My future wife was predetermined. My mom and my mom’s best friend got pregnant around the same time. They’d been best friends since college, and they’d planned for their kids to get married, but we both turned out to be boys so our parents never really pushed for that to happen.
I peaked sexually when I was seven in the closet of my basement with Jamie Shephard playing explicit games of “doctor.” Even though Jamie is beautiful, it’s hard to brag about our explicit games of doctor now because 1) she denies they ever occurred, and 2) she’s sort of my cousin.
I thought I’d rebounded in fifth grade when I received a Valentine’s note on my desk that read, “I’ve really been thinking about this a lot, and I think we should go out. Let me know, Steve! Love, Your Secret Admirer.” The only problems were 1) it was signed “Secret Admirer,” so I had no idea who wrote it, and 2) my name isn’t Steve. It’s Tony. Steve sat in the desk to the left of mine. I never gave him the note.
Sixth grade was the year of seven minutes in heaven. The year that should have been my first kiss/hardcore make out session simultaneously. At one of Ian Johnson’s parties, I was paired in the closet with Lindsay Bonner. I managed to get in the closet with her because the bottle never landed on me, and she felt bad. We went into the spare bedroom’s closet and sat amongst mothballs and mink coats.
It was seven minutes in heaven, so I knew all I had to do was lean in or say, “Can I kiss you?,” but I couldn’t do it. Instead, I asked, “What’re your thoughts on death?” After seven minutes, people stormed in and took pictures of us, so she never got the opportunity to hear my views on reincarnation.
“High School Musical” came out in seventh grade, and everyone in my class was obsessed with Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. At the beginning of eighth grade, a series of photos leaked of Vanessa Hudgens in her bedroom. I’d never seen anything like it. I stayed in my bedroom and faked sick for a week as she became my high school musical.
Later in eighth grade my sort-of-cousin Jamie Shephard came over for a family dinner. Skirt steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli. We went to the pool table in my basement after dinner, rolling balls into pockets and blocking them with our hands. Jamie jammed her finger, started clutching it in her palm. I rushed over to look at it.
“Let me see.” She gave me her finger. “Want some ice from Dr. Walner … Like old times, eh?”
“So creepy. Why do you always do this? Like what the f–k are you even talking about?”
“What do you mean what am I talking about? We used to play doctor. Just admit it. Really explicit games of doctor.”
“Ew, no, I’d rather die.”
“What’re your thoughts on death?”
– By Tony Walner