I chuckle about it now.
Looking hindsight, it was quite ridiculous to an adult how we courted back then as kids. But for us, it was the way of things. You see someone you like. You send your friend on over as your unofficial representative to your unsuspecting love interest. And you have them pop the big question:
Will you go with _____?
You didn’t even have to know their name. When it came to pre-teen romance, names were minor details that could be sorted out after the adolescent union was complete. The priority was getting the relationship started.
To this day, I don’t get what the hurry was all about. I guess time was of the essence because relationships at that age didn’t last more than a couple of horny clueless weeks that consisted of exchanging saliva and dabbling in pre-sexual activities like humping fully-clothed and maybe even finger-banging.
It was a clumsy type of love. A type of love that most kids are kind of prepared for when it happens. They were fortunate enough to have mamas and daddies that halfway readied them for what was to come. I didn’t have that. I didn’t even have the sex talk. I wasn’t coached on how to deal with girls. Instead, I stumbled my dumbass into love for the first time in the Summer of 1991, learning it all along the way like I’ve done with everything else over the course of my life. And it all started with, “Aye. That girl over there wanna know if you’ll go with her,” as another kid gestured to a skinny girl with a fucked up ponytail and a head full of hairs barely gelled down.
I remember her swinging from the monkey bars like a gawd damn chimpanzee and her lips covered in hot pink lipstick. There was so much lipstick that the shit stuck to her teeth. It was like she’d just finished smashing a flamingo for lunch and had nothing to wash it down with. Aside from the wild look she had going for herself, she was kind of cute.
That didn’t matter though. Not now.
All that mattered was that she wanted to go with me and without second thought, I agreed to that shit.
Proud as hell of my decision, I remember all of the sudden feeling like some kind of new man. I felt like there was some kind role I needed to play. Some kind of invisible costume that came with a sort of character. I just didn’t know who or what. So without reference, I mimicked what I’d seen from movies.
“Come here, baby,” I said in a squeaky ass 12 year old voice as we strolled past the monkey bars and merry-go-round with the chipped paint and exposed metal, “What’s your name?”
Grinning through her hot pink teeth, she responded with, “Sabrina.”
I just smiled with this big ass dumb look on my face as if I was a newly minted mack. I officially had my very first girlfriend. And nobody could tell me shit.
I remember getting home later that night with a radiant glow all over my face. I stood in the corner of our one bedroom apartment turning my torso back and forth, flipping my little 12 year old dick from side to side in some weird ass pre-sexual ritual that I fooled myself into thinking was some sort of sex training. “I’m exercising my weenie,” I told my little brother when he walked in and caught me.
Exercising for what, though?
I had no clue. My childish understanding of sex had me doing all kinds of dumb shit like “exercising my weenie” to rubbing mayo on my balls to nourish the sperm in them . Yet, when the opportunities to break my virginity came over the next week with Sabrina, I cowered.
She was more than ready for the sex. But I? Too shy. Too fearful. Not fully knowing what to do. I avoided any and every awkward moment in which she sexually hinted at me to go down that road with her. Hell, I didn’t even kiss her. And that was the eventual undoing of my first relationship.
A mere two weeks after we started going together, she sent her representative over – again – this time to end our little “fling” the same way it started. And though that particular journey ended quicker than it began, it was only the beginning of me catching the hurtful end of every relationship I ever been in.
My bad luck started when a new girl moved into the neighborhood. My relationship with Sabrina had me thinking I was some kinda pre-teen pretty boy. Nevermind I was skinny as all fuck, wore dingy ass thrift shop clothes, and had goofy metal frame eyeglasses that made me look like a 12 year old car salesmen. I rode my Huffy bike with my head high and flat out asked the new girl if she would go with me. The problem was everyone was asking her the same thing. She just rode by on her banana seat bike with streamers smiling hard as hell telling each and every boy “No thanks!” cheerfully.
But me? Nah. Before she could answer me, I found myself pedaling full speed into a stop sign because I was too busy looking at her. And with the whole damn block laughing their little asses off and blood pouring out of my ear, she added insult to injury and replied to my question with, “Ew! No way!”
I guess I wasn’t the pretty boy I thought I was.
Time passes and now I’m in high school, I befriended a girl named Cornelia my freshman year. It got to a point where I used to go over her place every night and hang out on her porch and talk about any and everything. It was strictly platonic – at first. But the more we hung around each other, the more I grew to like her.
My homeboys from around the way even thought I was smashing. And without really denying it, I let them believe it as they cracked their jokes and I pretended to be embarrassed. The truth was I was proud to be associated with a girl at all. And the fact of the matter was Cornelia and I were getting really close. And I finally felt brave enough to try and make our relationship something deeper and more official. Hell, I went to church with this girl and her family. What I had to lose?
So the next day on the bus, I sat next to her like I always did. Without wasting time, I asked, “So, how would you like to be my girlfriend?” cheesing hard as hell. I was pretty confident in what her answer would be. But almost instantly, blood began dripping from her nose. Taking my eyes off her eyes and looking directly at her nostrils, she started shaking convulsively as her eyes rolled back into her head and foam ran from her mouth.
If you could only see the look of WTF on my face.
Kids started screaming at the bus for driver help. The bus driver ran to the back, pulled me out of the seat, and shoved a plastic spoon into Cornelia’s mouth to keep her from swallowing her tongue. I’m just standing there in shock as an ambulance comes speeding toward us in the distance wondering if the prospect of being my girlfriend was so bad she went into a seizure? Maybe it was my breath? All I know is I went to Cornelia’s house the next day to see if she was ok and to this very day, I still can feel the dryness between us. Our little thing was never the same after that and we drifted apart the further high school went on. I couldn’t help but feel like it was something I had done.
But like that, my confidence and feeble attempts at approaching women dissipated. I left that shit alone. I wasn’t about to go up to another woman for a long ass time. If for some odd reason I thought I was brave enough, flashbacks of running into stop signs and a chick having a seizure was enough to turn my silly ass around. But fortunately, thanks to puberty and genes, I really didn’t have to. By the time I hit 15, I was starting to mature a bit physically. I was getting taller. I had little peach fuzz mustache growing. And my voice was deepening.
Strip away the thick ass glasses, the dinky ass clothes, the goofy commentary, the shy personality, the complete lack of social skills, and the absolute lack of confidence – shit, I was a hot catch. Which basically means girls thought I was cute from afar – until I opened my mouth and fucked it all up. Maybe I wasn’t meant to have a girlfriend? Maybe I was meant to love me enough for the both of us.
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