Insomnia induced love of learning and quest for knowledge sent me to my computer at 4am. I needed to know the history of my alma mater, the Bronx High School of Science, specifically what of inventions made by alumni of the school. So if one cannot sleep, getting such information will certainly suffice to this task…
But seriously, I feel like this decision to attend, post admission offer, in April 1978, when I was but 13 years old at the time, to enter in 10th grade, because of having skipped 8th grade, in a special NYC program of that era, I was given the biggest opportunity of my so called life, to date at that time. I was given the door to a better life, right then. I was thrilled! Of course then, some folks started to look at me like I wasn’t a lightweight, because one must beat 30,000 other test takers for a slot, a seat at a grand table, which puts you on a trajectory of who you are, and where you are going in life.
Even some boys whom I was interested in looked at me differently, because I had made it in. Did this mean I was going to get my heart’s desire then? It was good news that the ratio of that era was 57% male, 43% female. And I knew how to dance too! We had practiced at the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center recreation room. I was developing confidence too, in the romantic arena, having been an early bloomer. I had a virtual harem of men! I can recall that many boys were feeling their libidos as high school went on; some teachers as well! Even though my own experience in that regard was sedate, and I knew quite assiduously not to be romantic too much with any boy in my own class of 1981. Boys were going to brag afterward: other girls had intimated, and then reputation was going to ruin.
And so, when someone in particular caught my fancy, I recalled my warning, most strongly, to not let it go too far, on a date. Yes, boyfriends, year after year, but quite sedate…limited sexual activity. However much one wanted otherwise. The Bronx Science crowd was verboten. Men already out at college might be safer, even though I was under age, for them, by virtue of statutory rape laws. If they were under 18 though, and so was I, well, I was an early bloomer, and not as clear cut. I was quite ready, and in love at the time. And so, it happened.
The early years stayed with us a lifetime, as I am now 55 years old! Writing my memoirs in prose, short forms, as our attention spans have shortened by virtue of using cell phones and computer/tablet screens too much, so I write little snippets of my life, when the urge strikes. Even today, I manage to surprise my dear cohort, my sisters as friends, my brothers as both lovers and friends, because what to make of the limited activity of youth?? Was it lovemaking? Or was it just a tease? In any case, never enough, not then, not now. The shadows of those years remain, with an asterisk, what if?
What if the particular boy then, the one I fancied, had been an actual full length lover? Well, of course, the silent voice says that that would have wound up as an experiment, just a course to see what it was like, and then inevitable breakup. We were going to different colleges, far apart geographically. And the chemistry might have screamed yes, but clearly that would not be enough, not then. We were going places, academically, and professionally, in life.
And then, looking back, isn’t it better actually to have a life friend, whom you truly love, in a holy way, without the taint of early sex, well, not much, anyway…and the answer is yes. To have had sex all the way then would have meant the friendship would have had no chance to flourish, and then we would have gone our own ways. And another boy turned man who was a lover, just once, he stayed around too, but we have to put the brakes on, every time. And so it goes, this life tale. The boys know who they were, and are. And I am most blessed to call them both friends, now and always! Even with that past. We accept our life journeys, wherever they lead us.
It is our destiny to be singing “WE Go Together!” From beloved Grease, movie, 1978….aged just 14 that year. Unreal this life. I am still grateful, even if my birthday prayer is the same every single year, and still unmet. But my friends are worth EVERYTHING! I love them all, with everything I have and more! God bless them all with long, healthy lives filled with love!
And there was a Dr. Gluck substitute teacher, who reminds me of a ducky these days…I wonder why that is, how the brain twists tendrils of memories, to such forms. And the boy turned man, he went on another path also, not as a ducky….but he inhabits my dreams. What say you, my dear comrades?? Is there such a thing as fate, in love?