In 1980, I was 13 years old. I wore sweaters with flowers printed around the color, pencil skirts, k-mart topsiders. When I stood in line to get my freshman ID the summer before high school, I watched the other kids talking and flirting with one another, and it was like they were speaking another language. I could not comprehend. I was truly, deeply virginal.
In high school, the worst things I did included ditching school to go joyriding on the 5 Freeway with Scott Something in his father's BMW, and hiding in my friend's closet getting drunk on cheap, pink champagne while she and another friend (who did not know I was there) waited for their dates to show up. The friend in the dark was going on her first date with my exboyfriend. I was sort of heartbroken about it at the time, but I had another boyfriend, too, at a different high school, the Catholic one up the freeway. This other boyfriend did not expect me to be his one and only, like the one at my own high school did, because of proximity I guess.
At the school dances, after I broke up with my local boyfriend, I stood on the sides and watched others dance to the music some DJ played. There was this one boy, and I only knew him as James, who always asked me to dance once during the night. He was two years older than I, and he only ever asked me to slow dance. We never spoke during school days, nor did we even really acknowledge each other if we passed one another in the hallways, but in the dark of the school dance, we held each other close and we did sway.