Perhaps it’s not so simple. Perhaps you just hook up and the years tick by one by one and the next thing you know you are fifty and still with that girl or boy from junior high that you took to the prom and who found you in the backseat of his or her dad’s sedan and you knew then that nothing would ever be this pure, this good, this visceral. After all, let’s face it; there is little in life that we allow ourselves that is as absolutely visceral as those first, early experiences of sex and love. After as we get older, we enter the world of should and ought (sadly) and desire becomes a mixed bag. We shouldn’t want another because we are pre-engaged or because our faith tells us so, or because we are taught that promiscuity is wrong, or because social roles tell is a girl should have X number of partners and a boy Y number and that number will vary from generation to generation, town to town, country to country, and so on… it’s always shifting, moving, like youth itself, so changeable. But no matter where you are or who you are, there is that meter that clicks over at just around thirteen or fourteen, or for some, a bit earlier, that says that the moment is Now. That it is now that we must go out and seek that person and that our classmates or third cousin who the boy at the beach etc is the person with whom we will venture into this unknown land. In short, a person who is at the same age and stage and who is willing and ready to go on the voyage with us.
I remember those early experiences, and I remember that for me, they were perhaps a bit too innocent. That my girlfriends were doing things that for me, didn’t yet feel right and I waited a few years longer, but I remember vividly the desire and the yearning that I felt for one boy in particular, and feeling in that summer that no one, anywhere, would ever measure up in the way that Thomas did. That Thomas with his tennis racket and his sandy blonde hair and his lavender-blue eyes was the only boy I would ever “love.” and I do mean love. I felt that I was deeply in love with Thomas and when he left to go off to college to Yale, and away from the more reachable Philips Andover, I felt that a piece of me had been taken away. It didn’t help that the popular radio song at the time was “Every Time You Go Away” and “Missing You” and the like. I listened to them with great pain. Went out of my way to avoid them, and yet I would be sitting in the backseat of the car and suddenly, there it was, all the old pain (and it was pain) and that fucking huge blackness that I felt was left behind when Thomas left. All I could think about was the way he kissed me and I knew in my heart, I thought, that nobody, anywhere, would ever kiss me that way again and I would never want to be kissed like that again because a desire like that was impossible.