Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hen's Teeth Marks part two: First Dance

So the cutting of hair continues. In the background there are the sounds of a child’s intermittent screams over a soft rock soundtrack. The child, lets call him kid, is going through the traumatic experience of his first haircut. I really don’t care for his problems. I’m not a monster. It’s not because he got the last apron with the penguins playing volleyball though I don’t understand why children get first dibs on that kind of stuff. It is because poop happens and sometimes you have to work it out yourself.
It was the summer between eighth and ninth grade. It was the summer before freshman year of high school. I was in a transition. I was leaner, meaner, and I had contact lenses. In other words, I was a sex machine. Art camp awaited me across the bay. Everybody knew it wasn’t about art. For the teachers who were mildly successful artists it was about making a little extra money for pot. For the teachers who were artists before their time it was about making money to pay rent until there time came and they could afford pot. For me as a student it was about getting out of the house for two weeks. I didn’t know what pot was yet. Other students said they would stay here forever if they had their mom’s cooking at mealtime. I told them I didn’t need anything extra to stay there forever. They wouldn’t had looked at me so confused if they had actually tried my mom’s “cooking”. All the talk was about the dance at the end of the first week. We couldn’t wait. All the guys talked about whose throat their tongues were going to be down while I was just thinking about getting my tongue on the spread of sugar laden deserts and pastries that were promised to be on tables outside the dance. No euphemism intended. I’m talking about eating food. Given my eighth grade swing and misses I figured I was going nowhere with the ladies, especially on the western shore. Aim low, at least you’ll eat was my motto but at the dance, as it turned out, aiming low just made me not see a girl approach. She was from the part of the camp. She a lip that looked like it wanted to be cleft but at the last minute decided not to be. She had skin like a Hummel porcelain angel and a head of hair as red as the fires of hell. I’d make comments about her body but she was fourteen at the time so those records are sealed. I’d also tell you her name but I really can’t remember that so she will be known as “the girl”. The girl asked me to dance and as I do whenever asked a surprising question I agreed. We talked about ourselves as people do when they are trying to move rhythmically while kind of touching each other. My hands on her hips her hands on my shoulders. We were together the entire dance. She told me how she hated her stepmother and how she liked the camp. I was thinking of dead dogs to try and avoid an erection that would make the night more uncomfortable than it already was. In later years I learned by way of a few films that sometimes an erection makes things more comfortable. Anyway if you are waiting hear the juicy details there are none. I guess if you pluck a wallflower from its wall it is destined to die. I made no brash romantic moves and hence there were no brash romantic occurrences. Just two white people trying to dance. Probably two young people caught in the grip of “What are we supposed to do” without any answers. There was at least one person in that grip. We said good bye and I walked back to the dorm remembering our light fandango and thinking of how incredible she smelled as I heard my stomach growl...
“Wow, what was that,” Bridget exclaimed. “Oh sorry, it was my stomach. I forgot to eat earlier.”

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