My first girlfriend. Hmm, I was young, as was she–I was 16, when we met. We kissed, made out, talked, wrote poems for one another.
The bruises all over my body were evidence that she was not good at respecting boundaries. She wanted the attention, my squeal of pain–she cared more about getting a big reaction than kindness and care.
She liked to make me yell and see me squirm. Can you really blame her? But it wasn’t pain I asked for. Hopefully she’s better now at consent. She was interested in dominatrices–probably she is one now. She enjoyed hurting people, yeah, and costuming.
I can’t remember if I ever came, with her. We only had sex a few times. We did it at that park at night, in the dry leaf-filled fountain. Rushed and lacking privacy are the only ways we had sex, like the day her roommate walked in on us doing it. I momentarily panicked.
She didn’t know how to come, had not ever come yet. So I don’t know how it felt to hold her as she came, but I can imagine it.
She was too erratic. Her feelings seemed to waver, way too much. I’m so devoted and religious in my worship at the altar of love. It scared me, her unreliableness.
I showed up at her house, the Halloween that I was 17, and she didn’t seem too interested in me. I thought she would be happy to see me–my bestie had driven me to her town. I’d thought she was my girlfriend, but that night, she seemed like barely a friend.
She did too much drugs–I would say that. Lots of weed and acid. Also, she had a mean edge to her. At the time, I didn’t think that was necessarily a problem. I was barely figuring out what a relationship was, and trying out everything freshly.
willingness to disturb
When I think of her, I think of her breasts, her cute soft tummy, the swaggering, clompy way she walked. The name she used, and her real name behind it. The way she smoked a cigarette, the missing part of her hand.
Her beautiful hair in my hands, the way her hair smelled, the night we first kissed, her raspy voice, her scars–she had been in an accident as a young child that almost killed her and left her scarred and traumatic brain injured.
I think of the day I met her, and the disturbing poem she read to a bunch of confused adults. How I admired that–her willingness to disturb the yuppie white people and give them a pause. Her edgy performance artistness. People could get excited by that, that she made them feel, when they weren’t used to that. They’d usually love her or hate her.
Of course, her harsh lack of consideration was less fun when it was directed at me. She never really understood me. But she kind of tried, for a while.
It was nice to be close to another writer. I remember her handwriting–I can see it in front of me right now. She liked bold black ink. I can still feel her hug, see her smile, and remember how she took unabashed pleasure in my body. Her “yeow!” of delighting in me.
A couple years after we broke up, I ran into her at a cafe. We became friends for a little while, again. We went to a Pride together, and I didn’t understand what she wanted from me. She thought I was really hot. I had the feeling when she looked at me, she was seeing something no one else saw.
What she saw was inaccurate, but I was curious about it. Could I be that person? Maybe deep down, I was sort of that person? It was a time rich with possibilities. I didn’t know who I was yet, or my self was in really hard flux.
One time she and I wrote a poem series that we performed together. We were in sexy poses, touching each other, reading our poems on the black, wooden stage, for an audience we couldn’t see because of the lighting.
Can you imagine? I had some boldness to me that I guess I lost, but found again recently, ok with being seen.
At the time of the performance, we were broken up, so it was strange, how it felt to grasp her thigh that way–for the performance, like I was getting away with something, or the poses were one last way we could have sexual contact, safely. Appealing to the invisible audience, making an observer shift in their seat. I’m sure it was a combination of hot and alarming. I was so young and could get on the floor and up again like nothing.
I’m smiling to remember that, what I took for granted, and how my love for her was mixed up with many kinds of newness, so thrilling and confusing. Some transgression, with the queerness. It was a while back. Something our moms really weren’t going to like, more to lie about. And my mom did hate her–that came true.
I was doing my best, but my values were chaotic–I was figuring out what was really important to me. There were the things people said were important, but I needed to figure out what my life was for.
This first girlfriend helped me figure it out, I would say–I learned I didn’t want to be like her. For that I will always be grateful. Now she seems dangerous to me, one of the people I can’t talk with, as I would get sucked into her painful tornado. I couldn’t casually chat with her. Seems it would start again, and I would be lost in her.
I need to be close only to good people. Not to say she’s bad, but I don’t need to risk that chaos–there’s no reason to. And I don’t think she ever knew me anyway. I was a symbol to her, more than a person. Still not sure what I symbolized, which is an intriguing mystery in my past, unsolvable.