Random thought that could get me kicked in the balls, should I be identified on the street.

Women (perhaps men do this too, I don’t know, since I’ve only dated women, you tell me) do NOT fall in love with men (or another woman). They fall in love with the desire of their own heart and then go about seeking out a man (or woman) to fulfill that desire. If (when) other that they select, and manage to ensnare, ceases to fulfill this desire or their desire changes then the woman moves on, seeking out a new vassal in which to satisfy their need(s).

Discuss.

Lydia’s Rules

My previous post was about the first woman that I ever dated via an online site. I called her Lydia.

The thing about Lydia — she had a lot of rules, or so it seemed to me.

As stated in my previous post, the first sign of this fetish reared it’s neurotic, anal-retentive, control-freak head shorty after our first date when I did not — and I roughly paraphrase — ask her out in the proper way at the appropriate time. I got quite the tongue lashing over this point, and not the good kind either — Lydia’s tongue was not pierced, though quite effective all the same…oh, no he didn’t! ….oh yeth he did <snap>! Why I didn’t run quickly in the other direction, as most everyone agreed that I should, I do not know. In any case, lesson learned.

Example: when another online connection (this one via OkCupid) went ballistic on me over a simply joke via text, I cut off all connection toot sweet.

General rule of thumb: anyone you meet via an online dating site is severally damaged and should be considered at least an emotional/psychological threat until proven otherwise.

Another one of Lydia’s rules — no talking while watching TV or a movie. And I mean none. Now, anyone who knows me knows that is about as possible for me as sneezing with my eyes open. Shit ain’t going to happen. And didn’t. Which eventually earned me a : “Don’t you ever just shut up and watch the movie?”

If I were to ever meet her family there was plenty I could not say and could not do. One thing in particular was I could not denigrate, criticize or otherwise speak ill of the University of Michigan, especially the football program, because her brother was such a big, serious fan. Apparently he was one of those pretentious pussy UofM fans that simply can’t comprehend, much less abide, that someone might not be a blue and maize fan. Again, this was not going to happen I went to Eastern Michigan In Ypsilanti, a stoner’s throw away from the blue and gold heaven, and not as a stepping stone to The UofM either. So by definition I was not a fan and prone to knock the place a form of penis envy. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to needle this wolverine-loving prick because I never met her family. And I feel all empty inside because of it too.

According to Lydia’s rules I was not allowed to ever complain or gripe about my ex or the results of my divorce but she could bitch to high heaven about anything under the sun that happen to put her panties in a bunch. And trust me her panties were plenty bunched much of the time.

Also according to Lydia I was an idiot,  a fact that she pointed out at every opportunity. It began a a kind of joke, a sarcastic quip, but eventually it simply stopped being funny. You know, like when a little kid tells you the same joke over and over again and expects you to laugh but you just can’t because it’s not funny anymore. Well, in addition to this standard tag line of Lydia’s losing it’s humorous appeal, it simply seemed mean. I politely suggested one night that she might want to come up some new material. She did not take it well.

I remember saying to her one time while we were at dinner, “You have a lot of rules, you know that” I was only half serious. Still, it was true. And she glommed onto that statement and threw it back at me eventually. Franky, I think she was constantly parsing my words for later ammo.

It always seemed as if she was looking for reason for to skuttle the relationship from the get go.

I have to see if I can stand your company….

I have to figure out if you’re cheap….

I have to know if you’re smart enough…

I have to decide if your suitable to introduce to my family…friends…etc.

and on and on.

I kind of felt like science experiment to this woman. He approach to a relationship was very… I don’t know…very not just analytical, but cold and calculating, almost sociopathic. Not that ever felt in danger or anything. Although perhaps I should have. Hmm.

In the end, I think there was something fundamentally sad about Lydia and her little life in her little condo that she’d been living in, alone, for going on 8 years, even though when she bought it she figured she’d only be there 3 or 4 tops. I remember her telling me that when she bought the place there had been some conversation with someone about her future in the place, to which she replied: “If I’m still living here in 7 years, kill me, please.” And I remember thinking, lady, in a lot ways you’re already dead.

Which came first, the batshit crazy woman or me? …and other scotch-induced reflections

A jumble of blog post ideas clanking around in my head tonight. Plus, been sipping the Johnny Walker Red again, so look out.

Where to begin…?

Well, first today it was pointed out to me by several people that I seem to have a penchant for attracting batshit crazy chicks. This was pointed out me by someone I’ve known for only 6 months, a woman I work with, as well as an old college friend whom I’ve known for years. And upon scotch-induced reflection I have to say they have a point. It was true in college. It was true before college. It was true after college. It was true in grad school. And after grad school. And now. Apparently.

The question one has to ask is, do I attract batshit crazy women or are batshit crazy women drawn to me? Or are they normal (and by normal I mean just regular crazy) until they mix it up with me and then go batshit crazy? Who knows? Maybe I am the catalyst? Maybe I am the final straw, the missing factor that really sends them over the edge? Or maybe I’m the one who is batshit crazy? Only the shadow knows. …Muh ha ha ha ha ha. Come on shadow, tell already…..you dick!

On the upside it seems to be raining women for me as of late. Sure, a date cancelled on me on Saturday (and thank God for that too, eh), but I managed to find another date that same night. And I met another woman online Sunday morning. We were going to hang Sunday but it never happened. We made plans to meet tonight but she had an accident, fell and hurt herself, and swore it wasn’t cold feet or her pulling a Peter Brady. I guess I believe her. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Cancelled dates are par for the course, I’m learning. Get over it. What are you gonna do? Fucking cry about it? Yeah that’ll work wonders for you.

Anyway, it didn’t phase me because I’d spent the day chatting online with another woman that I’d met on eHarmony, which suddenly is producing for me. In addition, I had email messages from two other women. Although one lives in Ontario, Canada, which is of course within my 25 mile range, but I can’t help wondering how that would work — dating someone from another country? Granted it’s not China or Brazil but still. What would happen if it got serious? One of us would have to move to other’s country. And I’m not moving to Canada, sorry. Guess we’ll find out. I should update my passport in any case.

Then tonight I find myself chatting via OkCupid with three different women, one of whom got frustrated with the slow response time of the chat option and wanted to talk on the phone and handed out her number pretty readily, which I don’t think is a good idea, but she’d only been on the site for two days and may have been an online dating newbie entirely. We texted a few times and then she disappeared. So did one of the other women, which was cool by me because the woman I really wanted to chat with stuck around. Booyah! Sorry, though, no serious details. Dat’s da rules.

And now for something completely different.

Well, not really. It is still dating related. It’s about STDs. From a post by a very sexy, wild lady. Check it. Respect it. And condom up people.

Oh yeah. I know what else I wanted to jibber jabber about — ex talk. Everyone tells you never talk about your ex on a date. Never never never. It the subject comes up, give a short sweet answer and move on. I, of course, have a hard time doing this. It was an issue with the first woman I dated after my divorce. She gave me a pretty good talking to about it. But the way she did it kind of pissed me off and should have been a red flag. Hell it was a red flag, I just fucking ignored it. Look, I got no problem with a woman telling me that I talk too much about my ex but there are better ways to do it. Such as this: I don’t mean and disrespect but it seems to me that you still have some healing to do. Still, though, the message is, I don’t want to deal with your problems, which I’m sorry come with a person. Better get fucking used to it. You can’t expect that issues with my ex are never going to back up on me, especially  when your relationship was a clean break because you were never fucking married and only dated for three fucking years or you divorce didn’t involve kids. Life is messy, like a porno set after a full day of shoot (pun very fucking intended) sometimes, get used to it.

And anyway, the woman I chatted with online tonight told me she enjoyed chatting about this stuff. Of course, that could be a whole other kind of red flag. Who knows? We’ll, see. Because I intend to find out. She’s smokin’ hot, baby.

Thus endith tonight’s drunken blog post.

Don’t blog drunk, you say. Ha! I don’t need your rules. I’m a blogger. SPLAT!

What we (guys) are really thinking ladies

But first let me explain and apologize for not posting last night after work. I know how disappointing that must be for you all. Sorry for being a tease. But it really couldn’t be helped. For, as you see, I had a date, one that I acquired via a dating site that I was only recently turned onto and which blows eHarmony away. It is called OkCupid, and it is free; of course you can upgrade but it seems unnecessary, at least at this point. As it gains popularity I’m sure that shall change. But I’m not going to get into the many fine qualities of OkCupid right now. (That I’ll save for a later date. If you’re interested, and I highly recommend it, check it out here. It’s very cool and very hip and, for me anyway, very successful, much more so than eHarmony has been. ) Nor am I going to get into the details of  my date last night, since it has the potential to be a continuing relationship and I think it would be rude. As a rule, I plan to only blog about past relationship, ones that have ended….more or less (like how I gave myself some wiggle room there — more or less…what does that even mean?)

Anyhoo… onto the true subject of this post.

As any guy will attest one of the few certainties that there are with women (and I’m talking pretty much universally) is that sooner or later they will ask you this question: What are you thinking?

Men, also pretty much universally, react to this question, for some reason, with dread. A friend from high school likes to spout the wisdom of a certain comedian whose name escapes me right now (a little help please) and Al Bundy and no doubt a plethora of other men, men of both renown and obscurity, in response to this question, and that is this: “If I wanted you to know what I was thinking, I’d be talking.” A reply that no woman on the planet would take will, I’d venture, but that makes it no less accurate.

Still, women want to know and will continue to ask that question so I thought in the spirit of educating others, not to mention at the risk of not only being shunned and booed a the next worldwide all-man meeting but getting my ass kicked, I’ve decided to share some tidbits of male thought, real male thought. Of course, this is just a taste, as the list is far more extensive than those of the female ilk might possibly imagine. It may surprise some of those of the female persuasion that we men think almost as much as we masturbate or watch sports or check out other women’s boobs. Almost…..

So let’s set the scene. We’re out, meeting perhaps for only the first or second or maybe third time, and we’re sitting across from each other at a table in a coffee shop or in a booth at mid-priced restaurant or at a bar. Wherever. Here, in no particular order of importance is what I (I’m using myself as a stand-in for most men) thinking:

  • What do you look like naked? (this one is in order of importance, it’s pretty much the first thing guys think when they see you)
  • What are you like in bed, i.e. sex not sleeping (this one also is in order of importance, it comes quickly [pun totally intended] right after the above thought)
  • Will I get to see you naked tonight? And if not tonight then when?
  • Are  your boobs as big as they appear or is it a bit of bra technology trickery?
  • Why do you still have your coat on? Are you hiding the fact that you have really small boobs?
  • Do you have big pink nipples or small darker ones?
  • Are you aware that I am checking out your boobs? Is this working against me or in my favor?
  • If I were to reach over and grab your boob right now what would happen?
  • Will you notice if I adjust myself because staring at your boobs is giving me a hard on?
  • What will it be like to kiss you? Should I try to kiss you tonight? Or should I wait? Will you be offended if I try to kiss you or offended if I don’t try to kiss you?
  • Are you going to order the most expensive thing on the menu? And if so, are you going to offer to split the check?
  • Do you expect me to walk you to your car afterward? If I do, will you allow me to kiss you? If you do allow me to kiss you, should it be a quick sweet peck or a longer, deeper kiss?
  • Are you wondering what I’m like bed, if I’m good lover, do I have a big enough penis?
  • Does that fact that my hair is thinning a little bother you?
  • Do you think I’m tall enough? Big enough? Strong enough?
  • Are you impressed by my job? Or my car? Or my education?
  • Do you like to perform oral sex? Or do you just do it because you think you have to? (I really don’t care either way as long as you do.) Do you swallow?
  • What kind of underwear are you wearing? (I don’t really care that much if they match your bra or if they are cute and frilly as long as I get to tug them off you later tonight.)
  • Why do we refer to panties in the plural, i.e. “they” , when they are a single entity. One pair of panties. I mean, who wears two at a time. Unless you’re particularly cold or just really trying to mess with a guy’s head.
  • Will you try to  mess with my head?
  • Why do women mess with your head?
  • Do you have a hot friend that I’m going to be unbearably attracted to and sort of wished that I’d met before you?
  • How long will we have to date before I can stop holding in my farts? Can I let out the fart I’m holding in right now and get away with it? Are you holding in a fart right now?
  • Do you like to watch sports? Do you care if I like to watch sports? Would you be willing to watch sports with me while naked?
  • Do you like watch porn? Do you care if I like to watch porn? Would you be willing to watch porn with me while naked?
  • Do you trim your pubic hair, shave it completely, or leave it like a jungle down there. (I’m cool in any case, I’m just hoping I get to check it out for myself.)
  • Do the drapes match the carpet? (Again, not a big deal to me, I’m just hoping I get to compare for myself)
  • If we get more serious are you going to want to take me out shopping and pick out close for me, dressing me like life-size doll, because I’m not really that cool with that, but if it’s something I have to endure to get laid I probably will.
  • Is my penis bigger than your ex’s? All of your exs’s?
  • How many positions are you willing to do during sex? Will you do reverse cowgirl?
  • Are you going to make a big deal out of it if I leave the toilet seat up? Or if I don’t replace the toilet paper, or don’t put the roll on the “right way” (PS technically there is no right way)
  • Do you think I’m smart?
  • Do you think I’m funny or are you  just laughing to be polite?
  • Who are you texting?
  • Do you really have to leave to feed your dog or do you just want to get away from me?
  • Will you think about me on the way home? When you get home? While lying in your bed with the lights out, touching yourself?
  • Do you realize that I’ll be thinking about you later when I’m home alone, and jerking off? Do you care?
  • Will I ever see you again? And if so will I get to see you naked then?

In My First Apartment: a story

In My First Apartment


In my first apartment after the separation I would often lay awake in bed at night and listen to the traffic on Thirteen Mile Road. There were big, thick pine trees in front of the building and I had thought that they would act as a buffer against the noise but they didn’t, especially not when it came to the ambulances and their screaming sirens as they headed down Thirteen to Beaumont Hospital on the other side of Woodward. But even without all of that I doubt I would have slept well there.

I wouldn’t call the place a dump or anything, but it wasn’t home. (Home was where my ex was with our daughter.) This apartment was just space for me to exist in temporarily until…I don’t know what. I had not a fucking clue. I had no clear view of my future.

My ex is the one who found the place, on Craig’s List, she was so eager to get me out of the house, although she made it seem as if she was doing me a favor. And the shit of it is I went a long with it, letting her usher me right out the door without so much as a complaint. The apartment had seemed like deal at $500/month but that was until I learned that heat wasn’t included. I’d have to pay both a heat and an electric bill, one would be high in the winter and the other would be high in the summer. I’d never catch a break. I’d be too cold or too hot or broke. Probably all three, truth be told.

My ex was the one who made the money. (So in a way I guess it made sense that she should keep the house. She was the one who could afford the mortgage payments. Of course, it had been a different story years before when we were buying it and needed a down payment – then it was our house, we were in it together. But that was then, and this is now. Things had changed.) Oh, I had a job all right, but I didn’t make money like she did. I made the mistake of thinking that I didn’t have to. What a sap I was.

My ex said that she didn’t care how much money I made, that it didn’t matter, that what was important was that I was a good husband and a good and attentive father to our daughter. I thought that I was. I mean after all I was the one who altered my work schedule so that I could work from home and tend to our daughter while my ex went into the office to pursue and advance her career. Working from home it was all I could to do hold onto my job, never mind advancing. It’s difficult to get things done when you have an infant to deal with. I did most of my work late at night after my ex got home from work, usually after she’d gone to bed. While my ex was moving up and up I was administering feedings and changing diapers and trying to get her to sleep so that I could answer just a couple of emails. It was a lot harder than I ever could have imagined. But you know what? I didn’t mind. As frustrating as it could be at times, it was one of the happiest times of my life, and I would not trade it for the world, especially for example days when I would pack up my daughter and take her down the Detroit Zoo to stroll around and eat lunch. Part of me wished that I could do that every day for the rest of my life.

In the end clearly it did matter how much I made, otherwise my ex would not have replaced me with a guy who made even more money than she did.

One of the only good things about the apartment was that it had two bedrooms so my daughter had her own room, but she wasn’t very comfortable in it. She said it smelled funny and that she heard strange noises at night, in addition to the traffic and the ambulance sirens. She didn’t sleep well there either.

Because I couldn’t sleep I spent a lot of time reading and watching TV and trolling the internet. I read a lot of  old  private detective and crime novels that I’d already read several time before, plus some of the books I kept from my college classes, the ones that I’d liked, like Hemingway, I had “The Sun Also Rises” and the collected short stories of his and I liked to read and reread them. I don’t know why but that made me feel good. It was comforting somehow. Also, I figured I should watch as much TV as possible since I was paying for cable anyway and couldn’t really afford it. Mostly I watched reruns of old TV shows, and movies I’d seen dozens of times already, like “Jaws” and the “Star Wars” movies, but really whatever was on. I just wasn’t that interested in anything new, you know.  I joined Facebook and started reconnecting with old friends from high school.

It was satisfying, almost exciting, to touch base with people that I hadn’t been in contact with for years, and in some cases even decades. It felt familiar and strangely new at the same time. Also, I was encouraged to learn that I was not alone. It seemed as if every other person I spoke to was either divorced, going through a divorce, separated or in a marriage that they wanted out of. It was like some kind of fucking epidemic.

It was via Facebook that I hooked up with Kelly, an old high school girlfriend.

I saw her online and shot her a message via chat. She responded almost instantly, pleased to hear from me. It wasn’t long before we were chatting about our current circumstances – me separated, her divorced. She had been seeing someone but it had recently gone bust. Also, she’d recently moved into a new house and we quickly figured out that she wasn’t more than a mile from my apartment. Next thing I knew I was grabbing what was left of a six-pack of beer in my refrigerator and heading over to her place. It was already late and I had to work in the morning (I still had my job at that point; I hadn’t yet been laid off) but I figured why the hell not.

Driving over to Kelly’s, I felt a giddy nervousness, like I used to feel when I was in high school, going out at night, especially if I thought there was a chance I might get laid.

Kelly was the first girl that I’d ever had sex with. I’d fooled around with other girls before her but I was always too afraid to go all the way. With Kelly I didn’t feel as if I had a choice. She wanted to have sex, so we did. I wasn’t her first. She was one of those chicks who, when we were freshman, had a senior boyfriend.

Kelly answered the door in her pajamas, a pair of loose cotton pants with a drawstring in the front that hung low on her hips and a tiny tank top. I could tell that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

“I’m sorry, I know,” she said, after inviting me inside. “I look like shit. I just got out of the shower.”

“Are you kidding,” I said. “You look great.” And she did too. But she also looked kind of tired, slight bags under her eyes. Her hair was shorter and straighter than it had been back in high school, blonder too.

We cracked open a couple of beers and sat down on the couch. The TV was on low because her kids were asleep in their bedrooms. The house wasn’t that big. She had two kids, a boy and a girl. They were both teenagers.

“So is this weird or what?” Kelly said. She was slouching back on the couch with her bare feet up on the coffee table. Her toenails were painted dark purple. Her tank top rode up and I could see that her naval was pierced.

“Yeah. A little, I guess.”

After a couple of beers we started talking about our exes again. She told me how she and her ex had lived in Florida. They had had a big house and boat, living the high life, she said. Her ex had worked in construction and business was booming. And then it wasn’t. He lost his job. And the next thing Kelly knew she was pulling double-shifts as a cocktail waitress just to try and pay the massive bills that they had while her ex sat around drinking and feeling sorry for himself. One day, in the middle of the day, she went looking for him and found him playing golf when he was supposed to be looking for work. And she lost it. She and her ex got into an actual fist fight, beating on each other. He was a big guy, but Kelly is tough, no one you wanted to fuck with. I could actually imagine her kicking the guy’s ass.  Like the time she got into a fight with this guy in the Burger King parking lot after a football game. The guy said something to her that she didn’t like. I don’t even know what he said. All I know is that she threw a half-empty beer bottle at the guy’s head, just missing him. Of course, the guy was pissed, but he said he wasn’t a going to fight a girl. She didn’t give him a choice. She walked right up to the guy and clocked him hard. He went down. And she jumped on him, pummeling him mercilessly. It was kind of scary.

I told her how my ex had basically decided that I didn’t fit into the life that she wanted now. She wanted someone different, a man who was serious about his job and his career. I had interpreted this to mean that she wanted someone who made more money, and as of course I was right.

“You just need to go out there and get a better job,” Kelly said. “Show her you’re the man.” She struck a pose with both her arms up, making muscles, both hands clenched into fists. I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. She was serious.

“Yeah. I don’t know…”

“What are you going to do? Just feel sorry for yourself?’

“I don’t feel sorry for myself.”

“Bullshit!” She laughed.

Kelly’s house was small – only two bedrooms and one bathroom, a small living room and galley kitchen – – but it was neat and clean, and filled with “nice things”. “I like nice things,” she told me, as if it was something immensely important that I needed to know about her. “And I’m not about to apologize for that.”

“Of course not,” I said. “Why should you?”

“I won’t. Not to anyone.” And there was an edge to her voice that made me a little nervous.

After exhausting the subject of our exes and kids we reminisced about high school and talked about work a little. And then suddenly we both got quiet, as if we had nothing more to discuss. We just sat there for a time, drinking beer and starting at the all but silent television. Kelly’s hand was resting there on the couch between us. After a time, I finally made a move and took her hand in mine. We both looked at each, smiling.

We were about to kiss when  her teenage son, the older of her two kids, came stumbling out of his bedroom, passing through the living room behind the couch where we were sitting, seemingly oblivious to us and went into the kitchen to get something to drink from the refrigerator.

I immediately let go of Kelly’s hand and sat up on the couch, as it was Kelly’s father and not her son who had just entered the room.

He stood in the kitchen, tilting a plastic two-liter of Faygo Red Pop up to his mouth, chugging. He had curly brown hair that hung down in his eyes and he was wearing a blue and green pj bottoms that were too long and a black t-shirt with the name of some band I’d never heard of.

When Kelly introduced us I wondered if I should stand up and shake his hand but I didn’t. I just sat there and gave him a little wave. He belched in reply.

My hope was that he would quickly return to his room, close the door and stay there for the rest of the night, but he didn’t. He lingered in the kitchen, nosing around in the refrigerator and cupboards.

“What the hell are you looking for?” Kelly said.

“I don’t know,” her son said with a shrug, and kept on looking.

She got up and went into the kitchen. “Can I get you something, honey?”

“Nah. Not really.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’m sure.”

“Then what are you doing?”

“Nothing.”

The two of them stood there looking at each other. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to leave but I couldn’t just get up and walk out. I turned away and watched the TV.

Finally, Kelly’s son headed back to his room but Kelly stopped him. “Where are you going?”

“Back to bed. Where do you think?”

“Why?”

“Because it’s late and I’m tired.”

“Don’t….”

What the hell was she doing?

“…stay and hang out with us.” She stood in the doorway to his room, blocking his way. He tried to push passed her but she was having none of it. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying frustrating and embarrassing him.  “Come on, baby. My sweet baby.”  She laughed. Then she grabbed him by the face and planted a kiss right on his lips. He did not react. He just stood there and let her. He showed no sign of anger. I was kind of pissed off for him. I wanted to say something, tell her to leave him the hell alone, but I couldn’t.

Then she said: “Hey, honey. I got an idea. Why don’t you get your guitar and show my friend Sonny here how well you can play?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Oh, come on. Don’t be shy.”

“I’m not shy. I just don’t want to.”

“Oh, stop being a whiny little punk and get your guitar.”

“It’s cool, Kelly,” I said finally. “He doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want.”

“It’s okay. He’ll do it. He just needs a little encouragement, don’t you sweetie.”

“What am I your performing monkey?”

“Yes,” she said, laughing. “That’s exactly what you are. My little monkey.”

“Fine,” he finally capitulated.

Kelly waved me over to stand with her in the doorway to her son’s room. He slung the guitar over his shoulder, a bright red Gibson semi-hollow body with a black pick guard, and turned on his Marshall amp. He fiddled with the tuning keys for a moment, plucking at the strings to tune them. Then, after another moment spent adjusting the dials on the guitar and the amp, his hands suddenly burst into action, working furiously, harmoniously. I stood there and stared, impressed by his abilities. Clearly he was not only good at playing the guitar, he loved doing it. You could feel it in the music, see it on his face, which was contorted with a strange kind of joy.

But I was nowhere near as impressed as his mother, who fawned over his playing like a giddy high school girl.

“Doesn’t he fucking rock?”

“Yeah. He’s really good.”

“Good? Are you fucking kidding me? He’s a hell of a lot better than just good.” She seemed offended by less than adequate praise.

“No. Yeah. You’re right. He’s great.”

“Damn straight he is.”

He played for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Afterward Kelly rushed him, smothering the poor kid with hugs and kisses, which he tolerated uncomfortably.

After her sweet little boy had been tucked back into bed with the lights out and the door closed, Kelly insisted on showing me a video clip on YouTube of her son moshing with a bunch of other young guys at some outdoor concert. How it got onto the web, she didn’t say, but you’d have thought he’d made an appearance in a major motion picture or something, the way she acted. “Look at, look at. That’s him. Right there.” No matter how many times we watched it, she never ceased to be delighted. She showed me more video clips that she had stored on her computer, of her son and her daughter. Pics too. After she’d gone through them all, she hauled out some photo albums and a box of loose photographs and we went through them. She chattered on ceaselessly about her kids, placing each photograph in context for me. Of course, it was more or less white noise to me but it was clear that she was proud of her kids.

“And why shouldn’t I be?” she said.

“No reason.”

She gave me a hard look and took a drink of her beer. I looked away. Then we both got quiet for a time, staring at the all but silent TV screen. Finally, I said, “I should probably get going.” I figured Kelly would be glad for me to go, but she said, “Are you leaving so soon?” Her voice was suddenly meek, and sweet, even a little scared, almost as if she couldn’t bear for me to be gone.

I started to get up to go but she stopped me, reaching out to take my hand.

We made out on the couch like the teenagers we used to be. And I was reminded of all those fumbling encounters we’d had all those years ago. In the front and back seats of cars, on couches in basements, outside in back yards behind garages and on the sides of houses, behind bushes, in swimming pools after dark, in cheap motel rooms after dances.

“God,” she said, her breath hot on my neck, “to be together again after all these years.”

“Yeah,” I said, rushing my hands up her top to fondle her breasts. “I know…”

I tugged at her pants. “Going in for the kill already,” she laughed. And then she pushed me off of her and stood up. For a second I thought she was going to walk away from me, a tease, just like in high school, but she didn’t. She undid the tie at the front of her pants and let t hem drop, then pulled down her panties, stepping out of them. She stood before me, naked from the waist down.

“Check it out,” she said, smacking her ass. “Two kids and not a single stretch mark.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I just smiled.

Straddling me, she wrapped a blanket around us. “I don’t want my kids to see us fucking,” she whispered with a little giggle.

It was kind of like being in high school again, except instead of being worried about her parents busting in on us, it was her son and daughter that we had to be concerned about. It was kind of strange, even a little creepy. Part of me wanted to stop but I didn’t know how. Kelly was really getting into it. I guess I was enjoying it too, but not like she was. I doubt I could have stopped what was happening if I’d tried. Finally, Kelly did stop, but only because she wanted to switch positions because her knees were hurting her. We moved into the missionary position, lying down on the couch. It was an awkward and uncomfortable transition. I really just wanted this to be over with. It was like work and I was struggling, I guess you could say.

“Don’t think about it so much,” Kelly said. Her tone was sweet and encouraging, but also a bit impatient.

Afterward, I grabbed my pants and scurried off to the bathroom to peel off the condom and clean up. Then all I wanted to do was make a quick exit, but Kelly wanted me to stay.

“It’s late,” she said. “You don’t have to go. You can sleep on the couch and leave in the morning.” We were by the front door. I was kneeling down, putting on my shoes. Kelly was standing over me.

For a second I was tempted by her offer. I thought it might be nice to wake up and not be alone for a change. But then I remembered that I wouldn’t be waking up to just Kelly. There was also her son and her daughter, and being there in the morning when they woke up would just be too weird. For the first time since I’d moved out of my house all I wanted was to be back in my apartment, alone. So I stood up and said, “Thanks. I appreciate it. But I can’t. I really have to go. Sorry.”

“Yeah. Sure. Fine. Whatever.” She was trying to act like it was no big deal but I could tell she was unhappy, even a little pissed. I steeled myself for whatever might come but nothing did. She saw me out the door and that was it.

In my car, driving the dark, empty streets at three o’clock in the morning, I felt relieved, even kind of happy, which I hadn’t felt in…I don’t know how long. I was buzzing, and not just on beer – after all, I’d only had two beers to Kelly’s four…or was it more? I felt a twinge of that giddy excitement that I used to feel when I was in high school and I’d been out all night, driving around or at a party, hanging out, talking with people, meeting girls, getting laid. I rolled down my window and let the crisp summer night air blow in across my face.

I was actually whistling as I climbed the stairs to my second-floor apartment and let myself inside. Suddenly the place didn’t seem so bad. In fact, it was kind of cool. A little grungy and run down, sure, but so what. It was my place, all my place. I could do what I wanted there when I wanted how I wanted and with whom I wanted. I could come and go as I pleased, just like I used to be able to do, before I got married and had a kid.

And for the first time in a long time I was going to have no trouble falling asleep. I was a little drunk and tired as hell, and I needed to get up in a couple of hours.

But just as my head hit the pillow my cell phone rang. It was Kelly.

“I just wanted to make sure you got home okay,” she said.

“I did. Thanks.”

“So…what are you doing?”

“Trying to sleep,” I said, making no effort to conceal my annoyance.

“Oh. Yeah. Right.” Then, after a moment: “So that was pretty fun tonight…” It was somewhere between a question and a statement.

“Yes it was.”

“Yeah. It was. Really great. We should do it again.”

“Yeah, sure,” I said, agreeing in hopes of ending the conversation quickly.

“Cool. How about tomorrow night?”

“Tomorrow night?”

“Yeah. You could come over again.”

“Oh…I don’t know, Kelly…”

“What’s the matter? Why not?”

“Well, I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow…today, actually. And I’m going to be pretty wiped out by time I get home and…”

“You know what? Never mind. Forget it.”

“I’m sorry. I just –“

“Don’t be sorry, Sonny. You don’t owe me anything.”

“I know I don’t.”

“Whatever,” she said and hung up.

Maybe I should have felt bad, but I didn’t really. I was too tired. Besides, I had enough grief in my life; I didn’t need it from Kelly too.  I just sort of forgot about the whole thing until a couple of weeks later when I saw Kelly online. I’d seen her online previously but I’d purposely avoided her. Now, I had the impulse to contact her. I assumed she was still pissed at me but hoped that I could somehow make amends.

Turned out she wasn’t mad at all, or if she had been she’d gotten over it. We chatted amicably. She asked me how I was doing and I told her that I was feeling kind of down. She told me what I needed was to get laid. “I’ll fuck you,” she IM’d. “Give you self-esteem.”

I IM’d: “Okay. I’ll be right over.”

“HA! Sorry. Not going to happen tonight. I’ve got the period from hell.”

“Some other time???”

“Maybe…if you’re lucky ;-)” Then she asked: “So what’s got you down today?”

I told her it was just one of those days; I was feeling lonely and missing my family. For some reason I thought she might understand, being divorced herself, and that she might have some sympathy for me, but she didn’t. Instead, she went off on me.

“You’re still all fucked up on your ex,” she wrote.

“What?”

“I don’t need this shit. I don’t need your psycho ex giving me shit.”

“She’s not going to give you shit. What are you talking about?”

“I’m not going to play second fiddle to some other bitch. I know who I am and I know what I want. I work hard. I pay my bills. I take care of my kids.”

I had not a fucking clue what she was going on about. And she was typing so furiously that I couldn’t even respond. Eventually I gave up even trying. I just logged off, relieved that she didn’t know my address, afraid that she might want to come and kick my ass or something. Later, I blocked her; I couldn’t quite bring myself to de-friend her. I guess I probably should have. She was clearly nuts.

That was back in the early spring. By that summer I’d moved back into the house with my ex and my daughter, but of course that didn’t last either.  The following winter I ran into Kelly again, at the bar. It was one of those high school alum get-togethers that people had been setting up via Facebook. When I saw her I went cold. She was with some guy that I didn’t know. She looked good, all done up, wearing a cool black leather jacket over a black turtleneck. I pretended I hadn’t noticed her and tried not to look in her direction. But I knew I couldn’t escape her attention. I was sure she’d seen me. I swear I could feel her eyes staring daggers into my back. What would she do? I wondered. Smack me upside the head? Punch me? Clock me with a beer bottle? Drag me off my seat and start stomping on me? These all seemed like real possibilities. I wanted to bolt, to just get the hell out of there, but for some reason I couldn’t make myself move.

The longer I sat there and nothing happened, the more I was convinced she was fucking with me, making me twist while she plotted her strike.

And then she did, sneaking up behind me, slipping her arms around my neck, and pressing her cheek against mine. “Hi, Sonny,” she said, giving me a kiss on the cheek.

What was this? I wondered. The kiss of death? Was she going to shiv me in the back? Or maybe pull a gun a shoot me down?

Nope. Nothing of the kind. She had no intention of harming me in any way shape or form. She was just saying, hi, being friendly, sociable.

She introduced me to the guy she was with, Bernie, an amicable guy who smiled and shook my hand with no trace of malice or threat. “Nice to meet you.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Sonny and I went to high school together,” Kelly explained. “We were friends.”

We were? I thought. Friends? Just friends? Really? Because I remembered it a bit differently, and wanted to say so, but I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut, nodding in agreement.

Later, after we’d hung out and drank and talked a bit, I found myself observing Kelly with Bernie. I wasn’t staring at her, ogling her anything. And I wasn’t jealous exactly. But I did notice something. It was the way Bernie looked at her, with a kind of goofy admiration bordering on reverence. It was sappy and a little annoying, but nice too. And, it was the way she was with him, sweet and solicitous, kind of giddy like a school girl. I got the impression that I was witnessing two people who were in love or falling in love, or at least something close to it. And it made me wonder. Was there something I’d missed?

GenX Frogs

Sounds like a band or something, doesn’t it? Okay. Maybe not. Doesn’t matter. That’s not what I was going f or. So nah.

I’m using frogs as a cheeky endearment for the French not a pejorative. That’s my story and I’m sticking too it.

Anyhoo….

I’m not sure if the French buy into the whole Generation X thing (my understanding is that it’s got it’s Kool Aide drinkers across the channel in England) but if they do then Michel Houellebecq is one of their GenX authors. Born in 1958 he doesn’t fall into the age-range for Generation X, but the themes of his book definitely apply.

Just finished reading his novel, Platform.

And I fucking loved it. And not just because of the cover either, although I am rather fond of it – hubba hubba. I’m reading the hardcover edition and the cover is nothing like the paperback. But we’re not judging a book by it’s cover here. Or are we…..?

Briefly, the story is about a 40 year-old disaffected, cynical French guy whose father has just died. The mother doesn’t really figure in; I can’t even recall in what context the mother is even mentioned. Michel Renault, the main character and narrator, uses some of the money he inherits from his father to go on a vacation, a sex tourism deal — he eagerly and without shame frequents prostitutes. He does meat a girl, Valerie, but nothing happens until they meet up again back in France. Then they carry on a very passionate, lusty affair. In addition to writing about the taboo of sex tourism, Houllebecq’s narrator is none to kind to Arabs/Muslims, toward which his attitude is provacative, derogatory, even caustic and bigotted. My understanding is that MH has been hauled into court for some of the shit he’s written. One can understand why, but that does not take away from the ferocity of the prose and imagination (I scammed that phrasing from a blurb on the back of the book; but it’s true so it’s cool). He sort of reminds me of Brett Easton Ellis, but MH is a much better stylist.

No doubt this novel will not suit the typical American reader. They’re not going to like what they read, especially the derisive attitude toward Western culture, even particularly American at times, though mostly I think the narrator is referring to French culture, which is still Western.

In the end, MH’s fiction version of himself (what othe conclusion can one draw?), having dared to open himself up enough to receive pleasure from a woman lover moves from simply being apathetic to being incredibly bitter. And in the end, like in Douglas Coupland’s, Generation X, the  main character ditches his Western digs for some place more exoctic but not with any sense of hope or new beginning but simply to live out his days, and to be forgotten, forgotten quickly.

Psst. Did I mention that it has some of the best sex scenes I’ve read — sexy, erotic, filthy and lusty all at once!

Strange aside: I tried to read this novel some years ago, after reading the author’s previous novel, The Elementary Particles, but for whatever reason could not…penetrate it, retain much of anything about it. That was before I got on my meds and therapy. Now, I realize just how foggy my head was, and that was why this novel would not click for me. But now, well, it’s crystal clear. I picked it up again and had to plow right through it. Now I’m going back to TEP because I can’t recall what that book was about either, only that on some vague level I liked it.

Lucky Bill

Article on slate.com this morning argues that Bill Clinton’s political success has been as much due to luck as political skill, perhaps aven more so. And his luck continues to hold with Hilary’s loss. Why? Because for a dude with an over-inflated ego and a desperately pathetic need to be the center of attention having Hilary as president would be like hell on earth. He’d be relugated to hosting the Easter Egg Roll on the White House front lawn, which he claims he’d be glad to do.

Wothy of particular note:

A Hillary presidency would also surely mean that Bill would have to disclose every past contribution to the Clinton Foundation and Library. (For a partial list, click here.) Bill’s reluctance to do that has reportedly emerged as an obstacle to Hillary’s vice-presidential aspirations.

Question here: can the Obama people use this to good enough effect to keep Hilary off the ticket, which they’d prefer? As would, my friends. As would I.

It isn’t just Bill’s shady business dealings, which are as much Hilary’s as they are his, but also his pecker problem, ie keeping it in his pants. Even if the Vanity Fair article is bullshit, there’s always going to be the spectar of it there, hanging around, like a  perverted little ghost. No doubt Bill would get off (pun of course intended), but Obama simply does not need that baggage going into the election and, if fortunue shines upon him, into the White House.

What say you people?