In My Write Mind
Thirteen... in the ninth grade. A year younger than everybody else. Barely 5 foot 2. A year shorter, too. First time taking the train alone. It may have been the other side of Queens, but it felt like a world away. First time outside of the circle of friends that followed one another through elementary and middle school. First time out of the comfort zone that was the neighborhood.
There were a lot of firsts that fall... my first semester in high school. A lot of changes, a lot of adjustments, a lot of experiences that have made my book worth writing. A new slew of teachers and characters that would be a part of my world for the next four years. It was the "Wonder Years" before the sitcom. It was Doogie Howser-like in that I was the youngest, the most out of place, considered pretty smart since I was a year ahead... but not really sure if I'd fit in. If I'd be accepted. For real, I was greener than X's blog background. Just an awkward teenager in every sense of the word.
So, to be sure, there were changes that would occur. There were adjustments to be made. To say I'd be experiencing a host of firsts would be an understatement.
And then... there was that first.
It started out innocently enough. It was October of my freshman year. I had stumbled my way through the first month of school relatively undetected, befriended by a few guys in my homeroom. We were but a handful of the black students at the school, which was made up predominately of Asians and Latinos. And when I say handful, I mean it...there were no more than twenty black students in the entire school. So we stuck together. My crew, they immediately took to calling me "Shorty." (Hey, nobody said kids were original. LOL) And that name stuck for four years. So did my height. But what could I do? Soooooo "Shorty" it was.
My homeroom was made up of a mixed bag of races and personalities. There was Dennis, whose face full of freckles screamed caucasian features, hair whispered black entanglement, and last name denoted latino heritage. There was Marisol, a 14-year-old goddess-in-her-own-mind, whose figure should've been illegal for the ninth grade; she was wayyyy ahead of her time. And she knew it. Her evil persona jutted out more than her butt, rendering her less pleasing to the eye. Over in the corner was Andre (yes, he was black), the kind of kid who was good at every sport. He would make the varsity baseball team as a freshman; always made good grades; and was extremely quiet and focused.
And then...there was Natalie. *sigh* At 4 foot 11, she was the only person in the homeroom shorter than me. Like Andre and Marisol, she was sure of herself and her heritage. She had a very nice frame, consisting of slight curves; hair down to her lower back; lips that, when they said hello, I swore were saying 'Come see me'.
Can you tell I thought she was cute? LOL I was so awkward, so not ready for prime time. But I secretly crushed on Natalie. Every day, in homeroom, I would purposely walk by her desk, smiling in true geek form. Not saying a word. *shaking my head*
One day, that day in October, I guess she couldn't take it anymore. So in the midst of my daily stroll that consisted of reticent glances and puddles of drool, she stopped me and said, "Hey Shorty." LOL The fact that she called me Shorty didn't phase me one bit. The irony escaped me like the runaway bride escaped indictment. The fact that she spoke to me at all sent me to Cloud Nine. But then, there was my response to her greeting...*sigh* H-h-hey. And then I just stood there, waiting for either her to carry the conversation, or someone to come carry me away. She started asking me questions, about what I liked, where I was from, why I came to this high school. I must've answered to her satisfaction, because from that day on, me and Natalie were cool.
She knew I was crushing on her. And that I may have been physically taller than her, but emotionally, she dwarfed me. Yeah, my answers must've given that away. Clearly, she couldn't tell by just looking at my Buster Browned ass. Did I mention I was a mess? And it didn't matter to Natalie. One day, after school, she asked me to walk her home. I agreed, knowing full well that my commute back to St. Albans was two hours long, consisting of two trains and a bus. But it was Natalie. And I was crushing hard.
We get to her house, which was only four blocks from the school, and she invites me inside. I go. Of course I go. She said she had a craving for franks and beans. I asked for water. But before I could put the cup to my lips, Natalie kissed me. And while I was green, I wasn't that green. But was no match for Natalie. Before I knew it, the water was on the ground, we were on her bed, rolling around and makng all sorts of noise. She got up, I looked up, and Natalie undressed in front of me. My barely-a-teenager libido was rising, uncontrollably I might add. This was all new to me, the feelings, the peep show, the kissing... I didn't want to look silly. So I let her take control.
And she did. Expertly. She removed my clothes, piece by piece. My 13-year old frame quivered with what was not so much anticipation as it was fear of what was to come. She laid me down... and went to work. Kissing me, rubbing me, touching me. It was all I could do not to jump up and run the hell out of there, naked as the day is long. I was damn near convulsing at this point. But she didn't let the fact that I couldn't handle it stop her. Natalie was on a mission. To educate me, to show me her skills, to make her my first.
And she did. Before I knew it, there was some pumping going on (all her...I laid there like a dope and the greenie that I was...LOL)... and then, before I knew it... it was over. Yeah, it ended prematurely, if you know what I mean. I remember feeling neither violated nor vindicated. Neither virile nor victimized. I was just there... in Natalie's bed... half-smiling, still shaking... not understanding exactly what just happened, but somewhat relieved that it did.
I was a little less green when I left that afternoon, ready to tell any and everybody about my experience with the lovely Natalie. Of course, then I remembered that, not only was my nickname Shorty, but ummm...that day I came up short. So I didn't breathe a word of it. Well, except to my boy Johnny, the one who gave me the nickname while we helplessly searched for the school on our first day. I looked up to him... literally. He's the one that told me that the franks and beans Natalie wanted were mine, that I shouldn't be ashamed for not being any good and that skills come over time.
I've learned since then. Thinking back, I was too young to grasp the meaning of or the appreciation for sex. Although you'll be happy to know that I've gotten much better. Taller, too. And like my height, the experience came with the years.
But that time with Natalie taught a Shorty a lot, makes me laugh when I reminisce. Because out of all the things I went through that year, all the coming up short on so many fronts... the memory of that first is the one that will undoubtedly last forever.
scribbled by Will at 6/24/2005 03:35:00 PM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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