Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Keeping The Faith

When I was in high school a girl we hung around with was the only one of us with a steady boyfriend. They were in LOVE and even had actual sex three times. We were all desperately jealous and grilled her on all the details.

One night, while we were having a sleep over L pulled out a wooden box. This was the box we all knew she kept the marijuana and rolling papers in so, of course, we were all shocked that she had brought it to someone else’s house.

“Promise you WILL NOT TELL” she instructed us, and of course, dutifully we swore, the poor hostesses crapping herself at the thought that we were getting ready to light up in her mothers formal living room.

We were momentarily disappointed when rather than a late night dose of wacky weed we were presented for worship a piece of dried latex. It took about twenty seconds before someone squealed

“OH.MY.GOD. that is a USED.CONDOM.”

Nervous, excited laughter was stifled as she dished all the dirt on the dirty deed and the deed doer. Length, width, the fact it was bent to the right, the time it took from start to finish(five minutes), foreplay and skill level were all assessed, dissected, discussed and filed away as “facts” for later.

At the time I remember thinking “Uh. That is disgusting. I wonder if S knows she’s kept this!” but at the same time thinking “coolest souvenir ever.”; my own boyfriends being prone to gifts won at dart throwing games or stolen from their sisters’ rooms.

It became a competition of sorts, in our circle to see who would get the best “parting gift” from the boy of the week. CD’s (new at the time) were obtained, tee shirts, jerseys, beepers (remember those?) and perfume were all weaseled out of the unwitting. It’s not to say we were gold diggers, more that we were desperate for some sort of possession to flaunt to confirm that we were, despite being fat, desirable.

As I got older, these things got lost or given away in favor of boys with jobs who brought jewelry and paid for theater tickets, the heartfelt mixed tapes with their sappy intro’s and corny song collections long forgotten.

The other day I came across a couple of seemingly blank tapes and popped one in the (only!) tape deck at the house. From the speakers boomed the voice of a long forgotten love. One who, at the time, was certainly THE ONE. Each song, carefully chosen, reminded me of something. This one from a movie we saw, that one was playing the first time we kissed, the one after because he said it reminded him of me, the heroine being a red headed heartbreaker.

For an hour, I was seventeen again. It was a beautiful thing.

I stashed those tapes away, for another time when I need to remember what I was like when I was just me; just a red haired girl with places to go and no reasons why not.

I kept them to remind me of a time when I believed that anything was possible

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