Although the concept of intercourse interested me, it also scared me a little. I knew I wasn’t ready for it, but I also knew I was dying to be close to boys so I could kiss them and be held by them. After the affair with Walter, there was a drought. I had crushes on older boys who barely noticed me, boys my own age were largely pigs, and puberty had now brought me to the teetering edge of full-blown adolescence, where each day was a new and deeper pit of hellish self-consciousness, self-loathing and almost untenable horniness.
Seventh grade was virtually bereft of boys. Instead, I focused most of my energy on my friendship with my classmate Diana who, two years later, would tell me that she was bisexual. But at this point, we were just platonic besties who critically reviewed all the boys and male teachers at school. We did not give them high marks. We preferred each other’s company.
I lusted after a male Social Science teacher, literally obsessed with his bulging pants and overwhelmed with curiosity about what a penis look liked. I also became involved in a profoundly romantic but chaste relationship with a female Biology teacher, who I’ll call Bliss. With every passing week, Bliss and I grew closer: she was very (preachy) Catholic, but also very kind. She took me for ice cream sodas; she drove me home in her flashy new Dodge Charger (it was red, of course); and she wrote me long, perfumed letters in a very neat hand-writing on expensive paper, and passed them to me secretively at the beginning of class.
I can’t recall what we wrote about – me in my painful scrawl, scribbling furiously to her, likely pretending my life was more tragic than it was, and she writing back each day, addressing me as “Little One,” and encouraging me to see the beauty in life and to rely on her for strength. Bliss told me stories about her boyfriend and how, as good Catholics, they never consummated. I found it weird when she’d describe how riled up they’d get only to back away just when they craved each other the most but was still flattered that she confided the details of her sex life.
Despite our obvious differences in age and beliefs, I thought Bliss was the best friend I’d ever found. Still, I was a little timid when she invited me to visit her home over a school Easter break. I had never visited an adult’s house alone, so I dragged Diana along, and off we went one bleak April day to meet with my teacher.
I was surprised when Bliss opened the door. Although I’d arranged a time and day with her by phone, it looked as if she wasn’t expecting anyone. She was still dressed in her pajamas – rather revealing ones, in fact. She was not a terribly attractive woman, and had thick mannish legs usually hidden by her school-marmish attire. Now she wore a frilly pink babydoll nightie with disturbingly short matching pink bottoms that displayed her legs to spectacularly poor advantage. It’s what I remember most: her mannish legs sticking out of those ridiculously frilled panties.
When she saw Diana behind me, she turned and walked away, almost surly, then thrust a half-eaten box of chocolates at us and sat down on a couch. She said almost nothing; we said less. Within a short while, I jumped up and we excused ourselves.
I don’t know what my biology teacher had in mind. Perhaps she hoped to seduce me until she saw my fresh-faced friend behind me. Perhaps she just went on a drunk the night before and forgot all about our appointment. Whatever the case, I knew I’d just narrowly escaped something really sordid. I was vastly relieved to get the hell out of there.
I was never naïve about sex. Diana had no clue what had just happened and never asked about it again. I did know and I never wanted to talk about it again. It was a great disappointment to me, but mainly taught me that all adults were corrupt, even or perhaps especially the ones who pretended to be saints.