My first time was like Dick Cheney’s notorious hunting mishap. While aiming at a bird, I wound up shooting a good friend in the face.
Cheryl Reynolds and I grew up playing Mr. Mouth in my den while our dads pumped iron in the basement. She was two years my senior. She had flaming red hair and freckles. I didn’t think of her sexually. I had a thing for brunettes, Alyssa Milano in particular. My cousin Tommy told me I was blowing a sure thing. He said all redheads were nymphos. I was twelve. He was seventeen. He looked like Scott Baio and drove a Lincoln. His word was gospel, but that didn’t guarantee adherence on my part. Ditto when it came to Jesus and his opinion about sexual fantasy equaling adultery. Not even Jesus could censor my fanciful porn adaptations of Who’s the Boss?
Later in the year, Cheryl became babysitter to my younger sister and me. The very first night, after putting my younger sister Lia to bed, Cheryl asked if my father subscribed to the Playboy Channel. I told her that I could only assume as much given the stack of Hustler magazines in his nightstand. Redheads must come equipped with biological porn transceivers because Cheryl marched right over to my mother’s oriental table vase and thrust her entire forearm inside. She dug out a business card from the cable company with a password printed on the back of it. She held the card to my lips and demanded I kiss it. Cousin Tommy was indeed a sexual Einstein. Not wanting to squander his wisdom, I French kissed the card, purposely wetting the tip of Cheryl’s middle finger.
Cheryl punched the code into the cable box and the image of a woman’s head bobbing between a pair of hairy man thighs appeared. After five minutes of watching this, Cheryl and I were making out on the couch. Her tongue tasted like the Kit Kat bar she’d eaten while playing Mr. Mouth with Lia. I contemplated her fondness for Mr. Mouth as we kissed. To me Mr. Mouth was a dizzying fellatio machine with dopey eyes. Had it been named Mrs. Mouth instead of mister, I might have tested the possibilities of its clammish shape in the privacy of my own closet. Perhaps Cheryl liked Mr. Mouth for this very reason. Perhaps she was divinely inspired by his insatiable jaw-action. I could only hope.
Cheryl babysat a few more times. We’d wait for Lia to hit the hay and then tune into the Playboy Channel. On her fourth night babysitting, I got to second base. Cousin Tommy started calling me Marty Barrett. I told him that he’d be calling me Wade Boggs by the end of the month. I talked a big game, but never felt all that manly after fooling around with Cheryl. It had something to do with the way she’d tuck me into bed afterwards and kiss my forehead.
Cheryl’s father had a nervous breakdown before I could slide into third. He blamed his emotional collapse on trying to keep up with my father. My father had won that year’s Mr. Massachusetts title. He had also won Best Arms, Best Back, and Best Chest. Cheryl’s father had only won Best Legs. My father could also bench press fifteen more pounds than Mr. Reynolds, which is enough weight to sink any man’s ego.
While driving home from the competition on his motorcycle, Mr. Reynolds heard Jesus speak to him. Jesus told Mr. Reynolds to stand on the seat of his Honda 650 and spread his arms as if mounted on the cross. Mr. Reynolds obeyed and wound up rear-ending a station wagon. My father tried visiting Mr. Reynolds in the hospital but he told his nurse that Mr. Massachusetts could walk his third place legs all the way to East Bum-fuck.
My father was out a best friend and babysitter, but it didn’t matter. A few months later, Black Monday hit and my parents’ bi-weekly date at El Sombrero’s became a luxury they could no longer afford. To save money, my father also canceled his subscription to the Playboy Channel. My sex life was ruined. I was back to beating off in bed with my eyes closed, imagining myself with the various brunettes of primetime television. It was a blow to my sex life, and not the kind of blow I’d been praying for.
Two years later, the economy fully recovered and our fathers buried the hatchet. Once again, my parents had enough money for enchiladas and margaritas every other Friday night. They’d come home late, blare Roy Orbison, and reenact Conan the Barbarian sex scenes on the den floor. “Only the Lonely” never sounded so overstated.
I babysat Lia for their first few dates, but then my very first school dance fell on a Friday night. My parents scheduled Cheryl to babysit Lia. I didn’t give it much thought. I was over Cheryl. I was still holding out for Italian brunettes and thus still stranded on second base. Cousin Tommy had warned me about the holy stinginess of our female kind, but I was stubborn. The son of Mr. Massachusetts, I had heavens of living up to do.
I went to the dance with aspirations of banging a triple off raven-haired Donna Mancini, but reality kicks you in the nuts more than it ever sucks your dick. Donna showed up with a guy three years our senior. He had a moustache and leather jacket. I looked like a dego Italian Kevin Arnold with one zit on my chin and two on my forehead.
When I returned home, Cheryl and Lia were on the couch watching Knight Rider. I hadn’t seen Cheryl in two years. She’d put on some weight, most noticeably in her boobs.
Knight Rider ended and Cheryl handed me a folded note with checkbox options. It read…
What would you like to do next?
- Play Mr. Mouth
- Have sex
- Prank call the Ming Dynasty