Tag Archives: long distance relationships

First Love. Last Heartbreak. Dirty Pink Slippers.

Here I am, buried in school work and the life of Banquet service, soaking my fourth cup of green tea on an empty stomach. I have slept no more than 5 hours a night, juggling lengthy shifts at the Hotel, my feet feel as though someone took a hammer to them from the running back and forth with heavy trays. My dirty uniform lays among my clean clothes, still abandoned on top of the washer from the last load. I am on my last 60 pages of E.B. White’s Essays and feel wet from his world of boat trips and hurricanes. Still, I have another book and another 20 pages I have to whip up by Saturday, and yet all I can do is sit on the couch and flicker at my ear, waving away the voice of my Muse.

She sits at my computer in a shadow, telling me to write more. And like a last line of cocaine or the whipped cream on top of an abandoned pastry, I find myself unable to think about anything else until the vice is satisfied.

Where were we? August by now, I think. My car was still in the shop, but I had received a phone call from my insurance company assuring me the engine was under warranty and they would pay for all the repairs. When I told my father, he shook my hand, “I don’t know what it is, but you have a Guardian Angel helping you . . . something!” he said grinning.

“I have always said I have demons and angels battling it out over me,” I said, staring at his coffee-stained teeth.

“Well, guess who’s going to win?” he said, chuckling, squeezing my hand. From the maniacal darkness in his eyes, I assume he meant the demons.


To get to work in the mornings, my Father would wake up at 5am and drive me in. It was a kind gesture, but that element of him needing to control things, needing to control me would surface, even in those 12 minute rides from the house to the Hotel.

My coffee mug wouldn’t fit in his cup holder, so I had to balance the full brew against his abrupt stops and heavy gas pedal. I spilled just a few drops on my lap and he whipped the cup out of my hands while driving, “This is bullshit!” he bellowed.

“Give me back my cup of coffee . . . now,” I said, calmly. You don’t fuck with my morning coffee.

Another time, “You are eating a lot of potato chips. That is what is getting you heavy. And all the beer you are drinking. You should switch to wine. And you need to clean your room, do it for your mother. You spend too much time on your computer.”

“Why don’t we make a list of all the things I should do and all the things I shouldn’t do and put it on the wall so I can stare at it all the time?” I said, coolly.

And the final conversation that quieted all further conversation on those moist, dawn drives, “All you do is complain, all the time. You never have anything nice to say.”

“You don’t even talk to me, how would you know? Please, you don’t even know me anymore,” I said, sipping my black roast, unaffected.

For the most part I was unaffected. I had the Hotel. A girl approached me and said, “How are you so skinny? I can fit my whole hand around you. Can you pick up that tray? You are so tiny, I think you could break in two.” It was an odd sort of conversation, but reminded me how different the perceptions were. The people at work from my parents at home.

I do believe my parents think I am fat, as they started hiding snack food and alcohol from me. In fact, I would have special plates left in the refrigerator with my name on it. The scale in my parents’ bathroom was reminding me I was on a slow decline of weight and the people at work greeted me with a smile, laughed at my jokes, and sat with me on breaks.

There were two worlds entirely.


If I worked a night shift, my ride home became the boy next door, QB (QuarterBack). The red haired kid I remembered playing with his baby sister and running around barefoot in his backyard. Now he was just taller than me, handsome certainly, but only because of the way he carried himself, otherwise I might not take notice of him. Football, Track, and whatever other sports he was heavily involved with through puberty had provided him not only with a perfect physique (slender and strong) but a cockiness that had yet to spoil him into the state of obnoxious.

He escorted me to his car, an old jeep with no windows and a broken passenger door.

“You have to climb over the door, do you want me to show you how?” he said.

“Um, no,” I thought out loud, “I can do it.” And with my long legs, I easily stepped from the door’s foot rest over the broken door, and swung into my seat. He turned his head like he couldn’t stand the sight of me and laughed, “I have never seen anyone do that before. I mean . . . ever.”

“What? Was that unusual?”

“Yeah, its fucking unusual. You are weird,” he said.

“Well pardon me, I have long fucking legs, ok?”

“The seat belt is also kind of funny, you have to dig down to the buckle all the way at the floor. Its there, but probably under your seat. Do you want me to get it for you?” he said, bending over my soiled uniform shirt. His red hair trimmed close to his skull.

“No, no, no, I got it,” I said, frantic for him to move away from me. The boy is a child and one must keep those boundaries. Even if I never thought I would have sex with him, or even thought a flirtation would take root, I still wanted to be the adult and acknowledge the perimeter. I found the buckle and fastened in for an equally terrifying drive, an equally heavy foot on the gas pedal, and the wind off the river thrashing my hair about into a total disaster.

“Will you buy me a beer?” he asked.

“No, I will not.”

“Come on, just do it. I will give you the money.”

“Of course, I won’t.”

“Chad does. Its not a big deal,” he said.

“And what will your mother say to me when you walk into your house with alcohol after dropping me off?”

“I hide it under my car until they are asleep. Then I sneak it into my room.”

“What if they find the bottle?” I asked.

“I burn it in the fireplace when I am done,” he dismissed. “Come on, it’s just one 40. Just do it.”

Being the adult with boundaries, I said, “Ugh. Ok, what do you want?”

“Old English.”


“Eugh, revolting.”

“I know . . . but it gets me drunk,” he laughed.

“Great . . . ok, just this once. Give me the money.”

I walked in, was carded for the 40 and then promptly brought it back to the jeep. “Ok, what’s the right way to climb into this thing?” I asked, stuffing my own bottle of wine safely under the seat.

“Ok, put your foot on the back wheel, hold on to the bars up here, on the roof, and swing in,” he instructed.

I did, but from his laugh I guess I did it wrong again. “Whatever,” he said, “at least you are in. I have never seen anyone do it like that either.”

“Well, Jesus Christ,” I said.

He drove me up the Gorge with only a few stray headlights and the moon for light. I could barely make him out, audibly or visually, through the night wind. “Have you ever done DXM?” he asked.

“No, what’s that?”

“Its from cough medicine. It gets you really loopy.”


“Is that the shit you do out here?” I said, trying to keep my hair from eating my face.

“Yeah, what do you do?” he asked.

“I have done almost everything. I have never done meth or heroin though . . . and neither should you,” I added, trying to be that adult again.

“You have done cocaine?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, but it’s a rich man’s drug.”

“You have to save up a lot for it, huh?”

“You never save enough,” I said.

He drove up to his house and parked in the driveway, with three other vehicles left quiet, waiting faithfully for their slumbering drivers inside.

“Thanks for the bottle!” he said, a little too loud.

“Shushhhhh! I better not get in trouble over this,” I whispered.

He shoved the bottle underneath his back wheel, “There. Happy?” he said.

“Yeah . . . “ I smiled and thanked him, keeping a distance from that boy. He was a little too comfortable with himself for being so young.

***

In this time, Huck and I were still texting, but we never video chatted again. I knew that was significant. Texting is terrible for a relationship, but it was the only connection I had at the moment, beyond a few texts from my faraway buddies, Sachsa and Taylor.

Huck: I liked you better in person
When you weren’t so demanding and needy

Me: It comes off playful in person
FUCK YOU
I am not demanding nor needy

Huck: It was playful

Me: There is simply no inflection
asshole
Its playful now

Huck: It was fun

Me: Its fun now

Huck: No

Me: you just take it too god damn seriously
whose fault is that

Huck: Now its.a.fucking game

I don’t think I was playing a game, rather, I felt completely out of control. I was without a car, living with my parents and relying on them for anything that required more than what the pricey gas station on the corner had to offer. I felt like a toddler, or worse yet, like a teenager. One who tasted independence, fallen in love, and was now beating her wings against glass walls. This time the glass walls were filled with sweet wine, the juice that filled me with bouts of fury, lust and depression before lifting me up to the ceiling fan, and letting me spin around in a carousel of apathy.

Me: If you want me, be with me and try to be a better man (and I mean that overall- not just with other women. I expect everyone is tempted)
Stop shaking me off to test me
I am the best thing that could ever happen to you!

Huck: Im just a boy.

Me: No you’re not
I am a real catch
So start acting like it
Now, I have to go rub my mother’s back

Huck: It would be different if you were here.

Me: You don’t want me there!
I was willing to work with you on things
Visit
feel things out
take it slow
do whatever you thought was best
but you refuse to take a leadership role
you just want to fuck around in limbo

Huck: Well i dont fucking know.

Me: YES you do

Huck: Limbo is fine

Me: You are smart
If you are happy with limbo and not being all you can be, then fine.
But I believe you want more, if not now then in the future.

Huck: All i can be?

Me: Because there is a piece of me in you
I am a little drunk

Huck: I know

Me: I see a great man in you
don’t let it die like the others
just because you are lazy

Huck: Well. Lets stop now. Id still desert you. No matter how great id be

Me: Then I want nothing to do with you

Huck: Im fucked up right now

Me: Straighten out

Huck: Im not husbandable
Ever

Me: I am not wife material either
I know that

Huck: Im selfish. Unfaithful

Me: Those are choices

Huck: No
Traits

Me: Yes, you are shirking responsibility

Huck: Bs

Me: YOU ARE BSing ME

Huck: Fuck off.

Me: I see you
I see you, and I know what life is like
OK?

Huck: No you dont

Me: I know
Yes, I do
I see you and you are fucking great

Huck: This is what i am

Me: You are fucking off because you can
I don’t have time for this bullshit

Huck: This fucking argument

Me: Be straight with me
Be straight with yourself

Huck: I have been

Me: You are fucking talented
and brilliant
and strong
and I felt how you loved me
You loved me’

Huck: That has nothing to do with.how id treat yiu in the future
Fuck talent

Me: I believe in you

Huck: You fell in love with everyone in your stories. Im just another fucking character. Huck

Me: Maybe
I dont know
I just wanted to try
but I am not needy
not desperate

Huck: Youre just not over it and on to the next yet

Ok, what we see here is a typical case of me falling in love with a man’s potential and not the man. This is the first time I have read this conversation since it played out in front of me. Consciously, there was a voice telling me to believe everything he was saying, sadly, awarded from the afternoon I breezed through He’s Just Not That Into You several years ago.


I walked gingerly in my mind around Huck. He seemed indecisive. He would disappear and then reappear on chat or text me non-fiction literary contests. It was the only encouragement I was getting, so I held on tight.

He texted me after a bike race: “I want you to sit on my lap and pour wine in my mouth”

He texted me another time: “I do love you. A little bit. Look up Lykke Li.”

The afternoon I emailed him my second set of pages on our love affair, the subject I was using for school as a practice in memoir writing, he wrote, “It’s good but . . . have you shown it to anyone else?”

“No” I wrote.

“When will you turn your blogging into a novel?”

The words sunk in, hard at first, like a grain of sand against the soft underbelly of an oyster. It upset me and triggered an insecurity. Later, it would produce something valuable for me. In the moment, I texted more and more: “I suck”

“You are fishing for a compliment and I won’t give it to you.”

“I won’t submit anymore of my writing to you,” I wrote. And I haven’t since.

It was immature, sure, but the ego of an artist is delicate; to trust the voices in your head, and the natural born instincts you are the first to discover, then tell yourself you should be heard over billions of others. It is a tricky balance. If you aren’t sensitive to everyone else’s thoughts, then what type of writer are you?

I believe this triggered the ultimate descent with Huck. We chatted and upon ending a conversation a little too quickly, I asked if he had a date.

“Jesus Christ. Sorry. Just don’t text me all night. Don’t be an asshole like last time.”


My chest caved in. Foolish, I know. It was foolish to expect anything else. So what does a girl banished on the outskirts of civilization do when she learns the boy she fell for is fucking someone else that night? She cries. (and then text him all night long to disrupt any pleasure)

I was alone in my room, sitting on the edge of my bed, and I cried. My Mother came in and said, “I knew something was wrong. What is it?”

“He is going on a date with another girl, and he told me not to text him while he is with her tonight,” I wept.

“Well, that’s understandable,” she said.

I bellowed more cries, feeling how deliciously cold tears were on my face, as the blood burned hotter. My Mother put her arm around me, but it was awkward and cold. “Come on,” she said, “Get out of this room and come out into the living room with me.”

I dutifully followed. There was a scene that was very similar, almost 15 years earlier. My first love. The boy I should assign an alias to- “Nick”, I suppose, (for Nikolas Tesla, his hero). I fell madly in love with Nick in the tender, confusing times of 10th grade, when I was learning to drive, suffered awkwardly through my first Drama class, fell in love with Geometry all in over-sized thrift clothes with wet hair and a horrible slouch.

It was a torrid affair. He was a boy genius who already graduated college at the age of 12, and was now being re-socialized with his peers in an effort to help him find normalcy. That was never in the cards for Nick, he is too God damn smart and is on some other intellectual planet. We snuck out to these gravel pits, huge mountains and valleys of gravel, dug up by loud machines day and night, drowning out the occasional cry from a coyote pushed even further away from a new home. He told me he took a Human Sexuality class and demonstrated how to give a girl an orgasm. At 15 years of age, we practiced giving each other orgasms on a blanket with a compact cassette player, softly serenading us with German techno music. Kraftwerk. The cold air on my knuckles as I rubbed him. The moonlight off his blond hair as he moved over me. It was all very romantic, and very intense. We would stay up all night together, talking and touching, until the pink of day would give us warning, then we would sneak back into our bedrooms and get ready for school. We saw each other again, a couple of hours later, on the school bus. We would smile, still smelling of the other.


The weekend before Homecoming, I came home with a new dress just before he called to break up. I would never convert to Mormonism. I sat on the side of my bed and I cried, not the first time over a boy, but the first time over a boy I really fell for. My Mother came in, sat next to me in the moment and put that loose arm around me, maybe she offered me something to eat.

You would think, growing up, it would hurt less with greater understanding of human behavior, experience, more confidence, more of an identity, more of everything. It doesn’t hurt less. It hurts just as much. That doesn’t seem fair.

This time, I was 34 and I followed my Mother out into a clean living room and sat on the couch, refusing to wash my face. The dogs looked up at me concerned. I resented them for becoming so faithful to my Mother in our stay. The two pit bulls didn’t even sleep with me anymore. In the decision to close out my parents from my inner world, and close that plywood door with no lock, I sacrificed time with the pit bulls, and it was evident in their affection.

Rambling, I told her how special the week with Huck was, and how I felt used, how I always ended up feeling used. I told her he was my only close friend at the moment, and he inspired me to work and write more for school. I told her the idea of him having sex with this girl was driving me mad.

Looking up, I saw her sitting in a chair across from me, wearing her dirty pink slippers, bouncing one foot up in the air opposite the other, back and forth, and staring at them with the daze of an infant. She suddenly looked up at me with a blank stare. She hadn’t heard a word I said.

I went back to my room.

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How to Fall In Love . . . for Dummies: The 2nd Date

I was driving to San Diego on 2 hours sleep from the night before. In general, I do think I am Wonder Woman, but on this particular night . . . I was not. I was nodding off at the wheel and occasionally veering into the lane next to me.

I did make it to San Diego in 2 hours with a full bladder and worries that Alan wouldn’t really like me based on our earlier FB exchange re: my spotting vagina.

 

Dear Prudence by the Beatles came on the car radio, that damn song was haunting me.

♫ ♪ Look around, round, round round round, round round ♫ ♪

 

When I showed up, we didn’t embrace or kiss. He just helped me with my bags, I ran up to use his bathroom and we parked my car. I returned to his long studio apartment and kinda just stared at him. What was I doing? I don’t know him.

Then he kissed me and my head felt light.

We sat down as he started up his volcano, which is a vaporizer that loads marijuana smoke into a large plastic bag you can suck from without having to worry about losing smoke through the nozzle or mouthpiece. It’s fairly intense. It made me stupid, which bothered me since with Alan you have to be on your toes. I don’t strive to be stupid by getting high, I strive to relax my mind so I can use it.

 

I grabbed some water from the kitchen and spilled it on the floor. I didn’t want him to see it, but since I took my contacts out, and couldn’t see paper towels rather only a pair of nice hand towels hanging from the oven door, I decided to use my bare foot to mop it up.

He walked back and said, “Uh oh, spilled water.” He mopped it up with the paper towels that were less than a foot from me on the counter.

I said, “Sorry, I used my foot to clean it up.”

He said, “Yeah, feet aren’t good for mopping up water.”

I said, “Well, if you want the play by play, I couldn’t see without my contacts and didn’t want to use your nice towels, so I thought I would try to clean it up without you knowing using my bare feet.”

He said, “That’s ok.”

Then I spilled water again, on the exact same spot.

He looked down and crumpled his brow in a lopsided grin. He said, “Do we need to get you a slurpie cup?”

I laughed my dork laugh and got down on my hands and knees to wipe it up.

 

When I sat down on the couch, he started talking about psychology studies from his Undergrad. He said, “We would ask subjects on Day 1, ‘Were you ever in the hospital?’ Then on day 2, we would ask all of them, even the ones that were never in the hospital, ‘Tell me about the time you were in the hospital.’ All of them had a story of some sort about being in the hospital. That’s how hard wired people are to lie, they would rather make up a story than contradict themselves.”

Now, I didn’t know how we got on this subject, but my first thought was, “Why the fuck is he telling me this?” Now, I was pretty stoned, so I am sure there was a reason why we went on the subject, but I think people will give you clues about themselves to give you a fighting chance before they fuck you over. Too cynical?

Then we moved on to how he was going to sue his current landlord, and added his name to a Revenge List. Now, Alan seems to have a lot of potential as a lawyer, and pretty much all my exes hate me so . . . yeah, I was scared.

I said, “Um . . . what happens if and when I piss you off? I am a little worried.”

He said, “Oh no, don’t worry. I never use my evil doings against the people I care about.”

I said, “You might not care about me after I upset you.”

Alan looked down and started arranging things, he said, “Noooo, don’t worry. Never against the people I care about.”

Then he gave me a box of Captain Crunch cereal. I smiled and said, “This is better than flowers.” I suddenly remembered I wanted to bring him a single rose but forgot in the madness of the week.

He said, “I saw it and just thought I would pick it up for you.”

I blushed.

Alan, “AND . . . I got you this.”

He handed me a bullet in a small baggie.

Alan continued, “I grabbed it from the autopsy I went to for class. I thought you would like it.”

I said, “Thank you. Did this . . . um . . . kill a person?” Cause, I don’t want that.

He said, “No, it was shot into the wall. I asked and made sure it didn’t hurt anybody first.”

Unusual, but I kind of dig it.

I said, “Thank you, I will find something cool to do with it.”

The bullet was barely being held together in one piece. The tip was clumsily hanging off the edge of the casing. I tucked it in the front pocket of my suitcase.

A song came on and I asked him who sang it.

He said, “I sent it to you on GChat.”

I said, “Oh, I will Shazam it.”

He said, “Reality and Fantasy.”

 

♫ ♪ The wall between reality and fantasy,

Is sometimes so small, and not so tall ♫ ♪

 

Then another version of Dear Prudence came on, this time by Dana Fuchs.

I said, “This song is following me, I wonder what it means. Songs get trapped in my mind and just spin around and around. I can’t stop thinking about them.”

 

♫ ♪ The clouds will be a daisy chain,

So let me see you smile again ♫ ♪

 

He said, “That’s how I feel about Reality and Fantasy. Its been in my mind since I came up to visit you.”

 

♫ ♪ I’ve looked into your eyes,

And it should make me feel so bright and satisfied,

The only thing I’ve learned,

Is just to fall and fall and fall . . .♫ ♪

 

I didn’t make the connection of what a romantic and potentially harmful association this was to me and our love affair. Fantasies don’t make mistakes or spill water on the floor or spot during sex.

I said, “I wonder why music becomes such an obsession.”

Alan, “A connection to the fourth dimension. It’s a measure of time moving forward we can understand, since time is so abstract. That’s the theory I have developed anyway, other people have written books about it but I don’t have time to read them.”

Damn, he is impressive.

We decided to go to bed since I was stupid and stoned, not to mention completely out of it from sleep deprivation.

We went to his bed and made love all night. In my mind, I couldn’t tell what was a dream and what was real, (♫ ♪ Reality and Fantasy ♫ ♪) but I don’t remember actually falling asleep or dreaming. I only remember rolling over and making love again and again.

*Sidenote:  He was using some kind of warming lubricant. That stuff turned my vagina into the Fourth of July.

When we woke up, it was almost noon, I think.

I said, “Was it me, or did we have sex all night long?”

Alan said, “I worked it out in my mind and think we did it every hour and a half with about 20-40 minutes in between.”

I said, “That was surreal.”

He smiled and put his arm around me. The boy is so skinny, I felt unsure about laying all my weight on him.

He said, “There is a Farmer’s Market down the street. I thought we could go down and get you some breakfast.”

We showered and walked down. Alan is very fair; it appears as though he hasn’t been in the sun . . . well, ever. He mentioned he didn’t like waiting in lines in the heat, and after mid-terms, I could tell he was struggling to be chipper and social. Then a man decided to cross in front of us, 6-inches from the booth where we were waiting for my vegan tamale, as opposed to walking behind us where everyone else was crossing, and he stepped on Alan.

Alan said, “Oh, well, excuse me.” With sweat beading over his mirrored sunglasses, I saw a flash of what is driving him to be the lawyer. The runaway foster kid who was waiting to collect heads stared at the large, middle-aged man with a cool, calculating irritation. I grabbed his arm and rubbed it. He melted and smiled at me.

Under the fury of the little guy who pays his way to go to school with rich kids, and assumes everyone is out for himself and gets stepped on my large men who want to make a point . . . there is a boy. I see him.

We went back to what he called “The Cave”, his shaded, cool studio apartment and ate food as graphics synched with music on his wide-screen TV.

 

We napped and made love. Really that is all I came there to do.

In the middle I said, “Ooh, cramp in my leg. Hold on.” I adjusted and executed a different sexual position.

After we were done he said, “I didn’t know anyone could do what you just did.”

I said, “I call it The Barbie, because when I made my Barbies have sex, they could never spread their legs.”

He said, “I’m pretty sure that’s how you would rape a man.”

Silence. I assumed all this time he wasn’t orgasming since he never pulled out.

I said, “You haven’t been cumming inside of me, have you?”

Alan said, “Um, well yeah. Last night . . .”

Me, “With the condom.”

Alan, ” . . . yeah. And a few more times after that. And just now.”

Me, “ALAN! God!”

Alan, “You said you started the pill!”

Me, “I just started, it takes a month to take effect. Shit.”

Alan, “I don’t know these things. (silence)  Well, if there was ever anyone I would want to accidentally impregnate, it would be you.” And he kissed my head.

Silence.

Me, “Sorry, I was just jumping ahead to me being pregnant and you being annoyed.”

 

Before we knew it, the sun set and a new night was ahead of us. We went to a burger joint where they served vegan burgers. I wasn’t talking a lot on this visit. Everything I said was measured. Instead of being the entertainment, as I usually am, I just faded quietly into the background.

Dear Prudence by Siouxsie and the Banshees came on.

I said, “Why is this song everywhere?”

♫ ♪ Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day ♫ ♪

With burger in my mouth I said, “This is it! This is the version that started it.”

 

We went home and then we dropped X.

He makes his own.

I said, “Sex is already so intense with you, I am kind of scared.”

He said, “I know, I am scared too.” And he handed me the pill.

I chased it with water, and about a half an hour later Alan was throwing up in the bathroom.

Now, when you just take on a lover, there is some debate about when you should enter the bathroom of which he pukes. I decided to give him his privacy when he yakked and enter with a glass of water during silences.

Alan, “I just can’t do drugs while I am in law school. My stomach is far too acidic from the stress.

I said, “Drink some water, stay hydrated.”

Alan, “I just want to puke everything out before putting anything in.”

Me, “Well, it will get the stomach acid off your vocal chords, which is important.”

He took a sip.

Then, sweaty and high, he crawled into my lap like a little boy and I held him. It was the most vulnerable I’d seen him and I really liked it. I kissed his wet hair and wiped it off his forehead.

Alan, “I really like that you are taking care of me.”

Me, “I just gave you some water.”

Alan, “That’s more than anyone has ever done for me.”

I held him closer and said, “Let me tell you a happy memory from my childhood.”

Silence.

Me, “I can’t think of one.”

Alan, “Sometimes when there is pressure to remember something, you can’t. Tell me about your first dog.”

I smiled, “I was 10 and I did a sit down protest in the living room. My grandfather knew someone giving up a dog, that was Chelsea. My grandfather was nice. He was the only one in my family I liked and he wasn’t even blood related.”

He smiled and put his hand on my knee.

I continued, “When I was 14, I came home late from school and my father dragged me into the house by my hair and told my mother to take me into the bathroom and check to see if I was still a virgin.”

His smile faded, “That doesn’t make any sense.”

I shrugged.Then I shook my head. Why did I have to tell him that?

Then he shared a childhood memory with me, equally perplexing and cruel. He chuckled a little, but I stared at him wondering why parents are so careless with young people. We remember everything.

I said, “I am falling in love with you.”   I swung my whole upper torso over the edge of the couch.

Alan, “I am falling for you, too.”

I said, “And I have to leave in 2 days.”

Alan, “Don’t think about that right now.”

 

***

Holding me, I leaned into his sweat.

Alan, “I would like to have one of my own, someday, but mostly I would like to take in some foster kids. Do things that way.”

I was worried he wasn’t interested in having kids. I followed his dark pupils back and forth. Tick tock.

Me, “That sounds great.”

 

***

Alan in the bathroom, “Well its official. I look like a 12 year-old 31 year-old.”

I smiled, “You look very young.”

 

***

Alan, “You are everything I have been praying for all this time. You are the fantasy, the perfect girl.”

Me, “Don’t say that.”

 

***

We talked and he said, “I think this trip is more about getting to know you than about sex, which isn’t what I expected but I like it.”

Then I tried on different clothes and modeled them in his bed for him.

He said, “You are so pretty, I don’t know what to do with you.”

I was getting lost in him. It felt good. Sometimes I don’t want to be me. It’s exhausting.

Am I me when performing for friends? Kind of. I guess I am. With Alan, I am who I was before I learned to make fun of myself . . . a quiet, tomboy who put on a little make-up and wore pretty clothes.

The next day we woke up, ate cereal and watched Jackass 3. I hadn’t seen any of them and was pleasantly surprised.  Also, it was the first time Alan smiled a real smile, not a forced grin. I stared at him so I could remember what it looked like, and I felt jealous that I hadn’t created it.

We napped, sometimes together, sometimes at different times. He tried working on my computer and doing his homework. I played Scrabble in my underwear all day.

The next morning, Monday, we were making love in doggie style when somehow I pulled his arm to chest muscle. Don’t ask me how from THAT position.

He was having trouble breathing and moved to the living room where he pressed his hand against his chest.

Alan, “It really hurts. I thought I was having a heart attack. My first thought was I should go to the hospital.”

I listened to him, massaged him, didn’t say anything out of total guilt.

Alan, “I have to take a muscle relaxer. Do you want one?”

I didn’t answer. I don’t know, do I?

He gave it to me and I dutifully swallowed it.

I looked inside the pill jar and saw a medley of different pills, different colors and sizes.

Me, “Where did you get all of these?”

Alan, “I swapped with a heroin addict who needed real pills to get him clean. (he held up the pill jar) This was the stuff the clinic gave him. He did X all the time, and took a pill that was cut with over 75% heroin. After that, he couldn’t get high anymore on just the X, that’s how it started.”

Me, “Oh.”

Alan, “That’s why I make my own X. Pure MDMA.”

Me, “They call them Mollys.”

The pill plunged into my stomach like a swan dive. My body slithered into nothingness.

Alan fell asleep, and I messed around a little on the internet, showered, ate, then fell asleep with him.

I woke up and gave him a blow job.

Alan, “I really love how you take care of me.”

Me, “I didn’t really do much. I should have done more.”

Alan, “No, you let me complain about the pain, stayed calm, massaged me, and now you gave me a blow job so I wouldn’t have to move. No one has ever done anything like that for me before.”

Who has this kid been dating?! Oh yeah . . . Jaq. What a bitch.

The greatest difference between Abe and Alan is Abe never thought twice about being taken care of. It never crossed his mind that he was lucky. To Alan, it was everything he was waiting for.

He continued, “You are really calming for me. I love being around you.”

No one would describe me as calming, except for Kent and Trent . . . and Alan, I guess. Maybe all the dope I have been smoking has altered me.  When I came home from college, my parents would feed me PM cold medicine so I would sleep through half of my visit. I am/can be very hyper. I am always on like a performer. Not with Alan. With Alan I am just a girl.

We went to the grocery store, and he asked I pick out food so he knew what to buy me next time.

The sun was setting and I would be leaving soon. I stopped talking and wouldn’t look at my phone.

 

We got home and he mentioned how he walked on foot from Florida to New Orleans when he was 15-16, during his Jack Kerouac phase. I said, “Really?”

He seriously thought about it then said, “Yeah, I did.”

I asked, “How did you make money, to feed yourself?”

He said, “Waffle Houses. I loved Waffle Houses. They paid cash every Friday. Which is pretty amazing to think about considering where I am right now. ”

I said, “It is amazing.”

Ok, I know I am being redundant, but yes, we made love again. Afterward, he asked, “When do you think you will be done with the whole acting thing? What is your end goal?”

I said, “I don’t know. Until I feel done with it. Sometimes I see things through and know when I have had enough. When I am done, I will know I am done. And I will do something else.”

Alan, “My end goal is $2 Million in liquid assets.”

Wow. Ok.

Alan, “Which actually isn’t that much.”

Me, “I know, especially considering all the foster kids . . . and the animal sanctuary.” I looked up and smiled.

He nodded very seriously.

We gave in to the night and fell asleep.

The alarm went off at 4am on Tuesday and I gathered my things. I couldn’t look at Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Wilson wouldn’t look at me.

Alan, “I know this is sad, but I have an easy weekend over the Fourth of July so I think I will come up. So we will see each other soon.”

Me, “But don’t you have to move that weekend?” He is moving from his evil landlord apartment to an apartment next to the Farmer’s Market half a mile away.

Alan, “I will just pack things up and have moving men do all the work.”

 

I kissed his neck, and then we walked Mr. Wilson.

It was dark out, and the taxi drivers were parking on the street to go home and sleep for the day.

Alan said, “Come on Wilson, is that spot good enough? No? Ok … ”

I said, “I love making love to you.”

Alan, “I love doing everything with you, even waiting for poop.”

I said, “Its funny, I have had no desire to smoke a cigarette when I am around you. I don’t smoke a lot, but I do socially.”

Alan, “With the volcano my lungs suffer, like I am a smoker. But it doesn’t taste like burnt asshole.”

I laughed. I could smell the detergent on the collar of his shirt.

We went up to drop off Wilson and I sat down.

He said, “If everything happens the way I want it to, and plan for it to, I will live in LA by December 2012. If not, the latest Spring 2013.”

I crunched my hat over my head and said, “I will be 35 then. Will you still want me?”

He leaned in and said, “Don’t worry about that.”

He walked me to my car and said very quickly, “This is sad, there is no way around the sad, so call me anytime, text me, and I will see you next weekend.”

I smiled and felt a brush of wet lips across my face.

I drove back, trying to summon the thrill of freedom and independence.  It was there, burning in the embers of our weekend.  However, nothing beats falling in love, does it?

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