Protect Me From Myself

October 3rd, 2007
A friend brought me this amulet from Beirut and I need to dig it out and wear it until I come to my senses. I can always tell that I’m running away from something about myself or my life when I start fantasizing about my high school boyfriend. It’s an idiotic spell I’ve never been able to break completely, but when a boy teaches you to have an orgasm when you’re 14 and he’s 17, he’s going to have a hold on your psychic erotic imagination like Gorilla Glue. Especially when you’re a virgin and you meet on your first day of high school and you spend the next year parking and groping on every gravel road in the county after the Friday night football game where he throws the winning pass or whatever. And you get out of the car after a night of “Splendor in the Grass” almost-sex with your lips swollen and blood-flushed with that pent-up libido look that grown women pay to have injected in their lips long after it no longer fits. Throughout the years, we’ve hooked up and drifted apart, gone decades without a word, and eventually found each other again through relatives or mutual friends. The first phone calls are always like coming home, but it quickly ends in tears or mutual disappointment or a big shrug as we go on with our real lives. And it will never end any other way because we’re always just trying to find our way back to the first day we saw each other, to that tearing open of our virgin hearts that could only come once in that exact way, that wasn’t meant to deal with past-due bills, homework, ambition, colonoscopies, or morning breath. Because it was perfect just the way it was, when it was.