Once, in high school, I went on a few dates with a boy named John. I was still heartsick and broken up about a different boy, whom I’d been infatuated with for the entire school year but then later turned out to have another entirely different girlfriend. And, how funny, she knew all about me! I digress. The point was, I knew from the start I wasn’t really interested in John. Oh, we went on a couple dates, sure. He took me to some movie and as he held tightly, too tightly, to my hand, my palm sweaty against his large, dry palm, I thought, “Take me anywhere but here.”
He dropped me off at my car after the movie, and I stood on my toes to kiss him. He was sweet, but all I could think while we kissed next to my Dodge Neon was how my neck hurt, and how his neck must hurt even worse the way he was craning down to kiss me. Then all I could think about was our two mouths, mashing together, and how weird it all really was. I broke away from the kiss, and he smiled at me like I was the best girl he’d ever seen in his life.
I got in my car and drove away, a sinking feeling in my gut. Later, when I told my mom that I didn’t really like him, but I felt guilty, because really, what was wrong with John? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He was cute and polite and most definitely didn’t have a pretty cheerleader girlfriend he was hiding from me. But he didn’t do it for me. I listened to some Green Day, and even Billy fucking Joe was singing about how nice guys finished last.
I felt like such a chump.
We’re all chumps for love. I can’t make these memories of my old relationships completely disappear. I can worry, and wonder, if all those former loves now hate me, now think I’m a heartless bitch. (Bitch seemed necessary, you know, for emphasis. BITCH!)
All I can know is this: I’ve loved, and I’ve been loved; I’ve hurt, and I’ve been hurt in return. I’ve made mistakes and felt the pain of them so intensely I couldn’t bear to stare at myself in the mirror. But the beauty of it is that, like all you other suckers and chumps for love, I didn’t give up. I gave it another go.