Laura was born in the early 80s to parents who’d been born too late to be hippies, who instilled in her a desperate desire to fulfill their dreams of hippie-dom.
When she was 13, she spent an entire spring saving her money to follow around the Grateful Dead for a summer (which dream her parents were happy to contribute cash and condoms to), but her dream was brought short by the death of Jerry Garcia. Instead, she bought herself a CD player and listened to jam bands.
Upon turning 18, she asked her parents for permission to continue to follow her summer dream again, but this time with Phish. Her parents, a bit older and wiser now, said yes, but also insisted on fitting her with an IUD.
With her baby-sitting earnings she purchased five flowered skirts, eight peasant blouses, and four bead necklaces, which she wore in various combinations depending on how much she liked the folks who’d given her a ride this time.
Outside of Portland she fell in with two couples traveling in a small motor home who made their living by visiting flower markets near the next jam band show and creating flower garlands to sell to local Dead/Phish-heads. Captivated by her youth and naïveté, they took her in and let her sleep in their van. Both of the men in the couples occasionally considered attempting to take her into their beds, but were brought up short because she was just too innocent, and also of course because they did not wish to go to jail.
But her innocence couldn’t last forever, and at a show in Cincinnati and three weeks short of her eighteenth birthday, she met a young fellow who introduced himself as Sky Lovehouse. He plied her with marijuana, vodka, and a beard that was soft and only just a bit scratchy. She told him to wait outside the van while she disrobed, shivering, and covered herself with every leftover scrap of flower petals she could find inside the motor home, then called him inside, expecting love, romance, and tenderness amidst the petals.
To her dismay, he used his hands to de-flower her, then used other parts of himself to roughly deflower her, and left her alone with nothing but a stain on the carpet and a sense that somehow, things ought to have been better.
She cried herself to sleep, and upon waking up she stole a pack of cigarettes and half a pint of bourbon. She consumed them both while chucking all but one of her peasant blouses into a “peace bonfire,” and bummed a ride from the nearest cop to a fine steakhouse, where she spent most of the rest of her savings on a medium-rare ribeye. She then hitched rides back to San Diego where she took up a job as a waitress at a high-end burger restaurant and vowed never to have sex with any human being ever again.