Monday 11 May 2015

Journal #05.11.15

When I was about eleven years old, my passions were stirred by the boys and girls my age. I guess I can say looking back I was inherently bi -- my attraction to boys was equally as strong as my attraction to girls. I had a girlfriend whom I mostly saw in school, and we would cut classes to go get swedish fish at the candystore just outside the perimeter of the fields. We would sit on the hill under the oak trees above the courts and sometimes touch. Our mouths were candy red and stained our lips like lipstick. She had clear and intelligent eyes rarely looked in one direction for long. Her bangs cut short and sharp against her pudgy cheeks, her skin softer and whiter than mine. We were both tall for our age. I cannot recollect why she liked me, but we would go adventure after school and find places to makeout. Other girls had actually taught me to french kiss in the freestanding garage next to the house I grew up in. And under the stairs on a bet in one of the latchkey kid's homes while listening to Tainted Love. The year was 1984. I shared Sylvia Plath's hometown (long before I knew she grew up there), a suburb of Boston, and I wore a navy blue jacket on cool spring and autumn days, with red felt lettering across the back. Boston Red Sox. Yaz was King at Fenway. Clemens was still a boy in Texas. An author named Samuel. The boys I knew not from school but from the neighborhood, and we grew up together already. Our gang would be dissolved over late night cocktail talk and mulling over choices and final decisions to send some of us to boarding or semi-boarding schools. We were in bed. The public school system was pretty good but not good enough. In my town, this was true of almost everything. People, places, things. Rare was contentment. The boys were loyal friends of mine. And I had long summer dances with them up and over the sloping hills. On either side of the tracks. Curfews were solidly enforced, and I rarely challenged my parents. I guess I was a good kid. But not behind their backs. I would fight with the boys, and it was playful. They were intent on sports. Their sisters were intent on yogurt and soaps. We watched serial horror in installments on film. We skated the ponds in the winter. Rare was contentment. In our home town. But back then, being a kid was glorious freedom from all the narrow-mindedness. They called us rascals as though we were getting away with something. Maybe we were getting away from something. We found content in small places, and exploited it for all it was worth.

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