A Match: To Fit or To Fire


The worst revenge I could think of on the fly is letting Abe attend his cousin’s wedding, listen to the stories, and the toasts and the vows, all the while knowing his ex-girlfriend of 2 days was having sex with someone else at that same time.

I hope it was excruciating, that is to assume he cared, which at this point I really don’t know. I don’t know that person I left in the parking lot with a cigarette and nothing to say.

The other thing I did for myself before leaving town, was purchase a Guns N’ Roses concert ticket. Three small venue performances were announced the week before, and when the pre-sale tickets link surfaced on my Facebook one day before they officially went on sale, I bought myself one.

That felt good. That was something to look forward to.

***

After leaving Abe that night, that last night, I arrived in San Diego after midnight, coughing from a few cigarettes. I entered the apartment, and poured myself a glass of wine, showered and then poured myself another glass of wine.

I couldn’t lie down. I couldn’t do anything.

Alan awoke and wandered into the living room.

Alan, “Hey.”

Me, “Hi, I didn’t want to wake you when you had court early in the morning.”

Alan, “I don’t have court this week. What’s that smell?”

Me, “What does it smell like?”

Alan, “Opium. Or . . . crystal meth.”

Me, “Pert Plus . . . Pert Plus and cigarettes?”

Alan, “That’s it! Sweet smoke.”

The day and a half I spent there, I was moody. I knew I would be, but I couldn’t talk about it with Alan, or anyone.

I happily avoided my phone and email, only to check in with my parents, who were concerned.

So, through the many bags of marijuana smoke and bouts of rigorous sex, I let it sink in that Abe was gone forever. Worse of all, it was something he volunteered, facilitated and, apparently wanted.

Alan saw I was distant and would say things like, “Wow, you are really off in La La land.”

I would force a smile and talk about what I should do at the end of next month, move in with my parents, stay with Frank who I have a terrible history with but would tolerate my dogs, or . . . or . . . stay in Sylmar yet another month.

After some brief discussion, he mumbled something like, “I can’t counsel people anymore.”

I know its frustrating.

When I tell people I have to move home, they think of some 2 bedroom house in a regular size town, with jobs and people. That’s simply the reality.

My parents live in a very small house 60 miles from the nearest metropolitan town. The town is so small, they share a fire station with the city next door.

With gas prices up, I would have to commute for a shitty wage job and watch my savings diminish under car and credit card payments, while coming home to a very loud television set, my father, slowly going deaf, and my mother, nagging me about what to do next.

We will fight over the internet connection. They will get annoyed with my high energy and late nights up, as they always do. Even if I am just watching television or on the internet, they pace and get agitated even knowing I am out of bed. And, I always have the heat on- which drives them crazy.

I will have nowhere to go. I will run out of money. And it will be even harder to move back to Los Angeles, where I have carved my identity and this life, which I rather enjoy if I can just sustain it.

Alan said, “Well, they have a bar . . . you can get a job at the bar and talk to rich men.”

I said, “Rich men? The only people there are pedophiles and meth addicts.”

Alan said, to quickly recover, “Right, rich for that area. Missing teeth and trailer parks.”

Alan wants to help. Everyone wants to help. Only I know whats best for me. What my next step will be. I am scared but part of me will have to surrender to where the universe wants me to be. If I can’t find a sustainable situation in Los Angeles within the next 6 weeks, I have to go.

The fact that both my exes are encouraging me to leave is doubly annoying. Do they know I won’t be coming back? Or do they think I will be in safe keeping, living with my parents in a sparsely decorated room with a flower print bedspread? I can promise you I won’t be dating. That part I am not exactly thrilled about since I am still driving happily through my sexual peak.

***

Saturday night, I left to meet that OKCupid date who I kept on reserve based on a good feeling. We met for Roller Derby, which went really well. Again, I was still in shell shock over Abe, but I wanted to keep as occupied as possible during the two days I took off for the wedding.

Thinking about the wedding really made me want to tear my hair out. So I didn’t let it cross my mind, except when a cheesy song from high school, Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” came on the car radio. For a brief moment, I let it sink in. Then I put on my make-up and found a good mood. Abe couldn’t take any more of my time.

It took me four months to get over him last year, this time, I needed to bounce back immediately.

I could have stayed another night with Alan, but part of the revelation from this latest, bloody broken heart is my exes will do they same thing over and over to me.

Perhaps that makes me sound like too much of a victim. My ex and I will repeat the same event over and over, until the resentment rubs out enough of a spark to set the whole thing on fire.

Isn’t it interesting the word, “match”?

One definition: “a slender piece of wood, cardboard, or other flammable material tipped with a chemical substance that produces fire when rubbed on a rough or chemically prepared surface.”

Fire born out of friction.

Another definition: “to be the match or counterpart of; harmonize with”

Is that some kind of joke? One word that means two contradictory things. Or is it the secret, when you fit together, it becomes easy to self-destruct.

To go back on these two relationships:

-Abe will set me up to believe I am the one, and pull the rug out from under me just before the next family event.

-And Alan will abandon me, again. I know he will resent me for saying that, and though he may not have any intention of repeating that mistake, I think he will falter under stress.

I left San Diego.

In the air, I felt his disappointment. He thought he wasn’t keeping me entertained. I just needed to keep moving.

So, yes, I left.

I started again.

It just so happened this one OkCupid date is turning out to be a very nice, normal guy with a sharp sense of humor. As soon as blood starts running to my heart, my head and my vulva again, there might be something worth exploring.

***

Sunday, I was back to work with all the Doggie Daycare dysfunctionals I am not particularly close to. Including Dora, who endlessly offered advice. And, I am sorry, being 12 years older than her makes it very difficult to stomach a young perspective on how to be happy.

“You should go back to school.”

Me, “I am. I applied.”

Dora, “Even just a community college. You need to be around new people.”

Me, “I am around new people all the time, on set.”

Dora, “Well, other people.”

On this particular night, on my dinner break, I checked my OKCupid and saw that Abe’s profile was recommended for me. I hadn’t yet seen the profile he created:

My Self Summary
I am a multiperplextizising imaginary superconductive singularity with identifiable elements of spirit correlating to reality, bound to this geodesic by duality and the causation of crystaline tangibility.

Watch out!!!! Staffbot Says I didn’t graduate the DARE program—and Im not adventerous??? uh. ok—-Less Energetic???

HAHAHAHAHA!! ooooooohhhhh!! that’s funny!

What I’m doing with my life
Im following my destiny. Laugh if you must…

I’m really good at
Helping people without hesitation. Operating equipement. Working with video. Being calm. Sleeping in. Finishing peoples plates. Organising piles of piles into sense. Making music. Driving my car amongst the mayhem. Shinning light on the darkness.

The first things people usually notice about me
I don’t draw much attention to myself in public. Ive been told that my eyes glow. I have pointy elf like ears.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I really like Mel Brooks films. I really like food and understanding the ingredients. Music: anything with an awesome drum part or a groove that Im feeling inside, not so much country though I can apprieciate the art and listen to some tunes.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I really like Mel Brooks films. I really like food and understanding the ingredients. Music: anything with an awesome drum part or a groove that Im feeling inside, not so much country though I can apprieciate the art and listen to some tunes.

The six things I could never do without

Oooo thats tough. uh. I have to say 1). Family for sure 2.) my car, 3). vitamin C 4.) My Penis, 5). sunglasses, and….

I spend a lot of time thinking about
The Unknown. Mysteries. Love. I even spend time thinking about time, commencement, correspondence, and of course personals, practicals, and often things that are technically unconventional. Im always formulating what I want to be $$ ideas and possible stories and or series ideas for Videos.

On a typical Friday night I am
Honestly I see my family on Friday nights. Then I fly away to wherever the night takes me.

The most private thing I’m willing to admit
Ill think about that

I’m looking for

Girls who like guys
Ages 21–32
Near me
For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating, activity partners

OK, its that last part that kills me.

Looking for GIRLS 21-32 . . . younger than me.

Looking for “long-term dating, short-term dating” . . . why doesn’t it just say, “Not you.”

Reading this again, even now when I am in a good mood and high off Guns N Roses, it still drains my lungs of air, my heart stops for a second and my eyes burn like there is a foul smell rising under me.

He said he couldn’t be a boyfriend, he needed time to develop, but he could be a friend. He just couldn’t be MY boyfriend. Oh yeah, and the profile was created March 1st, the day before he expressed any doubt over our relationship.

Fuck

Him

Never before have I felt so useless, so small and totally discarded.

I broke down in my car and cried outside of work.

Then I returned to work, and cried more.

Most people just went about their business, no one really sees me except for the manager and the two other kennel attendants. I am hidden from customers and surrounded by dogs.

Dora, of course, chimed in with, “Well, he has never experienced any of those before.”

Um, last time I checked, I was a fucking long term relationship . . . but I can’t snap at Dora. I have tried. I fantasize about it actually, but I always check my temper with her, and quietly respond with something neutral and understanding, acknowledging her perspective, even though its naive and at times, fucking stupid.

She just means to help. I would rather pull my toenail off and stick my foot in a chlorinated pool than listen to her advice on the heels of a heart wrenching break-up.

She did say, “Poor Abe, he will never find anyone on OkCupid.”

When I got home, I emailed him from my profile, “You make me physically ill. Congratulations.”

Then I checked on the boy I went out with Saturday night . . . he was on-line.

What a God damn mind fuck.

I disabled my account. I don’t need to know when Abe logged in last, which was 2am that day, or whether or not my new suitor was still shopping around, when we have just started seeing each other. I really don’t need to know, and I resent this powerful little box for making it so easy for me to find out.

Ignorance is sometimes the only way to keep the mind at peace. I don’t want to read other people’s thoughts all the time. So, I turned it off.

***

My week presented me with people I don’t usually talk to. New people I could confide in and borrow ideas from.

For instance, the receptionist at work, who found out her fiance was cheating on her after she bought her wedding dress.

She came in to the break room at Doggie Daycare with Chinese food, took one look at my face and said, “How are you doing?”

I said, “I got back together with my ex, he invited me to his cousin’s wedding, bought me a $100 dress and then broke up with me two days before the wedding.”

She said, “Men are such . . . pigs. I am so sorry that happened to you.”

I said, “I thought of you actually. How you dealt with it. How can you ever believe a promise from a man again?”

She slowly shook her head, “I hope you get over it soon, because I haven’t. I haven’t been able to have a relationship since. And its been 2 years. I have had sex, but I haven’t been able to have a relationship. Its hard. I caught my ex cheating on me once before. He was having a full on relationship for 6 months before, and I forgave him. Then we got engaged and it happened again. I think people just think they have to make it work, even when its not right. Something in us says we can’t throw away all the time we invested in this person.”

I asked, “Men and women, or just women?”

She thought for a second, turned her head like numbers were blowing against the side and said, “I can only think of women.”

I said, “Women are designed to keep the family unit together, that’s why.”

She said, “Well, its just better to end it than drag it out, because it will happen again.”

I said, “It makes me feel better to see another strong, intelligent woman make the same mistake  . . . or similar . . . as I did.”

She said, “I know lots of women that make that mistake.”

I said, “I can never go back. Has he called you since?”

She said, “Oh no (laughing) He knows better. But I blocked his number and email anyway, just in case.”

I said, “How do you do that?”

She said, casually, “You have to download an app. (pause as she mixed her food in with the sauce) I am so sorry that happened to you.”

Her voice was steady, but both her eyes were glazed with salt water. Two years later, and the pain was still fresh for her.

So I downloaded the app. I blocked his number from calling and text messaging. I blocked him from GChat. I left his email open, I guess just because I am waiting for something. I don’t know what exactly, but some kind of acknowledgment that he is making a monumental mistake.

***

Thursday, I had an audition for a commercial in Hollywood. Afterward, I decided to stop by the Powerhouse for a drink. It was the afternoon, and I was off. A drink sounded good to me, in a strange bar, on a week day, in a room of transients.

I found a stool by a single, small painting of Jim Morrison behind the bar, then ordered a beer and a shot of tequila. On my left, was an older gentleman with no teeth, white and pruning. A black man was to my right, and around the bend of the bar. A short Hispanic, tossed to the point where he couldn’t really hold his head up, was coming in and out of the bar, sitting on the stool right next to me.

There were a couple girls further down the bar who tried to crash the Conan O’Brien show without success and two or three older guys at the far end of the room.

The bartender was a short, nice Italian kid. Attractive, friendly, easy to talk to.

The black guy asked what my story was. I told him, even though I was really telling everyone since I was clearly out of place, that my boyfriend recently broke up with me over my dogs after finding the perfect home for us.

The Black Guy, “When I first moved here, I didn’t have a job. I was just drifting. I lived with my girlfriend at the time. I was young. I didn’t know where else to go. She brought home this Alaskan husky. Now, this apartment had a yard, it was only like from this wall to this wall, real small. Not enough for a dog. And she got this dog to train me. To domesticate me to have a baby.”

Me, “Are you sure she just didn’t like dogs?”

Black Guy, “Ha. No. There is other evidence that confirms without a doubt.”

Me, “Ok, I believe you.”

Black Guy, “So she used to keep this dog in this yard. And she thought I hated that dog. Hated it. What she didn’t know, is that me and that dog had an understanding. We were like this (fingers twisted). As soon as she left, that dog would come into the apartment and hang with me. We had a great time, cuddling on the couch, watching movies, playing- everything. Then, as soon as she came back, and he would hear her driving up before I ever did, he knew the drill. He went back outside into the yard.

He knew, when she was around, he didn’t matter. It was about her. But as soon as she was gone, everything changed.

She is the mother of my child, and to this day, she has no idea.”

I asked, “What happened to the dog?”

He threw his hand in the air, “She gave it to some guy who had a big yard, whatever. She didn’t give a shit about that dog. She just wanted to train me to have a baby. She is a manipulative, cruel . . .”

I said, “You must have loved her if you had a baby with her.”

He nodded quickly, “Yeah, I did. Once. Not no more, that’s for sure.”

The short Hispanic got close, he kept flinging his hand up to quiet the large black man and then
poke his finger in my face and on my arm.

He bought me a drink.

I refused.

He asked twice more.

I said, “I can only have one more beer, otherwise it will be too much for me.”

The two girls left the bar, waved goodbye, seemed friendly enough.

The Hispanic Man turned and said, “Yeah, get the fuck out of here, you fucking bitches!”

The Black Man said, “Whoa, they were nice girls. You don’t have to talk to them like that.”

The Hispanic Man stuttered, “Fucking . . . bitches.”

I sipped my beer, and whispered down my pint, “Yikes. I see a glimpse of my immediate future.”

The Bartender said, “I got to cut you off man, you are doing that thing again.”

Hispanic Man slurred, “What thing?”

The Bartender said, “That thing, now come on.”

The Hispanic Man turned close to my face, “You are pretty.”

Me, flatly but not impolite, “Thank you.”

The Hispanic Man, “I bought you a beer.”

Me, again, stoic, “Yes, thank you.”

The Hispanic Man, “Don’t do that.”

Me, “Do what, thank you?”

The Hispanic Man, “That- I want to hit you and make fun of you at the same time.”

Me, “I have that effect on lots of men.”

At this point, he covered my mouth and plugged my nose. I looked to the bartender, who quickly came over and ordered him to remove his hands off of me.

The Hispanic Man, “I ain’t doing nothing.”

Bartender, Just keep your hands off of her, that’s all.”

The Hispanic Man, “Fuck.”

The Bartender apologized.

Me, “Its fine, I drop into a dive in the middle of the day, being suffocated was the least I expected.”

The Hispanic Man kept egging me on, “Come on. I bought you a beer.”

I said, “Would you rather I be coy?”

The Hispanic Man slurred a “Yesss”

So I faked a giggle.

A long one.

Me, “HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE”

Silence.

Me, “That was me being coy.”

The Black Man roared in laughter and held his beer to the air.

Then the Black Man pointed at the Hispanic Man’s back pack and said, “How far that jet pack carry you? To the valley?”

The Hispanic Man, “Man, you sit next to a black man who knows your dick is as big or bigger, he got to talk to you about far distances.”

The Black Man, “Hey man, I was just talking about a jet pack.”

The Hispanic Man stumbled off his stool, “Fuckkk this shiiit, man.”

Someone was playing good music on the juke box.

Neil Young came on.

“I want to live,
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.”

The booze was getting to me. I was tearing up, and the men around me, with the dirt under their worn finger nails, and their matching Los Angeles sunburns, the kind from working construction not sitting in tanning beds, they noticed.

I tried to play it off, “Good taste in music.”

Neil Young kept serenading me, as if to prod me for acknowledgment.

“I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
For a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind,
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.”

With tears in my eyes, I excused myself. They all look concerned and asked me to come back some time.

I said I would.

I sat in my car, smoked a cigarette and made my one drunk phone call to Abe.

Me, “I just wanted to tell you … I fucking hate you . . . and . . . you’re a fucking piece of shit.”

I hung up.

You know what? I don’t regret it.

***

The next day, I visited Trent and Kent. I was hoping Trent would still want to move in with me, but he was not eager via text to discuss it and even suggested that moving home might be a good option.

I trudged through some drunk texts and then knew I just had to sleep it off and see him the next day.

I did.

When I showed up, Trent opened up the gate to the apartment building where Kent now lived and said, “So what’s the plan? What are we doing?”

God, he is a breath of fresh air. I love his face. I love his voice. I just love him.

I leaned in to get a good whiff of the wine he was perspiring and then said, “THAT! That’s what we are doing.”

So the three of us sipped wine, and I listened as they recounted their anniversary at Disneyland and the gifts they exchanged for Valentine’s Day.

Kent, “See, he got me this candy. It says, ‘Bow Down.”

Trent, “You stoner, it says, Down Boy.”

Kent erupted in laughter. He laughs from his stomach, so hard it rumbles the walls. I always feel like I won something great when I make Kent laugh.

Our visit was brief.

Kent, “I want him to be Cher. He would make such a good Diva.”

Trent, “I don’t want to be a Diva. I won’t cross dress unless its for Halloween or something. Like, Billie Holiday.”

Me, “You could be Billie Holiday and I could be Ella Fitzgerald. I will wear black face.”

Trent, “And I will have white around my lips.”

Me, “And I will have one leg! Do you think any one will get it?”

Trent laughed with that boyish squeak.

Kent, “No, seriously, let me dress you up as a Diva.”

I realized, this is what true love looks like. These two.

Not Abe.

Why am I such a fool?

Trent, Kent and I agreed to take off a weekend for their birthdays and go to Joshua Tree with a bag of hallucinogenics. But in the meantime, I had my third date with the boy, rather, the . . . young man. And then . . . Guns N Roses.

My week of mourning was about to end.

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