Firsts

  1. First kiss
    I was in middle school. We went on a date to a candle store and then for ice cream. Two years later he kissed me in the living room that my parents decided to start calling a den. A hair ended up in my mouth and so I thought about that, mostly.
  2. First job.
    Other than babysitting/dog walking my first job was for a cleaning service at age 14. I was walking around town and my friend Dylan pulled up to me in a car and asked if I wanted a job. I said yes. He said nothing more before picking me up that Saturday morning and taking me to a bank where I discovered many a desk drawer vodka bottle and an endless supply sensible pumps tucked under wheely chairs. Then we cleaned a preschool and a dentist office. It was also the first job I was ever fired from.
  3. First pet
    A frog named Romeo. I don't remember anything about his personality. I had him for maybe a week, but visited his grave in the yard for three years. Then we moved.
  4. First time I got called to the principal's office
    Second grade. A third grade boy pushed my younger sister at recess. She was in kindergarten at the time. I stopped pretending to tame an invisible horse and avenged her by pushing him around and then sitting on his chest asking "how do you like it". At the office he was crying. The principal called me in for an ID because I was so shy he couldn't believe I had done anything like that. I admitted to it with zero hesitation.
  5. First cigarette
    I was in middle school on a sleepover at Amy Jannelunous' house. We snuck out and met our friend Karen and some other girls in the woods. One of them had a cigarette and I took three drags. Karen was very disappointed in me. I think it was the last day of school.
  6. First apartment
    Above a used book store in my home town. If my window was open in the morning I would lay in bed and name all the voices I recognized as they walked by. Usually one of them would yell up to me and my day would begin. At night the bar next door endlessly played Brown Eyed Girl, which I could hear through my floor.
  7. First time on a plane / leaving my home state
    I saved up to fly alone to Europe after hs graduation. I was meeting my friend Evan in France then taking a train to Italy. He had all the addresses/bookings, since we were teenagers/bad at planning. I missed a connecting flight and spent 5 hours nervously pacing Heathrow with no way to get in touch with Evan pre-cellphones and no way to look up our itinerary pre-email. It worked out though. And we both got to see each other crying at an airport, which we bring up every 3-6 years.
  8. First trip to the ER
    I was 3 or 4 and wedged a blue plastic ball in my mouth. I was proud and went to brag to my mom. She was getting ready for work. Upon seeing my jaw unhinged around a toy she screamed and inadvertently sprayed Aqua Net in my eyes. It wasn't until I started crying that I realized I couldn't get the ball out. Which made me cry more. I don't remember which thing the doctor fixed first.
  9. First phone call
    Second grade. It was a classmate I was in love with. His parents were moving him to a new school because we were so in love and they thought it was weird for two second graders. I picked out a mug that said something like "glad to know you" on it and filled it with seashells I collected as a gift for him. I remember being really nervous, and I remember how big the phone felt against my face. I felt so happy talking to him. Then hung up and excused myself to cry alone in my room.
  10. First time I got stung by a bee
    I wedged my hand through a chain link fence to pet a stray dog. While stuck there a bee landed on my tiny finger, I looked at it mystically, enjoying all creatures. It stung me. I had somehow come to understand that when a bee stung you they impregnated you with one million tiny bees. My mom ran my hand under water as I sobbed. My cousin who was 2 at the time was coming to visit and my mom kept saying "Sshhh don't cry, the baby's coming" which I wholly misinterpreted.