I was unfamiliar with the term “head” as used in the diary, that is, to mean “oral sex performed upon a woman.” Whether this was owing to my own lack of worldliness or to it being a neologism of Jamie’s generation or to Jamie having misused the term entirely, I don’t know.
I have never seen it used in this sense outside the diary entry, written fourteen years ago now.
Yes, I read her diary, a blue hardbacked book with off-white pages.
And yes, I know that was wrong, probably.
The diary entry in question said this (or else something very much like this): “I got head from Stonie and I screamed so loud I can’t believe the neighbors didn’t call the cops.”
This was read by me – and understood, too, despite the unfamiliar use of the crucial term – without the gut punch, that familiar blow to the groin and the belly I usually felt upon learning of a betrayal**. Maybe I’m admitting too much here…
I wasn’t upset.
Then, two days later, I arrived at Jamie’s apartment and there she was, sitting with Stonie out on the balcony. The two of them, drinking beers, and they were talking of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.
I wasn’t upset then, either. I joined them and their beers.
And Stonie? O, he was young and mostly tattoos and piercings and he had those gauge things in his ears. You know, where it looked as though tiny people could use his earlobes for swings? Despite the screaming in the diary, I did not feel threatened.
The boy was fine. Polite, yes. Asked about my job and my musical tastes. All of that. When he left for home, Jamie and I stayed sitting there, drinking beers and watching children who played by the pool, but not speaking.
I picked up a beer and sucked at it.
Jamie broke the silence and said, “Oh!” She said, “That was the beer Stonie was drinking.”
Still I watched the children.
I said, “What? Are you worried I’m going to catch something nasty off of Stonie’s bottle?”