Well, strictly speaking that’s not right. The girl I lost my virginity to didn't speak to the dead. She wrote to them. And they wrote back. She corresponded with them. She wrote questions for them in a spiral bound notebook, and they replied, through her hand, but not her handwriting. No. The big looping scrawls of John Bonham were as completely distinct from her own pretty prosaic high school girl script as his script was from John Lennon’s manic electro-cardiogram scribbling.
She wrote to the dead. And the dead wrote back. I think the official name for this gift—let’s put that in quotes shall we?— this “gift” is “auto-writing.”
She lived in the house right across to my high school, next door to the bulbous water tower.
She was Titania in the very first play I ever did. I was Puck. We all secretly want to see Puck fuck Titania, don’t we? Well he did, across the street from his high school, next door to the bulbous water tower. She was a senior and I was a sophomore. She was 18 and I was 15. Puck got to fuck Titania. I could not believe Puck’s luck.
She introduced me to Prince, proving that, though I thought I knew about everything cool in music, but I didn’t know anything about one of the coolest things ever.And when I heard “Little Red Corvette” on the radio I came to believe it was sex itself in musical form. Still believe it actually. “Guess I shoulda known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn’t last…”
She had a boyfriend. He went to college in Montgomery County about 40 miles way. They did Renaissance Festivals together on the weekends. He was very sensitive. She told me he could feel her menstrual cramps there at his college 40 miles away. I wondered why he couldn’t feel me fucking her.
I never saw her parents. She told me they were alcoholics. One of them, can’t remember which, had just gotten out of rehab, she told me. Clearly they were a different class of alcoholics than my folks. Darker. Lonelier. And thus, providing more opportunities for furtive teenage sex. My dad may have been a drunk, but if I were having sex in our house, he would somehow sense it from our hometown bar half a mile away and weavily steer his van home to barge in on me. The only time I dared having sex in my house is when my folks were a plane ride away on vacation and it was me picking them up from the airport.
I asked her if I could talk to Jesus. She said he’d been dead too long.
I asked if I could talk to my real father, who died before I was born. She asked John Lennon to see if he could find him. John got back to me later and said my father was looking out for me but couldn’t talk to me directly. He had been dead too long.
John Bonham floated on the edges, dark, brooding. He seemed less interested in me and talked — or rather wrote— directly only to her.
Lennon liked me. Or so I thought at first. I asked him about music, my basement band and what he thought of our original songs, and he was hopeful for me. Said I had talent, would go far.
One time her house wasn’t available and so we drove to what we thought was a deserted parking lot of a local mental asylum to fuck. We were just getting done when a car drove up clearly to check on why we were parked there in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day. Out of this little Honda stepped two middle aged nuns in full habit. Nuns! I was busted, fucking a girl who talked to the dead in a parking lot, by nuns! I told her to drive off fast. I was horrified. My aunt’s a nun. I’d rather be busted by my boozy old man.
As we drove off she scolded me out in her soft hurt haunted way. “Seems like every time we have sex you have to go off and cleanse yourself in your music.”
She was beginning to be more trouble than the sneaky sex was worth.
One summer day, months after we decided to stop fucking behind her boyfriend’s back (mostly because I wanted try and fuck other girls), I went by her house to ask her for some help designing costumes for my band. We wound up fucking. Afterwards, I asked her if I could talk to Lennon. He had always seemed to like me. She got out her notebook and started writing, John’s signature electrocardio gram scrawl coming faster than usual, the script writ larger and more jagged. As usual, I couldn’t read it. She started to cry. I asked what he’d said. I was always desperate to know what John said about me.
She didn’t want to tell me. I insisted. She told me that John hadn’t said anything about me, but he had called her a dirty whore, and worse.
I was pissed at John Lennon. Fuck him. Who was he to judge this girl?
I left awhile later. It had started to dawn that I was doing something wrong.
It had started to dawn that she was possibly crazy, certainly deeply damaged. Broken for good? I don’t know. I’ll probably never know.
While writing this I tried to find her on the internet, but no luck. I fear chances are fairly good that the only way I could talk to her now is if I wrote to her.