So those of you who may be unaware, Shelley (my bestest of BFFs) got accepted to law school in California and the two of us are moving to Sacramento at the end of July. It's all very exciting, except for the part where I still haven't told my boss that I'm leaving yet.
And as part of her last hurrah before buckling down to be super-studious for three years, Shelley wanted to make our Texas-to-California exodus into a road trip, and after much persuading, convinced me to go along with the idea. Like so:
Shelley: "How do you feel about road trips?"
Me: "Love 'em. Why?"
And so it was settled. Then it became a question of where we would stop.
Me: "We should go see Kate. I want to visit Los Angeles."
Her: "Sure. I'm not big on Los Angeles, but Kate is a lot of fun."
Her: "I also want to go to Las Vegas and see some shows."
Me: "Sure. I have a booty call in Vegas."
...OR DID I? Cue the flashback:
Long, long ago, back when I was a coltishly awkward freshman/sophomore in a gigantic high school, there was this guy.
Six foot four, broad shoulders, tight hips, razor-sharp cheekbones, and waves of beautiful, shiny red hair, radiating the most devil-may-care bad-boy attitude.
Mind you, I didn't actually know a thing about this guy except that he made my girlybits happy. He was a couple years ahead of me, so it wasn't like we had any classes together or any friends in common. He was literally just this guy that I would catch a glimpse of across a crowded hallway, and be like, ~sigh~! He was obviously miles out of my league, this older and atypically mesomorphic bad boy, leaving my starry-eyed sophomore self nothing to do but watch him wistfully from afar. At that age I didn't even know what I wanted, just that I did, good god, I wanted so hard.
So when I realized that one of the guys in my comsci class was his best friend, I threw myself on that like a grenade. Ulterior motives, I has them.
My classmate's name was Spam; through him I learned that his hot friend was Wil, with one L, and actually a huge dork. Wil and Spam got along thanks to anime and Transformers and plotting for redheads to take over the world. I hung out with Spam a lot, and learned a little about Wil then. His name, for example.
Then I hung out with Wil & Spam (& other friends) together, many late nights drinking excessive amounts of coffee at IHOP, and learned a little more. Learned, for example, that Wil was far and away the most sexually active in their group of friends, but the others gave him hell for it because he tended to fuck girls who were not only psychotic, but not even hot. "Land monsters" was the favored phrase for them.
(One time we were at IHOP in the wee hours, and the group of twenty-something guys at the booth next to us started being aggressive-friendly, not like starting a fight, but definitely overstepping boundaries. "How did you lose your virginity?" was what they wanted to know, ostensibly asking everyone in our group, but mostly looking at me because I was the cute girl.
At the time, I don't think I had, or it was still a new enough thing that I wasn't comfortable sharing-and-caring with a bunch of drunk strangers, so I demurred.
Wil leans back in his chair, takes a drag off his cigarette, and says completely deadpan, "I faked an orgasm."
I thought it was clever; turns out it was true.)
And finally, hanging out with Wil alone, watching anime at his apartment, learning to roll cigarettes, (learning how to make chainmail, he's the one who taught me that,) I got the rest of the pieces. The bad boy vibe was the result of a pretty fucked up family situation, unsurprisingly. That was why he had his own apartment and was working minimum wage to pay the bills, smoking Samson's because it was cheaper than eating, rather than living at home and/or going to college like everyone else our age.
Bitter and brilliant. I have a type.
And my one-sided crush on Wil? Wasn't all that one-sided. We were rocking the sort of unresolved sexual tension that would have made anyone reading the book go "Will you two just FUCK already??"
But I never had, and he had too much, it seemed. Moreover, I didn't know how to ask for what I wanted, back then. So I when I went off to spend my last two years of high school at a nerd boarding school, I left a virgin, and I came back not... but I came back monogamous.
There are a number of things I regret, in terms of sex and relationships I've had, but Matt isn't one of them. There is no better person I could've had my first time with, no better way to have had it, and I don't regret that I dated him exclusively through my entire two years at TAMS.
It's just that in retrospect, there were so many other people I wish I'd shagged in high school.
Like Wil. Except I was a virgin, and then I was dating someone, and then he was dating someone, and then I was, and... so on and so forth. We never actually got around to anything, apart from one evening over Christmas break when I was drunk and miserable and missing the hell out of Matt, and ended up making out with Wil.
(Funny story -- I felt really shit about that, and at the first possible opportunity I confessed to Matt, apologizing so much, because it really hadn't been about Wil, it had been because I'd been lonely and missing him so much, etc etc. Which is entirely true; if it weren't, I would have been feeling less guilty for using Wil the way I did.
Matt: "That's okay."
A month or so later he comes back from a weekend spent in his own smalltown hell, looking shame-faced.
Matt: "I sort of accidentally made out with [ex-girlfriend] this weekend."
Me: "That's okay."
Matt: "I made out with her boyfriend too." >_<
Me: "LOL, that's okay.")
After graduation, Matt and I broke up. For the first time since I'd met Wil, I was both single and sexually uninhibited enough to do something about it.
And I moved to Japan.
If I were reading this book, I would now be going, "Goddamn it, author, that is so fucking contrived!"
But it's true, and also I became a dude. Wil and I talked all of once during the four years that I was overseas, an AIM conversation when I was still hating the fuck out of rural Japan. At that point I was still pre-testosterone, but the situation was getting grim, and it was fast becoming a when, not an if.
Me: "So... I'm going to become a guy."
Him: "Hmm. Can I test-drive it before and after?"
Me: "Oh hell yes."
I'm in Vegas, he says. Look me up if you're ever in the area.
Sure, I say. Like that's ever going to happen.
"I want go through Las Vegas on our road trip," says Shelley.
"Great," says I. "I've got a booty call in Vegas."
Brave New World
(they always said that sex would change you)
- A Booty Call in Vegas, Part I