• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 05
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Summer 05

I remember standing in my kitchen being told to watch Y Tu Mama Tambien by a family friend, a perennial corrupter called Colm, who my mother pretended to protect me from. “It’s the dirtiest movie, you must watch it!” Had my mother not been present, he would not have delighted in his titillation as much as he did with her there. In retrospect, I have a lot to thank these older bad role-models for, as they afforded me the education that an older sibling might have done, and kept me from falling victim to the weirdness that can affect some only-children.

Of course, I watched Y Tu Mama Tambien a week later. From the get-go it was filthy and well-told and familiar and funny. I loved it. The two Mexican guys reminded me of friends of mine, or maybe fantasies, and it all seemed momentous. There was a bit at the beginning of the movie where the two friends lie on two diving boards over a pool, masturbating.

The year I was fifteen, my mother and her friend Lucia took the opportunity to go on a road-trip and brought me with them. The drive from Rome to Nice was 9 hours long, and we set off early, when the heat of the August sun was at its coolest. There were lots of jokes about Thelma and Louise along the way.

I had been to a party the week before, the annual pool party of twin friends of mine, and I’d ended up fooling around with a boy in the empty dressing room, when everyone had gone to the main house for cake. He kept asking me to do things to him, but I’d had enough conversations with girlfriends to know that I was to say no: If he demands it, never give it; if he doesn’t, then maybe. He hadn’t called or texted even though he said he would, but I didn’t feel too bad about it. “This is what it’s like for grown-ups,” I thought, and felt bad for all of them.


Summer 05

The combined effect of the highway pit-stop sandwich and the mounting summer heat, meant that I slept deeply in the back seat after lunch. I awoke a few hours later, but didn’t announce my return to consciousness, and lay back trying to wake up, half-hearing what Lucia and my mother were saying. “And the day after I left Barcelona, they had an enormous orgy they all went to!” my mother finished, and Lucia screamed laughing.

That evening at their pension we ate olives and white wine sitting on plastic chairs that kept sticking to the backs of my legs. We looked out at the view, the purpley-pink of the sunset still visible in one corner of the sky, the sea and rocks below. And I thought of all the things that were going to happen to me - the promised phonecalls, the missed orgies, the road trips, and I thought how sad it was. Perhaps a little overdramatically.