Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strippers, X and Jealousy

Trent is a super skinny psychology student in his mid-twenties who works at Doggie Daycare with me. He is Hispanic, gay and sports a floppy Mohawk that changes colors and flips over from side to side as he mops.

He and I share the same sense of humor, same taste in music and same approach to life. He crumples when he laughs at my jokes, is sexually playful with everyone and one of the most articulate and thoughtful people I know.

When we are together, we fall into our own little world of harassing Mississippi, molesting each other and deep conversations of love and life.

Once, he bent me over the sink and dry humped me from behind. It was hilarious in the moment and he said, “See, if I was straight I would be hard.”

I said, “You’re right, that is the first time a man has pounded the back of my ass without a hard on.”

In turn, I will balance a pen between my breasts and my tongue and ask  him if that could impress a homosexual.  Its silly. And wonderful. 

We will make almost anything sexual, and as it escalates, and he touches my breasts or recently found a very sensitive spot on my pelvic bone, I find myself even more attracted to him. 

Last week, he went to his first strip club and was disappointed because it wasn’t fully nude and the girls were too drunk to really dance. He is gay but sexually charged and a bit of a voyeur. So I suggested we drop ecstasy and go to a strip club. We planned for it a few days after conception. The last month or so, I have wanted to dabble in a drugs to complete whatever spiritual discoveries I am making about my life right now.

In the past, I have tried almost everything; weed, LSD, shrooms, X and coke. I have always had a positive experience on them. Some people do drugs to be absent. I do drugs, in moderation, to be present.

Frank expressed interest, of course. So we picked up 3 pills and went to meet him in Hollywood.

Trent and I split a pill since they were quad doses. You always want to start small, because everything varies in potency. You don’t know how to measure this particular pill until you experience it.

First, we went to Crazy Girls, which ended up being just a bikini bar. Trent wanted a full bar and a lap dance. So Crazy Girls gave us passes to the Seventh Veil around the corner.

We walked in and it was about the size of a Jack-in-the-Box. There were a few tables and leather couches built into the back wall. A long, narrow dance floor stretched out in the middle of the main room, where we sat. It was so narrow; I couldn’t pull out my chair without hitting the couch on the back wall.

Mostly, there were a few middle-class/Hispanic couples here and there. Three Asian men sat at the stage across from us next to a slightly disheveled white guy with a white shirt who unloaded a bunch of cash off the ATM and then disappeared in the VIP room.

Trent, “There is something homoerotic about boys coming to watch naked girls dance together. I get turned on watching them.”

I said, “Yeah, it seems very homoerotic. And it is sexy.”

The X was taking hold; I could feel a buzzing in the pit of my stomach. It’s that moment, coming up, when you have to surrender to the drug as it comes over you. Trent asked if I felt it, I said I did.

The music was ok, nothing inspiring and the girls were um . . . a little worn down. Many had cellulite on their ass, lots of tattoos and burned, flat hair not to mention the bored, almost bitter expression on their faces. I found it distracting but no one else seemed to register or care. Men aren’t looking at their faces. I guess they don’t need to.

Frank wanted to buy me a lap dance, and he wanted to pick the girl.

He said, “I think she isn’t your type at all, that’s why I want her to give you the dance.”

She was cute; bleach blonde hair, lots of tattoos along the side of her torso. When the girls danced in the lights, rolling and slithering on their stomachs, it almost looked like the tattoos were animated cartoons, chasing over white pages of skin.

It was 2 for 1, so I thought Gabe and I could share a stripper. I also thought Frank could watch. Two for one actually meant a lap dance with the same customer/dancer over two segmented songs. I mean . . . they weren’t even two full songs.

She walked me into the VIP room, which were three velvet booths in a room practically the size of a walk-closet. After assuring Frank she would take care of me, she sat me down and asked me how long I had been with Frank. I said, “One day.”

She asked what I did for a living. I told her, “Doggie Daycare.”

She said, “Oh, I would love to work at a Doggie Daycare. That would be fun.”

I told her it was.

She danced and it was awkward at first. What do I do with my hands? What do I do? She grinded on my lap grabbed my hands and put them on her body, on her tits. I liked her tattoos.

She made herself very small on my lap, and collapsed into positions that would be appealing to a man. They made me feel big and stuck or frozen, nothing about just sitting there could be pleasurable for her. That made me a little uncomfortable. Then she fondled my breasts, which I liked. And she got so close to my face, I thought we would kiss. Then it was over.

I stumbled back in the room. My pupils were dilated and my hair was standing on end.

Frank/Trent, “How was it?”

I said, “It was good. I want to touch more breasts.”

The strippers would target me on the dance floor and rub my hands on their breasts. Big breasts, little breasts. They smelled good, some like apples, some like dried rose petals, some like cheap body spray.

One girl came up to me and said, “You don’t look shy.”

I said, “I’m not.” And touched her nice round breasts. She laughed and said, “You’re awesome.”

Their breasts were so full and pleasant. Mine seemed small and less festive.

It was expensive, $10 each to get in, all the $1s for tips and the $40 lap dance. Those girls can’t be making much, I think they averaged less than $10 tips per dance. Each took the stage, and we were back on the rotation with the first girl after 40-50 minutes.

A girl knocked Frank’s dollar on to the floor and said, “You shouldn’t sit there if you’re not going to buy anything.” I get being bitter, if Joel and Lana are bitter when it comes to food service, I can imagine what its like serving up your body to assholes every day, all day . . . during a recession.

Frank said he was good and Trent said he was ready to go.

It’s a strip club.

We looked around for an after hours place. My phone is slowly trying to kill itself, so googling “after hours” and sorting through Yelp ads on a cracked screen while high on ecstasy got me a little annoyed. I didn’t want to be the leader of the agenda, I just wanted to fly through the night.

We used up some of the gas Frank bought me looking for a place, and then I suggested that we should just go back to Frank’s apartment and regroup.

I may have been a little snippy to him when he asked questions about where we should go, what I wanted to do, should we park somewhere temporarily or should he park it on the street so it wouldn’t get towed. Eventually, I snapped, “I don’t want to micromanage.”

I think that set him off for the rest of the evening. Trent and I put on some music and started dancing and drinking wine. We took the other half of the pill and got lost in some Glass Candy. Play it

Frank said, “You transformed my apartment into a dance club.”

We all took turns putting on music, Trent and I have very similar tastes- he loves Billie Holiday as much as I love Ella Fitzgerald.  We put on three different versions of Gershwin’s Summertime in succession; first Janis, then Billie, and then Ella & Louie. We sang each version, word for word, rift to rift, anticipating the differences in style and arrangement.

Frank was feeling a little left out. He was pounding shots of bourbon and eventually asked to take a pill. Trent advised he take half.

When the chemicals dissolved in his stomach and rose to his head, Frank punched the couch. I had never seen a reaction like that on x before and was kind of alarmed. It wasn’t like he was losing his temper, but there was a slow boil happening.

Frank said he felt empty and kept saying, “Oh my God.”

I hid in the kitchen with a glass of wine while Trent talked him through.

Trent, “Its just the onset of the drug. It’s a little intense. Just calm down, and let it settle. You will get there. You are ok.”

Trent pulled me out of the kitchen, and I tried talking to him a little bit. Meanwhile, Trent opened the front door because he said he felt a little unsafe. I didn’t understand why at first.

Frank was sitting down and breathing in and out deeply. I put on “I Have Confidence” from the Sound of Music. He seemed to calm down after that.  (I incorporated the Julie Andrews sidekick as she dances to the Captain’s house)

When Frank chillaxed a little, Trent and I started caressing each other. Touching on E is phenomenal. Skin is soft and warm and yet you feel a slight chill along your own skin, which can make a fingertip feel like a pleasant electric shock.

I spread out over a chair with my legs hanging over one arm and my head over the other.  Trent played with my breasts. We do this at work too, so its not terribly unusual behavior. This time he was able to look at my breasts as my shirt slipped up and my bra fell to the side. I never disrobed.

He took off my bra and we caressed each other over our clothes quite casually as Frank stared at us. We kept talking and singing, it wasn’t as if we were staring into each other’s eyes. Frank looked like a guard dog, unwavering from Trent’s neck. Thinking back on it, I can almost hear a low growl.

Trent was singing “Cry Baby” from Janis Joplin’s live performance from Toronto Canada 1970. He knew every inch of that version and executed it perfectly, rolling his head side to side with his eyes closed. Play it

Frank stared, like he was going to kill him. When the song was over and Trent returned to playing with my body, fluffing my long hair until it fell away from me totally.

Frank said, “You are ok with this? Are you alright? Are you ok with this?”

I said, “Of course.”

He said, “Ok, get out. Just kidding.”

I stared at him.

He repeated, “Just kidding.”

Then said, “This is just so weird, I have never met anyone like you. Doggie Daycare must be a crazy place. I mean, does this feel right? He is gay . . . and you . . .”

I said, “There are no rules. It just feels good. It doesn’t matter what we are. You know, I was thinking about how my parents hate my lifestyle when writers and musicians were living this way during the McCarthy period. Running away to Mexico and Paris, sharing hotel rooms and freely having sex with each other. No rules.”

Trent said, “Exactly, like Virginia Woolf. Oh God, I LOVE Virginia Woolf. No boundaries, no rules, just whatever it is, it doesn’t have to fall in a category. I mean, no one wants a family member to live like that, but that’s exactly what it is . . . living without worrying about what it means.”

I invited Frank to touch me too. I said, “Come, feel my body. Enjoy it. Bodies are for pleasure.”

He came up, lightly pecked me and then half-dragged his hand up my skirt. Then withdrew.

Trent was massaging him and making the effort to make him feel comfortable, told him how handsome he was, asked to see his cock . . . things Trent does anyway. Frank would relax and then recoil.

I said, “Frank thinks he is falling in love with me.”

Frank grabbed my hand and said, “I don’t think I am falling in love with you, I know I could fall in love with you.”

Trent, “You are mistaking love for pheromones. You just have to get control of your mind and think through the hormones.”

Frank asked if we gave him a different drug than the one we took. He also asked if we plotted this all out ahead of time, I guess the implication being to trick him into a threesome. For those of you who have never been on X, it is not easy to have sex on. Men rarely have or keep erections, and you are so in your head with the simple caress, penetration isn’t really necessary. Ecstasy was in my hand up Trent’s shirt and on the cold leather of the large chair against my skin.

I was fingering a flame that didn’t burn my finger. It felt phenomenal and didn’t hurt me in the slightest. I asked Trent to pour hot wax on me, and he did. It felt really good.

Frank said, “This is crazy. This is too crazy . . .  maybe you two should leave and do whatever you want to each other somewhere else.”

We asked if he really wanted us to leave, and he would say no. But it would come up again at the top of each hour.

Trent grew frustrated and snapped, “We got you through the initial intensity of the drug, I don’t have the patience to get you through the rest of it.” Or, “This is just like Mississippi.” (see previous blogs).

When Trent snapped, Frank pulled further back. I wasn’t sure what was going on there, some kind of weird masculine clash, but also oddly intimate. They were hurting each other’s feelings at the same time.

I coddled Frank and gave some baby talk, some affectionate nuzzles. He smiled. Trent told him to relax. Of course, then we joked that Trent had AIDS. We laughed so hard when Frank stepped back with his mouth open, it may have been one of my favorite moments of the night. For Frank . . . not.

Frank said, “I do have to say this, he does have strong hands.”

I said, “See? It feels good.”

Then he said, “You know what would be good, Trent massaging my back and you giving me a blow job.”

Silence.

I said, “That’s never going to happen.”

He said, “I am kidding.”

I said, “Its such a weird thing to say, almost aggressive.”

He said, “I was going to say . . .oh, never mind. I was going to say something sweet.”

I said, “What?”

He said, “Never mind, you cut me off.” Wha . . . wha. Baby.

Then he said, “I knew you wouldn’t give me a blow job. I was going to say I prefer what we did this morning.”

I nodded. Something about suggesting I give him a blow job, with Trent massaging his shoulders felt like . . . a control play. Aggressive energy. Positioning himself like a king. It bothered me.

Other comments came out like, “I am not so sure, I think you might actually want to do Trent.”

We would try to explain to him it wasn’t like that, it wasn’t about fucking or orgasm. Why was that so ABSTRACT?!


Trent told him about Atticus, my one-eyed Doberman puppy who hides between my legs and then reenacted it on all fours.

Frank said, “I am jealous. I am jealous of you. I am even jealous of the dog between her legs. I don’t like it.”

Later he texted that he was joking … He should just own up to being completely ridiculous. This became about ownership and property, it wasn’t about bonding, and music and sensation. I cannot be owned.

Frank saw me as an acquisition, not a possible partner, and treated me as such.

Shortly thereafter, he asked us to leave. This time, when it was suggested, I asked to drive Trent back to my place. This upset Trent a bit but I was happy to get away from whatever mind fuck was going on.

Trent fell asleep in the passenger side of my car with a cigarette burning out between his fingers. It was 5am and the sun was turning black to blue.

I took him up to my bedroom and asked to massage him, but he wouldn’t let it go. He kept asking, “What was his problem?”

I said, “Don’t focus on him. I don’t understand and I don’t want to understand. Don’t let him get in your head.”

He said, “He wasn’t used to taking drugs.”

I said, “He has done ecstasy before, he told me stories.”

Trent said, “He is lying.”

I put my hand on his sternum and said, “I think this is where the soul lives.”

Drifting off, Trent said, “Really?”

We split the last pill.

We texted a bunch of boys in our phones before passing out and I was kind of sad I wasn’t enough for him. I do have a little crush on Trent, not the kind that clouds my thoughts or inspires poetry. I just wanted to be close to him and it suddenly felt like he needed a man to be present, to watch or be watched. I mean … he is gay. I just wish he wasn’t that morning. I was dying to be kissed.

I woke up half an hour later with a pleasant buzz. Not the kind of buzz from your first drink at Happy Hour, rather the type where your head is vibrating with silent music. I thought about Abe, I wanted to.

I realized when he disappeared in the relationship, where he faded, was after Murray (my cat) died and during my depression. Yeah, he abandoned me, but really, I now see that he couldn’t handle watching someone he loved hurt and not be able to do anything about it.

So he left. Its weak. The greater point for me was he did love me. He isn’t the callous dickhead who got bored and ditched me. I think he really didn’t know how to deal with my suffering.

Then I remembered (ok, bare with me) that the Disciples disappeared on Christ during his crucifixion. The only ones there while he died, to take him off the cross, where The Three Marys (Mary Magdalene, Mary his mother and Mary’s sister)

I thought about how desperately my parents were pushing me to leave LA because they couldn’t stand the suffering either.

Suffering is my birthright. It is part of my identity. It makes me who I am. I see suffering, identify with it and, as a result, see great beauty and humor in everything else. Its part of how the universe is divided.

I realized how much more significant the sacred heart tattoo is on my lower back. The tattoo is 12 years old and is essentially a purple heart, bound in thorns with fire pouring out the top and a few drops of blood falling dripping off its side. I got it before graduation in college, heartbroken over a guitarist who means nothing to my memories now. He was just a sexy, flaky boy who taught me how to dance and then dumped me. It ruined me for a year.

The tattoo is like a birthmark. It was never about the guitarist.

I spent some time cuddling with my dogs and cat, realizing their inability to understand my suffering forces them to simply cope with it. My depression and occasional freak-outs (very rare now) upset them, but their energy simply compensates and balances me out. They can’t fix me, they can only level me.

The sun was hot already and made a cob web look like a constellation of stars. I was happy. I was happy I loved Abe and the Prophet. I was happy to be me, to be loved and be free and single.

I was smoking in my car when I heard my name and the scuffle of paws on the floor over my garage. I walked up and said, “Trent?”

He smiled at me and said, “How are you doing?”

I smiled and said, “Amazing.”

Trent looked at his phone and said, “Oh, good. I only texted two boys last night.”

I said, “Let’s see, I texted two boys, a guy I thought was an old friend but was actually an OKCupid date from last year who apparently is available for lunch and . . . my ex-boyfriend. Not so bad.”

He said, "How weird that he was jealous over the dogs, I mean come on! Why so intense!?"

I said, "Once, when I was with Abe, I was worried the dogs had heart worm. He said, 'Why aren't you worried about me having heart worm?"

Trent released one those delightful, high-pitched cackles, "Really?"
  
Trent’s scent was hovering over my bedsheets. I rolled over them to bury my face in it. I love him.

I had an audition that afternoon, so after dropping Trent off at home, I came back and gave myself roughly 12 orgasms. The first few were not great because you are in your head so much. The fourth, fifth and sixth were not only mind-blowing . . . they took my knees out.


I went to my audition, which involved improvising a car accident with a husband. I was wearing a very low cut, scoop neck top that practically fell past my arms down the front of my chest. My arms must be getting smaller.


The boy next to me introduced himself as my husband and said we would make a cute couple. The other boy let his hand linger around my neck and shoulders during the audition. Even after showering, could they smell the orgasms on me?

After the audition, I texted Joel and stopped by his place since he wasn't far. I showed up in Mary Ann pig tails with black heart shaped sunglasses and relayed the sorted tale from the night before.

Joel said, “Well, this guy cared for you. He had feelings for you. And you are playing around with some other guy in front of him? He wants to be with you.”

Why was he taking his side?

I said, “It wasn’t a date. It was set up to be the three of us, x and the strip club. And it wasn’t desire . . . there was no eroticism with him, even when I invited it. It was just aggression. Just aggressive male energy. He wants to hunt me, stuff me and put me on the wall.”

Joel said, “Doesn’t part of you want to be hunted, stuffed and mounted on a wall?”

I said, “No. I want to roam the plains of Africa.”


We made love.

He had to go to work but caressed my hair and body. He was still staring at me.

Joel, “I really have to get going, as much as I hate to get up.”

I said, “Oh, don’t stay in bed just for me, get up and do what you need to do.”

He said, “I am not staying in bed for you, I am staying for me.”

I said, “We have got to stop having unprotected sex. I felt attached to you last time I was here.”

He nodded and said, “Its not just the unprotected sex . . . “

I said, “And the music?”

He chuckled and said, “And we are getting to know each other.”

We showered and I fell asleep in his bed as he left. He looked down on me while buttoning up his shirt with a thirst. He is developing feelings for me. One of us is going to get hurt.

He said, “I hate to go. I really hate to go.”

I said, “Go. I will see you tomorrow.”

Drifting off to sleep, I felt a little more myself than ever before.

The next day, Joel took me on a third date. This one was planned for the last week. Joel wanted “another chance.” Another chance to do what, I am not sure. He took me to see Doug Stanhope at the Comedy Store.

I was still recovering from practically no sleep the week before and only a few catnaps since my night on x. A beer and shot of tequila turned my bones to clay. I was leaning into Joel with all my weight.

After the show, we went to Toi’s on Sunset for Thai food and I asked him about his thoughts on Frank.

I said, “I just don’t know why you are taking his side.”

Joel said, “I am not taking his side, I am playing devil’s advocate because I am a lawyer. This guy liked you and invited you in his home so you could fool around with some other guy right in front of him.”

I said, “Its not like that. Trent is gay and its that whole adolescent approach to sex.”

He said, “I don’t buy that. You say that a lot. First of all, we are all gay. We all fall along a spectrum. This guy was touching you and you were touching him back, right? That’s sex. And he felt left out.”

I said, “But he was burying his face in strippers’ tits earlier. How is that different?”

He said, “It just is.”

I said, “No its not. That’s a double standard. If Trent was a woman would you have a problem with it?”

He thought for a second and said, “ . . . no.”

I said, “I see, so it’s the threat of Trent’s sperm.”

He said, “Its not just sperm, if there was just another girl there is the possibility of her also being interested in me. If it was just between the two of you; she picked YOU up and was only interested in YOU . . . yeah, then I would have a problem with it. What’s more disturbing is letting Ron Jeremy feel you up because he is a celebrity porn star.”

I said, “Its not like I was star struck and let him do whatever he wanted. It was just, again, an adolescent silly thing.”

He said, “You said no. And by saying no and him continuing to touch you, that is sexual assault. By legal definition, that is against the law. He touched you after you said no and put your hand on his cock-”

I said, “What if Pamela Anderson grabbed your hand and put it on her breast saying ‘Do they feel real?’ Would that count? What if you hesitated and said, ‘No’ before your hand landed on her tits.”

Joel said, “See, now that’s different.”

I said, “Why? How? Are you just jealous?”

Joel said, “I am a typical male so yes, do I wish you would only want to be with me and think I am the best lover and mate and be totally focused on me without pushing into a relationship or obligation of any kind? Yes. Then, I am jealous.”

I said, “Its sexual play without intimacy. Its nothing to be jealous of.”

He said, “Now, see? I don’t buy that.”

Touch feels good. Sex feels good. How is that debatable?

Men have written me emails before about how I am not respecting myself, “giving” myself away or selling myself short.

Men will FUCK anything that MOVES . . . how is that any different than a woman in her sexual prime enjoying touch? Just touch. I only have one sexual partner for Christ’s sake.

Fondling feels good, and I am not going to deny myself pleasure so I can use my body as collateral with others. If I want to feel lips on my skin, feel bodies and smell sweat. Why can’t I?

So you lose respect for me. I don’t need a stranger’s respect or approval for a life where I can see and feel in all colors. I am obligated to no one but myself right now.

That might change. If I was still with Abe, I wouldn’t have done it. But I am alone. I am with myself.

You say I am degrading myself or lacking in self-respect.

I say, I am alive and no illusion of acceptance will take that away from me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unfuckable

Sunday night was my Celebrity Apprentice TV “date” with Frank (my new casual buddy, 5'7, Masculine George Costanza type). The finale. 

Kushal never called for that third date. Ah, the moment before a handjob:
** "Are you still going to talk to me if I do?" ** He laughed and said, "I am not an asshole."

I was fighting a stomach virus for three days. At work that night, I had to lift Sebastian, a very old golden retriever with bad hips, up a few times so he could walk to his food and get a bath since he soils himself. I smelled like urine.  I fell on my ass breaking up a fight between a shih tzu with a really bad attitude named Willie and a terrier/poodle mix. Not to mention, I had three zits on my face, which is unusual for me.

I really wanted a boyfriend that night; to bring me a beer while I showered, to massage my ass; to tell me I was pretty even though I looked and felt like shit.

I was looking forward to seeing Frank; he was easy to be around. I show up in pajamas, glasses and slippers with my ganja Tupperware. Its all very casual.

After the show, Frank spoke to me frankly about the blog (har har har). He said, “Now, I am not judging. I love the blog. I am addicted to the blog. I am just saying some women would take what men say and hold them in confidence. There has to be something said for confidence.”

I said, “That’s true. There is something to be said for confidence. I do change everyone’s names. I am a writer . . . its my duty to preserve all those stories.”

I think about all the stories from the past and how they are worn down and faded from time. I can’t save them for you- but the ones from last week, last night and today . . . those I can capture so they can live forever.

He said, “I thought you were going to bail on me today, cause you weren’t feeling well. If you weren’t coming, I was going to drive out to you and bring you some soup or something.”

I looked at him confused and said, “You were?”

He paced and sat across from me.

He leaned in and stopped short of my cheek, I am not sure if I turned my face or if he aimed for my cheek. His lips stopped just above my skin.

I said, "Wait a minute, are you kissing me? Like a romantic kiss?"

He said, "Well it was, but now somehow the romance has been completely eliminated from the moment."

I said, "Did you read my blog?"

He said, "Yeah, I wasn't going to read it. I thought if I was going to try something with you, I shouldn't read it. Then I did."

I said, "Well you know I am really confused right now."

He said, "Yeah, I know you are in a weird place."

I said, "I think it’s a really bad time to try this. I like you. I mean, I like talking to you-"

Him, "Ok. Ok." He was taking this as rejection.

I said, "No, I mean. I am interested in . . .” Find the words. “All of it. I want to protect it from whatever I am going through right now. I am just surprised you would want to get involved after knowing I am involved with other guys. I mean, I had unprotected sex a few days ago."

He said, "Well, I know. I shouldn't have read the blog."

I said, "But, I like you. And I don't want to ruin this, whatever it is."

He said, "If we were to get together, it would be either one of us feels great loss or someone's crying over the other one's grave."

I said, "I have heard that before. It lasted 3 months."

He said, "Well, who knows what would happen ... no one knows."

Silence.

He continued, "You had to have known I was going to try tonight."

I said, "No, well you didn't hit on me last time I came over and when we said goodbye at the comedy club Wednesday night, you made a point of joking about the lean in/stretch-your-face away-hug not being a come on. And . . . I mean . . . you read the blog. Why would you be interested?"

He said, "Yeah, well, with the hug I didn't know I would try then. Then I started thinking about you. You were on my mind and I thought, ok, I am going to try. Come on, you had to have known."

Me, "Um."

He said, "I haven't dated a woman as intelligent as you."

I said, "I wonder if people think I am more intelligent than I am."

He said, "Well, I've dated some real morons. Pretty much all of them, so don't pat yourself on the back. One girl was pretty good . . ." His head started bobbling and he stretched his ear lobe between his index finger and his thumb.

I said, "Oh, is she the one?" We all have a one . . .

He said, "No . . ." his head was still bobbling.

I smoked a bowl while he poured himself a shot of bourbon.

He said, "Do you like Vegas?"

I said, "Eh. My sister lives in Vegas."

He said, "Do you like to gamble?"

I said, "No, its very unsatisfying for me."

He said, "I am a gambler. I am ashamed to say I dropped $100 down last night in a poker game. I  had a terrible hand, but I played it. I played it in a way that would make (some poker celebrity names) proud. "

Red Flag.

Frank, "Do you like scotch?"

I said, "I like everything. But my stomach can't take anything right now."

Frank likes to gamble, likes Scotch and used to binge on cocaine. I am not sure we are good for each other. I would end up giving in to some of those vices and we wouldn’t be able to pull the other one up.

He said, "If you were going to say no or bail on me tonight, I had a back-up. I had someone else I was going to call."

Me, "You did? What's she like? Is she good-looking?"

He said, "Just a back-up. Am I going to be an honest asshole? She is not good-looking (stretching pinkie finger away from his glass) enough."

I said, "Does someone have to be good-looking to a certain degree for you to be interested or can her personality count for as much?"

He said, "No, that’s not good enough, either."

I spit out my lemonade and laughed.

We told stories and laughed, me laying on my stomach with my bruised ass in the air and him pacing with a bottomless shot of bourbon.

I said, “This is like a slumber party.”

He said, “I just need some whale print pajamas. I don’t know what I am saying . . . I can play a song that I know is special to you right now . . .”

He took out his guitar and played “Say It Aint' So.”

I sang the beginning while he played the chorus. He cut me off, "I am playing the chorus!!"

We started over and sang the song in synch. Then he launched into “Spaceboy” by Smashing Pumpkins, as the Sandman tugged at my ankles. It was 4am.

I asked to lay down in his bed . . . but it was clear this was platonic. He kept talking to me as I curled and kicked under his blanket.

I sang, ♪ ♫ "Say it ain't sooo . . . your drug is a heartbreaker . . . " ♪ ♫ (Groooan!) "I LOVE THAT SONG SO MUCH!! WHY?!!"

He gingerly laid down next to me, careful not to touch me.

I said, “Are you going to braid my hair now?” He laughed.

I said, “As a testament of your love, can you move my car for me?” The street was closing and ticketing all cars on the street at 6am.

He said, “I can move your car to a spot in the complex, but you might not be able to get out later. I gotta check.”

I said, “You can drive me to work . . . and clean my place for me during my shift.” I was giggling.

He said, laughing, “Anything to touch your hair again.” He moved my car for me.

When he came back, he launched into a story, “So my neighbor upstairs, Ramon, he has a wife and a baby. One day he says to me and Adam, (lowering his voice like Cheech Marin) ‘What do you think about drugs?’ I said,  ‘Well you know I smoke pot everyday. He said, ‘What about coke?’ I said, ‘Hey I had my time with it. Now it just makes me throw up.’ Adam said, ‘Yeah man, coke.’ So one day we all do a few bumps, I threw up but it didn't stop me. I kept going. He was saying crazy shit like sometimes he wants to kill his daughter.”

I looked up, “He said that.”

Frank, “Yeah, I mean if he said sometimes he wants to hit his daughter that would be disturbing. But he said sometimes he wants to kill his daughter. One day, I get a call from him; he is being held up in a parking lot somewhere. I didn't know what the hell was going on, only that Ramon was going crazy. Then he just pops in through my front door . . .”

I was drifting. Eyes heavy. Twitch.

Frank, “I said, Ramon, coke and guns don't go together . . . By the way, he has some really good cocaine up there if you are ever interested."

Me, (sleepily) "Oh my God, don't tell me that."

I may have slept for 45 minutes, or an hour. I opened my eyes and saw Frank sitting on the edge of the bed, scrolling through his phone.

He said, "The guy who wrote the song ‘You Light Up My Life’ killed himself last night."

Me, "Are you serious?"

He said, "Yeah."

The song is actually about a comedian who had a one-night stand with a director.

I said, "So are we going to spoon or what?"

The next time I saw Frank was Tuesday night, two days later. He asked if he could stop by when I was done with my shift at Doggie Daycare.

Though I was sleep deprived Monday at work, I was happy. I had a great time with him, I loved my job. I don’t know, it was a good day.

Tuesday night he walked in and came up to lightly embrace me. I heard him take in a nose full of my hair.

I laughed.

He said, “May I smell you again? (beat) I keep looking for a way to kiss you organically but its not coming up.”

I broke my rule, leaned in, held his face and kissed him. He smiled.

He said, “You know, I was really happy all day yesterday.”

I said, “I know, I was happy too.”

He smiled and said, “Good.”

Silence.

He said, “I want to buy you things. I won some money in a poker game last night and I am excited by the idea of throwing some money at you. Do you want a tank of gas? I bet you are on empty.”

I slowly nodded. Did men really get a high buying women things? I thought it was usually just a way to make them feel indebted.

He said, “I will buy you a tank of gas.”

He met my dogs, we listened to Pandora and went to lay down on my bed. One thing led to another, and we fooled around. Nothing serious, third base. We had sexual chemistry, I was kind of surprised since he wasn’t my type at all.

First thing in the morning, I brewed some vanilla hazelnut coffee. He said, “I like this place. I like the place, I like the dogs- love the dogs. Love the cat.”

I smiled, that was the first time a man said he liked my apartment. I brought him a cup of coffee and he said, “Thank you. This reminds me of that monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross. You know, Al Pacino’s monologue about a girl that brings him café au lait?”

I said, “I haven’t seen it in years.”

He said, “I will look it up for you.”

On his Facebook profile right now, he has a YouTube link to it, “The great fucks you may have had, what do you remember about them? I don’t know, for me I am saying what it is, is probably not the orgasm. Some broads forearm on your neck. Something her eyes did. It was this sound she made. Or its me in the . . . I am tellin’ ya, I am in bed, the next day, she brought me café au lait, gives me a cigarette. My balls feel like concrete.

What I am saying, what is our life? Our life is looking forward, or its looking back. That’s it. That’s our life.”

I tried to give Frank and orgasm, Jr. High style, but like pretty much every man I am with, he struggled the first time. He also said my name, which is how my last blog ended. Coincidence?

As I put in my contacts, he mentioned the struggle to orgasm and said, “I think I had trouble almost because I respect you too much.”

I said, “You don’t equate sex with respect? That’s disturbing.”

He said, “Let me rephrase this so I don’t sound like an asshole-“

I said, “Well, that’s consistent with what you said before, about dating a lot of bimbos.”

He took pause and said, "That's true."

We took the girls for a hike. I told him I had a date with Joel on Friday- he covered his brow and stopped walking. 

Frank, "I’ve got to protect myself.”

I said, “I told you I am in a confusing place . . .”

We finished the trail in a weird place of conversation. I felt like I woke up and grew a boyfriend overnight. It made me feel uncomfortable. We weren't light and laughing anymore, we were on to pregnant silences and knowing stares.

As we pulled out of Echo Mountain, he said we should check out some of the houses for sale around the area. I told him on the way up that if I could have a house anywhere right now, it would be in Altadena, by the hiking trails.

We followed signs to a little hideaway house with a rose bush and a jacuzzi. No enclosed yard. He called the broker and asked if they could show us the house and got a quote. He said, “600k.”

I said, “Eeek.”

He said, “I don’t know why I am saying this but it is within your reach. I might be interested in getting a place with you . . .”

He spoke about his time as a cigar entrepreneur and how he could get steady pay coming in from that business again. I could see pain at the mention of working phones in an office every day, 5 days a week.

I said, “Do what you love, that’s what I am doing.” In the back of my head, I wondered if this was the answer. A friendly romance with Frank, who was willing to put writing on the side to make money and start a life with a girl he only spent 48 hours with . . .

Sounds like my failed marriage.

We went to breakfast.

He said, “So a date with Joel on Friday . . .”

I said, “I think I would advise you to stay away from me . . . romantically.”

He said, “I don’t like that advice and I have heard a lot of shitty advice in my time.”

I laughed out loud. His eyes lit up. Men love making women laugh, maybe even more than orgasming.

He said, “I feel like I should tell you not to screw it up with me.”

I said, “Hold on! Let me analyze how I am feeling right now.” Pause. My eyes were burning. “Thinking about being only with you . . . makes me want to cry. I can’t give myself totally to someone else again.”

He grabbed my hand and said, “Ok. Its ok.” He turned his face away.

On the way home, he said, “I don’t know why I feel so attached so quickly.”

He took a picture of me and said, “Just in case this is the last date.” We both laughed, but not really.

I went over to CBS Radford for audience work, and was miserable with sleep deprivation.

A short fellow, pale with the kind of broad nose and light blue eyes you would think of when reading Flowers in the Attic, came up and said, “Hello. My name is Michael. Would you like to have a conversation?”

No. “Sure.”

Silence.

He said, “So, a topic . . .”

I said, “Um . . . um . . . sorry, I have been lost in thought for . . . a few months now.”

He asked, “About what?”

I said, “A relationship ended. My cat died. I’m broke.”

He said, “Did this all happen the same week?”

I said, “Within 3-4 weeks.”

He motioned to the paw print tattooed on my inner wrist and said, “Is that the cat’s paw print there?”

I said, “Nope. That’s my other cat that died.” (awkward laugh) “ . . . yeah.”

He said, “Well, hopefully the break-up was amicable.”

I said, “Nope. No. And the mother fucker is holding on to my hard drive. He won’t mail it. He is just holding on to it until he can give it to me when he has made something of himself.”

Michael said, “Well, he is terribly mistaken, isn’t he?”

I said, “I hope he dies.”

He said, “Wow, I am so glad we talked. Those heart-shaped sunglasses really do hide the terror within.”

Silence.

He said, “What was the last book you read?”

Oh . . . he wants more.

I said, “What was the last book I read?”

He said, “I don’t know what book you read-“ He is undercutting me because he doesn’t think I read. I hate that.

I cut him off and said, “Hold on! I am talking to myself, not asking you. What book . . . The Help. Before that House Rules. Then The Male and Female Brain.” I must start a new book. My focus is so fucked right now.

He said, “The Male Brain, bet that was an easy read. Budump bum.”

I said, “That’s the joke.”

He said, “I don’t think men get enough credit.”

I said, “Well, they get all the credit, so . . . I don’t know what to say if that’s not enough.”

He said, “I meant to say how we interact with others.”

I asked, “Socially? ”

He said, “Yeah, people seem to think our intentions are all bad.”

I said, “Maybe you are talking to too many women. I am sure you will hear about how bad women are if you socialize with more men.”

He said, “True. Maybe. (beat) I am reading The Hutt Gambit.” Silence. “It’s a Star Wars book.”

I wonder if men read my blog and think I am confused and in a daze, so find it an opportune moment to put their foot in the door. 
I wonder if men want to fuck someone who is unfuckable.

Or love someone who is unlovable.

Why would anyone want to be involved with me?

Maybe the younger ones who don't call after one passionate date, Kushal and Atticus, maybe they are the noble ones.

Or maybe people think if they know this blog, they know me.

 Everything happens so God Damn fast. I just need a minute. One . . . drug induced . . . minute.

That night, I picked up Trent, a few ecstasy pills and headed over to Hollywood to pick up Frank.


To Be Continued . . .