This is Adam doing something I saw a lot of as a young girl — playing lacrosse. This was taken in the mid-’70s. I used to watch him play lacrosse, but he was a lifelong pal playing with a bunch of other lifelong friends, never a boyfriend. While I might have sensed he liked me, he never told me, and he never sent any messengers to tell me, and so I never assumed otherwise.

Look at those legs!

Adam was a really cute boy, a redhead with freckles and a great smile and laugh, an amazing athlete with an athlete’s body,  great dancer, and he had a kick-ass last name that made him mysterious to me — it sounded almost Inuit. We knew each other from kindergarten on; our older siblings grew up with one another. If anyone ever picked on me, Adam had my back. A bitchy redhead named Margaret Conrad once slapped me across the face in middle school. Adam appeared out of nowhere, took her by the arm and made it clear she was never to lay a finger on me again. Duelling gingers!

When we got into high school, Adam was always lurking in the shadows, looking out for me. We got drunk once and made out; his was the first boner I ever felt, albeit over top his jeans. He still played lacrosse, I still went and watched. If he really tried to woo me, I can’t recall it. I don’t know why I didn’t make a move, but I think, when I look back, I might have assumed he was a little off. He would stare at me strangely and not speak. He would start to say something and stop. He would withdraw completely, for weeks, if he saw me hanging out with new guys. He didn’t hang out that much with my crowd. He was a slow talker, sort of stoner-ish, and maybe I wondered if he was a druggie (fool — that would be considered a bonus in later years). I didn’t know what to make of him once we got into high school, and I didn’t worry too much about it, and proceeded to go out with a complete tool named Robbie for three years. He was dumb, shallow, a cheat and lousy in the sack. To this day, I am embarrassed I went out with him.

So, as you might expect, Facebook has reconnected Adam and me, more than 20 years after I last saw or spoke to him. He has several siblings and they were all connected to each other and to old friends of mine on FB. Sure enough, I got a friend request, and today, even though I am supposed to be working, I am enthralled by his revelations and by the fact that he remembers things about our friendship that I have completely forgotten.

Among the revelations:

1. It almost killed him when I started going out with Robbie. “What was UP with that? I was crushed.”

2. When he heard Robbie routinely fucked around on me, he became enraged and almost fought him at a party. This was totally news to me, but I remember Robbie not liking him and now I know why.

3. He claims I was not only the prettiest and smartest girl he ever knew, but the sweetest. (This is total bullshit, by the way — I only learned to pluck my eyebrows when I turned 30, I was flat-chested, greasy-skinned and I had Mean Girl tendencies). But I do know I was sweet to him. It was hard not to be; he was a doll, totally guileless and without a mean bone in his body.

3. HE LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME. He has not aged a day. Same great smile, freckles, red shaggy hair.

I have no idea what to do with this information, or why it’s thrown me for a bit of a loop.  He is single dad raising his teenaged daughter, and I know he has struggled with some problems over the years. I guess I am sort of touched by everything he’s told me, and wondering why I didn’t see what he says was plain as day 30 years ago. He would have been a sweet and devoted boyfriend, grateful to have me. For some reason even then, as now, I always seem to go for the challenge, for the guys I can’t ever truly have, or for well-established bad boys. I really need to rethink that.

Did I mention he still LOOKS GREAT?

Advertisements