When I was a kid someone farted on the tram and it was bad, sulphurous with tinges of the walking dead it left a few of us retching and wishing the tram was an old ‘rattler’ so we could sick our heads out despite all the urban myths of “Marty’s brother’s cousin’s bestie lost his head that way…”
The public outrage ensued, moral outrage, questions of how girls might be made differently since we’d never made such a stench, at least not before death. Accusations, fingerprinting then a witch hunt, finally ending in ‘He who smelled it dealt it,’ that rhymes here smelled is smelt in the world’s underparts.
I’d never heard that and it had to be explained to me, the explainer rhetorically asking why it is that this sort of thing is only ever difficult for blondes to understand. Yes I’m calling the race card, #whitepeopleproblems. I’d usually walk home, unless I had a lot to carry it was 8 blocks from school to Hotham and then a few zig zags past the station but as I grew older I’d come to appreciate company.
At first I hovered on the fringes, I wasn’t hated or a stick out for bullying, luckily so it only took a few trips to insinuate myself into the fold. I had little in common with them other than my entire cosmos then, we all more or less moved through the same spheres, as everyone does.
People see a snobbery in there and fair enough, but everywhere I’ve been, in every group I’ve encountered there is and in my adolescence I found that my self imposed alienation was too much to manage, I felt freakish enough and alone enough to give in. After all I’d mostly not played ball because my mother was one of these people and her dearest wish was that I’d carry the tradition.
I’d had a reverse teen rebellion, but for wherever this comes from it left vestiges of pride that I couldn’t drop, so I tried to carry it off stealthily. For most of my life I’d felt less than or maybe more than these people, their attitudes and dislikes mountainous and adverse to my views of social justice where so difficult to ignore. As too was the wants of a failed overbearing mother who’d given in to so many things I disliked or felt dishonourably elitist over. Then there was her cliche desperate housewiffery, the antidepressants, happy pills and alcohol that had made me the responsible adult and her the child so early in my life. But I’ve winged about this too often to not have resolved it.
The girls in the troupe of higher apes I joined where different but the same, they spent less time deriding because there where boys to talk about, music, all manner of things that men have little to no interest in, and so did I. Some big part of me preferred the things boys did, the things they talked about but I’d been a slow starter and something of a Tomboy anyway so oddly I had an edge when it came to courting.
There was a ritual to it with these girls, and all kinds of rules, memes and no-no’s, you had to have a boyfriend, but keeping him out of your pants at least in the short term was the standard and it’d be quite easy to develop a rep as a slut, it didn’t even require you having sex, interestingly and oddly oral as it was called back then wasn’t actually losing your virginity, even though virgin was a slur, remembering though, slut was worse.
It was hard to not get labeled, you where almost guaranteed to be dating a cousin or a second cousin of someone you knew if not outright brother, then you really had to be careful and make sure the boy wasn’t going to make things up about you. They did of course, but if they failed to provide evidence they looked worse for it. In many ways it wasn’t so bad for the girls, from what I’ve seen of other countries we have it easy here, sleeping with a boy, provided you used contraception - and you could get it reasonably easily even if you weren’t 16, most girls had a good enough relationship with their mothers that they could ask or she offered first.
God bless Australia, we don’t seem to have the hang ups most places do. Even so, my forays into teen physicality’s never got anywhere near the need for it, and to my hateful mothers’ credit she’d asked me several times if I needed or wanted it, this made me uncomfortable but grateful. Had I needed it, I’d have had no hesitation in saying it to her, the rest is down to a trip to the family doctor and then the issue is left for good.
Some time ago I was writing an piece on sexual health and I noticed the average age for sex is higher here in Australia for girls than most countries, so much for the availability of contraception turning girls into tramps, that stuff is more complicated and far less familial. Before I left school, a year later the only girls I’d have believed had had sex in our year wouldn’t have been more than two, I could be wrong but that was the general consensus. As for older sisters most seemed to fall in that age between mid 16-18 less wasn’t generally kosher.
Now, and in my mid teens it wasn’t a real talking point after the initial fascination, a lot like boobs you seem to be fascinated with them - until you get them after that it’s just a thing - something that is, which becomes prosaic in most conversations but has some immature joke and embarrassing anecdotal value.
In my dark pool of regret I wish I’d had the chance for that awkward, but hot blooded young love, fond first sexual forays full of five hour text marathons, months of build ups and eventual drunken new years party. I find that much like my discovery that the cool kids really had something I wanted I look back at that past a professional level of sex with envy and an almost adolescent fixation with what might be called ‘missing years.’
To be human is to regret, and desire the things you either cannot have or had taken from you, the poor look at the rich and see what they lack, the over coddled desire risk, the abused a magical set of arms to both purify and protect them. Then there is this, the pool, where both loss and the gluttony it brings, the frightening void that is paradoxically also a singularity, my time staring at the darkness I’ve also noticed like everyone I’ve come to love it, know it, power myself with it. There is a thin wire to walk here, like all things opiate scented and lustrous is a silk or a knife depending on quantity and use.
In such a way a dark thing is transcendent, unlike the angel who has never yielded or been forced to it knows, it has drunk, been drunk then set aside the thing it was slave to but also knows that this poison is also medicine.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will."