I Still Think They Taste Like Toothpaste

Categories: Relations |


This is a picture of my lifelong friend, Pittman, that I took in 1997 on my first 35mm SLR. Pittman and I had met the year before at the county fair. I was in the eighth grade and he was a freshman. Since we lived in rural Arkansas, the annual county fair was one of the highlights of our year. It was a Saturday night and the last day of the weeklong festivities. I ran into my friend and fellow band geek, Justin. Justin was accompanied by a hot fellow that I didn’t know. He had long, silky blond hair that was a mixture of cool rebel and Hanson band member. Justin introduced him as Pittman. I thought that was an interesting name, like boys named Lucky or Beau on soap operas.

Much to our dismay, that night it rained and ruined our fair fun. The three of us wandered around the business booths, collecting candy, and gossiping. Eventually Justin had to leave us, and Pittman and I found ourselves sitting on a wooden bench. It wasn’t a private setting. After all, the entire population of the county was inside the stuff, dusty, humid building, but I was in pure heaven. A cute boy was speaking to me! True to junior high form, I was overly dramatic when we argued the value of green peppermints.

That night I went home high on thoughts of Pittman. I daydreamed about him the rest of the weekend and experienced those ecstatic hormone rushes that only early teens feel. Somehow I got the nerve to be daring. During those years, I had settled for boyfriends that were easily accessible and had already shown interest in me. But I like Pittman, and I wanted him to like me back. So on Monday, I snuck into the band room instrument closet and slipped a note inside his saxophone case with three green peppermints. Though we are now just friends, my life has never been the same.

Happy 26th Birthday, Pittman!

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