Probably my least cool moment ever came at sixteen years old, in the passenger seat of Heather Clapps’s mom’s car. And, it’s the end of our first and only date, and I think I’m in love, and I lean over for the first kiss and Heather pulls back in fear and horror.
“No.” She says firmly, putting her hands out to protect herself.
“Are you sure?” this gawky zit-stained sixteen year old breathed through his retainer. “Maybe you wanna think again.”
“No, I know. I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much turned off by you right now.”
I thought girls were supposed to put up a front, so I persisted. “Are you sure you don’t want to kiss me? Maybe you do and just don’t know it. Maybe you could try it, and if you don’t like it, you can stop. But…”
“Please get out. I have to get home and do other things.”
I was so nervous, I said, “thank you.” I didn’t know what else to say. I was sixteen, I was lucky enough to get that much out.
But I couldn’t get out of the car; I fought with the door handle for a full minute that felt like forever to this gentle, nervous virgin. I could feel her glare burning into the back of my skull as I fumbled with the handle. Finally, I got it, moved to get out, but, was yanked back by the seatbelt I forgot to unlock.
The look on Heather’s face made me want to crawl into the ashtray and die. Now, I sit here, smoking, laughing at the memory, proving Woody Allen right:
comedy = tragedy + time.