First Love

In the summer before seventh grade I fell in love with my swim coach, Rick, in his zip-up sweatshirt and OP shorts. Every morning at 6:30 a.m., I rode my Huffy down to the pool and swam laps in freezing water while he militantly yelled at me and the rest of the team.

It was easy to love him because he was always serious and passionately angry , screaming "Don't be a wuss!" or "You have to want it!"- the veins on his sexy , thick neck straining , eyebrows furrowing, spit flying. He was hot. It was easy to love Rick because we were at the pool , erogenous zone Ground Zero for suburban kids. Deep end, laughing skimmers, chemical fumes, giant and silent and blue, hissing with horniness. It was easy to love him because I was 11 and had nothing else to work with. Before Rick there wqas just television beefcake obsessions like Stweve Austin or Buck Rogers. Rick with his titty , tan Fabio body,Harry Hamlin hair, and spermy hollering was a famous hunk in the flesh, and I yearned for him.

Rick transformed my summer. My handwriting om my mixed tapes changed from bubble lettering to a more angular, adult style. I constantly had dreams of him , one in which he pulled me into his big browned arms and sang that strange ELO song right into my face: "Don't bring me down, BRUUSSSSSE!" Then I'd wake and let it linger.

He gave me pointers on my backstroke once. In the pool he slipped his hand under me and showed me how to stroke, my submerged pelvis offered up to him. I stroked and he said, "Good job," and I burned inside my teeny Speedo.

It didn't matter that he had no clue. Every move he made was a secret signal- whitle twirl, squeegee push, when he tested the water's pH levels. I replaced reality with100 fantasies , staring at him in his mirrored shades, building our bond it by bit - something I would stupidly do with all the first loves to come, for the next 18 years.

Summer ended. We won the divisionals and had a swim-team partry with McDonald's fruit punch and potluck food. We gathered in the grass for the special awards. Suddenly, my name was called. I won Most Improved. I went to get my little trophy with my Crackerjack towel wrapped around my shoulders and Rick put his arm around my waist. His huge hand radiating on my ass, he whispered something into my ear and I felt a chill through my crinkly chlorine hair. I couldn't make out what he said, but I lokked up and answered with my eyes.

I wish I were older too, Rick.

« Previous: Two new gay reality shows...

Next: shopping...appeared in Paper Mag summer 2005 »

Back to Index