A Teenaged Love
The air of nostalgia is thicker than 4 smokers in a Mini Cooper. History is stalking me again. My girl keeps trying to get me to understand that maybe I’m supposed to repeat it with a different perspective. But I’m more afraid of it than children are of left-overs. So I choose to sift through my history and find some really star-quality moments to focus on, far enough out of reach to have ZERO chance of recurring in the present cuz I don’t even know where those cats are now. I think it’s for the best since my heart apparently comes with an umbilical cord.
In choosing my own memory...
Remember how it was before things got all complicated? When holding hands was the gateway drug to deeper physical intimacy? When a kiss was the equivalent of “I love you,” and you really thought you meant it deep down in your soul?
My first kiss (with tongue) was a magical moment that occurred in 1 of the least romantic places ever. His girlfriend was this Greek girl who was friends with my Bestie. I didn’t like her because I didn’t care for the way she treated him, like she was setting him outside in the dog house when he didn’t do what she wanted. She had this air of sophistication that she made girls and boys alike beg to be around. I wasn’t the begging type. Him: from a troubled family with siblings in trouble and parents M.I.A. being raised by--you guessed it--a grandmother. They were on a break [I promise] because he didn’t stay after school with her as she’d asked and she didn’t take “NO” well, even when it was because his grandmother told him he’d better bring his behind straight home. Being Greek, there were certain cultural understandings she didn’t possess, even with all her sophistication. She tapped the little Black boy on the nose with the newspaper and set him outside.
Now, he lived in my friends’ neighborhood and I was always over there. So, we’d traded smiles a few times. We talked casually in the halls in groups of mutual friends. And being the brazen chick I was, more then than now, I’d let it be known verbally and in those infamous notes that I was checkin’ for him. He always told me that if he wasn’t with Alyssa (why not? I didn’t care for her then, and I ain’t worried about her now) it would be me and him. I didn’t completely fault him for his choice. After all, his mama is White and Alyssa gave some damn good gifts. I definitely got it, though I wasn’t feeling my 2nd best status.
Like I said, they were on a break. And I knew his class schedule better than my own. I had a habit of being in the halls by his classes just in case... He was in gym and had seen me through the tiny door pane that I was walking by. He appeared out the back door to the boys’ locker room. He asked where I was going. I said something slick and continued on my way. I wasn’t easy, he was gonna have to work. I learned early on in sports that the Red Ribbon didn’t weigh as much as the Blue. When I returned from my empty errand, he was posted up, still by the door. Ball shorts hangin low on on his hips, no air fillin those shorts, but not assy enough to look like a girl. Just how I liked ‘em. He was glistening (from playing ball) and smelled like an athlete. “You not gon’ just walk by me again.” In my 8th grade equivalent of “Who gon’ check me, Boo?” I challenged him on blocking my path. And he did just that. His arms pulled me to him, him leaning against the wall still, and wrapped around me tight like he needed me. I’m sure I stopped breathing. Next thing I knew, for the first time ever, I had a tongue in my mouth, experiencing one of those glorious kisses that I’d seen on TV and watched my babysitter get when her boyfriend dropped by when he wasn’t supposed to.
I tasted cotton candy and floated on clouds. The hall between the boys’ locker room and the cafeteria disappeared.
He turned out to be more trouble than he was worth. He and Alyssa did this ridiculous on again off again thing that I was always in the center (not the cause) of. I loved him unconditionally, even as 2nd fiddle. Before we moved away, 3 years later, he rode his bike all the way across town to thank me for all I’d put up with, tell me he’d miss me and “by the way, I love you too.” That was all I needed to declare to my unyielding mother that I wasn’t moving with the family cuz my baby needed me.
Ahhhhhh, the ignorance of youth. Still, that’s 1 of my favorite memories with a boy. I still wish him Happy Birthday in my mind on January 7th and I ask about him whenever I connect with friends from that time in my life. Whenever I think of him, I taste cotton candy and “set adrift on memory bliss.”
All grown up. Not so simple anymore, but...
Watch me move.