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Never regret capturing a unicorn

Even when you are burning in hell.

By Adriana WelbyPublished 3 years ago 11 min read

The Burt’s Bees catches my eye first. Then the Carmex. The Aquaphor. The ChapStick. Tinted, flavored, shimmery.


I shudder and turn towards the grocery store cashier and try not to regret letting my unicorn get the best of me. As the rhythmic BEEP of check out lanes dissipates into a cacophony around me I remember the very little of that night like yesterday..

I’m lost.

I’m lost and it’s dark.

I'm lost, it’s dark and there's no service, so I can't call anyone.

I'm drunk, so I can’t follow a straight line, through the maze of stakes and strings.

I'm a little bit too high because someone decided it was a fine idea to let the 23 year old, plastered chick lick her finger and stick it into the Molly bag, unsupervised.

I can see blurred colors in the reflected moonlight that shapes the mandalas and dancing bears.

I know exactly what I want, and I’m going for it.

Oh f*ck yeah baby. I want that unicorn.

I should back up a bit. Back up to the wet and rainy summer of ‘69. Peace and music flowed through the souls of more than 400,000 people. The beer was running cold, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix gave performances that secured their position in the classic rock era. Jerry Garcia and the rest of the Grateful Dead ended their set after performing a fifty five minute version of “Turn On Your Love Light”. The days back in the summer of ‘69 would be remembered for generations.

History was made.

Unfortunately for me it was not the infamous Woodstock of 1969, and it was definitely not history in the making. It was a 23 year old, young wild and- god damn- free festival cocktail. I had inherited the superpower of being too f*cked up to care, and the usual voices of doubt in my head were nowhere to be found in the wee hours of that summer night.

It was late July of 2013 in Colorado and I had decided to stay that summer instead of traveling abroad. I was living and working on the local ski mountain, so I was blessed with a nine-to-one male to female ratio of fit, long haired, low aspiration boys who’ve hit their heads too many times on the half pipe. Life was good.

Despite the odds though, I was far too self conscious to ever really put myself out there. See, it was not until my later years in college that I hit a “blooming” point. I was the chubby girl growing up and, despite my size, I lacked the essentials to attract the high school male gaze. I had no boobs, or butt.

My hair fluctuated between a loose dry frizzy puff and a tight top pony with a dry frizzy puff coming out the back. My severe under bite was being dealt with via pounds of metal in my mouth; this hardware included two ball-like screws that protruded from the bottom of my mouth when I smiled.

For what I lacked in looks I absolutely did not make up for in personality. Throughout middle and high school, after ditching class for the AP art room, I would charge home in order to not miss the latest episode of Dragon Ball Z, the entire time drooling over the Super Saiyan boys like it was Hentai. So yeah, I was really cool.

When I moved to Colorado though, things started to turn around for me. Being more active meant losing weight and gaining some muscle. I was surrounded by tranquil scenery, and I was finally getting comfortable in my own skin. That summer I had just gotten out of a very long and very unhealthy relationship - by that I mean acting like a complete psychopath and breaking a heart through the classic case of cheating, getting caught, getting back together, and repeating because I have self destructive tendencies (whatever, no one is perfect).

So that summer, when I met my unicorn at a memorial day bar-b-cue I was ready to really fall in love.

He had everything. He came from a good local family who owned a ski shop at the base of the mountain. He was the picture perfect of tall, dark, and handsome. He was fit, smart, could hold a conversation and had a killer smile. He was, in a sea of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys that never tended to grow up, the allusive unicorn that barely existed up in a small ski resort town.

Although my unicorn and I exchanged only a handful of beautiful words when we ran into each other at the local bars, at friend gatherings, or at the occasional yoga class, I was in love. We had conversed enough to exchange contact info, but I was too big of a puss to everr actually call him. This enevidible orgasmic build up is what I attribute to my downfall that summer night.

There is a saying in Colorado, “People come for the winters but stay for the summers”.

The summer days are long and perfectly tempered. It is always sunny blue skies, aside from when it rains at exactly the same time each day for approximately 15 minutes, which results in a rich array of greens that cover the valley’s mountainside. There are gorgeous canyons with crystal clear rivers that run through their center. It’s in one of these canyons, by one of these rivers, that a small music festival used to be held, by the name of Boomtown.

The roc-electro band Boombox, a duo who both originated as DJs, hosted the festival. They headlined each of the three nights while popular Dubstep and Electro artists played throughout the day and late night sets. I had gotten a ticket for free from, let’s call him Boy #1, who I’d been seeing that was working security at one of the back gates. The sex was OK and I was bored (don’t forget, although self conscious I was still a piece of shit). Once in the festival, I found my friends camp site, unloaded, and poured myself a strong vodka drink, at 11 in the morning.

I attribute this moment as my first mistake of the whole experience, straight to vodka, but at 23 I was an idiot.

The day was spent dancing with friends, exploring the shops on Shakedown Street, smoking joints next to the river in between jumping in to cool off as the warm mountain sunshine baked into us, all the while avoiding Boy #1 who had gotten me into the festival for free and kept wanting to hang out. I was shameless and loving life with my festie girls.

As the darkness of the evening descended upon us so did our state of minds, and this is where my night browns out into a blur of the following: Live music, the bass vibrating deep in my chest. Bright lights of lasers and glow sticks shining through fog machines to create planes of steps you could skip across into the night sky. Vodka. The blaze of a bonfire. A Molly bag being passed around. Some great laughs and most importantly, the mention of my unicorn sighting.

Game over.

I vaguely remember stumbling through the campsite looking for his specific tent, and the feeling of being lost.

But being lost certainly did not mean I was about to abandon my search. When a hunter stalks its prey they are patient, stealthy, graceful, and precise.

So when my killer instincts zeroed in on his blue REI two person tent I knew he was mine.

My gentle fingertips found the zipper and drunkenly yanked to reveal the unicorn, vulnerable and beautiful. Upon spotting the unicorn, in all his shirtless glory, a side smirk and blue eyes staring up at me, I careened into the tent without second thought.

The next morning I slithered out of the festival before Free Ticket Boy#1 working security could wake up. I made extra sure to get my ass out of there before I had to talk to him with literal stars in my eyes from (sorry not sorry) better sex. Especially since he had most likely been looking for me the previous night.

I had gotten away with, yet again, being a piece of shit, and was on cloud f*cking 9.

Later that day of course all my decisions came rolling back to bite me in the ass, or more accurately, the vagina. I knew something was off so I scheduled the first available appointment at the new medical clinic down the street with a young gynecologist.

As a woman you know that regular visits to the gynecologist are an unwelcome necessity of life. No person goes into their gyno appointment eager to hike their legs up in the stirrups, lay back to be pried open with a vagina car jack that seems like it had been stored in the freezer up until the moment it is used, all while trying to make small talk with the doctor as they are peering into your abyss.

Most women are also more comfortable with a woman doctor, as was I at the time, so I had booked with a newly hired, young female doctor. She was tall, skinny and had smooth perfectly washed dark hair. Her delicately manicured nails had been recently done in order to match the color to the current season. Her badge seemed like it had been unlatched and repinned multiple times in order to achieve the perfect 90 degree angle across her chest.

Her upper lip curled into a snarl and she sucked in through her teeth when I volunteered up the PG version of my promiscuous escapades the night before.

“Um, you have Herpes.” She said to me before adding, “I’m taking a blood sample, and results will come in about a week, but yeah, you should probably Google it.”

My stomach drops. I could sense her judgement radiating off of her as she quietly avoided eye contact and walked out of the room.

My unicorn had betrayed me. My unicorn had deceived me. My precious unicorn, how could my perfect unicorn have given zero thought as to how sharing his love bug would impact me? “Google it” Gyno had said. Great medical advice that I would definitely follow later that week for my own sanity, but at that moment I was pissed the f*ck off. So instead of rationally waiting a week for my STD test results to come in, I acted like any level headed and not at all hungover 23 year old would do, I immediately called my unicorn and unleashed on him.

Finding out that you have an STD can be terrifying. It can change your perspective on sex. It can impact the way you see yourself, the way you interact with others, the way you see your future. It can be a total mindfuck. I spent a week on virtual forums, chat rooms and social outlets with others who had been living with STDs. What I ultimately found was that the stigma and diagnosis can be worse than the condition itself. Many people living with STDs, like Herpes, will go their entire life only having the initial breakout. Some will even unknowingly carry the virus without ever showing symptoms, which I assumed was the situation with my unicorn.

After a week I had started to come to terms with my new condition. I had accepted my fate, sent my unicorn off to get a test himself which had been an uncomfortable, but necessary conversation, and, thanks to some prescription cream, my vagina was starting to feel like her beautiful self again. There had been a slightly awkward silence between me and my unicorn, which was to be expected until the test results came back. Through it all though I had started to accept my new life, started to love my body again and started to replace my shame with a newfound knowledge that gave me hope.

When my phone finally rang and I heard my doctor’s voice on the other end I had accepted my fate. I was ready for the official sentencing and was going to gracefully accept it.

“Hello Adriana.. The blood and tissue results of your test. The bloodwork came back negative for any STDs, but the tissue samples had, um, well.. had glitter in it.”



Flashbacks to that night.

Between the blacks and brown outs I can see myself reaching for something, looking for something.

F*ck, I was looking for lube so that we could continue to enjoy every literal part of each other.

Since I was a professional I had known that sometimes, in dire situations, chap stick can be used as a substitute. Since I was an idiot I had accidentally picked up the cherry flavored, glitter chap stick earlier that day instead of the usual classic.

I was, in fact, not infected with an STD, but had gotten a reaction from the Cherry flavoring which was then amplified by the irritation of the glitter. Glitter is not meant to be up a vagina.

After that week my unicorn vanished, only to be seen in glimpses before dashing in the opposite direction of me. Texts and calls went unanswered after I tried explaining the glitter situation and although I held onto hope, I knew my unicorn had slipped out of my grasp. I had f*cked everything up and he was gone.

I often reminisce on that night and wonder, how the hell I found the unicorn? I wonder how I found that tent? Of the hundreds of other tents, not even knowing where mine was, and only hearing about an alleged unicorn sighting, HOW THE HELL did I make it to exactly where I wanted to go?

I replay the events in my head and try to pinpoint the exact moment of my downfall, or what was my demise… So that next time when I capture my unicorn, I can take him to hell with me.

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Adriana Welby

Trying to write like I dream, but with more structure.

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