I was thirteen the first time I learned about fist fucking. It was in music class, well, kind of music class. We were the strings section of the Egbert Jr. High orchestra, if you could call it an orchestra. To get into the orchestra we had to take a test when we were in the 6th grade, back at P.S. 41. Mr. Flynn came to the auditorium and we were herded before him a few groups at a time and he would play notes on the piano and we had to decide whether one note was higher or lower than the next. I still can't believe some people didn't get this right. Then we were marched up to the piano where he played and sang a jingle form a cigarette commercial and we had to finish it. "You can take Salem out of the country but.." and the response was "You can1t take the country out of Salem." I saw him mark down a 1 on my sheet, which I later found out meant I could be in the chorus. But sadly for me it turned out I was too good for the chorus, ie, I got all the high/low stuff right, so I ended up in strings, the most difficult section of the orchestra, and thus the nerdiest and most scorned.

I was semi-excited when I found out I was in the strings section. I heard Mr. Flynn often would teach guitar when everyone got tired of playing violin or viola or bass, and learning guitar sounded much more interesting than singing "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus" over and over again. I hoped that I could score one of my dead great-grandfather's violins--it was the least that family owed me for enduring several years of fondling and molestation at the wrinkled hands of a church-going, god-fearing 80-something year old, but upon petitioning my mother I discovered that my equally evil but basically law-abiding great-grandmother (his wife) had donated them to the church upon his death. Lavender-scented bitch.

I was in love with this boy in the class who was a terribly unlikely boy for anyone to be in love with--he was skinny and acne'd and very ill at ease. I stared at the back of his sweaty neck to alleviate the abject boredom of playing scales on the cheap school violin. This boy--I can't even remember his name now, but let's call him something horrible like Arnie--used to chat with me and the other girls about Welcome Back Kotter and The Mets and The Who and whatever other garbage teenagers discussed. There were only two other boys in the class and somehow they both ended up being of the ruffian variety--I guess years of air-guitar to "Stairway to Heaven" paid off in a strange way--so Arnie was afraid to hang out with them. I remember one of them, Robert, used to play the opening riff from "Smoke on the Water" on his standup bass. Nancy and Lisa couldn't understand the strange magnetism that pulled me towards Arnie, but that was probably because they weren't yet at the stage where they ever thought about having actual sexual relations. They were still reading Tiger Beat and hanging up posters of their safe dream hunks like Leif and various members of the Hudson Brothers. I was on my way to being a bad girl--listening to The Sweet and reading Cosmo for sex tips in case I ever did have sex with a person of my own age.

One day I bought a gay lifestyle newspaper, the name of which escapes me, because there was an interview with a band I liked at the time. Towards the back of the paper was a article about fist fucking. I showed it to the other bad violinists before Mr. Flynn got to class.

"Oh my god."
"People do that?"
"I can't even imagine..."
I'm being all sophisticated. "I believe they use some sort of... uh, vasoline or something. And look!" I said, pointing to a sidebar, "There's a code! Depending of where you tuck your bandanna..."

Arnie looked at me oddly, but I think it was meant to be sly. "And where do you tuck your bandanna?"