Thursday, February 12, 2009

The East Heights Blackout of 1999: Phoebe

I was having problems readjusting to more than just the weather; my reputation hitting an all-time low the previous October when I got drunk at the Tipton's and ended up on the bad end of a blowjob. Suddenly everyone at Easton knew me as the innocent freshmen slut even though I went to Saint Marie's, and the turquoise rosary beads I got for my first Holy Communion, still dangled from my bedpost. I never really prayed, though, but rather just kept such reminders around my house for the times when I felt reasonably lost, which was almost all the time at fifteen.
I was planning on starting over in the impending new year; dying my hair and maybe falling for an unattainable mystery somewhere. However, that night I was moderately intrigued by the concept of possibilities. The star quarterback, Cliff Bala, had somehow magically picked up on some faint glimmer of my reputation; most likely running the possibilities through his head, before deciding to waste just one of his Friday nights on me.
It was solely the two of us, with no available plans; all of our parents trailing off to the multiple high points of East Heights. The snow and impending storm was only a minor divergence, and not worth paying too much attention to, just like their basketcase children scratching at the toxic paint on their bedroom walls.
Cliff showed up at my house fifteen minutes after calling, around eight or so, wearing a brown turtleneck and the smuggest of grins, which truly highlighted all of his exceptionally white teeth. They were reflective, and made me feel like I was being watched, even in my own home, even when there were so many other situation comedies on local stations. We both sat in front of the television for awhile, barely speaking like a married couple disappointed over the cancellation of dinner plans. Cliff then paced back and forth around the kitchen with our cordless phone, trying to find anything anywhere, any kind of polished hint of something worthwhile.
His shear irritation from such a lack of news then made me a bit uncomfortable as I attempted to think about why I was wasting my time with such a naive nincompoop. He was attractively dull, and I had no idea how to handle such mixed feelings of angst and boredom.
We let our lack of chemistry resonate for another hour or so, talking in single word sentences and trying to keep our hands passively at our laps. When the whole block shorted out around ten, it suddenly became impossible to act civil and even respectable. I'm still not sure what compelled me to make the first move. Maybe it was just so I had a story to tell. Part of me wanted to simply go along with whatever it was they were all saying. Cliff would later talk it up like it was some kind of gigantic circumstance, but really I think it was just easier for the both of us to pretend with the lights off.
I didn't feel violated despite the pain that they all talk about, nor did I feel like a woman for the first time. I wasn't emptier than usual or sad that all of a sudden I was the girl that had gotten bored, and routinely fucked the quarterback with a half-open smile. I didn't feel sorry about anything or sympathetic for what seemed like a mutual lack of experience between the two of us; our arms struggling for superiority on the living room couch.
It was just something to do and get over with, like a dentist's appointment; both our mouths numb from the diffusion of novacaine. I wouldn't really talk to Cliff again after he nervously drove home around midnight, even though we were socially sifting through the same dirt river until that May. I then didn't sleep with anybody again until Kevin Mansfield in the summer before our senior year at Easton; the act of transferring from Catholic to public school much like a shift from diet coke to regular. The taste just stung less, and I could usually swallow regardless of how flat and warm the can was.

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