In a white church basement, the smell of Sunday School (glue and construction paper) heady in the air…I had my first “oh damn I think I’d like to have sex with that person” moment. As usual it was based on talent, he wasn’t that attractive physically. He was also twenty-one to my fourteen, but that didn’t matter in community theatre. Age ain’t nuthin’ but a numba in Playhouse South’s production of Fiddler on the Roof; in Anetevka we would have been a perfect match…the ages not inappropriate at all! Why can’t we be living in that time, instead of just pretending to be? Without the strife, of course…and starvation, and religious oppression. These hyper-fragmented thoughts and more skirted their way around my brain while I watched him practice the Bottle Dance. His dancing was atrocious, but he had a nice voice, and played an instrument. He also wore a hat. I admired hats when I was fourteen.
I sat watching him, half-listening to my new clique chirp things like, “Tseitel SUCKS. I HATE her. Tevye is awesome, he’s totally a bear.” They’d then usually break into some sort of harmony of something from Les Miz or Phantom. I didn’t know either show well. I loved the theatre, but we couldn’t afford to buy all the CD’s to all of them and memorize them. I had LP’s of Fiddler, Sweet Charity, bootlegged cassettes of Sweeney Todd…
I watched him and smiled at him. I didn’t know he was twenty one yet, he had said he was a freshman in college…to me that meant eighteen. Just four years difference, I affirmed myself. Just four years. That meant NOTHING in terms of the big scheme of things…I let these thoughts play out deeper, allowing my overactive imagination that has entertained me as long as I can remember mix with hormones, into a thick swill that found its way down my throat and into the dark place between my legs…I had to keep crossing my legs and wondered if anyone would notice what was going on in my head. I thanked God that I wasn’t a boy…then it would be obvious.
It was time to sing Sunrise, Sunset…that moving standard that even those who hate musicals love…and I made sure I stood close to him…being an alto, and he a tenor, this wasn’t difficult. I could look at him closely and perhaps let my elbow brush his…He was short. Only an inch taller than I, and I was full grown at 5’8 when I was fourteen. His hair was dark brown, tinged with red underneath his newsboy hat…he was skinny, a prerequisite for any object of my passion, his eyes were brown. He could play the Artful Dodger. He was funny. He knew about Kids in the Hall. That’s all it took for me to fall deeply in lust.
Now, I’m almost gagging on my own bile as I recall my attraction for him. He liked my singing, or so he said. He liked a fourteen year old having a major sex-crush on him is what he liked…later on he semi-stalked me…when I was legal. He found out I worked at a wine store, and called up daily, a fellow alumni of the production whom I still spoke to now and again had told him where I was. By this point I was already dating my now-husband…ten years my senior, older than even the former wannabe cradle robber.
These stories aren’t always cute, I guess.