"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Jesse... Hurt

3/16 -Hurt

Dear Jesse -

Could you please tell me why I was so smitten by the boys that I was when I was teenager? I mean, they dictated my life. I had a conditioned response to the sound of their skateboard wheels; I would start to salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs, or flip my hair out of my eye, or something. And Alex (that’s what I’ll call him to protect his identity while ... you know who I mean) I adored him; all surly skateboarding 5'8" of him. He was lovely; Italian and Spanish, silky black hair, beautiful dark skin, great style, a skilled skateboarder and surfer, with a penchant for sniffing glue, drinking Wild Turkey through beer bongs, smoking huge quantities of marijuana, dropping full sheets of acid at a time, and whippets among other things. That was all before the age of 18. Everyone else thought he was a jackass (meaning you, Briar, and maybe Violet ) but I thought he was quietly amusing, dead sexy, quirky and fun; I guess he was seemingly all of those things sometimes. And then he would change.

He could become very cruel to me. For instance, when I was going through that really zitty stage the summer before my senior year of high school, remember? I recall sitting across from him and doting among a whole group of “friends” in a fast food joint, and he blurted out “why are you so ugly” at me. Everyone laughed because it was Alex, and he was so cool. I froze; I couldn’t defend myself. Then later that evening after crying alone, damning my stupid reflection, I received a phone call from Alex, acting like nothing happened. “Can you come over tomorrow?” he asked sweetly. “Sure. Yeah. What time?” The cycle would continue.

But the worst of the worst Jesse, the most demeaning Alex experience that I ever had happened one night when I was young, impressionable and about seventeen. I was driving and saw a group of my friends, including Alex skateboarding at a park, and I stopped to say hello, when I happened upon him and another one of my male “friends” who were talking about screwing girls, ofcourse. When I expressed my discontent about the subject matter, the conversation went as follows:

Friend A: “Well what was it like the first time you screwed Ana?”
Me: “Guys! Please. That is completely not necessary.”
Alex: (complete with body language) “Oh Man, it was like screwing a dead fish; she just laid there.”
Friend A and Alex: (doubled over in laughter at my expense) “Hahahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhhhahhahahhahhahhahahhahhahah.”

I had buried that moment until just recently, years later. It was tucked into that vault in my subconscious that seeped occasionally, manifesting itself as illness, drug addiction, drinking myself into a stupor, or violent purging. It was unlocked not too long ago, and my reaction was explosive. Jack and I were driving along, and we were arguing about something minor, that escalated into something not-so-minor, that led to Jack yelling, “sometimes you are cold as ice; you’re like a cold fish!”

Jesse, it was remarkable! I actually saw red! I pulled over the car, and screamed at him to get out and walk! “How could you ever call me something so cruel!” I was screaming, and then I broke down into tears. He just reached over gently and asked me “what just happened?” He was probably gentle out of fear; I threw so many expletives at him that he had to duck. We pulled over and talked for a good 15 minutes, and it felt good. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing, isn’t it Jesse?

Every time I used to go to the beach where Alex lives, I used to make a point to stop and see him. But the other day, I went to the beach for solace, and as I was leaving, I drove right by his street. I heard that he is doing fine. I’ll take that person’s word for it, and let it fall.

Love, Ana

Check out Ana's Read of the Day...top right.

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