Manhandling a Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


An essay about a personal experience I wrote in Creative Writing at Isothermal Community College a few years ago.

Submitted: August 23, 2018

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Submitted: August 23, 2018

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Manhandling a Girl

The metal chair felt unusually cold on the back of my legs as I sat untying, tightening, and retying laces that were fine to begin with. Incoherent noises reverberated off the gym walls, yelling families and friends of fellow grapplers. I pulled up my left sock, folded it down, and then did the same to the right.  In the center of the gym two 103 pound boys rolled around on an old worn out mat.

I glanced up at a young, attractive, blonde girl. She sat with her legs straight in front of her, stretching to touch her toes. She wasn’t at all the “manly, tomboy type girl” I had told my friends she would probably be. This was the type of girl I may have asked out on the weekend. Kneeled down beside her was a tall, rippling, stuff your head in the toilet, type jock.  He was adorned in a letter jacket decorated fancier than the Biltmore house Christmas tree. Patches were arranged up and down the sleeves, signifying his status as a grade A man beast. Medals hung across the top of the letter, undoubtedly marking the demise of some poor young defenseless victims. He surely was filling her head with the knowledge it would take to slay me right there in front of all of God’s creation, or at least the part of it that I cared anything about.

It all started with a rumor. RS Central High School wrestling squad had a girl. I laughed this off, as did the rest of my teammates. That is until the Friday before the Tuesday night scrimmage. A scrimmage is where everyone on the team gets to wrestle, regardless of whether you start or not.

Practice was just wrapping up and our short, stout, metal eating coach came to the center of the mat. “Listen up, who’s gonna wrestle this girl? She weighs about 105 pounds according to her coach.” No one was joking now; in fact no one said anything at all. “Come on, are you all panty wastes?” he grunted. “What about you Pleasant?” Coach King refused to use my first name, like a drill sergeant barking orders.

“I’m 112 pounds”, I blurted out

“So, it’s a scrimmage!”

“Sure, I guess”

I had given in; surely I could handle a girl.  

I spent the next few days absorbing joke after joke, mostly about vaginas and sexual positions. Mike, a team co-captain who spent the majority of his days laughing at bodily functions and making an idiot of himself, came up to me as I was getting a book out of my

locker.“ Are you gonna put her in the Saturday Night Ride” (A wrestling move that looks curiously like mating) he asked? This was the kind of stuff I heard day after day until the night of the meet. I took in all in stride, secretly hoping I could avoid any type of humiliation. Not to mention what a personal tragedy it would be if I lost.

So there I was, sitting in a gym full of people who were waiting to see me be humiliated. Somehow one of the 103 pound flopping fishes rolls over on the other and the ref slaps the mat. Suddenly she stands up and walks to the corner of the blue wrestling surface. The crowd begins to squirm as my bullfrog of a coach slaps me on the back. “All right Pleasant, go show her who’s boss”, he orders.” Standing up I step out onto the battleground. The noise of the crowd is deafening as scores of people peer in from the crowded lobby.

We come to the center of the white Chase High circle and I reach out as if to ask her to dance. She shakes my hand and the referee blows the piercing whistle. I stand ready; ready to run, ready to puke, but not ready to do anything with this girl.

“Pretend she’s a guy”, I had been told. Never had I met a guy with such smooth, soft hands. The smell of her hair and the gaze of her intent blue eyes didn’t do anything to help this fantasy.  I stepped left, then right, waiting for something to happen. Suddenly she shot down at my right leg and grabbed on to it. Stunned I sprawled out and kicked free. Her arm rose up and she reached for my head. I ducked out of the way and out of instinct reached out and got her in a headlock. I didn’t squeeze, as is required to achieve maximum effect, because her sweet smelling hair called out that this was a girl. My coach yelled “squeeze”. The crowd was on their feet, enjoying every second of this altercation. I turned her over, like I was trying not to break a fragile egg. She reached up and her knuckle hit me in the nose.

It was then I realized that I had to end this. I cranked her over onto her back and pushed her shoulders down. Enough time elapsed to watch “Gone with the Wind”, it seemed as I waited for the sound of the refs hand slapping the mat. Suddenly I heard the noise I had been waiting for, his hand hit the blue surface and it was over.

As I stood up I reached down to offer her my hand. She grabbed on and I helped pull her up. As is custom, we walked to the center of the mat to shake hands. All of a sudden she grabbed me and gave me a hug. She held on to me as the crowd stood applauding. Suddenly I realized how much this meant to her. Her monstrous boyfriend stood smiling and clapping, waiting for her by the bleachers. Something in her had called her to do this. Something in me was glad she wasn’t any better at it.

Life is full of experiences. Some are fun, some are difficult. Our character is defined by what we learn from these experiences. I learned that I don’t want to be the one who sits on the sidelines and jokes about everything. I don’t want to be the one afraid to try that which seems scary or different. I want to just dive in and take all that life has to offer. After all, I’m not content to just accept my title of “panty waste”.


© Copyright 2018 Kevin Pleasant. All rights reserved.

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