Monday, May 9, 2011

Joel's Date: White Girl Spicey

I predicted that Abe would contact me around his birthday. If I was a selfish person who ignored my ex-girlfriend of one year, I wouldn’t care until it was my birthday.

Low and behold, Abe texted that he was going to be in Pasadena the week of his birthday and could give me my things back.

When I told Lana, she tilted her head to the side and gave a small smile. She still hopes we will get back together.

Em’s reaction was totally different, she actually hissed like a cat . . . or a vampire . . . or a cat just bitten by a vampire. I have never seen that from anyone before. It was kinda awesome.

This news spun my head around more than I anticipated, and my excitement for a date with someone I knew and was attracted to (Joel) was replaced by intense heart burn and put me in somewhat of a daze. I haven’t seen Abe since before we broke up.

My first thought was to spend the afternoon with him talking. My second thought was to tell him to leave everything in my garage and disappear. My third thought was, of course, he is going to pull a Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael and flake.

That day, I spent sunbathing with Em and her friend, who came over to talk about her wedding plans. I really just couldn’t process anything; wedding jewelry, wedding cruise, how great he is to her . . . I sat there in sunglasses and a bikini, sipping wine wondering why no one seems to think I am that kind of girl.

Married men approach me for sex. Single men approach me for sex. My ex-boyfriends can’t commit. What is wrong with me that no one thinks I am worth the investment?

Of course the Bride-to-Be said, “Don’t worry. You will find the right one.”

Who knows if I will find the right one? Not everyone’s life ends up like a fairy tale. Why do people keep telling me that I will end up with someone when Diane Keaton didn’t end up with anyone?

In an interview with 48 hours she said, My feeling about romantic love is that unfortunately, it's not rooted in the ordinary realistic world.

It was more of this heightened state when I was younger. And I think that the closer you come to being realistic about love -- like, for example, for me in my life at this point, the fact that I have children and that I'm raising children and that it's been the most profound love experience of life is in fact to be completely rooted in reality.

You're in a constant state of problem solving. It's not like you're being transported to this other place where people worship you and kiss you and tell you you're beautiful and all these ridiculous things that just really -- I mean, they're sweet in a moment. But the thing is, you get addicted to that -- and that's not real love to me. And I think that in that regard, this idea of romantic love is a very dangerous area for a person like me...


In the movies, it's a safe venue because I'm going to be happy in the movie because Nancy wrote a happy ending. Of course, it isn't always like that in life.”

The one actress I identify with the most is Diane Keaton. I think she is awkward and funny and really pleasant to watch, but complicated to love.

I don’t need a wedding. I had one.

I don’t need a husband. I had one.

And just because you are in love now, doesn’t mean you know the secret formula for a person like me to fall in love with the “right” guy.

Bride-to-Be said, “When I kissed him, I knew it was different. You will know, too.”

When I kissed the British Bastard, I practically moved in.

When I kissed the Prophet, I lost my mind.

When I kissed Abe, I would have bet all the money I had he was the one for me.

Life is unpredictable. I am not seeking control of it anymore. I was. I surrender. Now I am just sitting back, trying to learn and enjoy the ride, despite how terrifying it all is.

Thursday, was my date with Joel. Beforehand, I was sitting with Em and texted him if he picked up a Mother’s Day card yet.

He texted back, “I don’t get Mother’s Day cards.”

I texted back, “Why?” and was afraid his Mom was dead. That really sours my Yo Momma jokes. I try to switch to Yo Auntie jokes, but it never really works.

He called and left a voicemail, “Hey there, so I really don’t know how to answer your question by text . . . um . . . uh, I don’t generally get Mother’s Day cards. I don’t generally get cards, at all. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t love my mom. It doesn’t mean I don’t talk to her. Hopefully, I will see you soon. Hopefully, you don’t change your mind because I don’t get my mother a Mother’s Day card on Mother’s Day.”

Em looked at me and I said, “That’s a strike.”

Em said, “Well, we already knew he wasn’t a potential. Just go have fun.”

I put on some make-up, swept my dark hair over one shoulder in a loose pony tail, and wore my yellow, strapless sundress. I love that dress. With black heart sunglasses, I strolled over to his place on a hot afternoon.

Prior to the date, I texted him, “Movies I am willing to see tomorrow: Scream 4, Red Riding Hood, Battle LA, Hanna.”

No word. He said he just laughed at the text because of the audacity. 
Being the sensitive date-to-be I am, I worried he was strained financially, and that’s why he didn’t text back, so I offered to bring over Netflix.

When I came over to his studio, the front door was open, but the screen door was closed. I called in. No answer.

I entered and said, “You cleaned the place!”

No answer.

I looked around and saw he wasn’t there, so I took off my shoes, smelled my feet and proceeded to wash them in his bathroom sink.

Then, I laid down in his bed to play with my phone.

He arrived with some Arizona Green Tea and maybe a few other things in a plastic bag. He coolly greeted me and then sat down next to me.

I asked how his day was. He said he had lunch with an old friend, a female.

I asked if this was someone he was intimate with in the past. He said it was.

I asked him what they talked about and what else they did. He said they came back to his place and had sex.

I turned to him, smiling and said, “Really!?”

He said, “No. I just wanted to see your reaction.”

I said, “Well my first concern was, my dress was on the wet spot.”

He said, “No, I didn’t have sex with her. I wouldn’t tell you if I did.”

I thought about this. He was being very honest and I appreciate that. Of course, he has eliminated himself as anyone I would ever date.  I am not sure that’s fair, but I would like to believe when someone dates me, its because they only want me.

Reading my face, he said, “Maybe you’re the type of girl I could tell. I don’t know.”

I said, “My main concern is disease.”

He said, “You really are afraid of STDs, huh?”

I nodded.

He said, “How about I will tell you if I ever have unprotected sex? I promise.”

I said, “Deal.”

Then he touched me. My skirt was high around my thighs, and his kisses slowly made their way between my legs. The front door was still ajar with only the screen door between us and the world.

There were four empty parking spaces between that door and another apartment building. I wasn’t sure how visible we were, but I enjoyed the risk of exhibitionism. It turned me on. Not to mention, the cunnilingus was superb. He worked the hood, the clitoris and my g-spot all at the same time, which deserves notice. (There. Happy, Joel?)

*Apparently I haven’t properly documented what a skilled lover he is in this blog.

I orgasmed, then he closed the front door and we had intercourse.

Afterward, I asked him what he had planned for our date. I was excited to see a movie.

He said, “There was this premiere of a horror movie. Its supposed to be the best horror movie released on DVD.”

I said, “That sounds like fun.”

And he said, “Yeah, but you sent me that text of movies you would allow yourself to see, and allow me to pay for.”

I said, “Well, I don’t want to go see the Fast Five. That would be a waste of your money. I wouldn’t enjoy that.”

He said, “It was funny. Its fine. But I just kinda didn’t make plans after that.”

So, because I told him what movies I was interested in seeing, he decided not to plan a date at all. Rather, just fuck me.

He did buy me dinner, at a vegan bistro, which was nice. I was disappointed though, and it felt like I was being punished for being assertive.

HOW HARD IS IT TO TAKE A COOL CHICK LIKE ME TO THE MOVIES? Jesus, I don’t even require popcorn.

As we pulled out of the driveway a woman in her late 50s with boy short hair, leathery skin, hoop earrings, a flower print button up shirt and long shorts approached us, chewing gum. She said, “IS THIS (insert address)?”

I said, “Yes.”

She said, “Is there a 2 bedroom for rent here?”

Joel said, “Yes, its over there.”

She said, “This is right next to the freeway. Who would want to live by the freeway?”

I threw my thumb in Joel’s face. He said, “It sounds like the ocean at night.”

She sneered and chewed gum for a second before saying, “Its always amazing what they call Toluca Lake. BAJA Toluca Lake!”

She walked away without saying goodbye. I liked her up until that part.

We went to the vegan restaurant and I enjoyed some mock duck curry. We were talking about the blog, unfortunately, it became apparent the blog will always be a factor in this arrangement. No matter how many times Joel said, “I don’t want to get in the way of it. Its your perspective and its so honest, I respect it." I knew that the blog was maybe even a stronger presence than I was.

The blog. An entity of its own.

He said, “People are judging me on a moment, without knowing who I am or why I am doing it.”

I said, “Well, people are always judging you on a moment, whether its in person or something you say or something they read . . . people take what information they have and make a judgment. You can’t help that.”

He said, “That’s true. I do wish I could defend myself. Not to you so much, but your readers. But I know its not about me, its about your perspective of me. I am not Joel. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of that because I think reading the blog does put me at an advantage with you.”

I thought about everyone who wishes they could defend themselves to you, my audience. I don’t like feeling that I am taking away my characters power, power to speak and live and justify their actions. 

That said, everything that is brought to an audience is sculpted, molded, and edited for your consumption. Otherwise, it would just be a rock or a word you might not notice anyway.

I shine a little light on it, but with light comes shadows and the absoluteness of any person or idea can never fully be seen and understood. At least not in a finite period of time.

Joel went to the bathroom and I overheard the couple next to me talking. A slightly overweight, curly haired boy in glasses was venting to his platonic, hippie acquaintance about a relationship.

“She said I am trying to control her from across the ocean. I said, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’”

I chuckled and the girl smiled at me. I apologized. The boy refused to look at me and shoveled more food in his mouth.

Joel came back and paid for the bill. I asked him what was next. He offered to take me home and drink with me.

Now, he is interesting to me because his curiosity dominates his ego. I really appreciate that. But if he wasn’t going to take the lead on a date, even if he claimed that he gave up because of my attempt to control the movie of choice, then he will never be considered worthy of a partnership.

I was slightly disappointed, but I was stoned, so it didn’t matter.

When we drove back, he asked me who my favorite actors are. I said it always changes, but I will watch anything with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cary Grant or Diane Keaton. I said, “In a way, she is not the most versatile actress because she is always playing herself. She is a persona. But, because of that, I know I will always enjoy watching her.”

He said,  Annie Hall is the only Woody Allen movie I like.”

I said, “Are you kidding? Crimes and Misdemeanors?”

He said, “Haven’t seen it.  Did you see Matchpoint?”

I said, “Eugh, yeah. I didn’t like it. Woody Allen can be hit or miss, There was Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Everybody Says I Love You, Whatever Works .  . . I didn't even like Mighty Aphrodite but then he comes out with Vicky Cristina and makes a better movie about women than most women directors."

I continued, "What about Interiors, Purple Rose of Cairo, Bullets Over Broadway . . .”/ (over my rambling list) He said, “I am starting to realize I haven't seen that many Woody Allen movies.”

I said, “What Woody Allen have you seen?”

He said, “Annie Hall and Matchpoint.”

I said, “Ha.”

(silence)

I said, “Manhattan? Hannah & Her Sisters?”

He said, “No.”

I  said, “I am not sure you are qualified to talk about Woody Allen Movies”/ (Over me) He said “Maybe I need to see more of his movies to develop an opinion, I just know I liked Annie Hall.”

We were stopped at an intersection and I was looking over his shoulder for oncoming traffic in the passenger seat.

Suddenly, he stuck his hand over my face, "STOP CONTROLLING! You see how you are doing it right? I am driving. Trust me.”

I said, “Why would I trust you? I barely know you.”

We went back to his place and I played some songs stuck in my head on YouTube. I avoided "Say it Ain't So". I told him about the hike I took with my dogs the night before . . . a midnight hike with a pack of dogs to a waterfall. When we reached the waterfall, I looked up and saw the canyon walls enclosed almost completely around us and the stars were bright.

What I didn’t say was, I wondered what it would be like to live out there. It is a romantic idea for me, to live like a Native in the wild. It made me think of a conversation I had with the Bride-t-Be and Em earlier. I hiked on my honeymoon, and Em said, "She was in her early twenties then, now wouldn't you just like to relax instead."

I said, "No, I love hiking." I find my soul in the trees.

He poured rum while I read aloud some Facebook updates. I said, "Its like looking into other people's windows":

Update: “loud people with a dog have been in the lobby for the past 20 minutes b*tching about how their neighbors are yelling all the time and they can never get to sleep. ...meanwhile, I'm in bed staring at the ceiling, hearing every word, and thinking very violent thoughts.”

Update: “Okay everyone, the Bin Laden recipe drink joke was funny the first time, but no more. 'Two shots and a splash'. Got it.”

Update: “I was just thinking Chuck Norris is the only man alive that can kill someone and not receive the death penalty or life in prison.”

He said, “You find pleasure in very simple things.”

He went down on me again. 

My energy plateaued and I knew I should probably ride him from on top to keep the sexual gratification of the evening balanced and fair. I dozed off instead.

The rum, pheromones and pot left me glazed, with my dress hiked up and my hair tossed over my face.

Instead of dreams, I had visions. I am not sure if you have ever had those, just a few seconds of a moment you see while slipping in and out of consciousness.

I saw Alex, a brindle, shepherd/pit bull mix who is about 9-10 months old, at work. He is at Doggie Daycare almost every day, and I have been there to watch him grow up through most of his life. I call him one of my sons.

The other is the one-eyed, Doberman puppy named Atticus who is so uncoordinated, he looks very much like the old cartoons of Goofy.

My sons. I really hoped they would be playmates, but Alex doesn’t like Atticus.

I love them. On Mother’s Day, I asked to be on the large dog side just to spend that day with both of them.

I don’t know what it means, why I saw them in my numbed, warm, post-orgasm nap. I also woke up thinking I had to get back together with Abe. When I opened my eyes, I forced myself to remember how cold he's been, how dating him was like chasing smoke and conjured up the anger that kept me away the last couple months.

Rummy's advice is "Stay angry." It works, but it is like a rock in my stomach.

Maybe it was the intimacy with Joel, though I don’t feel we connect romantically.

I don’t know. I rolled backward and my skirt and hair fell back into place like a rag doll. Joel said, "That's not fair, you just sit up and you are dressed again."

I said, hazily, "With dirty underpants."

I went home.

Saturday, I helped package Edible Arrangements for Mother’s Day. Camille helped me get the job. It was a store operated completely by a Filipino family. 

I thought I could just get stoned and plow through the weekend’s extra work.

Their cousins, and parents, and grand parents all came in to help with the holiday rush. They joked about the old, white people who were scared of them on deliveries. Or the white ladies who insist the gift is a scam.

There was only one other white person working out of the shop, a girl a little younger than myself who had a baby voice. We both kept quiet during the stories. White people are assholes.

The matriarchs of this family business watched me closely, as they dipped strawberries in chocolate. The owner kept checking in with me and asking if I was ok. I bet a lot of white people quit on them.

It was a long day and the weather triggered arthritic pain in my hands, but I needed the money. I have noticed that brown people tend to think that I don’t need money as badly, and that I don’t really want my food spicy. I am annoyed by “White Girl Spicey” food. The truth is my grandparents were immigrants, and that blood is still furiously splashing around inside of me.

I stayed and I worked. I rarely took breaks.

The mood of the shop was calm for being in a holiday rush. Everyone was steady but fast. No one yelled or snapped at each other. It was harmonious.

After 12 hours, they brought in dinner. The matriarchs motioned for me to stop working and eat. They didn’t speak English. I grabbed some food and sat with a few of their children, who came in late to the shop to be with the family.

In lulls, I blew up balloons (which is awesome stoned, by the way). The children, a boy (8) and a girl (7) followed and watched me. The boy jumped on the computer by my station to play a "Dora the Explorer" game, while I invited the little girl to help me. Its really good for their self-esteem to be included in adult activities.

She was thrilled by the idea, and cut my ribbon using kiddy scissors, while asking me all sorts of questions. After a few hours, she was able to retrieve the proper ticket number arrangements I was packaging, and put together the corresponding gift cards. She was brilliant.

It was interesting that the boy retreated with games and felt no compulsion to help, while the little girl desperately wanted to work without any outside encouragement.

I asked the boy, "Does Dora go to other countries besides Mexico?"
No Answer. Nice. I would probably end up dating him in 15 years.

As time went by, I absent-mindedly wiped her hair off her face to kiss her head. I don’t know why I did that, but I was falling in love.

The next morning, I started packaging the arrangements after a 15 hour day and before a full shift at Doggie Daycare. When the little girl danced into the shop, we saw each other and both straightened up and smiled. 

The family gave me extra chores to do, with the little girl.

I thought about what it would be like to get a franchise shop in Olympia … to have a family business and a child. Not yet.

Maybe Diane Keaton is right, the most profound love of my life isn't found between the sheets and under the arm of a man, its found where life is just beginning . . . in puppies and little girls. 

Innocence trumps seduction.

Joy trumps intellect.

Of course, this doesn't mean I have to do without one or the other. It just means my mind is shifting.

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