Thursday, March 15, 2018
A Crush on the Girl Next Door's Boyfriend
When I was a kid, I was pretty aggressive. In fifth grade, I was dating Bill and inviting cute guys to sleepovers; plus I gave a massage to a high school boy, strategized to see Randy the Golden Boy in his underwear and the Sanderson boys naked, fell asleep in a sailor's arms, and felt three wieners.
But during puberty, it was no longer a vague, amorphous wish to be close to him or see him naked. I wanted more than that, to touch, taste, and fondle. The desire was intense, immediate, and overtly erotic.
So I became shy and circumspect, especially around adults.
During the summer after ninth grade, we moved to a new house, only a few blocks away from our old house on 41st Street, but bigger, with a double yard where my parents could do their beloved outdoor entertaining. They immediately became friendly with the neighbors.
The family next door had a teenage daughter, Julie, who was majoring in business at Augustana College. We didn't socialize much -- I tried to avoid talking to girls as much as possible, since my parents interpreted the most trivial "hello" as evidence that I was smitten.
You could almost hear "Da-da-da-da-da-daaa," the music that plays when the Witch comes on stage (it's called "Miss Gulch," composed by Herbert Stothart).
Ok, she wasn't that bad. But I wouldn't have socialized with her at all except for her boyfriend Conrad.
He was an education major at Augustana, tall and slim, with a handsome square face and a bright smile. Brown hair, a severe military haircut -- unusual in the shaggy-haired 1970s. A little shy and quiet, always deferring to Julie. But he always had a smile for me and my younger brother, and he always tried to engage us in conversation.
One Saturday in August 1975, about a week after I learned about oral sex in the church parking lot, Mom and Dad held a barbecue for their friends and neighbors. There were about 30 people on five picnic tables in the side yard, eating hamburgers and hot dogs from paper plates, drinking sodas and lemonade from plastic cups.
The family next door was there, but not Julie. Or Conrad.
Then, when we were about ready for dessert, they came rushing into the back yard, wearing swimsuits, carrying beach bags. "Sorry -- we were at the pool and we lost track of time," Julie told Mom.
"No problem, there's lots of hot dogs left, and some potato salad and chips. Go and change clothes, and come back."
"Great, thanks. We'll just pop next door and be right back."
Mom frowned, realizing that they would probably be changing in the same room, and see each other naked! "It will save time if Conrad changes in our house," she said. "Boomer, show him where the bathroom is, ok?"
"Um...sure, sure." My heart started to beat faster, and I felt uncomfortably warm. I was going to get a sausage sighting! Maybe Conrad would even let me...
Trembling with anticipation, I led Conrad through the back door and into the kitchen, where one of our neighbors was cutting cake into squares, then through the hallway to the bathroom. What excuse could I use to go in with him?
"Um...that's ok, you can change in my room," I said, thinking fast. "This way."
Back through the kitchen and up the stairs to my attic room. I sat down on the bed. Conrad put down his beach bag, turned his back to me, and dropped his swimsuit.
No! I was too close! I glanced around the room. What could draw his interest? "Hey...see the poster over my bed? That's Mark Spitz. He won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich."
Conrad turned to look. He stood in front of me, naked. A gigantic cut Kielbasa, five inches from my face!
"Nice," he said with utter nonchalance. "I didn't think you were into sports."
"I'm not. I just like swimmers. I mean I like swimming. Or swimmers who are swimming, I mean."
Conrad stood there, immobile, a frown on his face, as if he was trying to figure out a hard math problem.
He's waiting for me! I thought. Reach out and touch it! Go down on him! But I froze. "Um...um...I took swimming lessons ever since I was a kid. I have some Boy Scout training manuals, if you'd like to see them."
He was still standing there. Waiting for me! I stood and brushed past him, being careful to "accidentally" brush against his penis with my hand. "Oops, sorry." I walked, so shakily that I thought I would fall, to my dresser, opened the top drawer, and pretended to rummage around.
"You ok, Boomer?"
I turned. Conrad was buttoning up his shirt.
"Yeah," I said, managing a weak smile. "I can't find my training manuals, is all."
"Let me know when you find them. I'd be interested in seeing them." He put his trunks into the beach bag, slid on his sandals, and walked past me to the stairway. "Ready to go back downstairs?"
"Oh, I have a couple of things to do. You go on."
"Ok. Thanks for letting me change up here." He touched my shoulder. "I'll see you soon, ok?"
I stayed in my room for the rest of the afternoon. When my brother came upstairs to see where I was, I told him I had a stomach ache. Later Mom brought up some chicken soup and told me I shouldn't have eaten so many hot dogs.
When the fall semester started, I was in school all day, and rarely saw Julie -- or Conrad. Around Christmastime, I asked about him, and Julie said that they broke up.
See also: I Learn About Oral Sex in the Church Parking Lot; Going to Bed with the Boy Next Door.