growing up at the foot of the rockies in colorado, we regularly received visitors and relatives who were 'just passing through'. this typically translated to lost weekends and agonizing drives through the mountains pointing out craggy cliffs, elusive big horn sheep and turning aspens. i recall my mother announcing one such visit from a third cousin to my father from oklahoma. third cousin! is there no point where you can start snubbing these people, labeling them as simple vagabonds and direct them to a nearby motel 6. and on this occasion, as if the distant relation part was not cutting enough, they had a kid, a kid about my age. this always entailed extra misery for me.
upon arriving and coming into the house i met their kid, melissa. she was one year younger than me and was fully embracing this newish madonna thing. i mean she looked just like her. well, except for her face, and hair, and adolescent body, but the leggings, frilly bustier top and hair ribbons were dead on. my mother asked melissa what she was interested in. as i gaped at my mother in disbelief, melissa bouncily answered 'music!' my mother informed the junior starlet that i liked music as well and even had some albums in my room. why don't you take melissa down and show her your records troy. "would you like to come down and look at my records," i said staring down at our deep brown shag carpeting all the while.
so the daughter of my father's third cousin was the first girl in my bedroom, the first young lady to sit on my bed and the first attractive female to ask me what that smell was in my room. as she sat there in her lacy girl things flipping through my billy joel, journey and styx albums i tried to do the math on what she and i would be considered given our fathers distant connection and if a coupling would be honored even in a southern state. i'm pretty sure she was not doing comparable calculations as she moved about my room picking things up and and putting them back down (not in the same spot) and crinkling her nose at the hanging posters as i stood against the wall like a militant sentry. the fact that i dreamed about melissa for two months after that one day visit disturbed me. and the fact that i, today almost twenty years later, still remember dreaming about melissa for two months after her visit absolutely terrifies me and possibly should you as well. happy nocturnal confessions.