Faridy, my Mexican love interest, was into doing what made her feel the most joy in any given moment.
“Do you want to go out to eat?” I’d ask.
Once the tamales arrived, we decided to go to the plaza to eat them. Once we got to the plaza Faridy decided the tamales smelled good and would eat mine. I didn’t mind, I loved watching her hands gently unfold the crumbly cake as she smelled the week-old boiled corn husks. She didn’t want any of her movements to seem the least bit arousing or forward. Her uninhibited greasy-handed eating put me even more over the top in love with her. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. As cars drove past us in the plaza men would honk their horns and yell, “Bon appetite, good-looking!”
During my visits to see Faridy, I’d ride Mexican buses (the thing I hate most in life) halfway across the country to be with her for one night. These visits were certain to arouse drama. In some instances she’d push my hand away from hers in the movie theater for fear of who could be watching. Other times, like my last visit to her summer camp, she was the polar opposite.
I unpacked my clothes next to the bed where I planned on sleeping (the floor below her). As I unpacked, she walked down to the base of the stairs and gazed at me cross-eyed for ten seconds. I struggled to read her mind. Sensing my bewilderment, she volunteered her source of unease verbally, “Is that where you are planning to sleep?” Before I could respond, she stormed back up the stairs. I quickly threw my stuff back into my backpack and followed her up the stairs. I didn’t have a pillow or blanket, so how did she expect me to sleep on a bare mattress next to her?
I didn’t push the matter because it was barely afternoon and we’d have plenty of other things to fight about before bedtime. The day passed like old men in bathrooms. My mind flickered in and out of the activities we did with Mexican youth. I was in charge of 15 Mexican middle-schoolers. Our team competed in everything from obstacle courses to sandwich-making. Nightfall finally came. I was very apprehensive about sleeping with Faridy. During the barbeque, I didn’t even bother heating my hot dog over the fire, I ate it raw. I threw my trash away and ducked into the shadows on my way to the second floor of the cabin where I knew Faridy would be sleeping. Before going inside the cabin, I took a look at the second floor windows, no evidence of anyone lurking upstairs. I let myself in and crept up the stairs. I had no idea of who would be in the room with Faridy, or even if she’d be in there. When I opened the door, I saw three mattresses. Faridy had made me a bed on the far right of the three. I quickly parted the two beds and put my mattress in between the other two, guaranteeing a ringside seat with Faridy, no matter which mattress she slept on.
My blanket was little more than a flannel sheet and the cabin had no insulation to keep out the cold. I stripped down to my underwear and hid under the sheet, waiting for Faridy. What happened next may have been 20 seconds but felt like two hours. The cabin light came on and I peered out from under my sheet to see who was coming inside the room. It was Faridy and her male camp counselor companion, Mogly. I pretended to be asleep as Faridy verbally objected once again to the sleeping arrangements. She shuffled the beds yet again and I hid powerlessly under the flannel sheet like an abducted foreigner in a game of Russian roulette. The lights went out again. This time I was once again on the outside. I looked over at the swelling under the blanket in the bed next to mine. Something was thrashing under the covers. I feared the worst. I rolled over and faced away from my sexless bed mate. Just then a voice in Spanish echoed out from underneath the covers, “Are you going sleep with your back towards me?” I had no idea what to do next, I was a 26-year old shivering under a paper thin blanket with a beautiful Mexican girl inches away from me.
I finally got the nerve to turn in her direction. By that time she had rolled to the other side of her mattress. I had to do something, I put my hand underneath her covers. I felt my hand run into her back. I started to pull up her sweatshirt. After getting through that layer, my hand still didn’t feel her bare skin, there was yet another sweatshirt to penetrate. After peeling off two more could I still feel another sweatshirt. I asked her in a low voice as to not arouse Mogly, “Faridy, can you take off a sweatshirt and loan it to me, I’m cold.”
“Get your own sweatshirt,” She replied. I immediately hit the brakes and abandoned my pursuit.
I lacked the fundamentals when it came to relationships with women. Applying my skills from high school didn’t improve the situation.
The two most beautiful girls in my high school were Michelle Salinas and Sara Pemberton. Michelle Salinas was considered one of the coolest girls in the school because she went to Raves in the Bay Area on weekends. Most of her male friends had facial hair and various parole violations. I knew there would be no chance for me to be popular her clique of friends. I had one group project with her for English class. It was a five person group and we met at Ethan Robert’s house and tried to put together a documentary about an eastern European family coming to America. Michelle would usually show up late if she came at all and we spent the entire time together watching Ethan Roberts practice guitar with his band in the garage. Although Ethan was barely over 80 lbs, he was in a band and therefore squeezed me out in terms of winning Michelle’s attention.
Sara Pemberton on the other hand was a little more accessible for me because I sat next to her in biology class. We sat behind huge lab tables designed for science experiments. The nice part about these tables was that they covered the teacher’s view of each student from the chest down. I spent the entire period vandalizing Sara’s biology book under the table. Her revenge was writing a bunch of perverse sayings on my hands. One day she wrote her phone number on my hand. After that period I wrapped my hand in heavy plastic and vowed not to sweat or wash my hands before I got back home, so as I could carve her number into my bedroom wall.
By the time I got home, the only digits visible were 633, the prefix of everyone in my high school. I never got the nerve to ask her for her number again.
I graduated high school with no clue on how to get to first base.