Let us speak of first love.
You know the one I mean. Whoever it was--his or her name sprang immediately into the front of your mind. No matter how long ago, how far away; no matter how very different you were, then.
For the most part, I think the notion of romantic love doesn't do us many favors. I'd like very much to say I don't even believe in it--that it's really a mixture of pheromones, chemistry, and youthful naivete. I'd like to say that . . . but I don't entirely believe it.
The really strange thing is that no matter how you go on--how well or how permanently you love, later in life--you never forget. Somehow, the memory doesn't detract from other loves, other places, either; rather, the memory only adds to who you've become.
For me, it was Nina. I think I was all of about 20 years old.
She lived in the room next to mine, my last year in the dorms. She played the strangest music, very loud, at the most ungodly hours.
She had thirteen piercings in her left ear, seven in her right. She wore a lot of black, smoked Virginia Slims, and drove this horrible and enormous green car that she had named; for the life of me, I can't remember what she called it, though. She piloted the thing very fast, and in highly alarming fashion--stomping the accelerator and laughing like a lunatic at the smaller cars and pedestrians scrambling to get out of her path. I mostly clutched the dashboard and the armrest, and tried to seem both relaxed and worldly-wise.
She got me drunk one afternoon, kidnapped me from my advanced symbolic logic class and took me to the mall where she had the top of my left ear pierced.
It was excruciating. I very nearly passed out in the chair right there in the earring kiosk, in fact.
But I still wear a discreet stud through the hole, even now, when I am closer to 40 than to twenty.
To my enduring regret, I never told her how I felt.
Your turn. Tell me about your first love.