I was 14 and everything seemed wrong and hypocritical, and also it was at that stage where you feel you’re the first to ever experience it.
Social compression and boredom forced me into what my parents would have called ‘rebellion’ and I was amazed, as Lucy must have been in Narnia, to find a microcosm of disillusioned deracialized children from alternative schools, who accepted me, allowed me to feel part of some broader adolescent experience. I pantomimed appreciation for third-rate metal bands, learned to smoke pot and read Catcher in the Rye.
It was a time of blurry-faced young people molten in alchoholic fumes, and hitching rides with truckers at night in order to find some stranger’s party.
I met this Cyril (age 17) in one of these dreamy nighttime sprawls. He had an archaic name and a face like an angel, a young steam-punk Narcissus trawling the darkened suburbs with the grace of a gazelle. I was in love with him the minute I saw him, and I never ever believed he could love me back. In the way of adolescents, we ensnared one another with Myspace and sexual innuendos. One night we got to sleep over in the same house, and, in the middle of the night we both jolted up and started kissing. I could not believe I was holding someone so liquid and golden in my arms. I hadn’t kissed many boys then.
When I started going out with this Boy, my two worlds fused: the daytime one, in which I was a nerd at a private school, with my secret nighttime self. Cyril in the daylight, in my parents’ eyes, was this scruffly youth with broken sneakers and a sullen demeanor. He was allowed to sleep over but emphatically in different rooms.
So began a ritual of sneaking into the spare room at night, where we would undress one another, suck and kiss each other’s bodies until our mouths were numb with a slightly sour taste. I gave my first hand job, blowjob and so on. I was slightly alarmed at penises and even more so when he tried to put it in me. I was small and sexually premature, despite being hell bent on rebellion.
So began a bad time. I was convinced something was wrong with my body, and the pain was excruciating. I would clutch his throat to stop him breathing so loud, and I would try separate myself from my experience and focus on the dark passage where my family lay sleeping.
Because of the creaking bed, I made him try take me on the floor. I remember how it felt to be flattened between the wooden floorboards and his body. The feeling of that dull fleshy instrument against some unspecified region in my vagina, shoveling unsuccessfully into me.
In the daytime, my mother started coming down on me. In a terrible voice, she told me she was not an idiot; she noticed ‘all the tissues in the bin’. That was all she said about it, but our mutual discomfort slapped us both in the face. She thought I was giving hand jobs. The truth made me want to cry. Cyril continued to sleep over and so the ritual of trying to lose my virginity continued, even in the face of mine and my mother’s red-faced shame.
Not only had my contradictions fused, the once binary parts of my life began to interchange. Now me and Cyril tried to lose my virginity in the bright afternoon. At night, as I lay next to his sleeping body, watching the clock for when I should tiptoe back to my room, I felt young and little and wanted badly to be a child again.
I was staving off penetration like it was death, but I began to tell myself that both were inevitable, and I must release my body to him. That afternoon something was different. He put on the condom and moved into me with fluidity we had never experienced, and I could feel myself permeable to him. My overriding feeling was triumph, that I was not an anomaly. Once it was over I held the condom, still warm from my body, and contemplated the semen inside.
That night we went to ‘The Fountain’. A damning movie to lose one’s virginity to if ever there was one. I have since re-watched the movie and have felt tired and disappointed.