I think it was Southwest Presbyterian Church on the corner of Whitaker and Central…remember? Remember the youth leader, Sheldon? That was a crazy night, but the night that changed the course of my entire life. First was the hotdog social, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hot dogs in one place, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hot dogs consumed at one time. It was fun though. The dance was so cliche’ with all the wallflower boys and fast little girls adorned in 80’s “in excess” makeup. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for rejecting your dance proposal, but that was truly Charles Whaley’s fault, I told you that. No one can dance with one shoe. You were so angry with me, it made me feel bad. I think I still do, but I think I was able to convince you that it had nothing to do with you, at least I tried to. Now, I’d dance barefoot anywhere and everywhere with you.

I think I loved you the minute I saw you. I can’t put my finger on it, but you were so forthright, I was smitten. You are always so blunt and forward, just the way I like it. It’s scary to think of this, to remember how deeply I was affected by meeting you, we were only eleven. I don’t think either one of us understood the brevity of that moment. It was the era of excess everything: clothes, hair, makeup, drugs, money, sex…everything was big and abundant. These were the best days of my life. You were cute with your stolen looks, pretending to not give a damn. I really didn’t have to see you watching me, I could feel you. I do recall you behaving resentful when I said I was tired from chasing Charles for my shoe. I felt sad because I never got to tell you that when Madonna’s “Crazy for You” came on, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you. You would have known that had I danced with you. That was the catalyst for what was about to go down. It was a shake down, you, Eric, and Casey all conspired to pay me back, and it mattered not who else may be within the line of fire.

I was thinking that once we got the sleeping bags down, that the ground of that church sure felt hard. I was crushin’ on my bed at that point. I remember telling you girls that if we stayed close together, maybe we would be like a cushion of some sort. I was just afraid to sleep on the hard floor of a big building like that one. It worked though, because Sherry, Mia, and myself were all snug as bugs in a rug. I wonder what time it was when you fools decided to come creeping? I don’t know, because I don’t remember being violated. However, I do recall waking up and feeling disturbed. Actually, I suffered minimal collateral damage, but Mia and Sherry…well, they had problems. See, I had a short Pat Benatar hair working for me and I was in the middle, and Mia and Sherry had long, blonde, pretty hair and they were on each side of me. So, you clowns decided to stretch the ducktape from the start of one girl, all the way across all three of us to the end of another. Each end of the mess comprised of mass wads of duct tape in Mia and Sherry’s hair, globs of wadded tape, plus the main stretch of reinforcements across us, and here I am in the middle. I was a skinny little kid then, I wiggled my way out. I had duct tape gum on my forehead but Mia and Sherry were not as fortunate. Those poor girls had hunks of tape in their hair and for the life of me, I cannot remember how we ever got it out. Now that I think of it, I believe it was ever so carefully.

The bus ride home was needless to say, interesting. Us girls were singing to Bryan Adams songs, and even though you considered me the enemy, you were commiserating wholeheartedly. There was no denying it, even though we didn’t start dating until a few years later, I knew I would never forget you.