Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Alleged Handjobs and The Musings of a Racquetball King...

I was 12 when I had what was maybe the greatest 3 1/2 weeks of my life.

That summer I attended sports camp at the Y. 

Not the YMCA that inspired the Village People but the Jewish Y that inspired my Nana. 

A.K.A. the "cheap camp".

Man, that camp was a total shit hole but it was perfect.

That first part of the summer I beat the snot out of a kid named Shep in a racquetball tournament.

Shep sounds like a pussy name and racquetball sounds like a pussy sport but I swear to God it was a big fucking deal at the Y.

Being 12 was simple but it was awkward.

I distinctly remember that in the 80's the girls and the boys dressed exactly the same.

We all wore these basketball shorts that were so tight, they choked the last breath from our private parts.

Oh and the tube socks with the color stripes at the top.

It was like a symbol of great stature.

Pull them up to the calf and you were less than. Pull them up just beyond the knee cap and you were a God.

My mother used to buy them by the dozen. Each pack stuffed, a cornucopia of rainbows crafted with the lowest of thread counts.

There was also the half shirt. Cottony mesh, available both with sleeves and without. The perfect foil to the shorts.

Every day I'd struggle to pull my tube socks up as high as the elastic could bear, all the while pulling down on my half shirt to cover my pasty white, freckled belly.

An impossible struggle for simpatico.

Life was simple then.

Sports.

Then everything changed.

Girls.

I saw and touched boobs for the first time that summer.

Real boobs. None of this, grazing a boob with your elbow during a tetherball game crap. We're talking legit second base here.

I'm also 99% positive I got my first handjob that summer and 1% sure it was a dream.

Maybe it had something to do with me being the racquetball* King.

There's something mystical about racquetball sweat.

It must be scientific. Some kind of potent aphrodisiac. 

These memories are glorious and huge and earth shattering to me.

Collectively, these experiences bulldozed a path for me into adolescence. A path so wide the entire cast of Honey Boo Boo could have skipped through it with arms locked.

But they are also terrifying...

Because deep in the dark recesses of the belly of the proverbial beast lies both good and bad news.

The good news is that the sport of racquetball has since faded into obscurity.

The bad news?

My daughter is almost 12.


*Racquetball was pretty huge back in the 80's. Kind of like how women's beach volleyball was en vogue two Olympics ago.