Category Archives: Reno is a Gateway Drug – Blog
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…
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- He’d walk to the Burger King on by the railroad tracks, tagging various walls and street signs along the way.
- 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.
- 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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)
“Don’t wanna kiss / Alejandro”
(because my face will probably be scarred for life now, you douche)
“Just smoke my cigarette and hush”
“Don’t call my name / Ale-Alejandro”
(please, please, please)
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.
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.
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:
- Benny’s so gorgeous she doesn’t even need a girl name.
- Benny looks even hotter when she’s being mean.
- Benny has an amazing sense of humor. I mean, Jim? Who thinks of that?!?
- Benny’s hair is amaze-balls.
- Benny’s make-up is super amaze-balls.
- Benny wears rolled up blazers with shoulder pads like no one’s business.
- Steff is her boyfriend.
- Steff is so hot all he has to do is speak one word and I’m a tinglefest.*
- Steff is approximately 8 million times hotter than Blaine. Puh-lease.
- Steff has cocaine, weed and alcohol.
- Did I mention Steff has cocaine?
- 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.
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.
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:
*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.
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.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?!?”
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Learn news of blowjob before the existence of cell phones and the internet.
- Attain banana.
- Attain blue paint.
- Attain brown paper sack.
- Rewrite song and rehearse.
- Paint banana and allow ample drying time.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tune in next week to see if Courtney became the most popular slut in school!
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.
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.
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.
Sandy started to whine about having to sit in the backseat.
“I get carsick. Come on.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So we went over to Tommy’s that night and got high again.