I have to back up a bit. One does not simply walk into Day on the Green without building up some metal cred beforehand. I'd spent the first six months of 1985 trying to transform myself into a "stoner girl." I didn't dare attempt to emulate Mary Ann or Angel: I didn't have the clothes, the cosmetics, the hair or the confidence to pull it off. So I slung myself into that subgroup of stoner girls that didn't have a name, but all looked the same: poor. Plain. Often pudgy, always dumpy, dressed in hand-me-downs from brothers and ex boyfriends. I didn't have either, so I had to pull it off with plain T-shirts, jeans and a cigarette.
Anyway, Mary Ann got my foot in the door. Dawn opened it a little wider, especially when she began to date an actual metalhead guy. His name? Guy. I shit you not. Guy knew all the stoner boys. He had all the tapes, wore all the shirts, smoked all the pot and wasn't stingy with it. Dawn was determined that we both lose our drug cherry and get stoned with the boys ASAP. Then we'd be official and cool and accepted and all that crap that somehow seems so All-Important when you're a geek. And that's how I ended up in an abandoned dugout, on a deserted Little League field in the middle of the night, just one month before my fifteenth birthday, watching as the Ever Popular Dutchie was passed along the left hand side and gradually making its way to me.
But alas, much like Bill Clinton, I didn't inhale. Not because I didn't want to but because I didn't know how. I thought smoking a joint was the same as smoking a Marlboro, and didn't understand when several of the boys Guy had brought along started quietly laughing when I took a drag and let it out immediately. I sensed my carefully constructed attempt to be cool unravelling quickly.
Fortunately, one of the more compassionate metal headed pot smokers took pity on me at that point and came over to assist. I wanted to think it was because he liked me and that this kind gesture would lead to a metallic romance the likes of which would outshine Romeo and Juliet. But it was far more likely that he didn't want a noob wasting his expensive doob.
That boy's name was Kenny. 32 years later I still remember his name and his street address. I admit I've forgotten his phone number, and even the details of his facial features. I know only he had long hair, hanging in caramel colored ripples halfway down his back. He wore long sleeved plaid flannel shirts even in the summer, with a rock shirt underneath. Faded jeans, beat up sneakers. He carried a skateboard with him wherever he went. He had very large eyes, almost the same caramel color as his hair. He used his hair as a shield, hiding his shyness around girls behind it, preventing anyone from getting a clear look at his face simply by looking down at his shoes and allowing the heavy drapery to close around his high cheekbones and full lips. Yeah, I was in love with Kenny. The small, scabby fourteen year old inside of me still is. Hey man, the guy taught me how to smoke a joint properly. You never forget your first.