May/June 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 3 Nonfiction |

Never Punk

Approximately three months of my high school freshman year were spent dating a junior who had a car, listened to Led Zeppelin, and encouraged me to cut class for morning trips to McDonald’s. His family had much less money than mine. He referred to his father as his “old man.” He lived with his old man in a small, vinyl-sided house, and his brother lived with their mother about eight blocks away in an equally small, clapboard-sided house. His life was messy. Everything was messy with his friends, too, and there were hours of driving to this or that person’s house to pick up people, drop them off, find someone who could buy alcohol. All of them were already having sex. His friends knew I wouldn’t last long—inexperienced, sheltered, and slumming as I was—and they didn’t bother talking to me. I quickly found this world disappointing, but I also thought of it as the gritty “real” world. So, by the beginning of my sophomore year, I was already disillusioned with a sig

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Sophie Beck lives in Denver, Colorado. Her work has appeared in the Point, Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

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