My First Crush Ever Part II
My fingertips cradled the magic 8 ball much like anybody would do if there really was a clairvoyant toy out there giving birth to our maybe sobbing, maybe smiling...but certainly delicate fate. The outer shell of this toy ball was hard and heavy like the life that some of us will be crushed under; inside, the liquid was all light and fluidy like the life still others of us may float blissfully through. Either way, this ball was supposed to crack open its far-seeing opinion and give it to me. And at that early age, the only question I asked, which I repeat again, was "Will Jenny Donaldson marry me?"
For a mind much like my own...there are times that details are understandably lacking. It's a worthy charge...one which I cannot deny. Most of the times forgetting details matter little. It's the idea or the theme...the feeling, the picture, or the spirit...that's what matters. But then there are those times that I forget the details that very much matter and are very much supplementary to the spirit and theme. This is the case with this particular story. Given all the climactic rise, and the mystical reaching, and the trance-like chase,...dang it all, if I can't remember what that 8 ball told me. All that I recall was that I was a boy...I liked Jenny...and that I knocked on a magical door for the powers of Heaven to reveal something to me. And perhaps that's what matters...the touch of this door...not what I found behind it.
And did it really make a difference what the 8 ball told me? Not at all. This makes a valuable point. When a person is infatuated you can send the clouds, the rains, the stars, and sun to tell that person whatever they will...but our minds, the most reckless element in nature, will always find a way to over-ride these signals and straightway believe what it wants to believe. If the ball said, "My sources say yes."...my heart would rock and pound in joyful reception. If the ball said, "No. Never." I would think, "Stupid ball, what does it know. It's just a toy." Such were the ways of that boy; such are the ways of this man. Although, I will admit I think the answer was something positive but yet still questionnable. Let my digression conclude with this moral, in childhood we care more about the question than the answer...and we play . In adulthood, we care more about the answer than the question...and we stress.
So whatever verdict I was prescribed...I do not think it was very big. Our hearts have a better memory than our heads. I did not feel the stars burst around me; I nearly read them. I did not clutch my heart to keep it from beating out of my chest. That age hadn't yet come. I just smiled, subtly, and again peeked nervously about me, making sure that I was still alone. My older brother would have too much of a fun time if he found the oracle that I was given.
Time passed and at that age it slugs along making no progress. My 3rd grade rolls around and summer camp is before me. I found my little self in the backseat of my family's vehicle bounding on the gritty road to the camp. The sunlight pierced through the window with a lusty haze and glow. The entire backseat is a massive empty room that swallows a boy whole. I sat eyes and head thrust upwards to lift my eyes high enough to peer, to glimpse at the broad, bold world outside. My little legs daggling from the enormous seat. My eyes only able to view the tall pines swaying proudly across the blue fierce sky. The surest scene of childhood is thus: the innaccessibilty of the world within, invaded by the call, the wonder, and the grandeur of the gigantic world without.
In between such lapses of curiosity that the sun sends through the windows in brilliant shafts, and while the automobile ran along this road to Camp Wiregrass, my mind was ever aware that Jenny would be at this camp, and that I must take a date to the banquet Thursday night, as sure as this wide world knocking at the car windows in wonder...... was large, alive, and beckoning.
This newfangled idea of the banquet was looming foremost. The banquet was my first exposure at "going out" with a girl. It was always Thursday night. Tradition dictates that a boy should ask out a girl. Then they'd both dress up and eat dinner together real formal and adult-like. There were always older counselors orchestrating the matches between both the clueless boys and the clueless girls. Indeed, there were some of these counselors who prided themselves in such successful matches. Successful being "Johnny held Katie's hand today" or "Susan and Michael have sat next to each other in chapel for the past 3 days." To be such a matchmaking maestro with these very young pupils who were completely oblivious to what sort of madness they would one day be apart of and they were mimicking, was something to be proud of. There is something wholly God-like in matchmaking. It is weaving hearts together...spinning destinies interwined...sculpting unbreakable love...and molding innocent lives into the future. It wears the disguise of a humble act...but it bears the grappling for an extraordinary power underneath. Though, it is not such a bad thing...for its our innate thirst for control sublimated in our awe for love. Jenny and I had one such delegate from Eros. He had gotten news through one of my informants at that age (words had leaked from the ranks of my boyhood squad) that I liked a particular girl. So the plan was set. The scheme was weaved. Even before I had entered the camp.
Immediately, getting to the camp, I see Jenny. She was standing over by the air hockey machine. She smiles and then what sight befell my open eyes was the fact that Jenny had reached that transitioning age that we all go through. But she went through it all at once. The girl had lost her two front teeth. They were gone. She was just plain gapped tooth. I couldn't believe it. It ruined everything. The girl that I was supposed to rescue was not supposed to be gapped-tooth. The matchmaker approached me and told me that he knew that I liked Jenny and that I should ask her to the infamous banquet. I say "No, she's ugly. Her teeth have been knocked out." So that summer at camp I didn't go with anyone to the banquet. I didn't care. And I never thought about Jenny Donaldson in that way again, even when they grew back. And so concludes the story of my first crush ever.
But as I was saying, I saw her the other day. She was with her fiancee. She's to be married this month. Oh well. I guess the magic 8 ball said "no"and I guess this makes for one poor ending, but what do you expect? I was in 3rd grade. And it was only my first exposure to puppy love....not to any affectation deeper...which is a whole another long, long story.