(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/13; via Pam Green.)

I had barely arrived for my tropical holiday in Brooklyn before I was deflowered. Yes, my lei, which had been hung welcomingly around my neck when I entered the resort called the Grand Paradise, was taken from me (gently) by a vulpine blonde in a pink satin bathing suit and pearls.

That occurred in her dressing room, where this guiding siren — whom I had just watched striking pinup poses with giant pearls on a nightclub stage — was showing me faded postcards affixed to her mirror and telling me about the different lovers they brought to mind. “Stan,” she would sigh, or “Harry,” or “Jim,” appending each name with the same wistful postscript: “He was my first.”

Now that my lei had been added to her collection, I was feeling shucked and sentimental. In the context of what seemed guaranteed to turn into a night of encounters with intimate strangers, she was, after all, my first.


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