Big Red


Does anybody have a moment or two, or a person or two, from their past that they KNOW they’ll never forget?  I do.  I have no idea if I’m lucky and blessed or cursed and unfortunate.  Shortly after my seventeenth birthday, my sister got married.  She married this guy that lived around the corner from my dads house.  This guy was also the brother of an ex I was having a super hard time letting go of.  He was one of those ex’s that you always have an eye out for ‘just-in-case’ because you’re still stupidly obsessed and don’t want to miss the chance of seeing him.  That kind of ex can drive you crazy. I was dating this other guy at the time when my mom handed me the wedding invitation; I took one look at the name printed neatly on the envelope beside mine and knew that I did not want him at my sister’s wedding.  My ex was going to be there.  I was maid-of-honor, he was best man.  There would be a dance between us that made me excited.  I broke up with my boyfriend, who cried and it only helped me cement my decision to end this ridiculous relationship.

  The morning of the wedding my mom made me get my hair done.  Me?  No.  “Big Red will be taking you.”  Oh really, let me take a shower and I’ll be ready to go! Big Red took us to Wal-Mart.  Okay, let me tell you, my family is trash in case you haven’t figured it out by now.  Stilla’s wedding was in the back yard.  My dress came from J.C.Penney, my sisters came from the maternity department in some other store that was affordable because she was obese with a baby in her belly.  If that doesn’t clue you in on the level of trash I hail from, nothing will.
I sat there in that chair with the lady dressing up my head in twists and clips while Big Red sat there and tried his best not to stare.  I could see it and it gave me hope about our dance.  He told me I looked nice.  Maybe that part is made up.  It’s hard to tell.  Time goes by and you start blending what happened with what you wanted to happen, losing sight of reality.  Anyway, I played as if I couldn’t feel him watching me, following me.
I have a picture of us from our dance.  I look at it every now and then and I am hit with the memory of how I felt about him not only then but on that specific day.  More balanced on that days tip than my sisters future with her husband.  I think I knew it, I definitely felt something and that something has never left my memory of that day.  I drank as soon as I could.  I was buzzed by the time he had my hand in his.  Our stomachs, both young and flat were against each other.  His hands were so much bigger than mine and he was so much taller even though I wore heels.  There are some hands that touch us, that reach us, that we just never forget and I never forgot his, never.
The night moved on.  I kept drinking.  I went from champagne to screwdrivers while he made swings near the keg…I think.  You know, I don’t know if he drank.  Wouldn’t it be something if he didn’t? It was barely dark before I received the most memorable kiss of my life.  It was one of those kisses you read in books, see in movies and think “shit just doesn’t happen that way.”  I always knew that it’s possible because this woman got to experience it…once.  It was one of those kick-the-door-open kisses.  It was exciting, it was deep, it was wet and it was passionate.  He picked me up, his hands on my ass and slammed my back against the closet door while he kicked my bedroom door shut.  I think about it now and tears fill my eyes. His mouth was over mine, on my cheek, my neck and everywhere.  He was so…into it.  You don’t think, as a female, that men ever get into kissing but they can and when they do it is unbelievably beautiful and excruciatingly memorable.  Nothing could ever match it in your future.  It’s pointless to even compare it to any lips you may meet again.  You know it’s a moment that you save wrapped up in the wings of your heart and you hold it close so no one can see it or feel it but you.  You use it to find peace when you feel like shattering.  That one kiss has helped me through break-ups and through dark times much worse than break ups.  If a kiss like that can exist if even for a brief moment in time and I can survive it…then I can survive anything.
Strong arms carried me to my bed where he sat and began to lift my dress while I pulled on his pants.  I just wanted to get inside his pants to get him inside of me.  I had never felt that kind of rush before nor have I felt it since.  Just that one damned night.  And my dress was caught…in his zipper.  We were so close.  We laughed, we struggled, we kissed.  I wanted him so badly.

The bedroom door slammed open, the light blared on into my eyes and the next thing I knew, I was alone on my bed with my dad glaring over me and Big Red’s dirt bike, yes, dirt bike, could be heard digging up dirt as he tore away from my house.  I was heartbroken, shattered, utterly embarrassed.  My dad said nothing except to inform me that it would have been less suspicious if I had turned the light on.  There had been no time for lights!  I just wanted to…fuck the guy like a mad woman but you can’t say that to your dad! My dad said nothing more about catching me like that with Big Red, it was almost like he knew what was really happening, like when he opened the door he might could feel the strings in my chest reaching out for Big Red.  I really thought Big Red might have had the same thing going on but…he didn’t return for many hours.  I got shit faced drunk on vodka and passed out AT LEAST three separate times.  I kept waking up and coming back for more drink.  Eventually I switched to beer and that was when I met Big Red’s cousin.  He had this gorgeously thick black beard and bald head. We messed around despite the fact that his wife was there.  I just wanted Big Red but he clearly had other plans.  By the time he did return my focus was on making him jealous.  I wanted him still, I could feel it. I was wet for him, I know it’s inappropriate but hey, you don’t actually know who I am so I’m not all that embarrassed.  Big Red didn’t stay long after that.  He took off again.  We didn’t see each other for a while.  He was avoiding me.  But his brother was married to my sister and they had a kid together in a couple of months.  We saw each other but we didn’t speak.  I’d come home from the lake or the island and I’d hang out in my front yard in shorts and bikini top knowing he would drive by and see me.  Eventually he started taking the long way to wherever he spent/wasted time.  That kiss was never spoken of.
The following year I moved to east Texas.  I didn’t see or hear from him until years later.  I had my first baby.  Who was my first visitor once I was home?  It was him.  I was at my sisters, Kasper was at work.  I was fat and ugly.  I had chin hair to take care of! And there he was.  He “had” to see me.  He held Skas, we made A LOT of eye contact before he handed me my precious baby and drove away.  Just like that.  I thought he came to see if I was ugly and fat, and I was.  I thought he wanted to make sure that his chick was (still?) better looking than me.  I don’t know the result of the estimate he might have made but I felt like I was in the negative on that one.  I saw him a few more times, we share nephews.  He avoided me, didn’t talk to me.  No eye contact.  Nothing.

   He we are, 16 years after we first met.  He remembers everything.  I don’t know if he says the things he’s been saying because he’s lonely or if they are true but they hurt.  I think of that kiss, the one he remembers in as full detail as I remember it.  He remembers the jealousy, the back and forth.  He remembers my husband.  He said he was scared of me so long ago because of how he felt and he didn’t understand so he closed me off.  He says he always loved me and it brings me back to that day even while I lay in my husbands arms.  I am still 17 when I think of Big Red. I am still in a sheer dress that is see-through when the sun hits it just right.  I still have twists and clips and gobs of chemical in my hair when he holds my hand and pulls me close.  I am not married and scarred and crippled when my back is against the closet door and he’s kissing me while my legs pin him close.  I wouldn’t trade my life today to redo that night but it…it definitely stings to have a past with such vibrant moments that cast shadows over the darkest times of my life.  I got some closure recently because of him, thanks Facebook.  But at the same time I feel like he opened more of my past than he closed.

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