Until just very recently, middle school was the most adventurous period of my life. There are many memories centered on a boy named Esteban. He was quite proud of the fact that he was on Ritalin, had ADD, and a mild form of autism. He dressed very “metal” was thin but sinewy and muscular and his hair was a thick mop of Foppish brown. He would grind his teeth and tense up randomly, his body would involuntarily convulse in a strange kind of seizure that was actually him playing air guitar, air “metal” guitar to himself and screaming out the bass-lines.
Esteban with the lost last name always managed to convince me to hang out with him and since I took the public bus home I had hours of time after school to do just that. My parents thought I was staying late at the library or participating in an afterschool activity. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t that kind of kid at all because more than half the time those excuses were true.
But when they weren’t — there was Esteban. He was a “bad boy”; people were both afraid of him and in love with him. I guess my in love with outweighed the afraid. He would often lead me to a house that he somehow knew was under construction, I had deduced that his parents had to be in construction because of this but i only met his mother once and it didn’t come up. Sometimes he took me to an abandoned house, or building and he often led me to his room in his house when his parents weren’t there. It somehow resembled those unfinished or abandoned places.
I saw him shirtless, punching the air with his jaw clenched, again to the beat of “metal” coming from inside his soul, i saw him shirtless so many times, and with the benefit of experience I can say it was the ideal and singular setting to have experienced something physical and sexual for the first time, I didn’t think those things could really happen back then.
Later I found out from a surprising number of people who I grew up with, that they would’ve liked being my first but felt I was too innocent and too pure for them to corrupt. It sounds like a load of b.s.; My innocence inspired celibacy, or more accurately, my innocence inspired rejection. It took me many more years to realize that I wasn’t.
I have no idea what has become of Esteban. I imagine he’s married and has little nutter children. They may even be as old as he was. Instead of breaking glass bottles and punching holes in walls they’re probably breaking glow sticks and popping the same pills that allowed their father a moment of focus.
I hope they are as nice as he was, I hope they take shy boys or girls on new experiences.