First Beer.

The first time I drank a beer, I was in Wells, B.C. Wells is a tiny community three kilometers from Barkerville, and Jenny’s parents ran the theater there in the summer time. But Barkerville, being a rehabbed Gold Rush town, didn’t have a lot of accommodation, so the people who did the re-enactments and ran the restaurants and stagecoaches and stuff, lived in Wells for the summer.

Jenny’s parents had a very relaxed policy of teenager-rearing, and we had the run of both towns as long as we were in by 11PM. Because Jenny grew up in Northern BC, she was friendly and confident and had no problem meeting people and getting invited to parties.

We went to this party, it was at someone’s trailer. Some guy named Jason, a lanky-freckle-faced boy in a plaid shirt and feathered hair, handed me a beer. I was like, “Um, okay.” And I drank the beer. It made my nose go numb, and I thought, “Oh, this is one of those signs of inebriation.” Precocious? Yeah. A little. But when I was done, I pocketed the pull-tab. “I am going to remember this was my first beer,” I thought.

So I mostly listened to inane conversation about sports or Barkerville or whatever, and then it was time to go home. So Jenny and Kath and I left, in the company of three guys, including lanky Jason. Jenny was excited about her guy. I think he was older than us or had a pickup truck or something.

We paired off in that teenage way and Jenny and her guy stopped to do some necking on someone’s front porch. Jason pulled me towards another porch, and I went with him. Kath and her guy were kissing on the road, so it seemed to be the thing to do. I wondered if the beer was affecting my judgment.

Jason kissed me for a while, and I thought, “I bet he will be feeling my boob within three minutes.” I checked my watch, holding it over behind his head and counted silent Mississippis. His hand was on my boob within three minutes. Then I got bored. I said, “We have to go home. Come on, Jenny. We’re going home.” Jason looked disappointed, but, really, he should have counted himself lucky for the boob feelage.

Inside, in Jenny’s room, we giggled, us three girls, about the power girls had over boys. We have boobs, we can conquer anything! I felt the pull-tab in my pocket and wondered if beer evened the playing field at all.

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