34 Mosquito Bites and a Missing Tampon

I woke up on the couch in Frankie’s basement in complete terror that something bad happened to her. She was on house arrest at her parents house but we had been up until dawn getting trashed with her neighbours after meeting them for the first time. When I left she said she was going to “stick around” and I worried she was passed out on their lawn. If her mom found her missing, chaos would ensue. I had to sneak into the neighbour’s yard and get her back. It was a rescue mission and I was to be the hero.
I jumped off the couch and stumbled over a bunch of crap. I snuck behind her mom in the kitchen and down the hall to Frankie’s room. With my red hair tangled in burrs and my grass stained tank-top on backwards, I looked like an absolute psycho. I opened the bedroom door and just as I feared – no Frankie.
Outside the sun struck me like a thousand screams and I threw my hands up in defence as I flew across the yard. With one foot on the face of a ceramic bear baby and the other on a pile of broken lumber, I jumped the fence. I landed swiftly in the neighbour’s grass just missing a bed of petunias and it amazed me I had only woken up 45 seconds earlier. While fleeting, there is efficiency in a morning drunk unlike any other.
Their lawn was a bevvy of destruction with no sign of Frankie. Looking around it was hard to tell when things went off the rails. My best guess was the apple pie moonshine from Nova Scotia.
Frankie had her eyes set on Jake, a strapping lad of 23. Frankie liked em’ young. His friend was 35 and from Newfoundland. I liked em’ older with a trashy accent.
First I checked the Dr. Seuss looking garden shed that Jake had won from a Canadian Tire raffle. It was yellow with a red roof and green shingles. Inside – no Frankie. There was, however, a used condom in the corner next to a pile of children’s toys.
The bonfire still had some embers in it. We had kept the flames going all night and danced around them thanks to a boom box and three extension cords. At one point, Frankie had whispered to me “let’s switch dudes.” I told her I didn’t want the young one but I would happily give her mine. He had lost my respect when he told me I reminded him of a Mumford and Sons song.
Hours later I let him go in for a smooch and she shouted over at me, “hey Jenny, what’s his name?” She knew I had no idea.
“Oh come on,” I said when he got offended, “do you even know my name?”
“Yes! It’s Jenny! What the fuck!”
I checked the garage. No Frankie. Just a bunch of junk and a lawn mower.
Hours earlier I had leaned over the handle of that lawn mower and hoped for the best. Despite his enthusiasm and my yearning to finish, at some point I realized there wasn’t going to be a happy ending for me. Also, what was I doing in a garage with some dude I just met that I didn’t even like? When would the years of self sabotage end? The next time he motioned for me to change positions I shrugged, “ahh, let’s just call it a night eh?” I patted him on the shoulder on my way out, “you did good.”
Since Frankie wasn’t in their shed or in their garage she must be in their house. I opened the back door and walked inside. I found Jake half asleep on a couch.
“Yo, uh, is Frankie here?”
“No. She left earlier.”
“Oh, okay cool…Sorry for breaking in.”
“It’s okay.”
“Good time.”
“Yeah.”
Where the heck was Frankie? I raced back across their lawn and over the fence. Her mom appeared and I tripped over the dog’s water bowl sending it flailing across the driveway and me falling onto my ass in a pile of water.
“Are you okay?”
“Good morning!” I smiled like a psycho.
I ran to Frankie’s room and there she was, under the covers against the wall.
I remembered I didn’t have my glasses on…
“Frankie, you’re here!”
“Jenny.” She moaned. “I can’t find my tampon. I think it’s in their shed.”
“Oh no!”
“It’s so bloody.”
We laughed. That would be a mission for another day. For now, it was time for me to return to the couch and fall back asleep, saying goodnight to yet another crazy adventure with my friend Frankie.

Jenny Robbins is a writer and filmmaker from Canada. Her writing can be found in Anti-Heroin Chic, Schuylkill Valley Journal and upcoming in MudMag. She has worked on HBO documentaries such as Bleed Out and Say Her Name. She is currently writing her memoir. Her work can be found at http://www.heyitsjenny.com. Follow her on Instagram/Twitter @bebopa_jenny.

Categories: Essay

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