This mountain top village brought five distinct women into my life. Each one would impact me, distract me, tear at me, and frustrate me. When I finally left this place, I was emotionally battered, bruised, and was rigid in my stance that I would never get married, never, ever have children, and instead would pursue financial wealth and independence. My grad write-up made that declaration and the financial compensation contract I wrote and signed for my parents made that same declaration. Today, I live paycheck to paycheck and I have six children. My only saving grace is that my parents lost that contract or else I would have been out six thousand dollars.
The first girl was my first kiss. As you recall, my teddy bear was a better kisser. However, this was my first sexual experience that did not involve intercourse and therefore it has left its mark. She was a couple years my senior and although I am not sure how we broke up I do remember the night I was kidnapped. She had asked me to attend a wedding with her and I obliged. Afterwards she was driving around and eventually we ended up parked in some church’s parking lot, late at night, overlooking part of the village.
“Well, it’s getting late,” I fumbled with my lines.
“You are coming home with me,” she replied. “I already arranged it with my parents”.
There was no getting out of the car and she was not going to drive me home. The message was clear. I was now hers and tonight was going to be ‘the night’. The thing was, as much as I was a raging hormone-filled adolescent teenage male, I didn’t want to. I was still trying to figure out what sex was and my curiosity around intercourse bordered on fearful palpitations, mixed with a healthy dose of anxiety. A few years later I realized that was a common aspect of love-making and one worked through those symptoms in order to get to some amazing and mind-warping results. But I digress.
Needless to say, I managed to get myself home and that was the end of female number one.
Female number two was now three years my senior and the two of us hooked up at school dance and a french class retreat at a ski lodge. Again, nothing sexual happened – in fact, to be honest even the kissing was shortened by the entire experience. With this girl my brother was mocking me, as he didn’t believe that I had anyone in my life at the time.
My brother would be flocked by girls the moment he left the house and would be satisfied to look like a male pimp out of the 70’s with girls hanging off of each arm, like bracelets.
On one occasion I had her over to our house when our parents were away. I asked her to change her t-shirt so I could show it to my brother and his friends who were upstairs – just to let them know that I was ‘getting some’. She obliged and proceeded to undress in my room, to which I gasped, interrupted her, and fled the area, waiting discreetly outside the closed door. In the end I found out that she was only ‘slumming it’ with me in an effort to get her boyfriend back for something he had done a couple of weeks earlier. Apparently it worked and she dumped me without warning, running back to him.
Female number three was a freckled red head that lived across the street from me. In all platonic senses we were friends and enjoyed that friendship for the years that I knew her. However, as that friendship continued I began to really like her and started trying to get a relationship going. She was liking the attention and flirted with the idea. However, in the end what emerged was that she was a devout church-goer and I had absolutely no idea what that meant only that it meant that I couldn’t be her boyfriend. This arbitrary, religiously constructed, rule frustrated me, and in my frustration I, upon a few occasions, embarrassed myself by shouting out my disapproval at the top of a school staircase with her fleeing from the scene a couple of floors down.
Female number four was a surprise. It was a surprise because I began to receive packages through the mail with no return address on the large brown envelope. Inside these envelopes were photocopies and cut-outs of my appearance in school yearbooks, always with my face / picture circled and highlighted. Then these packages included architectural drawings of her dream house with the implications that this was to be our home. Then the letters started and it was in that process that she revealed who she was and what her intentions were. Apparently she had thought out the rest of her life very carefully and I was an integral part of that plan. I was able to navigate out of this by agreeing to meet with her in the most public place I knew, where I carefully calculated my words in order to not overly upset her. I had a friend hiding in the shadows just in case things went bad.
Within the year she had moved out of country.
Female number five was something all together different.