There was this day when I was in first grade. A girl in my class, I think her name was Allison, her older sister came to our classroom to drop something off. She was a sixth-grader. I can’t remember what she looked like but I vividly remember thinking I will never be a sixth-grader. Some primitive sense of infinity existed between me and the sixth grade, the limit I could approach but never achieve.
It is so vivid I can still see the hallway I was in when I thought it — the texture of the light, that it was winter, that it was early afternoon, that I was walking to music class. It’s hard to describe how that feeling ruminated, persisting in my mind. It’s a moment that I can live fully relive, a Forever Moment.
My whole life was ahead of me. It was so big I could hardly grasp it. I was seven, trying to reflect on something that was almost double the span of my life into the future. How could I ever become 12? Get through all of elementary school?
The air tonight is warm, not hot, and the breeze is cool and sweet. I’m driving home from Elise’s house with the windows all the way down. There is no music playing. There are no clouds in the sky. There are no other cars with me on the tree-lined roads. It’s dark and beautiful. This moment feels strangely akin to that first grade hallway. Like this is something I will remember when I’m 32, double my current age.
I just touched a girls vagina for the first time.
It sounds vulgar when I think about it so discretely. But it’s significant. It feels so significant.
I can’t concretely remember having as distinct a thought about a vagina when I first started paying attention to girls. I guess that was probably a slow transition, something that came on over months or years, not a singular moment of onset. You see a girl, she looks pretty, and you get a tickle somewhere you can’t describe. Then you see a girl and the tickle is stronger, and the itch is begging to be scratched. And then you realize you want to see her budding breasts and her day-of-the-week underwear. And then it’s all down hill, the thoughts never subside.
But this. The vagina moment. That is something different. It was magical. I smell my fingers so that I don’t forget how magnificent it was. This car ride is one of those burnt in moments, like the long off-white hallway in first-grade. I’m in love with this moment. I’m more in love with this moment than I’m in love the girl. Elise. I’m feel guilty about that, but I can’t change it.
What’s left now? I’m about half-way home, turning the corner onto Wallace Road. This car ride will end. I’ll wake up in the morning and there probably won’t be another moment I’ll remember forever, not tomorrow anyway. Who knows when the next one will come? When do these permanent memory moments stop coming? They’re already coming fewer and farther between. There are fewer experiences that are entirely new.
Now that I’ve been entranced by the musky perfume of Elise’s vagina, I want more. Desperately. In fact, I’m at half-mast just thinking about it. But maybe I should wait. Maybe I don’t want to have sex. Because that is almost assuredly my next Forever Moment, and I don’t want to waste it.
The air is sweet. The wind is coursing through the cabin of my Chevy and I feel so good it hurts. Like I might burst. Maybe I’ll pull over and stare at the sky for a while.