Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I May Never Be Kissed, Part 3

I went to a new school for 8th grade - the private school my mother dreamed of sending me to. The school was small and in an old house by a lake where Canada geese glided serenely until they came up onto campus to poop everywhere. I'm not kidding you, you couldn't even take a step without landing in goose poo, but other than that the school was beautiful. It was also filled with a bunch of rotten, stuck up rich kids. The kids who weren't rich were social outcasts, like me, who couldn't handle public school. These were my friends.

I met frequent commented JDogg at the fancy private school that year. We became friends over a crank call, but that's a story for another time. I also had two girl friends. One girl was both wealthy and an outcast, a red head who spent her entire childhood overweight and immature. As she neared high school she slimmed down considerably, became quite poised and prepared to make her re-entry into Riverbank High, where she would become popular and beautiful. This girl and I were friends for years and although she has given me a lifetime worth of writing material, full of conflict and angst and all the things that make great character driven novels, I promised many years ago to never write about her and I won't.

Andrea was my second girl friend. She was short and jewish and looked like a pubescent Barbara Streisand, with a dark spiral perm and frosty pink lipgloss. Andrea, who was not named Andrea, but Ahhn-DRAY-uh, lived with her mother in a filthy home that desperately needed remodeling. After her parent's divorce, Andrea's mother became trapped in a time warp from 1969 and never ever changed anything about herself or her home. It was just like Miss Havisham's house and equally as dirt-ridden and creepy. You needed several vaccinations just to walk in their home, which had psychedelic yellow and purple flowered wall paper, shag carpets and had not been cleaned or even straightened since Woodstock. It also had no parental supervision at all. I didn't have a lot of that myself, but Andrea had even less. We could, essentially, do exactly as we pleased. At my house I could only do about 75% as I pleased and I still had to clean up after myself. For this reason, I braved the stench of cat piss and years of accumulated grime and cigarette smoke to raise holy hell with Andrea.

Andrea was one of those troubled girls who gives blowjobs to her step brother in 8th grade and who drinks and tries to act as slutty as possible because her father never gave her the attention she desperately needed. I've always loved girls like this. Looking back on my life I've always gravitated towards wild and mentally unstable people, although I am often considered prudish, prim and far too in control for my own good. It's as if I like vicarious chaos. Similarly goody-goody friends just bore me. I like the friends who have animal sex and then tell me about it. I love the nut jobs who've experimented with the things that terrify me. There are a hundred reasons a good therapist could give for why I like people who are messed up and it may have something to do with me secretly wanting to do all these crazy things but being too scared. It might be an homage to my own parents who were certainly not scared of anything, or it could just be that these people are infinitely more interesting. Writers love to observe anything ridiculous and out of the ordinary and every writer needs a few good train wrecks to befriend because deep down we just love a good story. Crazy people always make for a good story. Andrea was a fantastic story. She made Katrina look like a Carmelite nun. I couldn't tear myself away. JDogg and I have often wondered what became of her. It was as if she simply vanished and no one ever knew what happened or where she went. We've googled and searched and there is no sign of Andrea. I've even considered posting her real name to see if anyone out there knew her. Given her past, it's likely she is currently a stripper or a porn star now. She probably lives in Las Vegas. She might be an alcoholic.

Eighth grade was a long dry spell in terms of my love life. Not much happened.

Our school held an annual fundraiser which was the epitome of lame, called the Dance-a-thon, where the whole school was supposed to dance for 12 hours straight in the Fellowship Hall of the local Congregational church, stopping every 15 minutes for Kool-Aid. It was awful; far worse than the Millpond Middle Dances. No one made out in the bleachers because the teachers forced us to dance and forced us to dance under bright lights where they could see if boys and girls got too close. It was oversupervised by parents and just not fun at all. I was miserable. You can only hear the Pet Shop Boys so many times in one day before they start to sound painful, and this is coming from a Pet Shop Boys fan. The DJ also played a lot of freestyle, of which I am not a fan and I'm sure we heard an edited "Brass Monkey" 16 times at least. JDogg, please, tell them how awful the Dance-a-thon was so they know I'm not exagerating.

The one good thing about the Dance-a-thon was that I went home with a boy. I don't know how I pulled this off. I must have gone through a rather complicated series of elaborate lies in order to get away with this, but I went home with a boy whose parents were not home and this could have easily been the night of my first kiss and several other firsts if I'd been willing. It was, however, not.

When the boy tried to kiss me I completely freaked out and the boy sent me home in a taxi. This was becoming a pattern. I began to think something was wrong with me. I lamented to Andrea who said she had the solution.

"You are totally repressed." she said. "You need to improve your sex life."

This was coming from a girl who had given five blowjobs before she was 15.

"I don't have a sex life to improve upon." I replied.

"You need to establish a sex life and then improve on it. You need practice so you aren't nervous."

That Friday I went home from school with Andrea with plans to spend the night. Her mother went to a single's function for Jewish divorcees at the Holiday Inn, and was guaranteed to be gone until 4am, giving us plenty of time to get into trouble.

Andrea got on the phone and called every boy she knew in the neighborhood and naturally she knew every boy in the neighborhood. No one was home, as most of them had cars. She decided to call her friend Carrie who lived down the street. Carrie was a year older than we were and went to public school. When Andrea hung up she looked pleased.

"Carrie's parents aren't home and her brother is going to be home from work soon. Her brother is kind of strange, but he's 17 and he'll probably drive us somewhere if we want."

Carrie's brother was a gigantic dork, the Napoleon Dynamite of 1987 if you will. He worked at a toy store, was in special classes in school and underwent acne treatments that made his face peel. He also took medication for an unspecified behavioral problem.

Carrie and Andrea discussed my issue and agreed that I just needed to practice on someone I didn't care about so that when someone I liked came along I'd be confident.

"What about my brother Matt!!??" Carrie asked. "It's perfect. He's only kissed a couple girls in camp last year and he's probably lying about that anyway. He would be glad to kiss you!"

Carrie called her brother at work and told him the situation. He wanted to know what I looked like.

He said he only liked blondes.

"How's her rack?" he wanted to know. "I like chicks with big racks."

Please remember this is coming from a guy who wore thick glasses and had a massive Jew-fro.

"Ok, here's the deal. He's coming home and he said he won't agree to it unless he sees you first and you have to brush your teeth." Carrie said.

I went back to Andreas and took a full shower. When the doorbell rang I broke out into a cold sweat. Matt was very tall and skinny. We looked each other up and down and I wanted to back out of the deal. I wondered if he did too.

Matt was lanky and awkward and his face was all nicked and splotched with red spots that looked like he had a hard time shaving. He was your typical nerdy Jewish boy.

"She's not gorgeous." he said.

Andrea and Carrie had a fit.

"I don't want to do this!!!" I wailed.

Andrea and Carrie were mad at both of us.

"You two both need to stop being so picky!! Neither of you can do any better right now, so shut up and kiss already!!" Andrea yelled.

"I don't want to kiss her." Matt decided.

Andrea and Carrie continued throwing a fit and finally Matt said he'd kiss me for five dollars.

"Why do you need five dollars?" Carrie demanded.

"For gas money! Du-uh."

"Dad gives you gas money you douche brain. Look, you've hurt her feelings."

"Jeez, I'll get the five dollars out of my piggy bank. It's for a good cause." Andrea said.

She came back with twenty quarters.

"We're going to watch TV. You two go outside on the side of the house and kiss." Andrea told us.

We went behind some tall hedges. I started to shiver and shake and I couldn't tell if it was because I was nervous or cold. Perhaps it was both. Matt stood in front of me with his hands on my shoulders for a very long time. I felt like I was breathing too loudly.

"So...are you going to kiss me or what?" he said.

"What??" I replied in shock. "You were supposed to kiss ME."

"Fine. If that's what you want, but that wasn't the deal. This was YOUR first kiss. Not mine. God."

He bent his head down close to my face and all I could smell was Listerine. I recoiled, but he came closer and closer and there wasn't anywhere I could go except down. I slid down the side of the house and he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me back up. I shut my eyes and I could feel his big, sticky, cherry chapstick lips on my mouth so I clamped shut and turned. When I turned a branch from the hedge scraped the side of my face, drawing blood.

"You don't want to kiss me?" Matt asked sadly.

Andrea and Carrie opened the window and called down.


"NOOO!!" we hollered back.

Matt brushed my cut with his finger.

"You're bleeding." he said.

Again, he tried to kiss me and again the same thing happened. I couldn't do it.

"You're not really ugly." he said softly. "You're going to be really pretty when you grow up."

"Really?" I asked.

He nodded.

"Do you think I'm gross? Is this because I'm ugly?" he said and then I realized that he was nervous and insecure too.

"Of course not." I lied. "But have you ever kissed anyone before."

"No." he said.

Matt gave me a long hug and kissed me on top of the head. Suddenly he started breathing heavily. He pulled away and looked at me intensely.

"I'll give you the five dollars back if you let me touch your breasts." he said.

This caught me off guard.

"Over the shirt or under?"

"Over. I don't care. I never touched a girl's breasts and I may not get another chance until I'm like thirty."

"I don't think so. I'm sorry, but it's just kind of weird."

"Fine, but we have to kiss. We have to get this over with. Come on."

I tried to will myself to hold still. He placed his closed mouth over my closed mouth and didn't do anything. We stayed this way for about 30 seconds.

"That isn't kissing." I said.

"Yes it is. Do you want to touch my penis now?"

"NOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I am going straight back in the house."

Matt grabbed me by the arm and started to cry.

"Please can we just lie to them? I'm really embarassed. I don't want my sister to know I never kissed a girl. Please don't tell her." he begged.

"Ok, but I want $2.50 of the quarters Andrea gave you."

He reluctantly counted them out.

"Stop crying. If you want to tell people you kissed me, I don't care, but don't ever ask a girl if she wants to touch your you-know-what."

I can't tell you how annoyed I was with the entire evening. In all, I felt even more sorry for poor Matt than I did for myself and I certainly hope that he got the chance to touch a girl's breasts again before he turned 30, but I'm not really confident about that.

I learned my lesson. I realized that I just wasn't ready to kiss anyone and that eventually I would be, so I'd have to be patient and just enjoy Andrea's many, many conquests.

My first kiss came at the end of 9th grade and it was well worth the wait.


6th Floor blog said...

again?! enough with the teasing!
Okay Okay..teasing is fine, but 4th times the charm?

Green said...

Your life stories are great. Is there some way you can interview me and then make my life seem as funny and interesting as yours does? No?? Okay, then I'll just keep reading yours.

Jane said...

I loved Widelawns but I enjoy these stories even more.


Anonymous said...

Out of the 1.8 million of us in Las Vegas, only a small percentage are alcoholic strippers ;)

Although my job as a park manager is kind of dumb....all day outside in 115 degree heat!

SO glad you are back, love the posts!

JDogg said...

OH THE HUMANITY!!! The Dance-a-thons were quite the scene, a mix of freestyle, a bit of rock and some alternative music mixed in with the socially disparate groups in the school. The Stray Cats were an every-other hour staple of the mix. It was the same guy each year with his own collection of tapes and records that was willing to play music for all the hours.

Miss E said...

Oh, that poor boy. Can't imagine the teasing he got at school and at home, though it sucks he took it out on you in front of your friends and acted like a complete weirdo later. He probably did grow out of it all, and got really hot in college or something.

Andrea said...

Just thought you'd like to know:

My name's Andrea, too. (An-DRAY-ah, by the by.) In 2003/4, I had the narcissistic urge to Google myself to see how much my name popped up on the Internet. Hey, I was only fourteen. :p featured (not any more, though) a porn star - short dark hair and not that tall at all. Of course, your description is quite non-descript, and so's mine... but hey, the coincidences are still fun. :)

Heather said...

Ah, SW, we are definitely less than 6 degress of separation away now. I am a graduate of Scarsdale High school class of 1990, so I am sure I knew every single student that got flunked out and sent to "finish up" at your school before Daddy paid for a new gym wing at Syracuse or somewhere so they could go to college. I probably even know people from your class that started off with you, but I won't post their names either for their sake. Who knows, one of them might turn out to be your real kiss next week.

Good luck with the new job, and keep up the stories -

Kore said...

Well, at least he didn't demonstrate how to give a prostate massage.

mish said...

i so would have given him a pity kiss and more... but i am closer to andrea i guess.

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