New Work

my closest friend who was a girl

when i was in seventh grade i had this friend named paisley. he was probably my best friend at the time. he taught me about a lot of things, like about women and masturbation; he was very open and honest w/me—more than anyone else had been. i’m guessing he had lost his virginity by ninth grade—although i wudnt know, as i had never seen him again after eighth grade. he loved masturbation, and he loved women, and they seemed to luv him in return, altho i dont know why since he was a total nerd. he had peach fuzz, wore glasses, and was very awkward. his skin was pale, like he’d never been in the sun, and his hair was short and blond. he had the makings of a mustache, as in a series of stray hair hanging over his upper lip. he was weird, for sure. i had not masturbated myself yet; my first time masturbating was in eighth grade. so i was very intrigued by his inside knowledge on the subject. he was obsessed w/women and masturbation; that was all he talked about when we were alone. his parents were divorced, so he pretty much got everything he wanted. on his birthday in eighth grade a bunch of us slept over w/him at his dad’s place and over night we were loud and we stayed up all night and played truth or dare. we slept in the living room and his dad never came out to tell us to shut the fuck up cuz we were keeping him up all night. there was no sign of his dad At All. at other sleep-over parties the parents wud always come out of their rooms and scold us if we made too much noise past a certain time, although we always did, and we were always yelled at. but not at paisley’s dad’s house. he just let us be : : : boys will be boys, i suppose. the following day his dad took us to an indoor paintball ring and it was my first time playing paintball; and it was so much fun. at his mom’s house he had this really expensive video game system that he played on this huge wide-screen t.v. he had every game you cud think of. he liked final fantasy 4 the best out of all of them. i thought his parents were the best. his mom lived a 20-minute walk from the house i grew up in, and when my parents and i were fighting i’d take off to his mom’s house, whether he was there or at his dad’s; either way i’d go to his mom’s and she was so nice to me. of course she’d always phone my own mom to let her know where i was; it was the right thing to do, i suppose.
sometimes i’d sleep over at his house and we’d go out after his mom or dad went to sleep and wander the streets till we cudnt wander anymore. i’m sure they knew about this but never made a move to stop us.

one night this friend of his who was a girl invited him to a party at her house, and he wanted me to come w/. the parents were still home so it wasnt one of those kinds of parties. at the party it was all girls—we were all in seventh grade—and then there was me and paisley. the girls just loved him—they flocked to him and i felt so left out, like i didnt belong. i wasnt very good w/women then. he took off his glasses and pretended he cudnt see and the girl really loved that. he flailed his arms and tried to feel the girls up in his loss of vision, and they all giggled and flirted w/him, and i just felt so alone. paisley was my friend and he invited me to this party and no one even noticed me or cared about me and i just felt so frikken lonely. that night my parents agreed to let me stay at paisley’s house since my mom and his mom were on good terms; but little did they know, we never went back to paisley’s house, we stayed out all night long and wandered. we were only in seventh grade. i remember sitting w/him that night and he was saying he wish he cud have parties like that regularly. like once a week he’d have a different party at his place. all his friends wud be invited. not just boys. boys and girls. i agreed that that wud be cool, but i didnt believe he cud ever pull something like that off. my parents wud never allow me to do anything like that, not at that age, at least. but to my surprise, he managed to get his mom onboard and the following friday a group of us went w/him over to his mom’s and we put on some music and hung out. there was a small group of us then, but as he continued to throw these parties each and every friday night after school, the attendees grew and grew till soon there were these big fiestas going on at his house; and his mom was o.k. w/it too, she knew the parties were going on—she was even home when they happened. i got my first handjob at one of these parties, from a girl named ginger. at first these parties were pretty innocent but as we got away w/more and more stuff—sexual experimentation, i mean—the more and more stuff we did and eventually, over time, these parties turned into these big teenage orgies. there wasnt much penetration tho, but we’d all sit around and make out, get undressed, feel each other up and whatnot : : : from boobs, to penises, to butts and vaginas. we experimented. we were all at the heights of puberty, altho i didnt start going thru puberty till much later than my peers, as i was a late-bloomer in that regard. and to think, his mom was home when all this happened. i got the handjob in the living room (the girl who gave me the handjob said she’d give me a blowjob if only i had a condom), and it stopped when his mom walked in on us. but she knew what was going on. even tho she seemed to be taking a blind’s eye, she herself was not blind. and she was smart too. she was some big-league lawyer, if i remember correctly.

anyway, there was this thin geeky spanish girl who went to the parties, her name was huela. she and i became friends and we started to hang out a lot. one day she asked if she cud be my girlfriend. i said sure, why not? we were really close and i wanted to know what it was like to have a girlfriend. some nights we’d walk all night long and talk. we’d sit in fields late at nights and look up at the stars and constellations. lie on the wet grass and laugh as our clothes got stained green. she was really weird. surely awkward like me. she brought me to her house becuz she was babysitting her younger sister and she put porn on the t.v. she was grossed out by it, but still liked to watch it, and altho i was intrigued, i still felt weird watching it in front of her little sister. it was weird, wasnt it? she was a weird girl.
i remember one night it was just the two of us and she told me she had this rape fantasy; she wanted me to chase her thru the safe suburban streets while she screamed that she was being raped, and it was probly well after midnight when this happened. i ran after her and she screamed and then i tackled her to the ground in this field like she wanted, and i mounted her, and across the way i heard some grunts and some heavy thuds and some more grunts thunks & thuds, and i dismounted her and we headed in that direction. two of these older boys in our school wore these huge boxing gloves and they were beating the crap out of each other atop this long, narrow grassy hill that branched off of the field where we previously lay. one of these eighth graders i wud hang out w/a few times when i was in ninth grade and he was in tenth, altho he was kind of an asshole to me. in seventh grade i was slightly afraid of him; i was afraid of both of them—they were both major assholes in our school. i reached the peak of the hill and huela hung back a bit and i asked what they were doing. tonight they were very cordial to me for some reason : : : maybe becuz it was just the two of them and they felt no need to show off at the moment. they told me they were boxing. i said: Oh. i knew they were boxing; it was kind of obvious///but why? that was the real question. i said: Why? We’re just bored, one of the kids said. in the distance i caught sight of a tall, gawky silhouette coming toward us and as he materialized under the moonlight i saw he was big and he looked mean and angry and i also knew him from school. the two who were boxing caught my glare then followed it down the hill and thru the blackness of the field and then returned their focus to me and huela and suddenly they looked pissed. the kid coming out of the darkness was the meanest of them all; he was their leader, these were his lackys. he approached us and told us to get lost or he’d kick our asses. the two kids w/the boxing gloves laughed and agreed w/him and laughed some more. we whirled and hurried down the hill and out of the park.
that, and the watching porn w/her and her younger sister, were the only things i can remember about our friendship. they are the only two things that stand out in my mind. we didnt stay boyfriend and girlfriend for very long, and soon we went our separate ways by eighth grade, altho sometimes we’d see each other in the hall and she’d just stare at me sadly and admonishingly, but something remorseful lingered there too, like she wanted to stay w/me as long as she cud, but a few weeks was the longest i cud stay w/her, and i think i meant much more to her than she ever meant to me, and she was sad and broken-hearted and for the next year we’d pass each other in the halls of our school and bow our heads and not speak, but their was something meaningful and unsaid that passed between us in those seldom moments, like the feeling you get when you experience luv for the first time in your life, and you know it will never get any better than that\\\
but it does. it always gets better.


eventually paisley’s parties faded out and we went on to high school and started hanging out with different crowds and i’d never see him again.