My First Kiss
I am considered a nerd.
I hate this distinction, not because I have anything against self proclaimed nerds or that I think I am the kind of cool that comes with banging drunk chicks behind my sweet wall of beer cans, whilst I chant the manly mantra of “down with nerds, up with balls and sports and bros”.
I just hate titles, I hate names and I hate being categorized by them.
My undying hatred of names probably stems from junior high where I was called “Cross Dresser Chris” for three years. This unfortunate name came from telling a girl I liked, that the Nine Inch Nails shirt I was wearing was originally my sister’s.
It was a bad move and I can see that now.
Actually when I think on it my hatred has a much earlier origin. I guess it really started with my first kiss.
Her name was Lauren, I won’t describe her to much because she was six and it would be creepy to wax romantic about a kid.
Instead I will just give a cold list and leave it at that. She was: brunette, small, and French with no accent.
I was one year younger than her but we were in the same class, so of course I saw this as a sign from the Gods that our love was destined.
One day while I was putting on my snowsuit in the hallway my friends and I were talking and the topic of kissing came up. Not surprising really, considering that we only had three topics to choose from: video games, POG, and girls (either how gross they were or how much we loved one).
A kid named Nicky dared me to kiss Lauren.
Under normal circumstances this sort of macho challenge wouldn’t have made me budge but Nicky was special, his dad owned an arcade and you have to get in good with the kid who can get you unlimited plays on Altered Beast.
I had no choice. I walked up behind Lauren and kissed her square on the back of the head. For a moment I was Sean Connery, I was Zorro, I was the man.
She was turning to see what had happened, when Nicky screamed “He Kissed Her!” The hallway erupted in a cacophony of disgust and cheers.
Slowly Lauren realized that I had in fact kissed the back of her head and the look that spread across her face was that of someone who had just seen a hamster explode in a microwave.
She was traumatized.
My teacher, a seven foot tall French man, saw all of this go down and proceeded to lose his shit.
Before I knew what was happening he had lifted me by the puffy hood of my snowsuit and carried me into a near by classroom.
To this day I have never seen an adult this mad. I have parents and they have yelled at me but this was different, this wasn’t motivated by discipline it was motivated by fear.
"Do you know what you did Chris!? Do you!"
He was yelling in English which was a bad sign.
"That is assault! That is RAPE! You are a RAPIST!"
I had no idea what that meant but I knew it was seriously bad and that I was a terrible person.
I cried. I cried a cry of a little ginger kid with a bowl cut, wearing a neon snowsuit who just wanted to go home. I cried until I lost time and space, until the universe gave me up to the void and all that remained was a pair of tear soaked mittens dangling from the permanent strings of a now empty snowsuit.
My teacher let me go. I think he realized that I was just a little boy and that I would never (until I was 17) try to kiss a girl again.
I got home and asked my mom what the work “rape” meant and told me that it was the worst thing a human could do. That it was an act of evil.
She said it was when one person forced sex on another. I of course didn’t know what sex was so I asked “like kissing?”
She said “Yes. If person doesn’t want to be kissed.”
I see now that my mom was trying to walk a line between truth and explaining rape to a five year old.
It must have been hard and I can see that now.
I freaked out. I was a villain, a monster, a terrible human being. It had to be true, my mom said so.
I went to school the next day expecting to get chased by an angry mob. To my surprise nothing happened. Lauren hit me and told me to “never do that again” and I swore that I wouldn’t.
Other than that nothing happened. I figured it was because of how sneaky I was, no one could see the monster that I was.
I was a super villain.
I went to the library to gather more info. The young girl who was shelving books gave me a copy of “The Complete Works Of The Marque De Sade”.
Frankly I am just amazed that she answered me when I asked for books about rape.
I got to reading. Most of it made no sense. I did like the pictures. The villain dressed in a large black cape, with a huge black hat, lurking in the shadows.
I knew what I had to do. I had to get a costume. I found a black fuzzy winter hat in my dad’s winter stuff and tan work gloves in the garage. I wore a black and neon sweater with cars on them and I grabbed a hand full of candy and stuffed it into my pockets.
I went to the park and waited.
A dad and his two kids came by. I jumped out from behind a bush, throwing handfuls of candy as I shouted “You have been raped!”
I ran away, pleased.
On my way home I ran into my neighbour who was about 16 and he asked what I was doing. When I explained it he explained everything to me. I felt like a moron.
I was no villain, I was no monster, I was just mislabeled.
You see the unfortunate thing about titles is that they are necessary, in fact our society would most likely crumble if we were to abolish them tomorrow.
Titles like “Nerd” or “Doctor” or “Rapist” mean something, they represent a very important aspect of whatever they are attached to. Titles allow for the members in a society to quickly and in theory, accurately determine the function of a person.
In a lot of ways this is great, I mean if you need someone to protect you you know not to call the baker because you know that bakers bake, instead you call the police because the protect. I mean, it is literally on their cars “protect and serve” their roll is ingrained in their titles. Titles protect us, they allow for us to function without much thought and can make life easier.
The problem arises when the title is ill defined or if we are given it far to early.