seems i've always got something on the tip of my tongue.    ©

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Early Sexual Memories


ed. note: i'm further in the book now, well past the half-way point, and the "slow indulging" has turned to "lukewarm reception." still enjoying it, but the beginning had far more kick. i'd probably do 3.5/5 stars at this point. there've been better.)

I shouldn’t be writing, one of my friends is impending. He’s coming over for hot chocolate and truffles. It’s a comfort/sweetness kind of night, considering the 27th consecutive day of rain. The clouds part briefly here and there to reveal the full moon, and somehow all the weirdness that has been my day makes sense, from the fitful sleep to the weird onslaught of anger that hit me out of the blue around noon.

I do digress (such as I’m so often likely to do). I'll get to the point of this in a moment, but first I'll introduce you to the book that has me writing so much this week.

This morning, I was again reading, ever so briefly, the book that has me excited about both reading and writing these days, but that I’ve not got the time to sit down and devour… and truth be told, devouring this tome would simply be wrong. Instead, little pieces here and there, the literary equivalent of kisses and caresses, not out-and-out fucking or lovemaking.

But the book has an ongoing underlying theme of sex and romance, though seldom has it been bluntly stated. It’s very much a literary tease that way, but with good reason. The main protagonist, from whose point of view much of the story is told, is Frank Bois, a 43” tall dwarf living in County Cork, Ireland. He’s the bastard son of Bernadette, and from her whoring stage of rebellion, his father is unknown.

Frank, though stunted in body, proudly reveals that his torso and its appendages, including the bulge in his pants, are of normal size. Unfortunately, his appearance leaves him shunned by society at large.

In an interesting approach, Frank’s an author with a book soon to be released, and capitalizing on the freakish appeal of this giant-brained dwarf, the publishers have made a very obvious play in putting a full-page photograph of the diminutive man on the back cover of the jacket.

I’m only some 80 or so pages into the 350-page novel, but every now and then a book comes along and its brilliance hits you early, and you simply know you can trust the author to see you through with creativity and ingenuity, and this is that book. I don’t get that sense often, so I hope I’m not let down, but already, I’ve been thinking lots of topics to write on in conjunction with the read, but I won’t bore you with recounting this synopsis again.

One of the things it had me pondering on the weekend as I rode the bus to avoid getting drenched on my scooter, was early sexual memories.

I’m not talking about first kisses, first fondles, that sort of thing. I’m talking about a few particular memories I have that sort of crystallized some of the really stupid hang-ups I’ve worked hard to overcome over the years that have since passed. There are two I’ll share here tonight. I sometimes wonder how those early moments shape who we are in the decades to come, so I suspect I might take a look at this theme more in the future.

The first was when I was seven or eight, standing in the bushes behind Tyler & Devin’s house, with a round of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.” After proposing the afternoon’s antics, Tyler got things rolling and tugged his jeans down around his ankles. I dropped my little shorts. He pulled down his Y-fronts. I dropped my little pink panties. We looked at each others bits and parts. But then…

The woods served as a shortcut to most of us kids in the neighbourhood, particularly en route to the Holy Land – 7-11 and Dad’s Ice Cream Shop. Except, of course, the portion with the haunted house. We all avoided that, of course, its broken windows and battered wooden siding, that constant smell of mold and must, all of it warding us off before we’d land foot in that unkempt yard.

It was just when we had revealed our bits and parts that a few kids in the ‘hood came crunching through the forest and discovered us in our exhibitionist glory.

“You’re a dirty girl!”
“Ha-ha! I’m gonna tell!”
“Oh, I hate girls. Gross, Tyler!”

We shimmied our pants back up, blood rushing to our faces. Tyler started grinning, wandered over to the other kids, and me, I scurried out of the forest, ran under their treefort, and raced that half-block on home.

That lesson taught me that showing your body was something to be ashamed of, something I’ve kind of gone through the motions of explaining how I’ve gotten in touch with it since.

The second “profound” moment was a Friday night when I was about 12 and my friend Meghan was sleeping over. We were in the kitchen, popping popcorn the old-fashioned kettle-on-the-stove way, never a quiet venture, when I had to run upstairs to ask my parents a question that has long since escaped me. I barged into their bedroom only to discover my hefty 300-lb father rolling back and forth on top of my mother, naked, in bed, like a beached whale trying to will itself back into the wet folds of the ocean.

The light streamed in from the hall, illuminating the horror on my mother’s face and the amusement on my father’s.

“Oh… shit.” I muttered, slammed the door, and bounded down the oak staircase to the kitchen. “Forget it,” I told Meghan. “Let’s watch TV.”

About three minutes later, my dad rather unsubtly wandered into the kitchen in his robe and nothing but. “Popcorn ready?”

Unbeknownst to him, Meghan was far more savvy about sex than I was then. I didn’t have to tell her what I’d just witnessed, but we’d exchange horrified tales in the dark of my bedroom as the night progressed.

This was the first time it’d ever occurred to me that I wasn’t a test-tube child or a present from a stork. The notion of my parents fucking wasn’t something I couldn’t comprehend, but instead one of those thoughts I never wanted to entertain. Meghan, though, had no choice. Her parents never realized the amount of noise that came from their bedroom when they’d fuck, nor how thin their walls were, and every Friday night, without fail, they’d go at it. Which, of course, was part of the reason Meghan began staying over at my house, every Friday night, without fail.

There were more formative memories… many, many more. When you’re raised Catholic, I assure you, they come in droves. But that’s all you get, for now.

I’m having a rare moment: I have no idea how to wrap this up. But there it is. Funny now, but psychologically-scarring then. Part of the reason for this sudden “I don’t know where to go” is that I’ve just remembered something my mother once said to me about sex with my father, something that fucked me up and made me dread ever having sex, something that left me angry at her for a time. There can be issues with becoming friends with a parent, and this was one of them. It’s incongruous with the above, so I won’t share it tonight, but it’s fodder for another time.