My love for older men started at a young age. All of the pop singers and movie stars were in their late twenties while I remained in my tween years. Their posters plastered my walls and dreams of them serenading me to sleep remained constant in my head. I was the youngest of five kids and tried so very hard to act more mature and experienced. My entire life I have been mistaken for someone older than myself. I read more advanced books and cursed and smoked by the time I was 13, and therefore found myself wanting to date older men.
The first boy I ever really liked was 22 and I was 14. He listened to good music and had seen great films and had amazing insight for the world around me. Folk became my favorite music and I watched horrible foreign films about high school lovers. I began reading Hemingway and beat poetry and I snuck cigarettes from my father’s drawers. I felt like I could only relate to those older than me and that I was destined to be older and more mature than my peers.
The one thing about liking and engaging with older men is that they’re constantly impressed with you because of your age. It’s unbelievable to them that I read and write and like music because my brain is so undeveloped. I read the newspaper and knew current issues and had political view points. I owned classic novels and had dreams of owning a typewriter and saddle shoes. My intellectual interests were more impressive than older the men were. Perhaps I was a muse to some nostalgic fantasy they wanted to live out. Later in my life I would discover that this factor would prove to be harmful and humiliating.
By the time I started high school my favorite actor was James Dean and I had read “On the Road’ and “The Sun Also Rises” multiple times. My brain was corrupted with angst and sexual frustration and I was surrounded by idiotic 15 year old boys. I wrote poetry heavy with allegory about men, but none of the boys in my level one biology class were concerned with my meter or rhyme scheme. If I didn’t have the perfect body or the newest camera phone, I was merely a shadow in their day.
My identity suffered and I was no longer able to deal with the aesthetics of freshmen year. The clothes I wore were from old ladies closets emptied out into thrift stores about town. I wore red lipstick and my outfits never matched the weather. I quoted Jack Kerouac and listened to Irish love songs about one night stands and unrequited affairs. Most of my friends talked to me and confided in me due to my wisdom and my quirky impulses. I was never sure if my friendships were genuine, but who wants to spend the first years of high school alone?