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Corlesi, Zed

Long Beach, California

Zed Corlesi

17 September 1983

Every time I see a teenage couple holding hands + looking beautiful + fresh + perfect it’s pounded home to me how barren + sterile my adolescence was. I don’t think I was ever in love as a teenager like these kids look like they’re in love. Tonight being Saturday I imagine them driving down to the beach in their four-wheel-drive mini-pickups with a couple of six packs in the back + some reefer + playing cassettes by Journey or The Police. The girl is 18 + blonde + is sitting right up close to her 19-year-old boyfriend. He’s blonde too, with a swimmer’s sleek tight body. They’re both brown from the sun and wearing cut-off Levi shorts. She’s wearing a tank-top, maybe yellow or pink; he’s not wearing a shirt. Her hair is short + tousled + I see two sweet upturned strawberry nippled young breasts straining against the fabric of her shirt. Her neck is moist + lovely + she has slim coltish legs covered with soft downy blonde. His thigh is pressed tightly against hers, slick with sweat. His hair is long + he’s got blue eyes + looks like a young movie star, not a line or blemish or scar on his face. He surfs + maybe plays the guitar. They’ve got a thousand friends everywhere + they party every weekend + are happy + in a few years they’ll get married. Their world is all youth + sunlight forever. And tonight when their friends have gone + the waves glide quietly over the sand, his body will cover hers + press her down against the blanket. And once more they’ll each be filled with a wonderful aching astonishment that life could be so warm + slow + soft + wet + smooth. If you were walking along the beach just then you’d know how luscious and heartbreaking the feverish whispers of a young woman making love can sound. I’ve never made love to a woman in real life the way I’ve seen these two making love in my mind…

Sometimes I think being young is the only time your love truly contains equal parts of tenderness + lust. Each remains separate in its own way, undiluted by anything else, sharp + clear + definite. Pure lust + pure tenderness—pure because you don’t know much at that age + what you feel is pure to you, because of your innocence.

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