My First Time

My First Time: “Milton lit a candle and put Sticky Fingers’ on the stereo.”

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He was 18, I was 14. At the time it was True Love, but looking back it was more like statutory. Milton was a greasy Brazilian skateboarder who was slightly shorter than me. He used to cut up uncooked hot dogs into a bowl and squeeze lime juice over them and place 2 toothpicks atop, like some sort of Portuguese hors d’oeuvre from Hell.

He was my first boyfriend and we had met because I would go to the park where I knew he would be skating every day after school to watch him. For weeks. Obsessive behavior that should have told at least one of us that further pursuit was a surely doomed endeavor, but I was lovestruck and he liked the ego boost. Besides, how’s a 14-year-old to know the difference between obsession and love?

The day it happened we walked from the park to his parents apartment perched atop an auto body shop nearby. Milton turned off all the lights, lit a religious candle for mood and put a “Sticky Fingers” CD into his stereo.

We began to make out and in my head I was thinking, “This is it! It’s finally happening!” Think of every teen movie stereotype you can muster in which the naïve teen protagonist believes this moment to be the defining metamorphic step into adulthood, and you have a pretty good idea of what was running through my head.

He clambered his little body on top of me and put it in to the sway of “Wild Horses” and what I remember of the experience is that I felt zero pain but a profound sense of underwhelm. I mean, my brain 180’d from excited anticipation to sadness, like “This is it? This is the Big Thing?” It was over shortly and I was confused and a little sad. Then Milton brought in the hot-dog/lime appetizer and I got sadder still.

I called my mom to pick me up and I didn’t speak for the rest of the trip home. Milton and I “tried to make it work,” but he ultimately slept with my best friend two weeks later and that was the end of that.

Really the most depressing thing about this story is that I can’t listen to the Rolling Stones without imagining uncooked hot dogs.

 —Female, 14, Connecticut