On a particularly drunken night, I ran into Eric Peters. He was the first boy that I would make mine in The Summer I Lost My Mind.

Eric and I had dated casually before the man who broke my heart and I got together. His aunt was a director who I’d worked with and introduced us when we were both in Montreal for the weekend. We met at his niece’s bowling alley birthday. 

We went on a couple dates back in Toronto and after pretending he really liked me, he stopped calling. I was devastated. In reality, we had nothing in common and he was already well-versed in treating girls like shit.

 Since then, I’d see him here and there. 

“I made such a mistake. I’m so sorry.”

And so, that Summer I Lost My Mind, heartbroken, drunk and not giving a fuck was a pretty convenient time for him to run into me. 

“Let me buy you a drink.”


He whispered in my ear, “I was such an asshole before. I made the biggest mistake of my life. I’m really sorry.”

I danced closer to him.

“It’s okay,” I said.

“If you ever gave me another chance it’d be different.”

I danced even closer to him. I tried to dance sexy, but I’m pretty sure I seemed like an over-zealous aerobics instructor. Dirty-dancing shouldn’t include that many squats. When the song changed I wanted to find my friends. It was that awkward moment where you don’t want to keep jamming your privates into someone’s leg, but you don’t know how to untangle yourself without seeming blatantly uninterested. There was a long pause. Then, I heard that new voice in my head.

“Fuck it.” 

And so, instead of leaving I kissed him for awhile. It wasn’t great. After about five minutes I said, “Sorry, I need to go dance with the girls.” I got drunker and drunker and laughed with my friends because I thought it was “jokes.” We devised a system in which we would get theoretical gold stars for each new person we slept with. The person with the most gold stars at the end of the summer was the winner. Why a prize of imaginary stickers for letting someone stick their penis inside you seemed like one worth winning is beyond me. But that night, it did.

“Eric, do you want to get out of here?”

We jumped into a cab and went to his parents house.

“I’m not going to sleep with you,” I told him.

“I don’t think we should. It would ruin everything.”

But I hadn’t had sex in six months and the last person I’d slept with was the man who’d broken my heart. Plus, Eric did really like me. He wouldn’t treat me badly again. So when he paid the cab, I think we both knew exactly how that night was going to end up. 


Well…sort of. He had trouble getting it in. When it was in, it didn’t really feel like it was in right. We couldn’t get a rhythm going. We ended up stopping before he came. I lay in his bed, sobriety creeping in.

“I think I should go.”

“Yeah,” he said too quickly. He had just taken himself out of me and I already felt like I was over staying my welcome.

“My bracelets are downstairs.”

“Oh, right. Okay, I’ll go get them. I don’t want my Dad to see you.”

After he got my bracelets, I met him downstairs and put my shoes on. I was trying to discern what had gone wrong and why he didn’t like me all of the sudden, when his Dad came into the hallway.


“Oh hi!” I said, introducing myself as I extended my hand.

“Yeah,” said his Dad, giving Eric a dirty look as he walked out of the room. 

I called a cab to the corner of his block. I sent the following text to the girls:


I had never slept with someone so casually. In truth, I wouldn’t come to regret it until two weeks later, when he stopped returning my calls. But that was in keeping with that time in my life. I had never felt farther from myself, and the sadness and loneliness I experienced then was unlike anything I had known before. It was a strange, surreal time.  Nothing I did really felt like something I would do. I felt like some other person was controlling my body, my brain, my mouth. I was taking a vacation and I only dealt with how I was behaving in the brief periods where the real me floated back to the surface. And I tried, really hard, to keep that real me at bay. 

I don’t blame myself. I can be a real buzz kill.

Eric and I met up once more. It was at Quigley’s, the bar on my corner. I had spent the whole day getting ready to meet him. I painted my nails, blew out my hair, listened to bands he’d told me he liked. I thought of funny stories I could tell him. I wondered if he would want to be my boyfriend. When he got to my place, forty minutes late, I asked if he wanted to go somewhere nice for dinner, he said he was tired from “rugby” and didn’t feel like walking. 

So we had a few pints. I remember feeling like the “date” had gone really well. We talked about a lot of things; religion, life, school, relationships, his dreams to be a real estate agent in the suburbs… no, seriously, though. I think I was just drunk. I believe everyone has fallen in love with me when I’m drunk.

We got back to my place and the house was empty. My parents were away for the weekend.

“So, what music do you like?” I asked him after I sat on his lap.

“Uh…classic rock. The Band. You?”

“Yeah, I really like The Band. Um…I like rap. Like Talib Kweli. Mos Def.”



He looked at me and he kissed me. Before I knew it, we were upstairs. I was left wondering if he’d noticed my nail polish.

I have never had sex so far removed from love. To him, I was just a body. He tried to move me in all these different ways that felt uncomfortable and awkward. He was a lot more experienced than I was. I wasn’t able to be so open with someone I didn’t really know. In the middle of us having sex, he checked his phone.

“It’s my Dad. I have to go.”

“You have to go because your Dad is calling?” I asked him, naked on my bed.

“Yeah, he’ll be mad. I have work tomorrow.”

“It’s 7:50 at night. You’re in university.”

“Yeah, I know. I have to go.”

I got dressed, but didn’t want him to see my body with the lights on. We kissed goodbye, and he told me he’d call me that weekend. 

He didn’t.