During my thirteenth year, one early spring evening, I was loitering about in the streets of my west county apartment complex. It was warm enough to be outside without a jacket, but there was a coolness to the air when the breeze picked up that left goose bumps along the skin of my exposed arms. The sun had freshly set and the sky displayed a yawning blue/violet along the horizon. Above my head the cosmos was black enough to see the initial winking stars of the night.
A couple of kids around my age were having a lover’s quarrel (if you could call them lovers—given that their relationship was really quite chaste). They were remarkably gorgeous characters. She was diminutive and curvy with old Hollywood good looks and dark locks of thick hair falling into her concentrated hazel eyes. He was tall and impossibly lean with chin-length, chaotic, blonde hair and titanic, cerulean peepers. Their argument was mostly nonsense, indiscernible to an outsider, but it enveloped them both, warding off the brisk spring air and their maddening young lives.
I remember their fight to this day because it was happening on the roofs of the car ports above me. Their voices were not shrill but contained an intensity those haphazard structures had never seen before and probably never saw again. There must have been tears—most certainly on his part (he was a sensitive, almost effeminate boy)--perhaps on her part, as well. That night was my introduction to the boy to whom I would lose my hetero virginity. If I remember correctly, he ran off in a panic before I had a chance to speak to them.
The next time I encountered this boy was months later. He had broken up with his green-eyed lady and was doing his best to court her best friend, Bella. I recall walking into Bella’s basement and seeing him sprawled out on one of her father’s old, olive green, lazy boy chairs with a gangly leg hanging out over the side of one of the chair arms. He was waxing poetic about The Dead Kennedys--holding court about the lessons he had learned from Jello Biafra regarding the imminent ways of the world. I was struck by his barbed taste in music and his kinetic energy, his mile-long grin and open face. He was beautiful, exuberant, and sweating like a first-time mother having just given birth. I think I loved him from that very moment in my own removed way.
He was somewhat successful with Bella and we became better acquainted as a consequence. He would telephone me to complain about her and to lament about his former rooftop lover. I would do my best to dispense worthwhile advice, given that I knew significantly less about relationships than he did. Soon, we had developed something of a friendship. (Recently, he marveled to me that he had never in his life spoken with anyone so frequently or at such length on the phone.) We both were embroiled in high school drug-taking and we would routinely call each other while tripping or rolling. We would describe the nature of our altered mental states and discuss life in the most intimate of terms. The drugs diminished all of our youthful pretensions. We spoke without ego boundaries. I can hardly remember a word of our conversations now. What stands out, in retrospect, is how exploratory these discussions were. How we learned from each other and how we stanchly supported one another.
This boy had, coincidentally, known my best friend since they were KinderCare goers. One morning, I was in the kitchen of her father’s humongous, affluent home. (We must have been skipping school, as was our wont.) The white-hard, winter sunlight was streaming though the bay windows. My best friend was telling me that it was her understanding that this boy now had a crush on me. I balked. I thought there could be no foreseeable way that he could possibly have an interest in me. As it turned out, it didn’t much matter, because some new girl had pursued him in the interim and they were dating. I felt she wasn’t nearly good enough for him--a warmed-over excuse for a girlfriend, totally unsure of herself with an uninteresting mind. Clearly, he should be with me.
That following New Years Eve the boy and I were planning on attending a party together. He had invited me to meet up with him at his parents' place beforehand. We had smoked some weed and were preparing ourselves for the foray in his over-sized bathroom. I naively asked him if he thought I was pretty. He momentarily considered it, while standing behind me, gazing at my expectant reflection in the mirror. Making a determination, he pretended to spank me and told me he’d love to bend me over his knee and teach me a lesson. I blushed deeply and then hit him with how-dare-you-speak-to-me-that-way-?, faux indignance.
That night, at the party, I tried to put all of the moves on this boy in my amateurish manner, but he was a decent enough sort. He didn’t want to cheat on his girlfriend, but it seems she already knew what was coming. She had duly noted how he doted on me and how he virtually ignored her. Shortly thereafter, they broke up. I remember the boy and I cruising on long car rides during the following time period: how our sweaty fingers laced impeccably together, and how very nice it felt to be physically connected. I recall furtively making out with him while parked a few blocks away from my parents’ home. He was an absurdly talented kisser. Soft lips. Responsive. Susceptible.
He, Bella, and I met at a local, lesbian coffee house (ironic, I know) on the night of interest. Bella and I had hatched a plan. I wanted to lose my hetero virginity and he was available. We essentially dared him to sleep with me and he was, of course, game. Consequently, we returned to Bella’s car--he and I in the backseat, she in her front passenger seat. I was wearing my customary long, black velvet dress and not much else. He was on top and did his best to enter me, but I was so tight and making such pitiful noises that he wasn’t sure that he wanted to continue and possibly hurt me. But Bella mischievously goaded him on. She told him, “If you don’t fuck her, by God, I will come back there and do it myself!” (We both knew that this was not an idle threat – considering that Bella, the green-eyed lady, and I had all been together, sometimes concurrently, in the past.) Thus, he not unhastily proceeded according to her directive.
I presently reside in the neighborhood where I lost my hetero virginity. Virtually every time I walk past Cheap Trix (the tattoo parlor/fetish shop that we had parked in front of on that night over a decade before), I warmly remember that youthful fiasco and I smile to myself with inward bemusement.