Monday, March 01, 2010
A day late... A dollar short...
I know the "first crush assignment" from Abelard was for February, and I'm a day late, but I've debated whether I really want to post this or not... but I've debated enough and have finally decided to do so, in hopes of you understanding me a bit better... This has been very therapeutic. This first crush has led to many, many subsequent crushes - even to this current day decades later. In many ways, the young boy in this story is still the same boy inside me.
For what it's worth...
Once upon a time there was a 15 year old boy. He was a very tall and skinny boy, and a good boy and always tried to please his elders, his leaders, and his parents. One of the ways he tried to please them was in achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He was not very interested in scouting or in associating with his peers as he felt “different” from them and much preferred doing things on his own. But, in the spirit of doing the “right” thing expected of a “good boy”, he worked hard and did is duty to his God and his Country and earned multiple merit badges, most of which were done at his initiative and self-motivation to the pleasure of his parents and leaders.
That was until the day when the pending Eagle Award was achieved, including service project, camps, hikes, leadership etc., except for one merit badge… Lifesaving!
This particular boy was not a great swimmer. But the real stumbling block wasn’t swimming as it was his insecurity around other boys. He felt intimidated and afraid of locker rooms (from a long reaction to abuse at jr. high gym classes) and his self doubt and lack of confidence doomed his efforts to achieve this non-negotiable hurdle of a merit badge. His parents had enrolled him twice in a YMCA lifesaving course but to no avail, and soon he gave up and quit. All his good intentions of being a “good boy” were in vain as he could not, and would not obtain this last requirement.
Then, one day, a wise and kind leader came to him with a proposed plan: What if he were to set up private one-on-one lessons with a slightly older boy who would step him through the requirements – without intimidation, without anyone around, without any pressure from leaders - just the two of them. At first the boy was uncertain of this plan, but aiming to please, he reluctantly agreed.
A few weeks later, a 17 year old boy named Clark came knocking on his door and introduced himself. The 15 year old knew of this boy, having noticed him from a distance – in fact, he was in awe of him. Though the younger boy was nearly six inches taller than the older boy, Clark weighed at least 50 lbs more, and all solid masculine muscle! The older boy was confident and assured, yet not cocky or arrogant. He was kind and gentle and allowed the younger boy to begin to open up to him. Clark helped him to feel proud to be tall and he enjoyed looking down on this older boy though he envied the older boy’s more mature muscles and air of manliness.
They agreed to an arrangement of going to a local indoor swimming pool at a time when it was not occupied by other classes or events. He remembers being picked up by Clark in a sports car that had standard transmission and was fascinated at the way his powerful arms grabbed the stick shift with confidence and authority. Someday he would drive a car with such confidence and authority, he thought.
They arrived at the swimming facility and the fear of the locker room overwhelmed him, but the joy of being accepted and encouraged by this older boy was intoxicating to him and somehow it was enough to overcome his fears. Clark paid the entrance fee and tossed him a towel and a key to a locker and wrapped his arm around the younger boy and escorted him into the locker room. Clark stripped effortlessly and began to shower naked. That was when the younger boy noticed the athletic beauty of his new friend’s body and he began to get excited. The excitement embarrassed him a bit, but he was eager to be with this boy and so he stripped and showered, too.
Soon they were in the pool together and frolicking and playing, getting comfortable with each other. Clark then taught him rescue techniques and wrapped his strong arms around his chest and effortlessly towed him around the pool with athletic power. When his arms wrapped his body, the younger boy felt tingles and joy inside his body in a way that he never ever felt before! This was new! This was magical! This was fun! It was then his turn, and he wrapped his skinny arms around Clark’s thick chest and it was ecstasy! He forgot that he was in the deep end of the pool, in fact, he forgot all about his fears of swimming – all he could think was how wonderful it felt to have his arms and body pressed tightly around this older boy and how good it felt to be accepted and the confidence levels soared within him!
These encounters went on for several weeks and with each week came more confidence and more excitement. Each visit was followed up by going to get ice cream and sharing and talking together – and becoming friends.
Finally, the last meeting was held at the younger boy’s home. It was evening and his parents weren’t around. Clark had him stretch out on the floor of the living room so that he could demonstrate how to resuscitate a drowning victim. Before he knew it, Clark was on top of him, straddling his waist with his knees, demonstrating the pressing technique on his chest. The younger boy’s lungs popped with pain as Clark pressed firm and hard on his chest. Clark then demonstrated mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and placed his mouth over the younger boy’s mouth and blew air into his lungs filling them completely. It was then the younger boy’s turn, and he was told to get on top of Clark and do the same. The younger boy was scared, but so excited, and became stiff down-under. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want Clark to know, but somehow, Clark’s smile and confidence encouraged him, and so he jumped on top of him and pressed his hands on the older boy’s heaving chest.
“Harder!” Clark shouted, as he encouraged the younger boy to press firmer and stronger on his chest. He kept pushing until the older boy was finally satisfied. Then it was his turn to do the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The younger boy was shaking with excitement as he placed his mouth on the older boy’s mouth and felt his soft lips and warm breath. He tipped his head and plugged his nose and blew into his mouth as their lips engaged. It was like angels singing!
In the end, both boys smiled. Clark gave him a big hug and said that he “passed”. He signed the card and that was that. With a bit of disappointment, the younger boy waved good bye and was gone. But, he couldn’t stop thinking about what just happened. He wasn’t sure what just happened. What did just happen? He was too innocent and confused to put it in its proper perspective. But, what he did know was that he felt good and warm and peaceful and content and so satisfied inside for probably the first time in his life. He thought a lot about Clark and how beautiful and kind and powerful and confident and masculine he was.
He didn’t see Clark for several months until the next school year. That year he was a sophomore in high school and Clark was a senior. Clark was a star on the football field and the wrestling team, and he was a student body officer. He thought that Clark was too cool to notice him – a skinny, shy unnoticeable sophomore - or to even remember someone as insignificant as himself, as he wasn’t in the popular group. But to his surprise, Clark always gave him a high-five or slapped his shoulder or said “hi” with a big smile as they passed in the halls, even if Clark was surrounded by the “in” crowd. This was probably the coolest thing that Clark ever did. He was kind. He was genuine. He was a real man. The younger boy was full of infatuation inside each time he saw him and smiled back a bit more confidently… and every time, he got a bit excited in a magical, tingly way… deep inside.
Though they never did anything more together, the younger boy will never forget this journey – a journey of a first crush…