Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Paul and Chris Stories

Part I - The Gundam Wing Story

When I was in the fifth grade, I didn't have many friends. I'd just dropped out of the Boy Scouts, and was practically shunned by my peers for doing so. During this period, I met and began to idolize a pair of best friends named Paul and Chris. They were the class clowns, if nothing else, and I strived to someday be as popular and funny as them. They were into cool things, like coin-collecting and Gundam Wing; a show about giant battling robots that was much cooler than my admittedly childish obsession, Pokemon. I'd caught the tail end of a few Gundam episodes while waiting for a different show to start, and was hazy on the plot and characters. Some would say that I knew nothing about the subject.

But being the naive optimist I was, I joined in on one of their many conversations about Gundam and was essentially verbally eviscerated by the both of them (as bad as fifth graders can). Their mass amounts of knowledge on the subject far surpassed my terrible memory, and they saw right through my sad attempts to bullshit them. I was crushed. I didn't know what to do.

So I did what any kid would. I complained to my mother. Sort of. Feigning a new interest in Gundam, my mom gladly took me to the toy store to pick out any toy that wasn't Pokemon-related. Walking down the "Giant Robot Suit Toy Aisle" (it exists), I slowly stalked my prey. I didn't want the main protagonist, they'd be expecting that. It was an amateur mistake that I knew well enough to avoid. So I chose a model of one of the lesser characters, piloted by the good-guy-you-think-is-bad-at-first badass character I thought I'd like (if I'd actually watched the show).

But like all good plans, mine had a fault. For some reason, I hadn't read the backer card to the toy before I'd thrown it away, and had forgotten the name of the mech I'd bought. So the next day, I arrived to class with the toy stowed away in my backpack, not realizing that I would soon be made a fool of twice by Paul and Chris. And I was. They tore me to pieces again, calling my choice of action figure dumb, and insulting my intelligence because of it. Crushed again, I decided to never try to impress these two again.

Surprisingly, this toy became part of my regular playtime repitoire. I had no knowledge of any of the Gundam canon, so his backstory was mine to control. In my world, he was a cousin to my Transformers figures, a plain sort of robot that kicked ass and took names. Once, he even decapitated two LEGO figures that looked vaguely similar to Paul and Chris.

Part II - The "Weird Al" Story

A few weeks after the Gundam story, I'd finally begun to find my friends niche in my classroom. Paul and Chris were far from my mind, and I had finally earned the respect and admiration from my teacher, Mrs. Holden. A curvy, 30-something black woman, Mrs. Holden would rarely dole out compliments and praise, yet she'd been throwing metaphorical gold stars my way for weeks.

Anyways, show and tell was coming up, and I had the perfect plan. At this age, I was near-obsessed with parody musician "Weird Al" Yankovic, thinking that his work was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. I liked one album in particular, a compilation of food-based songs from some of his previous albums. I planned on taking this CD into class, and playing my favorite song from it. Surely, some of Weird Al's funny would rub off on me, and make Mrs. Holden like me, right?

Nope. Thirty seconds into the song ("Taco Grande," a song parodying "Rico Suave"), I was standing next to the boombox on a stool, not realizing that I hadn't planned on doing anything remotely entertaining while it played. Sweating profusely, I closed my eyes. Someone yelled something. Mrs. Holden stepped over and turned the music off. I opened my eyes, and saw Chris talking to Paul in front of me. They smiled, and Paul walked over.

Apparently, Chris had noticed that Paul was mouthing all of the words to the song, and was so impressed with this that he shouted at Mrs. Holden to restart it, so that he could do it in front of the class. Grinning, Paul told the class to come in close so that they could hear him. Thirty students came rushing forward, and the song was restarted. Paul sang along to the entire song, Mrs. Holden clapping and cheering along the entire way. At the end, the classroom erupted into applause. Everyone shuffled back to their seats, impressed with Paul's "incredible ability."

Having already taken my seat in shame, I'd forgotten that my CD was still in the player, and had to perform a very embarrassing walk/run to the stool while everyone stared at me.

After that school year, I moved away and never saw them again. But if I were to meet the adult version of Paul and Chris someday, I'd like to tell them these stories, and we'd probably laugh at how childish and immature it all was. We might even be good friends. Or they'd still think I was a loser, and I'd smash their faces in with a baseball bat. Either way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My First Erection

I've been on a few school-sponsored field trips in my life, but my first one stands out as being the most memorable. It was spring, and my second-grade class was going to the local ice-skating rink to be taught how to skate. This was a huge deal, since most of us had never been on a school bus before, as it was a method of transportation commonly reserved for "big kids." Something about their big, bolted-on sides of sheet metal and revving diesel engine fascinated us as kids, and the class as a whole couldn't be more excited. It didn't even matter where we were going at this point, just that we were going as a class, and that blew our minds.

Walking single-file to the bus lanes behind my school, my friends and I couldn't stop chattering to one another. We wondered if it had seatbelts, or if our teacher would be driving, or maybe even the principal. We wondered if it could go through mud, or what would happen if a car hit it. We stretched our imaginations far as an eight year-old's mind could.

Finally our teacher, Ms. McClure, arrived at the bus' folding doors. The driver opened them with a hiss, and she stepped inside. After exchanging a few words with him, she stepped back outside and told us that we could get on after finding a "bus buddy" to sit with.

Aside #1: Remember the part in the first Toy Story movie where Woody tells everyone that they need to get a moving buddy to keep track of, so that no one gets lost when Andy moves? Same concept.

After pairing up with my best friend, a freckled boy named Blake, we stepped inside and took a seat towards the middle. Ms. McClure stood at the front of the bus and quieted us down in a way only patient grade-school teachers can. She told us that we needed to show the bus driver how well-behaved we could be, and that we should talk quietly to our "bus buddy" while en route. She sat down, and the bus pulled away from the school.

We drove for a short time, most of us enjoying the moving scenery flying by outside. Soon we arrived at the rink, with a small group of people milling about in dark blue windbreaker track suits standing outside. These people, we would come to find out, were our instructors.

Stepping off of the bus, the two dozen or so students were split into five groups and dispersed amongst the trainers. Blake and I stayed together, being put into a group lead by an overzealous 50-something woman that appeared to have far too many teeth for her mouth. The other three kids were named Chase, Michael and Veronica (the rail-thin tomboy of the class). I hadn't really spoken to any of them before this point, so Blake and I milled about apart from the group before being ushered inside.

Aside #2: In the fourth grade, Chase was sent to the principal's office for dumping Elmer's glue on his desk on a Friday before coming back on Monday to pick it off and eat it during class. True story.

As our instructors were sizing us for our skates and telling us a condensed history of ice skating, I noticed that Michael had broken away from our group and was talking to Ms. McClure a short distance away. She handed him a small duffel bag that had been laying at her feet, and he unzipped it quickly. As he was pulling a pair of brand new skates from it, my mind started connecting dots. It was obvious to me that Ms. McClure had bought Michael these skates, and I felt a weird surge of jealousy hit me. I was a single child at this point, so I was not used to this feeling. I didn't know how to react. So like most jealous people, I stood there and seethed until it was time for me to put my skates on.

After a lot of fussing around, some of the more confident skaters started to trickle onto the ice next to the sizing station. Michael was amongst them, fluidly stepping from the solid ground into the rink like he had done it a million times before. Easily gliding around the other students, he was the only one out of the entire class not using a training bar for support.

Aside #3: For those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the device that looks like a walker without wheels, meant to be leaned on for help with balance while skating.

Despite my inability to stand while wearing the heavy skates, I was actually enjoying myself, laughing as Blake and I slipped and fell onto our knees and bottoms, drenching our jeans and making us shiver. Eventually, we became bored with failure and decided to leave the rink and turn in our skates. It was nearing the time when we were scheduled to leave, and we wanted to dry off in the bathroom like most of the other students had gone to do.

Slowly making our way towards one of the doors to the rink, we heard a thud and felt the ground shake. It sounded like someone had hit the ice with a hammer. I turned around and saw Michael on the other side of the rink, with his face on the ice. A geyser of blood was erupting from the lower half of his face, and he was sobbing uncontrollably. One of the instructors quickly skated out and picked him up, bringing him around to the door that I had just gone through. As he was carried by like a sort of giant, bleeding baby, I managed to get an up-close look at his injuries. His front teeth were completely missing, leaving two angry red holes where they once had been.

Aside #4: Not knowing if they were his baby or adult teeth, the instructor had also managed to pull them out of the ice to possibly be re-inserted. Luckily, they were not his permanent teeth.

Ms. McClure quickly called Michael's mother, and she arrived within ten minutes. After they left, the entire class was left buzzing about what had just happened. The instructor that had picked Michael up off the ice was now skating out to the red spot where he had fallen with an armful of plastic safety cones, setting them up in a triangle around it. We lined up to leave, with each of us pairing up with our "bus buddy" again.

Just as we were walking out, my eye caught sight of Michael's black duffel bag sitting empty where he had left it. I told Ms. McClure, and she asked me to go get it for her. Reminded of my anger at her for playing favorites, I glumly walked over to the bag and picked it up. By the time I had shuffled outside, everyone was on the bus and ready to go. Blake had been forced to partner up with Michael's abandoned "buddy," so Ms. McClure had me sit next to her in the seat behind the driver. This gesture slightly soothed my jealousy, and we rode in silence as she graded papers next to me.

After steaming for a few minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to know why she had bought Michael those skates. So I asked her, while making eye contact with the back of the driver's head. To my surprise, my inquiry was met with a giggle that made my heart leap, followed by her explaining that Michael had brought the skates from home and that she was just holding them for him on the bus ride to the rink. She winked, and slyly told me that Michael was definitely not her favorite in the class. I wasn't and still am not sure if she was implying that I was her favorite.

But regardless, that's how I took it, and swelled with pride. Literally. Before I knew it, something was happening in my still-wet jeans that had never happened before. I didn't know what to do, and was beginning to panic.

Anatomy class tells you that the male sexual organ isn't exactly fully developed at this point, so the front of my jeans only rose a tiny bit before stopping. At that age, anything moving down there without you touching it is reason for worry, so I covered up my lap with Michael's bag. The rest of the bus ride was torture. Between sweating and trying to feel out exactly what was going on underneath my clothes, I was a wreck. I stealthily tried everything I could think of to try to get it to go away. I pushed on it, pulled on it, pinched it and punched it, finally giving up as we were pulling up to the school.

Quickly, I formulated a plan that involved sitting on the bus until everyone had left it, thinking it might be gone if I waited a few minutes. This plan was foiled by Ms. McClure, however, as she asked me to stand up so she could get out before anyone else had. Still holding the bag to my crotch, I stood up and faced the front of the bus. After she had left the seat, I sat down again immediately and pretended to listen to her address the class. When she was finished, she looked down at me and smiled.

"Thanks for getting this for Michael, it was really nice of you," she said, taking the bag from my grip.

Once it left my lap, she gasped as she saw the tiny tent I had pitched underneath. Before I had a chance to react, one of the other kids, named Nick, poked his head around the corner of the seat and grinned like an idiot.

"Ty-ler has a bo-ner!" he announced to the rest of the bus in a singsong voice.

The bus erupted into laughter as the blood emptied out of my erection and made its way to my face.

Aside #5: Looking back, I'm sort of curious as to how so many second graders knew what a boner was. Nick was one of those kids who "knew everything" at a young age, and would later tell me that sex was when a guy peed in a girl's vagina. I'll bet most of the others were just laughing at the inflection that he said it in. I hope.

Clearly trying not to make a bad situation worse, Ms. McClure dropped the bag back onto my lap. I had my head down as she calmed the class down and started to lead them off of the bus, every last one of them passing by my seat and laughing at me. After climbing off of the bus, I joined the end of the already-formed line back to class in shame. For the next few weeks, the field trip wasn't referred to as "when we went to the ice rink," it was "the time Tyler got a boner on the bus." It was brutal.

I did receive some form of solace, however. When Michael had returned to class a couple of days later, he brought a card he'd made at home, thanking me for remembering his duffel bag for him. I don't know if anyone told him about the incident on the bus, but his handcrafted note unknowingly made the fallout feel a little less awful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Metallica Story

Throughout middle school, I was obsessed with Metallica. I'm not embarassed about this fact at all. I am, however, VERY embarassed about the type of Metallica fan I was. You see, Metallica is one of those bands whose entire discography is filled eqally with albums that are hits and misses. I was unfortunately one of those rabid hyper-fans that was drooling over everything they'd ever done, including the absolutely abysmal "Garage, Inc." It was that bad.

Around the peak of my obsession, Metallica released their album "St. Anger." For those of you that don't know what this means in relation to the Metallica canon (if you will), I'd like you to think of your favorite band or musician that has more than five albums out. Now think of that artist's most generic, shitty, uninspired album (as a whole). That's what this album is for Metallica. Except this album was made during a period in their career where every member of the band wanted to kill one another in the most violent way imaginable (as shown by the sub-par-but-still-worth-a-watch documentary "Some Kind of Monster"). Even more, the entire band was fresh from famously suing Napster, after which bassist Jason Newstead left (for an unrelated reason). Their minds were probably on other things while recording this.

Regardless, I worshipped anything these four horsemen decided to hammer out, and listened to the album incessantly with my terrible blue Walkman CD player and ill-fitting headphones that made the loud parts (i.e., the whole album) sound like it was playing through a tin can. But I didn't care, terrible-sounding Metallica was better than no Metallica at all. After playing the album dozens of times, a certain song on the album stuck out to me more than most. Entitled "Sweet Amber," the song seemed to be about a girl that was pretending to be a kind person, or something. Anyways, I thought the song was badass.

Aside #1: I was so obsessed with this album that I still remember that "Sweet Amber" was track number eight on "St. Anger." Despite the fact that you may not believe me, as I'm writing this, I am nowhere near an internet connection, nor do I have this album on my laptop or anywhere nearby.

The summer after the album was released, I was spending a weekend at my dad's house when he and the neighbors threw a sort of impromptu block party. Friends invited friends, and soon people that we had never met were showing up.

Aside #2: I know that saying that strangers were at this party makes it seem like things got out of control, but I assure you, they didn't. This was a party of adults, not college students.

I was hanging out with the group of kids that were around my age, sitting on our next-door neighbor's front porch. J.T., the large, greasy, bespectacled mouth-breather that was the son of the house's owner (and my best friend at the time), was petting one of his many dogs, talking to a boy named Richard that lived a few houses farther down the street. Sitting next to Richard was a skinny, brown eyed, brown-haired girl that I would later find out was his cousin. I was sitting in a wooden rocking chair adjacent to her side of the couch that she and her kin were on, trying not to stare at her. I was still, of course, at the age where I was completely unaware of how to flirt with girls, avoiding her glances and subsequent smiles by feigning a weirdly creepy fascination with another one of the house's smaller dogs that was sitting on my lap. The two sons of the neighbors on the other side of my dad's house, Cody and Austin, were sitting on a pair of fold-out lawn chairs, eating chips.

After a few minutes, the four other males on the porch decided to go into the house to get drinks, leaving Richard's cousin and I alone and sitting less than three feet away from one another. Anyone that has ever been remotely social at any point in their life knows that forced, awkward social interaction was inevitable at this point. So it happened. And it wasn't that bad. She was easy to talk to, and laughed at my jokes interjected into our polite preteen small-talk.

Aside #3: Looking back, I'm not sure if she was laughing at my shitty jokes or the fact that my voice was shaking as I was telling them. Either way, she found it charming, and I was obviously far too inexperienced to tell the difference.

I looked inside during a lull in our banter, and saw that the four boys had decided to sit in the living room and play Gamecube. Opting to not join them, the girl and I decided to walk over to my dad's house to get some food. On the short walk over, we continued to talk to one another, talking about unimportant and benign things. Though I was not good at reading most signals, I was picking up strong flirtatious vibes from her. She'd gone from laughing at my aforementioned "shitty jokes" to adorably giggling at even the most muted of my responses. I had an admirer, it seemed. This realization only propelled my interest for her, and she jumped from "cute girl" to "the girl I'll tell my friends about after the summer's over."

We entered my dad's backyard to find a large group of people milling around a grill, my dad's friend Bob making cheeseburgers for the crowd. We each requested one, and put our condiments on our respective patties while standing side-by-side in the warm garage. This was the most romantic thing that had ever happened to me at this point in time, and I didn't know how to react. After anxiously eating while standing in the humid space, she grabbed me by the hand and lead me to her father's truck, parked outside my dad's house. She opened the back hatch, and we climbed in. Sitting indian-style next to each other, we both looked up at the still-darkening sky in silence.

"You're not like anyone I've met before," she said, still looking up.

I wish I could say that I swept her off of her feet and suavely shot back a witty retort that made her fall madly in love with me, but I did nothing of the sort. As far as I can recall, we sat there in silence after this admittance, too afraid to talk any more. Before I knew it, she was bustled into Richard's parent's van, leaving me with nothing but a bruised heart and her first name: Amber.

I never saw her again, or really ever talked to Richard as far as I remember. But to this day I can't even listen to Metallica without thinking of that sweet girl Amber that I met when I was a kid.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My First Date

When I was in the ninth grade, I was a douchebag. I was constantly yearning for attention from my upperclassmen, while also feebly attempting to "get laid;" a combination of goals that no female with a brain stem found inherently attractive. I hadn't experienced anything sexual outside of my failed blowjob from Ashley the previous summer, and was beginning to get anxious. Not from sexual repression, but from the sort of oozing bog of loneliness that those like myself find themselves sinking in when young and filled with angst.

Thankfully, this slump didn't last long, and by that October I'd already set my sights on the next girl I wanted to pursue. Her name was Megan, and she was a junior at my high school. She was sort of tomboyish; the type of girl that would always wear her hair in a ponytail, who would come to school in a different band t-shirt every day. She wore all-green Chuck Taylor high-tops, and she was the most attractive girl I'd ever seen. Needless to say, I was smitten.

I'd managed to enter her social circle through a few mutual friends we had, and began talking to her at school on a regular basis. She was incredibly flirty, a trait I hadn't yet learned to protect myself against at such a young age. We eventually made plans to hang out beyond the confines of the school walls, with her offering to drive me to the mall to "hang out." Not well-versed on teenage relationship etiquette, I assumed that this was to be the first of many actual dates. I was thrilled, and told my parents all about it over dinner that night. My mother was excited and began fussing over my hair, offering to take me to get it cut after school the next day, hours before Megan picked me up. I took her up on her offer. We went, and I ended up getting what I thought was a cool hair cut. I walked out of the barber shop feeling confident with my new look, excited to show it off.

Aside #1: I should mention right now that at this age, I had no friends that drove, and didn't (and still don't) drive myself. This was a sort of monumental moment for me, being the first time I was actually allowed to be driven in a car piloted by a teenager. Sadly, this detail is probably what set this mall "date" apart from my previous, parent-driven mall "non-dates" in my young mind.

I spent the next few hours nervously picking out clothes that I felt suited the evening, trying on several dress shirts before settling on a "cool and collected"-looking black turtleneck my mom had bought for me, paired with my favorite jeans and a brown leather jacket that I'd received three Christmases earlier (that was three years too small). In my mind, I looked awesome. I thought of myself as a sort of James Dean-ish character, and was positive that she'd immediately want to make out with me upon seeing my outfit.

Of course, she didn't. But that didn't bother me, because I'd have the whole night to win her over with my unmatched wit and charm. Except I didn't have any wit and charm. Nervous and unwilling to fail, my first mistake was made shortly after getting into her car. After exchanging greetings, her eyes lit up.

"Do you like ska?!" she asked, grinning.

"Er. Well...yeah, I like ska," I replied, nodding my head.

Aside #2: This is the only time I've ever said the term "I like ska" in my entire life.

If she were more intuitive, she would have realized that I'd very clearly never heard ska music before, and was completely lying to her. But, her excitement clouded her perceptions, and she excitedly pushed a tape into the stereo. The sound of horns started blaring through the speakers as I awkwardly bobbed my head along at a pace that was nothing like the one in the song, pretending to enjoy myself. Megan, however, was drumming her steering wheel furiously, singing along with a sort of crazed fervor that only ska fans are capable of.

I was terrified. Having never driven with a teenager, I was completely unaware that most of them act like fucking maniacs when behind the wheel. After a few minutes of hiding my fear and feigning interest in the music, I began to feel itchy. You see, I hadn't taken a shower since I'd gotten my hair cut, for fear that I wouldn't be able to make my hair look as cool as the barber had.

Aside #3: You've all done it before, shut up.

Of course, this meant that I had residual hair clippings sprinkled over the back of my neck and shoulders, irritated by my unfortunate clothing choice. Trying not to look too obvious about it, I began rubbing my shoulders against my seat, soothing my uncomfortability. It started out with a sort of gentle rub, but over the course of the next few minutes it evolved into a sort of free-form homage to the way bears shamelessly scratch their backs along tree trunks. Nothing subtle about it.

I'm not sure how long she was looking at me before I noticed, but I think any amount of time is plenty in this situation. Luckily, we'd arrived at the mall, and the loud-ska-fused-with-weird-tension-in-the-air bubble that had been growing in the car was popped. We parked, and started walking through the mall. Stiff-legged, nervous and still itchy, I followed Megan as she buzzed about from store-to-store happily, not noticing my discomfort. But then, somehow, we were holding hands. I'm not sure when it happened, or who made the first move, but I remember being in the kitchen wares section of a department store when its significance to the future of our relationship dawned on me. This adorable girl that I liked had looked past my weird display in her car, and still liked me. It was monumental. In my pubescent mind, this was a symbol of great things to come.

Eventually we began heading towards the exit to the mall, still hand-in-hand. I'd forgotten all about my itching issues, my mind dreamily focused on thoughts of Megan and I's future together. In the parking lot, her cell phone started ringing. Her hand left mine when she picked it up, but I didn't even care. We'd have all the time in the world to hold hands.

Aside #4: If you think I'm some sort of obsessive weirdo at this point, remember that I was young and filled with hormones. I don't know what the fuck I was thinking half the time.

After she finished her call, she told me that we were going to turn around and visit one of her friends that worked at the Cheesecake Factory in the mall. He was on his smoke break, she explained, so it wouldn't be long. I cooly remarked that it wasn't a big deal, and we started walking the other way. Oddly, her pace had picked up dramatically, and she was now power-walking towards the restaurant. I thought it was really charming that she wanted to see her friend so bad, and didn't try to keep up.

I saw her friend before she got to him, and something in the back of my mind threw up a red flag. He was over six feet tall, goateed and wearing a cook's apron. If that hadn't set off an alarm in my mind, the way they hugged would have.

Imagine, if you will, the most obnoxious hug that you've ever seen, where one party picks the other up and twirls them around while making unintelligible "happy" noises. It was like that, but with an added side of soul-crushing heartbreak as her lips met his in mid-hug.

Of course. A boyfriend. Her hand-holding must have been a mark of friendship, not of any sort of attraction. My hours of preparation were wasted. I mumbled a half-assed greeting to my new nemesis, jamming my hands in my jacket pockets angrily. They decided that he was going to walk with us to her car while he was finishing his break, so we turned around for a second time. As a way to show my frustration with the current predicament I found myself in, I made sure to walk on the other side of the parking lot aisle, shoulders hunched. They didn't seem to notice. His hand was occupying the same place in her hand that mine was just minutes earlier. Seeing this made me try to brood harder, so that the end result was me looking like a pissed-off hunchback with bad taste in leather jackets.

We arrived at her car, which she didn't unlock until after kissing him for a solid ten seconds on her side. Quickly, I sat inside and crossed my arms, pretending I was cold (not seething with anger). She continued to kiss him, the both of them plainly visible through the driver's side windshield. His tall figure was craned over her small one, arms around each other's waist/shoulders (respectively). The minutes dragged on forever.

Aside #5: I'm really not sure how long I was sitting there staring at them, but I'll hope you'll forgive me for using the cliche "it felt like forever in just a few minutes" line.

Finally, their embrace broke and he departed. She opened the door to the car and sat inside.

"Sorry, I didn't know he was working tonight," she explained, starting the car.

"You didn't know your boyfriend was working tonight?" I asked, genuinely confused.

"Oh, he's not my boyfriend. He's friend," she replied.

My Megan, a whorish cocktease. It all made sense (but for real this time). I shifted my body weight in a way that showed that I clearly didn't approve of the situation, and she understood the message I was conveying.We didn't talk the entire drive back to my house. Ska music came through her speakers, but at a much more acceptable volume than before. She wasn't drumming along, or singing loudly. Her hands gripped the small grey steering wheel until her knuckles went white. There was a sort of angry and confused tension in the air, until I arrived home. Immediately after she pulled up to the curb, I flung the door open and unclicked my seatbelt. I said a rushed goodbye, slammed the door, and started to walk slowly up to my front door, fishing my key out of my pocket. I was nearly there, when I heard Megan blare her ska music before peeling out and driving away. I had a lump in my throat as I entered my house, finding my parents waiting for me in the living room. After a few questions answered with no enthusiasm whatsoever, they got the hint and let me go to my room to feel sorry for myself.

I didn't see her much after that, and aside from dating one of my friends for a few weeks, never was really forced to interact with her.

I learned a lot of valuable life lessons from my first (and only) date with Megan. But what really breaks my heart is that she didn't even notice my cool hair cut.

The Blow Job Story

In the summer between my 8th grade and 9th grade years, I began talking to a girl over Myspace that I had "met" through mutual friends, named Ashley. We had met up a few times, and started "dating," which entailed nothing beyond being dropped off at the mall together, or going to each others' house. She was a year older than me (entering the 10th grade at a different school; a big deal at the time), but no more experienced than I in the treacherous world of tween sexual experimentation. That is to say, kissing was a big deal, and going even further was not worth the hours-long erection you were forced to wear like a horrible badge of honor. You know, the one that lasts way longer than it should, forcing you to take a walk of shame to her parents' Jeep Liberty to drive you home with your hands jammed into your pockets like they don't know exactly what you're trying to hide?

Aside #1: I assume all semi-sexually active males and females have been on the respective sides of this at one point or another, and know exactly what I'm talking about, or can at least imagine the situation thanks to 80's teen comedies.

Anyways, to make a long story short, after two or three months, my still-growing libido was sick of only getting to "second base" with Ashley, and wanted to take things further. Orally further. I wanted her to give me a blowjob. I'd never gotten one before (much less had sex), and was, of course...curious.

At first, she was reluctant to do this, as she'd never gone past even "first base" with anyone before, much less "third." But after some softcore-style heavy petting on her bed, with clearly broken and laughably naive promises to "always be together" exchanged in-between sloppy kisses, I was able to begin to "shoulder pat" her down to my privates.

Aside #2: I also assume that all people that have been involved on either side of male oral sex knows what I'm talking about here, the "shoulder pat" being the general term for the sort of light push guys will give their ladies while kissing them, to say, "I'd like it if you went down there. I strongly suggest you do this." It's a dick move, but we've got to let you know what we want somehow, right?

After unzipping my pants and pulling them down to my ankles (I still had my shoes on, naturally), she began to unbutton the wiener-hole in the front of my boxers.

Aside #3: I don't know what else to call it, so sorry for being twelve. I've called it that my entire life.

Her hands were shaking as she unfastened the buttons, which meant that it took a ridiculously long time to open the gates (as it was). Once she finally did it, my once rock-hard erection had sort of shrunken into what looked like a depressed, peach-colored eel, apparently no longer amused by the female face in its vicinity.

Now, at this point in the story, I have to mention that once she saw what she had to work with, she didn't throw her hands in the air and give up, or even make a funny face. Oh no. She sure as shit tried her hardest to get me going again, and I give her massive amounts of credit for that.

But there was one problem. As I mentioned before, Ashley nor I had ever been on the respective giving or receiving ends of a blowjob before, and I think she had a minor misconception as to what it involved. Rather than "suck" my dick, she instead chose to literally "blow" it; like you would a balloon. Before I had a chance to react to the sharp pain that the gust of air being blown into my penis caused, I looked down to see her cheeks blown up as big as Dizzy Gillespie's.

Unfortunately, my knee-jerk reaction was to grab the hair atop her head, pull it off of my groin (which made a very interesting popping noise), while yelling "FUCKING OW!"

Needless to say, this was not a high point in our relationship. After "cleaning up," her parents decided that they'd had enough with our preteen shenanigans, and that it was time for them to drive me home. Awkward didn't even begin to describe the car ride. We were sitting in the back of her parents' Honda Civic, holding hands loosely over the middle seat, everything feeling slightly different now that we had crossed this threshold into the void. After dropping me off, she sent me a text message explaining that she was nervous, and sorry that she'd hurt me. We made vague plans to see each other in the coming few days, but our hearts must not have been in it anymore. I never saw or talked to her again. But I sure hope she learned how to suck dick.