A Glacially Paced Awakening
Coming of age is essentially the dawn of civilization. You want to make a fire, preferably with a homo erectus, but it just takes so much work. I mean, it’s a major turning point in human evolution and sometimes it’s just easier to hang out in the dark on a Friday night.
High school was a bestselling story of survival and sexual frustration. Through instinct and adaptation, I was forced to live among a people who were not like me, people who got invited to the cool parties. It was a lot of riding around in cars, trying desperately to hunt-and-gather cute guys without ever really knowing where the cute guys were.
Occasionally, I would get close to one who was obviously lost from his herd. I would telepathically communicate: MAKE A MOVE. But as everyone knows, an animal caught in the headlights of your cleavage-bearing blouse will never make a move. It was a classic Neanderthal Cro-Magnon conundrum. They were from one clan, I was one of “The Others.” I knew, for instance, that the Dance Team Code of Conduct Rule #2 No Alcohol…was no joke. I knew that Sports Center on mute with subtitles was not a foreign film. I know that Bert wanted to make out with me and that I wanted to make out with Ben who didn’t know my name, so that I would end up making out with no one. I knew that I was more than okay with that. I’m pretty sure I just defined the four sides that make a square.
In Book Two of the Earth’s Idiots series, I was stuck in the Valley of Dans. There was Dan the Professor, Dan the architecture student, Dan that skater guy in that one class. And there were not enough Labatt Blues to make the concept of “togetherness” tolerable. Dan the architecture student wasn’t terrible. I pursued him with great gusto and while he might have been talented at building structures, he couldn’t build an intimate moment if he tried.
So leave the Valley of Dans I did, straight into the reality show of my life called “Mammoth Hunters of New York City.” While I was not exactly Queen of the Stone Age — more like a Jane Austen of the Stone Age — I was still hell-bent on finding my mostly companion with whom to build a fire. (“What I desire is man’s red fire to make my dreams come true.” — King Louie, Jungle Book, wise chap.) But there were no men, only mammoths as far as the spear could throw. I don’t want to get into details, because that’s gross, but there were stock broker mammoths, banker mammoths, consulting mammoth — those were the worst. A mammoth might keep you warm, but he’s no Jondalar. And while you might not be Ayla, girl, you keep searching for your Jondalar.
So my journey continued, until at last, I reached the Plains of Passage to Womanhood. It was an arduous and dangerous journey, so many primitive hominids, so many mammoths, crossing landscapes of emotion and bad communication, avoiding every missing link who hit on me, but it’s a story that’s been called “gripping” and “pure entertainment, exhilarating.”
I found a dude in a bar — let’s call it ‘natural selection.’ There was something between us, a remix to Ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen, if you will — let’s not call it ‘sexual awakening’ (in fact, let’s never say those words again), but more like an amorous congress, a bit of bandicooting, some chesterfield rugby. Yes, the puritanical supercontinent was no more. My modest landmass, that priggish Pangaea erupted. There were shifts, changes. I terrified him by telling him I loved him. Mountains formed. He took me to hockey games. Valleys were created. We shared a rudimentary common language based almost solely around him cooking for me. This guy created a land bridge to my heart.
The Ice Age of Chastity was over, but as any Jim Morrison fan knows, one minute you’re singing “come on baby light my fire” and the next you’re like, “damn, we lost the flint!” It’s a delicate balance between inferno and extinction. And just because you got woke on the softest fur hide bedding in the sweetest little shelter overlooking some other shelters on the Lower East Side, doesn’t mean that years later, millenia later actually, that sometimes you feel like you’re just struggling to create wheel.
And that’s called The Age of Marriage.