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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weird Memories of Guys

When I was fourteen, I remember one day, comparing the "Venus" to the "David" (yes, this is figurative). I was perusing pictures of naked forms of both genders. I was trying to understand how some friends of mine could possibly find beauty in or be attracted to the male form. I didn't get it. To me, everything about the female body was beautiful, and everything about the male form was frightening. I didn't realize that my feelings were based in fear at the time. I just labeled the male body "ugly" and left it at that. I remember confiding my feelings to my best friend, C. Being male, he wasn't particularly complimented at my assessment of his attributes, but he was also my best friend, so he said, "Maybe when you're older, and not surrounded by guys whose voices are still changing, you'll change your mind." The fact that I was homosexual was not even approached. Many young women have feelings of insecurity about the male form--it's not something we see often when growing up. But two years later, one of the David's in my life made his appearance at school, all grown up, well-developed, and incredibly beautiful. He gave me many opportunities to watch him because he was trying to date me. Our dates often included swimming (we both loved swim), so I saw much of him. I realized there was something to admire in the male form--which doesn't mean I wanted to get close to it. Aesthetic pleasure is not akin to physical attraction--at least, not to me.

About two weeks after dating David, I pulled out my pictures once again. No, the female form was still highly superior. So, two-dimensionally, I could see nothing of beauty in a man. But when I was with David, the three-dimensional specimen was amazing. I could watch him for hours. But he was gorgeous enough that I don't think anyone, regardless of gender, could resist watching him. One time I asked him if it bothered him that I stared at him openly when we were together. He said, "In case you didn't notice, I do it, too." I totally missed his point, and emphasized it when I said, "Don't you think that's a little conceited?" He laughed (I loved to watch him laugh) at me and said, "I meant, I keep staring at YOU!" We were sitting in the sun on the edge of the swimming pool, our legs dangling in the water. Because we had very little clothing on, because I was staring, I noticed his beautiful body could change at a moment's notice. I suddenly got very cold, very afraid. I said, "We should probably go." David looked me up and down and said, "Okay."

I often wonder how I can appreciate the male form, understand how my other friends are drawn to it, and yet, not experience those sensations myself. I've told Darrin about my relationship with that previous, amazingly gorgeous David. He says I'm very lucky. He believes most teen guys wouldn't have been content with talk, and would have tried to force something physical. Interestingly, David was the one person (male) who could touch me without causing me to feel repulsed to the point of physical illness. He was gentle with me--always. I think he knew, somehow, I was all broken up inside. I think on some level he understood I'd been deeply hurt. I also believe he was the first young man (other than best friend, C.) who really loved me. Maybe I loved him, too, I don't know. In retrospect, I love him now. I love that he allowed me to explore male-female relationships with him, without ever asking anything of me. I love that he let me look at him without embarrassment or shame. I loved that he held me, but never tried to kiss me, or touch me inappropriately.

I talked about David with C., because he brought up our "beauty in gender" discussion one day. I told C. that I thought David was gorgeous and I could look at him all day. C. said that I needed to be careful. He told me that he was watching the way David looked at me, and if I wasn't careful, things could get out of control. I teased my friend, "Are you jealous???" "A little," C. admitted, "We never get to hang out anymore. And even though you like to be with David, you don't seem like you're really into him." I told him I didn't think I could ever "get into" any guy--that just wasn't me. C. asked if I'd kissed David. I told him, no, and I probably wouldn't. I only made out with guys I planned to dump. C. said, "You're so weird." I told him to shut up or I'd have to make out with him--then we both grossed out and started laughing.

C. and I were both members of the drama club--and we weren't bad, either. C. was always better at acting than I was. I used to accuse him of overacting, but that was just jealousy. The two of us were always being cast in the "romantic" roles, as a pair. I'm not sure why. Maybe, because we'd known each other so long, we were able to anticipate the other's responses so well that we created some chemistry on stage. Regardless, we always had to kiss in whatever play we were in. The first time was when we were in tenth grade. We were rehearsing after school, and were at the kissing scene. Everytime C. moved in to kiss me, I started giggling. Our drama coach became exasperated and said, "Go to the music room and practice kissing!!"

We giggled our way to the music room and sat down on the risers. C. said, "Well, shall we try?" I told him then, how scary it was to kiss guys, and how much I hated it. I also told him about my cousin. C. put his arm around me and I leaned against my best friend. We just sat together, saying nothing. It felt very peaceful to be with someone who had always been my friend. Then C. said, "We kind of have to kiss, even if you don't like it." "Yeah, I know," I answered. So we decided to try it, and I promised not to laugh. So we tried.

It wasn't horrible, but I don't think either one of us liked it. C. said, "I think kissing my sister would be easier." I told him, "You don't have a sister." "That's the point," he answered. I didn't get it--I still don't get it. We tried to kiss again. We decided to get our drama coach's camera and video tape ourselves. So we did--then watched and critiqued the clip--then taped again--and again--and again. After about 45 minutes we considered that we were not only beautiful kissers, but that ANYONE would want to watch us kissing. Then we watched all the clips from beginning to end, and congratulated each other on our vast improvement.

Before we left the music room, C. said, "Hey Sam, I'm sorry you were hurt when you were a kid." And then he gave me a hug and kissed me three times--once on the forehead, once on the cheek, and one more real kiss on my mouth. It wasn't romantic--it wasn't intended to be. But it wasn't gross or disgusting, either. It was just C., letting me know that he was my friend, and that he loved me. He hugged me for awhile, and that's how our drama coach found us. He said, "You're supposed to be practicing the kiss--you've had the hugging down for awhile." C. told him we'd been practicing and we had video to prove it. Our drama coach was so proud.


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