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Acid, Ecstasy and Disneyland

Ask me the first time I let Michael into my heart?

I can tell you the steps, the baby steps, he made across the line into that first pumping valve. The first memory is taking him to see The Hollywood Stones in winter of 2012. The Hollywood Stones, once called Sticky Fingers, is the Rolling Stones cover band who first introduced me to the music back in 2001 in Pomona. I liked it. When I saw them last year on the Queen Mary, I had familiarized myself with the albums “Sticky Fingers” and “Let It Bleed” just because they ushered me through the door. I schedule my entire month around seeing them. As I once said to their saxophone player outside an Orange County steakhouse, “Hearing ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ live is just a gift.”

Dancing to the Stones

Once, the mentor, who broke my heart and leveled my self-esteem with her post-semester evaluation, invited me to her house for a reading in her Topanga home. It was the perfect opportunity to touch base with her again and give some credibility to my commitment as a writer. When I saw that The Hollywood Stones were playing the same night, I looked over at Michael. “Should I pretend to struggle over this decision?” I scratched out my old mentor’s event and wrote HOLLYWOOD STONES on my wall calendar. When I dance, when I dance to the music, it becomes my religion. That is when I feel the most alive.

The first night I took Michael to see them I knew that it would be a good indicator of where we would end up. Abe, my ex, would quickly run and hide during my dances. Was it out of fear or embarrassment? I never really figured it out.

Michael was ordering us drinks when the Stones hit their first song on stage. I was walking out of the bathroom and I felt the eyes of the band on me. It was a small venue. I am always the first to dance during the first song. And I am always alone.

I looked over to the bar and waved in Michael’s direction then started dancing. Michael creeped on the dance floor in my winter’s jacket. He was wearing it so I wouldn’t have to lug it around. I stopped to smile at him, as he sauntered on the floor towards me, sliding each sleeve up his forearm. I looked at the lead singer, Dick Swagger, and I watched him smile.

That was one of my favorite moments.

Another was on New Year’s Eve in a gay bar called Akbar. It was free and a last ditch effort during a busy dog walking season. Michael, Trent (my gay boyfriend) and myself all walked in knowing the DJs were usually hit and miss. This night it was Elton John, The Animals, The Monkees, The Black Keys, Jet and even Nancy Sinatra. We had a bag of cocaine on us and Michael was regularly excusing himself to the bathroom to take a few bumps.

“Does he know to take it easy on that stuff?” Trent asked.

“I don’t think he has had that heart stopping, ‘I am dying’, moment yet,” I said.

He never did. When Whitney Houston came on, Michael knew he couldn’t leave the dance floor, so he cleared the stage in front of the DJ and set up lines for himself in front of everyone. I admire that fearlessness. I worry, but I still admire.

la bound

Another favorite moment of us, in this rather young relationship, is coming home from the AWP conference in Boston. It is a conference for writers and publishers. He picked me up from the airport. At the baggage claim, I watched him looking for me. As soon as he saw me, he grabbed my arm with such force it almost hurt. He yanked me in for a hard kiss. A real kiss. The kind you see on TV and convince yourself don’t really exist. I kissed him back, forgetting the department head and president of my school were there waiting for their baggage too. When I opened my eyes, his arm swung up in my face … with flowers.

There was the negative as well. Michael doesn’t understand why I maintain contact with my ex-boyfriends, ex-lovers. I told him, “I don’t know how you can be intimate with someone and not stay in touch. How can you stop caring?”

In fact, Michael was no longer in contact with the girl he was going to move back to Milwaukee for before we started seeing each other. I knew she was upset at him from various angry, bleeping text messages around the holidays. That always bugged me.

‘She blocked me, ok?” he defended.

Other things, as it did with other cohabitating partners, bothered me; eating cereal next to my head as he stood over me to read while I was writing, this tick of pulling and sniffing on his nostrils, and gagging himself with a toothbrush while brushing. The clanking of his spoon against the bowl. (That isn’t specific to him, my roommate Frank is creating the same jarring sound from the living room as I write this) His rearrangement of my garments in the dresser. Little things bothered me, but they never really contended with his undying love and devotion. Whenever you consolidate your life with someone else’s life, there is friction.

It is difficult talking about how I love people. Last year, I was really hurt with many people. My  roommate hung himself and died. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me a few days before agreeing to move in with me and take me to his cousin’s wedding. My parents kicked me out with no money or shelter. All that happens to a broke girl is a kick into survival mode. You still have affection for people, but you don’t invite them into your soul anymore. It is a liability. And, at that point, it would be just plain stupid.

Michael’s mother gave us a timeshare for a Disneyland tower. I stocked up on my favorite drugs; MDMA, acid and Ecstasy. Acid, for some reason, is in low supply in Los Angeles. Luckily, my roommate Frank had two cubes of sugar he was saving in a friend’s freezer.

We arrived. I was in a pink sock hat, heart pajama bottoms and a Doors shirt with a Hunter S. Thompson biography and a stack of oreo cookies under my arm. I expected the Disney staff to either be over-serving in typical Corporate-Magic fashion or ignore us. Instead, the staff seemed to know exactly why we were there.

HST Flip Off

“That’s a great book,” the Bell Hop said.

“I know. It is blowing me away,” I said.

“They only use the words of people that knew Hunter S. Thompson. It is one of my favorites.”

What a pleasant surprise. They were kind, assuming a lower but friendly tone with us as we were escorted to our hotel room. We got in and watched the afternoon burn off. When we woke up in the middle of the night after beer, Taco Bell and a nap I wanted to take the acid. Michael was reluctant, wanting to wait until we were in the park. The drugs would hit me long and hard. My friends know that drugs hit me in “a weird way.” I don’t know if it is my brain chemistry or what exactly, but I get a bang for my buck no matter what. That is why I always dose low and slow. Even things like cough syrup and tylenol were given to me in minimal and controlled doses as a child.

I dosed and Michael followed soon after. One of my favorite things to do is watch old Looney Tunes episodes on psychedelics. We had the pleasure of an old Sylvester the cat episode. When acid kicks in, you know. The colors start getting strong. So strong they almost leap out of your television set. You laugh so hard you start uncontrollably cackling until tears cool down your face. All of this happened in the course of one hour, but not with Michael.

Sylvester is after the mouse, but somehow the mouse was able to substitute himself for a kangaroo.  Of course, the house bull dog has no sympathy for Sylvester. Scared over a mouse? Get in there and do your job! Sylvester gets the shit kicked out of him, and when the bull dog sees the kangaroo, he grabs Sylvester by the scruff and drops them both on the back of the truck. “When you start seeing a 5-foot mouse, then its time to jump on the water wagon.” Both Sylvester and the dog look defeated as they are carted away.

This was hysterical, and I couldn’t stop laughing. How things happened and in what order I am not sure. I accidentally hit a switch on the wall, and our bed boards lit up with electronic fireworks and a lit Disney castle to the hard, strained chords of a music box orchestra. We were both astonished.

I had to leave for a cigarette and be by myself. I know Michael wasn’t feeling it and was quite disappointed. So I walked outside and smoked next to a few potted trees in a huge,empty, concrete parking lot. It was 4am so no one was there but the night crew.

I looked at a bush next to the ashtray. “You just want to be free to grow, huh? I understand.” Everything seemed so controlled and fake. Sectioned and tarred. I smoked two cigarettes and watched the night time sprinklers go on. I watched the leaves dance for water and touched their pointing tips to feel some life in this endless parking lot. “I am sorry,” I whispered.

I walked back into the hotel and got in the elevator with a Hispanic man from the cleaning crew. My pupils were the size of dimes. “These graveyard shifts will shorten your lifespan, man,” I said. He giggled.

The elevator doors opened to Michael, waving his arms. He was worried about me. After huffing and puffing, he took off down the hallway to our room. “Have a good night,” the night man smiled.

We got back in the room and I laughed off his tantrum. I was only gone for 20 minutes, the acid was expanding his time. “I was really worried about you. Like, where were you, man?” He was adopting my dated vocabulary.

“I was outside. Those plants don’t like it out there.”

He calmed down after 10 or 15 minutes of panting and complaining. We hugged and kissed. When he had to poop, I dragged the chair into the bathroom and sat outside the toilet door because I didn’t want to be alone. It wasn’t just that. Something is vulnerable about a man on the shitter. He kept the door closed but we giggled so hard, I toppled over on the chair as it rocked clumsily between bathroom tiles on the floor.

Suddenly famished, we ordered room service (something we couldn’t afford) and the cart never made it as far as the beds before we fed off the table in the hallway. It was a great first night. He enjoyed a California omelet. I inhaled fresh fruit and oatmeal. “I can understand now how someone like Lindsay Lohan can blow all her money in a hotel.” When we were done, the sun was rising and we decided it was no better time to unleash ourselves into the park. We were allotted early entrance as Disney residents.

It was a special day, we walked into baby ducks marching towards us with trust and confidence. “Is this real?” Michael asked.

I always hit Storybookland first. Mr. Toad and his Wild Ride. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Pinocchio. And Peter Pan. Jesus, those rides are like flipping through old library pages in the early 80s. In the 2010s, themes of crystals and the occult are evident. On acid, it is a lift to the curtain. Instead of the characters coming alive, I was more aware of the squeaky wheels under the ride. The flimsy cardboard as each sun-bleached character clumsily stumbled towards us before spinning away. The paint on the wall was of someone with talent but not allowed artistry. On acid, in Disneyland, you would like to believe everything comes alive. It doesn’t. Everything is revealed as it truly is: a farce.It was easier to surrender my imagination sober. Under the influence of psychedelics, all I could see was man instead of imagination.

It wasn’t as if this ruined my time however. We bought cotton candy.

“My parents never let me have cotton candy,” I said, feeling pink sugar dissolve on my tongue and teeth. “This is the best thing man ever invented.”

“Whenever you tell me about your childhood, I just feel sad,” Michael said.

Disneyland (2) Disneyland (1)

My mother worked at a dentistry school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was never allowed to eat a cookie without a glass of milk. To this day, the association of sugar without a cleaning entity leaves me feeling dirty. Cotton candy, sugar cereal and cookies were among the many offenders of bad teeth.

We rode the Merry-Go-Round. We happened across a horse drawn cart. I saw the horse and felt an immediate kinship. “I want to touch that horse.”

“I don’t think you can, baby,” Michael said, holding on to my wrist as if holding down a helium balloon.

“I think it wants me to pet it.”

The horse driver slowly stepped towards us, smiling but cautious. “I don’t think you can, baby.”

I sighed. “I love you,” I called to the horse. It bucked it’s head and vanilla mane towards me like it understood. I stomped away on the cobblestone path to Buffalo Bill’s Wild, Wild West. The Petting Zoo was closed.

Disneyland (4)Disneyland (3) Disneyland (5)

We hit the Pirates of the Caribbean and I watched as the pirate chasing women was now changed to pirates chasing each other while holding a stolen treasure. The “Buy A Wife” still remains, with one woman in a brazen, red dress eager for purchase. A child cried. “It’s ok,” I said, “It just called sex slavery.”

The lecherous pirate chasing a teenage girl (hiding in a barrel) chanting “”It’s sore I be to hoist me colors upon the likes of that shy little wench” was changed to “I be looking for a fine pork loin, I be” and (now) a cat peeking its head out of the barrel.

We hit the Haunted Mansion, which was the one time I was not able to carry myself. It was completely dark and the pathway started moving. I asked Michael to hold on to me so I wouldn’t fall. “Are you freaking out?” he asked.

“No, I am just disoriented. Hold on to me, please.”

Afterward, Michael had to smoke, so all the smokers huddled in a corner by Autotopia to suck on cancer sticks. I wasn’t interested. “Are you not feeling it?” I said.

“No. But I have already come to peace with the fact that I can just enjoy you feeling it,” Michael said.

“Well, let’s take the Ecstasy.”

“Now?” he asked.

I gave him his pill 20 minutes before giving in on mine. I was still on the tail coats of acid but there was no denying it was a weak dose. The ecstasy hit him on The Matterhorn. I was sitting behind him in a bumpy bobsled.  A white, hairy creature would sometimes coast out on rickety rails and clinking wheels with his hands raised in claws and his eyes burning red. As we whipped around snow-capped mountains, I watched Michael raise both hands as they gracefully lowered to either side of him, middle fingertip pressed to thumb in some kind of meditation pose. I will never forget that. I knew the ecstasy hit him as soon as he reached zen on the Matterhorn. I chuckled even though he couldn’t hear me on the rattling ride as we swept through, under and over mountains modeled poorly after the Swiss Alps.

When we got off, I turned to him and said, “So, what? Are the people of Switzerland terrorized by a large, white, snow bound monster?”

“I think it is modeled after the Abominable Snowman,” he said with lazy eyes.

We went to Indiana Jones, which is still one of the best rides at Disneyland. We still ducked when feeling the air from blow darts. The rock rolling towards us still felt believable in the second before the ride drops below it.

We took Mark Twain’s Riverboat to Tom Sawyer’s Island. We got over there and all we could do was sit in the sunshine and kiss. “Ewwww” a little girl screamed, pointing. We both turned to her and laughed. It was just a lovely afternoon. Ecstasy gives you a bigger lift than Molly (MDMA). You feel like you could fly with laughter, like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.

Back on the Mainland (Disneyland), there wasn’t much left to do. We made an appearance at Tomorrowland, though Space Mountain was more than I could admittedly deal with. Alice in Wonderland was a much needed stop. It’s a Small World. The Ecstasy had triggered strong maternal feelings and I was kissing the air within a few feet of stranger’s children. I am not sure I want children, but I can tell you they are amazing human beings.

They wore their pajamas. They ate their lollipops without inhibition, often leaving hard candy raindrops on their face and pants. They smiled when I smiled at them and cried only to their parents. All of them were carted in strollers, which was a bizarre sight. Children, all the way up to 10 years of age, were being carted around in rented strollers … not for fatigue but for speed and efficiency in the parents’ best interest. Stumbling on stroller parking was still one of the most bizarre sights I have seen. It seems we are rapidly approaching the life and times of Wall-E.

Stroller parking

Could children not walk anymore? Or could parents not be bothered with their short stride?

It was mid-afternoon when we took the tram back to our hotel room for lovemaking. Of course, the drugs had stripped me of all disguise and left me much like a little girl abandoned in a grocery store. I cried in the middle of lovemaking, walked to the other side of the suite and returned to Michael. This happened about four or five times in succession. Michael was patient.

“Work it out, baby,” he said, laying on the bed naked. His head pressed against the headboard with his thick, black hair brushed up and over his head like an Outsider from the 50s. His Italian eyes I once thought looked sad. Now, they looked heavy with seduction.

When I told my sister I was dating a full-blooded American-Italian she typed, “Yuck. Latin lovers are the worst.”

Those eyes brought me back, though. His arm was hung around the back of his head, stretching his biceps, almost forlornly watching. He didn’t try to wrangle me or cajole me back to the bed. He just watched me, feeling bad when I cried and satisfied when I returned. Recently, I watched “Scarface” and realized Michael had AL Pacino’s eyes. He knew I would be back and gave me the space to mourn my loss. When I wept, I don’t know what he thought I was thinking of or feeling. I can tell you the recurring memory was my parents kicking me out. If my parents can abandon me, anyone can. I had to cry it out, pathetically, naked, alone, next to the ice box and empty champagne bottle. I needed to work it out.

“Work it out, baby.”

al-pacino-20 al-pacino-20-1

To start my new family, I needed to mourn the old one. I cried and I came back to him.

We made love. We watched the Princess Story Time on the Resident Only Disney Channel. “Why is she using that voice? Doesn’t she know kids don’t like being condescended to? I can’t bear this.”

I took an MDMA pill. My serotonin was already depleted from the Ecstasy. However, I was launched into a world of floating pillows and white bed sheets like Jasmine the Agrabah princess. I couldn’t raise my physical senses any higher, but napped and levitated until the sun set.

a dreama dream 2

***

A lover of 5 years confessed to making out with his 1st cousin as a child and described walking into his father’s hospital room, while he was dying of lung cancer, then leaving immediately without saying a word. His father died before he could find the courage to speak.

Another lover of several months once described a moment where his birth mother accused him of being a “faggot” before abandoning him as an adolescent.

Love for a women is immediate. She opens her body to pregnancy and disease on the word of a man. She sacrifices her pulse and movement to a man, as he enters her. Men don’t experience this, though themselves are made of flesh, blood and bone. Words, you see, amount to nothing.

vag

It was much later in our relationship, in June, when I was having a nervous breakdown about residency, about love, life and rejection, that Michael invited me into the bathroom. “Do you want to watch me poop? Would that make you feel better?”

“Yeah,” I whimpered. It would. And it did.

I pulled a chair into our tiny bathroom and sat there holding his hand when I heard the first plop. I was crying all night and suddenly smiled. He could reveal as much of himself as I needed to … in order to love again.

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My Birthday Evil Queen Weekend Pt 2: Winning Sucks

Before leaving Abe’s, I asked him to perform reiki on me. I realize a lot of people may not know what reiki is or think its total bullshit.

As defined by one of the first three links on Google: Reiki is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person.

Hands move just above your skin and maneuver your energy. Hippy dippy? It works.

I love Abe’s reiki, but of course the first time he did it, he went down on me afterward. This time I couldn’t have sex with him.

Despite the fact that I was delaying my visit to Alan to be with Abe, I still felt it would be too low to sleep with Abe just before arriving in San Diego, knowing Alan would hit on me. I did think, having Abe’s scent on me might further encourage and frustrate Alan. I am manipulative to some degree, but not an asshole.

After reiki, you feel a natural high like you just had a few orgasms or maybe like that first pint of beer after hiking an entire day in the heat. Its something . . . something special. It feels like a warm river is moving just beneath your skin’s surface. And though a massage is relaxing, a reiki session leaves you feeling at peace in a way you might not be able to find any other way.

When he finished, he pecked me on the mouth.

The hangover headache I had mysteriously transferred over to Abe, and I made my leave to the other ex, while singing:

“All of my love,
All of my love,
All of my love, to you.”

I heard it on the radio on my way home and opened up to the words deliberately for the first time:

“Should I fall out of love, my fire in the light
To chase a feather in the wind
Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight
There moves a thread that has no end.

For many hours and days that pass ever soon
the tides have caused the flame to dim
At last the arm is straight, the hand to the loom
Is this to end or just begin?”

Abe told me later, that during our reiki session, I looked like I was 15 years old. Not only my face, he said, but also my body.

***

When I pulled up and parked in Little Italy, I got out and rolled my suitcase a block and a half to Alan’s apartment building. The ocean night air is cold, but that good cold that burns your cheeks and opens your nose to the night. Alan’s apartment building is a rose/peach kind of stucco. I felt good. Then I got a phone call from Abe. My hands were full so I didn’t pick up in time, but I did read the text message.

Abe: “R U revenging me?”

I felt my first ping of guilt.

I wrote: “I love you. I just had plans, that’s all. Don’t confuse yourself. I gave you my birthday because I love you.”

I walked in an Alan greeted me. The kiss hello was awkward, tight and brief. He read the moment. He took a step back and understood something about me then walked away.

He said, “I got your text to not try too hard on the dinner so I just threw together some rice and vegetables.”

I said, “Perfect.”

He put together a plate for me on a TV tray and we sat side by side on the couch in front of the television, just like the latchkey kids we were growing up. The vegetables tasted like they came from a can and the rice was a little undercooked, but the effort was noted. He was really trying.

After a volcano bag or two, I was spent and fell asleep almost immediately.

I woke up to him on top of me in the midst of a sexual act. With my foot still in dreams, I said, “Oh, I didn’t know thats what was happening.”

He said, “I am sorry, if I didn’t know you knew what was happening, I wouldn’t have done it.”

I woke up throughout the night to him pushing me, and then I would half-consciously apologize for hogging the bed. This sounds like it could be playful, but even in my dreams, I could sense that he was frustrated.

When the morning came, I needed coffee. Its all very matter of fact for me. I need coffee. It was raining over the Farmer’s Market and I took his dog Wilson and Brad on a walk to my car, to recover some necessary items I left behind.

By the time I got back, something was completely different about Alan’s attitude. He was cold and short with me. I kind of dismissed it since I was still on this curve of, “I really don’t give a fuck after you abandoned me last summer.”

I knew either a) he looked at my text messages to Ab. b) he saw my Gmail and a blog comment was posted to ” Blowjobs are for Boyfriends” c) I said Abe’s name in the night (I can talk in my sleep)

It was raining and the coffee didn’t help, so I fell back asleep in his bed. He napped on the couch. Yeah, something happened.

I woke up around 2:30pm and put my shoes on. I asked him if he could watch Brad while I go out for awhile.

He said, “What are your plans for today?” There was emphasis on the “are” like he didn’t like being kept in the dark.

I said, “I was going to head down to Ocean Beach, do some shopping and look around for a while.”

He said, “I imagine if its Dog Beach, they would let you bring Brad into the shops.”

I looked down at Brad, he was staring at me and wagging his tail.

I said, “Hm, I could always try to take him with me. I am going to Dog Beach so I should bring my dog. Ok, Brad, you win. I will take you.”

His tail wagged furiously as I gathered his leash and harness.

Alan said, “I do that too, talking to myself until Wilson wins.” He smiled and looked down. There was still some affection for me in there.

Brad and I went to Ocean Beach as the rain cleared. I grabbed another coffee and videotaped him running along the beach. The sun set and the darkness was coming over my little patch of heaven.

(I have to upgrade my account to upload the video- and that’s $100, so nevermind the video!)

I stopped by a shop and saw an Ocean Beach porcelain mug of just a woman’s bikini breasts. I thought it was perfect for Alan, so I bought it. Everything was 75% off anyway.

At the register, I saw stone hearts, about the size of my palm, maybe a little smaller. I picked a blue one up for Abe and a red one for me.

I said to the cashier, a middle-aged bald man, “I am courting two exes. The mug is for one and the stone for the other. Who do you think I like more?”

He quietly rang them up and then forced out a, “You gotta do what you gotta do.”

I said, “Its my birthday.”

He said, “Good luck with your decision.”

Was I making a decision? I thought it was obvious I can’t be with either . . . not obvious to the middle-aged bald man running a souvenir shop. Maybe he knew something I didn’t.

I warmed up the car and left Brad there as I went for an appointment to have a massage and wax at the Hidden Spa.

They asked me if I minded having a male do my massage. I said, “Not . . . at . . . all.”

Now, since I was making the entire weekend my birthday, I informed them it was my birthday and asked if I could take my dog into the massage with me. He just galloped around the beach and I was concerned he would catch a chill.

The receptionist said, “Well then, of course!”

The whole entitlement thing, the “Its my Birthday and I am a Princess,” attitude was getting me far with everything. Instead of anticipating “no”s from people, and making an effort to work around everyone else, I was going to unapologetically do my own thing. This sense that I could really do whatever I wanted to, was liberating. Maybe I could be a rich bitch after all.

So I brought in Brad, who growled at Bryan, my masseuse. I said, “We have issues with men, both of us.”

Brad saw Bryan, growled a little more and then I said, “Are we done?”

Brad wagged his tail and in we went to the masseuse room.

Bryan was tall, had some groovy soul patch and unkempt hair. He was a tall and young white boy.

I brought Brad in and kept his leash around the chair, undressed and waited for Bryan. When he came in, the massage was exquisite. Male masseuses have a firmer hand on you, and on the receiving end at least, you get a sense that they are carving your body out of stone.

His fingers circularly rubbed just below my lower back onto my buttock. He put his hands through my hair and almost pulled.

I asked, “Do they teach you all of this in school?”

He laughed and said, “Yeah. We practice on each other so we know what feels good.”

I wondered if a massage is always erotic to a man who typically has a female maseusse, there is simply no way a man can put his hands on my body, make me feel wonderful and it not be arousing.

He complimented my tattoo.

I wanted to be sexy and beautiful, but the truth is, after a good massage, my hair looks like it came from the bush, my minimal make-up is smeared and my eyes are struggling to open for the light. Perhaps that subtle scent of bo. Nothing flattering about it. But I tried.

I picked up some soymilk and headed back to Alan’s. I asked him if he was up for watching “Alice in Wonderland” and taking drugs with me, specifically x.

I wondered about taking it before a professional massage, but I never take drugs unless I am in complete control of my immediate environment, and/or have a plan.

He said, he was not in the spirit for it.

Now, I was hoping he would agree just so I could improve his mood and enjoy the rest of my evening. I didn’t want to spend my birthday sitting next to Mopey and eating Capt’n Crunch. But that’s exactly what happened.

I came in, hearty, with his gift,

I said, “I hope you don’t have one already . . .”

He opened it and said, “Nope, I don’t have boobs yet. Thank you . . . thank you for giving me a gift on your birthday.”

I smiled. I did want to make him happy.

He made it a point to not even let our elbows brush. He was withdrawn and quiet. He did, however, put on the “Big Lebowski”- (which was my 2nd choice for viewing to an “Affair to Remember” at Abe’s.

We spoke about war and civilization.

Alan, “No matter what we complain about, we do live in a privileged society.”

Me, “Oh, I wouldn’t argue that. I saw someone back their car up to a dumpster just so they wouldn’t have to walk to throw out their coffee cup. I think that qualifies as privileged.”

Alan, “There is a theory that where there is a functioning water system for the people, access to clean water for everyone, there is less civil war. Because the people need to feel that there is something worthy to protect.”

We talked about how lifestyle has changed so much that what most people experience it through a lens.

Alan, “The argument is a man used to experience something like (motioning to me) Disneyland through his own eyes and experiences. Now a man experiences Disneyland through the lens of the camcorder. It has completely altered our perception of life experience. We only see what is happening ahead of us through a camera, in a desperate attempt to capture that experience, as opposed to living the experience.”

I love Alan, sometimes.

Me, “I love Ocean Beach so much, there was a place, a two bedroom with a fenced yard for $1400 a block from dog beach.” I texted Abe about it earlier.

Alan, “But I won’t be here much longer.”

I tightened my mouth. He could see it didn’t matter where he was going to be.

I matched him, volcano bag to volcano bag and said, “I am trying to smoke as much as you so I can get some kind of indication on how stoned you are when we interact.”

He said, “How is that going?”

I said, “I can barely keep track of a conversation.”

I asked him what was wrong, he said nothing.

I asked him if I offended him, he said no.

I asked him what was up with the melancholy, he said this is how he always is.

Maggot Brain by Funkadelic came on, and we both just sat in the song together. As rocky a boat as I made, we always enjoyed the view.

When I went to bed, and he settled on to the couch, I asked him if this was the last time I was ever going to see him again.

He said, “No, tomorrow morning is the last time you will see me.”

I tried to stay up and spend time with him, but I was tired and stoned, so I went to bed and laid there, thinking about what a bitch I am.

Laying there alone with both his dogs (it should be noted that his dog slept with me over him that night) and I thought about the elaborate web I constructed over our heads. How I had played Abe and Alan off of each other. Abe’s bullshit with Hailey was easily spun around into using Alan to make him jealous.

I thought about how Alan leaving me when I needed him most last summer, was complimented by my chill three months later with apathy and despondence.

Don’t get me wrong, they deserve it. But it made me feel like shit. It was supposed to be my birthday weekend, and I was using the people I loved against each other like it was some kind of game.

I did/do feel that someone needed to school these boys on empathy. They needed to know how they made me feel, if not for me, then the next girl. Perhaps it’s not my job to do that. Maybe it is. I don’t know.

Either way, I was up all night pining for Alan. The rejection or somber reality of his feelings turned me on to him, and I wanted to seduce him- probably just for the upper hand but there was still a burning in my complimentary Angel-card holding Victoria’s Secret panties.

I knew it was probably evil of me to try to fuck Alan when I clearly hurt his feelings. So I went for the lesser of two evils and masturbated in his bed, leaving my scent somewhere near his pillow so he could smell me after I left.


The morning came, and I immediately packed my things up.

I went to his computer to close out my browser and clear the cache so he couldn’t have access to anything on-line.

Open, was a text window: “There’s always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it’s with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it’s one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again.” – Douglas Adams

Beneath it, I added, “If you fall out of love so easily, you were never in love in the first place.”

He entered the room, “You don’t have to rush off right away. We can get coffee or something.”

I said, “Thats ok. I feel like I am imposing now and I want to enjoy the rest of my birthday weekend.”

He said, “If you want to stay, I can pay for your ticket to the Wild Animal Park.”

I smiled and said, “Thats alright.”

He looked conquered on the couch.

I said, “Unless you want to talk about whats bothering you?”

He said, “Whats the point, you are just going to leave anyway?”

I threw my hands up in the air and laughed. He didn’t.

This was unexpected. I didn’t know how to deal with this genuine emotion in Princess fashion.

I said, “What do you mean? I just came to hang out.”

He said, “I know, it became clear it didn’t matter at all if I was here or not.”

Well, mission accomplished. How does it feel, mother fucker?

I brought my car around and put my suitcase and Brad in, while running upstairs for anything else.

He saw me and smiled a little, “Where’s Brad?”

I said, “He is in the car.”

His smile faded.

I got everything, said goodbye to his dog Wilson and shoved everything in my car.

When I put my keys in the ignition, I realized I forgot my Capt’n Crunch, so I jogged back up the steps to his second floor apartment.

I said, “I forgot the Capt’n Crunch. I need that.”

He came in and I faced him with the box and I said, “THANKS!”

He laughed with a mouth full of toothpaste.

I hugged him and kissed his cheek, but he was stiff.

I said, “It was real.”

He said, “Yeah, it really was.”

Then I left.

I bought a pack of cigarettes. I have been trying to stop binge smoking since the New Year. I just didn’t expect anything like that to unfold.

I don’t know what I expected.

Then Brad and I went back to Dog Beach and walked the peninsula. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. I don’t know what it is about that spot, it centers me. I feel content in a way I haven’t for a very long time.

As I watched him run with other dogs, kick sand up in the air, sniff around before bolting towards me with a smile, I started getting the texts from Alan.

Looking back on my phone, I see they are all gone. WTF!?

Did someone go in and delete them all?

Alan. Fuck.

Perhaps you don’t need to know the texts verbatim.

Text after text said that I used him.

I apologized for making him feel bad- and then I would get another text saying, “I don’t believe you. I think you just said that you cared because it was the right thing to say.”

Or

“No amount of liquor or pills can stop what you do to me.”

I must of recieved 30 texts tearing apart my character and intentions. They were so off base and so out of the realm of common sense, that it couldn’t hurt my feelings.

I said, “Even though all these text messages are mean-spirited, they still show me you care. Thank you for that. I really thought you didn’t.”

And

“I wanted to spend my birthday weekend with the people I was closest to, one of them was you.”

He wrote: “Life is better alone than with someone like you. All you know how to do is take and make other people miserable.”

So I wrote back, “Does that mean you are going to throw away the mug I gave you?”

He wrote, “No, but I have to put it away, out of sight. Its all I have to remember you by now.”

I wrote back, “Geez.”

How ridiculous were we going to be?

Nothing he could say could really hurt my feelings.

We didn’t know each other, not anymore. And his behavior after Danny died was unforgivable.

I swung back up to Costa Mesa and wrote Abe, “I am a shitty girl.”

He texted back, “Problems, huh?”

When I arrived, I told him that I upset Alan and he was texting me nasty messages that really made no sense.

Abe said, “Terrestrial beings . . . and their text messages”

My phone kept lighting up for a good three to four hours after I left Alan.

Perhaps I knew, leaving abruptly was the best way to turn the knife in the heart of a kid who was removed to foster care at an age when he was just learning to understand his identity. He has abandonment issues. Am I that evil? No, but I was that hurt.

Abe needed to pick up a new phone since his was lost or stolen. He wasn’t sure. We went together to a private seller off of Craigslist, since his paranoia already had him coming up with schemes about being high jacked from an apartment complex in a very nice area.

I was still in a dream from all the marijuana and ocean air. It was a warm day.

When we got back to Abe’s place, I gave him the stone heart I picked up for him.

He held it in his hand and I took out my red stone heart and pressed it up against his.

Abe smiled and asked me to kiss his stone. I did.

Then he said, “Thank you for getting me a gift on your birthday.”

I said, “I wanted to.”

He said, “Can I come by and see you this week?”

I said, “I don’t know . . . I have to think about things.”

He said, “You can look at my browsing history from now on.”

I said, “I don’t want to do that. If it isn’t Hailey you are looking for, it will be someone else. I want to be enough for one person, I don’t care how idealic that is. Maybe men always need the possibility of sexual variation. I just want to hold on to the dream for a little longer before giving up.”

He said, “Thats right, I am just an unemotional, pot smoking robot. I am lucky to even get sex.”

I laughed and said, “Its true.”

We had sex one more time before I left back to my shitty apartment in my shitty life as an underpaid nobody. I didn’t want to go, but I missed my pittie princesses.

Abe said, “I can’t tell if my balls or getting bigger or my legs are getting fat.”

One last thing I wanted to do was grab Thai food.

Abe and I went to Thai Spice and ordered some food- around 8pm he said I had to stop using the Princess excuse since it was now two days passed my birthday.

I said, “Well it was nice while it lasted.”

As I sat across from him, sweating over my curry, I watched his little mannerisms. The way he turns his body slightly to an angle when he sits down.

How he puts a forkful of food in his mouth, thinks about it and then starts chewing. Inevitably, he nods his head in satisfaction.

I needed water for my curry, and he asked me to stay seated so he could retrieve it for me.

Everything he did, down to the way he held his fork made me want to just marry him, be with him, live with him, give him babies, do anything to make it work.

Now, I know and you know I can’t do that. He doesn’t feel the same way. And calling myself a Princess wouldn’t change that.

***
My birthday weekend was nice in lots of respects, I was relaxed, I had a good time, but I was spending time with two men I once loved, maybe still do and they were both utterly miserable.

I did that. I was responsible for that.

As I was driving home, I still got texts from Alan:

Alan: “Forget about me. Forget you ever met me.”

When I got home, I emailed him:

” . . . you just seemed to not want me there at all . . . so I left. I don’t understand this rage of emotion you are having.
I am hoping after time passes, you can look at this again and tell me about your feelings, to my face.

I really do feel a lot of wonderful things for you. I enjoyed your company the last two nights. I love the real you. All your fascinating ideas about world and perception. You laugh at my jokes . . . sometimes. And are really cute, generous, kind . . . I only have positive feelings towards you and I hope you feel them from up here.

I am always here, even if I don’t appear on your chat list.

You make me sad.”

Then, I pinged him: “I know you realize you are acting out of abandonment issues. And why do I even CARE to hang around when you threaten to hurt my feelings? WHY DO I CARE ALAN? For the same reason I want to cuddle with the dog at work who spins around when ever she gets nervous because someone beat her over the head a long time ago. I can’t save you. I want but I know you would just hurt me whenever you felt something again.

I want to fix you and care about you. In the end, it will bite me in the ass, and thats what I have to keep telling myself. I will still be here when you get yourself sorted. :-(”

Poor Tallulah. She is so cute and no one can get near her without her pissing herself.

I asked a Doggie Daycare manager about her and she said with authority, “The psychic says she was hit over the head from behind and it just went black after that. That’s all we really know.”

Do you really have to pay a doggie psychic to figure that part out?

He wrote: “I don’t believe a word of your email. I want to let you go without
causing you any more pain. Therefore I cannot say what I want to say.
I never will. Just don’t contact me again.”

I wrote: “You can’t hurt my feelings. Your lack of mental stability discredits you.”

He wrote:

“This is what I did not want to send. I backspaced it over and over
again. But after your last little snippet, fuck you, here’s the
truth. Respond if you want, you are blocked through chat and phone so
I don’t screw up and let you visit ever again.

You can’t just go away, you want to give me shit because I want to end
this without having this stupid argument. You really can’t get it
when I tell you there’s no fucking point in saying anything as long as
you’re gone from my life. Why stretch it out? Oh right, because you
want more.

These last weeks, at first I thought you really wanted to see me..
that we had a chance of actually creating some sort of friendship
again. Something that might last, like I hoped we would. It took a
few days of interacting with you to realize something I should have
known.

I know you got a brazilian (I didn’t, just a bikini) or whatever while you were gone.

I know you wanted to do E and we probably would have had some really great
fun sex. In all honestly, having you in my apartment on E is right at
the top of my fantasy list. But, fantasy and reality are different
and the reality of having you on drugs in my apartment would have been
horrible. If it wasn’t you, I would have done it. But you hurt me
too much and too often to ever trust you around me when I’m on drugs.
And what’s worse, you really don’t have any idea do you?

You care only about what you can get from me, and nothing else. You
want a future with me, but only if I change to be who you want. You
want to visit, but only on your terms. To hell with me, right? I’ve
only been working for months without a break. No reason to worry
about whether I need to relax too.

I tried to talk to you about what happened to me while we weren’t
talking. I don’t think I even got started before you started giving
me shit about it, actually getting upset with me for talking about it.
You had your friends and even sort of your family to talk to. I
was alone, except for you of course, who is quite honestly worse than
being alone. But still, it’s my fault. I should have gotten over
everything all by myself so I could support you right?

That is sort of how things go with people who try to get close to you.
You take whatever you can from them, then when they start to resist
or need you, you treat them like they are somehow your enemy. Spite,
distrust, and cruel jokes are not the way to go with me. I do enough
damage to myself to let you pile on more.

The only people you support or care about are people you look down on.
Dora is like another dog for you. Just another stupid creature
that needs you. If she actually had a brain of her own and didn’t
pretend to need you, you wouldn’t give a shit about her either.

Your last two visits have been terrible for me. I’ve worked my ass
off to show you a good time and you treated me like shit. I thought
maybe you’d be better during your birthday weekend, maybe you were
just too nervous to behave like a decent person the previous week.
Instead, I get another weekend of being told what’s wrong with me and
what I should have done. That is exactly why I hated being with you
before we broke up.

I do not want you to come back. I don’t want to get blown by you. I
don’t want to fuck you. I don’t want to talk to you. I do not want
you to be any part of my life.

That’s what I figured out Saturday. I realized that I did not matter
to you, not really, and you only said I did because you felt like it
was the right thing to say. I realized that you’re not worth begging
for. Not if all I’m going to get out of it is more misery.

I even thought about reading your blog to figure out what the hell you
could be thinking, but I really don’t want to know how else you’ve
twisted my words. If it’s anything like your interpretation of the
Douglas Adams quote left here, you probably misquoted or misunderstood
everything I ever said to you. Maybe that’s why you showed up here
the talking to me the way you did. Maybe you convinced yourself that
you didn’t do anything wrong.

Maybe you’re so stuck up on me not wanting to see you when your
roommate died that you forget that I wanted you to be gone from my
life before that. We broke up, we stopped talking, and I promised
myself I’d never let you do this to me again. THEN your life went to
shit and you somehow blamed me, even though you drove me off long
before that.

I am just afraid that I’m not smart enough to keep from letting you
back into my life again. That would be an even worse mistake than
letting you show up here this weekend was.

I can forgive you easily enough because I no longer think you’re smart
enough to know what you are doing or saying most of the time, but I
know you’re not my friend.

I do not have a friend in you. Friends give back. Friends
understand. Friends forgive. You do none of those things.
I’m not angry at you, like this email would suggest. I am angry at
myself for forgetting everything I said above and letting you back in
my life. I should have known it would hurt. And I should have known
you are not worth it. Yet I did it anyway.”

I wrote: “My feelings still aren’t hurt.

I asked to talk about it in person but you chose to hide behind your computer and phone.

I do have bad patterns, its true. But I always try to do the right thing.

I am sorry you felt neglected and criticized. Though I think largely you have a filter on, clouded with pot, paranoia and insecurity.

I can never forgive you for abandoning me when Bobby died. Though, I recognize you were incapable of helping me.

That’s where our friendship took a hard blow.

It is what it is.

I always believed it was a bad idea to get physical, but I suggested the x to improve your mood. Not to fuck. I have someone else for that.

I want you to be happy and find peace, though I fear its a long road for you.

I carry nothing but hope and light for you. You are special, in many wonderful ways. I hope you see that and dwell more on those ideas.

Love”

And then I wrote:

“I would also like to add, I never had my parents help me and I had very few friends after Bobby died and I lost almost everything. VERY FEW.

An ex-boyfriend came back to help me put some weight back on and get my head together. That was a blessing. I fought through a lot of shit late last year, and it was no party.

You don’t know how to have a conversation, if you did you might find out you aren’t surrounded by assholes afterall.

Everyone is trying their hardest, and most of the time it’s not good enough.

And if I used you for something, I don’t know what the FUCK that could be since I don’t have anything!

I felt bad for leaving when you asked to have a cup of coffee or even pay for my park ticket. I later realized that was a window for us to maybe have a conversation about what was bothering you. But deep down inside, we both know it would just give you more time to make me uncomfortable for a longer period of time because I didn’t give you what you wanted, and I don’t even know what that is.

I do love you, Alan. Please take care of yourself.

I can’t allow myself to keep trying to solve this enigma.

I hope you can figure it out in some kind of sober reality.”

. . . Happy Birthday to me.

Later I emailed him this pic and said, “Reminds me of our conversation”

He emailed me back this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh3bleXWaCk

Maggot Brain by Funkadelic

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