Photos, today, by Jimmy Fontaine

When I was a prepubescent girl I had a white summer dress with red flowers, it was synched in the middle bust line and flared at the top of the thigh. My bedroom was carpeted in a soft blue and I had a dresser with a large mirror upon it, the handles of my drawers were assembled backwards, it never bothered me much. I used to stare at myself in that mirror looking at my emaciated frame, wishing I could fill that spring dress with an ample bosom and curvaceous thighs. I filled my training bra with tissue paper, not enough to be of suspect, just a bit to boost the ego. My mom would take me to my brothers sporting events, I didn’t really know any of his friends but they were a year or two older than I was and that was all that mattered. Any one of them in tight white baseball pants could arouse a fantasy, their feathered brown bowel haircuts, scraped knees and dirty fingers. I’d lock myself in my room with my 300 some-odd beanie babies and imagine my future days in high school, perfect kisses and hand holding, boyfriends, love. I didn’t fall in love until much later, and even since then each experience of love has been different than the last. Unpredictable- I hear people again and again saying how they have “never felt this way before”- I have been guilty of it myself. It is unexplainable, we are in love so many times, we are tricked by our own selves into feeling the unnecessary.

Last night I stayed at Jennifers, she fell asleep early after Sex and the City finished at 2am, I stayed on her couch with my shorts unbuttoned watching Mystery Diagnosis on Discovery Health. Ashley, her roommate, came home at around 3. She opened the door and fell over laughing at me in my state, in her living room, watching tv- as I have been so many times before. She removed her shoes and hustled to the refrigerator for blue corn chips and salsa. We talked about ghosts, hauntings, loud noises, dead chickens. She went to sleep before I did and I found a channel that had Frasier on.

At around 4 30am the slab of hunk I have been hanging out with came to pick me up on his bicycle. I threw on my grey cardigan and unbraided my messy hair. I had no make up on but at least my underwear was clean. I have never ridden on a bicycle with a boy before, at least not to my recollection. I sat side saddle on the main frame and rested my legs on the lower bar, his arms wrapped around me at the handle bars and on occasion he’d nuzzle my neck or kiss my cheek. I don’t actually remember what we talked about, my senses blurred by the chill of the air and the rush of my hormones. We sat in an empty cement baseball park, his back against a metal grated fence, me resting on his lap with my back enveloped in his chest. I thought about my blue carpet, Leonardo Decaprio on Growing Pains, my first crush and all his pimples. 13 year old me would be so happy to know that 24 year old me was sitting in this park, warmed sweetly by a passing stranger.

I have a kind of theory about life, and dating- which is to be your ultimate ridiculous self. Always speak your mind, ask questions, be stupid, be smart, sarcastic, snide, teasing, affectionate. In my little experience there is so much more to lose in losing yourself. Maybe you’re overdramatic (I am), or passionate, or silly. When seeking the affections of another, however temporary, there is no rapture in playing it cool.

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