Speaking of...with Jacinta Gregory

Season 1: Episode 3

Speaking of… Love, Sydney musical comedian and bisexual goddess Jacinta Gregory talks teenage love, first kisses and vampires.

LIsten to Jacinta’s story via the podcast, watch her video or read it in full below. Enjoy x

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The time I wanted my first boyfriend to call me 'Bella' from Twilight by Jacinta Gregory

“I know what you are. Say it. Out loud.” Said my sister Rochelle, having hidden the one thing most precious to me in the world. “Twi-hard”. I mumbled. She giggled and revealed my copy of New Moon in her sock drawer, I grabbed it with the ferocity of Edward whenever someone looked at Bella, or Jacob when he became a wolf, or the ferocity of Brendon Urie looking down the barrel of a camera during a music video. I remember in that moment how much I want to lose my virginity to Brendon Urie.

I held the book close to my chest, until my sister walked out of the bedroom we shared. When she was out of sight, I kissed it. I imagined I was kissing Edward Cullen. Golden eyes, brown tousled hair, translucent skin, and the personality of a mop. The description of what he looked like in the book was so vague, I imagined him to be if Gerard Way and Brendon Urie combined to make my androgynous, effeminate apple (like in the book, there’s a lot of apples in the book) of my eye. I imagined him to have dark eyeliner, and to be wearing skinny jeans, clear indications that he is a big big gay. Bisexual, evolved, extremely feminine: my ideal man. (Please bear in mind at this time I still thought I was straight). 

Lost in thought of what my ideal boyfriend was, I felt my blackberry light up in my pocket. I checked the text. It was my boyfriend Jeremy. We’d been dating for a week, so things were getting pretty serious. He’d texted his usual song of love: “B hru, miss u 🙂 xx “ 

This story is about the first time I fell in love.

Jeremy was fifteen years old and I: fourteen. An older man, I remembered telling all of my friends in school the news. That I was the first girl of our friendship group to acquire the most important thing a girl could attain in the world: a boyfriend. Jeremy had told his friend Ben to tell me he liked me, and that is how our romance began. My friends were green with envy and so happy for me, exclaiming how I would be the first one to go to a year ten formal, the first one to maybe do sex stuff, it was all a beautiful dream. That was, until my friend Maya asked me so simply: “You must like him so much.”

Those words lingered in my head as I looked at Jeremy’s text, thinking about how we were going to the movies tomorrow, and how I might get my very first kiss. 

My mum dropped me off a little bit late (the BITCH) and I ran to meet Jeremy, wearing skinny jeans, an Escape the Fate t-shirt I’d acquired from Jay Jays, and my hair straightened within an inch of its life. I get to the cinema, and see him, my boyfriend.

Jeremy was a typical boy. Swept hair with a heavy fringe, a big interest in screamo music, and a kind face.

“Hey Jacinta” said Jeremy.

“I told you not to call me that” I said.

I waited a moment. And another moment. Before he called me my new name, the name that was my soul name, my truth name, name of my hear-

“Hi Bella.” Said Jeremy. Without a hint of irony.

A few weeks ago, I’d insisted all my friends and family call me my new name, Bella. I’d changed my msn name to be Bella_94lovesdonutsbestfriend_Jess_forever~notLennynotlenny so that people knew it was for real.

“Hi” I mumbled back. It was the script of our romance. And as he took my hand, and led me inside to the movie, I knew, I knew, I was going to have the most special moment of my life.

The movie began, and there he was. Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. Long, drawn out shots of him sighing, many, many seconds spent on his hating Bella’s scent because he wanted to eat her so much, a modern day Romeo and Juliet. But as I closed my eyes, I saw the Edward of my dreams. Like some sort of monstrous Robert Pattinson/Brendon Urie/Gerard Way and to be honest maybe Hayley Williams (still straight) hybrid, absolutely doused in eyeliner and sex appeal. As this thought rested in my head, Jeremy leaned over out of nowhere and kissed me! I was so lucky.

Our lips touched and I… didn’t know what to do. My mouth went along with movements aimlessly, while his tongue went into my mouth like some sort of angry furious slug, just sloshing around in there. And I realised in that exact moment, that he was my Jacob.

I didn’t like him.

It hit me like a tonne of GHD hair straighteners, how could I have seriously mistaken him for my Edward. But he was a boy, and he wanted to be my boyfriend, and that was enough, so it made sense for me to be in this situation. 

My eyes were wide, wide wide open as we kissed, and I looked at Robert Pattinson. It was the scene where he was showing her his sparkles, his glistening, vampiric canon sparkles, and suddenly I was transported to that field, while soft piano music played in the background. 

I stood to look at my pop punk Edward, and held his hand. I leaned in and we kissed. We knew what to do, our tongues were totally synchronised, and it was like the entire Earth exploded all at once, and all was left in the rubble and destruction was cockroaches, scorpions, nuclear waste, and this kiss.

As Jeremy leaned back and smiled at me, I remembered where I was. He held my hand, and I thought about holding Edwards. I was in love, as in love as a person could be, with a fictional character. I was so sad, and so simultaneously overjoyed, it felt lucky to feel what love was, even if it wasn’t with the person holding my hand in that moment.

This story is about the first time I fell in love. Not with my boyfriend but with an idea written by a mormon lady, made up in her dream. But it didn’t make it any less real. I was with a real boyfriend, but the love I had for him was make believe. We shortly broke up after this story – it’s hard to tell why.

And I knew in that moment, in my soul, that I was so lucky. Because I had had my first ever kiss watching my favourite movie of all time, and what was going to be my favourite movie of all time: Twilight with Robert Pattinson, with my boyfriend, who had called me Bella. And I would never regret it. 

Jacinta Gregory is a comedian most known for musical comedy and jokes about her mental state. She has performed in Adelaide, Perth, and Sydney as part of fringe festivals, co-wrote “Holt! The musical” and recently performed her debut Sydney Comedy Festival solo show “1980s depression the musical” at the Factory theatre. She co-runs The Laugh Tub (now a fortnightly streamed) improvised talk show, is a regular at High Maintenance Comedy and prior to the apocalypse, came out to her mother by appearing in queer comedy rooms, (sorry not sorry)