Me: He said that you had a Coke and hamburger, then went to his parents’ house when they were away.
Madonna: That’s not true. (smiles) There was no way I would have eaten a hamburger, because I was a vegetarian at this time. But we did do it during the lunch hour at school.
Me: He says you said “Oh honey.”
Madonna: That’s very funny. I don’t think I’ve ever said “Oh honey,” but who knows?
Me: What do you remember about it?
Madonna: That it was very painful.
Madonna: (angrily) Because I was a virgin! Hello! Have you talked to any other women about this?
Me: Of course I have.
Madonna: (ignoring my answer) Hello! It hurt like anything.
Me: Was your virginity something you wanted to get rid of?
Madonna: Definitely. Because. It’s just like a burden. I think all girls feel that way.
Me: How did you feel afterward?
Madonna: Like I had just gotten off a horse. And I had to go back to French class, and I thought, “I’m going to be in so much trouble, and when I get home my father’s going to know that I’ve had intercourse, he’s just going to see it in my eyes, or in the way I’m walking, or something.” And I was just living in fear.
Me: But he didn’t know?
Madonna: Of course not. It was just another uneventful day.
Me: Did you feel different?
Madonna: Like I’d accomplished something. Faced the unknown. Other than that, not really. When you’re young you don’t really know what you’re doing. It wasn’t terribly enjoyable.
Me: And now he has a mustache.
Madonna: (dryly) Does he? It sounds like you know more about him than I do. He was very sweet to me, so don’t say anything bad about my Russell. He wrote me a love letter every day at school. And to this day my heart belongs to a man who can write beautiful letters.
Another awkward conversation. I ask her what she wishes people didn’t know about her. She bristles. Everything she has let us know, she says, she has wanted us to know, and everything else we think we know we don’t really know anyway.
Yes, I say, but when people see medical records about an abortion you’ve had? isn’t that too personal?
“Well, it is personal, but if it’s so important that the public knows?” She shrugs. “It’s common to have abortions. Many people have them and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I can’t allow myself to be destroyed by it.”
I’m not saying you should be ashamed; you should be angry.
“It’s too much wasted energy to be upset about it.” She talks a little about abortion ? “It just wasn’t the right time in my life, that’s all.” and about wanting children. “It’s going to happen,” she says. “I’m not worried. Are you?”