She looked delighted to see me as I lifted garbage bag after garbage bag out of the trunk of my uncle?s van. She descended on the bags like a locust and ripped them open. I tried not to give a shit, but it was to no avail.
I had just spent Thanksgiving moving the last of my possessions out of my mom?s place. Her tiny two-bedroom apartment was being slowly encompassed by her collection of cats, so she and her felines decided to move to a nice chunk of family property in the country. Luckily this was during my brief Zen anarchist phase. I decided to bag up all my possessions that didn?t serve some sort of sentimental value and let Our Lady of Seventies Thrift Stores deal with it. I thought I could get rid of my old life quietly and slip into oblivion without anyone from my high school class noticing.
"Hiiiii!!" The girl recognized me as soon as I walked through the door. She rushed over to hug me; I bristled, not quite sure how this strange girl knew me. Her eyes bugged out as soon as she saw the massive amount of junk I carted into the back room. "Omigoodness, are those your clothes?! I always thought you were such a good dresser!" She split the bags open and squealed at the sheer amount of high school punk rock fashion. I was afraid she?d start rolling in them like a puppy.
Then her face changed. She very slowly lifted a dress out of one of the bags. I tried not to show any emotion, to look nonchalant, but I felt my cheeks burning despite my best efforts. I was instantly transported to first grade, standing in the middle of gym class crying because I pissed myself. There was nothing special about the dress itself: polka dot, taffeta, form-fitting. I would?ve kept it had it not been the dress I lost my virginity in.
A week later, I head to a local punk show before I return to Huntington?s sane and welcoming bosom. It turned out to be the last Coaltown punk show I ever attended, but that was probably a good thing. I stood out horridly as "the old dude in normal clothes," and it was weird to see how the new kids had taken over. The people that were baby punks when I was around were now running the scene. It was oddly comforting, and I wasn?t about to challenge their well-deserved authority.
"Hiii!!" The strange girl rushed up to me wearing the virginity dress. She?s leaning against the hood of a broken down light brown pickup, and suddenly I realized why she seemed so familiar. She would never learn the secret of the virginity dress, but I saw how she lost hers first hand.
Cut to a very similar scene, only seven years prior. I?m probably wearing some ridiculous set of plaid pants and talking about third-wave ska, but that?s not important right now. I will never remember the girl?s name, but I suddenly remember that she dated the drummer of the town?s sole grindcore band.
I'm standing outside of the show talking to my high school boyfriend Guero when all of the sudden some kid runs up yelling, "There?s two people in the parking lot doin? it!" A horde of horny teenage boys run over to investigate. One of Guero's friends, in a very business savy move, slowly jaunts over to the car, camcorder in tow. I?ll never know how the two didn?t notice eight stupid faces fogging up the outsides of their windows, but they weren?t the wiser until copies of the tape had circulated up into the northern panhandles of the state. It was quite the popular movie at Coaltown punk parties for years after.
I felt sorry for her, as everyone had already saw what was probably the most embarassing moment of her life. I also felt guilty, safe in the knowledge that nobody had seen me lose mine on prom night a mere two years after her. Even if they had, the entire process was over before the second Lagwagon song ended, so I doubt there'd be enough material to make a mental impression With this knowledge firmly in place, I wave an awkward hello and proceed to avoid eye contact for the rest of the night.