I was a virgin throughout high school. I never poked unknowingly a pair of boobs. I never squeezed a buttock that wasn’t my own. I never kissed a girl on the lips, or the face, or the hand, or blew one in her direction from across a room. I never went on a date. I never even had a female look at me without screaming at me to stop staring before unleashing their boyfriends on me.
I was as pure as a newborn baby - with a slightly more impressive penis.
Only slightly, though.
In fact, the only parts of a naked woman I’d ever seen were either in my head or in any of the various pornographic materials I’d managed to catch a glimpse of over the years.
To say that I was a teeny bit hard up for human contact would be the understatement of the century - the equivalent of saying Michael Bay is a bad director.
While true, it doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story.
My senior year in high school I earned a scholarship to an art college in Ohio. It wasn’t too long afterward that I learned the required courses of the first year included a figure drawing class – a nude figure drawing class.
I was finally going to see some real life boobs!
I fully understand just how pathetic that last sentence must have read to the vast majority of you. I assure you, it sounded just as pathetic in my head. I’m not proud of it. It’s not something I’m going to put on my resume or tell the grandkids when I’m old. It’s out there and I can’t take it back. What’s done is done.
At the time I didn't even care that there would likely be a guy or two thrown into the mix. I’d been in locker rooms. I could suffer though a few eyefuls of penis for the chance to gaze upon the flesh and blood form of naked female.
It was going to be awesome - naked women awesome – which is the most absolute awesome of awesome when you’re a sad and lonely eighteen year-old.
During that time I moved to Ohio and I settled into the dorms at school. I was raring to go! I was chomping at the bit! I was chomping at the raring and going with the chomp!
I don’t know that that last one is supposed to mean and I really don’t care. That’s how excited I was.
It was the first day of the figure drawing class. I was at my desk with my pencils out and pad of paper opened. My fingers were tapping on the desk anxiously. They wouldn’t stop. The instructor said something along the lines of, "The model is getting ready. She'll be out in a moment."
He used the word “she’ll.”
Hells to the, yeah.
It was a woman - a girl – a female - a homo sapien with sexual organs entirely different than my own. Whatever you wanted to call it, it was going to have a womb.
I slid my midsection a little more underneath the desk, on the off chance that something began to stir below. I wanted to be prepared.
Keepin’ it real, homie!
Moments later, the model walked into the room.
She was at least seventy-five.
In hobbled an elderly woman named, Rose. Her face was like a catcher’s mitt and her hair like an old bird’s nest. She was probably one of Thomas Jefferson’s mistresses and it was safe to assume she’d been getting discounts at Denny’s since the ‘80’s.
Rose dropped her robe and my world crumbled with it. She looked like a garbage bag filled with drippy-wet pee-poo diapers. She looked like a Barbie doll someone melted in the sun. She looked like a textbook definition of the word gravity. Needless to say, my fears about hiding my midsection were completely unfounded.
In fact, my penis took the initiative and hid itself.
I spent the next hour and a half drawing Rose in various positions I wished she’d never gotten into while listening to her complain that that she was cold, or aching, or that she needed a rest because the arthritis in her hands was acting up.
As I stared at the wrinkly exterior she called flesh and I called the Devil’s hammocks, all I could think was, "Those aren't supposed to be down that low, are they?”
I also never wanted to eat, or see someone eat, or be in the presence of a roast beef sandwich again.
Half way through the class the instructor gave everyone a break. While most of the students went outside to smoke a cigarette or throw up, or throw up then use the cigarette to burn their eyes, I sat in stunned silence. It’s not that I couldn’t move so much as I didn’t want to move.
I never wanted to move again.
With everyone gone, Rose put on her robe and started walking around the room, looking at the drawings everyone had done of her. She nodded her head at some and shook it at others.
Turns out she was a real art snob - you know, for a bag of old beef jerky.
She eventually made her way to me and stood behind me with one hand on her hip and the other scratching at those pesky black hairs dangling from her chin. There was little more than a thin sheen of nylon separating me from her wrinkled nakedness.
She was quiet for a minute, examining my work with her discerning, cataract-riddled eyes. When she’d seen all she needed to see, Rose leaned down and pinched my cheek from behind. "That's really wonderful, sweetie."
I'm not even kidding. She pinched my damn cheek.
Just like my Grandma used to do.
How I made it through the second half of class while comparing Rose to my nanny (who by a cruel piece of fate, also happened to have been named, Rose) is completely beyond me.
Rose, the nude model, was the very first woman who ever flashed me her junk while in something fairly close to the doggie-style position.
Rose reminded me of my grandma.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh at life.
Other times you want to throw a brick at it.