When I was twelve, Sarah Morrows was my babysitter. She had long brown hair that flowed around a Charlie’s Angel face. She was also awesome at Pole Position, which increased her beauty ten fold. She was 18, I was twelve, and I was convinced that the two of us were destined to I have sex under the stars.
The summer of 1988 my parents decided to bring me, my sisters and Sarah on a beach vacation in Destin Florida to a hotel called Jetties East. Sara was there to supervise my sisters and to make sure I didn’t find anyone to have sex under the stars with. “Ha”, I thought, “They’re playing into my plan perfectly.” On the six hour drive to Destin I day-dreamt about being independent, surfing a huge wave, living on the beach, and of Sara and I bedding down in a small grass hut on the sand, maybe raising some babies. Finally we arrived.
But, I didn’t have any money, Florida didn’t have any waves, I was going back to Louisiana in six days, and I barely knew how to masturbate. So I did the best I could, and asked Sara to drive me over to a surf shop. At the surf shop I looked at the boards with envy, $400 bucks. “No way I can swing that”, I thought. I searched the store looking for something more affordable but equally as awesome. Near the register I found a small wicker basket that contained numerous nice smelling bars of Mr. Zogg’s Sex Wax. One dollar each. I had three bucks. Perfect. Mr. Zogg’s Sex Wax was really surf wax, but everyone on the inside knew that, and that made us “cool”.
Sarah said, “What are you gonna do with that?”
“I don’t know, it says that it’s good for my stick.”
Yeah, but you don’t even have a surf board.
“I know, but I only have three dollars and that’s the only cool thing I can buy for that amount.”
“How about this, if you swear to god not to tell your parents, I’ll buy you a Mr. Zogg’s Sex Wax T-Shirt. Then, when you get a surfboard, you can get the wax.”
I thought, “You are for sure the coolest and hottest babysitter in the history of hot cool babysitters.”
The T-Shirt was was white with brilliant flourescent colors of reds, oranges, blues and yellows. “The best for your stick.” was prominently displayed on the back. Such a statement was sure to land me some play. Probably could even get me to second base with a fourteen year old from Alabama. She’d say, “I Like thaaaat t-shirt, and I’d explain, “Yeah I use this stuff on my stick, my big surfing stick.” Then we’d laugh and make out. Hopefully, go down to one of the sailboats and make out until our faces turned red. Then I’d explain to my parents that the redness was simply a rash from all the surfing I was doing.
I left Destin without as much as a peck on the cheek, but before I left, I managed to ride my bike back to the surf shop to buy a bar of Mr. Zogg’s surf wax. I remember it being something akin to Charlie going into the Chocolate store.
Two weeks after we got home, my dad, who was a sex education teacher in the Catholic Church, found the t-shirt and the wax hidden in my closet.
“What the Hell is this!” he said. “This is a disgrace, Sex Wax, you’re promoting sex? You’re twelve years old.”
“Dad, It’s surfing wax, for surfboards, if you rubbed that on your penis it would hurt.”
Just as he said this, my dad ripped open the surf wax packaging, unzipped his pants, pulled down his underwear, and proceeded to rub the bar of wax on his penis like the damn thing was a loofa. After a few seconds his face turned from exasperated disgust and anger to something more like, “What the fuck?”. Then, quizicle turned back to anger upon his internal conclusion that he’d just rubbed surf wax all over his balls.
Now, after his test, I thought my dad might be convinced that Mr. Zogg was in fact a scrupulous surfing enthusiast who just wanted to make sure people’s feet didn’t slip on surf boards, but my father was convinced that Zogg was the four letter word for Satan. So the t-shirt disappeared. Gone forever. Sarah’s gift of love, that remotely related to her and I sex having something to do with sex together, was gone. I never dared tell my parents that she had bought it for me. I had made a promise, and I kept that. I cried for at least thirty minutes. Then I played some Pole position.
Six months after our beach trip, I got called into the office at school.
“Brett, you’re mom is coming to get you from school. Something has happened, and you have to go home.”
My mom picked me up, and delivered the news that Sarah had had an asthma attack at school and died. She had taken some aspirin which caused a freak asthma attack, and she didn’t have her inhaler with her. She suffocated to death in the school’s hall before anyone could figure out how to help. On the way home my mom and I stopped for nachos at Mr. Cooks. I couldn’t eat them. The cheese felt cold, like death. At twelve, I had no real way of understanding what had just happened, but I knew my connection to Sarah would never be tangible again.
Fifteen years later I was set to be married, and at the rehearsal dinner my dad gave a speech. He spoke about how he loved me and how happy he was for me. Then he pulled somethng out of a brown bag. It was the Mr. Zogg’s Sex Wax tank top. He had kept the damn thing for 15 years. “Brett, now that you’re getting married you can have as much sex as you want. Just don’t rub this stuff on your penis. It hurts.
I had Sarah back. Proof that she had existed in my life.
When Brenda and I moved to the beach I began surfing in earnest. In some way I think the tank top t-shirt pushed me back towards the waves.
Now most days before work I drive down to the beach wearing that t-shirt. I walk down to the waters edge with my 7′ 4″ stick and rub sex wax all over the thing. Then I go out into the waves and think about what really matters.