There's no "I" in Threesome

Summer can make a teenager do strange things. After nine months of enduring a 6:30 A.M. wakeup call and spending seven hours inside a classroom five days a week, they’re let loose like caged animals right when the weather’s warm and everything is drenched in an ungodly amount of sun. When you’re in high school, you understand that everything happens in the summertime. Fall, winter, spring; your life had really been put on pause and can now resume its natural course for three blissful months.

With that kind of logic, I guess it’s easy to understand why I spent the summer before going off to college the way that I did. I felt like I was living in purgatory, like nothing I did would ever matter because I was going to be gone for the next four years, if not forever, come fall. For many of my friends, the restlessness translated into a lot of nights getting fake drunk and holding down some menial job. But for me and my best friend, Beth, it manifested into an unlikely summer romance with the same boy. In hindsight, it was sort of like The Dreamers without the menstrual blood and incest.

You might wonder how my best girlfriend and I were able to date the same boy for an entire summer. Your faces are probably scrunching up in confusion right now and thinking, “That must’ve been really weird. Especially because your best friend was a chick. And he was a dude. And you’re a dude.” While in theory it might’ve been a strange decision, it turned out to be anything but in practice (at least for awhile). The arrangement wasn’t as scandalous as one might be thinking though. I mean, the three of us never actually slept together {Ew! Beth was my best friend and my sexuality was not flexible). It worked more like this: Beth and our boy, Evan, would have a date in which they would go to the movies and make out. Afterwards, he would tell her really cute and sweet things, and even send her a poem on Myspace when he got home. The next day, Evan would then come over to my house to smoke pot, listen to weird French music, make out and give each other blowjobs.

I knew that I liked Evan and that he liked me, but we also both knew it was more of a sexual novelty thing for us than anything else. He was like that weird cute hippie kid who went to your high school and was surprisingly really smart. He always smelled like patchouli, which oddly brought me comfort more than annoyance, and he was so adorably socially-awkward and not in the manufactured Michael Cera way. Evan was a for real social retard without the cool Moldy Peaches soundtrack.

Beth and I talked a lot about our shared relationship that summer. We agreed that we both got a thrill from hooking up with the same guy mostly because it made us feel like sexually evolved adults who could handle anything. When Evan would leave my house after a hook-up, I would call her and giggle, “Guess what happened!” and she’d come over to talk about it ad nauseam. For us, it really put the “fun” in the dysfunctional and bonded us together in this special way.

Looking back though, I can’t help but feel like I was merely an appetizer for the main course that was Beth and Evan’s relationship. Sure, Evan and I had some tender moments together. Sometimes we would drive up to the mountains together on really hot days and have these really good talks about stuff I can no longer remember, but I recall them making me feel warm and like Evan understood me in some important way. This one time, we gave each other back massages when we were stoned and, for some reason, it also felt really intimate. In retrospect, these moments seem to represent a closeness between Evan and I that may’ve never actually existed. Because even though we got along great, Evan was really falling in love with Beth, which was fine with me. I was happy to see a boy fall in love with my best friend. What they had was clearly more special than what I had with him anyway.

There was just one little problem. Evan couldn’t get it up for her. He could get it up for me, but not for her. This makes all signs point to “gay”, right? I mean, it certainly didn’t help. To make matters worse, Evan blamed his inability to maintain an erection on a case of testicular cancer, which we later discovered to be completely untrue. Evan’s balls were perfectly healthy. They just might’ve not been into chicks.

This is when things started to get messy. This is when Beth and I realized we were merely kids playing dress up in someone else’s sexually liberated clothing. This is when the summer turned into a major bummer. Even though Beth tried to love Evan back, she couldn’t get over the fact that his dick didn’t work. Who could blame her? Having a dick react positively to the sight of your genitalia is sort of a must for any long-term relationship.

In an effort to smooth things over, I stopped hooking up with Evan, but unfortunately the gay damage had already been done. It seemed like the more Evan’s sexuality came in to question, the more he proclaimed his love for Beth, which seemed super transparent to the both of us. By the time we left for college, the two weren’t talking to each other anymore and I was the only one on speaking terms with him. Even six years later the rift still remains. Evan is hurt that Beth never committed to being his girlfriend, and Beth could never move past the fact that he might be gay.

Regardless of the outcome, I still look back on our bizarre triangle that summer and can’t help but smile. It was a product of our youth, sexual naivete and boredom—something that could never be replicated or make sense in your 20s and beyond. It would only feel right during those summers that high school gives you to do whatever and whoever you want. It’s a snapshot of when you do something jaded at your most innocent. For three months, we were living the teenage threesome dream and it was pretty magical. TC mark

image: The Dreamers

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • ESTAR

    Nice story.

  • http://twitter.com/MollyWest12th Molly Oswaks

    The Dreamers is great.

  • indiangiver

    Dear Ryan,
    I love you.
    -A

  • http://twitter.com/FLYamSAM Denden

    Love you ry

  • http://twitter.com/KelleyHoffman kelley hoffman

    4 real social retard! xx

    • Sdihisdfaa

      my favorite part too, got a giant smile

  • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/writings/tijuana-story-by-brian-mcelmurry/ Brian McElmurry

    Wild story. Enjoyed

  • http://prjustinne.wordpress.com/ Justinne

    Just what Valentine's needs…unusual

  • http://twitter.com/BrotherBear_Ry Ryan Culliver

    It's sad, genuinly because the same age that we are so least mentally equipped to deal with the thought and definition of sexuality is the same age that we discover and become obsessed with it. Dear Ryan, I think, I think I understand. I may not, I may be completely off course, but just so you know, you're story made me think.

  • Gottwald Lieobowicz

    So is Evan out and about now or still dating Liza Minelli?

  • katie

    I love you.
    This was really well written and interesting.

  • E5

    This is like the first thing of value I have seen among your writings.

  • http://shizzlefrick.blogspot.com Nicholas

    Why can’t my summer be this exciting?!?!??!?!

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