One summer night in high school I received a hickey from a girl at a party. While I was excited that somebody thought that the positive attributes of embarrassing me outweighed the negative attributes of touching my neck with their tongue, I was not as excited for the world to see. I came down to family dinner the next night with my sparkling white shirt on because it had the starchiest collar and I explained that I was trying to start a new fad of popped collars on shirts that were too small (this shirt hadn’t been worn in a while because it was a remnant from my freshman year of being 4’10”) (I also recognize that this is a fad now, but I don’t think it was then, and my parents wouldn’t know a fad if it smacked their urethra with its penis). Halfway through dinner my dad remarked how I had somehow dripped food onto my neck to which I swiftly replied: “uh, nah, what? huh? Your neck! I’ve got… Beluga whale..Who’s on first?”
I don’t bruise easily because it takes some amount of fat or muscle to be bruised and I am simply a somewhat functioning skeleton draped in skin.
The next morning I had to work the deli counter at my parent’s health food emporium/grilled vegetable purveyor. Krasi the Bulgarian who taught me his native tongue’s words for “vagina,” “popped cherry,” and “tits” but had refused to learn the English words for nearly anything came over to me from across the store as though he had just heard word that my parents had died in a fiery plane crash. “You have good time last night it look like.” He remarked though I was still forcing a fad of popped collars onto my personality.
I’m not sure my parents ever realized this was a hickey (my dad didn’t even know what my name meant until I named my sketch troupe three weeks ago), but I blame this on the human desire for things to stay the same as opposed to their ignorance toward the outside world. Just as a father is supposed to always see their daughter as a baby forever (I say “supposed to” with horrible disgust), my parents felt it their need to continue to see me is the little boy who couldn’t get laid if a hooker was strapped to his dick. This is partially their fault, partially society’s, and mostly mine. I continued to present that image to them out of fear that if I showed them other sides they wouldn’t think of me as their son, but rather some evil twin version of their son.