Carrie

I found my best friend in the direst of circumstances. In a layer of hell that Dante couldn’t even fathom. She was the light in the darkest of dark abysses an awkward freshman could ever imagine even existed.

PE.

. . .

PE was the killer of all coolness. No matter how hard I worked on my badass looks in the halls, PE was the daily reminder of that pathetic loser I was at Sparks Middle.

I wasn’t good at group sports that involved balls – with the exception of kickball, but I still had PTSD from the humping incident of 5th grade – nor was I good at singular sports involving balls.

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I hated running, jumping, sprinting, relaying, racing, speed walking and the like. The only thing I actually liked was stretching, but not in the standard issue too short blue polyester gym shorts with hairy white legs and the world seeing my underwear.

The stupid glory-day-holder-onner-to ex-jock who “taught” PE would make us run laps until we sweat. Now this wouldn’t have been an issue if PE “class” was always last period, but lucky me, I had PE second period, so all that hard work doing my hair and makeup every morning was a tragic mess after only one class.

The school’s brilliant answer to this dilemma was having showers in the locker room.

Yeah, right. Like I was going to do the following in the whopping SEVEN minutes the school allotted for repairing the damage of Physical Education:

  1. Get naked in front of everyone. Sure. Sign me up.
  2. Shower. Naked. In an OPEN shower where everyone can see me.
  3. Shampoo and condition my golden locks and soap up my nubile flesh.
  4. Dry off.
  5. Get dressed.
  6. Blow dry my hair – completely.
  7. Curl, tease and Aqua Net said hair.
  8. Apply makeup.
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Me. After PE. On a different planet.

Now, I was pretty awesome, but you’d have to be a goddamned superhero to pull that shit off in seven minutes. And it would have to be on a planet where I was totally cool with showing the world my vagina.

If being locked in a closet with a boy was seven minutes of heaven then this would be its evil seven minute counterpart.

PE was invented by some asshole jock who wanted the 90 percent of the non-sporty-spices to suffer excruciating humiliation.

It was a Monday morning, the most depressing day of the week. I was in the locker room spending my allotted seven minutes attempting to change out of my gym clothes without showing the popular girls one inch of my white flesh and – God forbid – a nipple, when I heard perhaps the largest belch in the history of the universe.

“Ewww, gross!” cried Katie Morgan, the most beautiful, popular, perfect girl at RHS.

I looked over to find the source of that glorious burp.

There she stood. Muddy colored boy hair. White skin. Tiny nose. Huge eyes. Even huger lips. Chubby. Standing there in her underwear, Denim jacket and tube socks.

Unapologetically.

Then she did the most amazing thing. Where I would’ve apologized profusely and blushed, she put her ginormous lips together and blew her burp breath right in Katie’s face.

Punk. Rock.

I peeked my head around my locker.

“That was awesome!”

“Really? You think?” Her big blue eyes looked up at me.

“Totally!”

“No one else thinks so,” her eyes were sad. I felt her pain.

“Wanna go to lunch?”

“Sure!”

Carrie eyes

Then she smiled the biggest, most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Her whole face lit up when she smiled – it still does.

“I’m Carrie. Like the girl who got covered in pig’s blood at prom, only I haven’t been to a prom yet and hopefully that won’t happen to me if I ever go.”

And that was the first day of the rest of our lives.

All I Really Needed to Know I learned on LSD

Most of what I really need to know about life, love and waterbeds, I learned on LSD. Books are neat and everything, but I’ve learned more tripping balls in outer galaxies to Bauhaus than I ever have cuddling up with a novel with some random orange cat.

Seriously, whose cat is this?

Triplog: Stardate, Tuesday, 9/22/1987:

8:00am Mom hands me $40 in cash (in case of emergency) and goes out of town for a week.

11:30am Deem purchase of 8 hits of double–dipped Blue Lightning fry* an emergency. *1980’s Reno for LSD

2:40pm My best friend Sandy and I take one hit each on the public bus ride home.

3:25pm Transfer station. Still feel nothing. Take another hit each.

3:27pm Transfer buses.

3:28pm Decide dealer sold us bunk fry. Eat all of it.

3:45pm Bus driver turns into a pterodactyl.

3:46pm Ponder how a pterodactyl can hold a steering wheel.

4:00pm Pterodactyl squawks at us in some strange pterodactyl language we don’t speak.

4:01pm Pterodactyl stands up, screams and hops toward us pointing to the doors that have been open a very long time. We turn into liquid and pour onto sidewalk.

4:02pm Attempt standing. Legs clearly have stopped working.

4:05pm Woah, cars make rad tracers.

6:00pm Woah, look at our hands.

7:30pm Woah, look at ALL THOSE DOGS! Our legs magically, yet very awkwardly, work again. We run. If that’s what you call it.

8:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

9:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

10:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

11:00pm Found Sandy’s house! Front door bush monster hits the key out of the keyhole over and over.

11:30pm Go around back. Did Sandy’s mom start a rabbit farm? At least 700 multicolored rabbits in backyard. Bunnies are rad!

11:50pm Loch Ness Monster blocking the back door.

Triplog: Stardate, Wednesday, 9/23/1987:

Midnight Defeat Loch Ness Monster with help of magical, yet surprisingly violent, rabbits.

12:03am Thank bunnies.

12:05am Finally get in house. Walls are breathing so heavy they squeeze Sandy and I into each other on an inhale. On next exhale, hightail it to Sandy’s big sister’s room.

12:15am Walls inhale again and push us onto magical bed made of water.

12:16am Determine waterbeds were invented for drug use.

12:17am Everything makes sense. I am one with the universe. Just don’t move.

12:20am “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” comes on. On repeat.

12:21am I am melting into the bed. I’m in the universe. Stars surround me. The music envelops me. I’m the only person in the world and it’s rad.

12:45am The sound of screaming harshes my mellow. It’s coming from inside the waterbed. Peel back all bedding. SCREAMING BUBBLES.

?am Bubbles speak. “We’re trapped! We can’t breathe under here!”

?am Why must I always be the superhero?

?am Search for something sharp. Wet n’Wild black eyeliner pencil. Yes!

?am SET BUBBLES FREE! A huge stream of water shoots out of the magical bed.

?am Uh-oh.

Time slows down. Everything in slow motion. Screaming. Coming from out of Sandy’s face.

Shame courses through my body. I look in the mirror. I’m a monster. My eyes are black. I am going to die tonight.

A tube of Bright Red lipstick jumps into my hand. It’s a sign. I open it all the way up. What is this mysterious substance? I smash all of it into my hand and rub it all over my face.

The door opens. Kittens fill the room. An 8-foot tall neon green electric eel with red hair screams at us. “IT IS 4 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING, WHAT ARE – ARE YOU DRUNK? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WATERBED? COURTNEY, ARE YOU BLEEDING?

4:00am We could barely hear her over all the meowing, so we repeat, “We’re on fry! We’re on fry!” over and over again.

“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE ON, YOU ARE CLEANING THIS WATER UNTIL THERE IS NONE LEFT!”

2:00pm We finished bucketing and siphoning out all the water. Sandy’s mom made me walk home.

?pm Somehow I found my house all by myself. My face was still covered in bright red lipstick.

?pm I found my bed. Everything went black like a coma, not like sleeping. I don’t know if my eyes were open or closed.

Triplog: Stardate, Thursday, 9/24/1987:

4:00pm Red lips start ringing. All is black but lips. I want them to shut up. I pick it up. I can hear my mother. I tell her one thing only, “I’m on drugs.”

?pm My brother-in-law picks me up and reminisces about past LSD trips. I am not of this earth. I will die because of the waterbed. I want to die. I am dirty in my blood.

?pm I watch TV on sister’s couch. Two very small humans stare at me. My sister tries to remove the red lipstick from all over my face.

Triplog: Stardate, Friday, 9/25/1987:

            10:30am I miss my pep rally because I was still tripping balls.

Everything I need to know is in that one trip. Like don’t take four double-dipped hits of acid unless you plan on tripping for four days. And if you do, you will miss most definitely miss your pep rally on Friday.

I also learned that bright red lipstick stains the face for approximately two weeks when left on for three days straight. I learned that waterbeds grow back (okay, not really, they bought a new one) and my family loves me unconditionally, even though they’re still laughing at me.

I think the world would be awesome if every single person took a stand and set their own personal bubbles free. Or if we all took four hours to find our front door and played with 700 bunnies before defeating the Loch Ness Monster.

Or if there was a policy in our country and all countries to say, “I’m on drugs,” when everything just gets too heavy. It’s okay to show your cards when you’ve eaten serious dong.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to go with your best friend and stay away from pterodactyls.

*originally published by Below the Fold in 2017

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Where is the Youth?

 

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Peter Murphy, the ultimate Goth God. Frontman of one of my favorite bands to this day, Bauhaus.

 

I watched Christie climb on the hottest guy I’d seen in my life so far. He was tall, blonde and Peter Murphy skinny.

Christie handed my new dream man 15 bucks and he slid a tiny piece of tinfoil into her back pocket. Everything was five bucks. Five to get into the club, five for a hit of fry.

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And then, in perfect Christie fashion, she did a full-on Bill the Cat “ACK-THBPPT “followed by an “Arp!” and hit her arm across her body, (which was her cruel imitation of someone with a developmental disability), then grabbed me and ran us toward the bathroom.

It was so curious how she was always her weirdo self, yet was pretty popular in the Goth crowd. It reminded me of school – I had to study for hours to get an A on a test, while my friends would barely study and ace it. I mean, for fuck’s sake, I practiced my serious face for hours in the mirror only to be dragged around the club by Bill the Cat.

She (fittingly) locked us in the handicapped stall and perched herself on the back of the toilet. I hovered awkwardly as she unfolded the tiny foil origami only to expose three very small pieces of paper, each with a tiny dragon printed on it.

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Courtesy of erowid.org

Fry was paper? All this anticipation for paper?

“Stick out your tongue.”

I obeyed. She placed the small piece of paper on my tongue.

“Hunter bought five sheets of windowpane double-dipped Dragon in The Dead parking lot last week. This shit is so pure – you’re going to fry balls!”

I longed for a drug jargon-to-English interpreter; instead I just smiled and nodded.

“Don’t swallow it for 20 minutes. Just let it soak in, then chew it up before you swallow.”

This was meant to be. Little did most know, but I’d been eating paper for years. I was practically built for fry.

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When I was a kid, the dog didn’t eat my homework – I did. I also loved books. They were delicious. I ate half of The Velveteen Rabbit.

I loved the taste of paper and the process of eating paper. I eventually graduated to pants and it got ugly, but it was like corduroys were meant for eating those little rows just like corn on the cob.

Someone walked into the bathroom and knocked on the stall.

“Courtney? Are you in there?” Christie’s eyes got huge, but I knew that voice.

I threw open the door and hugged Sandy for days. She was meeting us there, but with all the paper eating I completely forgot.

Christie suddenly burst out of the bathroom, put the foil with the last piece of fry in Sandy’s hand and ran onto the dance floor. She didn’t like attention wandering anywhere beyond her.

We met her on the dance floor but before we could talk, Front 242’s Headhunter came on. Christie freaked the fuck out and hugged both of us. I guess she was no longer mad.

“ONE YOU LOCK THE TARGET!”

And we all started to dance. And didn’t stop. Nitzer Ebb, Tones on Tail, Sisters of Mercy, and Alien Sex Fiend later, I stopped. In the middle of the dance floor.

Goosebumps shot up my arms. The warmth started in my knees and spread throughout my body and I broke into a sweat. I thought I might be thirsty, but I couldn’t tell.

(Press play and listen while finishing this post for maximum impact.)

Bella Lugosi’s Dead came on, as if on cue. The music vibrated through me as if there was no beginning or end of my body and the song. Where did the song stop and I begin? Nowhere. We were one.

The people, pain, music, high school, my father, mom, drugs, this place, this time, the planets, gravity, dimension travel, past lives, the meaning of it all – each piece fit into an intricate puzzle and it was right in front of me. Of all of us everyday really. We just couldn’t SEE it because it was right there.

It was all so simple. If I only had a pen and paper to record the answer to everything, but that would require I get off the dance floor and that was never going to happen.

We danced until the club closed at 2am, piled into David Byrne’s* beat-up 1973 VW Bug and ended up – Sandy, Christie and me – all laying on the floor, chain smoking and watching David Byrne make enormous shadows dance on his cottage cheese ceiling with his very large hands hovering over a single candle – the only source of light in the room.

Bella Lugosi’s Dead came on. It all came back to me – the answer. So I decided to share what was in my brain with my friends and David Byrne, but my voice sounded like a swallowed warbled echo and I wasn’t quite sure about the shape of my words anymore.

David Byrne hovered over me. His face was much more liquid than solid. He smiled wider than the Cheshire Cat.

“Is this your first time riding the LSD train, little girl?”

It didn’t hit me until 36 more plays of Bella Lugosi’s Dead (David Byrne had a cassette tape with nothing on it but that song for this very specific kind of incident), five packs of cigarettes and five hours later (remember, everything’s in fives now) that I realized that I’D TAKEN LSD.

I’d finally crossed the line in the sand. A line I never drew, but a line I was familiar with – that step from minor escape to full-on hard drugs.

I was not scared.

I felt dirty from the inside out.

And I couldn’t wait to do it again.

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*I found out later that David Byrne was 20-year-old named Peter Pow and was not actually David Byrne, but he was just as tall and thin and was the front man of a local, very strange band. So I wasn’t too far off.

Title Song

Murderous by Nitzer Ebb, Album: That Total Age, 1987, addt’l info

Lyrics (repeat several times)

Where is the youth?

It’s time to live
It’s time to know
Shout golden shouts
Lift up your hearts

Much better now
We’re stronger now

Don’t be lazy
With the pleasure of sin

Where is the youth?
Where is the gold?

Think of the beauty
Think of your pride

Don’t back away

It’s there, it’s there for you

Hear, hear what we say
Said hear, hear what we say

Let passion spend
Let your passion spend
(Youth)

Better now, stronger now

It’s time, it’s time to know
It’s time, it’s time to live

Shout golden shouts

Fryday Night

 

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Me. Yes, I’m wearing black gloves.

 

Christie was a parent’s worst nightmare. She put the “wrong” in “wrong crowd.” Of course, my attraction to the wrong crowd was no accident. It was due to a perfect mix of a shitty childhood and horrific bullying.

Saying that I slipped and fell into the bad crowd is like saying Bobby Brown single-handedly destroyed Whitney Houston. Trust me, Whitney was looking for her Bobby, and if it wasn’t that Bobby, there would’ve been another one to flash her the perfect gap-toothed come hither by the glow of a crack pipe.

That being said, I sought out the wrong crowd like a heat-seeking missile. Once I hit Christie, I exploded.

I couldn’t wait for Friday, or shall I say, FRY-day. I’m quite certain I was the only human more excited to do something that she had no idea what it was than anyone ever had been in this particular position.

I went home with Christie after school on Friday, all packed for a sleepover AND a night at the club.

Christie lived in the nice side of town on a small horse ranch. Her mom drove a BMW. But most impressive was the fact that Christie had a Nintendo.

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We ate dinner with her mom, dad and younger brother and then played Super Mario Brothers until it was time to get ready for the club. For fry. The butterflies in my stomach flittered up to the top of my esophagus.

I followed Christie into her bedroom. Her walls were a mix of Robert Smith posters and horse riding ribbons. She pressed play on her tape player. And This is What the Devil Does started and she threw me on her bed.

(For a more authentic experience, press play on this song while reading the next section.)

She hopped on me – full Tigger style – and started fake fucking me. This would be a portent of what was to come like nobody’s business.

“I’m going to hug you and squeeze you and call you George!”

I struggled my way out of her attempted rape. I barely trusted her; she was the second most unpredictable human I’d met behind my bio dad.

She heated up a black Wet n’ Wild eyeliner pencil with a lighter – oh high, of course – and started applying thick HOT black eyeliner to my eyelids. I tried not to flinch.

We began comparing notes.

  1. We both weren’t virgins, but she was a downright whore. I’d done it once with one guy and she’d done it hella tons of times with hella lots of different guys. And one of them was over 40 – awesome!
  2. We both drank alcohol, but she’d already had her stomach pumped once. I was so jealous.
  3. We both smoked cigarettes and weed, but she smoked cloves and she didn’t get paranoid when she got high.
  4. We both went to Premier, but I only went once and she went 8 zillion times and knew everyone.
  5. We both went to Rocky Horror, but she most certainly didn’t go with her mom. Let alone two moms.
  6. We both felt Goth, but she was brave enough to wear it on the outside. I was too chicken to look Goth anywhere other than the Premier and I hadn’t even done that yet, so I was really only Goth in my heart and in my super deep poetry.

I was living the song Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better) – in reverse.

She was so many steps ahead of me on the badassedness scale it was like I got to the party after everyone was already drunk so I had to do 12 shots to get on the level STAT.

My competitive nature kicked in and my drive to become Goth was now at the top of my priority list. That, and keep a 3.0 GPA. Oh, and try out for drill team. And stay in French Club, Ski Club and Students Against Drunk Driving. And have everyone like me so I could stay on this planet.

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Oh, baby, look at you, don’t you look just like Siouxsie Sioux!

Three hours later, we were dropped off at Club Underground. I don’t think my own mother would’ve recognized me. I looked like Siouxsie Sioux with blonde hair. I was nervous, but I felt almost as if I was on stage. Like I was acting. My outsides were protecting me from any rejection because it wouldn’t be me who they were rejecting. It would be this facade.

I mean, Jesus, I had Christie’s thick leather jacket on. No one was penetrating my wall.

My hands shook as I held up a clove for Christie to light. The fucking hands – they’re the only traitor on my body. They are incapable of being cool.

We walked in the front door smoking and posing, half of Woolworth’s Wet n’ Wild black makeup on our faces. Christie scanned the club for her connection, then jumped up, grabbed my hand and we ran into a crowd of underage club kids who hurt just like me: some were being molested at home, most were addicted to drugs and all had a story.

And a common solution.

Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything) by The Dead Milkmen gives a somewhat accurate portrayal of the Goth club kids of the 80’s – by totally ripping us a new asshole. It’s basically the punk perspective of the Goth subculture. It will help you enter the world we’re going to be in for a few years…

. . .

Tune in next week to find out what fry actually is and what it does to walls! 

 

Sabbatical

Hello amazing readers!

I am going on Sabbatical because I’ve always wanted to say that and it sounds way more cool than I need to make some money. But don’t despair, I’m going to actually get paid to write. It’s just not about teenage sex and drugs.

This blog is my soul. On a platter. If you find yourself jonesing for a fix, just start from the beginning again. I bet we’ll meet up right at the perfect time.

I shall return once I learn to balance my new gigs. Until then, I give you the last beat of my heart.

Christie

It was time to shop for a new, rad friend. A boss. One who would propel me to new social heights. And she had to be Goth; I made up my mind that my future was going to be black.

Oh, and it was. Just wait.

I met my best friend Sandy where the smokers hung out, so I threw my badass on and moseyed over to the sidewalk across the street where we smokers got our 10 minutes of nicotine meditation on.

Christie said she was 5’ tall, but she was lying. She was 90 pounds kitty cat wet, but she rode horses so she was all muscle. She could jump horseback hurdles without the fucking horse.

And she was Goth. Openly. At school. She didn’t give a fuck.

The second I met her, I knew she was trouble. It’s what drew her to me and eventually tore us apart.

I watched her flail around as she excitedly talked to a small group about the probability of aliens. And the probability that they had probed her anus. And she was literally bouncing.

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Christie was like Tigger on crack. With a dark side.

She bounded up to me and did one of the best Bill the Cat impressions I’ve seen TO DATE.

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How did she know about my obsession with Bloom County? That I had all the books and read them over and over?

My drawings of Bill were as good as her impersonation. I drew Bill the Cat on everything including the notebook I was… holding.

In hindsight, it was quite fitting that the mutual love of a derelict drug addict cat was our bond.

She grabbed me by my notebook and spun me around with great force.

“Cut with me. I have cloves.”

She had me at “with me.”

We walked two miles to the cemetery. It was obvious we were cutting for the rest of the day. Christie sang some song about dead poets the whole way and I realized that I was going to have to bone up on my literature to become Goth.

Christie took me to an unlocked tomb and we crawled inside. It was empty. The sun streaming in through stained glass made it feel like a tiny church. A sense of calm pervaded my senses. When my family lived in Mexico, I used to hide from my abusive father in church. It was the only other time I felt that all over body peace without using drugs and alcohol.

We sat on the stoop and Christie handed me a clove cigarette.*

“Hold the clove between your fingers and then make a circle with that hand and cup it with your other hand. No take a huge hit and hold it as long as you can.

I’d been smoking pot long enough to come off overqualified.

The promise of distorted reality was always a carrot I would chase, even if it meant possible death.

I exhaled and I had a sweet buzz on. The cloves tasted like strawberry. It was a perfect cemetery day.

Signature Christie, right in the middle of my buzz, picked me up and spun me around and around and around. Like a record, baby.

The only predictable thing about this girl was that she was completely unpredictable. And hyper as shit.

“Now lay down, take a power hit and listen to this.”

I lay where Mary Buford made her final resting place. I imagined her 6-feet under me in a coffin. Decaying. I felt so Goth.

I was beginning to feel like a slave to her whims. But of course I would do what she said rather than face the consequences of standing up for myself. This girl was my only touchstone to the world I wanted so badly to belong to. I was no victim in this scenario; I was definitely a volunteer.

The only other person I knew in the scene was Ethan, but he made me want to puke and he wasn’t even Goth.

She put her headphones over my ears. I took the hit. She pressed play on the Walkman. It was My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult – I’d never heard them. The song was A Daisy Chain 4 Satan. Right when the song started, I was floating. I was in the music. I was the music. I felt that peace wash over me again, but this time it stayed.

I knew this was going to save me. I was going to reinvent myself. I was going to be untouchable. No one would break my heart again. No one would know about my deep shame of losing the Brie Lesbian Attempt.

I tried vulnerability. It didn’t fucking work. I suddenly understood why punkers wore those thick leather jackets. I was in need of a shell.

I felt breath on my face.

I batted my spider legs open. Christie was an inch away from my face studying me as if I was her very own science experiment.

“Stay over at my house Friday night. We’ll go to Club Underground and do some fry.”

I felt like Charlie getting the golden ticket to Goth. I had no idea what fry was, but if it was half as good as cloves, I was in.

*Clove cigarettes were illegal in Nevada, but Reno is only a 45-minute drive from the state line. It wasn’t as rad as having weed, but it still meant you drove or kicked it with people who drove, which made you badass.

First Love

The good thing about sleeping until Saturday afternoon and being promised sex that night was at least we slept the first half of the day away.

It was still a zillion hours until my parents went to bed. Which was strange, because they went to bed at 7:30pm.

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Brie and I distracted ourselves by watching my VHS tape of Terms of Endearment on the couch. I pulled my comforter off of my bed and put it over us. I sat so close to Brie that our complete side bodies were touching one another.

Then I put my hand on her thigh, more than halfway up her thigh. She didn’t move away. About 23 minutes later – just an approximation – she put her hand ON MY UNDERWEAR.

There was no way in hell she was going to pass out on me tonight.

Approximately 10 seconds after my parents went to bed, we were in my bedroom.

“What should we do? Where should we do this?”

Brie was concerned with practicing bisexuality correctly. Before I could answer, sheer brilliance danced out of her mouth.

“Let’s take a bath. With candles. Lots of candles.”

“I’ll get it ready. You just relax.”

I was clearly the dominant in our relationship. It seemed pretty obvious that the person who wanted something from the other (sex) is the dominant one. That whole “she’s the man, she’s the woman” thing is like trying to organize clouds. There’s no point and they’ll just blow away and change shape anyway.

I drew a bath. (Courtney Rule of Life #35: if you ever have the opportunity to use a fancy phrase, do so.)

I put candles all over my boom box; after all it was as high as a small table. I already had two handcrafted mix tapes ready to roll – my boom box had a double tape deck, of course.

The first song was Somebody by Depeche Mode. Right out of the gate, I laid my heart on the chopping block with this song; after all, it was used to destroy me at one time. I was weak then; now, I was unafraid.

The only fear in love for me was and still is regret. I offered her my pound of flesh. It was hers for the taking. If she rejected me, then at least I wouldn’t regret not showing her all of me. Heartbreak is a painful enough event without bringing feelings of regret into the ring.

The bathroom was transformed into a lesbian paradise. The bath was steaming, the candles glowing.

Before I knew it, we were facing each other in my small linoleum and wallpapered bathroom. We took off our clothes at the same time, piece by piece, while looking into each other’s eyes. Approximately 47 days later, we were naked.

It was heaven to truly take in her naked body – without fear of getting caught. I had full eyeball freedom. I felt the freedom of a bird for a split second.

She was the most beautiful a human could ever be. Every curve was perfection. If she saw what I saw, Brie would never have been insecure again.

We got in the tub, slowly, staring at each other. I was unsure of my body. My mom and sister had anorexia, so they always called me “the stocky one.” I was solid. I was extremely unsure of my small, incredibly perky breasts. I wished they would just calm down – they were practically around my neck they were so high.

I knew my face was beautiful but I was totally out of touch with my body.

We sat cross-legged, staring in each other’s eyes. Then she leaned in toward me, lips slightly open. Everything was in slow motion, but it was all going far too fast. I wanted tonight to last forever. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was so sensual and such a dream come true, that my inner addict wanted to schedule at least three more play dates in pen.

This couldn’t be the only time.

When her lips touched mine, electricity ran through my body. And then her tongue. I could barely breathe it was so intense.

Even in hindsight, this was possibly the most amazingly sensual experience of my life. Her lips were so soft. Her touch was softer.

When we came up for breath, she opened her eyes and smiled.

We kissed and heavily petted each other until the water was cold, then I took her to my bed and made love to her.

I hate the phrase “made love,” it’s so cheesy. But it’s what it was. It wasn’t fucking. It wasn’t just sex. I was deeply in love with her and showing her with my body.

Every single part of it made sense. My body knew what to do; so did hers. There was nothing unnatural about making love to a woman. Comparing it to the one time I got fucked by a guy was like comparing Oingo Boingo to Mozart.

Of course, after that night, I thought every night would be the same. Ends up the experiment was truly only an experiment for her. The next time I spent the night I assumed we would make love again, so I started busting my moves and she stopped me. Her face held the look of disgust and judgment.

She stood up and said, “I’m not gay. I like men.”

Somewhere off in the distance on a foggy knoll, I can still hear the sound of my heart shattering into a zillion pieces. I would have future sexual encounters with women but none, and I mean none, ever compared to Brie.

Her tone of the word “gay” was ugly. I felt deeply ashamed for my wants. I didn’t even know if I was gay or not, but I knew if she said “yes,” I would’ve been proud to be her girlfriend.

Our friendship became distant. Our long weekends were less and less. Her insane mother accused me of stealing her diamond earrings.

She found them a year later. By then, Brie and my friendship was nothing more than passing each other in school halls.

We never launched our clothing line.

And we never went to Paris.

2girlskiss

And… Action!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Logo #5

Brie recounted her conversation with Ethan approximately 453 times on the car ride home. So many times that I still remember every word.

Here’s how it went down:

Brie walked right up to Ethan, cigarette between her moisturized and cuticle-free fingers.

“Can I get a light?”
“Sorry.”

Awkward moment. Ethan wiped his coked up nose as Brie begged the universe to give her a sign of what to do next. Then it came to her.

“Can I use your cigarette?”
“Huh?”

This guy was brilliant. I could totally see why she wanted him.

“To light my cigarette.”
“Oh sure.”

Then he did something beyond magical… he SMILED at her. This smile alone kept hope alive for poor Brie for approximately another two years.

He handed her his smoke. She used it to light hers. Where did she learn this technique? If you guessed “her amazing friend, Courtney” then you guessed correctly.

“Have I seen you at Rocky?”

Oh Lord.

And that’s how we ended up at Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight the following Friday night with not only Brie’s mom, but my mom as well.

I couldn’t make this shit up if I wanted to.

I was expecting an Italian man in boxing shorts, not a transvestite in fishnets. And talk about feeling like everyone was in on the joke but us. Everyone yelled back at the screen, in unison, throughout the film as if they’d been practicing for years.

Ends up they had been.

I got up to sneak a cigarette in the bathroom and two girls were going at it FULL ON in the stall next to me.

From what I could see through the stall cracks, one of them was the prettiest Goth girl of them all – the one who lit Ethan’s smoke.

She was beyond cool. Well beyond. Like if cool was Saturn, she was Pluto. Like that. Only slightly cooler. And we all agree that Pluto is the coolest planet in our solar system. Duh, it’s the only controversial planet-moon-no-longer-a-planet-yes-it-is-no-it’s-not around.

I ran into the theatre and grabbed Brie. I finally had a method to get my point across right there in black lipstick and panties-on-the-ground. I dragged her into the bathroom and pointed to the stall.

“Tres chic.”

Yes, that is what actually came out of my mouth. Again, I wish I was making this up.

She was enthralled. Thank you God!

“Bisexuality is very common in France,” she whispered to me.

Why yes, Brie, it is. Of course, so is not wearing deodorant, but I wasn’t about to bring that shit up.

“Do you want to try it?”

Please oh please oh please oh please say yes. I just handed her my vulnerability on the chopping block. My heart was racing. This was the do or die moment.

I didn’t want to die, but if she waited one more second to mull it over, I might have perished right then and there in that grimy ass bathroom.

“Yes. We should try everything French once.”

And with that, we planned to practice bisexuality when we got back to my place.

Rocky was waaaaay too long. I feared I’d die before I could kiss that mouth. Those lips. The anticipation was too much to bear.

That damned movie was 870 hours long.

We finally got back to my place at 3:30am and Brie’s eyes were heavy. And then she yawned.

And then she passed out on my bed.

Epic fail.

Over French Toast (yes, really) the next afternoon, my heart started pounding really hard. It still does this to me when I better say something or live to regret the hell out of a missed opportunity.

I’m not a fan of missed opportunities.

“Can you stay over tonight?”

“I have to ask my mom.”

Dammit. Brie’s mom was never a huge fan of mine. I secretly thought she saw through me. She saw my lust for her daughter. But it was just a feeling.

Her looks made me feel ashamed. That’s all I knew. I knew it wasn’t OK to have these feelings for my friend, but I couldn’t fight them even if I tried.

And, of course, I didn’t want to fight them because I wanted Brie to be mine.

But it was OK in Paris. I think that’s what made it OK for me. Because when we were together, we weren’t in Reno. That’s why they call it “gay Paris,” oui?

Her mother said yes. I took back all my nasty thoughts about her right then.

Yes…

Yes.

Yes!

 

The Math of Lesbianism

Brie hated smoking. She thought it was gross. Whenever she caught me smoking, she’d pluck it out of my lips and stomp it out.

Thankfully I smoked generics.

p184168_b_v8_aa
Back when he showered.

I tried and tried to convince her that smoking was trés chic. I pointed out smoking in the French films we watched together. Johnny Depp from “21 Jump Street” smoked and he was my new number one and her number two, behind George, of course.

But nothing, I mean nothing, could get that girl to smoke.

Then, at that very moment, at the other end of the club, Ethan put a cigarette in between his perfect lips and, as if on cue, the most gorgeous goth girls of them all pulled out a lighter and lit his smoke for him.

And yes, it did all happen in slow motion if you were wondering.

Here’s the math:

George Michael = G, Ethan Johnston = E, Brie = B, Smoking = S

G ≥ E, E=S B=S

Brie had a cigarette between her pouty lips quicker than I could throw away every colorful item of clothing I owned and buy a box of hair bleach.

She made her way to Ethan and asked him for a light, knowing full well that he didn’t have one, but that’s how we rolled. I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten a boyfriend if I had a lighter. Or at least pretended like I didn’t have a lighter.

So now I was alone in the club wearing pink and chain smoking. I studied the girls glaring and laughing at me knowing that next time I came here, I would look just like them and they wouldn’t recognize me as the Betty from the week before.

Then it happened. Another defining moment in my life. A moment that changed me forever.

Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode blasted through the nightclub speakers.

The dance floor grew thick with kids. I knew this song and all the lyrics which made me super goth. I sang along, loudly, and smoked at them. The song was about betrayal, a subject I knew all too well.

My despair intensified with every flip of Brie’s hair. With every fake drag off her cigarette. With every word Ethan spoke to her. The pain that she wanted him and not me coursed through my blood.

My face got very serious.

I now had two things going for me:

  1. Smoking
  2. Serious face

I was already Goth on the inside, now my outsides just had to catch up.

The music pulsed through me. I fell in love with at least 12 men on the dance floor. I studied the dance style so I could practice once I got home.

I could do this. I could be Goth. No problem. I knew pain. I knew sadness. I looked forward to stop pretending like I was happy because I hadn’t really been happy since the horrible day we moved to Sparks and before that I was only happy for about six months.

My life before we moved to Reno was hell. My biological father was a violent alcoholic who tried to murder my mother on a nightly basis. And we lived outside a fishing village in the middle of Mexico. Now I was excited to delve into my sadness with other people who understood. I could tell they understood. That they were like me.

If these Goth kids wanted to have a sad-off, I’d wipe the dance floor clean with all I’d survived.

goth hand1

Then, in the middle of my smoking sad-a-thon, a ray of sunshine broke through the smoke clouds. There they were – beautiful, fantastic and trés chic.

TWO CHICKS WERE FULL-ON MAKING OUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!!!!!

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-CELEBRATIONS

My sad face was totally destroyed. I was grinning from ear-to-ear. Let’s go back to the blackboard:

Brie = B, Goth = G, Courtney = C, Trés Chic = T, Kissing Chicks = K

G=T, C=G, B=G, G=T, K=T ∴ B+C=K!!!

It. Was. On.

I’d even let Ethan watch if that was a stipulation.

The Club

The only thing I thought of when Brie said “let’s go clubbing” was how much I loved baby harp seals and how she found the one thing I wouldn’t do to win her love.

“Huh?”

“The Premier. Everyone’s going. It’s tres chic.”

Yes, we overused the term. We were branding trailblazers.

The Premier was a nightclub that had an underage night every Sunday. The reason she wanted to go was because Ethan was going to be there.

Ethan Johnston.

Ethan was a Junior at Reno High. He drove a BMW. He wore nothing but Ralph Lauren – hell, he played water polo. He wore fucking pastels.

But he had a striking resemblance to – guess who?

george
Grrrrrr.

Yup. George Michael. My nemesis.

I was a freshman and Brie was still in eighth grade when her psycho mom took her to tour Reno High so she could get a variance just like me and there he was, leaning on his Beemer, just like Steff in Pretty in Pink.

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Hi Steff.

I think he was the only other human on the planet who really saw her. Who undressed her layers of baby fat and insecurities and saw her true beauty underneath. Not enough to actually date her, but definitely enough to lead her on for the next, oh, four years or so.

“Were you at Premier last week?” he asked her as she walked by without actually looking at her, which I know from experience is a cool technique.

She stopped, dead in her tracks. The color drained from her perfect face. Was that George Michael leaning on a Beemer?

“Yeah, you. With the brown hair.”

I already hated him.

Somehow we managed to talk Brie’s mom into letting us go to Premier on a school night. The mind still boggles.

The only fact we knew about the club was that Ethan went there. He was a prep, so we assumed the other kids would look like him. After hours of wardrobe changes, Aqua Net and important lip gloss decisions, we finally deemed ourselves club worthy.

We were nothing short of an epic fail before we even got through the front door. Brie’s mom decided to wait for us in her car PARKED IN FRONT and read a book.

We pulled open the front doors and smoke billowed out. Lame, party of two, nervously stood by the door front door to find a subculture we never even knew existed. Once we adjusted our eyes, it was obvious that no shade of lip gloss was going to save us.

Everyone was goth.

goth feet
We were so fucked.

The protocol was black clothing, powdered white faces, black eyeliner, black or dark red lipstick, and smoking. Everyone smoked. At least I had that going for me.

The only color allowed was saved for hair. If it wasn’t dyed black or bleached white (not blonde, white), it was purple, blue or fire engine red. There were a few Oranges, greens and yellows (again, not blonde, Martin Gore yellow).

us
We looked like this.
goth dolls 2
They looked like this.

We weren’t the only non-Goth kids. There were other kids that mixed in:

  1. SHARP’s (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice).
  2. Nazi’s (Skinheads for racial prejudice).
  3. Straightedge (Skinheads who were violently anti-drug).
  4. Rich kids with money to blow on, you guessed it, blow.

Ethan had a full head of hair. Do the math.

Nitzer Ebb’s Join in the Chant came on. I’d never heard anything like it. It sounded nothing like Madonna or 2 Live Crew. The closest I’d come to this sound was Depeche Mode, but after The Blue Banana Incident, I no longer went over to Jan’s house and listened to Depeche with her. Backstabbing bitch.

The longer I listened, the longer I realized Nitzer Ebb would’ve eaten Depeche Mode for breakfast.

The song pulsated through my body. It made me want to fuck someone dirty, even though I’d yet to actually fuck someone, I’d only been fucked. I wanted to do drugs. Hard drugs. I wanted to dance. I wanted to hurt people. And myself.

I got on the dance floor and started moving to the music. I didn’t care that I didn’t look like everyone else. I didn’t care about the past. I didn’t care.

I just didn’t care which was the one thing I had been searching for all these years. The ability to NOT CARE.

I felt powerful. I pulled up my rage and showed it. I pulled up my shame and told it to fuck off. I pulled up my tiny khaki skirt because my ass was just about to make an unwelcome appearance. Not again.

I’d wasted years trying to fit in when the real way was to not fit in at all. Brie’s stupid crush led me to the Holy Grail. For a second, I was almost grateful for Ethan Johnston.

Ends up there was another subculture of kid that hit the club, very rarely and usually only
once:

  1. Betty (A girl who tries to fit in with the goth subculture without wearing black or listening to The Cure and smiles when she should be frowning. A poser. The most disliked person in the club.)

And this was going to be the last time I ever looked like a Betty again.

My 1st Orgasm (with Another Person)

I was single. Sex was awful and my last hope for a boyfriend almost ate my face off. There were no prospects on the horizon, until…

pillowsoft_1411794762

Brie was in 8th grade at Sparks Middle, but we still spent every weekend together on her dad’s 80-acre horse ranch.

I originally took Brie under my wing to save her from bullies, but our roles reversed as she grew more and more confident. She introduced me to worlds previously unexplored by yours truly.

Her goal in life was to be chic – tres chic. We decided to move to Paris and start a clothing line the second we got out of Sparks called – you guessed it – Tres Chic. We had pages and pages of designs. I invented the sideways zipper ankle boot and let me tell you – it was a fucking fashion revolution.

One particularly magical Fall day, Brie and I were prepping our horses for our longest horseback ride to date. As she put the saddle on her horse, she turned around, her perfect brown hair swishing as she grinned at me and said, “Are you sure you’re ready for this? You won’t be able to walk for days.”

And then she winked at me.

A lightning bolt tingle shot my downstairs taco like nobody’s business. I longed to squeeze my legs together to orgasm immediately. It was over. There was no way I could continue denying that I wanted to be so much more than friends.

She had opened a window and I was not going to let it shut until those lips were on mine.

The horse ride helped. We rode English, which involves basically dry humping the saddle the entire trip. We rode for hours and fantasized about our lives in Paris. How chic we would be. How we would leave this horrible place behind us.

2girlskiss
I fantasized about kissing her in Paris in the rain.

We returned 4 hours later, sweaty and exhausted. Her dad and stepmom had gone into town for the day. Once we got the horses untacked, we went swimming in their above ground pool. We always swam after a ride.

“I like to swim naked when no one’s home.”

Yes, she said that to me. Yes, I decided I was a lesbian after all. Yes, I was naked in 30 seconds.

She wore a “D” cup. She was 12 and I was 13. Her breasts floated in the water. I couldn’t turn my eyes away. I wanted to touch them. I wanted to lick them. It felt so natural I didn’t understand why people made such a big deal out two girls together.

She swam and floated and I stared and squeezed my legs together for over an hour, and then she said, “I want to show you something in my bedroom, a secret.”

My heart beat so hard I don’t know how she didn’t hear it. We wrapped towels around our naked bodies and ran into her bedroom. She closed the door.

And she turned on the TV.

And there he was – George Michael. 

Sigh.

George Michael was her dream man. The only thing she talked about more than Paris, was George. As her boyfriend. I hated him.

“Get in bed.”

This still wasn’t weird. We watched Wham videos in bed all the time. We fashion designed in bed while watching Wham videos. We kind of did everything in bed watching Wham videos.

My heart sank. At least I had skinny dipping to hold onto for classroom fantasy.

“Grab that pillow and put it between your legs.”

What?

“Pull up on it and grind yourself into it, like this.”

And then she showed me what I’d been doing to pillows for a year now. Only now I was doing it with a friend. Okay.

Okay!

And we both climaxed while watching George Michael dance around on stage. How we didn’t know he was gay is a complete mystery to me in hindsight.

There was no kissing, no nipple licking, no fingerbanging. But there was an open window and there would be more. It was time to strategize my way into her pants.

 

Alejandro

 

Just like Lady Gaga, I had my very own Alejandro.

There was no virginity checkpoint at the front door on my first day of high school. And better yet, a week later, I bumped into Rob – after some light stalking – and he pretended like he didn’t know me at all.

So much for my senior boyfriend. I was heartbroken… that he wouldn’t pave my road to popularity.

I was invisible, which was a step up from being bullied. I didn’t realize I’d be the new kid for the 12th time in my life and that most of these kids went to school together since Kindergarten.

At first, I was annoyed that Marie got a variance to Reno High because I thought she’d cramp my style, but now I was relieved to at least have one friend. And then we made two friends in Math class – Asian sisters who were as sweet as could be – so now I had three friends.

Three very nerdy friends.

We ate lunch in the cafeteria everyday, even though we were allowed to go off campus.

After about a month of whining, I finally coerced Marie to go off-campus for lunch. As we rounded the corner of Great Western Bank, I spied a cute Filipino guy wearing crazy pants, a red bandana and Oakley’s sitting all alone on what most definitely was the largest boombox in the great state of Nevada.

And it was playing It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, which I must admit, was a pretty dope ass song.

I was wearing the tightest mini skirt I owned. I glanced back to confirm what I already knew – Alejandro was totally checking out my butt. I didn’t know his name yet, but I could tell that he wanted to scam with me and that’s all that mattered.

On our way back to school, we walked past the bank again and he was still there, in the same position and playing the same exact song.

I assumed it was a particularly long song.

I devoted the rest of that week to stalking. I had to find out more about my soon-to-be-new-man.

This guy was methodical:

  1. Everyday before and after school, and at lunch, he’d perch himself atop his ginormous ghetto blaster and play It Takes Two. It was never a different song. Once it ended, he rewound the tape and played it again.
  2. At 4pm, he’d lift his boombox up onto his shoulder, which was a feat in itself since it was so high that his arm had to be totally straight to reach the top without dropping it.
  3. He’d walk to the Burger King on by the railroad tracks, tagging various walls and street signs along the way.
  4. He’d order two Whoppers with no onions and extra ketchup and an extra large coke. He always took it “to go” and didn’t eat it until he got home, however, he did sip on the drink.
  5. He’d walk along the railroad tracks from the Burger King all the way to the trailer park where he lived.

He was always alone. Maybe it was because he only played one song on his boombox.

After a week of stalking and eye-fucking, he still hadn’t even said “hi.” I began to realize he probably didn’t have any friends because he was horribly shy.

It was my duty to save him from his loneliness. His fortress of solitude. I would be the light in his dark life. He’d tell me things he never told anyone, like how his parents died in a mining accident just after he was born and that his mother’s health was failing.

Now I just had to work up enough nerve to speak to him.

The lunch bell rang on Monday and my heart leapt into my throat. I did what every nervous teenage girl did to calm the fuck down in 1987 – I pulled out my tin of strawberry Lip Lickers and clicked it open and closed approximately 28,000 times.

I approached the bank, alone this time.

There he was, in his same exact spot, playing the same exact song.

I walked toward him, but my knees betrayed me. They were shaking so hard that I was sure an astronaut could see them from space, so I made a beeline for the curb and ended up sitting awkwardly about 15 feet away from him.

He looked over at me and nodded. I smiled at him. It was now or never.

“I like that song,” I shouted.

He nodded in agreement. He was a man of few words. Mysterious. Damn, I had to have him.

“You a freshman?”

How the fuck did he know that? Was it that obvious?

“Yes,” I said without shame.
“I’m a junior.”

Then I heard the lyric: “Take it off the rack, if it’s wack put it back / I like the Whopper, fuck the Big Mac”

Oh. My. God. This guy didn’t just like this song, he lived it!

Then he picked up his boombox, put it on his shoulder and started singing along, but it was rap, so I guess he was rapping along as he walked toward me. It may have been one if the most awkward moments in my short life, I mean, what do you do when someone stands in front of you rapping along to It Takes Two?

Then, when it couldn’t get any weirder, he held out his hand to me as the chorus played.

“It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it outta sight / Hit it!”

We held hands all the way back to school, neither of us saying a word. Once we got to the front door, he lowered his boombox and hit stop on the tape player.

“I be chillin’ at BK by the tracks 4:30 if you wanna.”

And with that, he was gone. If I wanna…what? Make out? Get married? Exchange pot brownie recipes?

Nevertheless, I was filled with excitement. He liked me. We held hands. I was going to keep our love a secret until we were officially “going with” each other because I wasn’t quite sure if he was the coolest guy on earth or a major dork.

I got to Burger King way too early, so I got a Whopper with no onions and extra ketchup and an extra large coke so my body would be nourished with the same stuff of his.

I finished the rest of my meal just as he walked in. He ordered his usual and then noticed me sitting there.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“Let’s jam.”
“OK.”

And with that, he grabbed his Whoppers and we walked up the railroad tracks toward his trailer park, It Takes Two blasting all the while.

“Aren’t you going to eat your food?” This was a tactic I frequently utilized – pretending like I didn’t already know every last detail about the Neanderthal I was desperately needing to validate my worthiness.

“I hate BK. It’s for my mom.”

Hmmm. Curve ball. Perhaps the song was not, indeed, his creed.

“I have to be home by 7,” I lied because I really wanted to get to the good part before walking a fucking mile to his trailer. He put the boombox down and it automatically turned into a loveseat. The song was now drilling into my cortex, especially the “yeah/woo” part that repeated over and over and over the entire duration of the song, like hey Rob Base, not even a bridge reprieve? Come on.

He then turned down the music enough to still be annoying, but able to speak to and hear each other.

“I spin records.”
“Cool. Can I watch you sometime?”
“Yeah, I don’t got any gigs yet.”

smarterthan

Uh-oh. I could tolerate a lot of male stupidness, but bad grammar was a deal breaker. I started to reevaluate our wedding colors.

“I got two turntables.”

Again with the improper usage of “got.” I was done. Just as I started to plan my escape, he leaned in like he was going to devour me. His huge lips parted and his ginormous mouth opened wider and wider as it moved in for the kill.

MOUTH

I’d made out enough to know that that kissing shouldn’t involve the nose, and especially not the cheek or lower eye area. All of these facial regions were slurped upon in a most upsetting way. For a moment I actually couldn’t breathe and feared my destiny was to die at the lips of a Filipino man with bad grammar.

I couldn’t figure out a way to leave gracefully, so we made out for another two excruciating hours. At the end of the ordeal, I literally ran away, telling him I had to catch a bus. A few seconds into my stride, he yelled to me.

“Hey freshman! What’s your name?”

I turned around, still jogging, feeling safer the further I got away from those big ass lips.

“Maria!”

Yes, I’m white and yes, Maria was the only name that popped in my head.

“Alejandro’s my name, scratching records are my game!”

I couldn’t stand it any longer. It was one thing to have my face sucked, but I just couldn’t withstand his horrible grammar.

“Alejandro, scratching is singular therefore the correct verb is ‘is,’ not ‘are.’”

And then I ran. I ran so far away. I just ran. I ran all night and day.

And the only things chapped longer than my ass were my lips and nose. For weeks my face bore the reminder of Alejandro. Alejandro.

Now that I think about it, perhaps Lady Gaga and I did have the same Alejandro…

“Don’t call my name / Alejandro”
(because you think my name’s Maria)
“I’m not your babe / Ale-Alejandro”
(because you tried to eat my face)
“Fernando”
(huh?)
“Don’t wanna kiss / Alejandro”
(because my face will probably be scarred for life now, you douche)
“Just smoke my cigarette and hush”
(totally rad)
“Don’t call my name / Ale-Alejandro”
(please, please, please)

Sincerely,
Maria

Not Pretty & Not in Pink

During my epic summer between 7th and 8th grade, besides turning into a lobster, my mom dragged me along to help install her artwork in a gallery in Salt Lake City. Did I mention my mom was an artist (still is) and I was her slave labor?

Yes, I learned to crawl under an A-Frame at the Polk Street Art Fair. Yet another detail that made me completely non-relatable to the popular girls and therefore would be expunged from my public biography.

IMG_0938
Proof. Mom’s work is behind me. Pretty sure I’m working on a poop.

My mom was terrified of Mormons, so we spent all our free time at the most amazing place I’d been to in my life – the four story Super Mall at South Town – that had super high speed Ms. Pac Man and who do you think beat the high score within 10 minutes? Duh, me. I’ll still challenge any of you to a Ms. Pac Man off and I mean it.

But the best thing about the mall was it had a movie theatre. And that is where it happened. My life would never be the same.

I saw Pretty in Pink.

(If you have somehow lived this long without seeing Pretty in Pink, I feel super sad for you and jealous of you simultaneously. Watch it. Then rewind it and watch it again. But if you really must, this blog may be the best summary I’ve ever read.)

I felt like John Hughes gave me a roadmap. To world domination. Most girls saw that movie and longed to be Andie, the pouty outcast girl who bit her lip a lot and made her own ugly ass clothes.

pretty-in-pink-granny-chic
Kill me if you ever see me dressed like this. Even when I am 90.

Hi. I’d spent my whole life as an outcast – why the fuck would I want to attract attention to my weirdness? This girl made no sense to me.

I wanted to be Benny Hanson. Steff’s super popular mean girlfriend. She was the best!

Attention must be paid! Note that:

  1. Benny’s so gorgeous she doesn’t even need a girl name.
  2. Benny looks even hotter when she’s being mean.
  3. Benny has an amazing sense of humor. I mean, Jim? Who thinks of that?!?
  4. Benny’s hair is amaze-balls.
  5. Benny’s make-up is super amaze-balls.
  6. Benny wears rolled up blazers with shoulder pads like no one’s business.
  7. Steff is her boyfriend.
  8. Steff is so hot all he has to do is speak one word and I’m a tinglefest.*
  9. Steff is approximately 8 million times hotter than Blaine. Puh-lease.
  10. Steff has cocaine, weed and alcohol.
  11. Did I mention Steff has cocaine?
  12. Steff would never make her have sex in a horse stable. As if Benny would ever put up with shit (literally) like that. I mean, has anyone ever thought about Andie’s first time being to the smell of horseshit? And I thought my devirgination sucked.

Andie got the boy at the end – after high school was over. When being popular doesn’t even matter anymore. I mean, what was even her goal in life?

I think it was to frustrate every teen in the 80’s by making the world’s ugliest prom dress after a long built up and completely misleading montage.

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Only genius can make a dress to eliminate both your boobs and waist.

Come to think of it, I didn’t want to be pretty in pink. That wasn’t even putting the bar high enough; it was burying the bar. I wanted to be supermodel in anything but pink. I hated fucking pink. I wanted to be the opposite of pink – tough, bitchy, invincible.

Pink was stupid and weak and vulnerable. I would never be like Andie. I don’t even think she cared about being popular. She just walked around pink all the time. That would never be me – again.

I laid out my outfit for the night before my first day of high school. Special attention was paid to emulate Benny. A blazer with shoulder pads, big hair, pegged pants and all three Swatch watches with swatch guards.

Drumroll please….

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Nice chameo brooch, Andie.

There is was – my failed venture at a resting bitch face. Yes, I was as anti-climactic as Andie’s trash bag prom dress.

My best attempt at Benny replication was about as pathetic as Andie’s entire stupid life. But don’t take my word for it, let’s see what Benny herself has to say about my attempt:

 

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*I refuse to accept that the man who calls himself James Spader is actually the same actor that played Steff. And if you bring it up, I may pull out my inner Benny Hanson.

Operation Devirgination

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I was on a mission.

Sandy and I heard the sure fire way to be deemed losers in high school was to still be virgins. In hindsight, this reasoning had a few holes – no pun intended.

I imagined a virginity checkpoint that all freshmen had to pass through before even being allowed to go to homeroom. We’d have to drop trow and a white-gloved senior, perhaps even the senior class president himself, would do a rudimentary pelvic exam.

If he felt a hymen, you had to go back to Middle School. Forever.

Determined to have a start fresh at my new school, I was ready to give Skater Boy the time of his life. After all, we had already practically lit our jeans on fire dry humping and personally tripled the price of Carmex stock from making out so much.

images_1-1471928We had a duty to Wall Street. Hell, we had a duty to America.

Roughly two seconds into my no-longer-affiliated-with-Middle-school-in-any-way-shape-or-form self, I jammed my hand down SB’s pants knowing the magical moment was about to occur.

Tragically, there was a hitch I could’ve never anticipated – SB had morals.

Dammit. Three months of dry humping down the tubes. So I dumped him flat. A burgeoning whore’s gotta do what a burgeoning whore’s gotta do. And I needed the next level – I couldn’t keep humping pillows forever.

Ends up, the answer was in my own front yard. Literally.

My house was the third house off a rather steep dirt driveway. The house below us was Gary’s. We’d known each other since the tragic day we moved from Reno to Sparks. He was a super nice 17-year-old in dire need of an Accutane prescription.

Sandy and I were sitting on the front deck letting the Sun-in and lemon juice do its magic when we heard the thump thump thump of 2 Live Crew’s We Want Some Pussy coming from Gary’s backyard followed by a SPLASH and the sound of girl’s laughter.

A few hours later, the laughter turned into moans. Sandy and I found a peephole in the fence.

And there it was with an audience of empty beer cans – sex. And not just sex – hot tub sex. And not just hot tub sex – group hot tub sex.

Jackpot!

The next day, I stalked Gary for three hours to accidentally bump into him mowing the lawn in dolphin shorts. And yes, I was wearing full make up and a very short skirt.

“Hey Gary!”

He shut off the mower to greet me, always the gentleman.

“Did you have a party last night and not invite me?” I said, ever so coyly.

“Nah– just kickin’ it with the MGD crew.”

MGD… MGD…. Manly gigantic dildos? Midget gorilla dancers? I had enough working knowledge of cool by now not to ask, just nod like I’m in the know.

Which is exactly what I did. He squatted to meet my eyes.

Side note: their lawn was terraced so I was looking up at him. This information will come in useful very soon.

“You’re a good girl, right? You don’t party, do ya?”

“I party all the time!” I squeaked, failing miserably at trying to contain my enthusiasm.

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It’s just too easy.

His smile grew. He leaned in closer to me, at which time one of his balls AND the tip of his penis slid out of his dolphin shorts. His junk was directly in my line of fire. It was like that time I saw a dead body fall out of a burning car. I shouldn’t have looked, but once I did, the image was burned into my memory forever.

So there we were, just me, Gary and his junk. The exchange that followed was totally Charlie Brown’s teacher. All I know is that Sandy and I scored an invite to party with the MGD Crew that night.

We waited until my parents fell asleep and snuck out. Ten minutes later, we were guzzling MILLER GENUINE DRAFT (duh) in Gary’s hot tub with his BFF, Rob. Rob was super hot and went to Reno High. He was my new boyfriend, he just didn’t know it yet. Start new school as a rad mysterious freshman with a senior boyfriend? Check.

I was going to rule.

I slid in close to Rob and got my flirt on full-tilt. At first he was a little fazed about the minor details… like that I was 13 and he was 17, but that was nothing 2 or 12 more MGD’s wouldn’t fix.

He would be mine, oh yes, he would be mine.

By the end of the night, Rob and I were totally making out in the hot tub and Sandy had disappeared with Gary.

It. Was. On.

I motioned to Rob with my prunified finger to follow me into the house. I led him to Gary’s bedroom and onto his twin bed. We fumbled around awkwardly until we both somehow ended up naked.

Then the door opened – and there stood Gary and Sandy, half-clothed and sweaty.

Now, under normal circumstances, in a five, yes five, bedroom house, if one bedroom was occupied with a couple about to make magic, one would assume the other couple would simply relocate.

But no. They laid a sheet down on the floor right by us and proceeded to do the nasty. And the best part is that it made perfect sense at the time.

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Yes, Sandy and I were devirginated in the same room at the same time.

I assumed after how horny I was and how good dry humping felt, that actual sex would only feel way better, so I was surprised when it felt like I was being stabbed in the vagina with a dull knife.

Why did people look like they were enjoying sex in movies and hot tubs?

Sex sucked.

And that’s when it hit me, as he stabbed me repeatedly – I could’ve just lied. It would’ve been far easier to lie than lay.

1263208763smokedrinkwhore

 

My Skater Boy

The spring of my eighth grade year was the stuff of John Hughes movies. That is, if John Hughes movies took place in lame-ass towns with mostly unattractive people.

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I spent most weekends on Brie’s father’s 80-acre ranch riding horses and falling in and out of love with her. I had to protect my Inner Core – even from myself. Was I gay? What did this desire mean? Why was I still so boy crazy?

I vowed to just be friends with Brie. I was already too weird to also be gay. I mean, I was starting my life over in less than 6-months, there would be no point in being a pariah out of the gate.

But as much as I convinced myself I didn’t like her, the more tingly I got. Downstairs. You know the kind of tingly of which I speak.

I had to distract myself. Chain smoking, soap operas and getting fucked up with Sandy only took care of a small portion of my carnal desires. I felt a kinship when I’d watch a little weirdo dog hump the shit out of her special bear.

Because I started humping my pillows. Full-on. Oh, if those pillows could talk.

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Hello, gorgeous.

I met my pillow replacement at a skate jam. Yes, a skate jam. And not just a skate jam – a skate jam ALL BY MYSELF. I overheard Scooter and my molester skaters talking about it, so I decided to go. Brie had a horse show and Sandy had weekend detention. Guess Sandy’s life really was like a John Hughes movie.

Skater Boy (SB) was super tall and super skinny. His bangs covered half of his face. He had freckles across his nose from long hours skating half-pipes. Sometimes he wore eyeliner. I could die.

He went to the OTHER middle school, Dilworth – aka The Dill Pickle, Dildo, etc. – so he had no idea who I was at Sparks Middle and he didn’t care. When our eyes met through strands of bangs, all we had was physical attraction with no bullshit in between.

I was so stoked that I didn’t fold to Tina’s threat to hack my bangs. Short bangs would’ve ruined my destiny.

We had a good hour of eye fucking before he finally popped up his skateboard and walked my way, as Toy Doll’s Nellie the Elephant came on. Epic.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”

And then we were making out and dry humping. On his bed. On park benches. On my bed. Under jungle gyms.

We made out and sprayed Sun-in on each other’s bangs and then we made out some more. We made out until our lips cracked. We took Carmex breaks and made out some more. All I wanted was to be with SB, watching him Ollie, listening to T.S.O.L. and The Violent Femmes and, of course, making out.

An entire spring of endless kissing and dry humping to punk rock climaxed perfectly. He looked me deep in the eyes, as he applied more Carmex.

“Let’s go to each other’s proms.”

Bam. All my dreams came true.

I only had to endure one more week of middle school with all the assholes, bullies and frenemies – because Marie and I got variances to totally awesome Reno High. What made RHS totally awesome? It was the farthest away from Sparks Middle, that’s what.

So prom was my final FUCK YOU to Sparks Middle School and every last person there because I was about to become a Reno Husky while they were all becoming lame-ass Sparks High Railroaders. I mean, what kind of mascot is a train?

Losers.

SB skated circles around the three asshole skaters from English. They knew of him from jams. SB was a legend, like Tony Hawk, only not famous or rich or as good of a skater.

I couldn’t wait to show up with him on my arm. Then they’d see. They’d see that they missed out. That I was rad. That they missed their chance to be with totally awesome badass me.

Too bad suckas.

Mom took me shopping for my dress. I picked out the tightest one she’d approve in FUCK YOU red.

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Yes, that is SB’s hand on my arm.

I went to SB’s prom. It was fun, but the true triumph was MY prom.

We showed up late because I saw in movies that cool people did that and I was about to find out why. When we walked into the cafeteria-converted-into-dance-hall with SB on my arm, everyone I needed to take notice took notice.

I looked hot. And SB was always hot. I figured out fast the people I hung with said volumes about me.

The cafeteria still smelled like Ore-Ida crinkle cut fries and tater tots. We danced all awesome and shit under the disco ball and got busted making out by the chaperones.

We left early because that’s what cool people do to let the world know that this shit was boring.

SB was really good at being bored – a tactic that I soon mastered.

The next day, the three skaters groped me in English and I was too bored to care. Tina called me a whore in History and I yawned. My frenemies talked smack over lunch, but I was too distracted to pay attention.

Fake boredom was as powerful as vodka and much more attainable.

Score.

I made sure my bored look was the stuff of great art by the time I hit high school. The only other thing I needed to do was lose my virginity and I would officially be hot shit.

The last week went by with no fanfare; it just ended. No caps, no gowns, no ceremonies. It was just over.

Now Sandy and I had an entire summer to lose our virginities.
PS. Please don’t mistake my Skater Boy with Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8ter Boi.” My SB didn’t need numbers and misspelling to be rad.

PPS. Someone please tell Avril that she’s about as punk as a pink Gucci handbag.

How to Win

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Instead of being a victim or trying to kill myself again, the blow job and blue banana incidents gave me an outside layer of protection that no one, except Sandy, would be allowed to penetrate.

Marie was my friend, too, but she was totally against me drinking and smoking. She liked Sandy, but she worried about me. We would always have Duran Duran, but I remained that girl with her. She was my first friend to belong to the Mantle Layer.

I now placed people in layers. Or strata. Rings. Whatever. It looked a lot like Earth:

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The earth’s layers in English and Indonesian. You’re welcome, my fantastic Indonesian readers!

I started labeling people by layer, so I knew who I could trust. Everyone started as Crust and would be treated as such until they proved themselves worthy to get closer to my core.

Only Sandy was in my Inner Core. And sometimes my mom. But that was it.

I studied like I’d never studied before. It was hard, but not impossible. Moving to third world countries spontaneously as a kid made me adaptable.

My first report card GPA was a 3.14.

It was clear that I was never going to fit in at Sparks Middle, so I quit trying to fit in. I turned 12 in November and being that much closer to 13 gave me even more strength. I was practically a grown-up.

My second GPA was a 3.50.

I didn’t give a shit what all the assholes thought of me because I was already better than them in my mind. I picked Reno High as my next school. Yeah, this time I did the picking. It was the coolest, richest school in all of Reno that happened to be the furthest away from Sparks High.

I upped my game. I started making friends with the outcasts, the bullied and those who couldn’t afford to wear Benetton and Guess Jeans. If I could help just one loser become a badass like me, I’d done my job.

I was walking down the school hall one crisp morning, when the perfect opportunity found me.

“Horse fucker! How do you like that horse dick?!?”

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Captain Save-a-ho to the rescue!

I turned around and saw the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in person, running down the hall and crying. I threw on my invisible superwoman cape and chased after her.

She was huddled on the very same concrete bird shit stoop where the blue banana incident occurred. Full circle, man.

I came close to her and she flinched, like an abused animal. The warmth of our breath gave our words shape.

Brie looked like a mix between Marilyn Monroe back when she was Norma Jean and Bridget Moynahan. Her lips were full, she wore a D cup by the seventh grade and she had a mole in just the perfect spot above her lip. She even looked beautiful when she cried.

I was a year ahead of her. She was a bit too voluptuous, a little too pretty and a touch too smart. Ugly ass bullies hated chicks like Brie. Her name alone caused those gargoyles to glow red with anger.

Brie was a fancy cheese that no one living in Sparks had probably ever even eaten, not a name. But her real problem was – she told the wrong person that she lived on a horse ranch (on the weekends) and rode horses.

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Help?

Thus – she was a horse fucker.

Once they sniffed out uniqueness of any kind, the bullies would find the stupidest thing to brand on us. (Like when I was a dog fucker and a dyke.) She was the perfect project for me. I’d experienced her pain and broken free. I was older and wiser.

 

I also felt like I wanted to kiss her the moment we met. And I’m talking make out, not peck. On this very day, on the poop stoop, I realized that I might be gay.

 

 

 

The Blue Banana

I jumped out of bed with childish anticipation. Today was the day – the day I would finally become middle school royalty. Today, I was to become POPULAR. Invincible. Seen for the awesomeness I had always been, yet few seldom noticed.

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Sorry, kid.

My sacrificial blowjob was about to launch me to a level of existence I’d only ever fantasized about. Hell, I would’ve murdered a goat if it meant popularity. A BJ was nothing!

I threw on my backpack and faced the freezing-ass Sparks morning air. I lit up a smoke, extra careful not to ignite my extremely flammable hair. For about half the year we smokers-who-didn’t-know-how-to-inhale-yet paranoically checked our cherries to see if we were actually still lit, as the cold ass air already made our breath alone look like smoke.

The Reno/Sparks winter made everyone a smoker – kids, your grandma, my dog. All smokers.

I stomped out my smoke and entered the grounds of Sparks Middle. As I got closer, Dana and Jan came into focus. They were looking in a brown paper bag and laughing hysterically. Sandy was standing awkwardly by them.

Once I reached the concrete stoop covered in bird shit, Jan and Dana started singing one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs, Somebody. Only they’d rewritten the lyrics. And memorized them.

But when I’m asleep/I want Bones Brighton/To put his legs around me/And fuck me tenderly

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No way this was a good thing.

Then they bequeathed me their offering – a brown paper bag. Sandy shook her head and stared at her feet.

“Look inside! Look inside!” my lead bully and (now newest) frenemy pleaded.

If I had a do over, I would’ve thrown the bag in their ugly faces and walked off with drag queen confidence. I simply gave them more power by looking in the bag.

But I looked. Oh, I looked.

My first thought was simple; paint and bananas don’t mix.

This small fact didn’t stop these two assholes from taking the time to smother a perfectly innocent banana with bright blue paint, place said banana in a brown lunch bag, and gift it to me the morning after I gave Bones a blowjob.

In hindsight, they should’ve painted two oranges blue rather than one banana, but I don’t think they understood the notion of blue balls yet either.

The baffling thing was not their cruelty and betrayal, as I’d grown accustomed to that, but that none of them were even at Misty’s house the night before and the dirty oral deed happened at approximately 9pm.

This means they had to:

  1. Learn news of blowjob before the existence of cell phones and the internet.
  2. Assemble.
  3. Attain banana.
  4. Attain blue paint.
  5. Attain brown paper sack.
  6. Rewrite song and rehearse.
  7. Paint banana and allow ample drying time.
  8. Place banana in brown paper sack.

All of these events had to take place after 9pm on a school night, which took quite a bit of planning and effort. The level of sacrifice that these two evil girls endured to properly and efficiently humiliate my efforts of social evolution before the first bell rang was nothing short of impressive.

I expected this shit from Dana, since she was the underdeveloped spawn of Satan, but this was the first time Jan showed her true colors. That’s what made my blood drain down to the bottom of my feet and fight a sudden urge to ugly girl cry. I mean, I’d slept over at her house and our common love of Depeche Mode was cementing our friendship.

Or so I thought.

Now she was just another one of them. Another frenemy bully. I thought I’d seen the last of those. I thought I was starting over in the 8th grade. The problem was that I was still at Sparks Middle.

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The banana incident happened in front of the green doors on the far right.

 

The only thing worse than fucking your way to the top is failing at fucking your way to the top. I ended up not only a slut, but a slut who wasn’t very good at being a slut.

Sandy grabbed my arm and we walked into the school. She had nothing to do with it and she thought it was awesome that I gave Bones a hummer – even if it sucked.

I made two very important life decisions on this day.

  1. I would get really, really good at blowjobs and sex before I ever attempted it again. I would have to study. It would take sacrifice, but I could do it. To be a true badass, you had to rule in bed.
  2. I was going to rule at school this year. If I got above a 3.0, I could get a variance to ANY high school in Washoe County and never see any of these dicks again.

And here’s the take away: if you want your kids to get good grades, suggest they attempt oral sex with a fellow schoolmate. Worked for me!

I Blew It

 

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I didn’t enter 8th grade with a triumphant tan, but I did relish in the glorious fact that I was no longer a 7th grader. This automatically made me 100% cooler than 50% of the school.

Sandy and I also made a new friend, Jan, who introduced us to what became my new favorite band, Depeche Mode.

She also introduced us to Misty.

Misty had scabies and practiced witchcraft. She seemed to be on the fast track to demise just like me.

I smelled her coming toward our cafeteria table before I saw her. The smell of French fries never mixed well with Misty’s special blend of greasy hair and anti-itch cream.

She plopped herself down beside Sandy, Jan, Marie and me.

“I’m having a séance tonight at six.”

Since her parents got divorced, we were used to Misty acting out.

“I can’t. I have too much homework.”

“That’s too bad. Bones was hoping you’d come.”

Now she really was practicing witchcraft. Bones was the second finest skater boy out of the four most popular skater boys at Sparks Middle.

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Scooter was 8,000,0000 times hotter than these two. No offense, doods.

I had the hugest crush ever on Scooter, the finest skater boy, who was shy and looked like Nick Rhodes. His Sun-In’ed orange bangs covered the left side of his face and contrasted beautifully against the rest of his dark brown hair. When he got nervous, he would chew on his bangs – just like I did!

I was deeply in love with Scooter, so it was even more mortifying when Ty, Bones, and Chad grabbed my boobs everyday in English class and called me “egghead.”

Scooter never picked on me; he wasn’t an asshole like his three best friends.

“Homework can wait.”

I immediately devised a plan. Outside of the fluorescent lights of school, Bones would see me as the cool badass chick I really was and then he’d go back and tell his posse not to pick on me anymore because I was cool.

Then he’d invite me to skate jams and Scooter and I would finally start dating. Sandy and I would become the coolest skater chicks at school. I was willing to go to any lengths for this new life.

I got to Misty’s a little late to give the illusion of radness. Bones, Misty, and two bitches from school were sitting on the kitchen floor playing with a Ouija board. The first sign this was bullshit was that they were using a frozen bagel as a planchette.

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Acceptable planchette.
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Unacceptable planchette.

I found a place on the floor next to Bones and watched the game. By now, Misty had contacted some demon on the other side because she started rolling her eyes and talking in a lame-ass Satan voice.

Misty then flipped the board upside down and convulsed on the floor for a few minutes, rolling her eyes back in her head and speaking in both non-demon and demon voices. It seemed she was exorcising herself or something.

Then she bounced up on her feet and pretended like she had no idea what just happened. This was typical Misty – drama central. Her need for attention was a black hole that consumed everything in its path.

“Hot tub time!” she exclaimed.

We all stripped down to bras and underwear and hopped in the tub. Since I was a cool chick and no one else seemed weirded out in the slightest, I suddenly had no problem getting half naked with strangers, I told myself over and over and over.

Bones moved close to me and put his hand on my thigh under the water. While not in my initial plan, I realized that this was probably even better. Bones was the second hottest skater boy; I could settle for him instead of Scooter, sure. Sometimes it took sacrifices to be popular.

The two bitches were deep in conversation, while Bones and I secretly fondled each other, which left Misty the odd demon out. The worst thing anyone could do to Misty was ignore her, so she did what any insane itchy witch would do – she ran into the kitchen and grabbed a huge knife.

She appeared in the doorway wielding the knife and talking in fake demon talk. I’d spent a large portion of my childhood around crazy knife-wielding people, so I didn’t even budge. Bones and I continued fondling each other.

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Misty, as a child.

The two bitches screamed and ran into the house as Misty stood in the tub threatening to murder everyone because “Satan needed blood.” Misty chased the bitches into the house, knife raised high above her head.

Now Bones and I were alone. He leaned over and kissed me. We totally started making out. He grabbed my boob with one hand and rubbed my underwear with the other. I was so excited! I could totally lose my virginity to Bones Brighton tonight!

The sounds of screaming and breaking glass were the soundtrack for our love session. Bones looked deep into my eyes.

“Let’s go to the bedroom,” he whispered.

We jumped out of the hot tub and ran past Misty who was now alone in the kitchen speaking in tongues. The two bitches were nowhere in sight.

Bones closed the door. It was dark. His skin smelled like hot tub water. We made out and fondled each other. Bones looked deep into my eyes again.

“Suck my dick.”

If there was ever a defining moment of the evening where all momentum and optimism was killed, this was it. I got on my knees and put his bonor in my mouth, but I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Instead of getting harder, his penis became flaccid. I kept sucking and licking and even blowing, yes, actually blowing, on his member to no avail. Then he let out a little yelp.

“Don’t use your teeth.”

You know it’s the sign of a bad blowjob when you’re directed not to use your teeth. Perhaps I was chewing on it? I’ll never know. About 10 more excruciating minutes of sucking on his chlorine noodle went by when he finally gave up. He put his clothes back on and left without a word.

While I knew it was a disappointing attempt at oral sex, I tried to hold onto the notion that at least Bones would brag about getting head and that I’d earn the reputation of a slut. Being a slut with a popular skater boy could still earn me MAJOR cool points.

Couldn’t it?

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Tune in next week to see if Courtney became the most popular slut in school!

Red Lobster

The summer between 7th and 8th grade was my best summer yet. Sandy and I were inseparable, when we weren’t scoring beer from skeezy 21-year-olds, we were hunting for boys. It was a haze of beer, pot, boys, generic cigarettes and Days.

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My future.

Sandy’s big sister was a super tan high school Cheerleader and therefore the coolest person I’d ever met. I mean, Rah-Rah wore a toe ring, had bleached blonde hair, and went through boyfriends faster than Marty McFly’s DeLorean ripped through dimensions. She sported cool accessories like a huge personalized bottle-opener keychain and a pullout car stereo. The only time she ever spoke to me was when she ran out of smokes, which was why I totally spazzed out when she invited Sandy and me to the Lake with her.

It was the middle of August the summer between seventh and eighth grade. It was going to be one of the hottest days that summer and Rah-Rah only had two more weeks to work on her tan before school started again. She had the day off and since all of her friends were either working, smoking Meth, or fucking someone that day, Sandy and I lying around the house chain-smoking were two easy hostages.

As tan as Rah-Rah was, her little sister Sandy was equally white. I had olive skin because Bio Dad said that once and so I believed it to be true. In reality, I was fairly white as well, but not quite as white as Sandy.

She tossed Sandy, me, and a cooler full of beer into the back of her Chevy Citation and pushed her car stereo into its hole. The radar detector on the dash lit up and beeped. Just when it couldn’t get any better, the brand new tape “Look What the Cat Dragged In” came on full-blast.

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I totally loved Poison. I saw their album cover for the first time at Wherehouse Tapes & Records when my mom pointed it out.

“I didn’t know The Bangles had a new album out!”

“Mom, those are boys.”

She picked up the album and held it out to look at it closer. For some reason, the older my mom got, the farther away she had to look at things to see them up close. It took me almost five minutes to prove to her that the four guys in Poison were not, indeed, The Bangles.

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Sandy started to whine about having to sit in the backseat.

“I get carsick. Come on.”

“SHUT UP!”

And so on and so forth the sibling issues went on. I didn’t care. I was in heaven in the backseat, thoughts of radness swirling through my head.

So this is what a cheerleader’s car looks like. I bet she’s had sex back here. With boys. High school boys.

Maybe someone would see me on my way to the Lake with a high school cheerleader. I was tempted to sniff the cloth seats, but adjusted my fake Ray Bans instead.

Sandy started to turn green.

Three tape flips, four rewound extra plays of Talk Dirty to Me, and two Sandy puke stops later, the little Chevy sporting a FORD = FOUND ON ROAD DEAD bumper sticker rounded its last bend to Pyramid Lake.

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Yes, we called that a beach.

At first look Pyramid Lake looked fake because it was literally in the middle of the desert and had big pyramid-shaped rock formations jutting out of it. The Lake was on a Native American Reservation and had tons of urban legend (if anyone ever considered Reno/Sparks urban) surrounding it.

My skin broke out in goose bumps with excitement, or perhaps foreboding. I was already practicing telling everyone at school about my bitchin’ summer as they all admired my deep, dark tan. I knew this was going to be the best day of my life so far.

Rah-Rah parked the car right in front of where the water started and the dirt stopped. Frequenters of the Lake called this a beach, although it resembled a real beach very little. She killed the engine, along with Brett Michael’s voice, and breathed in the atmosphere.

“There’s nowhere in the world you get a tan like at Pyramid.”

I started to understand. A tan wasn’t just a good look, it was a way-of-life, a religion. And I was about to become a card-carrying member.

Ten minutes later, the three of us were already a beer in each and sprawled out on oversized Budweiser beach towels. Our nubile bodies were slathered with Ban de Soliel Tanning Accelerator and Baby Oil. Rah-Rah told us which to put on first and why and how often to turn over. When we got too hot, we’d spritz our bodies with spray tanning enhancer and drink more beer.

She was mentoring us in the ways of the tan. These were her secrets, her traditions. Tanning was a sacred act. Unfortunately, she neglected to educate us on the importance or even the existence of a “base tan.”

Not for a moment did I think I might possibly be putting my life in danger, nor did Sandy. I truly thought I’d come home looking just like Rah-Rah and boys would immediately flock to me and I’d be instantly popular.

Three hours, all the beer, and two packs of generic cigarettes later, we piled back into the Citation and headed back to Sandy’s. I passed out the second the car started moving.

The next thing I remember is waking up and we were back. Then I did something really stupid; I tried to move. I could feel every crease in my cotton shorts and my bathing suit felt like it suddenly became three sizes too small because every strap was digging into my flesh with avengeance.

I probably looked like a gingerbread man walking up to the house, as I couldn’t bend any of my appendages without screaming in pain. It kind of felt like that time I burned the side of my neck with the curling iron, only that spot on my neck was all over every inch of my body. And somehow even on my scalp.

lobster
Hi. I went to the lake.

The second Sandy’s Mom saw us she started icing us down. That is, Sandy and I. Rah-Rah looked perfect, just even browner and prettier. I suddenly hated her.

Sandy’s mom ran an ice bath and put Sandy in first, while I lay on Sandy’s bed with frozen peas on my back. Her rare maternal reaction made us realize that we were really in bad shape. I started to cry. The hot tears stung running down my cheeks.

My bath was next. It was filled with cold water and ice cubes. I shuddered to think I could do it, but pain was an amazing motivator. Within minutes of my plunge, all the ice returned to its original liquid form. It was official; my skin had been replaced by molten lava.

Covered in aloe vera and the loosest clothing possible, Sandy and I passed out on a sheet in front of the TV just as the weatherman announced the highs of the day.

It was 102 degrees at Pyramid Lake.

By the time school started, the only proof I had left from that day was the sloughing chunks of my scalp that happened to look just like dandruff. This did not aid in my popularity.

 

 

 

Major Lee High, The Final Mission

In last week’s episode, Sandy and I went over to Tommy’s to get high. Tommy took the hugest bong rip ever and made weird noises with his face. Then he passed the bong to Sandy.

frost-percolator-bong-bubble-champ-blue-82-600x600

I needed to watch her do it and survive, then maybe I could do it.

Sandy took a hit, stuck out her little tongue – which she always did when she smoked – and then immediately coughed all the smoke out like a total spaz.

I felt better.

Tommy passed the bong to me.

“Try to keep it in your lungs as long as you can. The longer you hold it in, the better the high.”

OK. Wow. I was about to do drugs. I would’ve felt cool if my knees weren’t shaking so hard.

And if I wasn’t wearing yesterday’s underwear.

Tommy put his arms around me.

“I’ll light it, you put your finger on the little hole here and let go right before you feel like your gonna cough.”

He lit the bowl. I sucked. The little green bud turned red. So did my face. What felt like a fire started to grow in my lungs.

I took my finger off the little hole. A Cumulonimbus cloud of smoke went rushing into my already burning lungs and I immediately coughed like I was dying of TB.

After about the run time of Dazed and Confused from Song Remains the Same – my God seriously Jimmy Page give it a rest – I stopped coughing and it was my turn again.

I hit it again, this time a tad more cautiously since I now knew all the smoke in the chamber was going to shoot directly into my lungs once I took my finger off that evil little hole.

The bong went around a few more times and next thing I knew Sandy was gone and I was on the moon looking down at earth.

moon3
Toto?

And Tommy and I were kissing.

“When did we get on the moon?”

“You’re high as a billy goat!” Tommy was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

“Maybe yes I am but that still doesn’t explain how we got to the moon and how will we get back and my mom’s gonna be so mad.”

This was the beginning of my obsession with my mom being mad at me when I was high. She lived in my high psyche. It was unfortunate.

It was fun and scary and thrilling all at the same time. I knew I was in Tommy’s room, but I also knew that Tommy’s room was on the moon, so it must’ve been a spaceship.

Cool.

Then there was a knock at the door, which made absolutely no sense to me.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Tommy repeated over and over again as he gathered and hid his paraphernalia.

“You have to get out of here. It’s my mom.”

Uh-oh. I knew moms were bad. Even in my oblivion, I knew that much. They were the Jabba the Hut of my Moonage nightmare.

My adrenaline kicked in and increased my fear by a trillion. In Tommy’s room I was in a spaceship; out there I would be just floating in outer space. I was afraid.

Good thing I had my spacesuit on.

astro 1
Ground control?

I exited the cabin and fell into some sort of alien shrubbery. But then I started floating, so I was cool. The whole antigravity thing was neat, but discombobulating. It was hard to know which way was up and which was down.

It was blackness for a long time. Thankfully I never hit a black hole. After floating in space for what felt like days – although time is relative in space, you know – a white metallic something appeared in the distance.

Was it a spaceship? Would I be rescued? After all, I was probably about to run out of oxygen in my spacesuit.

I floated toward the ship, but not fast enough.

Why not swim?

Brilliant idea. I did the breaststroke and got to the spaceship much quicker than just floating around. I was figuring this shit out right quick for someone without NASA training.

It was a spaceship! I was saved!

I swam to the driver’s side. There was a huge mirror object. It had a smaller mirror inside of it that made my reflection go all wall-eyed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Why would a spaceship have a mirror? Let alone two?

This was my last memory of the evening.

The next day I experienced what would be the first of many retold stories of what I did the night before. Ends up Sandy found me making swimming motions with my arms and staring in the driver’s side mirror of their RV parked in the driveway. The only words she could make out of my babble were spaceship and mom.

Sigh.

So we went over to Tommy’s that night and got high again.

 

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