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2002-08-01 - 1:38 p.m.

So, a fair amount's been going on in my life. I don't feel comfortable talking about any of it here. But I will tell you that in addition to my weekly kickball game, my weekly book club meeting, my weekly Paramount movie, and my weekly Barton Springs outing, I am now in a writing group (which may or may not meet weekly). So from time to time, if I like what I've written for my writing group, I'll go ahead and post it up here.

Writing Assignment: Write about your first date.

We were in the high school band together. He was a senior, and played the trombone, and I was a junior, a clarinet player. He followed me out of the band room, and stopped me in the hallway, on my way out to the bus. He asked what I was doing that night; I was never doing much of anything, really, and stammered out an answer. He asked me to a movie. I said yes.

He picked me up in his car, a brown Toyota Corolla. We didnít talk the entire ride there, although I might have made some comment about the weather. It was raining, or maybe it had rained. I remember that the ground was wet, and there was a line for the movie theater. A rainy Friday night in the suburbs Ė it was either that or go to the mall. I remember running into Eric, the star trumpet player, and Dana, the drum major, while in line. I remember the look of shock on Danaís face when she saw us there together Ė we were so obviously on a first date. The theater was crowded, and I remember being overly conscious of Bobís body next to mine, our legs carefully not touching. I wondered if he would try to hold my hand. He didnít. Afterwards, we got ice cream. That was the other thing you did in the suburbs on Friday nights. I think we started talking then Ė surely I would remember sitting in silence the entire time it would take to eat an ice cream cone.

Those are the things I remember, but there is more that I donít want to remember. I donít want to remember how quiet and shy I was back then. I donít want to remember how flattered I was when Bob asked me out, and that we dated for eight months, even though we had fairly little in common. I donít want to remember that he really wanted to date Cathy (another clarinet player, but also in the color guard), she of the blond hair and smooth skin and big brown eyes. I donít want to remember that he thought that Cathy was pretty, but that I was merely cute; I know that because he told me so. For years afterwards, I never let anyone call me cute. I donít want to remember all the nights that I snuck him into my bedroom that summer, after he got off work at Dairy Queen and I got off work at Baskin Robbins, and we would make out for hours on my bed. I donít want to remember how inexperienced I felt and how I was scared to touch his penis, because I just didnít know what to do. He would take one finger and push it up inside of me, in and out and in and out, for hours, it felt like. I donít want to remember that there was really nothing pleasurable about those experiences at all. I donít want to remember that a few months after he went off to college, the letters became more and more infrequent, until I broke up with him, simply because I didnít know what else to do.

I want to find that girl, and I want to tell her things, to tell her to stand up for herself, to tell her that she is pretty, to tell her never ever to date boys who go by the name ďBob,Ē when they could just as easily go by ďRobĒ or ďRobertĒ (and while Iím at it, I should tell my 23-year old self to never ever date boys that drive Ford Festivas). I want to tell her to have some confidence in herself, and that things will get better, and that someday she will have friends and lovers and she will run marathons.

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