He’d had a very different life than me. I lost my virginity at seventeen; at that age he had been picked up for dealing heroin and given the choice of going to the clink or enlisting in the marines at the height of Vietnam. He told me stories like “one time I beat up this black guy so bad that I was checking the papers the next day to make sure I hadn’t killed him.” He had a tough, colorful life. I was on scholarship to a prep school where they had not one but two competing a capella groups that in any sensible community would have had the shit kicked out of them on a daily basis. I was going to a school where they flew in math geniuses from China and all the girls wore docksiders and no makeup and were second cousins with Winston Churchill and if they ever saw a penis they would explode. The occasional accidental erection of their horse was the only stiff penis they had ever seen, and they had absolutely no curiosity about expanding their experience. A rich new England WASP girl is basically born elderly, in terms of her sexuality. This is why she has time to focus on things like perfecting her application essay to intern at the U.N. When I started at this fancy school, it was immediately clear that none of these girls would ever show even the remotest interest in me; they barely showed interest in boys at all.
But still, I got talks from my Mom about always respecting women. I was assiduous about respecting them, when I couldn’t even get them to notice me or my fucking respect.
But my Dad— I had always assumed that, you know, the tradeoff to being the kind of person who might go to jail at seventeen is, you get to be the kind of person who’s around girls who will fuck you when you’re fourteen. But no, he told me- I used to worry about girls all the time, you know. It took a while before I got laid a little bit by accident and I started to realize: hey, I’m not a bad lookin dude. I could do all right. Same shit will happen with you.
This was precisely what I needed to hear.