First Love & Other Sorrows
January 23, 2021
Today is the anniversary of the day I lost my virginity. I remember, every year. I always remember. I was eighteen, a sophomore in college. Thirty-nine years ago.
I used to go to a bar and drink a Pink Squirrel to commemorate. I looked it up. Crème de noyaux, made with apricot and cherry pits, bitter almonds and botanicals, cherry pink from the cochineal, an insect used for dye. Nuts and cherries. I was usually alone as I drank, tears welling over memories of a magical time. Tears and smiles.
It’s not my first great love I think of so much, it’s me. Already there were indications of the pain ahead. The sorrow with no basis. I do remember those years as my best years. Still, they were full of the feeling I never felt right anywhere. I felt I was watching other people live, while I watched myself watch others.
Maybe the sad came from knowing it wouldn’t last. So brief, so tender, that time of transition.
Maybe it came from my father being so very ill, and watching my mother suffer as he was dying. I knew he was dying; I didn’t know he was dying. Death wasn’t something with which I was familiar enough to recognize.
Or maybe it was mental illness, birthing inside where it would grow so large it took up residence in my soul.
I remember my college years as my best years. But even my best years were filled with the pain and sad that steals life.
I Persevere. And life goes on.