I lost my virginity on a weekday afternoon to a Testament album. Or maybe it was Exodus. Shit, I don't remember. I'd picked it up at work that day, caught the bus back to my neighborhood and swung by the hot dog shop to meet Jeff. I asked him if he wanted to come over and listen to the album with me. Mom was still at work and I had the place to myself. I deliberately set out to lose my virginity. I had decided to accompany mom to Pennsylvania in a few months time, and I had further decided to leave my virginity behind in California. It was a cold, calculated decision on my part, I admit. I don't know why I was so determined to lose it before I left, but I was. And Jeff was there, and would have to do.
And he did. And it fucking hurt. It was about as romantic as a pelvic exam and took about half the time. As soon as he was done, he left. I didn't really care. I didn't love him, didn't want to marry him and honestly cannot remember what he looked like all these years later. I had thought that losing my virginity would magically transform me into an Adult. I would be Grown Up and Mature. I was hugely disappointed, as all I was now was a very sore girl with blood and jizz stains on her flowered sheets.
I don't think I ever saw Jeff again after that day. I certainly never went looking for him, and he of course never called. We were busy packing our belongings and setting up to sell the rest. We had a weekend long yard sale without the yard - we just let people wander in and out of our house all day, paying us cash for our replaceable belongings. We sold our bikes, our beds, our televisions and knick knacks, couches, chairs and kitchen utensils. We'd buy more when we got to Pennsylvania.
For some reason, we decided to take a Greyhound to Philadelphia, from California. I'm not sure why. We must have had a legit reason for making such a stupid choice but I don't remember what the hell it was. Shortly before we were to move, I dropped by the deli to say goodbye to the coworkers I still liked. Tammy was there and followed me out afterwards, saying she'd heard all about me being a slut and losing my virginity. Yeah, I'd told a few friends. And why not, it was my story to tell, my accomplishment to broadcast. I never told anyone anything that wasn't asked of me. But Tammy was ready to sew a scarlet letter A onto my chest. I let her call me all manner of terrible names, then took a breath and asked her if she was jealous because all she'd ever done was cocktease. It worked better than a slap across the face. I've never seen anyone pinch up so fast in my life. I turned around and walked away and never saw or spoke to Tammy again.
Curiosity got the better of me decades later and I found her on FB. She's fat and married now, still protesting at abortion clinics, still praising Jesus and voting Republican. She never had any kids of her own, having married some dude a good deal older than her who already had kids from a previous marriage. She still lives in the same town, still does the same things, runs with the same people and has all of the depth of a baking sheet.
I've often wondered why it happens to so many of the girls I once knew. I've looked up other old schoolmates, or former coworkers, or whatever. SO. FREAKING. MANY of them have become little sunbeams for Jesus. Not that there's anything wrong with that, per se. But they also morphed into intolerable bigots, swift to condemn anyone who doesn't praise the Lord and vote Republican. God help you if you're gay, or pro-choice, or heaven forbid have a tattoo and/or piercings. I don't understand it. Do they feel guilty? Are they trying to get into Heaven now because they've realized they won't live forever? Is it boredom? Bitterness? Another way of feeling superior? And it's not even the whole Jesus thing. So many of them are shallow and uninteresting. They listen to insipid music and post sparkly memes with saccharine sayings and embrace vapid insincerity with a vengeance. There's nothing to them at all. They're all wrapping paper with no gift beneath. I've talked to a few of them since then and it's all "oh my kids, my church, my grandkids, blue lives matter, I'll just DIE if I don't get that recipe" Stepford worthy prattle. I can't imagine living such a dull, doily-draped, Precious Moments laden existence, never trying anything new or daring to think for yourself instead of swallowing the general consensus.
Again, I have digressed. I'm sure I've left out a lot too. We left California on a hot summer day, thinking we'd never return. But as usual, we were wrong.