Friday, February 25, 2005


March 15, 1979. I had just turned fifteen.

I was responsible for organizing a party on the theme of the 1960s.

My friend Charlie offered to help. His parents had a great album collection, and a killer stereo system. They were going to be gone overnight; why not come over and make tapes all night long?

On the appointed day, Roxanne showed up on campus.

Roxanne was weird girl who had attended my junior high school. I had run into her recently at a basketball game, and she had taken to following me around. She would show up at my school, or at my house, to hang out and kiss.

She was extremely thin, with long brown hair, brown eyes. She was fourteen.

Her best friend was very cool: an artist, pretty and far less weird than Roxanne. My best friend Peabo took up with her, and so I was more or less stuck with Roxanne to fill out the foursome.

Charlie invited Roxanne to join us in making tapes that night. We rode the school bus to Charlie’s place; everyone on the bus thought it odd that Roxanne was with us—she didn’t even go to this school! they whispered.

We made tapes and drank vodka with Mountain Dew. Roxanne had no way to get home. None of us was old enough to drive.

Eventually, we had to go to sleep. We went to Charlie’s room. An empty house, but we figured we’d all sleep in Charlie’s bed. He turned on the radio.

I made him turn out the lights before I stripped. Not from modesty so much as shame. I was wearing bright red briefs that I hated. I was also very hard.

Roxanne lay between us, wearing panties and a t-shirt. I brushed back her hair and kissed her. My hand massaged her bee-sting breasts.

Charlie’s hand roamed her body, finding my leg. “Oh hey man, that’s my leg,” I said.

“Oh sorry,” Charlie replied.

Roxanne was focused on me, and eventually Charlie left. We stripped. In the living room, Charlie went back to making tapes.

I lost my virginity as the radio played Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” and Charlie’s played Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay.”

Or did I?

I was on top of her. We were nude. She was wet, I was hard. I came. Was I in her or not? I had no frame of reference. I assume we did it. I just can’t be sure.

We turned the lights on afterwards and stared at each other’s bodies.

She looked so pretty. I really wished she would leave.

Jaws dropped as we stepped onto the bus the next morning. Roxanne and Jefferson had slept at Charlie’s?

It didn’t take that long for everyone to know that I was no longer a virgin. I told Peabo. Charlie told people. And Roxanne had no way to get to her school, so she hung out on campus.

All day.

Everywhere I went, people sang the Police song. “ROOOOOX-annne!”

The relationship ended soon after. Peabo and his girlfriend sat me down in a classroom to ask me how I felt about Roxanne. We had been sitting outside, but they wanted to have this conversation in the classroom.

I thought this was curious. Why did they want to have this conversation now, in this particular room?

I stood and looked around the room. I opened lockers. Sure enough, Roxanne was hiding in a locker. That scrawny kid was folded into a space scarcely large enough for a tennis racquet.

I closed the door, pissed. I said I was leaving to find a lock for the locker.

That was the end of Roxanne. But not the end of “ROOOOOX-annne!” following me through the halls.

That continues to this day.

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