Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Running Man

I was not a cool teenager.

When I was about twelve or thirteen a girl in my school that I didn't really know asked me to be her boyfriend. Actually that's not quite right. She sent one of her friends to ask me if I'd be her boyfriend. It was right before the first class of the day. I wasn't entirely sure who she was but I said yes anyway. Total slag, I was. Actually truth be told I had no idea what I was doing and nobody had ever suggested such a ludicrous thing before. I honestly don't think before that moment that anything to do with grils had ever crossed my mind. I remember going into class and completely forgetting about it. At break time another girl that I didn't know at all came and told me that my girlfriend was breaking up with me. Again - I had next to zero experience of any of this silliness so just meekly nodded. At which point I was told that was actually this was just a test. And that because I didn't cry then clearly I didn't like her enough and now she's breaking up with me. Madness.

Fast forward a few years through a series of fluffy, innocent, childish boyfriend/girlfriend experiences. The kind that have absolutely no sense of anything physical in any manner. Not a hint of rudeness. If you consider that around that age I was still chuckling innocently at seeing belly buttons in the Littlewoods catalogue it should give you some idea of what sort of thing was going through my head. Whilst my friends were frantically wanking in secrecy I was still playing Kick Off 2 and waggling my Kempston Competition Pro joystick in an effort to get my tiny Daley Thompson across the finish line (euphemism of the day, surely).

Puberty Training Device

Not to lift the veil on the torrid, ickiness of being a thirteen/fourteen year old I do distinctly recall being with a bunch of my mates in an abandoned house and one of them revealing that he he'd nicked one of his dad's porn mags. And as the three or four of my friends creepily grunted at the naked photos on the page I remember looking around completely bewildered at what all the fuss was about. I mean - you could see the ladies belly buttons which was pretty awesome. But most of them seemed to be squatting in unusual fashion and draped in weird amounts of fur and lace. Which was stuff my nan had in her house. I remember that afternoon ending with me wandering off home as the magazine was divided up and each of my friends wandering off to different parts of that house to have a look on their own. Bored senseless I was.

Then in a six month period the frail bubble that held in my innocence was well and truly burst. This was when I was fourteen. Firstly by two sisters who lived across the street. One was the same age but the other was a year or so older. One afternoon they convinced me to practice kissing behind the shed in my backyard. My first true exposure to romance, clearly. The point here is that this was when I was taught that you can actually use your tongue. And not in that frightening, whack-a-mole rapid fashion that we've all experienced at one point or another. I'm sure my memory is all-a-mess looking back, but I do remember thinking afterwards that I definitely wanted to do more of this kissing business. 

Secondly when I was fourteen I was hanging out in someone's garage with a bunch of people I didn't really know all that well. Somehow I'd been invited in to hang out because I'd been told a girl there liked me. Truth be told that didn't really hit home. It didn't stir anything and I imagine I went along out of peer pressure rather than anything. At some point during that evening I ended up sat next to this girl. She was the same age. But she was the girl at school with big boobs. So all the other boys who seemed to have gone through the absolutely ravenous progress that is puberty lusted after her like a dog after another dog's arse. I've seen the tiny handful of photos of me as a young teenager. I looked about ten years old. So quite what this girl saw in me is actually baffling. In fact if memory serves me well - and it often doesn't - I spent a shocking amount of time trying to dress in as much flannel and layers as possible, and develop as much unkempt, long hair as possible, that people might accidentally think that Eddie Vedder had shown up. At some point during that evening I ended up sat with the aforementioned girl. Who was rather forward and - right in front of everyone - figured she'd have a go at kissing me. Obviously my stellar experience behind my own shed meant I had some skills to display. Ten seconds later this girl had somehow managed to take my hand and stuff it up her shirt. Which I hadn't expected at all. The stirring, powerful rush of puberty hit me for the first time. It was mental. I handled it (the puberty - not the boob) really well. She stuck my hand up her shirt and I casually and smoothly ran all the way home. Not immediately obviously. I made some sort of excuse to get up and go outside. And then I ran all the way home. All cool and stuff.

A few months before I was fifteen I was at youth club and a friend of my sisters that I kind of fancied found out and did that thing that some people did around that age. As in she displayed no subtlety or tact of any kind and just came over and grabbed me and dragged me outside to somewhere much more private. At which point she confessed her long-held crush on me (I'm guessing it had been at least ten minutes long). and we spent half an hour or so licking each others teeth. And then - much to my surprise - she stuffed my hand up her shirt. Obviously I'd matured from my earlier and only other experience of boobs. I remember calmly telling her I had to go grab something from inside youth club. And she said okay. And then I ran all the way home.

A few months later I was subjected to that shameful experience nearly all of use have been subjected to. That being I was hanging out with a friend of mine and his girlfriend. And her friend. And I was literally convinced into being her date for the night despite the fact that if it was up to me then in no way would have I said yes. But say yes I did. A few teenage beers later I ended up in a bedroom with this girl. Now I don't want you to all cheer too loudly but I didn't run all the way home after a quick fumble. Oh no - far too cool for that. No. Instead when she stuck her hand down my trousers I ended up faking an asthma attack and needing to go hide in the bathroom for a bit. And then I ran all the way home.  

I lost my virginity four days after my fifteenth birthday. Now as an old man (almost forty - still look fifteen) I am horrified at that statistic. It's far too young. All fifteen year old boys are dangerously stupid. Not in the mean sense either. I mean naively, ignorantly stupid. I lost my virginity to another virgin. Nothing quite as brutally awkward as two virgins discovering that neither of them have any idea what they're doing. I'll always remember that night. And by "night" I obviously mean "five minutes".  And I'll always remember it because somehow the white Liverpool shirt I was wearing (frankly who could resist ill fitting polyester?) somehow ended up on the bed beneath the two of us and she bled all over it. I ended up having to put it back on and walk the nearly-two miles home from her house in it. And without a word of a lie I was genuinely stopped by an old couple on my way home who thought I'd been stabbed. I wasn't cocky enough to respond with, "actually I think you'll find I was the one whose been doing the stabbing." To really underline that night when I got in I weakly tried to explain the horrifying evidence to my mother - when she opened the front door to let me in - by telling her I'd been at a friends house cooking with beef. Yes - during a two mile walk home that was the best excuse I could come up with. And frankly I deserve a reward for not actually running all the way home for that last one.

Eighteen months, that was. From innocent, foolish youth to vile, defiled beast. From not having the slightest proclivity to have anything to do with girls - to losing my virginity. In hindsight that's horrifying. Seriously I don't like that at all. On the plus side I suppose is that no teenage boy should be held accountable for the nonsense they get up to. But you aren't allowed to judge me for running away from boobs quite as often as I did.

I totally don't that anymore, by the way.....

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