A Memoir by Jennifer Lagier

As I lose my virginity while contorted on a 1965 Mustang’s bucket seat during the Summer of Love, a drunk staggers from riverbank underbrush, pastes himself against the windshield, ogles teenage nudity before passing out. Embarrassed, I stifle a shriek, cling to my gyrating boyfriend, not in passion but to conceal naked flesh.

This night is the culmination of his months of pleading and threats. Worn down, terrified by what’s to come, I succumb to clumsy, painful attentions. It hurts, is over quickly, ends with a slobbery kiss.

Afterward, I pull on wrinkled clothes, muse over this clumsy introduction to womanhood. I am now damaged goods, mute with remorse.

An hour later, back on the road, he’s satisfied and smug. I’m disenchanted. He buys us dinner at the local drive-in. Conversation is nonexistent. We crumple dirty napkins, greasy cheeseburger wrappers, return them to the window-mounted tray. His used condom floats atop root beer float leftovers in an A & W mug.


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Jennifer Lagier lives a block from the Monterey stage where Janis Joplin performed and Jimi Hendrix torched his guitar. She has published twenty books, in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, edits the Monterey Poetry Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Website:, Facebook:

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