Heartbreak Tour of L.A. Zine - Link & Essay
(You can also read a more detailed description of the origin of the idea).
Since we only had limited space, one of my essays didn't make it in. It's my original tale of heartbreak and perhaps one of the most personal stories I've ever shared with the public.
Hope you enjoy, and please purchase a copy of our zine-- the stories are all hilarious and brilliant (and not as dark as the one below!)
Agoura: How First Love Fucks You For Life
Ah, first love. For many, it’s secret notes passed between classes and charming dates to high school dances. For me, it was making out for the first time on the shores of Zuma Beach, giving my first blow job on a friend’s parent’s boat on a manmade lake, and just a few months later, going through my first break-up at Forest Cove Park (the same park that gave Linkin Park their name—true story). But, the breakup and water-related oral sex was not the heartbreak. No, my first boyfriend would not go quietly into the night like all first loves should. He played the cruelest prank a person could play: he told me he had AIDS. Not only that, but it was on a legitimate hospital letterhead. And he handed me said “letter” as I was about to take my Chemistry final at Agoura High. (Sidenote: Even though I had a solid B all year, I ended up with a C in the class. My first and only C my entire academic career, mind you).
However, at the time he handed me this letter, I had no way of knowing this was a prank. I simply thought that at 16, I had been exposed to the worst STD with the first (and at the time only) guy I’d ever been with. After coming home in hysterics, my overprotective, but incredibly kind Jewish mother took me to our OBGYN where I had my blood drawn to be tested. I was shaking so badly that my vein collapsed and I spent the next few weeks looking like a heroin addict, which I’m sure only fueled the “Joelle has AIDS” rumor that had been circulating around my high school. Needless to say, the test was negative. I did not and do not have AIDS. My ex-boyfriend was a giant prick and didn’t think I would think it was real, even though he went to the trouble of creating a fake letterhead. And thus, my trust in men was forever broken. I was just sixteen.