Sometimes a memory floats to the surface. It creates ripples in the water, and I cringe. Learning how to be a sexual human was a stressful process for me. Some of my memories cause me embarrassment even today -- and I am nearly immune to embarrassment, which is why I am able to write shit like this. There is one night in particular which I remember. I am writing about it now, because I was recently on the other side of this situation. Everybody in both cases has happily survived.
I sat in a rocking chair. The chair was in a cabin, and the cabin was in the woods next to a lake. I was probably invited because I had a van. I transported a whole group of friends there, but I knew that I was not truly one. I slept outside in my van. Those who stayed inside were close with one another. They were far cooler than me, and they seemed far more confident and sexy. I appreciated being included on any level, but I could look at my feet, and know my place on this earth.
I was young. Twenty-something-whatever. My experience with sex was merely technical. I never felt passion. I was nervous, afraid, and confused. I got close a few times, and the situations fell apart. I was afraid to initiate touching, I felt apologetic about factions within my gender, I was afraid of condoms and STDs. I was drinking a lot. My head was spinning. Was I a gentleman, or a pervert? Given the opportunity to find out, my cock would decline to stay hard. Was it the drinking, or the nervousness, or the condoms, or the willing females who I had so-far found? I had no idea, so in a naive bit of reasoning I decided that I was gay.
I sat in the rocking chair, full approximately to the brim with vodka. The remaining half of a potent screwdriver made a condensation ring on a chessboard in front of me. The music was exactly correct. A boy who is universally loved, and unquestionably handsome and wonderful laid down on a bed across the room. I mentally punched myself in the stomach. I picked up the sweaty glass of mostly vodka, and threw down the rest.
I walked across the room, as calmly as I could muster. I laid down next to the boy and put my hand on his chest. He looked at me with surprise, but there was a trace of a smile and no hint of alarm. I leaned over and kissed his cheek. I leaned in again and kissed him on the mouth. He was kind about this, and put a hand on my arm. What I had done was absolutely unexpected, and raised no particular concern; but it would go no further. This was not the time or place, and I was not the correct type of bird. If I had been less competent at enduring awkward shame, I would have died there on the spot.
Plenty of years have passed since that happened. The boy who I practically attacked that night is still a credit to the human race. He never made me feel embarrassed. On the rare occasions I see him, there is always a bright smile and a hug.