Sometimes the memories blend into each other and I’m not all certain where one begins and another ends. Much of junior high school is like that. I think that because throughout 7th, 8th, and 9th grade our class pretty much remained intact (7-1, 8-1, 9-1), becoming a three year long class. Very difficult years; wanting to be grownup but not knowing the how, not having the skills.

I could have taken my first kiss back then. I wanted to, but I guess not enough. I guess I was scared. Eleanor Schneider (or some variation on the name) and I were at the World’s Fair in New York City. (At least I think that’s where it was, because I can’t think of any other place where we would be together on some kind of amusement ride.) We were holding hands. By ninth grade, boys and girls started paring off, and so I did with Ellie. I haven’t any recollection how that had come to be. I don’t remember” choosing” her. Perhaps she chose me. Perhaps our classmate chose us to be together.

She was more experienced than I was. She very likely made out with some other boyfriends (or at least that was her reputation) and my have had a hand down her blouse (YOW!).

So here I am with her, holding her hand, having NO idea what the ride was about, knowing that this was my opportunity to kiss her, no one would see, alone in this “tunnel of love”, squeezing her hand more and more, hand slippery with sweat, not wanting to be humiliated because I was a coward and scared, for Christ sake, I had no idea what I was doing, I wanted, eversowanted, to be grownup, become a MAN, but I was scared and squeezed her had, not saying a WORD, and the ride ended.

We broke up shortly after.

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