My sex life began with a bang (no pun intended) on April 22,1970. I was a sixteen year old virgin. I will tell the story of that rape on my new blog, the one I keep threatening to start, any time now. I’m working the kinks out of it.
After that, I ran away from my artsy-fartsy home on the east coast, ran all the way to California to be a hippie, and promptly got raped again, in a big white metal bed at the home of a friend and her family. Guy walked right through the door, climbed on top of me: “Don’t make any noise and you won’t get hurt.” Where DO they learn that pick-up line? I left the next day, thingy chances on Highway One heading south to Santa Monica, where my friend had a friend who said she knew of a place I could crash. Only that didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.
After a few days of abject homelessness, too scared to sit down anywhere, too scared to go to sleep on the side of the road for fear I’d get raped again, I was offered a great deal: I could sleep on a cot in a crowded garage where a rock band practised, provided that I would sleep with the band members.
At that point it seemed like the best possible arrangement, since I would have a guaranteed place to sleep, and the people I would be having sex with were a known quantity and not just random people grabbing me off the street or coming in my window when I was asleep.
One kind of sweet thing was that the bass player took a shine to me and asked all the others to stay away, after they had each had a turn or two. So I “belonged” to Spacey Tracey.
There wasn’t a bathroom in the garage so I used the yard. The lady who lived in the house left her back door open for a while, so I would sneak in there when she was at work and use the bathroom, take a quick shower (I got to stinking pretty bad with all that sex and no shower). Also I had no food and no money. The cot in the garage was the barter deal. Tracey didn’t seem to notice or care that I was getting pretty gaunt.
On one trip through the dark kitchen of the lady’s house on my way to the bathroom I noticed that there was a bowl of those pastel poufy after dinner mints on the kitchen counter. I grabbed a handful and stuffed them in my pocket. That whole day I sucked on them very slowly, feeling them dissolve on my tongue, feeling the surge of sugar into my blood, a tiny flicker of energy enlivening my flesh. My mind was dead, though. Gone.
Once I discovered the mints I made sure to grab a handful every day. That was all I had to eat. The band tried to get me to drink some Boone’s Farm Apple Wine one night. It barely hit my stomach before coming up again. Didn’t make much mess, though: nothing in there.
Well, the lady finally wised up that I was helping myself to her bathroom and mints. One day the back door was locked. I told Tracey, sadly, that I would have to move on, or starve to death. I was terrified at the prospect of leaving, because every night for a couple of hours I had Tracey’s body to cling to, and that was my whole world. Yet I was truly starving, and had to find a saner situation where there might be both shelter AND food in the offing.
What’s interesting to me in retrospect is that I never asked Tracey for food. I felt too ashamed and worthless to ask for anything more than what was offered: a place out of the rain, reefer when offered, the companionship, such as it was, of the band, and the barter arrangement with Tracey.
Later, when Tracey found out I was pregnant, he offered me money to help with the abortion. I tried to reassure him by telling him it wasn’t his, but his face fell apart and I realized that maybe he had loved me, a little.
Copyright 2012 Laura P. Schulman all rights reserved