Jacqueline Kirkpatrick

You are about to lose your virginity to “Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin.  You have been listening to Led Zeppelin at this point for about three years.  But you never really listen to the lyrics.  It’s always just background music.  It is nestled quietly between “Gallows Pole” and “That’s the Way.” However, you’ll soon discover that when a 279-pound man is sweating over you will pay attention to everything else in the room. You will soon wish you were anywhere else.

You will appreciate his thoughtfulness when he puts the record on.  It might make you warm to know that he’s remembered what the band means to you.  When he gets out of bed to put it on, you’ll know then that he’s ready for business.  He’s older than you.  He wants things.  Older boys always want more things.  Maybe that’s why you like them so much?  You like things, too.  You don’t like your peers.  They don’t satisfy you.  But you hope Dan is different.  You hope so much.

Around the fifth date, he began to pressure you.  Not a terrible pressure.  Just some comments that made you feel guilty about leaving him in pain.  And for a long time, you are able to tolerate that.  But now, on the Fourth of July weekend, you know that you’ll have to put out.  His friends were all there, his frat brothers, and his football team.  You didn’t want him to be embarrassed and move on.  But in all honesty, he wouldn’t have moved on.  They never move on.  They never go anywhere unless you force them to.

He will ask you over to his place before the fireworks display.  The plan is to watch them from his parents’ boat on the river.  But by the time you get there Frat Brothers, 1 through 9 will have already arrived.  They will already be wasted, already making fools of themselves, and already have been getting Dan worked up about getting laid.  They will even call you frigid.  You will soon regret going and wish you went to a friend’s house party where Chris was going to be.

Chris is your new crush.  Chris is a painter, a writer, a drummer in a grunge band that sings songs about dismembering Jesus.  He is the exact opposite of Dan, and you have a talent for finding new people to date while you were with someone else.  But you will try to be a good girl.

While the friends line the dining room table with cocaine, scooping it out of a fishbowl they will use like a sugar jar, Dan will take you by the hand and bring you into his room. When he closes the door and put his weights in front of it to keep out the boys, you will understand you’ll be in there awhile.   Or at least a solid eleven minutes.

You know it’s coming.  You will just get in the bed.  You wore the sundress to make it easier for him, didn’t you?  Kick off your sandals and try as you can to get comfortable.

“Want me to join you?” That’s what he’ll say.  He tries to be cute.

“Sure.” You’ll respond.  You want to oblige.

He will take his belt off, revealing his patriotic red, white and blue boxers.  You can close your eyes when he crawls into the bed.  Focus on Plant singing, “Gallows Pole.”  When Dan pulls up your dress follow the music. Pay close attention.  Disappear.  His fingers might annoy you.  If so, reach down, and push his fingers against your hip bone hard.  Try to show him you’re annoyed.   But be prepared if this encourages him.  Understand that if you do this he might get on top of you thinking you want more.

His breath will be hot against your neck.  His tongue might lick your pulse.  You might want to cry.

Singing on the gallows pole…

The song starts twice? You’ll come out of your haze to try to hear it again.  You will open your eyes to stare at the ceiling.

He probably won’t take your underwear off. He will probably just shove it aside.

Measuring a summer’s day…

“I love you, baby.” I’m sorry, but he’ll say this.

Did Robert Plant say sing, or slip? You don’t know what he says.  You want to ask Dan to play it again but feel weird about asking during sex.  Hold the wall behind your head, that will help the dull, annoying pain of his hip bones grinding against yours.

The hours they bring me pain…