I don’t know what parents started feeding their girls in the late ‘60s—maybe it’s the New Hampshire runoff—they’re so well-behaved, so easy-going. I have far too much time to think about Renee.
Renee, turns out, is a townie. She went to Corbitant when she was younger, counseled a few summers, and since she’s 19, she figures this is her last chance to pal around before feeling lecherous.
Renee has startling green eyes. She plays guitar better than anyone I’ve ever heard, and piano, too, almost as well. And while she’s all about the Sex Pistols and Patti Smith, when she brings down Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs one night, I feel a part of myself slipping. Tom Waits breaks the doors.
It’s about three weeks into camp. Alice, our friend Cara and I are on the front porch of Alice’s cabin. Cara’s smoking a cigarette and telling us about Mavis Hutchinson, the first woman ever to run across America. She did it a few months ago. It took her almost 70 days.
That’s what I want, Alice says. Not all that running, but to do something that crazy. I want to throw myself so fully into the hands of the gods, even the ones whose names I don’t know.
Cara sighs at that. I kick her foot. She will.
She’ll what? Renee’s climbing through the railing behind Alice in a tight white T-shirt I haven’t seen before. She’s got a book and record.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much more hanging out.
The girls finish after-dinner play-time and file into the Blue Barn for a movie screening. When the sound is synced, I give Alice the nod and meet Renee back at my cabin. “San Diego Serenade” slides on, and she sits very close to me on my upper bunk.
She’s lifting my shirt over my head by “The Heart of Saturday Night.” As she peels off me to flip it, the air changes, and suddenly I feel way more vulnerable than excited. We lie on my bed through all of Side B, my heart pounding. She keeps holding me. That’s all. My heart pounds, and she holds me.
After a while, I push her hair back and kiss her, and kiss her.
You know, you’re right. She winks, fans through my records, and puts on Horses. We help put each other’s shirts on and I circle her stomach, drop my head on the crook of her shoulder. A long time passes.
She picks up her book, Rubyfruit Jungle, and makes to read it to me.
Not now. So she kisses me for what seems like a small era. I could die here, I think. I could die here.
Ten minutes. Oh, hey… I… uhm…
I look: Renee’s ass is slowly sliding under the folding window.
And that’s how I came out to my best friend.