Writer’s Block: It must be love

My first boyfriend doesn’t count because he never “crushed” me…
My first was in first grade and he used to stand on the lunch room table and scream “I’m in love with Irene McCalphin”
It was utterly embarrassing.

Not to mention that he got detention for it every time.  I would wait for him after school standing next to his mother who was this impossibly tall and willowy fair thing.  I’d clutch my backpack and rock on my heels as I would explain to her how he had done it again.

We had a fairly dramatic breakup.  I caught him walking home with another girl.  I was infuriated.  I mean we had been kissing behind the telephone poll on the playground for the better part of six months, at the school’s spring fair he had given me fake pearl clips for my shoes that I had mistaken for earrings.  He would also give me flowers.  Not ones ripped up from some neighbor’s garden mind you. No, store bought ones wrapped in noisy clear and yellow cellophane. My mother was already shaking her had and telling me that we were going to have a zebra childen (which was something I would have nightmares about for years until I knew better. Like actually dreaming about fully grown zebras poping out of my vagina).

Anyway the next day after I saw him walking home with her while holding hands we had a shouting match with each other in the lunch line.  I had an elegant vocabulary for a 6 year old on account of all the National Public Radio my mother forced fed me and an imagination fed by 5 years of scandalous ever present soap operas which was a constant on Auntie Bessie’s TV screen.  And he… well 11 years later he came out of the closet so you can just imagine what he hurled in my direction.
I was upset

But I was never crushed.  I was too self possed at that age to imagine that the other girl was “the better woman”; that someone could compete, that someone could honestly tell me no.  No, that came much later.
I didn’t crush until I was 10.

He was tall and dark like oak tree branches after the noon rain
He was quick like lightening dancing across the sky.

We had grown up together since1st grade We lived on the same street but not the same block. His side of the street smelled constantly of Tabasco and the potholes seemed to be bigger and better for splashing around in.  I would go to his house with my brother sometimes.  He would go in and I would linger on the outside and peek in through the screen door until my brother would shout at me to go away.

He was the first guy I shared a lollipop with. I will also admit that for some reason after that incident I was convinced that I was pregnant or stricken with some horrible std because I had done such a thing with a boy.
I actually pined.

I created little scenarios in my mind.

Standing in front of my mirror I would tie my school shirt up above my waist and stick out my non existence chest and say things like “Oh no I couldn’t, oh no I shouldn’t, what would mother say?”

It took months (the equivalent of years) for me to work up the nerve to tell him that I liked him.  It was after school.  We were walking home as usual.  We took the longer way around that meant that we would pass the corner store on our way.  He got one of those pickles soaked in jalapeño juice. My brother had his usual laffy taffies and I decided to stick to the flavorless sugar rush of a candy cigarette.   I had it all planned out.  I was going to stumble into him and when he reached out to stop my fall and take me into his arms I would look up at him for a prolonged second before telling him how I felt.

It didn’t happen that way

I stumbled beautifully
He side stepped quickly .
I face planted painfully

My school skirt flipped above my waist broadcasting that today was Wednesday despite the calendar’s insistence that it was Friday.  This meant I had to wait at least another month to try again… enough time for them to stop laughing at me  every time we passed the corner store.  The next time I tried I was abrupt and straight to the point.  I took him to the side as we walked home and told him how I felt.

He ran away from me

Like fucking literally
that bastard took off at a gait I could not hope to follow.  All the while screaming something that I couldn’t quite catch.  I took it for a no.  I was heartbroken, crushed, demoralized for about a week.

Then we got a new transfer student in.  He was an older boy who had to make up some classes.  Everyone thought he looked a little funny because of this mole he had but I thought it look distinguished.  It took me two months to tell him and I did so with little reservation.  I had felt the sting of rejection, the dull thud of slamming my palm into my forehead and repeating the mantra “idiot, idiot, idiot”  I had become fearless

… and I was prepared.

When this guy ran I chased him
for three years I chased him.

I never caught him but his dad made him give me the last dance after 8th grade graduation.

I considered that a win.

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