I've wanted to try
and piece together 1990-1995 in "Journey Format" for
quite awhile now, and am never able to because my lack
of a filter as a teenager is jaw dropping...ly
graphic. Imagine covering every single sexual
experience the way I cover every break in the industry
...but because of
stories like this, I still flirt with the idea of
putting it together. What follows is as pivotal as
anything in my life. Even though there's nothing
exceptional about the topic... I was so inspired
I felt the need to write a short-story about an
event in my life to document exactly how I felt
so I'd never forget it later. Not so much a journal,
but actually trying to tell a story for anyone to
read. Sound familiar? Yeah, no doubt about it - you
are who you are by 15. Although reading this now, and
hearing my description of it is easily the most
embarrassing thing to share with the public? I cannot
deny that as a character study it's important. Adam
meeting and falling in love with the girl he would
lose his virginity to.
20 years ago today
I wrote this...
you sure this ends at 11:30?"
you call me if it's early."
right. When you're fifteen years old, the
thought of being with your parents any
longer than required by law is a sin.
Maybe it's not that bad, but it sure feels
that way sometimes. I kissed her goodbye
(sweet, isn't it), and hopped out of our
Toyota Mini-van, happy to be out of her
no purpose in going to this homecoming
festival. No horny urges looking to be
released, no rebellious streaks looking to
strike, I just wanted some time off. It
was 6:30, and the festival was sparsely
populated. The booths were being put up,
somber faced students waited anxiously for
someone to support their club, and I just
walked past with a grin as if to say:
"Yeah, it looks like I might buy
something, but I won't.
air was cool and crisp - the way I like
it. Fall is such a refreshing change from
the humid heat of summer. In Columbus the
weather is to the extreme; it's freezing
in the winter, and hot as hell in the
summer. Then fall rolls around and makes
you forget the miseries before, and the
walked around I observed the common
stereotypes. It's funny how they're the
same in every town. The popular snobs, the
sluts and the whores, the band nerds, the
varsity letterman, the freaks, and the
everyday normal kids. I was neither jock
nor nerd... I was me, and proud of
school, though I'm not, is catholic.
You've heard all the stories, and they're
true. We wear your standard uniforms:
Black pants, and a white or yellow shirt.
Isn't that nice, a choice. The girls
aren't as lucky. They have this stupid
jumper that must be touching the knee, and
look as unsexy as humanly possible. I
didn't mind though, I had made up my mind
never to go out with anyone at this
school. Not 'cause they're all nasty or
something, just 'cause rumors here spread
faster than butter on toast... stupid
metaphor, but you understand.
spotted one of my friends with his
girlfriend, and I walked over. The story
behind this couple is depressing. He looks
like he's twelve, he's got baby shit brown
hair, rosy cheeks, and big ears. His
girlfriend is awesome, well not really,
but when you liked her, and she picked
him, she starts looking really good. I
wasn't alone with this attraction, almost
every guy I knew thought she was sweet...
it makes you wonder. Through experience
I've realized the more you want it, the
less you get it. That's true with sex,
love, and anything worth having. It'll
happen when you least expect
separated from them, not wanting to be
anymore cheered-up, and tan into another
couple. Another junior-freshman pair.
Girls go out with older guys, not 'cause
they're more mature, or more well
mannered, but just to piss guys their age
off, and it works. This girl was hot, but
too talkative and giggly, the worst kind.
I guess I'm just not for the dumb-blonde
started to get dark and I tried to ignore
their stupid teenage make-out rituals. I
say stupid, but I wanted it just as bad as
wrong?" she asked.
much, don't worry about me, you have
better things to keep your mind
lot was wrong. I'd gone from one bad
relationship to the next. I'd been hurt
and stepped on and wanted no part of it,
but then another girl would walk by, and
I'd forget the past, until the future
slipped into it, and I started the whole
worthless cycle again. Experience destroys
innocence, but they never tell you how
bitter it can make you.
started walking, and Turtle (the guy)
started talking to some senior. I have no
idea why we call him that, but nicknames
stick. Being ignored, I turned and saw her
standing there (hey, that would be a good
title for a song), she was striking. She
had a captivating smile, and mysterious
eyes. Her hair was brownish-blonde, but it
seemed flaxeny gold in my
rug." she smirked.
were wearing the same baja.
She's beautiful, and she's a senior. Did
she really say something to
you a senior?"
year are you?"
make me tell you, I don't want you to
stereotype me because of my
her somewhat, I told her.
you're a sophomore." she
be a junior, but was a week late. I was
born on October 9th, and you have to be a
certain age by September."
it's worth it to be born on John Lennon's
birthday." I boasted.
cool." she smiled "I really want to learn
more about him."
like John Lennon?"
I did my term paper on him, but then I got
into Jim Morrison, you know, reading his
poetry and shit... I'd love to get into
At that point my mind went berserk. No one
likes John Lennon, I felt so alone about
that. My last girlfriend was in love with
Motley Crue, and our tastes in music
deteriorated our relationship. I was so
astounded at this tiny similarity, that I
pictured dates, kisses, and love... until
reality slapped me in the face: Senior
girls DO NOT, and never will date
sophomore guys. It's an unwritten law.
Then why was she talking to me? It was
obvious she was interested, but in what
your name?" I asked.
smiled, and just went on.
right at this moment, someone from the
yearbook committee (Laura Hilson, how the
hell did I remember that name?) took
this picture. Of course my finger kept it
from actually being IN the yearbook, but
I was able to get her to develop it
for me anyway and 20 years later? How
precious is this to
started walking together, and talking
about our views on life and politics, and
we agreed on everything. It seemed when I
would start to state an opinion, she would
finish it off, and we laughed at our
similarities. I was in the state of
elation. Finally a girl who thinks for
herself, and isn't a robot going through
life on a pre-destined course. She was
aware of the world and its effects on our
we had walked out of the school grounds
onto the road leading up to it. We were
letting out our every thought like they
had been bottled up inside us, and finally
there was someone who
both felt as if we were in the wrong
generation. I've always thought my dad was
born in a perfect time, 1950. His
childhood growing up in the carefree 50's,
and his teenage years in the later 60's. A
time where war was wrong, with no
questions about it. Christ, what can
happen in 20 years is scary.
we've covered rock & roll, what about
sex & drugs?"
used to be wild a few years ago, and I'd
screw guys without knowing them too well.
Then I found love, or so I thought, and
realized how wonderful making love was
compared to being fucked."
nodded as if I knew.
about you?" she questioned.
didn't know what to say, so I started
(hey if it works for the
lied big-time (hey, if it works for the
president)... it hurt 'cause I wanted to
be so open to her, but I knew that if I
said I was a virgin there'd be an
immediate reaction. Good or bad, I was
enjoying her company too much to risk
messing this up.
never stud man like you, but I'd like to
think I was in love when I did it. Though
you never know... who doesn't think
they're in love when you're a
smiled as we agreed once
for drugs," she started "I don't see
anything wrong with them. I don't mean
crack and heroin, but marijuana is a
I had always wanted to try pot, just as a
curiosity, but the stigma attached to
someone who uses it is so negative that I
do you feel about it?"
only done it once, and it wasn't any big
deal, kind of like sex: You wait and wait,
and get so many preconceived ideas, that
when you finally do it, you feel good
'cause you've done it, but it isn't as
fulfilling as you thought. And for girls,
it's probably hell. But everyone goes
through the same thing, and it gets better
the more comfortable you are, but that
first time is something you'll always
remember, good or bad."
is of course unless you're a virgin like
me, who's just quick enough to as-lib a
pile of bullshit to avoid embarrassment.
Damn, what if we do start going out, it
sure seems we could. These lies will haunt
me, and could ruin the relationship. But
it was too late now, and I tried to forget
you cold or am I just a whimp?" I
chilly... I've got a blanket in my
turned around and I realized we had walked
pretty far away. It was a winding road,
and it was so dark that everything was a
blur 10 feet in front of us.
background you could hear faint sounds of
the class president announcing the
homecoming king and queen. It was kind of
eerie, how we were so far away but
civilized highschool life was within
earshot, though speakers do
got closer to school the "senior" thing
hit me again. Jesus this girl's two years
older than me, but we talk as if we're on
the same level. Maybe psychologically we
are... only time will tell.
to her car, and she got the blanket out
and handed it to me. I thought we were
going to get into the car, but I guess I
was wrong. So not to look like a total
whimp, we shared the blanket as we walked
along, even though I was the one freezing
my butt off.
who are you going out with now?" I asked,
knowing her answer.
I'm seeing this guy named Wil. We've been
seeing each other for about a
thought I knew what she was going to say.
My heart dropped. Christ! How could I be
so gullible once again and possibly think
she liked me. The story of my
not sure where we're going with out
relationship," she added "we don't talk
of light appears.
still open to new experiences and people,
and I'd love for you to turn me on to
blinding light overwhelms me.
I'm getting cold, my car has heat, wanna
name is Stevie.
and cupping our hands over our mouths for
heat, we scurried into her car. She reved
up the heat, and a Bob Marley tape. We sat
and waited for the heat to kick in good,
and then I realized we were staring into
each others eyes. It was weird, like she
was looking right into my soul. Once again
she took my breath away with her
enchanting smile. I smiled back and looked
looked at the clock, it was 10:50. It had
only been three hours, but it felt like
three weeks. Feeling comfortable enough I
turned and rested on her, and she ran her
fingers through my hair.
crunchy." she laughed.
spray might make you look good, but try
not to use it in this
smells good though."
talked, forever it seemed, and could have
gone longer, but even though it seemed as
if my world had stopped, time hadn't and I
had to go. Here comes the part every man
hates: To kiss, or not to kiss. I knew
she'd let me, but it'd be cool to just say
goodnight, the rest would come later,
right? Then again if I didn't do it maybe
she'd think I wasn't
it's almost 11:30..." I said like it was a
surprise, though I'd been watching each
minute, to make time slow down.
your phone number in the roster, I don't
have any paper."
is." she said smugly.
remembering if she had told me or not, I
asked what her last name was.
would have been real smooth, be totally in
love, and then go home only to find you
don't know her name. I smiled, and got out
of the car.
out and shut the door. As I ran off I
heard her car zoom away.
I thought... what a natural name. I was so
glad it wasn't Jenny or Katie or Missy. I
was truly sick of those dingy eeee
ran to the front of the school, I felt
like I was on top of the world. I saw all
the other sophomores and freshman waiting
for their moms, and I felt different. They
seemed tiny, and I was big. It kicked in,
she was a senior! I had broken down the
barrier. My mom came and I got in the
you have a good time?"
did you do?"
nothin', just walked around, pretty
boring," I smiled.
embarrassing it is to see how overly dramatic
I was at 15, to this very MOMENT I am still proud
of the Sophomore/Senior thing. That shit just
doesn't happen for guys in high school.
I spoke with her last year and joked that she
provided my sexual confidence for the rest of my life.
Heh, not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. Oh
and how remarkable is that photo? For the chronic
chronicler in me that shit just RULES.
Alright, ready for
more embarrassment? Here's a snippet of my account of
things in my tape journal:
Whew. It gets
progressively more cringe worthy as I continue.
Rest assured that by the time I actually did lose
my virginity a few weeks later (on my 16th birthday to
boot) I was ready to be married and have babies. Yeah,
it's just kinda in me. Talya, please take the fact
that I can feel such passion for you after the 20
years I've lead as a testament to your character and
not that I simply haven't matured in two decades. I
believe in you. You make me feel like the 15 year old
on that tape and I am an extremely old 35
after all my experiences. Giggle at that. It
foreshadows our children who will act exactly like
For an update,
Karin is still the easy-going hippie-chick she was in
high school. Doesn't even have a computer or internet
at home (she said she keeps up with "The
Journey" from time to time at work). Lives in a
wide open space with planty of room... the very idea
of LA scares the shit out of her. Talking to her made
me suddenly feel... "LA". As much as I try to be
grounded, sometimes the things that come out of my
mouth feel quite "Entourage" when talking to others.
At least I'm aware of that. It was nice to catch up
and compare life philosophies as we did so many years
ago. As is my pattern with exes, there is no bad
blood, things floated along the amount of time they
were supposed to and we parted ways a couple months
later. I then started my longest high school
relationship with Karen (2 years!) and Burgundie was
soon after that... et cetera, et cetera, et
But what this
story shows more than anything, is that I have always
found value in capturing a moment as honestly and
sincerely as possible for later reference. I've always
been enamored with how we change as we age.
I remember one time (probably around 1990-1991)
my Uncle Tim (who was more like a brother at 3 years
older) pointing out a group of old ladies in a parking
lot at church and saying something to the effect of
"Those were a group of 20 year old girls awhile back.
You can kinda still see that.". I was fascinated by
what events shifted them. Maturity to me seemed like
this floating intangible that you couldn't control,
but I always thought that in the end? It was just
a collection of events that kept you from repeating
that mistake. As a kid you just keep jumping
until you run into those walls. When you're an adult,
you jump less because you remember breaking a few
Which brings us to
this moment now where, I'm still very much jumping.
It's reliving a story from 20 years ago that really
hits home that I still have a heart. Things have
to allign a lot more now than they used to for me to
jump, but I'm not so beaten down that I can't see the
opportunity in front of me. I believe that's all you
can hope for when you've experienced the kind of
mind-numbing disappointments that I have: the
ability to judge things in the moment, not have them
tarnished because of your past. I certainly have the
ability to do that... and my life is incredibly happy
and fulfilling because of that. Chronicling every
moment is indeed my therapy and honestly just allows
me to live the way I will wish I lived on my
deathbed. I'm viewing myself from afar as a goofy
character in a colorful book that I don't want to be