Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Randomly Numbered Thing #12

12. I didn’t lose my virginity. I flung it away deliberately. I was curious and I got tired of it being such an issue. At 15, I met an actor and artist – an older man of 23 - and I feel in love with the romantic idea of the Suffering Artist. (The reality, I have since imagined, was probably pretty stupid or mundane.) One night, I was at his downtown Toronto apartment and deliberately missed my last bus home. He was doing his best to leave the jail-bait alone and planned to have me sleep safely on the couch. While he was getting blankets, I stripped to my underwear and stood by the window waiting for him to come back. I’m sure you can all imagine the limits of self-control possessed by a 23 year old man.

My reaction to the big event was: A. I can’t believe I’m doing this! and B. This is it? This is the big deal?

Since then, I have experienced sex as a much bigger and better deal. (For those of you who might be concerned.)

Footnote. I had an older girlfriend, who, “in my own interest,” snitched to my parents. My evil step-mother of the time sent me straight to the doctor to be tested for VD and my father, half-heartedly (I figure Evil Stepmother put him up to it) threatened to sue the guy for statutory rape. I assured my father I’d jump off the highest building I could find if he pursued that course.

And after that, I got sneakier and didn’t tell. Oh. And the VD test added about thirty layers of guilt I had to battle through for years. Not that it stopped me.

Randomly numbered Thing About Me #31

With thanks and apologies to Marigoldie, whose reward for inspiring me is out and out theft of intellectual property.

31. My earliest experience with religion was a one room Baptist church heated in winter by a wood burning stove. It was the only church for miles around our country neighborhood, so my mother, fearing that I’d grow up heathenish, sent me to Sunday School there. We sang hymns like Onward Christian soldiers and
The B-i-b-l-e, Yes That’s the Book for Me. The minister used to say that Jesus was with us in the room, but no matter how I squinted my eyes, I couldn’t see him.

I remember most of the bible stories I was taught. And can still clearly recall my Sunday School teacher turning the pages in a book of blank, colored, felt squares. Red is for the blood of Jesus. White is for Goodness. Black is for our sin.

I liked Sunday School. It was something different to do. One Sunday, my mother forgot (that’s how I saw it) to send me. I was about four and didn’t keep track of what day of the week it was. I was wandering the neighborhood and noticed that Sunday School was in progress. As usual, I was dressed in battered overalls and the sensible lace up shoes my mother forced me into so my feet would grow up perfectly. It didn’t occur to me to worry that I wasn’t in a little dress with my hair brush-bashed into temporary neatness. Sunday School was on and I went.

I remember my mother’s horror of what the neighbors must think – her child showing up in old play clothes with uncombed hair.

Later my parents went to meetings with other people and sat on stacking chairs while they fund-raised for a United Church. I taught Sunday School there and sang in the choir. The United Church didn’t have such good picnics and there was less potato salad involved in social gatherings.

Although the story of Jesus was inspiring, I always related more to Greek myths which I consumed with great appetite at about age 10 or 11. The Gods were just as cranky and unpredictable (how about that pillar of salt thing, for cranky, folks?) but they weren’t…well…quite as good. Quite as impossible to live up to. And they had more fun.

It was then I became Greek.

Just kidding.