The boy across the room wore the back of his hair in the front like as if they were bangs. I closed my eyes to the sound of loud guitar on an earlier Valentine's day in my life, Dear, and imagined going over there, but him meeting me half-way and telling me Hi. I'd tell him “I appreciate your bangs” and he'd know that what I really meant was that they looked stupid. He'd take the compliment for what it was. He'd be humble, and I digress: it's true I'm not grabbing yours back, I'll tell my perfect boyfriend in the future on our third date. A boyfriend who will understand. Thank you for understanding. I am only thirteen now but I have a very good handle on my fears.
But it's nothing personal. I've tried it and it's just not for me. There were lots of people and a few of them stepped on my foot. I was thinking about why it's hard for me to laugh when I know something funny's about to happen and wondering if it was connected to my incapacity for orgasm—that I'd become the kind of wound up lady who'd finally get a man because of her love of dogs but then he'd leave me because he couldn't make me Happy and it'd be my fault. Then someone stepped directly on my toe. Was it my fault I wore Sandals to a mosh pit? Yes and no. First, I didn't know it was gonna mosh pit, and second, my very tiny sister misplaced my left Reebok on purpose because she still hates me. And inside me boiled like hot soup at all the Pete Wentz fans for screaming along with his woman-hating lyrics and even at myself because I came here at all to be a part of my Saran Wrap generation of Slacktivists and internet trolls. And then the boy with the bangs was beside me and it seemed necessary to grab him there, and so I reached. And I cupped.
And it was already hard by the time I squeezed. Hard as a rock. Like a grapefruit turned into a lemon. Big and soft no more: sharp, like ten pens rubber-banded together. Frenetic. Gross. And I screamed! Oh, Man, I did. But it only made me fit right in. (Sweating teenagers screaming about sex.) I wet myself, but out of fear, not enthusiasm: Your dick, boyfriend of my dreams, is the only one that I would want to touch if I ever wanted to ever touch one again, ever.
And everyone's filed out now, and I met up with my friends but they had left so I didn't. (Being in 7th grade is the shittiest tiniest of all minor things that don't fucking matter.) Bangs Fucker emerged from the crowd. I waved before I knew I did, but he looked through me and at someone else. I suppose he didn't know that it was me who had groped his dickness! Or perhaps my extemporaneous massage had driven his... cock-hard genitals to deep, pulsating surrender and maybe the... joy... had... obfuscated his otherwise miracle of a short term memory. I bet he did well on standardized tests. He had smart, butterfly eyes. At least he would have if I had looked into them. But either way, the smug, satisfied smile, a Very Sexist smile he smiled at randoms right past me, no friends around, that smile sprang from my left hand yes it did. PRIDE. That's the hand I write with (but not the hand I use to cut scissors with— the lucky bastard). And I have man hands. Fall Out Boy was the best, I'll tell you.
And I realize the Fall-Out-Boy-in-7th-grade-detail will date me just a little, but I'm a mature woman now and if I'm too old for you even though we're the same age, go to fucking hell, I'll think to myself but won't have to say, because you'll be Perfect. And you'll understand that as time goes on, things change (and bodies are things)— but not completely. I have some wrinkles now between my eyebrows, but they express the same skepticism I came into this world with.
Hi future boyfriend, your eyebrows are furrowy and we're both thirty but I don't touch dicks. If I had one, maybe We'd touch dicks, but I don't, I can only touch your dick with my hand, but I don't want to and I'm deeply sorry. As irrational as this is, it should feel deeply impersonal. If it makes you feel any better my desire not to touch your dick is all about other men and there's nothing you can do about it. So that should relieve you— of distress of the emotional sort. I used to think I would be dead by the time I was 18, but I made it. And I went to a club.
Eighteen. And then we weren't. Dancing's for slow old people and free spirits in the rain. Kids stomping in a puddle they feel genuinely stuck in. It's hard to dance with other people. Dancing with him made me miss myself. Miss being at my own side. Miss how my hands spread like moss across my knees and how my light little leg hairs stick out so long and then I come, and I come, and I come. Not grab at my skin like a witch who wants to be my very best friend but seriously needs a fuh-cking manicure. Not like an infant who pokes at your eyes and rubs their shit on your clothes and thinks it's PLAYTIME PLAYTIME PLAYTIME. He was older than me. Much older. But he knew a lot less things about introducing yourself to people. Me, I'm trained. I got my degree with no cost at The Female Experience. So I grabbed him back, and I felt his stupid ugly boner, and I ran the fuck out the back door. Dear Perfection, please don't look at me with those eyebrows. Remove them. They are too expressive and I can hear your every thought. You think I'm a tease. A slut. A whore, aging like cheese!
But I'm just a child.
Twenty-one. Legal. When I was in college I acted in a campus porn movie. Illegal. I played a Feminazi who just wants to pay her taxes— my line was “I just want to pay my taxes”— but who gives a hand job to the doorman using her own free will as soon as April 15th swings a dick on by. I have to tell you, it was a lot of fun, but my heart aches now and I don't ever want to touch those rhino-noses ever again. Elephant legs. Hard worms. Witch's necks. Just brutal.
But it's Valentine's day, and my dress is red and you're perfect, so can we just stand still and grow old together like, starting as early as right away?
And then he'll take my hand, tell me it's the hardest thing he's ever done because he was born with a rare disease which makes him Hate physical intimacy, and I will look at him with my most sincerest puppy-eyes and say I apologize. I might apologize for not wanting to touch his dick. And he'll say:
“Really, honey, I'd prefer that you don't anyway.”
And he'll put his hand on my Happy spot, and I'll tell him he'd be wrong to assume I have no interest in being touched myself, and he'll tell me he owns a GREAT, EXPENSIVE back scratcher and that we're both so crazy this just might work.