Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

I might be dating myself, but I remember when Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup had to be opened with a can opener, the kind that punched a triangle shaped hole in the top of a can.

You poured most of a can of that stuff into a glass of milk, to impress me.  We were eleven years old.  You were my first kiss.

I had always been an outcast, in elementary school.  Funny thing about being a deaf kid integrated but the school district wasn’t all that great about educating the peers….people thought I was an ass.  They’d talk to me and I wouldn’t reply, so I’m sure they thought I was stuck up.  Elementary school was hell for me.

Junior high was my chance to start over.  I went to Junior High orientation with lots of makeup on, trying to make myself look Asian.  Anything to be an exotic stranger, anything except what I really was, the deaf scared kid.

My mother was mortified when we got home from that orientation, by the way, and was convinced from that day forward that I was artificially darkening my eyebrows.

“no, Mom, they really DO look like caterpillars”

Anyways, Brent.  You were in my seventh grade science class.  You seemed to look past my hearing aids. Past my awkwardness.  You asked me out on a “date”.  It was a movie, a movie about a Volkswagen bug car that was popular at the time.  Was the car’s name “Herbie”?  We went for pizza first, and the movie later.  We couldn’t drive.  Not old enough.  I think my father drove us.

You were the first boy to make me feel the “adult” kinds of feelings.

You invited me to your house one day after school. I knew your parents would not be there.  At work.  I was scared, but also so happy that you wanted to spend time with me.

You took me into the kitchen to make a chocolate milk.  You poured a glass of milk, then emptied most of an entire can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup into it.  And then drank it.  Without gagging.

I was properly impressed.

You kissed me.  My first kiss.  I had a metallic taste in my mouth, now in retrospect, I think it was fear, excitement, but I mentioned it to you and you said you probably had bad breath.  You touched my chest (flat as it was) and I touched you.

We never did have sex.  I loved you, though.  I can’t even really remember what happened, why we faded out, but I think of you fondly.  I would love to go back and talk to you one last time.

You died in, I think it was 1987?  In a motorcycle crash, with my other ex, Bill.  It’s strange how life works out.

I want to talk to you both, but you more so.  You left an impression in my life.

Here’s to you, Brent.  You and the rolling stones.