Fresh Obsession

“We’re having a Halloween party,” Dandy said excitedly, inviting me to a Pentecostal church youth activity. I grabbed a dress and wig from my mother’s closet as last-minute costume. Arriving, I was greeted with “Sodomite” from the pastor’s homophobic son but ignored the slur as I’d always had. Ironically, his father was also dressed in drag that night. He, simply a harmless version of Milton Berle, while I (rumored to be gay), a rebellious teenage threat to their impressionable Christian youth. Also at the party, a couple who would alter the course of my life.

Angie was in her late twenties, married, a mother with two young daughters. Her husband Dick, a welder, and youth pastor at the local Assembly of God. Despite her marriage, children, and our age difference, it wouldn’t be long before she would pursue me relentlessly.

Anxious for her fresh obsession to finish class, she’d wait in the high school parking lot, enticing me with her husband’s new Ford LTD II Sport. In a working-class town like ours, one could not help but notice the racing-striped vehicle. We’d drive into the countryside, which is where she first tried to seduce me as her daughters slept in the back seat. I was confused and not attracted to her sexually, plus being led into intimacy with a much older woman didn’t feel natural to me.

This was before women having sex with teenage boys surfaced in the public conscience following several high-profile arrests. In the 1970s, adults (mostly men) would chuckle about such escapades, but today women are being sent to prison, and once released having to register as sex offenders.

She would seduce me a second time, losing my virginity in her marital bed while her husband worked; one of their daughters at preschool, the other asleep in a nearby bedroom. It was not only confusing (because I considered myself gay), but also traumatic (worrying if he’d discover us).

Before coming to our small town, Dick had served five years in Folsom Prison for a drug-related offense but granted parole after claiming to be a born-again Christian.

He’d also been involved with a notorious biker gang, rode a Harley, and wore Angel Flight slacks (sans briefs) to church; the outline of his manhood visible to everyone. His package literally the talk of the congregation.

Eventually, Dick came home unexpectedly, discovering his wife with a boy from bible study class. Without a word, he threw my clothes into the hallway outside their bedroom. I felt as if he’d rescued me, but he was angry (and no doubt bewildered). Yet, what was he to do? Beat up a teenager and risk going back to prison?

I confessed to Dandy that Angie and I were sexually involved, that she was pregnant.

The three of us traveled to a clinic in a nearby city while Dick worked. Dandy and I were supposed to be in class, but instead with a married woman getting an abortion without her husband’s knowledge.

I later learnt that Angie had to have that abortion, not knowing if she was pregnant by me, or another man she was having an affair with, a used car salesman and volunteer police officer. She bragged about their tryst in a useless attempt to make me jealous.

Dick’s having had a vasectomy would make it impossible for Angie to deny her continued promiscuity. Unfortunately, the fate of their marriage already sealed. Divorce loomed, as did high school graduation ceremonies of which I would not be participating in.

A police officer (and neighbor) I confided in tried to convince me to get away from Angie. Despite being statutory sexual seduction, without charges filed by my parents, there wasn’t much law enforcement could do. During the late 1970s, California’s penal code required elevation of a misdemeanor to felony if one person under 18, and the other over 21. In other words, a teenage boy could not legally consent to sex with a woman in her late twenties.

She was playing adult games with my teenage life.