I sat on the left side of the bar at the Golden Bear alone. I was texting this very fly girl I had met a few days prior about going to a black-and-white attire party that weekend. I was setting up the logistics of a couple more dates on my BlackJack II (a true man’s phone) when an extremely petite girl with dirty blonde hair sat down next to me. She had a Teutonic face with an Italian nose and carefully curled hair with bangs – she was pretty in a nature’s child kind of way. She ordered a High Life ($2.50) and I delivered a stolen line to her saying she “looked like she was having the most fun out of anyone here.” “What?” she replied. She didn’t hear me. I’m not sure how our conversation proceeded but soon we were outside having a pleasant, flirtatious chat. I didn’t think of her as a real prospect. She was just a girl to chat with that night. I took her to another bar (“You’ve never been to the Stinky Old Tavern?”) and we drank and she smoked and we talked for a couple of hours. She became drunk but she was still coherent and enjoying herself. She had taken some Xanax (pill addict of sorts) and was soon wobbly, so I took her home. She let me into her nineteen-twenties apartment (gas heater, wood floors, Murphy bed) and I put her to bed. It was only then that we exchanged names and, shortly thereafter, numbers. I kissed her and told her goodnight. She so sweet and vulnerable and I questioned her sanity letting me into her house while she was on the verge of passing out. I made sure to lock the door on my way out.
Dear reader, I will not bore you with many details of what happened next but I would rather paint a picture of the next year of our lives. We became nearly inseparable for the summer. I flaked on my other prospects and they flaked on me and I found myself enthralled with this girl. I learned all her secrets, her desires. Some of them were innocent and some deeply disturbing. This was the silly, incongruous and endlessly appealing nature of my new-found lover. I was unemployed and completely broke and she was teaching middle school in some farm town forty-five minutes North of our beloved, incestuous little city. We went to the river when it was hot. We threw house parties with hippies and hipsters and old people who read poetry and drunken party-crashers who came in off the street. Her two black cats roamed around and brought us half-dead animals in the night (a mouse one night and a bird the next night. I bludgeoned both the critters with the same empty Heineken and threw their bodies outside). We slept on a sheep skin rug and made love under the air conditioning. I fucked her hard, awaking the little deviant who had been in a nine year sexless relationship with a man who turned out to be a homosexual. I trained her good and called her my “little slut” often. She wore dresses or pencil skirts daily, and a bright red one-piece bathing suit for the river. She hurried off to work in the mornings. I walked about her place eating food and feeling lonely. I faced the Egyptian Question Mark of a cat’s asshole with every turn in that apartment. We participated in setting up banal art shows. We danced often. We played records while it rained outside. We knew everyone and it seemed everyone adored her. I intimidated and irritated her suitors who annoyed me to no end. We traveled to the desert, to the snowy mountain town where she was born, to the ocean town where she went to college (we crashed a Mestizo History course). We camped on the beach. We fucked outdoors, in tents, in the back garden, in the kitchen, on the dining room table as party guests were leaving (always unshaven and unprotected). We ate mushrooms until the world felt distinctly round and alien and colors painted the insides of our eyelids. This went on for over a year. I eventually had find a job but we kept pace and I spent a lot of that year in her dilapidated apartment. I belonged there with her – it was almost perfect.
There was always a tension with us. She wanted nothing more than to have child and I wanted nothing less. “This won’t last, it can’t,” I would think. She told me she loved me one day and I didn’t say it back because I knew our relationship wasn’t sustainable. We fought that night for the first and only time and I left her. I was torn up and anxious and sick the next day so I banged some feminist whore for two hours straight. It only left me feeling worse. We got back together while I was going over to her place to collect my records. She cried, we fucked, and I admitted I loved her too. She moved down the street (rent-raising landlord) and were together again. Life became muted and strange after a while though. She kept telling me to either give her a baby or go, and faced with that ultimatum, I left. We fucked one last time and it was sorrowful but nice. I left her place in a daze, forgetting my bike in her basement.
Finally March Thirteen:
“I want my bike back,” I said to her through a text message. She agreed to ride it to the cafe (the astute reader knows the place) and return it to me. She suggested we have a drink and catch up a bit. Why not? I hadn’t seen her in six months. When she arrived, she asked if I have a girlfriend right away. “You’re wearing girls socks,” she observed. “I am.” “Are they your girlfriends?” “They were, I stole them.” “Is she pretty?” “Extremely,” I lied. She told me she is engaged to a man with the same name as me who is the same age and who (she says) resembles me. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, I guess we know your type,” I told her over a hard cyder. She said she isn’t happy with him. He is always rehearsing for plays (actor) and he wants to move to L.A. even though she loathes the place. She is lonely, she tells me. She described him as gay-acting and less handsome than I am (female honesty at it’s finest!). She told him that I used to fuck her in the ass. “Why would you tell him that? No good can come from telling your fiance’ that,” I said. “He doesn’t care, he would never do that anyway. It’s not his style.” So, dear reader, her fiance is a tepid lover and he can’t please her like I did. I take pleasure in this somehow. We drank and chain smoked and talked and flirted. “Do you still love me?” she asked. “I don’t have to answer that,” I said with a smirk. She knows. We walked from the cafe to the old apartment. She wanted me to try to break in through the back door. I could have. We would have been alone in that old, empty place all alone. We would have fucked on the Murphy bed (regret washes over me as I type this) and I probably would have knocked her up right then and there. Let my faggy doppelgänger raise my seed! Nobody would question the paternity. But I didn’t. We smoked on the porch and she rested her head on my shoulder wistfully while I rubbed her neck. She needed to beat her fiance’ home so we climbed in my car and I took her home. She crawled on top of me in the car and we embraced and I kissed her neck. She started to leave but I pulled her back in and she sank into me again. “I have to go!” She said. “I know, just one more whiff,” I said as I sniffed her obnoxiously. “No,” she said sadly. “Too late, already got it. Goodnight!” I said and she laughed. She smiled with all of her face in that way only a woman in love does and waved goodbye and her fiance pulled up and parked in front of the house. I drove away carelessly, high on the pain of love.