Rock & Roll Virgin Killer

“What do I do?”

My older brother grinned, his long hair still messed up from the wild coital ride he’d hopped off only minutes earlier in his bedroom. “Well,” he looked me square in the eyes before pausing to light a cigarette, “you pick her up, take her into the bedroom and you f*** her.” His steel-eyed stare and serious tone told me he wasn’t kidding. 

Could it be that easy? My mind raced. Big brother wouldn’t steer me wrong. And he wasn’t just spitballing, the guy had bedded more women by this time than most men do in a lifetime. 

“That’s it?”

“Yep.” He smiled, crushed out his cigarette and headed back to his bedroom for round two with his girlfriend.

The oldest of three, Lonny did his best to look out for me when I was in my teens. A bag of nerves since I’d exited our mother’s womb, I was fortunate to not only have one older brother to keep an eye out for me, I had two. Lonny served as protector and was the one who gave me the birds and the bees talk when I was in my early teens. (Neither one of our parents had the mettle or wherewithal to do it.)

My education in sex came from the stories of Lonny’s early conquests – when women were mere objects; play things that freely gave themselves away – and continued with the sharing of his stash of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. I was still too young to totally get it, but this early instruction would serve me well when the time came when my hormones were raging like a caged beast waiting to be loosed. 

There I was, at my brother’s house. It was a Saturday night. He was enjoying time with his girlfriend, while I sat alone in the living room with his girlfriend’s best friend. The small town in which we lived was filled with loose women who constantly made the rounds. It was the early ’80s and, like most small communities, when it came to dope and sex it was a free for all. Still, the thought of my getting laid that night was the farthest thing from my mind. 

Despite the tales of conquest shared by my brother, and the stories (and of course photos) in his stash of magazines, I was still clueless. As much as I wanted to introduce my constantly throbbing male member to the nether regions of a woman, I seriously lacked the knowledge and skills to make it happen. Add to that the fact that my brothers and I were raised in a semi-religious home by parents who were constantly searching for some kind of divine forgiveness, and it made for a confusing time.

The whole religious search for our family meant we were dragged from one church to the next (at least one, in my opinion, was a cult) and had the sinner mentality drilled into our brains. To this day Lonny refers to it as the Jehovah Chip. This kind of church hopping dumped a bucket of ice water on my mojo, not to mention – in my early teens – nearly had me running for my room and falling down on my knees if my hand accidentally brushed my pecker. 

Although I’m a believer, this type of mental abuse is pathological and dangerous. Not that I blame either of my parents, it’s just the world they were brought up in. My mother was raised in the Catholic religion during a time when the church’s abuses were known but still openly accepted. My father grew up in a home with a mother (a good woman) whose anchor was her own unique version of Jesus Christ. 

As a child, everything was a sin. If you were enjoying yourself in anyway, you were going to hell. Not that this was openly taught to us, but it was implied at many of the bullshit churches we were forced to attend. I’ve met atheists with more spirit in them than some of the weirdos who ran the churches we were dragged through. And like everything else in these churches run by mental defectives, rock and roll was a sin.

Thousands of fists pumped in unison as pot smoke swirled from the crowd and headed for the steel rafters of the Maxbell Arena in Calgary. Canadian rockers Kick Axe thundered through a set of heavy tunes that revved their doped-up fans into a frenzy. All around the arena joints were lit as teenagers sipped from bottles of booze they’d snuck in to the venue. The sweet smell of weed (a smell I would come to love and eventually loath) filled the air.

I was only a few months away from my fifteenth birthday when Kevin, the middle brother, convinced our father to let him take me to my first concert. Unlike Lonny, Kevin was less a protector and more a babysitter and some-time companion. He was often forced to take little brother with him everywhere he went, which was unfair tp him, but that’s the way things were in a family with three boys. 

Knowing how much I loved hard rock, Kevin wanted me to come to the city for the double billing of Kick Axe and Helix (or maybe he figured the only way he’d get to go is if he offered to bring me along). Two vehicles made the trek from from our small town to Calgary, one driven by a stoner buddy of the gang, a guy who lived across the street from the high school and liked to drink cough syrup with codeine in it straight from the bottle. 

At this stage in my life I’d already dabbled in drinking, but my taste for dope was in its infancy. We all jammed into the stoner’s car, which quickly became a hotbox of pot and hash smoke. Despite what my parents believed, my brothers never got me started on dope. In the beginning they did their best to shield and discourage me from using it. It wasn’t until after they’d discovered I was already getting high that my brothers allowed me to do it in their presence, where they could keep an eye on me.

I was buzzing like neon by the time we rolled out of the stoner’s car and stood in line to enter the Maxbell Arena. It was a cold evening, with snow on the ground. You could see your breath, but I was feeling nothing. By the time we got inside the arena – and once the heat hit me – my buzz intensified. Between the dope and the thundering music, I knew I’d found my place. I was among stoned and long-haired brethren who spoke the same language as I did, rock and roll. 

Standing on the floor of the Maxbell Arena, in the middle of the sweating, screaming and intoxicated throng, my heart felt like it was going to explode from my chest. The sound was extremely loud. The bass and drums pounded through the front of my body and out the back. As much as I loved rock music at the time, and as much as I loved both Kick Axe and Helix, I found it hard to concentrate on the music. Instead I focused on the anxiety swelling in my chest.

There I was standing in a swath of long-haired stoners who were dressed in leather and wearing high top running shoes, buzzing along myself, trying to keep from passing out. My mind raced and flickered like a tv set with a busted remote control stuck on channel change. The music thundered around the small arena and rattled me to the very core. For a few of my favourite songs I was able to forget my anxiety and actually enjoy myself, but the majority of the concert was spent trying to keep it together.

The backseat of the stoner’s car wasn’t my first brush with dope, my official first time came when me and two of my grade 8 school chums spent way too much money for a small chunk of hash we bought from the brother of a girl I was crushing on. We three amigos bought the tiny piece of black, after trudging all the way out to the edge of town and back in the bitter cold and deep snow. We excitedly smoked it behind the pool hall later that night. I’d just turned fourteen.

Rock music, dope, hockey, anxiety and sex ate up most of the free space in my developing brain. When I wasn’t watching the Edmonton Oilers rule the hockey world, or trying to find a way to get high, I was thinking about getting laid. Being a nervous wreck put a serious wrench in the whole getting laid quest, but that didn’t stop me. As a teen I was terribly worried I might die without every tasting the exotic and erotic fruits of the opposite sex. It seems silly now, but it was a big deal then. 

From a very young age I’d been stricken with anxiety attacks, although it took me years to understand what was happening. Going to school was a huge anxiety trigger, as was being in crowds of any size. Having to speak in a room full of people was another trigger. When I started going to parties in my teens I wouldn’t relax until I’d had a drink or three and smoked a bit of dope. If someone talked to me at one of these parties before I was in an altered state, I would have a panic attack and fumble for words.

As a kid, articulating how I felt was hard, I had no idea what anxiety or panic attacks were. I was having them all the time, but I just thought there was something wrong with me. I would lay awake at night unable to sleep, battling a huge knot in my stomach. Once I dove head first into the world of rock music, alcohol and drugs, I found a place of comfort and relief. Trying to will anxiety and panic attacks away became a constant source of exhaustion. Not that drink and drugs eased the anxiety or panic attacks completely, but they offered a brief reprieve. I felt almost bullet proof when I was high. 

Having older brothers afforded me the opportunity to not only learn about sex and have a chaperone to take me to concerts (until I was old enough to go on my own), it gave me a safety net. Lonny was a scrapper and had a reputation around town as being somewhat of a loose cannon. When older guys would try and pick on me at parties, I would threaten to “tell my brother,” and they all knew exactly which brother I was talking about. This was usually enough to make them stop. 

There were a few guys who balked at my threat of “telling my brother.” One fella in particular, Tom, hounded me one night when I showed up to the home of a girl one grade ahead of me. I had a major crush on her, and she’d invited me over. When I arrived, Tom, who was friends with the girl’s older brother, answered the door. He wouldn’t let me in and threatened bodily harm. I told him I was going to tell my brother. Tom popped off at the lip and said something non complimentary about Lonny. 

Of course, the minute I saw Lonny, I told him the story of what happened the night before. He went in search of Tom, and found him. As my brother approached tough guy Tom, Tom’s attitude and demeanour shifted. “Lonny, hey, man, hu…hu…how’s it going?” My brother wasted little time confronting the now not so tough guy about the incident at the girl’s house. Tom stuttered and tried to talk his way out it. “Your brother shouldn’t have been there.”

“Is she your girlfriend?” 

“No, but…”

“Then leave my brother alone or you’ll be seeing me again.” 

This situation played itself out a number of times over the years, when I was in my teens. I will confess, some of them were due to my being mouthy, but a lot of the incidences happened because there were a lot of bullies in town. My brother may not have been the toughest guy around, but he could take care of himself; every single person who ever threatened me and mouthed off about my brother, had a change of heart when they were later confronted by him.

That I was able to pull off Operation Lose Your Virginity without the aid of booze or dope should have told me something. It took me years to understand I could do far more sober, including taking control of my life and mind, than I ever could stoned or drunk. The relief in knowing I wouldn’t perish before I had sex with a girl made me block out the best part, I did it while I was straight. Up until that point, I’d never dared attempt a shot (no pun intended) at getting my rocks off without being under the influence of something.

The evening started without the hint of getting laid. And the events that unfolded were not planned in anyway. I was hanging with my brother, his girlfriend and her best friend, hoping to get stoned at some point. As far as getting high, the evening was a bust. At some point Lonny felt the stirring in his loins and pulled his girl down the hall to his love cave. I was left out in the living room with the best friend.

The best friend acted about as interested in me as a super model in the Elephant man. About an hour after my brother took his girl to Lonnyland to be treated like an amusement park ride, he came out into the living room for a cigarette and to catch his breath. The best friend went back to Lonny’s bedroom to see her friend, leaving me and my brother alone. It was then he suggested I get my mojo on with the best friend.

The best friend returned and was sitting next to me on the couch. Her interest hadn’t grown in the least after her trip back to Lonny’s love den. I sat in the living room, trying to work up the courage to do what Lonny had suggested. After a trip to the washroom to steel my nerves and give myself a pep-talk, I went back out to the living room, grabbed the best friend by the hand and took her to one of the bedrooms.

I would like to say my ‘picking’ the best friend ‘up’ and ‘taking her to the bedroom and f—king her’ was as easy a proposition as my brother made it sound. Although the best friend was known around town as easy, she wasn’t going to give up the candy without a bit of work on my part. Getting her into the bedroom and into bed was simple, the rest took work. Not only was I about to learn a little about sex, I was going to learn something about women.

It never occurred to me that a girl, even a highly promiscuous one, would value her reputation and (as delusional as an unchaste girl known for making the rounds was to think it) not want me to believe she was easy. The best friend wasn’t going to crawl in bed and ride me like a bronc at the Calgary Stampede. She was going to see if I had it in me to play the game, to treat her right. She slipped into bed. I slipped in beside her. As soon as I made my move, she rolled over and pretended to go to sleep.

The best friend had a nice figure, and her tight jeans had been driving me mad for a few weeks, even more so after I heard she was a virgin killer in the habit of deflowering young guys. Though she had slutty tendencies, she wasn’t a bad person. She came from a broken home, one where I suspect love was lacking, so she got love where she could find it. A girl barely eighteen, left to her own devices most of the time, doesn’t know the difference between sex and love. Guys lined up, not because they loved her, but because they wanted to use her. I’m ashamed to say, but I was no different.

I lay there in the dark, my loins aching with teenage desire, wondering what in the hell was happening. Maybe she only came back to the room with me because she was tired and wanted to sleep. I stayed completely still and focused on my heart thundering in my chest. So close, yet so far. I rolled over and decided to get some sleep myself, but my overactive hormones wouldn’t let me be. Then it hit me like a Mack truck. I didn’t know anything about anything, especially women, but commonsense told me a girl wouldn’t crawl into bed with me unless she was willing to put out. 

For once in my short life, I decided I wasn’t going to let anxiety stop me from getting something I really wanted. I screwed (no pun intended) up all the courage I could muster and put on my best moves. Well, actually, I didn’t have any moves, I was winging it. After a bit of foreplay, it was over. I’d climbed the highest mountain of manhood; conquered the sexual equivalent to Everest. I was a player (I wasn’t, but it felt like it for a day or two). 

In the morning, as I strutted out of the bedroom (to this day I swear I could hear the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” playing off somewhere in the distance), Lonny called me back to his room and asked what I did to get the best friend to sleep with me. I smiled and said, “I picked her up, took her into the bedroom and I f—ed her, just like you told me to do.” My brother laughed and lit a smoke.

(April 2021)