hindsight is 20/20

Another post prompted by the pancake: How much sex would you un-do?

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How does that old saying about hindsight being 20/20 apply to your love life? How many of your sexual experiences would you take back if you could? Maybe if you could change the number of people you’ve kissed, or slept with, or given your heart? Mine is four, mostly because, as it turns out, there was nothing special or memorable or interesting about the moments.  @NoMattJames

I was a floundering 7th grader and his name was Matt. His dad and my mom were acquaintances, and he was over working on a project in my driveway for his dad. Matt was not exactly in my crowd of friends, but it’s not exactly like he wasn’t either. I knew who he was and I think he knew who I was. He listened to metal, wore a lot of black concert t shirts, drank a lot of Old Milwaukee for a guy his age (not 21, and his bedroom walls were lined from floor to ceiling with cases of consumed evidence). He had a kind smile and a deep voice. I was a somewhat troubled but mostly good kid. I dabbled in naughty but mostly was nice—naive but nice.

It must have been a record high that day, it was at least 100 degrees outside. There he was, busting up blacktop and sweating, he looked like he needed a drink. My first offer would be lemonade. “Want one?” I offer him a glass from the pitcher. “That’d be great, thanks.” While he drank the whole glass back I conjured up my second offer. I wasn’t much of a slick talker then, just as I’m not now. I blurted out something like “sooo … maybe we could watch a movie together or something later, when you are done working? The air conditioning and dark room might feel nice after a day like today?” Setting the glass down on the brick retaining wall he replied something cool like “yeah, sure.”

The day finished and he knocked on the front door. I answered, in the same outfit so as to not look like I was trying too hard, but with a fresh coat of aqua net and lip goo. He said he had my home number and he’d call later when he’d showered and taken a nap. “Cool, alright” was all I was able to get out, and he was gone. He called later, asking if we could just watch something at his place. He was tired but really wanted to see me (really? me?). I agreed and got my mom to drive me over. She said to me just as I was exiting the car to call if I needed anything, anything at all, she’d come right back, no questions asked.

Matt’s bedroom was in the basement, decorated with christmas lights, beer paraphernalia, blacklights and posters that glowed under their blue light. He had just put on Led Zeppelin IV, on vinyl, and offered to watch some obscure movie I can’t even recall what it was. I felt awkward but wanted to be cool. He offered me a marlboro red, and though I smoked lights, I took it, and hotboxed the whole thing because I was so nervous. We laid on his waterbed and well, you know where this goes. This, was my first time. It was painful, filled with cliches and moments I will both always remember and try to forget.

I have had a lot of sex in my life. Perhaps it is the ultimate cliche, but the only one I would un-do is this one, the first time. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wonder if mom’s words dropping me off that hot summer night were warning me. You really never can un-do the first time now can you?