Lingua Frank

This blog goes fishing in my memory hole for stories that I hope will provide at least marginal amusement for all.


This blog is really about memories from my life...retold for the pleasure or yawns of friends and strangers alike. Bon appetit.

среда, июня 15, 2005

Laying Around Sweaty and Lethargic

We now live in the deep south. The decision to up and relocate a few hundred miles closer to the equator came pretty suddenly, in the middle of April. The timing of it all was essential, because Georgia was lovely then...light spring breezes would cool off a benign, musty heat as we strolled along the banks of the Savannah. Of course it occurred to us that we could stay here for a good long time whilst taking in the sultry southernness of it all. So we got invested, and now, two months later, we wallow inside of our sticky-drenched clothes, unable to tell if we're wet from our own malodorous sweat or from the opressive, sweltering humidity. My wife and I need to shower multiple times in order to overcome our thorough disgust with our own stinky bodies before we allow ourselves to even think of touching each other.
I learned this lesson about my wife just two days before our wedding. We both made it to marriage as virgins only by the grace of God, because He knows full well that there's no way in hell we restrained ourselves by our willpower alone. A twenty-one year old virgin is a particularly potent amorous force, and so we were both very into all the "kosher" touchy-feeliness that is the m.o. for young Mormons in love. So, on that particular night, we were sitting on the side of a hill watching a movie being projected onto the wall of an art museum in North Carolina. It was August, and suffocating heat lay heavy over Raleigh. Undaunted by weather, I tried to snuggle up to my soon-to-be bride and was silently and summarily rejected time and time again. After being shrugged off four or five times, I moped off to my corner of the blanket, thinking, "Not again!". I was whisked back to a painful, formative moment from my adolescence...
I really, really liked Samantha (not her real name). She was endlessly cool in every possible way, from suddenly shouting "He has a thermal detonator!" and hitting the floor, to an impeccable taste in music and movies, and she was funnier than just about anybody I had ever known. Add to that the fact that she was brilliantly pretty, and my 16 year old self was starting to know something beside my usual teenage horniness. I didn't want to just make out with Samantha...I really wanted to date her.
We went out two or three times before I did anything at all. We hiked in Big Cottonwood canyon, we went out for Mongolian Barbeque, all of the usuals except for my 1-base baseball game. I already was hopelessly insecure, especially because I wanted to do this one right. On the third or fourth date, as I sat with her watching a Woody Allen flick, I decided that my moment had come to make some kind of move, so with every passing minute, my hand trembled across the millimeters that separated my knee from hers. This, friends, is the sole tool at the disposal of sixteen-year-olds with a crush...the creep. Oh, we've all done it. As the movie progresses, and you are breathlessly consumed by indecision, you eventually gird up your loins and you ever so slowly move your hand toward hers, with the hope that little sparks of passion will transgress the gap between your pinky finger and hers until it bursts into rampaging flames of rapturous lust for the both of you. Well, at least that's how you imagine it going as you set out to perform the creep. Reality, alas, sometimes falls short of the lofty heights that our imaginations set for it.
No sooner had my pinky made it to the knuckle of Samantha's ring finger before she pursed her lips, briefly flashed me a scornful look, and with an awful finality commanded me: "Sean, don't". I immediately recoiled and stared straight ahead as my wiener detatched itself in disgust and rolled down my pantleg and into my gym sock. I was looking at the screen, but I missed all of Alan Alda's witty reparte. "I am physically repulsive to the opposite sex," I thought, "girls actually retch at the thought that my hand might brush against theirs..." and so on through the rest of the movie, through the hopelessly awkward drive home, and deep into the night until exhaustion finally shut my mopey, furrowed eyes. I got over Samantha, and managed somehow to actually have a relatively happy, well balanced dating life, but those two horrible words that came out of her mouth always lingered ominously in the back of my brain, waiting for a moment to spring on me again to wreak merciless ruin on my ego. They attacked two nights before I was to be married. So there I sat, a more mature 21, feeling like I was 16 again, sitting back in that Salt Lake theater with a girl who felt noxious aversion to my very being. After what seemed like an eternity, my sweetheart finally leaned over to me and said, "Dude, I'm sweaty and gross. Just cool off until I do." Then she winked at me, shot me a scorching, smoldering glance, and sent my masculine self-confidence out of the teenage abyss into the sexual stratosphere.
After all was said and done, I realized that my adolescent self doubt wasn't a curse that needed to plague me forever, and that we have to let go of those ultimately insignificant moments that for a thousand confusing reasons devastated us while we were young.


Blogger arthur decko said...

willful amnesia is an excellent and overlooked survival tool...if it happened yesterday, i forget it happnend...yeah, i keep making the same mistakes cause i don't learn, but then again, it's always like the first time...i'm not a fan of the deep south, too humid..arg, i dislike humidity....i found your blog by hitting the "next blog" button a few hundred times...

9:34 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

"Dude, I'm sweaty and gross. Just cool off until I do."

I can SO hear Shawna's voice in my mind saying that. I miss you guys.

Your post today was a lovely and humourous memory, artfully told.

You can put that on the back cover of your book when you write it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Lucius Atherton said...

I can never really forget all these awkward, embarrassing moments. And, seriously, in the end learning to accept the stupidity of adolescence while distancing yourself from it is an even better survival tool. Though the amnesia thing sure as hell is tempting.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Fracasar said...

So how long are you going to be out this way? Jana is going to girls camp all week after the 4th, but we'd sure love to hang out...

5:15 PM  
Blogger Lucius Atherton said...

Shawna and the girls come out the 3rd, I come out on the 14th, and we all leave on the 19th.

6:56 PM  

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