Someday You Won’t Feel Anything At All About Anything

I had never had to break up with a girl before.  I had been slow in figuring them out–or they had been slow in figuring me out.  Either way, I had never imagined that once I actually had a girlfriend (and one who let me have sex with her, at that!) that I would ever do any breaking up with her.  I figured I’d always be so happy just to put my hand on a boob, or my tongue in a mouth, that the first one who agreed to it would be enough forever.

It was this kind of thinking that kept me with my first “real” girlfriend for 3 years, despite the fact that we were obviously as mismatched as possible.  Looking back on it now, I can’t even remember what we must have talked about.  We did spend a lot of time together, and I have many memories that are not unpleasant (and more than a few that are unpleasant).  Three years is a long time, even when you spend 8 hours a day in school.  So there was a lot of shared history by the time I realized I had to break up with her–but I still don’t know what we talked about.  (not to mention we were each other’s first everything, if you get my drift.)

But I did realize, eventually, that we were a bad fit.  I probably realized this because having been with her for three years, I had finally learned a bit about women and was at that point recieving some other very tempting offers from girls a bit more like me.  I spent weeks agonizing over how to break up with her.  Have you ever had teenage sex with a girl whispering I love you in your ear, knowing full well you are going to break up with her soon?  Well, it’s not as fun as it sounds.

I don’t remember much about the day I did it.  I remember it was in my bedroom, sitting on the bed, and I said it’s time for us to part ways.  It did not go well.  She cried and I was stoic.  I drove her home that night and it was a long drive.  When I got back home, my dad was in the living room watching TV.  I sat on the ottoman and made some small talk as though nothing had happened.  Then I tried to mention off-hand I broke up with her but my voice cracked and a tear jumped into my eye.  It was so hard, I said, as I started crying for real.

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Two and a half years earlier….

The greatest thing about finally having a girlfriend was it finally gave me reasons and methods to be some sort of badass.

My friend Mike (I haven’t changed his name because everybody is named Mike) was dating her best friend, so we were a little group, the four of us, double dating, driving to and from school together, the whole bit.

The biggest problem in Mike and I’s lives, however, was that we were still virgins, all four of us.  I doubt it was such a problem for the girls, but it devastated Mike and I daily.  Then one day at school, the girls announced to us that tonight would be “the night”.  My girlfriend would be staying at Mike’s girlfriend’s house for the night.  This house was reachable by both my house and Mike’s house by bicycle (Mike and I were both driving by this time, but not our own cars, and we had curfews that missing cars would belie), and so it was agreed that Mike and I would both bike to the house in the middle of the night and somehow or other, all four of us would lose our virginities.

Mike and I made our own specific plans.  We chose a good spot about halfway between our own houses where we’d meet up on the bikes at precisely midnight and then go the rest of the way together.

Around 11pm, I opened my bedroom window, climbed out and walked around the house to where I’d laid my bike that evening, so I didn’t have to get it out of the garage.

Biking down country roads, alone, at night, in the silence that accompanies said action, is fucking scary.

It was a longer ride than it seemed in my mind to get to the meeting spot.  Since my family had moved out to the country a few years before, I hadn’t done an extensive amount of biking.  I grew up in the small town of Newville, where everything you could imagine was reachable by bicycle.  My brain was not equipped to deal in country miles.  After what seemed hours, I finally arrived at the spot.  No Mike.  I didn’t have a watch (and no, you bastards, this is way before cell phones) so I waited.  I checked the drainage ditches along the sides of the road in case he was laying there, hiding from passing cars (in the country when you’re a teenager, you somehow assume all passing cars are somehow going to tell your parents or the cops that you’re out late), but he wasn’t there.  I waited what I can only say was “a long time”, but I couldn’t tell how long.  It felt like at least an hour.  I couldn’t call out for him, because we had chosen a spot right in front of a few houses.

The thought of biking all the way to Mike’s girlfriend’s house–which I just now understood was really far away–all by myself just seemed like too big of a task.  I assumed he’d missed me, too, and gone on ahead, but if he hadn’t, I’d show up alone, and it would be awkward.  I got on my bike and rode home, climbed into bed sad that I was still a virgin, but somehow relieved that I hadn’t had to go through with the plan.

The next day, Mike told me he’d been hiding in some grass alongside the road and that he never saw or heard me.  It didn’t occur to me until years later that he’d been absolutely lying and he’d never even left his house that night.  Lord knows if the girls were even waiting up for us.

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One year after the bicycle night…

Her and I had been driving for hours in what seemed like a circle.  Why I even ever thought the two of us could navigate Philadelphia was a mystery to me.  I didn’t even bring a map, I kept thinking.  If there’s one thing I learned about traveling from my parents, it was to always bring a map.  Did I somehow think we were adults who could do things like drive around cities?  What a fool.

I didn’t want to fight.  I had seen couples who got lost start fighting and it always seemed foolish.  It accomplished nothing.  And so the more tense we got, the more calm I forced my exterior to appear, and the more I love yous I said, and before I knew what hit me, there was the sign for the Turnpike–always a surefire way home.

Once safely on the Turnpike, after smoking a few relaxing cigarettes, she turned and said Seth, you’re a good man.  It was the first time anybody had ever said that to me, and I’ll never forget it.

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One year after the Philadelphia trip…

It was a Friday night.  I remember that for certain because we were coming from a high school football game (she was a cheerleader, so I attended every single game, and carried all her gear to my car afterward.  This provides a serious high for any teenage boy, to be seen carrying his prominent cheerleader girlfriend’s things to his car after a game).  It was October and she wanted to go to the “haunted house” that is put on in Newville every October, and which is walking distance from the football field.

I did not want to go.

I’d be in my mid-twenties before I even started watching horror movies, and even now I don’t like things like “haunted houses”–though I do now love horror films.

Back then, I was scared of everything but trying my best to learn how to hide it.  This is Central Pennsylvania, home of tall corn, taller trucks, Joe Montana, and Three Mile Island.  Five-foot-tall men who scare easily are not the preferred type, and I knew that, and so was consistently doing things like this that every fiber of my being told me to turn from.

We got in line for the haunted house.  I remember she was still in her cheerleading uniform which I–surprise–found very sexy, even after 2 years of having sex with her while she wore the damn thing every Friday night during football season (and after home basketball games, too).  It’s amazing how long a 17 year old boy can stay transfixed on a detail.  So even then, that night, I tried to stay transfixed on the uniform instead of what I assumed would be the bone chilling terror inside the haunted house.

She noticed how I was looking at her and backed me against a wall, slid her hand down my pants.  She wanted to get me off right there, in line!

But I wasn’t aroused.  After a minute or two of attempting to get me going, she asked what was wrong.

“I’m just a little…scared,” I said.

“Of the haunted house?” she asked.

“Yep.  Just a little.”

She withdrew her hand from my pants and, looking me square in the eyes, said You pussy.

That’s another thing she said to me that I’ll never forget.

 

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Eleven years after the haunted house…

i was out shopping about a week ago with a close close female friend of mine i didn’t need anything we weren’t shopping for me we were shopping for her so of course it stands to reason we were spending alot of if not most of our time in clothing stores i like shopping for clothes with women at least if it’s a woman i like i like to be just honest enough that they believe me about how things look on them and besides if i’m spending a day shopping with a woman chances are i find her deliriously attractive to begin with and have on immense blinders and truly think everything looks good on her anyway so i rarely get bored while clothes shopping with women except for when they are a woman who takes forever trying clothes on and this particular woman friend of mine happens to be the type who takes forever trying clothes on so about two hours into the shopping excursion while she is in a fitting room i wandered out into the mall and spent about five minutes looking at this kiosk that was all about some homeschooling-over-the-internet thing and they had a nice display and i picked up some of the books children’s books and educational books and felt the heft of them paged through smelling the smell of them remembering when i thought books were like shiny little stars with worlds in them like ameoba in a toad’s pee-puddle and i would feel the pages the coarse roughhewn pages like they were an heirloom quilt and when i had had my fill of standing at the kiosk reminiscing i wandered back into the store and halfway to the back i saw her.  Not the friend i was there shopping with but the first girlfriend the first one ever she still looked like she was 17 although a bit more like a woman now in fact she looked very good–not as good as the friend I was shoppign with but very good nonetheless– and although i immediately turned my head and pretended i hadn’t noticed her it was like i could smell her hair and the minty basement smell of sex with her and could see from a distance the way her lips aren’t lined up right and the sad swing of her braless breasts and i wanted to turn to her from across the store and say ‘i never knew you and you never knew me and that’s pretty much all there ever is to anything but we tried’ and then promptly turn and leave.  but i didn’t.  i meandered around the store at a safe distance so she could see me, so she could remember, too.

 

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Fourteen years before the shopping trip…

We sat at the back of the bus, my friends and I.  We had finally graduated to that level of bad-assness.  We were the big kids on the back of the bus, though I was of course never “big”, but I had some major seniority on bus #10.

Lately, though, things had been all about our friend John, who had recently become the first of us to lose his virginity.  Each and every bus ride now, for the last week, had been filled with tales he’d tell us about what it was like.  We all wondered what this girl would be like.  John was an athlete and not unpopular, so she must really be something (I’d learn later that John had made up every sexual encounter with the girl; he ended up being a virgin longer than I was).

We were sitting in the school parking lot in the morning, waiting to be let off, when John said There she is, and he tapped on the window as a young girl passed by.  She stopped, grinned ear-to-ear, tapped back on the glass and blew a kiss to John.

That was the first time I ever laid eyes on her, and I remember thinking I was slightly unimpressed.  If only I knew how good she’d look fourteen years later while shopping in a backwater mall.

4 Responses to “Someday You Won’t Feel Anything At All About Anything”

  1. Ok wait, was John’s girl the girl you were shopping with or your ex-girlfriend that you saw in the store?

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