Tag Archives: Middle School

The First-And-A-Half Baseman

I’ve made some difficult choices in my life. I’m sure we all have. But I’ve stood by my choices, and believed in my convictions, believed they’ve shaped into the man I am today. You can judge me all you want, but I know that in the end, I made the right decisions. I lived my life the right way. The only right way. And I think it’s important to put these down, and stand up as the voice for all the young men who were faced with the same decisions I was. These young men need someone to tell them, “Yes, it’s okay. It’s important.

“It’s the only way.”

Some people choose to wait, while others leap headfirst into it. But no man should regret his determination to experience, to explore his life. I truly believe that every man should experience the all-consuming thrill, the tremors and nerves of inappropriately trying to cop out at the wrong — no, at the right time. No one should live a life devoid of fumbling fingertips nervously tracing the babysoft curves of her belly, the tentative indecision that rifles through your nerves as your hand creeps up the bottom of her shirt — or wait, but maybe —  no, I shouldn’t — okay yeah I’m doing it — wait does she want — yeah yeah okay I should definitely go for it. The way that hesitant hand hums along her underdeveloped hips, and that momentary albeit momentous devastation which is immediately followed by elated titillation when she starts to swat your grabby little appendage away but suddenly changes gear and lets it happen. And you breathe a sigh of comfort as you realize that she’s just as sheepish and scared as you are. But now the decision has been made together. The threshold has been crossed, and there’s no turning back.

So you slide your sneaky palm up across her ribs, groping for her vibrant mounds, a fleshy, fatty feast for your fingers — and then you feel the padded lace and sturdy underwire of her brassiere, which I mean, kind of counts, right? And your sweating, shaking digits search sensuously for the clasp around the backside, discovering instead some complicated conundrum, a well-guarded barrier for which you hold no key. But that’s not enough to defeat you, and so you slowly pull your hands back around the front and press against the padding of her undergarment, filling yourself with a false confidence that this is indeed the Holy Grail of manhood, this guarded bossom, and you caress them with uncertainty but still with dedication. You latch onto bra like a handhold on a rock wall and squeeze as if lifting yourself up, climbing towards the greatest heights of adolescent ecstasy, using your vast upper arm strength to push yourself higher than any man has ever know before you, besides that kid in your gym class who says he lost his V-Card in a threesome with three pornstars.

Soon enough you will realize that the harder you squeeze, the closer you will get to heaven.

This is basically just my response to this asshole.

London Calling – The Clash

The bike ride back from the record store in the summer of 1998 was quite possibly one of the most invigorating and influential of my life. Middle school was full of musical discovery in the form of the “Compilation” section of Music Box, your typical privately owned record store with the bare minimum of obscure selections. On this fateful day in July, I would slip a CD into my well used and slightly damaged Discman, throw on my backpack and jump on my bike. The CD spooled up and my headphones filled with a strummed bass line followed by the booming reverb of the drums. The song skipped, stuttered and exploded into a fast paced ballad about an aging Punk-Rock band longing for the days of basement shows, friends, cheap meals and beds disguised as hard-wood floors. I was 14 and knew I could experience what they longed to re-live, and with that knowledge I rode my bike home, sat down at my father’s drum set and began my suburban punk-rock adventure.

This music was new and fresh to me, a surefire way to rebel against my parents by using a weapon they couldn’t understand. This music was fast, equally serious and satirical while toeing the line between harmony and hollering. I had spent years previously listening to music my father had played with his band, listened to in his car and in the house on his stereo. This new music was obscure, something I would have to painstakingly explain to my father, something he might never understand…so I thought.

Summer passed and 8th grade started. I came home after a long after school bike ride spent loitering downtown searching for benches to grind and friends who might have a better idea on how to occupy idle time. I walked in to the familiar sight of my father sitting on the couch in his postal uniform after a long day at work. In a bag next to his foot rested two records against the leg of the coffee table. Through the thin plastic I could see the familiar image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar in front of a stack of amplifiers. My father proceeded to pull out both records. One was London Calling by The Clash and the other was Elvis Presley’s first LP. Both layouts were exactly the same, pink and green letters lining the left and bottom of the frame with an image of the artist in the center. My father used this to explain the term “influence” Basically, music is just a fast paced evolution which is influenced heavily, if not entirely on ideas which have already been previously conceived. I still spent my high school years heavily into Punk and Hardcore, but my father made sure I knew there were only two kinds of music, good music and bad music.

Alternately, here is a little fun fact. One of my father’s favorite musicians was the drummer for The Clash. He also thought “Topper Headon” was a badass name.