Rubric for Your New England College Experience, 1998

Your gay friend introduces you to Adam, a blonde German with a last name that sounds like a torture weapon. Together they convince you to joyride with them to the frozen lake a few miles from your college.

All three of you strip to your birthday suits and skate in sneakers on the dense ice of Lake Champlain. You have not shaved your legs or bothered with your bikini line in weeks. Still, you love nothing more than being nineteen and believing your life is a string of epiphanies.

On the ride back, you all drink from a three-liter bottle of Pepsi and play Truth or Dare. Your gay friend dares Adam to drive with his eyes closed for a full minute. When he accepts, you lie across the backseat and pretend to be nestled inside a metal cocoon.

Later in his dorm, you and Adam strip again. You tell him too much about yourself and your family. It’s been ages since you shared such intimate details with anyone except your gay friend. Adam caresses your cheek and tells you about his ex named Story. You have no right to be jealous, but you flick his hand away and wish your name were equally as imaginative. After kissing you passionately for a quarter of an hour, Adam tells you his housekeeper and your grandmother are from the same country. Although he says this factually like a phone number, you are deeply ashamed. You should have shaved off every whisper of hair. Your clothes are flipped inside out and the glow of the moon outlines them like scattered index cards. If you’re taking notes, remember this mistake, and never repeat it.

Ursula Villarreal-Moura earned her BA from Middlebury College and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She was the winner of the 2012 CutBank Big Fish Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry Contest and her writing has appeared in Emerson Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. She tweets @Ursulaofthebook.