My FirstThis post is going to be a slightly weird one. Given some of the things I write about, that's saying something.
Most of the guys are going to get this.
Any women reading it probably aren't.
No offense intended, but we are a vastly different people and the general course of our childhood years are completely different.
Though, if a woman were to read it carefully enough, she might better understand men.
And how freaking messed up we really are.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
This morning, I was surfing through my daily sites, doing a sort of stream of consciousness thing letting one site link me to another and then another and so on.
Warning: This is not for the faint of heart. There is some SCARY shit out there in the interwebs.
Anyway, I was roaming through links and posts when I saw something that looked mildly interesting. It was a retrospective piece on the changing face of print media through the decades with a particular focus on the evolution of cover layout.
At least, that's the story I prepared for Susan. It was actually pictures of every cover of the Playboy Christmas issue ever.
Then, as I scrolled through them (purely for research purposes, of course), something incredible happened.
It was sixth grade. A group of my friends were crowded into a makeshift hideout we had constructed. Mostly, we just hung out and talked video games and theorized exactly what parts girls had and what we were supposed to do with or to them.
... It's a guy thing.
That's when one of my friends ran in.
To say he looked excited would be an utter insult to the meaning of the word. He was practically flying.
We instantly knew something big was happening. Maybe it was that look in his eye or the the way he ran in almost breathless.
Maybe it was the way he was clutching his backpack like he'd just robbed a bank.
I was reasonably sure he hadn't just robbed a bank. While he was a nice guy, he wasn't exactly the sharpest spoon in the drawer. His IQ rivaled that of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Still, there was something going on.
He carefully unzipped his pack and reached inside like a doctor doing a Caesarean. The care he took doing this made us all hold our breath.
He slowly pulled his hands out and, clutched in his sweaty little fingers, were pages torn from his father's Playboys.
Before any of the females reading this get confused, let me explain. To a boy at age 11, pages from a Playboy are practically religious, something to be studied and obsessed over.
No, obsessed is not in quotation marks.
Any man that tells you he never looked at a Playboy at that age is either:
a) a liar
b) a damned liar
c) please refer to a and b
You have to remember that this was a time before the internet had caught on and you didn't have instant access to the myriad databases of wildly varied porn that it brought with it. Today, it takes three seconds to find 800 pictures of naked women. Back in my day, that had to be earned.
Basically, the only exposure we had to nude women was through stolen Playboys or carefully paused scenes in movies.
This... This was a treasure trove of beautiful artwork, a cache of artfully displayed female form.
He went from being a practically useless member of the group to near mythological stature. We practically bowed at his feet, waiting to share in his knowledge.
Then, as dutifully as one could imagine, he carefully distributed the pages to the group. Each boy received one and were careful not to question their portion lest he tear it out of their hand.
I can still remember the page he handed me. I honestly can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I remember that moment with such glaring detail that it's a little frightening. I could tell you what each boy was wearing and even what the air smelled like.
That page became a priceless artifact to me. I hid it in my room to protect it from my mother's prying eyes and would carefully study every detail.
The images were practically burned into my brain.
The only thing I did not know was the woman's name. During the no doubt Ocean's Eleven-ish theft, he was not afforded the luxury of picking and choosing what to take. All I had was a single page, back and front printed with images of this nameless woman.
At some point through my life, the page was lost. Either during a move or perhaps discovered and quietly destroyed by my mother.
It was gone.
Fastforward to this morning. As I was scrolling through this somewhat interesting, but albeit mundane archive of covers, I saw her. It was the same face, the same eyes that I had spent hours staring at as a young man.
This might not seem like a big thing, but it really hit me for a loop. The memory of those pictures had been lost to time, buried in years of non-boob related events.
And then, there they were.
And I finally learned her name. Kata Karkkainen.
I could finally put a name to the face.
I said face, dammit.
This morning was a true testament to two very important facts:
1) it is incredible what a simple image can mean to a young man
2) I have WAY too much time on my hands