Monday, August 29, 2005

Andi - Part 2

"Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed...'cus we were barely seventeen & we were barely dressed..."
Meat Loaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Light

So anyway, I'm 16 and I'm in the middle of my first real relationship. The early days are hazy, but I can probably distill it down for you pretty easy...side one of Journey's Escape should do it nicely & save me a lot of writing. Either way, a big milestone had to be my first real makeout session, which occured on the sofa in my grandma's house while watching Prince of Darkness on Betamax. I was a fumbling idiot, but I took it a step further...while engaged in my first kiss lasting over 30 seconds, I hadn't quite gotten control of my tongue & glands at that age, and I actually managed to literally drool all over her at one point. Thank god she didn't even bat an eye...hell, for all we knew it was par for the course I suppose.

Our early explorations in that area moved a lot faster than I had anticipated, but then again, I had low expectations for myself at that point. Don't get me wrong, it was still just heavy-petting kid stuff, but that was plenty to blow my uninitiated mind at the time. I could also reminisce about the, ahem, blossoming womanhood she so perfectly exemplified at the time, but that's beside the point. Long & short of it is: we dug each other; we were kids in love (or whatever it is that kids that age fall into...infatuation always seemed too one-dimensional a word for it. Somebody should coin one. Luvst?) and the world was shiny and new.

Try as I might, the specifics of almost everything we did are totally lost to me now, but I do somewhat remember the Homecoming dance in October of that year; this was the event I had watched for years in all those John Hughes movies & finally it was the kid's time to shine. The pre-natal cravings of the Ego Monster were thunderous that night, I'm sure, because I remember secretly reveling in the fact that I was the one out of my friends that had nabbed the babe & would have her on my arm that night. It was also around this time, strangely enough, that my friends started to break my balls more & more about Andi in that passively-cruel way that only teenagers can accomplish, but more on that later.

The only real memory I have from the dance proper comes from the photo I still have from it, she with her crimped hair & acid-washed denim and I in my Doc Martens and some really goofy red sweater that falls somewhere between the wardrobes of Bill Cosby & Freddy Krueger. Still, we were smiling, she was hot, and I had hair then....oh, for the days. I'm sure we danced to some sweet Robert Plant tunes off The Principle of Moments and maybe even snuck a kiss in when the priests were taking a smoke break. In any case, we were a regular feature at the school dances & functions that semester. I was making my own John hughes movie in my head...not yet knowing that happy endings only come from a mandate from the studio.

A few scattered memories of the next few months come to mind: Thanksgiving dinner at her house, with me sitting at the table wondering if her dad knew I had touched his daughter's breasts; getting a job after school bagging groceries so I could buy her a $150 'friendship ring' for Xmas; getting to third base for the first time in my bedroom on a Monday afternoon after school, the way her body looked with the sunlight pouring in on it through my window; taking her to see a Robert Palmer concert and having my first car accident on the way home (I hit a deer...I couldn't even watch Bambi for years), the both of us standing on the side of the road, scared & holding each other waiting for her parents to come; sneaking away and spending the night at my batchelor uncle's apartment and waking up next to someone for the first time; double-dating with my friend Bryan and doing the old parking-out-by-the-lookout bit, complete with vintage Chevy and Elvis tapes; my 17th birthday and the Springsteen poster she bought me; going to see movie after movie...laughing our asses off at The Naked Gun, holding hands during Rain Man, being confused & depressed after The Accidental Tourist (I let her pick most of the movies...a trick that would
quickly disappear from my repertoire...although I do remember dragging her to Leviathan).

What I don't seem to remember is our first fight...or any fights we had, until the end at least (those I still remember). Hell, we were kids; what did we have to fight about anyway? At least, until we got bored with each other...or, specifically, until she began to get bored of me. It had to happen sometime, in retrospect. nevertheless, as I said before, I had already signed on for the long haul in my mind.
We were together for seven months...that's an eternity in teenage time. Hell, that ain't too bad a run these days. I don't remember exactly how it started, but I remember who it started with: my friend Lee.

Lee was actually Jessica's ex-boyfriend. They had been dating since they were 14 or so (now that's a teenage eternity), and dated through most of the time that Andi & I did. They broke up a few months in, though, leaving Andi & I with a broken-hearted friend each. I'm racking my pot-damaged brain as we speak, but I must have done a damn fine job of blocking out al the bad memories back then, because I honestly can't recall what the first crack in the wall was. I do remember the four of us going to this new teen dance club that had opened up in town (forever firmly establishing my disdain for such places) and noticing over the course of the night that the 2 of them seemed to be getting awfully friendly, but I was able to deny it for at least a while...until the phone call came. That I remember.

"It's not you, it's me". She actually said it, I remember it like yesterday. "I just want to go out and meet some other guys". She actually said that, too. Gotta give her credit in hindsight for not beating around the bush. I remember being on the phone, crying like a girl when my friend Chris walked in on me....I just waved him out of the room, an action very indicative of the way I had been treating my friends since I had found my new playmate. I thought at the time that they were just being jealous assholes...and maybe they were to a point, but it takes two to tango. Sure, I might have had the young and in love excuse, but the bottom line is that I had already alienated a lot of my friends, and now that I was going to need them, I would learn that they wouldn't quite be there for me.

When I found out for sure about Andi & Lee, I felt more alone and betrayed than I had ever imagined anyone could feel. To make it worse, a few days before, Lee had shown his true colors by stealing my grandmother's purse and using her credit cards to go buy clothes for himself & Andi. I guess when you're on a crime spree, why not take the girl along with the cash. So there I was, alone, broken-hearted, without my friends and without any of the capabilities needed to withstand this overwhelming onslaught of new emotions. Took it hard. Real hard. In fact, I damn near hit bottom, or as close to the bottom as a 17 year-old from the suburbs can get without the help of class A drugs. I quit school (I went back, but nevertheless..), I grew my hair long, I started smoking, I began hanging out with my old friend Joe who now ran with 'the wrong crowd', I tossed away my Journey records for Black Flag tapes and I basically just said fuck it all for a little while. Yeah, I know...pretty harsh stuff just for losing your first high-school girlfriend. Surely that has to say something in itself....

I never saw Andi again.

to be continued....


Blogger Surfside recalled...

Not harsh at all. The first heartbreak is always the toughest. We, in turn, toughen up -- grow our relationship armor. The new exoskeleton protects us, just as we protect it. Relationships are never as spontaneous or painful as the first. I've often thought they are the yardstick by which each subsequent relationship is (poorly) measured.

Betrayal must be the "in" thing for the 16-17 crowd. My experience was so bad that I only dated disposable guys until college. I became a master at manipulating them to break up with me. It's much easier that way. LOL!

Friday, September 09, 2005 9:53:00 PM  
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Veta recalled...

I'm not sure you did anything wrong here, if anything it sounds to me like it was a heartbreaking lesson in betrayal. I think the first experience pretty much defines the boundaries of future relationships - of course at that young age - you don't know anything about boundaries. Best let that one go..onwards and upwards eh

Friday, September 28, 2007 8:22:00 AM  

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