Friday, December 30, 2011


I was twenty.  She was thirty.

Ten year’s difference.  I knew it to be a big deal, but I couldn’t quite make sense of it.  I kept turning it over and over in my mind.  These days, I’d never be with anyone a full decade younger than me.   
Where did we meet people in those days?  It must have been in a chat room.  For a few years, there was no shortage of the lonely, the socially awkward, and the looking.

You didn’t really have to look.  You just started talking and things quickly made their way from there.  The Internet made physical appearance a non-issue and personality the most important factor.  We moved fast in those days, probably too fast.    

I won’t feign ignorance.  I made the trip down I-65 to Mobile knowing full well what I was to receive.  Should I speak of sexual past, several of these dalliances exist, of which I now have mixed feelings.  In those days, I would let my emotions overtake me, even when they defied reason and rationality.  Sometimes I'd have just enough money to manage.  But I’d be lying, though, if I said I wasn’t glad for the release.    

She was very openly bisexual.  Within the space of a few minutes she told me.  Prior to the trip, I nervously confessed the same to her.  Then, I was much more naïve.  Now, I can form conclusions I was simply too young and too inexperienced to have reached.  She dressed very masculine, even down to her underwear.  I found the effect appealing and rebellious, honest to a fault, as I was myself.  That these choices reflected large defining aspects like sexual orientation did not occur to me at the time.

Rather than being repulsed or perhaps even somewhat threatened by the same-sex relationships I was only beginning to develop, she was accepting.  Not just accepting, but also aroused by the very thought.

Tell me about them!  This she implored, eagerly.  I obliged, adding extra details I would not think to incorporate in my own thoughts, even in my own private recollections. 

This was…different. 

We seemed to have attracted each other based on similarities we needn’t even articulate.  A vocabulary of terminology would have been helpful, but what I felt instinctively was informative enough.  Following that, a majority of my lovers were bisexual.  For a time I quite preferred it that way.  I enjoyed not having to explain a thing or feeling worried that I would be misunderstood.    

However, in this regard, the age difference and the substantial distance brought an end to us.  Her friends were mostly uncomprehending and hostile about why she’d want someone as young as me.  Though I’d like to believe I acted more mature for my age, I also recognize that I had only recently left behind my boyhood.  She, by contrast, came across much younger than her age would suggest, which would at least partially explain my appeal. 

My recollections now mostly center on a trip we took together.  We left for a state park in the eastern Panhandle of Florida, not far from Pensacola.  After arriving, we camped close to an estuary, out on a sand bar.  The rest of the day was spent inside a tent.  There’s something about the intimacy of coitus that encourages copious, heartfelt dialogue. 

Though I may still have shame and anxiety, spending a weekend with her went a long way towards acceptance.  Here was someone who desired me as I was, someone who did not judge or jump to conclusions.  The older I get, the more I think of her.

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