Monday, January 09, 2012

A History of Love, Part 4

We all have our dreams. Mine was the ogre's
dream of love and romance.
And lots of the steamy stuff too.
"Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past."

"You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one."

Junior high. Good lord! Can we spell awkeward?

Girls still scared the bejesus out of me, but a paradox began to emerge. I was the new kid and according to the attention I was getting, West Virginia girls saw something different than
"ugly" in my mug.

Yes, it shocked me too, but little came of it, gentle readers, as we shall see.

The highest interest I suppose was a supposed inquiry from Tammy, a cheerleader, about "Was I dating someone?" (What does dating mean exactly in junior high circa 1973? I bet it was far, far more innocent than today's post-Clinton-oral-sex-is-not-sex meaning.) Tammy was short, tan and very cute as I recall. I couldn't work up anything more than a "Hi" to her. Combine that with the fact that I wasn't an athlete and my general tendency to be of the creative, artistic (read "weird") type, my chances of being with her or in that social strata, were nil.

Ditto for Molly, another cheerleader, who lived only about five blocks from my house. She was very thin, blond and a bit boyish. She didn't turn my head like Tammy did, but I don't think I grew confident about my new status. Far from it.

Classroom Crushes

There was a Kathy in my homeroom that I used to walk home from school almost every day. With legs that reached to the sky and long hair that would be blown about by the wind, she was something I looked forward to at the end of the school day.

I would walk her to 50th street where her family owned some kind of industrial business.Truck drivers would honk their horns at her as we walked along the main road (Putting that in context now makes me shudder at bit).
That's all we ever did, talk and walk. Was I supposed to ask her out? How do you go out when you can't drive? The thought of my step-dad taking me on a date was too horrifying to even ask. Well, never say never.
Then there was Martha. Martha told me that when I first arrived at school, she was determined to sit behind me and get to know me. We became friends. She wasn't hard to like or get to know.

I may have even been on the verge of "dating" her when she suggested we go to the school dance. Only one way to get there: ask the step-father to drive us.

I don't recall anything about that night except the heavy awkward silence as we were taxied to the junior high gymnasium. The ride home was just as bad. My step-dad was an odd man and socially out of touch his whole life. He had a less-than-subtle was of watching you (and eavesdropping) that used to bug the shit out of me at home, let alone out with a girl.

Long after, Martha dropped a huge hint. She asked me if I had ever kissed a girl. "Sometimes you have to just kiss a girl."

I never did with old Martha, but an invite to a party was the ticket.

" don't happen to have a bean bag chair handy, do you?"
Bliss Upon Bliss

It was an invite to Becky's house that gave me the first inkling of what it must be like to have a steady girlfriend.

Somehow in the malaise of mad teenagers running about, I ended up making out with Becky with the two of us nestled nicely on a bean bag chair. That was magical.

We did end up in the bedroom, in a manner of speaking. I don't know why, maybe it was the hint-of-the-century to the idiot lad, but we ended up there. Not that anything happened (That seems to be a theme here, yes?).

We stood in front of a mirror and she told me about the Mary Worth legend of conjuring her spirit by repeating her name three times.  I remember holding her hand as we both spoke the surly ghost's name, but nothing happened except, in my excitement, I broke an ashtray with a wild fist pound on the dresser top. Good job, laddie!

After that, I never had another encounter, blissful or not, as that one with Becky. Which lead my uneven mind to ask many questions about the nature of these encounters:

Why doth a young lass offer her kisses and then not any followup?
Why, why, why?

Next: A Desert Place 

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