I’m worried about myself. It seems like I’ve lost my footing and in trying to stop myself from falling, I brought my whole world with me until it all came crashing down. Everything I try to hold either slips away or breaks into pieces that bite my skin until it cries. I am becoming a graveyard full of dead words and decaying dreams with no visitors to accompany me through the quiet night. I am becoming as unhinged as the sky bleeding rain when somebody’s sadness pierce through the firmament. I wish people would see how I’m cracking myself open unintentionally with no faculties to stop without me having to pull off their eyelids. But I guess it’s not their fault. I’ve got to stop being the chains pulling down my ankles, I need to be a buoy for myself anchoring me back to earth.
Search parties are for objects that have been lost and need to be found again, like missing dogs that could easily have been run over by a car, or a toddler’s favorite rattle, or the key to the garage, or a treasured old letter from one grandparent to another, and so on. They’re something to be carried out with much fuss and ado and huge flashlights that can cover acres of territory at a time, or flags to plant into the ground that mark the traveled path so it isn’t needlessly re-crossed.
They’re not for finding that “thing” your boyfriend or girlfriend supposedly took from you in the backseat of a car or spread out on a picnic blanket, or even on the dining room table hours after the Thanksgiving meal had been served and everyone had gone off to bed. Search parties aren’t for sticking a flashlight between your legs and shining it down on the most “delicate” parts just to check whether anything is missing.
When you have sex with someone else for the first time, you don’t immediately make an appointment to go file a missing person’s report, except for your virginity and not a person, as soon as the deed is done. Instead you probably cuddle together for awhile before drifting off to sleep, or make awkward eye contact while hastily putting on clothes that were torn off just as quickly, or even shout “I’ll text you!” before rushing out the door as fast as you can.
You didn’t lose anything. Nothing changed. Some magical puzzle piece hidden inside your body didn’t just float out of place and drift into another orbit- you might be sore, but nothing is irreparably damaged or entirely broken or even gone altogether.
The idea that you “lost” your virginity is ridiculous. Virginity isn’t a gift that can be wrapped up in a big red bow and handed off to someone else who willingly unwraps it with a big smile on their face like kids do when they get their favorite Christmas present. Virginity is a mutual agreement between two people who decide that one of them, or maybe both, is going to do something for the first time, and that hopefully they will be better off because of that decision.
There’s no fine print or disclaimer or boxes to check that shout, “Be warned- the activity you’re about to engage in might leave you with fewer parts or pieces of your soul than you started with!”
The only thing you might lose when you have sex for the first time is a pair of underwear or a t-shirt or even some floral sheets that got so stained they had to be stuffed in the trashcan behind the house. You don’t lose any integral part of yourself. All the soul matter that was floating around inside you before you took off your clothes is still there, just as beautiful and complicated and glittery as before.
Nothing was stolen from you; nothing was given away. A house whose windows are opened for the first time does not lose its framework or its beams; it simply becomes accustomed on an intimate level to the outside world. A poem that is read aloud for the first time does not lose its meaning; it simply attaches itself to the tongues and ears and eyes of those who come in contact with it.
Saying that you “lost” your virginity when you had sex for the first time is like saying that the Earth lost some of its earthliness the first time it orbited around the Sun.
So instead of doing a mental pat-down of your soul to make sure all the pieces and parts are still in order after the deed is done, focus on the pleasure of the physical pat-down you were given by your partner instead.
I’ve been trying to get you out of my bloodstream but you seem to have made a home there. My veins know only your name and the spaces between my bones are longing for you to fill them. There is an ocean roaring inside my chest, locked between my ribs, and it calls for you and only for you. I remember thinking your smile brings the moon’s light to shame and I wonder why we even need stars to blanket the night when you’re already here enveloped in your effulgence.