There was still time to turn the car around and drive home, but turning back meant going back to the way things were last year. There’s just something about the air on New Year’s Eve that urges you to make a change, do something drastic and shake up your life. A new year isn’t just a time to make promises to yourself that you don’t intend to keep, but rather a time to kick yourself in the ass for waiting this long to finally go for what you want.
Of course that’s easier said than done, and on this particular New Year’s Eve one final moment of fear gripped me as I swerved into a frozen and deserted gas station to weigh the scales once more in my brain. I wanted him. He wanted me. It should have been fairly straightforward, well, at least to a non-virgin. However, for a passionate hockey fan, choosing to lose your virginity to a hockey player was dangerous territory not unlike taking a risk to get involved with a coworker. For female hockey fans, the decision to cross that invisible barrier that separates the players from the fans, by getting involved with them romantically or sexually, throws their whole identity as a fan into question.
I gripped the steering wheel in both hands as I let courage and fear battle it out in my heart. Despite subzero temperatures, I had turned the car off to be less conspicuous. Something about seeing those frosty clouds of breath form in front of my face made me feel totally stagnant and totally responsible for that stagnation. If I turned right and drove home my breath, like my world, would stay as steady as it was at that very moment, but if I went left, there was a chance for breathlessness. On New Year’s Eve left is pretty much the only option.
Anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness all took turns fluttering around inside me right up until the moment he finally decided to put his fucking hands on me. I was going to Cuba a few weeks later, and I had been hitting the tanning salon to develop a “base tan” as we pale people call it. Anyway, my point is my tits were sunburnt and I flinched quite a bit when he touched them. It’s crazy how many sensory details I can remember of those early sexual encounters – his decision to greet me wearing team paraphernalia (yes, I mocked him), for example, or his smile looming above me like a floating Cheshire moon before my eyes adjusted to the darkness. Sadly the best memories are when we’re young and the sex is bad, but when we’re older and the sex is good, we struggle to even remember what happened the night before.
Well, for all of you avid blog readers out there, you already know the ending to this New Year’s story. It was over before it started – almost, but not quite literally since it actually started and ended 2 (literal) seconds later. Despite just 2 seconds of actual sex, the damage was done, and my whole new identity began to form. On December 31st I was an innocent, virgin hockey fan, who happened to catch the attention of a guy on the other side of the glass, but after midnight I was just another slut puck bunny throwing myself at every guy on the team.
Of course you feel that puck bunny double standard a lot more when you’re younger, but it’s funny how some double standards never change, and women continue to be called sluts, bitches and psychopaths for not being afraid to freely express their feelings or sexuality. After that night, I started to wonder how this one event changed who I was and how I was seen by others. Did I somehow forget the rules of my favourite sport because someone who plays it was balls deep inside me? Did he also forget how to do his job, again, for being balls deep? These were questions that needed answering and I pledged right then to be the person to answer them. So on that fateful night, 2002 became 2003 and I became a new person with a new purpose that would (and still does) take me to all sorts of interesting places around the world – and you know I’ve got the stories to prove it!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that New Year’s Eve can be magical and life-changing, if you’re willing to take the risk and be open to the options available to you when the clock strikes 12. After midnight you can choose to “set yourself free.” You can choose to purge all your emotions so that in 2015 you won’t shed anymore tears for this person. You can choose to stop giving a fuck. You can choose to start being honest with yourself. You can choose to be better. Maybe this New Year’s Eve won’t be as epic for me as the one in this story, but waking up on January 1st is always exciting. After all, it’s a brand new year and the chance to write a brand new story.
The worst is over.