Bring Me Judd Nelson

by

But only the Judd Nelson of The Breakfast Club.

I bought tickets to go see one of my top all time favorite movies at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland for next Friday.

I am quite excited.

I may wear some dark eye liner, “I like that black shit,” and channel myself a little Ally Sheedy.

I never did really quite connect with Molly Ringwald’s character.

Sheedy’s though, I got her real well.

The first time I saw the movie was at my cousin Arielle’s house.  She and my sister were really quite tight.  I felt like the third wheel, but once the movie started I did not care who was there.

In fact, I don’t remember anything else about the company I kept that night.

I was enthralled.

I watched it twice.

Once the first time with my sister and my cousin, and then the second up late, with the volume turned down low after every one had gone to bed.  I must have been up until three in the morning.  My first late nighter as a teenager.

I was a pretty good kid.

I did not drink.

I did not do drugs.

I was not a truant.

I toed the line.

I was rebellious in ways that were quiet and under the radar and most likely annoying to a lot of the people around me.  I was a know it all, a book-worm, a debate team captain.

I was smart, but not smart enough, is how I always looked at it.

I could not figure things out.

And I missed a lot of things like dating and slumber parties and boys and gossip; hanging out at the mall or going to the movies with girl friends.

When those things did happen, they felt so momentous that they are almost entirely etched into my memory.

Watching Beaches with a car load of people at the drive in on outer East Side of Madison.

Going roller skating with Jim Bloomer at the Roller Drome.

Man, was I embarrassed by Jim.  He was cute, he was one year older, he kissed me quite well my junior year, but he was a dork.

Despite the lessons I learned watching The Breakfast Club, I did not really learn anything.

Watching that movie was an ethereal experience as it had absolutely no bearing on my life or my experiences in high school, but I was still marked by it.

The fantasy of being like that.

The fantasy of dating.

What that looks like.

I have a date for next Friday.  This will be date number three.  We have been to dinner twice–Flour and Water and Plum–and now it is time for the movie.

Will we hold hands?

Do I lean into him?

Aren’t movie theaters were you go to make out?

I went on a movie date with Jim once too, with friends of his, I don’t remember the girl’s name, but I think his friend’s name was Jeff.

Jeff and his girlfriend made out the entire time.

I could not tell if I wanted to make out with Jim or not.

I did, but I did not want to be ostracized.

Jim was the towel boy for the football team.

I was scandalized by the thought of the further ostracization that would happen to me if anyone knew I was on a date with Jim.

I am not the mature woman I am today.

And Jim is married with babies and a wife, so I am certain it all worked out the way it was supposed to be.

But I remember the taste of guilt in my mouth.

That taste of want and need and desire.

I had friends who had gone all the way.

Shit I had a sister who had already been pregnant once and was preparing to get with child yet again (that niece just turned 20 this month).

Yet I could not reconcile my hormones, Jim’s hormones, and the social level I would have slunk to had I gone on a more public date with him.

We watched Pet Semetary.

It was awful.

I was really disappointed.  I had read the book and I loved Stephen King.

How come all his movies have translated so poorly?  They really are schlock.

Jeff and his girlfriend were the real horror story at the theater.  I could barely take my eyes off them to see what was happening on the big screen, which was not scary in the least and annoying in the most.

Did Jim even try to hold my hand?

I do not recall.

The last time I went to a movie with a boy I slept with him that night.

Ok, so that probably will not be happening.

It was also the last night that Shadrach was alive, if you can call being in a vegetative coma alive.  It was the night before his parents were to be informed that there was no hope for him, that the coma was going to be permanent, he would not be waking up, and they needed to decide what to do.

I was exhausted.

It had been a week of very long days, very long nights, bouts of crying that shook me until I fell asleep.  Haze.

I remember the fog falling over Twin Peaks and the light of the sun spilling gold and yellow on the grass in front of General Hospital.

I went to sit quietly for an hour and I cried the entire time.

Some friends were going to see a movie after I they invited me.

Rick.

Rick invited me and Jim and another friend went.

I was so tired.

I leaned into Rick’s shoulder and just soaked in the warmth.

I should have gone home that night.

Who knows what could have happened.

To this day I wonder if I actually would have ended up dating him had I not slept with him that first night.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But I needed comfort and I took it.

I remember most the warmth of his shoulder.

The sex was not memorable.

Neither was it horrible, it was just what it was.

That was five and a half years ago.

I have been to movies with guy friends and girl friends and fellows.

But I have not been on a date with a guy to go see a movie in a while.

I’m up for holding hands right now.

Maybe a good night kiss.

Maybe a shoulder to lean on.

I am excited to see the movie and to see how I have moved on, forward, and out from that place I was in over twenty years ago when I first watched the movie and completely fell for that circle of kids, angst ridden and rebellious and golden in celluloid time.

Because when I think about it I can see that I am just like them at the end–I have shed some skin, a lot of it, and have embraced my true self–it may not look like Molly Ringwald–but it does look pretty wonderful.

And just a tiny bit French.

 

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