For a few years in my early teens, I maintained a correspondence with a new (infrequent) reader of mine. She only got back in touch with me at the start of November, 2010, replying to my excerpt of my NaNoWriMo. I still only have her sludge email address–the one you keep to send all the spam to–but it’s still been a little like getting a friend back. Except not really, given how infrequently she’s been replying to my emails. She’s not a subscriber, she shouldn’t read this any time soon, anyway. So, due to a combination of pub quiz, Portal and personal issues (it’s been a day of the p’s, I tells ya!), today turned into a “writing original content would be torture” day.

Technically, yesterday was also a “writing original content would be torture” day, but I slogged through it anyway, for you, you maniacs. You vultures. I remembered reading a few things about postaday2011 (which reminds me, I gotta tag all my older articles back to January 1st) and one of the tips they gave authors trying this for the first time was to have a healthy amount of drafts. Drafts are exactly what they sound like, being works you aren’t ready to publish yet, but are keeping around for work later. My girlfriend had a good suggestion yesterday to start some various top five lists of things to have around for a rainy day. You can go back a day and see how that suggestion worked out.

I started watching Up to review it today–I want the big project of this book to be the Pixar review series, but we’ll see if that takes off in time. But within moments of starting Up, I was hit by a mood of horrible depressive nostalgia. I determined that while writing original content would have been torture” yesterday, today it’s almost entirely impossible. I’d love to have something for you guys, but I just don’t. So, like a good postaday2011 author, I went to my drafts pile and found a letter I’d written to that reader I mentioned. And thus, the three threads of these paragraphs come together. Thought I didn’t know where I was goin’, didn’t-ya. As this was personal correspondence, and I’m shamelessly lazy, I’m not going to bother censoring it. There are a few brief instances of swearing–not enough to earn an R rating.

I know you’re gonna take your time in replying, which is why I’m writing this to you instead of anyone who can reply before they get the whole story. And I don’t even know why I need to tell this to someone, but it’s just something I want to have written down. And you were the one who said I could feel free to talk about romance at any time, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean what I’m about to say.

I have no idea why, but for the last few days, I’ve been stuck on this one thing that happened when I was 14. Or 13 or 12, I honestly can’t remember. I’m choosing to think 14, cos I think that’s when this would have happened. It was likely earlier. But, I was up at the Murdoch’s for the Passover Seder when I was in middle school. And they were hosting a French exchange student at the time, who was three years older than me. Fuck, now I have no idea how old I was. Cos I feel like I should’ve been far too young for–shit, that sounds weird. Never mind the implication there, it’s not that–shit, I’m just digging this hole deeper. Fine, I’ll get on with the story.

So, it’s after seder–you know some Jews, right? they have those in E—–s? (in any case: passover seder = ritual dinner in march or april for passover)–and me, Tyler (my age), Amanda (three years older and hosting the exchange student) and the exchange student herself. And she and I were on one couch and Tyler was on the floor and Amanda was on the three-seater, which was weird cos why were two people on the two seater and one on the three seater? (Cos my memory is just filling in holes around the part I remember clearly. There could’ve been any number of people on that big couch.) In any case, I and said exchange student had sort of been somethinging each other all evening–you know how you were when you were younger and sizing someone up wasn’t what it is now? It was that. I think. I’m honestly not sure.

But, sitting on that couch, I put out my hand to the center of it, towards her. And she took my fingers in hers–a shockingly delicate grasp if I remember correctly–and rolled my fingers between hers and her thumb. She didn’t look at me and I just looked at the TV–I remember glancing down and seeing her hand holding mine, and I know that it happened–we just sat there like that, holding hands, until I had to go back down the street to go home.

I’ve forgotten her name, I’ve forgotten what year she was here, I’ve forgotten even the exact occasion we were eating dinner for. I like to think I was at least 13. Cos if I was in the fifth or sixth grade, that girl was a straight up pervert. I remember she had dark, curly hair, a skinny build, browner skin than either of us and that her hand holding mine felt absolutely heavenly.

I’ve only been thinking about it for the last few days because I realized a few days ago that her fingers holding mine was the first time I’d ever been physically intimate with someone who wasn’t family.

… Yeah. Anyway, just wanted to–to tell someone about this, someone who wouldn’t get the chance to make pedophile jokes or ask me more about it. Cos I don’t remember anything more than how good it felt to be close to someone who had no reason to want to be close to me.

And that’s a thousand words even. Posting like this isn’t easy, and I’m not even doing it for anyone in particular. Do me a favour: for my birthday, on the last day of March, I want you to post an article from this blog on your Facebook page. Your favourite one. And tell everyone you know to read it. That’d be better than posting “happy birthday!” on my wall, at least.

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