Five to nine

Have a drink.

November 09, 2004

The thing about your first time is,

sometimes it's embarrassing to remember but impossible to forget. Awkward dialogue, clumsy posturing, nervous sweat, like all things it takes much practice and experience to achieve the very romanticized effect you see in movies. But they never tell you that when they're about to get you started.
The circumstances for my first time were perfect. My best friend's older brother had just graduated from University and he and his seven closest friends (All newly minted mechanical engineers) had planned a trip to Puerto Vallarta. At the last minute there were not one but TWO dire emergencies, and the package was for eight people, so to avoid having to pay very much extra, my Best Friend and I were recruited to fill in the gaps. In the sumer of ninety five, I was thirteen years old and my best friend was fifteen. I was always a late bloomer, and he was always early. At fifteen he looked about seventeen and at 13 i looked about 11. Maybe. This along with the fact that the youngest of the engineers was 23 and the oldest 28 and I certainly had occasion to feel out of place. And there was of course, much ribbing. I wish I could say it was good natured, but much of it was in very mean spirits. And since the Mexican spanish vernacular is rife with double entendre (known in spanish as "albur") I had to watch very carefully every single thing I said and did. Somewhere between the stage a boy feels compelled to dig for treasure and before the stage where he plays with fire, he must go through a similar gauntlet to ensure that he is rightly constructed for the next phase of his life.
The package we signed up for included 4 days three nights stay, three meals a day in the hotel restaurant along with an open bar and an open snack and beverage bar at the beach. I don't need to tell you that 6 out of 8 were more concerned with the free drinks than the free food. Still, even being too young to drink it was a great way to spend $60 USD.
The second day at lunch when I started feeling the warm sunshine in my brain, when the waiter asked me what I wanted to drink, I said half-jokingly a "chi-chi", which is kinda like a pina colada, but with vodka instead. The waiter could not accomodate me, so I asked if I forwent a drink if my older buddy could have two? After I was forced to accept a delicious coke, and the waiter had gone, I received the third of many important lessons on this trip. "You shouldn't say things like that, because it's insulting the intelligence of the waiter. You're too young to get a drink, and if 'anything is going to happen' on this trip, that certainly isn't the way to go about it." (you must imagine all this in spanish)
After lunch, while all this was sinking in, I saw the ward of two babes our group had noticed during dinner walking alone with a new pet iguana (a common thing in vallarta) on a leash on his shirt. Serendipitousley, I said "your iguana is going to die kid" as kind of a joke. I was a bastard back then I guess. When he stopped dead in his tracks and turned to me, looking scared and asking why, I felt bad, and proceeded to tell the youg'un everything i knew about reptile care. Once I had gotten the attention of the women who were taking care of him, Mayito, one of the handsomer engineers stepped in and having had a snake in his own childhood, loaded junor with all the information he needed to care for the reptile the rest of its life. The women, who turned out to be the boys mother and godmother came and introduced themselves. MILF and GMILF then proceeded to pick two of the engineers out of the lineup and made dates with them. Even at 12 I was not Naive enough not to know what went on during beach dates.
The next morning we went out to breakfast and then the beach minus one of the two lucky daters last night who was still recovering. There was a change in the mood of the group. All the focus had shifted away from me and toward the people who had gotten laid the night before. And this time, the ribbing was totally good-natured. After breakfast, while on the beach, I had gotten a surge of confidence like I had never felt before. All of a sudden, when checking out the hot blondes and wondering if any among us (them) were going to go and talk to them, I said I'd bite the bullet and just marched on over there. The women were two hot blondes from Frisco it turned out, and I told them I was with a few young professionals who wanted to practice their english, but were a little embarrassed about their skills. The women were good-natured and waived them over. After it was obvious that my skills of interpretation were no longer needed, I moseyed over to where my own peer was hanging with the oldest engineer of the bunch. They asked me what was going on and I pointed to our party making gestures at the hot blondes. He thought it was hilarious, then turned to me very seriously, and asked if I wanted to share in the caballitos. Caballitos, meaning horseys, is Mexican slang for shots. The way they do it is pour the shot (in a bigger glass with a salt rim) and squeeze a half lime in there, then chase it with a back of coke. Yes Coca-Cola! My friend had already tried one.
My first drink was good. Warm nose, crisp finish and on top of that the favorite seasoning of the Mexican people for all things fresh, Salt and lime. It warmed my stomach and didn't make me gag. After just a couple of shots our heads were already spinning and we were feeling great! My dear friend and I went to our room to wait out the effects and chill while those that were no longer under the attention of the blondes went "sight-seeing".
There would always be more drinks, but this was my first. And by gaw, I earned it.