Some things you just can't unsee.
I walked in on my parents once when they were "in bed." I was 16.
I know most other kids my age would have been disgusted; traumatized even. My parents were embarrassed, but I just closed the door gently behind me. I walked silently back to my room. For me, it was revelatory, fascinating.
Virgin purity bullshit had left me pretty unaware about sex even at that age. Let alone thinking of my parents as sexual beings before that moment. I lay down in my bed, in the dark and thought about how the earth was created.
I tried to leave what I saw behind me, but my thoughts kept bringing me back.
In the morning, I was only thinking of granola and orange juice and getting to school on time. But as I carefully placed my legs on either side of my sea-green townie and started my usual bike ride, I thought about it. Is this what it would feel like?
Later I found out the answer was a direct no. Yet, at the time, straddling this contraption, having it in between my legs, and the way it felt when I changed the gears somehow felt a mechanic connection to what I had brushed off the night before.
I had heard other kids talk about similar experiences: "Yo, I walked in on my parents f*cking last night and it was so funny." To me, it wasn't amusing, nor was it unnatural. It just made me feel out of place. Where was I in this huge picture of creation or substance or love?
I was 16; I knew how to kiss people—well in my opinion. Yet I was aching for something that I wasn't asking my parents for and the incessant dinging of my bike's bell was in my left ear and the school's was in the other.
Instead of feeling traumatized, I gained a greater perspective on life, love and my family.
My parents were married because it was good. Were they fulfilling sexual desire or were they perpetuating some form of deep profound love that all humans seek? It seems as if my parents do love each other. Yet, as I reached my school and entered the building I was still pondering why it was generally so quiet in my house at night.
Traumatized? Not me. I tried to feel existential. I thought about Marxism, feminism, gender, sexism, oppression. I thought about crushes I'd had. I thought about love and virginity.
I returned home, where it was quiet and still, to the point of unsettling me. I went inside and up the stairs, turned on the television, to stop thinking and avoid the quiet. All this before I even had a chance to eat my granola as a snack.