Most of my “firsts” were over half a lifetime ago. First love. First broken heart. First day I got published. In that order.
You ever look back at stuff that sucked, and start missing it all? Of course you do, that’s why your 6th grade boyfriend is on your Facebook, and by extension, in your iPhone contacts, with a photo to match. You never know. You may need to clear the air one day about the nasty (untrue) thing he wrote about you on the wall at school, the wall next to where the moms pick up the kids and where the nuns walk by. Thanks, by the way, and I don’t even have the guts to write about what it said.
If I could say anything, I would start with my first love: I write about you all the time. I write about that pier where we stood. I was 17 when I watched you tie that boat down, cigarette, tears, disbelief, blackness, January, Depeche Mode. Almost very piece I’ve ever written mentions water—salty, murky seawater. What a good place to hide something.
To my first boyfriend, every time I see a red Mustang I think of you. And sometimes when I see a photo of Jim Morrison.
To the island, as charming as you are, you’re just as sad, especially in the rain.
To the first poem I wrote, I won’t be posting it here, because it’s just silly, but I’ll post a better, raunchier one. To the better, raunchier one, I wrote you to be shocking. May everyone blush like pure little virgins.
Thanks to the first time I saw San Francisco, the first yoga class I went to, my first yoga class I taught, the first sip of booze I took and the first kiss I had with my husband.
To my family, I don’t know what to say or write without getting all sappy. I wish my husband could’ve known you.
To me, the barefoot California girl on the beach, maybe use sunscreen. Stop wasting time being so dark. Keep what you wrote, even though it’s mostly self-indulgent beer-soaked nonsense. Tijuana is a whole different country, don’t break the law. Have an open heart. Write more, let it bleed. Don’t be so afraid.
I got some bittersweet news yesterday. Some firsts are firsts and onlys. Some of them you have the guts to write about, others you wait on. Raunchy poem coming soon.