I had never kissed a girl until I was 16. Of course, this is only true if you don't count the kindergarten make-outs, which I don't because that would be creepy.
I was a junior. She was a senior in my creative writing class. It began with me trying to tutor her in math, which was absolutely hopeless. It ended much, much worse.
I won't tell her name, but lets call her Zeebo.
Zeebo was a strange kid-- not altogether stranger than I was, but where I was strange in a Boo Radley sort-of way, she was strange like a venus fly trap. She was an aberration. And she was mercenary toward me. She once kissed all of my friends just to tear me up. She often made as if to kiss me and then forcefully blew into my mouth. She was twisted and lovely to me.
But kissing! Kissing became my obsession. I had tunnel vision for kissing her. I lived for it. It was this strange and new all-consuming conflagration.
Now, from the comfortable perspective of a thirty-something parent I know that there is nothing uglier than two pimply teenagers tongue-wrestling. I find it totally distasteful in a strictly clinical sense. But even today as I try to write about this in a humorous way I am struggling with the emotions I feel. The best way I have found to describe it is that I felt for her things that were much too powerful for my fragile emotional fortitude. I was not capable of coping with the torrent of emotion I felt for her. I once read a poem that said it better than I ever could.
Through my life there trembles without plaint,
without a sigh a deep dark melancholy.
the pure and snowy blossoming of my dreams
is the consecration of my stillest days.
But oftentimes the great question crosses
my path. I become small and go
coldly past as though along some lake
whose flood I have not hardihood to measure.
And then a sorrow sinks upon me, dusky
as the gray of lusterless summer nights
through which a star glimmers - now and then - :
My hands then gropingly reach out for love,
because I want so much to pray sounds
that my hot mouth cannot find.
- Franz Kappus
In many ways that poem still describes me.
But this is supposed to be funny, so enough gloom already.
Zeebo and I were both victims. Victims of eachother and ourselves I might add. It's important that I say that because what follows is going to make her look really bad, and I am no saint either.
Zeebo had the worst personal hygiene I have ever known. Once we were sitting in my car and out of the corner of my eye I saw something that horrified me.
"Did you just do what I think you did?"
"I don't know what you're talking about" She coyly replied.
"You just ate a booger!"
"I did not!"
"I saw you," I said. "I saw you put your finger in your nose, dig something out, and then I saw your finger dart to your mouth as if to bite your fingernail. But you weren't biting your fingernail were you? You were eating a booger!"
"I was not! That's totally gross."
This went on until her emphatic denials caused me to question my own observation. For all I remember we might have gone to the park and made out for a couple of hours. Then, as we walked past the county courthouse, she said, "there is something about me that nobody knows except my mom."
"You pick your nose and eat it?"
"You have a vestigial tail?"
"I don't even know what that is."
"You have a dangerous communicable disease?"
This went on for like 43 hours. I exhaused every possible strange or disgusting guess I could come up with. She answered no to all eight-hundred of them. Then she said, "It's something you already guessed."
"I knew it! You eat your boogers!"
Another 800 guesses ensued.
Then finally she admitted it. She ate her boogers. And I made out with her all the time.
Not really so different from the kindergarten make-outs after all.
She was disgusting. But I loved her anyway.
Oh Zeebo, I wish we had always never met!