Did I want a baby? Did I want an abortion?
What does the word mommy even mean? How long would I last? I swam out beyond the breakers and let the ocean hold me. I floated. Maybe I’d be okay.
Back then, I ditched school regularly and walked to the I-10 on-ramp, put my thumb out, got a ride to a Palm Springs motel with a pool, put my towel out, and rubbed myself down with baby oil mixed with iodine. You’d think I’d have taken one look at Mom’s wizened face and realized—not a good idea.
It would’ve been safer to hitch with a friend, but I didn’t have friends. Most motel managers didn’t notice me but once or twice I was asked to leave. Inevitably I got hit on. Some guy would come over for a conversation. Most of the time I jumped in the pool and did laps till they tired of waiting for me and left.
Not Ben. I met him at the Holiday Inn on Indian Canyon. He pulled up an aluminum chair and sat across from me, staring intently. I was on a chaise, the vinyl slats dug into m…