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Translation: Thanks for the coffee, I am happy to be here


I remember the first time I wondered what the word ‘virgin’ meant. It was on a school bus, I was 12 and a girl approached me (and I think I’ve mentioned her previously). She was the one who was also raped by my stepfather only her mother was also involved and actually gave her to him to do that. After going on about how she knows he does this to me blah blah blah and her rant about “do you like it?”; the whole thing making me sick, of course. At one point she said, “I bet you’re still or a virgin, or you were.” I remember crying, a lot. Being confused, upset and embarrassed. I remember all day wanting to go home and I can’t recall if maybe I did find a way to get out of school that day. Generally home was safe for me in the daytime because he wasn’t home.

At home that night I was in my room, which is where I spent most of my time growing up, it hit me that she said this word ‘virgin’. All I could think of was the Virgin Mary and then I thought that was just her name. I never really understood why it was her name. I did not want to ask my mum. I assumed it was something I shouldn’t talk to her about because that girl mentioned it. I didn’t tell her about the girl because I was upset and embarrassed. So I know I asked friends and they told me “It’s someone who never had sex.” I’m pretty sure I blushed and didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Then came more confusion. Was I a virgin? What made me one? Did it have to be sex that I wanted. It was pathetic that I knew about sex from the age of 7 anyway but at 12 I was getting even more confused now. Did what was happening to me mean I wasn’t a virgin? And what does that make me then? The girl kept saying I was a ‘slut’ now which was another word I didn’t know and really didn’t want to know. But I kept thinking that if I’m not a virgin anymore does that mean I’m a slut, whatever that meant?

My whole life since that point has had me wondering why being a virgin is such a bad thing? If it meant having sex when you wanted to then that meant I was one until I was 18 but if it meant otherwise, well then I was a bad person according to the way the world seemed around me. I didn’t understand why it was bad. It took me so many years, many years to realize it isn’t a bad thing. No matter what age you are. And it can mean whatever you want it to mean but if you aren’t one it definitely does not mean you are a bad person. That took me even longer to realize. Not that I haven’t made my fair share of virgin jokes in my life. We do shit like that. We’re so jaded to how the world around us acts, reacts and expects.

The slut thing though? Here is something fucked up that I am sure is why I was so confused about that word. My stepfather’s mother had subscriptions to just about every single rag mag that existed. I never could figure out why. Still can’t. But I would go through them when we went to her house. Scrawled over every woman in those magazines was the word SLUT, underlined, capital letters. I would see this and think, “My god this is horrible. I don’t want to be whatever this is.” As I got older I figured out what this was and I also realized that my stepfather’s mother was just fucked up in the head from whatever life she had and by things like that, I figured it was a pretty shitty life. I still find it disturbing that she did that to the the magazines when she got them in the mail. I mean did she subscribe just so she could label all of these actresses and more importantly, women, sluts? What a scary person. I chalk it up to, yes her shitty upbringing that I know she probably undoubtedly had, but also Catholicism. She was hardcore and well we all know how creepy certain Catholics and religious freaks can be. Horrorshow creepy. She was like that. I could tell you so many other stories about her Catholic horror but that isn’t really relevant to anything other than it showed me how much I never wanted to be Catholic.

I don’t know what I think I was or when…was I a virgin, a slut or both? Was it possible to be both somehow? Didn’t matter, I was just happy to live through it all and come out knowing that these words were both not important in relation to me or anyone I knew. I didn’t care who was a virgin or a slut and it still doesn’t matter. I make my sarcastic remarks, yes, I’ll admit, but when it came to me I gave up on those words. Fuck it. I was just happy I managed to stay alive. Everything else was secondary.