I was 16. I was in London. Kids were still allowed to roam foreign cities without adults. So, I was wandering around London without an adult.
C., a good friend, and I wandered the city. I purchased and carefully stashed a British music mag with Robert Smith on the cover. It came with a free cassette, which introduced me to the lovely Christine Perfect and Chicken Shack's song "I'd Rather Go Blind" (also on the Songs I Could Listen to Twenty Times and Again List).
C. and I went to a comic book store. We befriended a couple guys who worked at the shop and agreed to meet at a pub later. One guy was named Sheep. We took a shine to each other.
Sheep had long blonde hair, wore combat boots, jeans, and an Einstürzende Neubauten t-shirt. And, he had an accent. And, I was 16. Did I mention I was smitten?
C. didn't drink, but I did. I asked him to come with me, and he did.
I bought a pint, which the Brits told me women did not typically do. I drank the whole thing. Fast. Which women also did not typically do, they told me. I wasn't sure if they thought I was cool, weird, or American, or all of the above.
We met up another time. I bummed a cigarette as a souvenir. I didn't confess to Sheep my reason to taking his cigarette. Later, I carefully stashed the cigarette and magazine in my suitcase, and flew home.
Back at home, my Mom found the cigarette in my suitcase and yelled at me.
I called Sheep few times. We spoke for minutes at a time on payphones. We exchanged letters. Soon, the hopelessness of our international love affair was obvious, and that was the end.