December 5, 2019
Today I am beginning a new blog. It is about the men with which I have had intimate relationships and maybe some who were ‘only’ friends. I loved these men then fought with them and then ended each relationship.
Now coming up to my sixty-fourth birthday, I realize how each one of them helped me grow in my life and I do not have anything but tender feelings towards them. I believe working on this blog will help me ever more to reflect and expand on how each of these relationships enriched my life.
This is about the man I had sex with for the first time and the first one I ever shared a tent and two different apartments with. To paraphrase a Paul Simon song:
Call him Al
I still see him in my mind’s eye: how perfectly gorgeous he was.
There he was sitting with his clan of guy friends in the middle of the experimental high school I went to. Long, beautifully thick blonde hair. Silver wire rimmed glasses. A white t-shirt fitting just right over his torso and nicely faded blue jeans.
It was the 1970’s. What a time to be going to high school. My girlfriends and I smoked cigarillos — a sort of cigarette and cigar clone — on the front lawn of Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive School where we all attended high school in Selkirk, Manitoba just an hour drive north of Winnipeg and more than an hour’s bus ride south where I lived, the middle daughter of three girls in Victoria Beach, Manitoba, Canada.
Once I started staying over night in the basement of Al’s parents’ house, I found out that he had this habit of stashing partially smoked Player’s filtered cigarettes in little nooks and crannies all over the place.
Of course we smoked marijuana. Maybe we dropped acid together as well. I know I did acid in high school.
Later, when we were a couple, I asked Al what he had liked about me, what had made him stare across the Commons sunken carpeted steps in the middle of the school at me for quite some time before he ever mustered the courage to ask me out.
“Did you think I was good looking?,” I asked.
“To me you looked… different,” he said.
Different. Of course, part of me wanted him to say I looked beautiful but really I was proud and he had got it right. I still do look different.
Many young women in high school primped and preened in the washrooms in order to appeal to the likes of a guy like Al. They stood in front of the mirrors and pinched their cheeks to look like they were not really anemic. They rolled eye liner on. Made sure their jeans fit nice and close to their asses.
When Al and I started dating, we turned those young women’s heads. They just did not see it coming that I would be the chosen one.
Being the leader of Al’s pack, I would sit next to him in his navy Dodge (I think) with a white roof. Packed in to the rest of the front and back seats were all of the men who rode with him. His friends. They mostly were from around St. Andrew’s an area a bit south of Selkirk that roped along the Red River that began in Manitoba and ended in somewhere in the deep south of the United States of America.
One winter around Easter, when Al and I were living in the better of the two apartments we shared during our relationship, going stir crazy with cabin fever, we jumped in the car and based on what I believe was my idea decided to drive straight south until we reached a place south enough to leave the snow behind.
It was soooo much fun. A road trip is a WONDERFUL thing. There we went cruising through North Dakota, South Dakota and so on and so forth. I think it was in Nebraska where we left all but patches of snow behind.
When we got out of the car, the air was damp and cool to breathe in. But we did not need to wear our parkas.
As if the Universe wanted to throw a celebration for Al and me, we saw a hot air balloon sitting in a corner of a field of what remained of a wheat field, cropped close to the ground like stubble on a man’s chin that had not been razored in three days.
The guy, a tall dirty blond haired young man, who owned the balloon was just hanging out with it. We asked if we could go up in it. We did, with fire flaring out of its bottom under the place we three stood below the balloon. It did not go up high but I think it was right then, at that moment that I decided there could be really almost nothing better in the world than the adventure of travel…
To be continued
Tanya Lester, BA and master tea leaf reader, ekes out a living as a tea leaf and tarot reader. She is also a reiki master and an almost full time housesitter. To read more about her unique life style, go to her web: teareading.wordpress.com