When I was in grade five at St Martin’s Primary School, Andrew Murray invited me to his 11th birthday party. He said it was going to be a pool party. I didn’t care much for Andrew Murray, but I did care much for Laura Agosta, who was also going. I had kissed her on the lips at lunchtime the week before. We had gotten in trouble and had been sent to the principal’s office for a stern talking to. With my mother a teacher at the school, and my dad dying a few years before, I always got off the hook lightly. Except when I blu tacked a pin to a teacher’s chair, but that’s a different story. I was excited about the party. As a young gun in the local swimming team at Sunshine Swimming Pool, I knew this was my chance to show off my freestyle to her. Maybe I’d sneak in some breastroke. Perhaps then she’d show me her cunt.
The party was planned for early Saturday afternoon. On Saturday mornings, I had swimming lessons. I dived, survival backstroked, and eggbeater kicked my guts out in preparation for the water based leisure activities of later on’s festivities. I wanted to look majestic, like Kieren Perkins on the Pura Milk carton. I imagined swimming around in Andrew Murray's pool while Laura Agosta and her friends performed a sychnoised swimming routine around me. My penis in my Speedos got hard just thinking about it.
There was one problem. I only owned one pair of Speedos. With only an hour between my swimming lessons and the birthday party, I needed to dry my Speedos quickly. My uncle, Uncle George who took me swimming every Saturday, dried my togs, as he called them, under the hand dryer in the swimming pool change rooms. I stood there naked while I waited. When they were dry, I slipped them on underneath my shorts and my uncle drove me to the party around the corner in his Ford Fairmont.
By the time I had arrived, the party was in full swing. All my school chums were there, Peter Wassof, Robert Fontelli, and of course, Laura Agosta. They were all hanging out in the garage, out the front of the house, playing billiards. I waved my uncle goodbye and walked in, present in hand, swimming gear on my back. I handed Andrew Murray his present, and asked when we were going to go swimming in his pool. He said he didn’t have a pool. I was confused. When he said he was having a pool party, he meant a billiards party. I thought he was having me on and stormed out the back of his house to check. Nothing but concrete, grass, and a few ferns.
I felt like a fool. My Speedos dried for no reason but to be my uncomfortable underwear for the afternoon. Later that day, as if an act of holy retribution, Andrew Murray fell off a table while dancing and broke his arm. He was sent to the hospital in an ambulance as we continued playing ‘pool’ in his garage. I kissed Laura again and asked her if she would be my girlfriend. She said yes. We stayed that way until we finished primary school and went our separate ways. As a gesture, she had given me her home phone number. I called it that summer and her mum answered. She gave the phone to Laura who said, “never call this number ever again”. I didn’t, and haven’t heard from her since.
By Lee Spencer-Michaelsen