Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blow-Jobs, Bye-Byes and the Counting Crows

The morning Huck was leaving, I was awake before dawn. I was tossing and turning next to him, dreading each minute that passed. Sometimes I would warm up next to him, curl my knees under his and press my cheek against his shoulder. Other times, I would get as far to the other side of the bed as possible and bury my head underneath the pillow.



The night before, I told him I would never expect him to keep faithful over a long distance, “Just use protection and don’t tell me about it,” I asked. “Of course,” he said.

Whatever it was with Huck, it spun my head around. I wanted to be mature and handle things as best I could, but the feelings of jealousy and fear mounted with nausea in my stomach. I turned and hugged my pillow on the other side of the bed. The first thing he said to me that morning was, “Stop fucking pulling away from me.” He turned around and saw my head buried underneath the pillow, “Are you hiding?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

He pulled me in like he cast out a fishing line and was dragging me back through the water. He was so warm. I wanted to do something special for him since the affair was more than I wanted or expected, but everything I would want to expect, if that makes sense.

I sunk beneath the covers and put him in my mouth, working very hard to give him one of the best blow jobs of his entire life. I heard him sighing and moaning over the sheets and blankets, as the fabric rubbed over my ears and hair. Then he warned me, but I stayed locked on to him. He asked if I was ready, and then I felt my mouth flood with him and swallowed.

I emerged from the sheets and didn’t look at him, instead I just buried my head in his armpit and held him close. He shuddered once, then twice. “That was amazing.”

“Good. Its the [StarFire] specialty.”

He shivered and drew me even closer to kiss my hair. I told him I had a stomach ache, and his first reaction was to inquire if it was a reaction to his sperm. That was adorable. Not often did Huck let on that he was younger than me, but in the moments he did, I thought it was precious.

He got out of bed and finished packing. I made coffee. I wanted to stay in the room, but when he was packed up, he asked me if I was ready, and I realized I had to leave with him and surrender our home the same time I would surrender him. He mentioned lots of things as I was frozen on the bed, holding my cup of steaming, watered down, sub-par coffee.


“We shouldn’t have been sexual at all this last night, it is making this too hard.”

“I was telling the truth, people have married in the program, we wouldn’t be the first.”

“If I bought you a ticket to Milwaukee, you realize it would be one-way, right?”

“I texted that girl waiting for me in Milwaukee and I told her it wasn’t happening. I told her I met someone and I didn’t want to fuck around.”

I was silent and still. That’s what I do, my mind wasn’t processing losing him or the hotel room or the end of the writing program or leaving Los Angeles, it just froze and went blank. He was tender with me, and my stomach turned. I felt acid crawl up the back of my throat and I dumped my cup of coffee.



We went down to the lobby so he could print out his boarding pass, and I used the bathroom in the lobby. It was the beginning of a two month bout of diarrhea and morning nausea. When I came back, he was still on the computer and I stared at his face through the mirror on the wall. I wasn’t thinking anything specific, I just wanted to stare at him. He caught my gaze and forced a Prince Charming smile. It wasn’t real, but when you don’t know how to act, you do what you think you should do. Or you just act like I did, trapped in an emotional coma.

He led me out to the front and we both smoked a cigarette. I rested my elbows on my knees and leaned over to stare at the pavement and my shoes. All my things were in several plastic bags by my feet, all the things I left at his place over the last few days accumulated and were now more than I could comfortably carry around with me.



“Why did you bring two pairs of shoes?” he asked, chuckling. I shrugged. I don’t know why I brought all those things, all of my things. It was like I was hoping I could stay and move in.

I was waiting to cry, but I didn’t cry. I was silent.

His taxi came, “He is here already? That wasn’t 15 minutes,” I sneered. He lifted my face in his hands and kissed me softly. He promised to text me from the airport. He promised lots of things. Then I let him go.
I sat down and had another cigarette and waited for the yellow bumper of his taxi to turn left at the light on the corner. The back light blinked.

A woman sat next to me to smoke and complained to her male company about something before they shoved all their luggage in the back of another taxi. I looked up, Huck’s taxi was still waiting.



I put out my cigarette and looked up. He was gone.

It was early in the morning and I still had time before class. I had to go to a store and buy a new t-shirt so no one would notice I was wearing the same clothes as yesterday- and then I had to get a new plastic bag since mine were ripping. I decided to smoke another cigarette first. Looking up, Huck was walking towards me smiling. The closer he got, the taller he grew. His size was always a surprise, even after I explored every inch of his body. I put down my cigarette and he grabbed my face again, smiling, “I forgot to check-out.”

He went inside, and I waited. I put out my cigarette and lingered by the two sliding, glass doors into the lobby, watching him as he leaned over the counter and spoke to the front desk. I didn’t know what to do with myself, or that extra minute I was afforded. What the fuck do I do?  He came back out, spun me around and kissed me, perfectly. Passionate, soft, long and perfect. Then he looked into my eyes, smiled and said, “Goodbye.”



I knew he didn’t have to check-out in person, and later he admitted it was a romantic gesture. It was a good one.

Finishing my abandoned cigarette, I roamed over to the nearest strip mall and bought a t-shirt for a couple bucks at a CVS. “Amie” by the Counting Crows was playing:

I can see why you think you belong to me,
I never tried to make you think,
Or let you see one thing for yourself,
And now you're off with someone else and I'm alone,
You see I thought I might keep you for my own.

Amie, what you wanna do?
I think I could stay with you,
For a while maybe longer if I do.

The clerk gave me a few extra plastic bags to double up my luggage, and I walked back to campus. I avoided the hornet’s nest Huck warned me about and walked slower than usual. I already missed him. My friend.

Campus was empty, and I raided the breakfast cart as the nice Hispanic man was carting it away. He insisted I take a yogurt- I accepted so I wouldn’t hurt his feelings with some stupid speech about veganism. The same guy was setting up our breakfast and breaking it down every morning and knew I was always running a little late, so he tried his best to get me my very necessary cup of coffee and some fruit as we passed in the doorway every morning.

I hid my plastic bags underneath some furniture and joined the First Year students in our first meeting for the day. Texts from Huck were coming in, about how he missed me, how amazing the blow job was and he even wrote a poem that has since been lost in the sea of texts between us. (Fucking droids don’t keep all your texts like an iPhone)

My new friends were all abuzz about going out the night before, and they asked where I was. “There was dancing, there were cocktails and we kept saying [StarFire] would love this, where is she? Where were you?”

I filled up my cup of coffee, “I never heard from you guys.”

“Wait a minute, no one texted her?” They all looked at each other and laughed. I smiled. George and I spoke on the side, “I needed to say goodbye to him anyway, in private.”

“I figured you would be doing something like that,” he said, softly.

I was still high on endorphins, promises, last kisses. Huck was in my stomach, slowly moving through me, and the sadness was circling me, but hadn’t pounced. It was difficult to concentrate and I wasn’t feeling connected to the program or my fellow students. I was in a dream that was fizzling, the fog wasn’t clearing and I wandered through the day, listening to controversies and gossip, tales of the night on the dance floor, hearing their laughter but forgetting what they were laughing about . . . my mind was in the airport with Huck. I should have been at the airport with Huck.



My friends would ask for details, and I provided a bit. George could see my eyes were far away- but I would shoot a smart ass remark or toss out a little, too personal and disarming fact to keep everyone’s attention.

“You’re going to sell a best seller. You are crazy but you own it. Like Madonna, you own the craziness. And you control it, though it seems uncontrollable,” George said.

I raised my eyebrows, “You are absolutely right.” I think its that craziness that makes everyone uncomfortable, and the more people care about me, maybe the more uncomfortable they are. That is why I can never feel understood by the nice, stable guys, or why the people I am the most intimate with often keep me at a distance. I need my vibe to spin out like a dradle even though the secret is, no matter what it looks like, I am always ok.

The final classes were amazing, and a group of us went to lunch. They asked about Huck and I gave more personal details, and was able to make them sound like a joke so no one could see that I was feeling vulnerable and heart-broken. I am so good at it, I don’t even have to try anymore. They laughed easily.
“I told her, she is going to end up pregnant and knocking on my door in Milwaukee,” George said.

“We did have unprotected sex, well, only once because we ran out of condoms,” I said.

“See!”

“Oh my God, what’s going to happen if you are pregnant?” a beautiful, white female student said.

*
If you read through my France entries, you may remember an exchange I had with my Norway suitor, who I refer to affectionately as Mr. Darcy. He came inside of me and I said, “What am I going to do if I get pregnant?”

“Then you are fucked!” he laughed.

I posed the same question to Huck the day after we had unprotected sex. “What if I get pregnant?” I asked. Without hesitation, he said, “Then you are coming to Milwaukee.”

*

“Oh my God, what’s going to happen if you are pregnant?” she said. “Then we are all going to take turns punching me in the stomach,” I said, and everyone laughed. What I thought, though, in the back chamber of my mind, if I got pregnant, I would keep it and love that baby.

After lunch, I hustled through paperwork to finalize the residency and then went to a gathering where remaining students sit in a circle and share reflections, what they learned and how the residency impacted them. A few students cried, so I cried. At the end of these 10-days you are so exhausted, your brain is so overwrought with information, that you just wither into an emotional wreck. I was still posturing, so I wiped the tears away, filed my paperwork while someone ate a fucking sandwich in my ear and then walked over to Cat’s hotel room, two floors below Huck’s room in the same building.

I stopped to buy champagne to sip with the girls. “Can I help you?” the liquor attendant asked.

“Yes,” I said, “I am looking for your cheapest champagne.” He showed me the display of room temperature champagne in front of the wall. I grabbed three bottles.

“You aren’t even going to look at what flavors they are?” he asked.

“Oh, I know the colors of champagne labels by heart. Don’t worry about that,” I said.



Back in Cat’s hotel room, girls collected, and girls love it when you feed them champagne. I don’t know why men act as though they never know that secret- but Girls Love Champagne. They giggle, they get loose, even Cat’s grouchy roommate, who was trying to sleep in the same room as the celebration, came around and gave me a very supportive speech outside as we shared a smoke.

We all went out to dinner at a vegan restaurant, and I piled up my plate knowing my parents would never take me to a vegan restaurant. As long as my car was in the shop and I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with Mom and Dad, it would be soup and cereal. So I ordered everything to my heart’s delight, and as we drove back to the hotel, Cat looked back at me in the car, “[StarFire], what’s wrong? Why are you so quiet? Are you getting sad?”

I sighed, “Yes, I am sad. I am going to miss this,” I said.

She laughed and said, “Don’t worry. We will all see each other again. Now its time to work. Its good we will all be apart from each other so we can focus.”

I nodded heavily, a smile was forced, “Yeah. I just had a lot of fun.”

We all hugged a hard goodbye, and Sascha soon arrived to pick me up and take me out for drinks.

Now, I feel like this is all happening very fast as I write this, but that would be accurate. I flew from one social outing to the next, exhausted, high on Huck, in love, depressed, I just kept jumping from one car to another.



With Sascha, we tried to go to Saints & Sinners, a bar I have gone to for the last 10 years, reliably serving the best martinis in Los Angeles. Somehow, somewhere, it was converted to a lame hipster bar called Oldfield’s Liquor Room . . .



 . . . so we walked a few blocks down to a place called the Bigfoot LodgeWest and ordered some Bud Lights. I never drink Bud Light unless I am with Sascha. She was glowing and molesting her phone, which meant she was in love again.



I told her about Huck, acted out Huck-isms, laughed and hugged her. “I have never seen you so happy before,” she said. I showed her pictures, I read text messages and I told her about the proposition to move to Milwaukee.

“You should do it,” she said, “Fuck your feelings about Milwaukee. Just go back home, get your things and then go to Milwaukee for two weeks. Just do it, if it works, then you know its meant to be.” She was so definite about it. I texted Huck about her encouragement, and he sent me a link to Craigslist in Milwaukee for jobs.

This all felt very fast and maybe even foolish, but, “What other time in my life would it be more perfect to go move and live with someone I fell in love with than now. I am homeless. I don’t have a job. I have no obligations, really, the timing is perfect,” I said.

She tipped the neck of her beer, “Exactly.”

I smoked a lot that night, and I thought about it. Truth be told, I didn’t like the idea of moving in with an alcoholic, but Huck held his own. He seemed in control. I was scared, I hated Milwaukee, I was worried about the dogs, but as always, I am a big fan of letting Fate take me where she wants.

Maybe it was . . . Milwaukee, again. Ugh.

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