When I was thirteen, I fell in love with a character on a short-lived sitcom whose name I can’t even remember now. I was desperately, sweatingly in love, turning over and over all night like an eggbeater, gazing out the window for hours, writing the poetry, singing in the shower, sure that such a love could not exist without the possibility of reciprocation, sure that there must be some way we could meet and get married and grow old and buy matching sports cars.
Not since then have I felt such consuming, desperate love, not even after the Sicilian dumped me when I would scheme for hours the things, the wonderful, witty, charming things I would say when I spoke to him next. Not until now, anyway. Because now there’s the Lad – well, there has always been the Lad and I have always loved him, but not until now have I loved him like this, like the way I love him now.
I grin like a handicapped child when I hear him coming up the stairs. I call him every day and keep him on the phone as long as possible, delighting in the mellifluous tones of his voice as he politely tries to extricate himself from the conversation and get back to the fun he was having. I lie awake all night, every night, worrying about his possible death. I can bring myself to tears just thinking about it. I frequently bring myself to tears just thinking about it. Suddenly the whole concept of death seems hugely, incredibly unfair; the idea that in as little as sixty years he might go before me and the first twenty-three years of my life that I spent spitting up bananas and learning to walk and falling in love with sitcom characters and not being with the Lad were so horribly wasted.
Suddenly I am as thirteen as it is possible to be. I want to paint the area under my eyes with dark eyeshadow so that people see how tired and tormented and artistic I am. I’m considering starting a journal filled with acrostic poetry which includes the words “deep” “universe” and “soaring.” I want to sneak out the window in the middle of the night and wander the streets of a suburb, tortured and chilly and alone. I want drama. I want cigarettes. I want an all black wardrobe, sullen eyebrows and a monosyllabic vocabulary. I am on my knees before the god of adolescence. Help me, oh help me, Obi-Whine. You’re my only hope.