Sometimes I like to act like I write books.
Books about my life.
I practice here once in a while.
Now, is one of those times…

Ever since I can remember I just wanted to be good with the ladies.
I remember that Nair commercial. You know, the one with the “We wear short shorts” jingle and those long legs parading back and forth on screen. I specifically remember. I must have been 3 or 4, thinking, “Damn, those are some fiiiiine ladies.”
OK. Maybe I didn’t say damn. I mean my dad was a Southern Baptist preacher for the love. But if I knew the word damn, damn is what I would have said.

I loved women. I mean I still love women, but I love one. I mean…nevermind. You get it. So.
I could write an entire book on the ways I have screwed up with the ladies.
I am unbelievable at the start. Like Secretariat at the starting gate.
Confident, brown, nostrils flaring, all eyes on me.
And when the gun fires, you can’t catch me.
I am off like Speedy Gonzalez with the swag of Captain Caveman. But child, I hit that back stretch, and it’s a disaster.
Ask any female that has had anything close to what some would call a “relationship” with me.
It is never on purpose.
I just can’t turn it off.
My need to impress the ladies.
Take for example year 10.
Not grade 10.
Year 10.
5th Grade. Briarlake Elementary School.
Tene North.
Lord have mercy.
She was the fastest and finest girl in her grade and I was the fastest guy in mine.
She, of’course, was 9. I had a thing for the younger ladies.
He mom was the 3rd grade teacher that made all the boys in school walk to the far off bathroom just to get a peek.
She was the Deltalina of the 1980’s male population of 30033.
And if this was the mom, then the daughter had to have a future…
With me.
I can’t remember quite how it started.
I’m pretty sure it had to do with a piece of college ruled notebook paper folded into that rectangle with a little tab you could pull that said “open me”.
I’m also pretty sure on the inside was the question that ruled the halls of Briarlake Elementary School.
“Will you go with me?”

Let’s stop here for a moment.
I never questioned the question at the time. It seemed like a completely valid question.
Yet now I am wondering where we were going in the first place?
I didn’t have a car. I had a bike. An amazing bike take it. But a bike none the less.
I could take her nowhere on my Huffy.
Yet for some reason, she checked the box “YES”.
And suddenly, we were going together.
Which apparently meant we were an item.
The whole 4th and 5th grade knew.
I had won the heart of the mocha princess with a smile that Aquafresh commercials are made of.

Fast forward 2 weeks.
Notes had been exchanged…giggles had been had…my boys had been ribbing me to hold her hand.
But somehow, someway, things had progressed faster than scheduled.
A kiss was on the agenda.
I’ll go ahead and admit that there was no way this was my idea.
No way.
It had to be hers.
Or at least Debbie Metinz. Her conniving best friend.
But I couldn’t back down.
EVERYONE was talking about it.
The lunchroom was a buzz.
The mission had been set into motion and I was an emotional disaster.
I had seen Falcon Crest. I had seen Moon Lighting. I had no idea how to pull that off.
Yet there I found myself.
Tuesday afternoon…3:15pm…behind the double doors at the back of the school that led out of the library…13 minutes after the bell rang sending 1000’s of little feet scurrying to their bicycles and down the paths to homes that were beyond the woods nearby.
I was exactly where the plan had asked me to be.
Through at least a dozen notes passed between grades, between countless children, the plan had been set into motion.
The plan was brilliant and it had all worked to perfection.
I was mere minutes away from pulling off the greatest achievement of my life.
Kissing Tene North.
That is until I heard the familiar scuffle of Mrs. Petitt.
It was unmistakable. We all knew it. It gave her away around every corner of the school.
And she was not about to ruin the greatest moment of my life…
I thought, I breathed, I prepared, and just as she rounded the corner I did what any man in jeopardy of losing his dream would do…

To be continued…