Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a memory

The first boy I ever kissed didn't know where the clitoris was. That is not to say that he tried to find mine; we never got that far. He is now a well-known party promoter/club owner in NYC and is often photographed with the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

I was 14 years old, a high school sophomore, awkward and insecure with my puffy lips and burgeoning bosom. "Those are dick sucking lips," my best friend Suzie declared one day, watching me apply my signature fire engine red lipstick. It took me about fifteen minutes to put on because of the intricate nature of lining my mouth with a red pencil before filling in with matching lipstick and repeating the process two or three more times, blotting with a napkin in between each application. We spent our free periods in the high school auditorium, ostensibly studying, but really, we gossiped and flirted with boys.

His name was Neal (name changed). He and his friend, Zac, often loped over to hang out with me and Suzie. Zac seemed to have "a thing" for me, but I rebuffed him, preferring Neal for his grey-blue eyes and easy smile. One morning, in between algebra and chemistry, Neal suggested that we go for a walk.
"Where?" I asked dumbly.

We wound up in the stairwell near the boys' locker room. I could smell the fetid hot air. Nearby, the football team was probably working out in the weight room. Neal stopped and leaned up against the wall, a grin spreading.
"Come here," he said, reaching his hand out and pulling me close to him.
I bumbled into his embrace, his face looming uncomfortably close.
"Hey," I said.
"Hey." The smile never wavered. "Happy birthday," he whispered.
I started to say "thank you" but his mouth was on mine. I felt his tongue thrusting into mine, thick, wide and wet. Not knowing what else to do, I sucked on his lower lip. I may have bitten him in the process.

I still remember what I was wearing that day - fitted black jeans and a salmon colored angora sweater. His hand moved gingerly across my shoulder before nestling on top of my left breast. It was, and still is, the bigger one. Abruptly, I pulled away.
"Hey. I think we should go back. Suzie's probably waiting for me," I stammered, wiping the saliva from my chin.
He laughed, took my hand, and we sauntered back to the auditorium where Suzie was recounting some story to a group of our classmates. I broke from Neal's grasp and bounded over to her, relieved to be away from him.
Suzie looked up at me. Her eye brow, perfectly arched, raised. "What happened to your lipstick? It's all fucked up."

Some years later, much after I lost my virginity to someone who wasn't Neal, I was thumbing through a now-defunct women's magazine. There was an article asking various men on the street "Do You Know Where the Clitoris Is?" and I saw his face at the top of the page. Beneath his photograph was a scientific diagram of the female genitals and an arrow indicating where he thought the clitoris is located.

He picked the urethra.