Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bottom of the Second, Part II: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

Jay and I, summer 1983.
Something shifted in me when I fell in love with Sam. My one steady, long-term boyfriend before him, Jay, had an 11-inch penis (I thought they were all that big, ha ha) and he once chased my father around a green VW Beetle wielding a billy club: those are probably the two most interesting things I can say about him. Inevitably, my relationship with Jay was doomed when I graduated high school and started Temple -- and the restraining order my mother got from the judge (maybe I will tell that story sometime) didn't help things. Plus, Jay's fatalism, depression, and deep sense of inferiority (all things I had in no short supply myself) repulsed me, and I started thinking of ways to avoid him.

A few inches of cock was really the only thing Jay could boast over Sam. It was a trade-off I could live with: Sam was dead smart, sarcastically hilarious, and remarkably self-assured for a 20-year-old. By late December 1983, when Sam and I first met, the Wild Sorority Girl I'd always wanted to be had all but replaced the Geeky Teachers' Pet I'd always been. Greek Night on Thursdays gave me the chance to drink like a fish (thank you, Doc Holliday's), make friends with popular girls, and fuck a different frat boy every week. Life had all of a sudden gotten a whole lot better.

Sam and I, early 1984.
I did curb my promiscuity when things got serious with Sam, excepting the occasional ZBT president or Italian exchange student. It was fine, though: the Warm & Fuzzies with Sam were perfectly balanced with the Hot & Steamies (at first anyway).  Smudgie-Wudgie (him) and Fudgie-Wudgie (me) were allowed to sleep in the same bed (i.e., shtup) at his house. (I remember so vividly the first time we had sex there: lying in my underwear on his twin boy-bed, I laughed until I cried, watching him run stark naked down the hallway, erection bobbing up and down in silhouette, in search of a rubber in his father's drawer.) His educated, liberal parents even took me in when my crazy mother banished me from the house one snowy night after finding a condom in Sam's jacket while snooping. Here's how nutty this was, in perspective: I was almost 19, an exceptional college student, and seriously involved with someone every good Jewish mother worth her weight in roast-beef brisket wants her daughter to "catch," but, as my therapist sister says, she couldn't bear the thought of me "individuating" and leaving her alone with her cigarettes, her anxiety disorders, and my father.

(Wait a minute. How did this become about Sophie? I didn't invite her to the party. But wasn't that always a problem for her, really? She perceived my dating and sexual coming-of-age as a betrayal, an abandonment -- and I haven't yet decided whether her sabotage of my early adult relationships was intentional or not. As slutty and horny as I always was, she was just as asexual and frigid: when I was little, she used to call for me to "rescue" her when my father tried to kiss or hold her; for forever, she slept on a couch in the basement, two floors removed from my father [who was no sexual dynamo either, trust me]; and when I was 16, she had a meltdown after catching me in the indecent act of shaving my legs and forbade me from leaving the house that night. A couple of years before, we had been watching baseball and playing catch, but my normal progression toward womanhood stirred some desperate dysfunction in Sophie, and my life was a living hell for the next four years or so.)