Monday, May 30, 2005

stories worth a thousand words #18



Written : October 4, 2004

I opened an eyelid halfway to what may still have been morning. My partner under the covers coughed and turned over beside me.

I had time for one quick scout left and right before my eyeballs’ motion alerted the rest of my head that the punishment for consuming the guts of two bottles of Jack Daniels was long overdue. I then had time for a quick groan of pain before my bladder caught the relay of the same message.

Luckily my memory banks were activated before I felt the necessity to resolve the conflict between my desire to move towards the bathroom and my desire to stay perfectly still. Thanks to them, despite my numerous aches, pains and imminent needs, I managed a broad, beaming smile. My joy got my adrenaline pumping enough to get myself standing, release a gaping yawn, and focus on the immediate task ahead. Though I wasn’t yet quite sure exactly how it transpired, I knew it had somehow finally happened and that was good enough for me.

It was now time for me to come out of the closet.

Intrigued??? Thought you may be…let me take you back a few days, shall I?

I was an extremely naïve 18-year-old, and that was not just because I was still a virgin. In that time I had failed to develop anything resembling regular social skills, although seemingly I exuded some kind of external confidence which surely did anything but reflect what was going on in my head, particularly when it came to the opposite sex. My only outlet for my feelings was a journal, which I kept regularly. I had probably been inspired to start doing this by my mother who had one going since she was a teenager herself.

For the summer of 1987 I went to stay with Maura in San Francisco for nine weeks, as I had the previous year. Since it was my second trip, I already knew several people and thus was not quite as uncomfortable as I had been before. There was one girl I really liked, the daughter of a friend of my mother’s – her name was Karen and she was a year older than me, half Korean, half Chinese and all American. We got on really well in some ways but in others I was intimidated by her self confidence. We went out several times in the first couple of weeks but no physical contact transpired, though looking back I am pretty sure I could have initiated something, and no doubt my lack of action must have led Karen to believe I was either uninterested in her or gay.

When I was hanging out with my mother that summer, another friend Andi (as in Andrea) would always tag along; she was a regular barfly at the NiteCap, the hole in the wall dive where Maura worked right on the edge of the Tenderloin. Despite the fact that she was a qualified architect and had a good ten years on Karen, Andi didn’t have half of her self-esteem, hence the NiteCap residency. She did, however, possess a sharp wit which I would have found appealing. I guess I never took her flirting with me seriously for the very reason my mother was always there when she did.

As a result of this blissful ignorance of Andi’s intentions, I was perfectly at ease sitting in with her and my mother drinking beer and getting stoned one evening. The flirting was still going on, I still did not think anything of it. Then Maura decided it was time to turn in, so she did. I continued to believe since she was one wall away then the touching and sly kissing and playfulness were all perfectly innocent. One more joint later and I was rolling around on the sofa with a woman 11 years my senior. One hour later I was escorting her down to the front door of the building into her taxi home and she practically had to prise herself free from my clutches to avoid her ride taking off.

Now, let’s skip ahead to a couple of hours after the opening sequence. The reason for all the time travel is that it was the only way I could keep you guessing with the whole “out of the closet” thing. Having made my way back to Maura’s apartment, I wrote this in my journal :

Saturday, August 1, 1987, 1:33pm

Well, my dear diary, it has finally happened. I am now fit to be considered a member of the human race. I am no longer a virgin. So much for Andi just being a friend! We went to this Irish bar on Haight, then after meeting her friend Julie’s boyfriend we got a cab back to his apartment which is where we stayed the night. They had set up a bed in their huge walk-in closet [sorry for misleading you but I’m sure you appreciate it was hard to resist – I’m as straight as straight can be] and that’s where Andi and me did it. We made love three times in all, polishing off three bottles of Jack Daniels between us on top of all the beers. How do I feel right now? Tired and hung over!!!

When Maura finally worked out about a week later what was going on between me and her friend, she came up with the tale that she in fact set the whole thing up. Whether this is true or not I will never know – both scenarios are equally believable.

Either way, I sure didn’t care, cos I got mine.

I was sad when I said goodbye to Andi a few weeks later before returning to Ireland to begin college. I was never to see or hear from her again. Looking back, it was all for the best – I have a feeling if I had instead been with Karen I may have decided to stay in America to be with her or something foolish like that.

© JL Pagano 2004



sex scenes at starbucks said...

I think I might be the only person in the human race who does not recall losing her virginity.

Must not've been very exciting, eh?

shandi said...

At least you had someone who apparently knew what she was doing to kind of show you the ropes.
I lost my virginity on my wedding night with another virgin. Neither one of us knew what we were doing. I was just trying to get through the night. It was awkward and painful. I kept guzzling champagne just trying to relax. Pretty stupid.

Paige A Harrison said...

Just read your excellent piece on your grandfather. I was so tickled by the thought of your children looking up the 'virginity' chapter in your book that I felt compelled to do the same. Now I feel guilty!

Anonymous said...

Three bottles of Jack Daniels - Bullshit.

JL Pagano said...

@ Anonymous..... (a) it was "the guts of two bottles", so if you cant read the first paragraph lord knows what you made of the rest of it! and (b) only cowards cry bullshit without leaving their name.