When I was in the seventh grade, my family moved from Waco, Texas to Burleson, Texas, a small town just south of Forth Worth. I shared a two-person desk with a boy in Life Science class. He was an affable redneck with hard drugs in his future, and he enjoyed sharing the details of his sexual adventures with me before class began. Being new to school and neither having many friends nor knowing the proper protocol for responding to the lurid details of a young boy’s digital enhancement of a young girl’s pleasure, I smiled, nodded, and interjected a few “uh-huh’s” and “tell me more’s,” while wondering why God hated me.
He once shared with me a personal solo sex technique that he and another boy from school perfected one afternoon. I suppose I should have been appreciative of the information; instead, I made a mental note to never shake the hand of either boy in a formal setting, for example, we met at a tea the next time the Queen of England came to town.
This was the boy who wrote in my year book, “Hope you get some @#%&* this summer.” Surprisingly, I laughed when I read it. Sure, it was crude, but he had such a likeable personality that it seemed more absurd than dirty. Besides, I sort of admired his bravado; if you’re going to be crass, do it boldly.
My mother and father, however, were livid. “You’re the ones who moved me to this godforsaken place,” I reminded them. “I was perfectly happy in Waco, thank you very much.”
One of the cheerleaders sat at the desk behind us. She was a bubbly girl who always seemed to be chewing on a cud of bubblegum with the intention of annihilation. My deskmate constantly tried to embarrass her by saying provocative things to her. One day he asked, “Are you a virgin?”
Without batting an eye, and perfectly timed between chomps of gum, she replied, “No, I’m a Leo.”
The boy beside me busted out laughing, and I laughed, too, yet for a different reason. While he thought she was just a dumb blonde, I saw a glimmer in her eye when she responded that hinted that she was in on the joke. She had brilliantly side-stepped his question without a confrontation, while simultaneously proving she was smarter than him than he was without him knowing it.
I thought, This girl has a future in politics.