… although it still fumbles about in my gob before it can ever fall out! Even now – 25 years later – the memory of such an embarrassing part of my life still makes me cringe. When I think on how awkward I was around her – I’m transported back to a gangly, ‘blackfella-ankled’, water loving teenager; who froze instantly to the spot, the moment she came up on the horizon radar.
I was 14 when this unfortunate set of events took hold. If you weren’t sure where I was going with this, I’m talking about when I first noticed ‘girls’. Actually that’s not quite true, I noticed girls a lot earlier then this – they were just so very different to boys – bigger, bolder – and often – at my school – they just beat us up!
If you wanted to catch my eye, you simply had to enjoy anything that involved splashing about in that sparkly blue green water stuff, over there. Upon noticing girls: one in particular, I also began to notice how great they looked in their bathers (swimsuits). I didn’t understand it of course – not then – but I knew it changed things between us. It complicated things! I had girl ‘friends’, and about this time in my life they became odd creatures, they started to changes shape and often laughed at you. There was no way I was ever able to figure that out then and – truth be told – I’m not completely sure I understand this particular business now!
Then she came along. My world became a whole pile of hurt and shame, the like I’ve never experienced before. My confidence lay in anything you could associate with the ocean – I’d have grown gills if the opportunity had have produced itself. If there was a geek of the tidal zone, it could have well been me. My friends and I lived for that part of the beach, and you often found us dipping in and out of tidal pools, or swimming around reef shoals, rather then hanging out at the local fish and chip shop – pointing and grunting around petrol heads and their cars.
My vision blurred, my breathing got faster, my blood rushed through my veins – everything primed for the expected ‘encounter’ – and my body simply froze whenever she came within sight. A more embarrassing Hurry up and Wait moment in life you couldn’t possible have asked for. What made it so much worse, was it had been made VERY clear that she was also interested in me. When I found this out, it did nothing but increase my troubles around her a hundred fold. If I froze before; I flat out ice-burged now! I could mumble a shy ‘Hi’ out of the side of my gob before – if was REALLY pressed! Now I couldn’t speak until she left the immediate vicinity – sometimes it took me an hour to recover!
Stepping out or dating, was never an option. I was a walking chemical time bomb, and I was scared stupid of how big an idiot I was making of myself and just starting to think that maybe – just maybe – I was embarrassing her too. All in all it was nothing short of complete torture. I ceased to function, I couldn’t eat, I hid from view and – as much as I just melted at the sight of her – I couldn’t possible entertain the thought of ever enjoying time with her.
I was so thankful she went to another school. However, she caught the same school bus, and this trip took an hour. Each way! So; needless to say, this part of MY teenage years was nothing but sheer hell! I hated my teenage years for two things; one – school was a shite experience, and two – me, anytime she was within sight! I have no idea what this part of my life was ever meant to teach me. I feel for ANY teenager, going through puberty and adolescence today. If they experience nothing but a mere smidgen of the time I did back then, they may well need counselling!
I don’t know when this changed for me. Maybe I simply grew up. I simply had much different experiences with women in my early twenties – sometimes I even enjoyed these! My relationship now with the XO is an amazing thing, and I look back on the boy I was, wonder in hell how I became the man I am, and ponder where this is meant to take me, into that place that will eventually become our son’s future. Something changed – about the time I turned 17 or so – and I started to ‘recover’. It didn’t help any though, women still bamboozle me. The XO does so regularly – keeping me in a constant change of flux, and maybe – just maybe – THIS is the reason I learnt such lessons in my teenage life.
Buggered if I know though… and I’ll be buggered if I ever will! In my old home town, that woman now gives me a smile whenever I see her. I smile back. It’s a different smile, I’m not scared and I know who I am now – she’s still got the ability to make me look twice – just twice mind – I have everything I can want for now, and it wasn’t destined to come in the shape of her. The XO and our boy’s, fill my life now in ways I couldn’t possibly have thought of then… and I was never one to want for things I couldn’t have.
I’m far too lazy – and I simply couldn’t be bothered…
Belongum – Out!