Cream Puffs
Diane Payne

I was nineteen and in Jackson Hole, far from home and my original travel plans of biking down Highway 101. I didn’t even have my bike. I was hoping it was at the Seattle bus station, safely stashed somewhere. I jumped off the bus, put my bike panniers on my head, and hitched into Yellowstone when I saw the mountains in Montana. This was the first time I ever saw a mountain, and you can’t just stay seated on a bus when something big like this happens in life.

One of the things on my list to learn over the summer was to read a map.
The other was to have sex.

I set up camp with a couple of German guys and a local dude from Jackson Hole, and after a few days had passed, we went to the local dude’s house, and he ushered me into his bedroom, and we had sex, which made one of the Germans a bit sad, so they left the next day, and I was sorry to see them go. Sex didn’t turn out like I had hoped. The dude said fucking me was like screwing an ironing board. A friend, a lesbian friend, who may not have known better, but I think she knew exactly what she was offering, had given me a box of Encare. “I don’t want you getting pregnant,” she said, handing me the box as I boarded the bus for this trip. I slipped that little missile inside me before having sex, and my vagina burned like hell, and I knew people got hot and shit making love, but this was a different kind of burn. My pussy was on fire. Next the dude screamed, “Damn, I swore I’d never break in another virgin!” Then he ran off to the bathroom and yelled, “My dick’s on fire!”

I had nothing to say. Sometimes it’s best to keep things private. My pussy was on fire but I wasn’t going to whine about that.

The next day, the dude took off to work and I met his roommate, an older fellow who owned the house, and he told me to make myself feel at home, and I wondered if he’d heard us last night and was being overly kind, or if he was just curious about hearing us again.

Either way, I had the house to myself. After walking around town a bit, I returned to the house and noticed the chickens in the backyard. At nineteen, I didn’t consider myself much of a cook, yet, for some reason, seeing the eggs made me remember making cream puffs on special occasions with my mom, and I guess losing my virginity was something of an occasion, so I whipped up some butter, sugar, flour, eggs (perhaps an extra egg or two since they were there), added some water, then walked to the store to buy some heavy cream and came home to add some nutmeg, cinnamon, a bit more sugar and vanilla, and damn, the kitchen smelled so good, and I felt like I had done something not only incredible, but downright decent, since I was a guest and all, and I didn’t want to come across as a freeloader, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have sex with the dude one more time because I was expecting much better than what had happened last night, something more tasty like these cream puffs.

The dude came home and said, “Shit, you shouldn’t have used up all his eggs.” Then he stomped upstairs with his whiny dick, and I thought, The hell with you. I’ll eat one more cream puff.

When the landlord came home, he opened the door and said something about the house smelling so good, and when he saw those cream puffs, he actually asked if he could have one, then said, “Damn, that’s the best cream puff I’ve ever eaten.”


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