Distant Angst, Catherine Connors


Catherine Connors
AGE: 18
STORY: I was freshly moved away from home, and dating an ‘older’ boy – twenty – who I had met in a theater group. He had just decided to passionately re-embrace his Catholic roots. He didn’t think that I was virtuous-slash-pious enough, and I (still a virgin, though well-closeted as such) was struggling with how to be a grown-up and how to follow my heart and still be “good enough” for this guy, all at once. I was working out my story, what to say to him, and then lost my own thread when it came to making statements about sexuality and sacrifice. I had no idea what I was talking about.

It embarrasses me – deeply – to read this again. But I’m proud to say this: I never slept with this guy, and not because of some misguided idea of pious sacrifice. I’d moved on and forgotten him by that summer.



I will give you this.

I open myself to you. I tell you exactly what I feel, knowing that in all likelihood you will still just walk away, just so that you will know, and so that I, finally, will have sacrificed my pride for the sake of honesty. And even though you stand there with a knife with which to pierce my heart, I am not afraid, and venture to say that it would be a valuable wound, because it would not be borne of lies or manipulation. It would be a valuable wound.

I love you. I’m not sure why, simply I love you and am glad that I have experienced you. You haven’t tutored me, you haven’t guided me – you did bring some things to light, you triggered long forgotten musings, ideas. You showed me things. I don’t perceive you as stronger than me – I see you as older, more learned, mature. I don’t see you as a mentor, teacher. You are no better than I am.

I love you, and what I want is for us to try.

I know that on my own I can sacrifice sex, turn my back on temptation. Very easy to do. I ask for God’s forgiveness for my past transgressions and I go forward and sin no more. But it becomes twice as valuable if it is not only for myself and God, but also a sacrifice for someone important to me. It is very easy to embrace celibacy when you have no-one to spurn it with – not so easy when you are with someone.

I wonder how many people there are out there who will not have, or give up, sex before marriage.

Come to a live reading in Los Angeles @ L.A. Angst, in Brooklyn @ Cringe or in Seattle @ Salon of Shame! Want to send in your angst? Email me.