I was eighteen at the time and living where I grew up, a town of 70 people in the desert, Roland, California. Because the town was so small, our school had 15 students at all levels from age 13 to 18, mixed together in a single classroom. It was called junior-senior high school. Our teacher, Mrs. Baker, somehow managed to teach everything from basic reading to pre-calculus in that classroom. It was like a three-ring circus all the time, but she kept it interesting for everyone.
Looking back, I shouldn’t have been such a rebel. But that’s what I was. Maybe it’s because my dad left when I was three years old, leaving my mom to fend for the two of us by herself with no money. She had worked as a waitress at the only restaurant in town, until the owners retired. Now, she owns the place. I’m very proud of her.
Maybe it’s because, according to Mrs. Baker, I’m very intelligent. Too intelligent. So, I’m always doing rebellious things. Like when I stole a neighbor’s car a couple years ago for a joy ride. Joe Thurber, our sheriff, threw me in jail overnight. Right, I was only 12 at the time, but he did it with my mom’s permission, and I guess you can do things like that in a small town.
I’m not a bad kid. I’m empathetic and would never hurt anyone. But still, I’ve got this rebellious streak I’ve got to work on.
So Mrs. Baker had another show-and tell, which we do once a month. It’s typical. The kids bring in pet frogs, or show how they learned to knit, or present a watercolor they made. So what did I bring? Me. I had a plan that I thought would rattle everyone up quite nicely.
When it was my turn to present, I came up to the front of the class, and had everyone’s attention. They know I’ll always do something crazy. I said, “I’m going to show you something I discovered that I find very enjoyable, and seems to calm me.”
Without another word, and without hesitation, because I think wearing clothing is stupid on a warm day when you don’t need protection from anything, I just pulled down my pants right in front of everyone. During the past few minutes, thinking about what I was about to do, got me very sexually excited. I already had a boner. Being a late bloomer, there was no hair down there yet. Or, correction, there were like three scraggly hairs. I was a bit embarrassed about that, but on the other hand, being the rebel I am, embarrassment about something like late development has little importance in the big picture.
I had decided I’d masturbate to ejaculation right there in the class. How cool is that, right? It would be breaking a taboo that should be broken, don’t you think?
Mrs. Baker ran to the front of the room, stood right in front of me, and told me to pull my pants back up immediately. She wasn’t mad. I’ve never seen her get mad at anyone. She has a way of being disappointed that cuts to the bone. I was immediately ashamed, and pulled my pants back up. Fuck. Plan spoiled! I was almost immediately terribly disappointed in myself and ashamed. What a stupid plan it had been.
She told me I had to stay 10 minutes after school and clean the whiteboard. She then gave us a short lecture about modesty which in my opinion didn’t make any sense, then after two more show-and-tell presentations, we got back to normal activities. I think I was red in the face for a good hour afterward and couldn’t look anyone in the eye.
After school, many of us students met in the park next to the school as we always do. I almost decided to go straight home and cry about what had happened. But, I’m a rebel. I had to show up at the park as if nothing had happened. I approached the group already there with great trepidation. They’d probably mock me, or worse, they might tell me how stupid that was.
Like walking a gangplank, I approached slowly. Jamie waved, and said loudly, “Wow, how cool was that?” with a look of great admiration. Sandra said, “Great Willie, I want to see it again.” And, Tom piped in, “I wish Mrs. Baker hadn’t stopped you.”
Then Tom asked, “Were you really going to wank right there in front of us?”
I sheepishly admitted that I had planned to.
Almost in unison, the group said, “Cool.”
It took a few minutes, but my shame was starting to transmute, I was becoming proud of my bold, if incomplete attempt.
There in the park, with no adults around, the conversation turned to masturbation, with several of us admitting we did it regularly, and then some saying they wish they were bold enough to do it in front of others. Finally, we arranged a time that we would all go to the old barn, get naked, and all jerk off together.
We did! All but two of the kids showed up. I’ll tell you about that another time.