Once, when Rachel still worked at Doggie Daycare, she saw me fawning over a young male dog named Alex. Alex, who I refer to as ‘My Brindle Prince’, is a bit of an asshole. He growls at other people, and other dogs and now occasionally bites the new people.
When I started working there, Alex was a puppy on the small side, and for the last year and a half, we have raised him while his two daddies were away.
I stare into his eyes, and compliment him, stroke his coat and nuzzle him despite the moments he shows his teeth in irritation. Somehow, he was spoiled on the way, go figure.
Rachel said to me, “You like the assholes, huh?”
I said, “I like all sorts of men. I have had erotic dreams about Michael Cera and Eminem. I don’t know what type I am attracted to.”
I am not sure if those qualify as erotic dreams; two dreams of Michael Cera peaked when we held hands.
And my last dream of Eminem was just me washing his hair, he stopped me and then washed my hair.
My last “erotic” dream was holding hands with Joel McHale and taking an escalator through a waterfall.
Rachel said, “I will tell you who I have had an erotic dream about that’s really weird, George W. Bush.”
I recoiled, “Ew.”
She shrugged her shoulders and said, “And Bill Clinton.”
I said, “I have full on masturbated to Bill Clinton.”
In a hushed voice, she leaned over and said, “We all have.”
So, when Buddy kept interviewing me about what men I found attractive, I threw out all sorts of names, “Elvis and Cary Grant.”
He said, “Old School. Anyone recent?”
I said, “I can’t deny I am in love with Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Truth be told, I don’t see the point in interviewing the girl you are seeing about what men she is attracted to unless you were going to use it as some kind of strategy- and lets face it, all the men that have won over my sexual psyche have done so through effortlessly being themselves. That would be the only way to win my heart and honey pot.
That week, I had gotten tested at Planned Parenthood since it had been officially 7 months since my last test.
Do I trust Alan and Abe to be honest about their sexual activity? Hm . . . if I have to think about it, I have to get tested.
So I did. The medic said, “Today we are testing you for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV.”
While drawing my blood, she said, “Are you alright?”
I said, “Yeah, it's just now, you have me thinking, could I have syphilis?”
She laughed and said, “It happens to all of us when we are taking the test. All those scenarios run through our head.”
I said, “I don’t know why I thought syphilis was . . . you know, eradicated.”
She said, “Nope. Still around.”
My sister says it’s making a comeback.
During email banter with Buddy, I told him: “Never google ‘Famous People Who Died Of Syphilis"
Buddy: “Done. Should I be concerned about your sudden interest in Syphilis?
So far, work has been good. I went to a long lunch to watch college basketball (March Madness) with our Saatchi basketball team. It was a delightfully manly outing. Now I'm back at it. Hopefully this afternoon proves better on my soul than the last two.”
Me: “This morning, I went into the Planned Parenthood Express (that is the actual name) and was tested since, you know, it seems like a good time.
They brought up the syphilis test which opened up a world of curiosity for me.
Sounds like a good Thurs. 6 hours and all I have to worry about is which bikini to wear and what pizza to bring you.”
Buddy: "All I have to worry about is which bikini to wear and what pizza to bring you."
This might be the sexist thing any woman has ever said to any man. Ever. And that fact it was said to me has me on all aflutter.
P.s. I'm a simple man when it comes to pizza. Any cheap pepperoni will do.
P.p.s. "My right boob misses you" was pretty rockin' too. Close second.
I thought about how bikini and pizza assembled in one sentence equated to sexy. I was wondering if I was depicting myself as some kind of Spring Break Sorority girl. He knows me, he noted my “ticks” and my quirks. He must know that is not who I am. So I played along and wrote, “And I am sure I can do better than that.”
Friday night, I was coming over.
I texted I was going to be late because I was getting waxed.
When I arrived to his apartment, I told myself not to be nervous. All things considered, I wasn’t.
The afternoon was spent with my dogs at the beach and now I was ready to settle in with a movie and a hot tub.
In great spirits, I said, “Two phenomenally lucky things happened to me today. I lost my keys at the beach, and a surfer found them and fished them out of the tide for me. Then, I forgot to bring my make-up since it was still in my clutch from the concert, I stop at Whole Foods for our pizzas and right outside the bathroom door, there is a make-up sample counter, with a vanity and everything. Pretty amazing, huh?”
He politely chuckled and then popped our pizzas in. He asked if I brought champagne too. I said I didn’t.
I deliberately didn’t bring alcohol because A) I already bought the pizzas B) I was already driving across Los Angeles with high gas prices C) I didn’t need to get drunk with him this early on
He opened a cabinet and asked what I liked to drink. I saw the amaretto and asked for an amaretto sour.
I said, “I like those because I can enjoy a few and not get sloppy, like I do with shots of tequila or something.”
He said, “Nevermind then. Can I get you shots of tequila?”
Then I politely chuckled.
He said, as he mixed my drink and brought it over to me, “So traffic was bad.”
I said, “Yeah, it took me an hour and a half to get here, but I smoked some ganj so it wasn’t so bad.”
He said, “Why did you have a migraine?”
He said, “You shouldn’t be smoking pot and driving in heavy traffic.”
I said, “Please, you can’t drive in heavy Los Angeles without smoking pot. Trust me, I did everyone a favor.”
He was quiet.
Then I continued, “Its not a problem. My prescribing doctor said car accidents only happen when you mix alcohol with your pot- so if I drive to just drive stoned.”
Buddy said in strained surprise, “Your doctor said that?”
I forgot, he is new to town.
“Christine” was playing on the television.
Buddy, “Do you want to watch something else? I just turned this on-”
Me, “No. (I waved my hand and took a big sip of my drink) I am already invested.”
He started a game of Scrabble on his iPad and I was kind of really happy. I took off my shoes, sipped more of my sour and played Scrabble in between scenes of an old car killing people.
He suggested the hot tub, so I asked to pause the movie. He said, “Its near the end, anyway.”
I felt like he was rushing things a bit.
I said, “Does the girlfriend live?”
He said, “Yeah.”
I said, “Ok, that’s all I need to know.”
It was cold, and before disrobing and slowly descending into a hot tub where my date was, I squealed. I am an actress, and being naked in front of strangers is easier. I was practically naked and walking towards him . . . I don’t know. It was awkward and I wanted to keep things light.
So I said, “The famous people who had syphilis are Nietzsche, Henry the VII, Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini and Napoleon. They said arsenic was commonly used as treatment for syphilis but then why would Napoleon write about being slowly poisoned if he knew?”
I continued, “And George Washington, but my Mom says she believes all of them but George Washington because (finger quotes here) ‘he was a good man’ and (more finger quotes) ‘loyal to his wife.’ I said, ‘Mom, he had slaves. Come on.’ She said, ‘No, I refuse to believe it. He was a moral person.”
Buddy, “Yeah . . . slaves. Can you imagine . . .?”
I finished the sentence, “Wood teeth? No. I can’t.”
Then he said, “Where is that kink in your neck?”
Truth be told, I wanted to sit in the hot tub because I had a kink in my neck. I needed someone to rub it out and the idea of that combined with someone’s hot tub seemed like a really good idea at the time. I have been waking up with back and neck pain- probably because my dogs dominate the bed. Often I wake up, curled at the foot of my bed, or hanging off the side.
I figured since I was honest about my feelings on sex already, this wouldn't be confusing.
Buddy volunteered to work on my neck, so he went behind me and rubbed it lightly. It just wasn’t up to my Little Thai Woman standards.
His hands fell down over my breasts, and I let him massage them but was put on edge. We hadn’t kissed yet.
He leaned in and we kissed for a bit. I interrupted with, “Oh, AND Christopher Columbus also had syphilis.”
He grabbed the back of my hair, gently and said, “I don’t want to hear about who had syphilis. I want to kiss you.”
We kissed some more. It was hard making out in a hot tub, because I kept losing my footing and floating away. I kept talking, mostly about my dogs.
He said, “I don’t want to argue but I could never trust a pit bull. They might be sweet, and I am sure yours is a real sweetheart, but they can snap at any minute.”
I said, “Animals are unpredictable. Do you know which breed causes the most human fatalities? St. Bernards.”
He kind of nodded his head and offered a mild, “Really?”
He then suggested we leave the hot tub.
Buddy, “But when we leave we can’t be loud or make squealing noises, because of my neighbors.”
I said, “Did I make squealing noises when I came in?”
He flatly said, “Yes.”
Well, there were just two reasons I would feel slightly uncomfortable with him for the rest of the night.
We went inside and he asked what movie I wanted to watch, so I suggested “Hobo with a Shot Gun.” He said, “I have to warn you, movies with me involve snuggling.”
He asked me to stop playing Scrabble. I did. Reluctantly.
We watched the movie and cuddled a little. Its hard on a couch, both length-wise, watching a movie, especially one about a post-apocalyptic world where people’s heads are dragged off their bodies by trucks, there is a santa claus child molester running amuck and people must resort to listening to music out of boom boxes.
Quote from Hobo with a Shot Gun “You look so hot, I just want to cut off my dick and rub it against your titties!"
It was a fascinating movie- I mean, the tone was campy, but it was fairly graphic and disturbing as well. I just wanted to sit in its filth. Not make out.
Hobo: [to a group of newborn babies] I used to be like you... a long time ago. All brand new and perfect. No mistakes, no regrets. People look at you and think of how wonderful your future will be. They want you to be something special... like a doctor or a lawyer. I hate to tell you this, but if you grow up here, you're more likely to wind up selling your bodies on the streets, or shooting dope from dirty needles in a bus stop. And if you're successful, you'll make money selling junk to crackheads. And don't think twice about killing someone's wife, because you won't even know it's wrong in the first place. Maybe... you'll end up like me. A hobo with a shotgun.
After the movie, we started petting heavily.
He grabbed my hand, stood up and said, “Lets go to my bedroom and see what happens.”
I said, “No. I told you . . . I don’t have casual sex.”
He sat back down, then laid next to me and said, “I was really looking forward to tearing you apart tonight.”
Me, “Tearing me apart? The implication being . . . my vagina?”
Buddy, “I guess, kinda.”
Me, “That’s an unpleasant arrangement of words.”
Me, “Do you watch a lot of on-line porn? Just out of curiosity.”
Buddy, “Um. Yeah. A couple times a week, whenever. Why?”
Me, “I wonder if that influences how you talk to me. I mean . . . where’s the romance?”
Buddy, “So, you don’t believe in casual sex, except with Axl Rose.”
I said, “Yes, of course, except for Axl Rose.”
He held me, his arm now heavy and loose around my shoulder and I said, “Look, I have been involved with two men this year. One left when my roommate killed himself and the other came in and things got . . . confused. It just had to stop. And so I am just coming out of that, you know?”
He said, “But, you just got tested and got the wax.”
I said, “Oh, well, I am sorry I mislead you but I got tested because its been 6 months and I got waxed because I was wearing a bikini tonight. Have you been tested for STDs recently?”
Buddy said, “No.”
I said, “Well then.”
Buddy, “So, what time do you have to get back?”
I said, “Would you like me to leave now that I am not having intercourse with you?”
Buddy, “(low at first) Of course not.”
I nuzzled with him and said, “I wasn’t going to tell you about my problems. I want to be a normal girl with normal problems.”
He said, “Oh those girls who look normal are worse train wrecks.” Then he shook my shoulder and said, “I think you had to tell me. I am glad you did. I don’t think you are ready for an ‘us’ yet.”
I said, “Of course I am not ready. I thought we would just . . . hang out.”
He said, “I don’t want to hurt you.”
I cut him off, “You can’t hurt me. The only thing you could do is make me feel used, and you couldn’t make me feel more used than my ex did.”
I rubbed myself against him. The irony of this whole situation was the more I told him, the closer and more comfortable I was sharing my body with him.
From his perspective, he was just shot down, and he didn’t want to get any more intimate with me.
I waited for him to say, “Let’s take our time” “Whenever you’re comfortable” or “I like you too” but nothing like that as said. He was quiet. As my friend Jerry explained later, there is a natural progression with physical touch expected date-to-date. When I broke the progression, it was over for him.
He said, “I think, if this makes sense . . . you have to like you first.”
I said, “I do like me.”
He said, “You come across as . . . uncomfortable with yourself.”
I took this in and thought about it. I just ate pizza, had a drink and watched ‘Hobo with a Shotgun.’ How much more comfortable could I get?
I said, “I kinda work better on stage. I think sometimes people are uncomfortable with me when it’s just one-on-one.”
I meant to say “Normal People are uncomfortable with me”
There in the dark, it was just after two am and I started rubbing up against him like a cat post.
I hotly whispered, “I don’t believe in casual sex, but its a really bad time to be celibate. I am in my sexual peak.”
He grabbed my breasts and kissed them as I brought myself close to orgasm twice. Then I dismounted.
He said, “Were you close?”
I said, “Yeah, but I don’t want to feel great regret after an orgasm.”
The sweat on the back of my neck tickled when I stood up in his cold, undecorated apartment. He smelled faintly of cheap detergent and kitty litter.
As I waited for him to put on his shoes and coat, I checked my iPhone, smiled then said, “I would provide you with an orgasm (he stopped dead in his tracks) but if I am not going to have one, then I won’t let you. I am kind of sick that way.”
He didn’t laugh.
He walked me to my car and I said, “Well, it was great meeting you.”
Buddy said, “Take care.”
I bought a pack of cigarettes, smoked two and then called Abe.
He picked up. It was almost 3am.
I said, “Look, I hate you. You are shitty boyfriend, but unfortunately, you are my best friend too, so I have to tell you what just happened.”
I told him. When I got to the “I was really looking forward to tearing you apart” bit, he chuckled and said, dryly, “Suave.”
I said, “I just don’t get it. He told me about his parents and how they are still crazy about each other.”
Abe, “Well that is the past, not the future. Men think they can have any woman they want because of the internet. They think they have their choice of 10 women all the time.”
I said, “They don’t.”
He continued, “But they think they do. Its illusion. But its the future. Its now.”
I said, “We deserve to die out and not repopulate our own species then.”
He said, “Maybe.”
I said, “How is OKCupid treating you?”
He said, “I deleted it.”
I said, “Why?”
He said, “Eh, I saw you deleted yours.”
He said, “Can I tell you about the wedding?”
I said, “Not unless you were alone and miserable the entire time.”
He said, “Well, I sat alone for most of it.”
He said, “I was miserable. No one was really happy. There was lots of tension.”
He said, “Well, there was dancing at the end, and that was kind of fun.”
Me (sarcastically) “Good, I hate dancing. I am so glad I didn’t go.”
He said, “But the majority of the time I was alone.”
Me, “Get used to it, you are going to die that way.”
Abe, “I thought about that.”
Me, “You and your brother can fight over your mother when your dad dies.”
Me, “I hope you’re in pain.”
Abe, “Everyday the pain thickens.”
Abe, “Well, thanks for calling me. Can I call you again some time?”
Me, “No. I have blocked you.”
Abe, “Oh . . . yeah, I called you a few times.”
Me, “I can’t see you again. Ever.”
Abe, “Oh. Well. I miss you.”
Abe, “And . . . I love you.”
Abe, “OK. Maybe you will call me again some time. Goodnight, (and he said my name the correct way)”
I lost reception.
The next morning, I met my sister on the Queen Mary. She was treating herself to a weekend on-board the stationary museum over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The Hollywood Stones, a Rolling Stones cover band, was playing. She has been following them for nearly 15 years.
They are so good, they got me into the Rolling Stones. I never really listened to their music before that first visit to a Southern California bar, but hearing the Hollywood Stones, then called Sticky Fingers, play in a small venue triggered a personal romance with Stones music. Its more jovial than my other classic rock; it's almost like the lover you take to a party to flirt with your friends but go to bed with afterward or the one you call on your way home from a bar that closed too early. No weight, no confessions, no expectations- just romance.
It was rainy and windy that Saturday morning, when I juggled my cell phone, two bags of clothes and toiletries and a tray holding two lattes outside the ship. One cup flew off the roof of my car. The other cup tipped over when I called to find out where she was. By the time I climbed into the packed elevator, my hair was whipped around and coffee was dripping off of my sleeve.
Woman, “You look very . . . hearty.”
I said, “Does it look like I have been through what I just went through?”
They all laughed.
Man, “Not . . . at . . . all.”
The others laughed and someone said, “Smart answer.” Regular people. They never say anything especially witty.
I stepped out and gave my sister her latte and promptly told her the details of my date the night before.
I said, “I asked him if he was watching on-line porn.”
My Sister, “It's not the porn, its a communication issue. Men were already poor at communicating and its just going to shit now.”
She confided in me that she started monthly visits with her ex-boyfriend to satiate her lecherous desires. Dating for her is difficult, she isn’t a people person and has a thicker physique than me.
Falling back on this particular ex annoyed me because he was another Momma’s Boy who drifted through life and, at the same time, wasted 7 years of her life on empty promises.
I wish she could find romance. Every woman deserves romance.
We went on the paranormal tour of the ship before the show. The Queen Mary is well known for being a haunted ocean liner. I walked through a spiritual vortex in the, now closed, first class pool dressing room.
Then, we hit the show.
I danced and I sang my heart out.
God, it felt good.
Strangers started tapping me on the shoulder, I would turn around and be faced with someone holding a camera. People wanted to pose next to me. It happened about 7 or 8 times, so I must have been making a spectacle of myself.
I got close to the stage and just felt the music, anticipated every note, sang any back-up black lady vocals and just got lost. People were smiling at me. Looking back on this now, I am not sure why I was standing out. There were other girls singing, dancing, climbing on stage and grabbing at the lead singer. I stayed on the dance floor and just enjoyed the music.
My sister said later, “It must be because you look younger than you are. They like seeing a young person enjoy the Stones that much.”
Someone gave me a long leprechaun hat that fell over my face as I danced.
Steve Adler was in the crowd, smiled at me, then came over and pulled my hat over my face. (Steve Adler is the original drummer for Guns N Roses- so that was A W E S O M E!)
They ended by midnight with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” which is kind of blah. I wanted “Midnight Rambler” so bad.
I kept shouting “Encore! ENCORE! MIDNIGHT RAMBLER!” But they were packing up their gear and walking off stage. I kicked the air off the ground and swiveled around to see the crowd dispersed.
Keith Richards (impersonator) came back on stage and bent down next to me.
I looked up at him hopeful, “Encore? Midnight Rambler?”
He took my hand and said, “You are our number one fan.”
Then he kissed my hand . . . twice.
I said, “We need your Keith solo. What's the one? On Sticky Fingers? The ballad?”
Keith, “You Got the Silver”
Me, “YES! You should do that.”
Keith, “Well . . . I need . . . to learn the vocals.”
Me, “And you need love in your life. Do you have some?”
Keith, “Of course. Don’t you?”
Me, “Um, I just broke up.”
Me, “He couldn’t commit.”
Keith, “I heard that story a thousand times.”
I leaned back and nodded my head. For once, I am unoriginal.
He took my hand again and said, “Next show, April 20th. Redondo.”
He rubbed the magic of his guitar fingers over my knuckles and smiled as he disappeared behind the curtain.
We left and my sister said, “You are on a lot of people’s video cameras.”
I walked back to the cabin, and then frantically tried to burn off the beer with a cigarette or two and more music. There was no more music playing on the ship. Two beautiful men stopped me to ask if I had fun, I said I did and kept looking for music. The night was over and I had to let it go.
So I got a bag of chips out of the vending machine, sat down in the hallway, outside our cabin door and thought, “Uncomfortable with myself . . . “
It spun around, he said “You seem uncomfortable with yourself” and then I thought, “Who would I rather be right now? If I could trade places with anyone, who would it be?”