At thirteen, I still had braces on my teeth but I wore a ton of eyeliner to compensate. I was looking for trouble and I found it in an attic apartment occupied by a pair of Dirty Hippies.
The Hippies were both nineteen years old and mine had a handsome baby-face with a goatee. The other one had long stringy hair and a suede fringed jacket that he later gave to my sister. It stunk of tobacco and sweat, and I was always begging to borrow it.
The Hippies taught me how to smoke pot, but I don’t think I did it right. They entertained other middle-class schoolgirls, some in their uniforms, all hoping to establish their coolness in the smoky attic, under the tutelage of the Dirty Hippies, who hung a sheet up to separate their mattresses.
For a while, I struggled to maintain my purity on the filthy bare mattress, but my Hippie found the way to my heart, or I should say girdle, by offering me a cheap ring.
When it happened, it was all about dealing with the girdle. I think I wore the girdle to hold up my stockings, but it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. All I remember was some pain and embarrassment, and his parting directive: “Next time, don’t wear that contraption.”
A few days later, I realized he had given me crabs.