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  1. Rhonda's First Time

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012


    I represented my high school Bishop McDonnell , at an organization dedicated to brotherhood the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  I was an earnest sophomore determined to eliminate racial intolerance one bigot at a time.  If world harmony depended on sensitivity exercises, the NCCJ was team trainer to we teenaged brotherhood Olympians.  We performed anti-racist dramas. We argued ceaselessly that religious and cultural differences added value and diversity to the human mosaic. We sang, held hands and swayed.

    During a routine NCCJ prep sessions I felt heat!  Out of the blue, a spark ignited between me and the outspoken Lincoln High School firebrand.  He was cocky, opinionated, argumentative and today suddenly very cute.  Les* and I lingered after NCCJ functions discussing independent films and the best countries for expatriation.  He was science fiction, I was science fantasy.  We just might end up being friends.  When not crusading against racism, we explored the underground labyrinth of Rockefeller Center, discovered treasures of the Botanic Gardens and roamed the Coney Island boardwalk.  If it was free in a NYC park we did it: movies, concerts, Shakespeare.  I thought we were friends.  Les thought we were dating.  Turns out we were both half right.

    When our friendship got to the I.D. bracelet stage, our hand holding led to kissing. That’s when things got weird.  Les was a senior graduating into full testosterone overdrive.  I was a chaste Catholic school girl contemplating the possibility of life as a nun.  A romantic goodnight kiss, for any normal person is a sweet sign of affection.  To a good Catholic girl it’s a deadly “Occasion of Sin“.  I didn’t have a clue what sex was but all that tongue dancing & groping felt like a one way ticket to hell.  I resisted… for months.

    One night I finally beat Les in a particularly competitive game of Scrabble.  I was probably gloating a bit when I mentioned it was after 9 o’clock and time for him to go home.  In the downstairs hallway I pursed my lips for a quick kiss and I raised my hand to open the door.  Les pressed me against the wall. He kissed me like he was trying to tell me something that I couldn’t hear over the sound of my own heart beating.

    I thought, this can’t be sex, I’m standing upright.  Is this that source of secret laughter?   Why do  I feel totally out of control in a very powerful way?  Every part of me is having an out of body experience.  I’m kind of scared.  Just like when Les insisted we go on the Coney Island Cyclone.  Once I realized I was really doing it, I couldn’t stop the experience.  I had to keep breathing and hold on until that ride came to a jerky halt.  Did I feel good? Did I feel bad?  I don’t know.

    I DID know these three things:  I definitely felt different, my life would never be the same…and I just might do it one more time. THAT is exactly the way I felt the first time I did stand-up comedy.

    *Names have been changed to indicate the guilty.

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  2. 15 comments:

    1. Rhonda, Thank you for sharing your 'First Time.' It was good for me too! LoL Your Gift with words transported me back to My Days of Innocence. Omigosh, yes I remember the weirdness, the uncertainty, the flutters, and the butterflies. The ID bracelet, ha, and most of all the knowing. You were right. Life would never be the same. Funny that a Stand-Ups First Time happened Standing Up! Thank you Rhonda for taking me back. In his attempt to be sweet, funny, and reassuring, my first wrote these words to me in a card, about a month after our first time. "The First is the Worst. The 2nd is like the First. The 3rd is like Thirst. Can't Stop Drinking. Ha ha ha." RIP M.A.

    2. loislane911 said...

      Rhonda, what a terrific post, tickled my mind and heart. You captured not only your "first time" but also an entire era. Doing stand-up back in the early NYC comedy club days was certainly a romantic experience, (alas, like most experiences more-so in retrospect). And the cyclone ride comparison,YES! You can write! Such accurate and sweet correlations between -- communicating with a first love, and an audience -- that tentative awkward movement towards a full fledged love relationship, and the steps to creating an act that works. Also, yes, for a gal, doing stand-up had that extra feeling of being sinful -- since back then it certainly wasn't typical female fare. Wonder if there are any nuns who do stand-up?

    3. WoW. This reads like the first few pages of a novel. The Stand-Up comedy ending is right on.

    4. Great story, genuine and heartfelt. Folks don't realize the "I.D." in I.D. bracelet means "I'll Do It!" Your writing is like you comedy, original and funny. I'd share my first time, but I'm still running from the Mexican authorities! Also, seems your improv skills were honed at an early age. I look forward to reading more of your exploits and escapades. Blog on, M'lady, you're a great read and terrific voice for all. NCCJ would be proud!

    5. Joanne Filan said...

      So great Rhonda! I feel a little warm now, though..

    6. Nice to learn you're not one to take the subject of sex lying down.

    7. Frankie Pace said...

      Well executed Rhonda......Good writing technique....
      Yes..sex is like comedy in a way...It overwhelms you to a point where you don't know if you should stop and reconsider or go all out the next time. Caroline was my first she was 16 I was 14...She was the teacher I was the student...a very happy student I might add....Whoa!!!!!!

    8. Sometimes Stand Up is better than sex! Or so I've been told by those having sex with me. Haha!

      Wait, that's not what I wanted to say. How does this commenting thing work? I ju

    9. You are soooo hilarious, Rhonda! You are a fantastic writer, innovative commedienne, magnificent director and consummate actor! You are spontaneous, so effervescently real, truthful and fearless!

      Ave Maria Cross, The Self-Appointed President of Your Fan Club

    10. Lady Ha Ha said...

      Well played, Ms. Hansome! i love your style.

    11. Thanks for sharing your first time experience; it was a sweet and thrilling read. By the way, you crack me up!! :-)

    12. Amy said...

      Freaking awesome. Not only are you an amazing performer, but you are a FUCKING BRILLIANT writer as well. I'm so jealous. Now, I'm going to go watch "Half Nelson" followed by "21 Grams" then cry myself to sleep.

    13. khf333 said...

      Think I need a drink & cold shower

    14. Makes me want to see, hear, and read more.

      Hey, if you're not doing anything the first week in August, I'm hosting a writer's retreat & showcase in Michigan.

      https://www.facebook.com/events/191727177621285/

      Bring whatever pieces, scripts, plays, or stories you've been working on and we'll all support each other.

    15. Rhone Fraser said...

      I liked "names have been changed to indicate the guilty." Thank you for sharing, Rhonda. You write with clarity that is refreshing, that reminds me of how innocent we all are to what life brings us. Your tone reminds me of how each day even after our youth is full of surprises and how we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Thank you! -RF.

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