Friday, April 24, 2009
Miami Beach, Part Two
Place: Miami Beach, Florida
“Go All the Way” The Raspberries
“We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” Seals & Crofts
I lost my virginity on a warm August evening. After having dinner with our respective families, Gina and I met in the hotel lobby. We went down the street to a boardwalk video arcade. Stack heels were in that year. At the arcade we saw a guy wearing ridiculously high stacked heels. He was dressed in drag with full makeup, a white halter-top and white hip hugger bellbottom jeans. He had long straight white blond hair. He was with a small girl. He was tall and thin, at least a foot taller than his female companion, and with stacked heels, he towered above her. He fell off one of his stacked heels. He wobbled back and forth as he tried to climb back onto his shoe. He had one hand on his girlfriend as she held him steady for his next attempt.
Gina and I covered our mouths and turned away so the couple wouldn’t see us laughing at them. The guy’s drag queen appearance reminded us of the whole bisexual mystery tour that had brought us together in the first place. I knew the time was right. I took her hand and led her out of the arcade and in search of a quiet place for us to have sex.
Even though Gina was willing, she was nervous and irritated. She didn’t feel comfortable with any of the places I suggested. “Someone might see us,” she kept saying. She was right, but I was beyond the point of caring. I didn’t care if the whole world saw us doing it. I could see the Promised Land and nothing was going to stop me from entering.
Gina finally decided that we would be safe on the beach under the pier. No one would see us in the shadows. The location was perfect for me, since the pier was my favorite place to hang out.
We only took off of our shorts and underwear in case somebody discovered us. Gina had to do most of the work since I was clueless. After the initial shock and wonder of actually being connected sexually with a real life girl, I was reminded of how I felt the first time I smoked weed. I didn’t get high at all. It wasn’t until the third time that I started giggling like an idiot. “Now I see why everybody’s doing it,” I had said. I figured sex would be the same way since I didn’t experience any of the physical fireworks that I had expected.
After we were done, we brushed the sand off our butts the best we could and put our clothes back on. My head felt light from that marvelous feeling you get when you cross a major milestone in your life. I had gotten laid. I was no longer a virgin. Now that I knew how to have sexual intercourse, I wanted to do it again and again. Each time I did it, it was going to be another notch on my belt of experience. With enough notches, I’d be a truly worldly adult male.
Gina was not as thrilled. The whole act had made her irritable, although I was too wrapped up in my euphoria to notice at the time. We made plans to meet again the next night. I didn’t know what she wanted to do, but I was determined to have sex again.
The next night, I tried to take Gina back under the pier, but she refused.
“We shouldn’t have done it under there last night,” she said, “Somebody could have seen us.”
I dragged her from one location to the next, but she didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. I should have given up and done something else with her, but all I could think about was having sex again.
I remembered how I was able to smoke pot in the stairways at the back of the hotel. I took Gina to the top of one of the stairwells. It was brightly lit and stuffy with cigarette butts and empty potato chip bags on the floor. It was uncomfortable and it was ugly, but I got add another notch on my belt of experience and that’s all I cared about.
Afterwards, Gina and I went to the beach and watched the waves.
“What happens with us now?” she asked.
I felt like someone had just grabbed my throat and started to squeeze the air out of me. By having sex, had we entered some kind of relationship? I lived in Tennessee. She lived in Illinois. I was sixteen and she was eighteen. She was Catholic. Our families would not be excited that we found each other. We weren’t going to start visiting each other on weekends and holidays. When we left Miami Beach, we would be leaving our relationship behind with all the lost flip-flops and empty suntan lotion bottles.
When I didn’t answer, she asked “What do you see in the future for us?”
I said, “I see the ocean. I see the beach. I see a beautiful moon. I see us now. That’s all I see.”
“But what happens with us after tonight?”
What I wanted to say was, “Nothing happens with us. We both go home with a nice story to tell our friends.” What I should have said was “We stay in touch and try to visit when we get the chance.”
I asked Gina to close her eyes. Once her eyes were shut, I ran away. I hid in the shadows all the way back to my motel room. I was still trying to catch my breath when someone knocked on my door. I looked through the peephole and saw Gina standing outside the door. I refused to answer. It was the most horrible thing I could have done. If she cried that night, I didn’t hear her. I had gotten what I wanted from her and now I wanted her to leave me alone. I wanted to escape.
The next day, I was sitting on the beach with my little brother when Mom joined us.
“A girl stopped me on my way here,” Mom said. “She said her name was Gina and she asked me to give you this note.”
Mom handed me the note and written on it was Gina’s address and a request for mine. The note was on a sheet of Newport Resort Motel stationary.
“So tell me,” Mom said, “why is this girl is so interested in you?”
“She’s a girl I met,” I said.
“Is she Jewish?” Mom asked.
“No, she’s just a girl I met. Mom, I have to go do something.”
I found Gina sitting by herself in the lobby. I sat down next to her.
“Sorry about last night,” I said.
“You should be,” Gina said.
“Yeah, I’m really sorry.”
“I’m not stupid. I know we’re not going to have some kind of great romance, but was I just a quick lay for you?”
“No. But, I don’t know.”
“We could be friends. Would that be so terrible?”
I agreed that it wouldn’t be so terrible. I gave her my address and for about six months, Gina and I wrote to each other. Her interest in being my pen pal died shortly after she started college. I stopped writing her and I never heard from her again. That battleship had sailed on without me.