Slanted background image with a microphone and silhouette of a person.
Logo: More Change
Home | Episode #16
First Thing That Comes Up
February 7, 2019 | Student Producer:

Nia Brooks
Episode logo
First Thing That Comes Up
Mulvaney Center Director John Loggins recounts the ups and downs of his first high school dance. (5 minutes)
John Loggins

'When I'm alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall and in the back of the mind I hear my conscience call, telling me I need a girl that's sweet as a dove; for the first time in my life, I see I need love.' There I was, 1987, with Cool J on repeat, and I was playing this song to kind of psych myself up. You know, this was my freshman year in high school. Um, I was going to my very first high school dance, but that's not the "first" I'm talking about today, but I was geared up and anxious and excited to actually make some moves, meet some ladies, uh, meet some young women, some girls that I was interested in and I was trying to build myself up and have some confidence. Not that I didn't have any experience at all. First kiss happened in front of the locker, when there was a lot of teeth mashing, and a lot of, uh... not good technique involved.

So back to where we were in 1987 in my room. L.L. Cool J on repeat, uh, getting dressed up. I wore my pink shirt to emulate the pink shirt that I was wearing to the dance, a gold chain, shag, my hair, you know fro'd out. But I was ready. I was excited. I stepped into the dance and, like any freshman dance, it was like any middle school dance: boys on one side of the space, girls on the other side of the space. And I wish I could say this was a story about me being the first boy to go up and talk to a girl and get them to dance with me, because it was not that. Uh, a good 80 percent of the dance had gone through, and I was in the corner with my homies, hanging out, talking, talking like, "Oh, I could go talk to her if I wanted to. I could do this," but not doing anything. And then this song came on that everybody started screaming, one that I hadn't ever heard before. Uh, but it was very popular. It was Rock Lobster, B-52's. Everybody's out on the dance floor and they do this part that goes "down, down, down," and then everybody jumps up. If you don't know that song, it's fun to dance to. It got everybody on the dance floor and I was excited to be there. Finally, I made it out there. I had psyched myself up and I really knew that I hadn't done anything, but while we're listening for the Rock Lobster song, I positioned myself carefully next to a young lady that I thought I might like to dance with, that I had had a crush on for the whole year. She was a nice lady, a nice girl. She always was kind to me, always laughed at my jokes. We had lunch sometimes together and I thought maybe she may be interested in me too. I liked her for all of those good reasons. And I also liked her because she was also a little bit more developed than some of the other girls and for a, you know, a young boy and a young freshman, uh, those things are very appealing and exciting and brand new. Um, so, the song ends and the immediate song they play after is Lady in Red. Um, and so it was a slower song. It's a slow song and she's right there and I get up the nerve and just say, "Do you want to dance?" She responds affirmatively. We start to dance and, you know, we're, we're dancing and talking and it's just kind of the normal side shuffle. We're keeping a safe distance apart.

But you know, I have Cool J in the back of my head, egging me on, saying, "Well, get a little bit closer." Pull in a little bit closer, and then as as I'm getting closer, I'm starting to notice that her, her 'developments' are starting...I'm starting to feel them on my chest and this is, this is a first for me. I've never really, kind of embraced a young woman in a dance where I, I had felt breasts at all, and this was very exciting to me... a little too exciting for me, and to where I was realizing that as I was dancing I was having to back up a bit. That, okay, you know, I was starting to freak out. It's kinda one of those freak out moments when you're in, uh, a freshman in school. And I wasn't, I wasn't quick enough. I, you know, was in the dance and uh, I knew it, I knew it had made contact with her leg and, and I was like, "Oh no, what do I do now?" And I was expecting her to push me away and runaway and laugh at me and tell all her friends, but she didn't. She pulled me closer and we danced even more and then we hung out for the rest of the dance and enjoyed ourselves. Uh, so it was the first thing that came up - pun intended. Uh, and the first time a young woman had, uh, I had felt a young woman's breasts and a young woman had felt my arousal.