Today’s Daily Post prompt reminded me of a silly moment from my past. The prompt was to discuss a time you tried something and then decided you’d never do it again. Honestly, I haven’t had that many experiences with that kind of thing. Usually if I try something and don’t like it, I make myself try again a couple of times just to make sure that it wasn’t my pride telling me to give up on the experience. Normally, I find that giving a new experience a fair shot at impressing me allows me to relax and enjoy whatever it is – eating savory ice cream, trying a scary ride at the amusement park, hanging out with a person that I thought I’d hate (but end up really digging).
But there was one time when I just couldn’t help but say no, and got in a bit of a bind over it.
The summer before my junior year in college, I moved into an apartment on the top floor of a large house. It was to be the first year of college that I’d have my own room, and the first year that I’d live with just Trinity and Katie (who you probably recognize from earlier posts as being two of my best friends). It was also the summer that I found my cat Matthew, dirty and half crazy with heat, in the parking lot of the Kenner WalMart. But that hadn’t happened just yet. Now it was the beginning of the summer, and as the newest addition to the house, I was getting to know my neighbors. Directly under our apartment was another small apartment inhabited by three students from Loyola University, the neighboring college. The entire other half of the house, upstairs and down, was a five-bedroom apartment that housed several boys my friends and I knew from Tulane.
Since it was the summer, most of the roommates were back home with their families, and all of the apartments were running with a “skeleton crew.” I shared my apartment with a quiet female subletter that I didn’t know that well (or get to know – she was always in chem lab). One of the downstairs neighbors, a cute standup comedian, had stayed behind in New Orleans for the summer. Next door, two of the guys had stayed. One of them had invited a childhood friend to visit for the summer, and that childhood friend and I hit it off immediately.
I don’t remember his name – isn’t that terrible? I do remember that he was skinny, and had a sharp face with beautiful blue eyes. He also had dreadlocks, and once we went out walking in the neighborhood and played King of the Mountain on a pile of construction dirt in the middle of the street. He was kind, and had a wry sense of humor. He was also well-read, and we spent a lot of time talking about books. A couple of weeks into things, I invited him over to my apartment to make out – and maybe I wanted to go farther, I don’t know.
What I do know is that when we started to kiss, it was like kissing a lizard. He snuggled up close to me, and his hip bones poked sharply into me. It hurt a little, and between his boniness and the awkward darting movements of his tongue between his thin, taut lips, I couldn’t help but get a great mental picture: evidently I was making out with a gecko.
At first it was just a little giggle. He stopped kissing me, and I reigned it in and apologized. We began again. Lizard lips. The giggling became uncontrollable, and soon I was having trouble breathing, I was laughing so hard. He asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t stop laughing to explain – probably a mercy, really.
In the end, he got angry and went home. So much for my new summer friend. I couldn’t exactly explain what was wrong, but he drew his own conclusions that were probably less embarrassing for him. It wasn’t the only time I turned a man down, but it was certainly the funniest. Years later, I found out that he had joined the Navy, cut off his dreadlocks, stopped skateboarding, and was established as a serious man in a serious career. I’d prefer to remember him playing King of the Mountain, wearing a lizard grin.