*Okay so he wasn’t a full Juggalo, no face paint or Faygo, but he was definitely an ICP super fan. Here’s the story I will probably never tell my daughter:
By today’s standards, I lost my virginity late. I grew up in Torrance where we started drinking beers in the alley behind school at twelve years old, inevitably having them confiscated by cops at least 60% of the time, until we realized Erica Powell’s dad would not only let us drink at his house, but buy us our booze too (eighth graders like Malibu Rum and Boone’s Farm and puking). My seventh grade best friend lost her virginity the same night I had my first kiss; I waited. For seven more years.
You know that movie Sliding Doors? Yes, Gwyneth Paltrow kind of sucks now, but 90s Gwyneth Paltrow was all jawline and minimal dresses and life lessons about how a single moment can alter the course of your life. My virginity Sliding Doors moment came along when I was a junior and head over heels (actually at the time I favored Adidas Gazelles) in love with my high school boyfriend. Three months in we nearly went there, but he was moving away a few weeks later and I (ever the over-thinker) thought that would make things extra difficult, so I held back. So instead of a beautiful moment of teenage love, my first experience with sex came a few years later, in a bunk bed, with a dude who really, really loved Insane Clown Posse.
What had at seventeen seemed like REALLY BIG DEAL at nineteen seemed more like an annoying to-do, something that just needed to be over with already (I’ve clearly always been a hopeless romantic). At the time I lived with six girls, and they had decided to organize some sort of “date-dinner” night at our house, which I had willfully ignored because it sounded so fucking lame. On the day of said dinner, I had to visit the downtown branch of the record store I worked at to pick up some paperwork. The boy behind the counter immediately caught my eye. Dressed in all black, he was tall, with piercing green eyes and a sardonic smile. My disdain for my roommates’ weird sorority-type social event aside, I figured fuck it, why not ask this tall drink of gothy water to accompany me. I fumbled through the invite (I wasn’t exactly the picture of self-confidence in college) but apparently he found my mumbly stuttering charming, because he agreed.
Around 7pm Daniel arrived and presented me with a fine box of wine. We drank the whole thing and as the dinner came to an end, he asked if I wanted to come over. Flush with Almaden Valley chardonnay, I hopped on the handlebars of his bike and let Daniel ride me (foreshadowing!) to his house. When we got there he grabbed a bottle of Malibu (hello, old friend) and led me to his room where I perched delicately on his bed (BUNK bed, bottom portion) taking stock of my surroundings. In the corner I spied a white rat in a small glass cage. “That’s Maggie,” he said proudly. “Oh,” I said. Then he put on some music.
I’m not sure what mood he was trying to set, but intense rap rock wasn’t exactly an aphrodisiac. Still, I was determined. “What’s this?” I asked politely. (My favorite bands were Pavement and The Replacements, the closest I got to rap rock was secretly liking 311). “This is the next level shit, man! This is in Insane Clown Posse. They’re so good.” He lifted up his pant leg and showed me a poorly drawn tattoo of an axe wielding clown. On his ankle. Let me repeat this: he had an ICP hatchet man tattooed on his ankle). I took a big swig of the Malibu and we started making out.
Things progressed, clothes came off, and mercifully the ICP changed over into some sort of ambient techno. I whispered in his ear. “This is my first time.” He stopped abruptly. “Really?” (A common reaction to 19 year old virginity). I confirmed this information and assured him it was fine (I didn’t mention that I had long ago forsaken any image of a rose petal covered bed surrounded by scented candles and imminent matrimony). The act itself was probably like every other first time, awkward and uncomfortable and sort of painful, made more awkward by the fact that I realized I was staring up at a tapestry of an Insane Clown face. Let me repeat this: he had a woven tapestry depicting an Insane Clown hanging in his bed.
Afterwards he fell asleep with his arms around me and I waited about thirty minutes before wriggling out. For the next few hours I tried to sleep while also trying to hold my pee (I had no idea where my clothes were and would rather have broken the Malibu bottle and swallowed the milky white glass than gotten up naked and walked across that room).
I dated Daniel for about twice the duration of my bladder infection (I should have gone pee), less out of fondness and more because I figured I was supposed to. He later went to jail for stealing half a bottle of Captain Morgan’s from a sorority house and wrote me letters from lock-up. I think he’s a house music DJ in San Francisco now.
(And as always, a hearty #sorrydad).