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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Meyer

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Interpretation by Anna (Moon) Zajicek

Remember the butterflies that floated through your belly the first time you laid eyes on that girl or that boy? How you took an extra breath or maybe didn’t breathe at all? Wasn’t that the BEST feeling? All adrenaline and innocence and pure, blue-sky together-forever “love”? Wasn’t it the BEST until that girl or that boy totally shunned you, or ignored you, or didn’t even notice you? And then wasn’t it the WORST?

My first eternal love was the boy next door. Greg was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed middle child flanked by two brown-eyed, brunette brothers. Greg was shy. His brothers were blabber-mouths. Greg liked country music. His brothers liked Bruce Springsteen. Our mothers were friends and when his mother’s garden produced ripe green beans, my mother “made me” help him with the harvest. It was torture. Because all I wanted to do was stare at him and maybe lick his cheek.

Did he know that? He had to have known that. I was 13 and not exactly seasoned at being subtle. But then again, teenage boys are dumb.

So I laid out in the sun a lot with my chair facing his house and peeking through my sunglasses here and there to see if Greg had decided to come outside and maybe ask me to marry him. I bent one knee just like I’d seen the college girls do on TV and in TEEN magazine. And yes, I hung the laundry wearing a shirt that exposed my belly. And guess what? Once, I caught him looking.

But nothing came of it.

Greg didn’t fall for me. Greg rarely even talked to me. And I hated laying in the sun. It was so boring and hot. So I subdued my butterflies with a grilled cheese sandwich and went back to being my awkward, near-sighted, pubescent self.

Greg’s rejection was the WORST. I told my diary that I’d never get over it. I knew love would never find me. I knew I’d never go to prom or homecoming and that I would be forever lonely and grow old and haggard and, and—

And then Scott walked into my life. 🦋 🦋 🦋

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