My introduction to men.
August 6, 2016 § Leave a comment
I was sixteen, he was eighteen. His name was William, and we met in my first year of Swiss high school. He was in his last – he’d skipped a year in primary school, he was such a smartie. Tall, curly, dark and very cute. Issued from a family so Catholic they lived in a parish, he was the absolute epitomy of the boy you’d unhesitatingly take to meet your mother. The perfect first boyfriend for an unusually prudish and delicate young girl.
But let me take us back to my humble seductive beginnings.
I was a prude all throughout my teenage years; not a puff of smoke, not a drop of alcohol, and seriously disturbed reactions to sex scenes in films. All that didn’t stop me from absolutely loving the boys, though. From Charles to Alfie, from Riccardo to Jeremy, my middle school years were wrought with teasing and stalking boys in the company of my friend Nika. All in good wholesome preteen fun.
“ALFREDO!!” I screamed out the kitchen window as Nika giggled behind me.
“ALF – oh, shit, he’s looked up!” and we crouched down in peals of laughter.
Alfie, clearly not amused, continued on his way to school. He had appeared early that day. Nika and I would get together half an hour before class and stake out my kitchen window, which gave us a sniper’s view over the road to our middle school. Through this portal of fun we would see the boys we were not-so-secretly coveting and harrass them from afar, warming up before our daring up-close interactions at recess breaks. They were both older than us, and both really smart. In fact, Alfie ended up skipping a grade to go straight to high school – and it wasn’t even the only grade he’d effortlessly evaded. Needless to say, we had good taste. It was deeply tragic when we entered our second year of middle school only to see everyone…but him. I loved Alfie’s orange T-shirt and blue backpack. We could spot Charles’s fair head of long, long hair and distinguished glasses from a mile away. We could also hear his squeaky shoes as he approached with long, bounding steps straight into our usual ambush at the corner of the furniture store that was on the intersection between my house and his.
“Charles! Fancy seeing you here!” we giggled as we joined him on our way back to class after lunch break.
“No way, not again,” he said, probably feeling very embarrassed at first, but he got quickly used to it. We were lucky no one called a restraining order on us.
“What do you think of God and the belief therein?” I engaged immediately in pseudo-serious conversation, prodding at his intellectual mind. He’d give in eventually, “putting out” for us in the form of entertaining debates that would last deep into the hours of the evening when we’d continue working on our victims through instant messenger.
Nothing like Alfie.
What do you think of us?, we wrote, anxiously waiting for the reply.
You’re, uh, nice? but I don’t know what you want me to say, was the perplexed reply of our quiet, scientific friend Alf. He was cold and unresponsive, and so delightfully intriguing and fun to torment. He couldn’t take the harrassment and so got more of it; we liked to sit outside his apartment building in wait when he tried to avoid us. We even learned his brand new unpredictable timetable when he cheated us out of a second shared year of middle school. One day he had a real go at us for all our unwarranted affections. It only made us follow him more surreptitiously so he wouldn’t notice as much. At least he knew he wasn’t alone in his victimhood, although. His classmate Charles coped with the attention more enthusiastically, and we ended up exchanging many words in our online chats, so many, in fact, that he warmly promised to write psychological tracts about me one day. Oh Charles, my precocious, wise, writer friend. I was thrilled.
These two years of middle school were my first taste of male attention, male attraction. There was hardly any sexuality to it – perhaps a little with Alfie. In fact, they represented both ends of the spectrum.
Alfie was my shy, preteen introduction to lust. It was in the warm feeling I’d get whenever I saw his face appear unexpectedly round the corner or from behind a door. He demonstrated to me and Nika the power of indifference and the obsession it cultivates.
Charles was my introduction to male companionship and the pulsion I still have to this day to spill my guts out to a smart man who will listen.
I kicked the stalking habit after middle school. Men took care of that when I grew up and started working in pubs.
PS: all names have been changed.