel, and too soon the show was over.
But not really. I simply emptied reel three and reloaded reel one, and two clicks later….beheld the nuclear-powered stereographic image of Julie Newmar starring as Catwoman, a weapon of prudish mass destruction, in my bedroom, in my hands, in my eyes, in spectacular 3-D!
My first lust was invented by an Oregon man and manufactured in Oregon by an Oregon company, View-Master. And no! I never masturbated to the image of Catwoman, with or without the viewer in my left hand. I could not defile her like that. Defilement was reserved for Ginger on “Gilligan’s Island.”