Saturday, June 4, 2016

First Kiss 2: Sledding

This is part of a project that documents first kisses through my past. Memory can distort things and I'm creative, so not everything is 100% true. 

Travis showed up unexpectedly from Southbury, CT. He was very tall for a sixth grader and spiked up his blue hair to add a few more inches. He wore CK-1 instead of deodorant and was raised by his mother. Travis was a mystery in a sea of the familiar. The girl had known most of her classmates since they were in Kindergarten. She felt like it was a game to learn about him. He used to pass her notes in science class which she collected and put in tiny metal tins to preserve their scent.

Travis asked her out almost immediately after arriving in town. She thought it was because of the purple streaks in her hair. They were a visual match except that when he hugged her, his arms wrapped around her head instead of her waist. Having a real boyfriend was new. Sure, she'd held hands at dances, hung out with guys in the park, she even had a friend who climbed in her window when her parents were running errands, but no one had ever been dedicated to her like this. When she called his house, his tired mother would put her hand over the receiver and shout, "Traaaaviiiiiis, it's your girllllllfrieeeeeeeend." This always made the girl blush.  

Steve, the friend with window privileges was friends with Travis and quickly became a translator for the couple. Steve would show up and assert Travis's needs. The girl would then negotiate a settlement and send Steve back home. One day, Steve showed up in the living room of Jen's house to deliver a message. The girl could tell that Steve was nervous about this one. He was sweaty and had a half smile on his face. Steve wasn't a particularly finessed human being, so they could all tell that something big was about to come out of his mouth. The girls stopped him from walking in circles and put their arms on his lumpy shoulders. "What is it?" Jen asked. 

Steve reluctantly sighed and before speaking took on a more confident post. He then blurted out the no longer secret desire of Travis: he wanted to go all the way. 

This really threw our girl off. She paced and laughed and showed her teeth. Jen was more experienced than the girl and even she was concerned. A blow job, maybe, but not real sex. The girl wasn't ready! They started to wonder about Southbury. Was this normal behavior? The girl collected herself and stood squarely in front of Steve. She asked him what he thought. Would Travis break up with her if she didn't go through with this? He wasn't sure, but he did suggest she do it. 

The girl stood there for a moment with her head down. Once she was ready, she thoughtfully spoke her answer to the room. She would not go all the way, that was too much. He hadn't even kissed her yet! And if he wanted to break up with her he could. The girls dispatched Steve off to Travis's house and regrouped to discuss the scandalous request in more detail. 

Jen, Steve, Travis and the girl all had science class together. The boys sat in the middle table, and the girls sat in the back with Heather. Each group discussed their side of the situation. Sideways glances, chewed gum, and tiny balls of paper were flung about for 45 minutes. Mr. Sayers, the teacher, had checked out of teaching long ago. He didn't even check the homework sheets. Once the kids realized this, they began inserting foul scenarios where they should have been explaining mitosis and other miracles of life. Eventually the teacher caught on and had a few words with the girl's parents. He told them that she was boy crazy, too. 

It was winter in Connecticut and a new snow had just fallen. The protocol for this situation was to bring your plastic sled up to the path behind the High School. It was a long walk, but worth it once you got there. Travis, Steve, the girl and some others went first thing Saturday morning. Travis's coat looked old and his green striped knit hat resembled something a grandma would make. The girl realized that Travis wasn't from a comfortable financial situation like she was. She understood that the designer unisex fragrance on his dresser was extravagant. Once they arrived at the top of the sled path, they all lined up. 

Travis rode down with the girl between his legs. They took the path in the woods instead of the clear hillside. The trees and bushes with their bald limbs whizzed by as they slid down the compacted snow. Half way down the slope the sled stopped. The girl turned around and quicker than a rabbit running from a dog, a tongue was inserted into her mouth. A wet, sloppy, jousting experience that was over quickly, thank goodness. She was taken aback except she had no where to go. Was this supposed to be better than just kissing on the lips? She wasn't convinced at this point. She also couldn't help but feel that it was an orchestrated attempt to assemble the necessary precursors to getting that home run. 

This girl was very intuitive and she had felt for some time that Travis wasn't being truthful with her. They didn't talk about anything but music. There was no real spark except her addiction to his smell and his almost mohawk. She decided it would be best to break up with him over the phone Monday after school. 

After the deed was done, Steve came over for a pow wow. He told her that she should have just slept with him. The girl wasn't sure if he understood that SHE broke up with HIM. And then he relayed what she had a feeling was happening all along. Travis had another girlfriend in Southbury. They didn't break up when he moved to Milford. They were still seeing each other. 

The girl wasn't very familiar with the notion of cheating but she immediately felt a hollowness arise in her chest. The glassy sparkle that inhabited her eyes faded a bit. She knew that everything would be OK. She knew that she didn't do anything wrong. And she was grateful that she exited when she did. If Travis wanted to be fast and furious then he could do it with his original lady. And as for Steve keeping this secret, she now understood why he urged her to submit. He knew that she didn't stand a chance if she wasn't going to keep up. Travis soon moved back to Southbury.

The girl rated her first real french kissing experience low. She wondered what the variables were that would contribute to a different, more enjoyable experience. She hoped that it would be less wet next time. Moisture freezes fast in winter. She didn't want to walk around with an icicle face. 

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