Dreamed 1989/1/26 by Chris Wayan
A new book by Beverly Cleary is out. It's on her famous character Ramona, who's now in her early teens. Her friends push her to act bolder sexually. To impress other kids at a party, Ramona pretends to be a fashion designer, and all of her friends back her up by saying "She designed MY outfit!" When they're all store-bought clothes! Still, she could pull it off--she's grown into an imposing figure, already looks very adult, beautiful, proud, and wearing a daring outfit with a corsage and vest over what seems at first glance like bare breasts and belly--really a tight leotard that matches her skin exactly.
She's photographed for the school news magazine, is the talk of the party... seems to have conquered high school.
But then, on the last page of Cleary's book, Ramona says "Mom, call up the Farm." It's a ranch for disturbed teens she's been in and out of for years. This time she's committing herself to an extended stay--she can't take the strain of this imposture and all the attention; she has to institutionalize herself for a rest-cure.
One of Ramona's best friends--let's call her Unramona--had a different life-strategy. She's always in the school paper too, but usually it's cartoons of her. Unramona came on to a boy so crudely, in class, that it made the news. Yet the next week, she's saying something very delicate and perceptive, startling those who saw her as slutty.
I'm a young teacher at the school now, and I defend Unramona in a staff meeting: "I find her perfectly consistent: blunt honesty despite all social pressure."
Unramona has a boyfriend but flirts with me, teacher or not. She waits the semester out, till she's not in any of my classes, and then chases me shamelessly. And I'm genuinely attracted--such force of character! I just worry she wants me for a conquest, or a short-lived crush. But with her typical bluntness SHE says "I just like you. Not your job, you. And I don't want to trap you--you have to be free to say yes or no. Or you'll, we'll both end up like... Ramona."
On the surface, Unramona's precocity is similar to Ramona, but underneath, she's so different! Adult, sane, self-willed, and clear--brutally so. She can handle either yes or no. And while I knew my heart and body are shouting yes, it isn't ONLY them. My spirit too. I trust Unramona.
I wake to find I'm in bed with an erection, imagining myself with her still. Find some skin lotion, put some on my hand, and grab my penis to masturbate--and then find I'm wearing a condom!
Yet I didn't put one on.
Then I wake up again to find an erection but no condom, no lotion... all I DO have is an overwhelming feeling they were symbolic too. The magically-appearing condom was... honesty!
Honesty--the ultimate protection.
The ultimate aphrodisiac?
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