The year was 1997. The month was July. I was sixteen years years old, on a summer road trip with my high school buddy Sean and his folks. For the drive we brought two albums: Paranoid by Black Sabbath and L.A. Woman by The Doors. Jim Morrison's drunken voice blared through the speakers as Sean's dad navigated the steep mountainous roads. I particularly liked L.A. Woman. I pictured a bearded and bloated Jim sauntering into the studio and laying down his vocals in one take as he sat on the toilet with a bottle of Jack--
Cops and cars
The topless bars
Never saw a woman
We stopped over in the Rockies on the way to Vancouver for a white water rafting adventure. Apparently it was one of the most difficult rivers to navigate for non-experts; I read that on a brochure. I could not suppress the knots in my belly, they were pulsating and ebbing, tightening up as Sean and myself donned our life jackets and the instructor began his spiel. He had to yell over the endless whooshing of the river, and ultimately it boiled down to, "Paddle like hell when we reach the rapids." Words to live by.
When we arrived in Vancouver, Sean and myself were like feral zombie beasts let loose on the population--specifically the prostitute population. We immediately resolved to get away from his parents, hunt down some pot and mushrooms and get some whores. You have to prioritize!
We asked a cab driver where all the hookers were. "Downtown Eastside," came the answer. So to the Downtown Eastside we went. I don't remember much about the neighborhood but it sure was seedy, with women in short skirts dotting each intersection. Somehow, I wandered away from Sean like a kid in a candy store and ran into a rail thin 30ish brunette walking in the middle of the street, seemingly lost in her own world. I approached her and she gave me a smile, a conmans smile--it's like a stuffed animal, warm and fuzzy on the outside but dead on the inside.
"You wanna come with me, honey?" She said in her best come hither put on, but it could scarcely cover the years of hard living. Nonetheless, I followed. "Yeah, let's do this," I said trying to sound casual. She started having a coughing fit, hacking up a fucking lung and said, "Don't worry, it will feel better than it sounds."
That was reassuring.
We went to a nearby alley and I handed over $35. It wasn't beneath her to ask me for some change too; I handed over some nickels and dimes. The money disappeared up her black leather skirt. She would not be meeting the queen anytime soon.
After a sub par two minute blowjob she got up and so did her black leather skirt. I had my appetizer and now it was time for dinner! With this being my first time and with the alley being so dark, I couldn't really get it in. Couldn't hit the mark. I don't think the problem was me, (I had a raging purple turnip) but she was dryer than a pile of dead leaves. I made a feeble attempt to grab her hips and connect my USB cable to her port; I don't really know if I made a connection. It might have slipped in for a second, maybe just the tip. Is that all there is to sex I wondered after a minute or two of dry humping. She stood up straight, pulled down her skirt and said she had to go. Boy, she was busier than the Pope--AND she just made $35 and change in five minutes or so (including travel time). She must be rich!
Is that my virginity gone with the wind? That was not the earth shattering experience I was hoping for. Maybe if you do it with a lover and not a body seller it feels better? Hey lady, can I have a refund? No fucking condom either. I mean, I know I was a sixteen year old stoner grunge rocker Kurt Cobain all the way but I did have common sense regarding STD's. In school I learned that women working the streets lead a riskier life than Janice down the street and therefore one has a greater chance of contracting a disease if you have sex. When you don't put your knowledge to good use what good is that knowledge in the first place? Well enough of that...
My primary dilemma after I had zipped up and bid adieu is I couldn't find Sean. It was like he disappeared. He simply got lost in the mix while I was busy on my first lap around the inter-course.
What a night, I definitely maybe just lost my viriginity (does the tip count?) and I was high on life (adrenalin and pot) and I wanted to yenta it up with my buddy. I couldn't find him anywhere so I did the logical thing: I began running like a madman down unrecognizable streets. The more I did that the more tangled I became in the web I had spun.
"SEAN! SEAN!" I was screaming and running frantically. Prositutes and clients playing the oldest game in the book were looking at me like I was crazy. My other dilemma was that I might have stuck my penis in a crackwhore with no protection. AIDS kept screaming at me over and over in my mind like the news ticker at the bottom of CNN. It keeps scrolling by on an endless loop ---YOU HAVE AIDS---YOU HAVE AIDS---YOU HAVE AIDS---YOU HAVE AIDS---YOU HAVE HIV WHICH WILL SOON BECOME AIDS---AND YOU CAN'T FIND SEAN---PADDLE LIKE HELL---Running, running, down this road and that road. Lost downtown in a city far from home. To further complicate the situation I had no clue where the ground level loft apartment was that we were staying at. No phone number or anything. No cell phone to call Sean. In short I was fucked. I wanted to crumble to my knees and scream to the heavens.
I turned a corner and this greasy looking guy in a muddy pickup truck rolled down his window and pulled up along side me. He must have seen me running wildly through the streets. A teenager in distress. What a good samaritan to stop and offer help.
"Hey, what chu doin' kid? You'se lost or sumpin?" Now that he was stopped beside me I got a good look. He was short, dirty, bald but still grew his hair out long in defiance of his baldness. Not a good look.
"Yeah, I'm just trying to find my buddy mister. What's it to you?"
"Well, get in, let's go find him!" I ran around the side of his pickup and swooped myself in and he he sped off down the street.
"Hey, my name's Bobby P. What's the matter anyway kid?"
"Well, I can't find my friend, I'm running all over the place trying to find him. Plus I think I may have just lost my virginity, but I don't know for sure."
"Yeah, the first time's tough, huh?"
"You're telling me. I couldn't even find the hole!"
The two of us drove aimlessly down side streets yelling, "SEAN! SEAN!" out of our respective windows. "I know these streets pretty well, don't worry we'll find him--he couldn't of gone too far. Hey, I got me a pig farm a few km's down the road. You should visit some time, we'll get some girls and slaughter a live pig and roast it." Wow! The people in Vancouver are much friendlier than Toronto. I had been here but one night and already made a friend. "That sounds nice Bobby, real nice."
After a few more minutes of driving and chatting we miraculously spotted Sean jogging slowly, weighed down by exhaustion. Bobby saw him first and proclaimed, "There he is!" He was right. There he was.
Sean was stunned and relieved to see me. Perhaps a little confused seeing me roll by in a pickup truck caked in mud with a bald guy with long hair at the wheel. Very confusing indeed. Surely Sean didn't think this was my date? I hope not.
"Case closed!" Bobby yelled. "Well thanks a lot, man you're a life saver."
The rest of the trip turned out to be great. We had dinner with the some of the guys from Doug and the Slugs (I had never heard of them either). Then we went to a hippie drum fest. The only thing I remember was a slogan on someone's bag that read: My body is just a cage for my soul.
The year was also 1997. The month was September. I was in grade 11. Brampton Centennial Secondary School. It was lunch time and I was walking to my locker to grab my jacket and then walk the 5 minutes to my house, eat Chef Boyardee (Ravioli if I remember correct) and watch the Crocodile Hunter. Upon closing my locker, my friend Max appeared with Sabina, this intriguing blonde girl from our art class. She was the girl in the class who seemed to be such an adult. Whatever that was. She was so mature, had so much life experience. Drinking, older boyfriends, fake i.d's, bars. Drugs? Hell, she probably tried 'em all, O.D'd on smack, went to rehab, and lived to tell the story. All by the ripe old age of sixteen. I could tell immediately that she was totally hammered. Drunk by lunch--wow, I couldn't even fathom such a thing--what a creature!
"Sabina's going to come to your house for lunch," Max said conspiratorially. Something was up.
"Uhh sure," I uttered semi-awkwardly. What girl wouldn't want to lose her virignity to me? I was a scrawny, pimply-faced grunge rocker. I'm sure that day I had my brownish plaid shirt on (unbuttoned) with a Mudhoney shirt underneath. Winning!
Little did I know--and probably Sabina too--that in half an hour she was going to bust me loose from the prison of my virginity. But, as you have come to know, this was a liminal phase in my sexual adventures; had I achieved insertion in Vancouver with that hooker in the alley? The answer lies somewhere, whirlpooling around in the synapses of my fickle memory. God only knows.
I don't remember who got Sabina first but she was ready to go. She led me upstairs and it felt like I was walking up to the gallows. A lamb being led to the knife. My God! Are we gonna like...DO it? Mommy! Mommy! I just want to eat my Chef Boyardee. SHIT CHRIST FUCK, will IT work? Will IT work? I mean I've test driven my car many times but never taken it off the track. We went up the stairs...almost at the top. Is this the right time? WHAT? Of course it is, I'm a man goddamnit! You just stick it right in and shuck and jive your way through it.
We quickly disrobed; she was a true blonde, and to my relief IT did work! What was the ryhthm of sex and love and life but the simple back and forth thrusting into one another? There was no thought to use condoms, I just got on top of her, hesitated for a second because I didn't really know what to do and she guided me in. There was no romance or dinner by candlelight, I sliced into her like a rugged caveman. But like a cavemans life the experience was short. It felt absolutely magical. Her guts! I'm in HER GUTS! I'd say I lasted a solid minute and when I reached that point of no return I just unloaded my universe right inside her. Incredibly stupid in hindsight wasn't it? Almost as stupid as having sex with a crack whore without a condom. I look at it like I'm a soldier in the war of life and I managed to do a couple tours and then come to my family without any serious injuries.
I rolled off Sabina and we laid there; I breathed a sigh of relief--the sound of a boy becoming a man. Is that ALL there is to sex? I'm a believer. I opened the drawer by my bed and we shared a cigarette, just like in the movies. She didn't seem too impressed but she didn't seem disappointed either, she just seemed drunk. I snubbed the smoke out and we got dressed. For whatever reason she laid down on my bench prench set in my room, lifted the bar (with about 85lbs on it) and after pulling it down to her chest she couldn't get it back up. That seems to be the hard part in love and bench pressing--getting it back up.
I helped lift the weight off of her and we went downstairs and the three of us made our way back to class. When we got back to school my new nickname was'minute man' because I blabbed that I only lasted that long. Not bad, really, when you think about it considering the circumstances. All the guys and even a few girls were laughing--a minute! What a loser! But really, on the inside most of the guys were thinking, "Shit, I've unloaded after one or two pumps." In the days of high school there is a constant pressure beating down on you to go along. Go where? Who the fuck knows, but you don't want to go out on a limb and stand up for someone who's getting their balls busted, you simply have to bust along with the rest of 'em or shut the fuck up. I prefered to shut the fuck up.
I imagine losing your virginity is similar to turning 50. You await the moment and when it passes nothing really changes. There is no great revelation and you feel pretty much the same as you did yesterday. Although when you turn 50 you damn well know it's the same old story without a new ending. You don't grow another limb or acquire super powers like you may have thought once you lost your virginity. You gain experience--some intangible unit of memory and eventually it turns into words.