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Flashback - First Date

I had something akin to a boyfriend just after high school, named Joe. We met for the first of three times, before I graduated, back in 1998 while sitting around a campfire in the middle of the woods with our friends Christine and Skye, in the freezing air of Halloween night, shooting the shit, playing guitar, and taking turns peeing in dark shadows where nobody could see.

Christine, my best friend at the time, always tried hooking me up with her friends, but I didn't want to date anyone back then and Joe didn't want to date me. We attended different schools, and maybe it was different at her high school, but I got used to being the only virgin at mine, and that crippled my desire for dating anyone, ever. At my school, dating meant fucking, and I didn't want to be expected to do anything I wasn't ready to do. Not being interested in boys or dating meant I was either a closet lesbian or on drugs. The mean girls in school spread gay rumors about me. My best friends and their parents knew otherwise. They all thought I was on drugs. Like they'd never met a kid who didn't fit in before.

At that point in my life, I'd never touched a joint, a bottle, or even a cigarette. In fact, my first 'mind-altering' experience came on the day I graduated. Not at a graduation party, but a memorial party for my friend Josh who'd thrown himself in front of a train. I drank my first beer in his honor at age 17. Nothing happened.

At age 18, I finally had my first kiss, and that was more psychedelic than any drug I'd ever want to try. The whole world disintegrated around us and my feet lifted off the ground until I was ten stories up looking down at our perfect little moment.

Snapping back to age 17, late in November, I found myself at a giant party with my sister and her friends, where I met my first true love, my darling Not-Appearing-In-This-Story. Here, I also met Joe for the second time. After the initial surprise of our chance encounter, we started to really hit it off. I'm sure he thought I was more experienced at this point (spoiler alert: nope), so he wanted to date me this time around. Or something me. We ended up snuggling on the couch after the party had fizzled out, and fell asleep in each other's arms. I tracked down my sister at dawn, who I found hung over and being held against the toilet by her boyfriend. We ate a greasy breakfast and headed home to waste away the rest of the weekend.

Still new to this whole thing, I shyly asked Joe if he was my boyfriend. Through the crackles of the telephone, he expressed a delicate disdain for 'labeling' us, and I thought I'd ruined it. He asked me out on a date anyway.

My first date.

He picked me up at 11am and I crowded into his car with a load of his pals. Not exactly how I pictured my first date. He took us all back to his house and one of the guys grabbed a grocery bag from the trunk. "Field trip!" he shouted, as we all piled into the doorway at once, to escape the morning chill.

Field trip?

Joe explained that we're all getting ready to go out on a trip, and he handed us all sugar cubes as another guy poured orange juice. Someone behind me said each cube had three drops.


Oh god. Oh... my god, I had acid in my hand! I watched everyone else dissolve the cubes into their orange juice, helping the process with spoons, and toss them back like shots of whiskey. I thought about it. I had in my hand a chance to change myself into the person everyone thought I was anyway. But I couldn't go through with it. I was not curious enough. Not desperate enough to fit in. I handed the cube back to Joe. "I'm good, thanks." I walked along with them anyway. We trudged through the snowy fields of the nearby golf course, stopping so they could marvel at all 18 (thousand) wobbly, colourful holes.

Not exactly how I pictured my first date.

I did ruin it, by the way. Because I didn't sleep with him. He stirred nothing within me, despite how much I liked him. And a week after the date, he called me to say he got Hep. C from some random chick he fucked. Well, okay then.

I did change that winter. I needed to adopt a different style. The new-hippie look had worn its welcome on my psyche and I'd been eyeballing the goth kids at the mall where I worked for a long time. Being goth took off a lot of pressure the tye-dye had on me. No one assumed anything about me anymore. Nothing that couldn't be dispelled with a smile, anyway. Once I found a good niche within, I finally felt like I fit.

I met Joe one last time at the goth club Vertex. He reminded me of a younger me, unsure of himself, clearly unfit for the world he stood in, and a little hesitant. He approached me and told me I looked really good. I took a drag off my clove as he stumbled to find the words to apologize for the weird way he'd treated me before. I looked at him, this insecure version of my former life stammering over a request for a date, which I'd declined.

I felt like Frankenstein's Monster in a good way - Without worrying how to fit in anymore, I could concentrate on shaping my life into something real. I took up painting, I fell in love with books for the first time, I danced, I tried new things, I took public transportation! All these pieces that suddenly fit together made me a bad-ass. Made me powerful, and in control.

So all I have to say at the end of this story is, just don't worry about bad firsts.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
I love this.
Jul. 8th, 2014 08:46 pm (UTC)
Jul. 8th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
I really needed to read this right now.
Thank you.
Jul. 8th, 2014 08:46 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm glad! Thank you!
Guillaume Ozier Lafontaine
Jul. 9th, 2014 06:48 am (UTC)
vraiment très touchant, et émouvant, en fait cela m'a rappelé mes premières fois et la façon dont on se voit plus jeune
et en effet c'est un très bon conseil que tu donnes à la fin ^ ^
merci pour ce partage chère amie...
Jul. 9th, 2014 02:44 pm (UTC)
Merci, Guillaume! Je voulais écrire cette histoire pendant un certain temps.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )