Boyfriend Chronicles #2  / Pickled Shrimp

The next in line of my string of failed relationships I blame on youth.

He was a senior and I was a freshman. He went to the city school and I went to the country kids’ school. I got a special feeling for being picked by someone that seemed so out of my league (the man could play the piano - I had never met anyone who could play an actual piano). He had a car, not an old truck or tractor and it was a new car. This feeling seemed to blind me from his many faults. Most of our relationship was the standard first high school boyfriend scenario. Nerves, movies and making out. He was my first kiss and I still remember the feeling as it was happening - a wave of disappointment washing over me. Was this French kissing? It was so different in the movies. The man gently puts his hand behind her head and they form a singular force. The lady always looked as if this was all she ever wanted to do till the end of time. I was confused, I don’t remember the part where he juts his tongue in and out your mouth like he is looking for lost treasure. I have had dental exams that were more sensuous. Being young I just assumed well this is what kissing is and wasn’t too big of a fan. The first of many moments that I thought, “If this is what everybody is all excited about I don’t get it.” Luckily, this would change one day but that's a story for later.

As we continued our young affair I started to learn those hard lessons we all have in those first little loves of our lives. Some boys are selfish asses and will treat you like you are lucky to be with them and not the other way around. It was the usual ass hat dude things. Ignoring you to hang out with his friends, forgetting to ask you if you want anything from the bowling alley snack stand, progressively being later for dates, etc, etc, etc. I can thank him for this though, I also learned that my personality can only deal with this for a limited time before something is bound to snap and when I snap, I snap hard. Since 90% of our relationship was the typical boring high school routine I will skip ahead to the unavoidable end of our relationship.

I got the great honor of being asked to go to Senior prom at the city kids' school. For a freshman at the not as cool school, this was huge. I got my hair done at a home hair salon right off the interstate. It may not seem fancy to you but she had sinks and real barber chairs so I felt mighty fancy. Picked out a demure white dress and the most ladylike tiny heeled white shoes. With a French twist in my hair adorned with baby’s breath, corsage on my wrist and Senior boyfriend, off I went to my first prom. I would find out later first, last or middle, I am no good at prom. I barely remember the actual dance. Boyfriend ignored me to hang out with his friends and I spent a good amount of time hiding from these much older city kids that knew I did not belong at their party.
Of course, the required house party followed. If I was smart I would have called for a ride home at this point but fun and smart decisions never seem to go hand and hand. As the drinking games started I knew this was my chance to impress. Unfortunately, I did not realize this was also my boyfriend's chance to get me wasted and see if I would break my lady seal for him. By the way, guys, giving large amounts of whiskey to a woman will almost guarantee you will not enjoy your evening together. Since the game was Quarters and my lack of aim has been well established it was a quick trip to drunk town. The last moment I remember slightly clearly was my boyfriend singing, “She Talks to Angels“ to me and at the line, “She paints her eyes as black as night now, Pulls those shades down tight” he did a gesture as if to push down my imaginary sunglasses. Well due to too drunk swaying instead he poked my right smack in the middle of my eye. Along with my eye, it seemed he also poked the button in me that sent me running to the nearest place to release all the devil fire juice I had ingested. As I got deathly ill a very nice boy pushed my hair away from my head and offered me a wet rag. This boy was not my boyfriend. As I lay crumpled in a sad heap on the floor begging Jesus to just take me because there was no way I was surviving this, he sat right there with me. He stayed with this poor girl with vomit streaked hair. mumbling incoherently "Jesus take me now" and I believe singing, “This little light of mine.” He helped me wash up and found me a change of clothes. As I started to find my feet I headed down the hall to find my boyfriend because I needed to go home and sneak in before my Dad realized his daughter was a drunken idiot.

I remember that same boy trying to stop me from searching, but controlling a drunk Cajun lady is about as easy as getting us to admit we are wrong. Then I opened that fateful door, there he was. While I was wondering if all my insides were outside now, he was getting pleasured by a girl that could obviously handle her liquor better than me. Now, this is when I learned something about myself. I don’t yell, I don’t cry, I get even. I calmly walked out of the room, I don’t think he even saw me. As my head spun I came up with a plan. I went back to the party and sat down as if nothing had happened. Once I became just another person in the drunk chaos it came to me. His car, that's what I will do. I will take his car, we see how he likes that. I found his keys and headed for the driveway. This would be a good time to tell you now only did I not know how to drive, I am still not the best driver at 43 years old. Yet I had hatched my revenge and it must happen. I started the car, that's right asshole, "I am woman hear me roar.” I was Thelma and Louise combined into one beautiful lady beast. No one could stop me now. No one! I was right no one did.

Now, I was not informed that my majestic lady beast could be slaughtered in seconds by an unfortunately placed signpost. This wasn't just any signpost this was a giant restaurant signpost with a life-sized Italian chef flipping pizzas made entirely of neon. You can see where I easily just missed it. Here I was sitting in my now stolen vehicle while this pizza flipping over me head turned the inside of the car into some low rent discotheque. All of sudden every flash of light made me a little bit soberer and exposed some cracks in my foolproof plan. Chef Tommy lighting the way I slowly and surely backed the car out away from the sign and back onto the street. Inching my way back to the driveway hoping by some beautiful fate no one had noticed my exit. The car safely back in its spot I inspected the damage. Barely a scratch. How? This minor miracle was revealed when I started driving and could not let myself go over 5 miles an hour without a minor panic attack setting in. We can all get a good laugh at this vomit haired teenager slowly slinking down the street, crossing a major road to end up in a pizza joint parking lot and proceeding to have the slowest possible accident ever. I can only guess it would have looked like slo-mo in real-time. How far did I make it? Two blocks, My life of crime was exactly two blocks long.

I slinked back into the house unnoticed, my lady beast tail between my legs. I surely should have gone home at this point? Any sane person would have. Any sane person but I carry crazy with me like a gremlin in my pocket just waiting to feed it after midnight. It was already a night of good decisions what would another couple drinks hurt? I was informed later that my behavior after this point was talked about for quite a while. Whatever, I brought it home to my school! You may not like us but you sure as hell won't forget us.
I am not sure how I got home. I believe my Dad picked me up. Did I call him? Did someone else call him? I don’t remember what was said during the trip home or how I ended up in my bed.

What I do remember is that first brown liquor hangover. Can any of us forget that one? You know that one where your head hurts so much that you go to sit up and all the pain rushes down to your stomach? Then when you lay back down it rushes back to your head. So you have to lie in this strange half prone fetal position with your body begging for food and water and yet simultaneity letting you know it will forcibly reject anything you put in it. To this day I have never touched Jack Daniel’s again. Just the bottle induces a gagging reaction.
I told no one of my great car thief escapades. My solution was a simple one. A bouquet of flowers that just said “ Sorry”. What was I sorry for? My failed car theft? My rumored behavior after said failed thievery? The fact that he lost this amazing lady beast? Because I broke up with him in the text version of the time?
This was the first time I ended a relationship with no explanation and some hair-brained “fuck me, fuck you” scenario, it sure as hell wouldn’t be the last.

* To the boy that held back my hair and took care of me on that bathroom floor. I truly hope you met a great lady and got all you wanted out of life because you sir were the first pure gentleman I ever met.

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Pickled Shrimp
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