Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mario... and not the one you think.

I would have to think that quite a few people's first sexual experiences happened in front of some form of media, such as television, which is exactly where mine took place. I would have to say that my experience was a bit more unorthodox though.

My family moved from Deerfield to Cambridge, Wisconsin in the summer of 1987. These two towns are no more than 5 or 10 miles from each other and as a result of that, they are school rivals.

When we moved from one school district to the next, people tried to tell us that there were large differences between the two towns. Most people in Deerfield said that people in Cambridge were snobs, while the people in Cambridge thought that the people in Deerfield were rednecks.

Of course both groups of people were wrong. In actuality, the difference between the two cities is like the difference between saying "Fuck you" or "Eat Shit" to finish an argument with someone. Sure, they're both crass and offensive, but one of them is the clear winner to finish an argument. Looking back, Cambridge was "Fuck you."

After moving there, I made a few friends that lived near the farm house that we were renting and after my 8th grade year we would camp out in our yards like young kids do.

One of those evenings, we started to have a discussion about masturbation. Don't ask me how the topic was brought up. Before that evening I hadn't ever even thought about masturbation. I was 13 years old and video games were much more important to me. (Please, no joystick jokes.)

Somehow or another the following subject came up, which is worse, Masturbation or being a homosexual? I can tell you one thing, I didn't think up that particular question. I sat back and listened to two of my friends talk about this subject as if they were knowledgeable beyond their years and this was their conclusion, "Masturbation was a good thing and being gay was unbelievably wrong." I guess that's not a shocking conclusion from two 13 year old boys living in rural Wisconsin.

I sat on the sidelines of that discussion mainly because all of this talk of masturbation intrigued me. What was the big deal? I'd gotten this far in my life without any sort of outlet like that and was doing just fine.

The next day was a Sunday and my friends were picked up early in the day by their parents and went home. For some reason that I can't recall, my family left me home alone that day. So there I was, a young boy left at home by himself, no more than 12 hours removed from gaining his first bits of knowledge of his adolescent sexuality. In all honestly, it was probably the best day to be left home alone.

I sat down in my living room, turned on the TV, and began to think about the discussion from the previous evening. I tried to distract myself from those thoughts by flipping through the channels, but seeing as how it was a Sunday afternoon, my television options were pretty limited. As we were living in the country and did not have cable, I settled in to watch an Indy Car race that was running on the local ABC affiliate. I think it was the Toronto Grand Prix. What could be manlier than a young man sitting down to watch a car race? What with all the talk of engines and camshafts and gears and such, I was going to be distracted for sure.

I tried to pay attention to the race, but my mind began to wander and before I knew it thoughts were led elsewhere.

I like to look back at my life and even though my long term memory is pretty poor, I think that I have a decent ability to remember some of the more important moments. Although it sounds melodramatic, when I look back at that weekend, I can see that that was where I began to lose the innocence of youth.

When it comes to their sexuality, some people will regale you with stories of their first sexual experiences as if they were some sort of warrior taming a wild beast. Then there are people like me who found themselves as a quiet and scared young man, sitting in a living room watching cars go around in a circle.