I haven’t forgotten – just can’t quite remember. We’d both promised we’d never forget. We were each others’ first. I’m certain it was March 16th. Or perhaps it was April?
In a small dorm room. On a steel cot. Surrounded by a dreadfully censorious social environment. (Just missing Mrs.Peacock!). He was boyish, good-looking and had an easy smile. His face was smooth and smelled of aftershave. The sheets on his thin mattress were clean. But the damn cot squeaked. Made us giggle.
We were old enough to have talked about it a lot but young enough to still be stupid. We thought ourselves realists for setting expectations on the experience but secretly, I think I was hoping for something sublime. There had been no declaration of undying love. Seemed like a good basis for exploration without the risk of heartbreak. The outcome was predictable – not earth-shattering but ok. However, it was the first time and that’s something. So, I’m glad it was ok. I can’t forget that.
Compartmentalizing my moral misgivings took a lot of doing. In a time and space where a girl’s upbringing emphasized “goodness”, there was a lot more lodged in my sub-conscious than I realized. Also, illogically, not sharing this seeming moment with the boy I still loved (but had lost) seemed wrong. Sublime didn’t stand a chance against such odds!
We went on to have sex in less squeaky places. It makes me smile to think back on it – in an open amphitheater where movies were screened weekly (no no – not DURING the movie!), in the most formal of lecture halls, on top of a tall water tank that afforded a beautiful view. Always furtive but definitely unorthodox!
We met recently and talked briefly about it with fondness and without regret. Try as I might, I could not silence contradictory, moralistic, whisper in my head or the wistfully, romantic and girlish one.