Sunday, December 30, 2012

White Lines & White Boys again

There were discussions about where to move and discussions about who to move in with. The vibe at Alia’s was so welcoming Frank, my friend of four years, agreed to move in with me and Gary, my Washington state transplant who left his girlfriend and two daughters behind. Frank felt that Gary would temper any sexual or romantic tension that might linger between us in a residence.

A year and a half before, Frank and I discussed moving in and he made mention of what bothered him: “I can just see myself getting all amped up from a football game and then when you bring some guy home I just fucking lose it.” That scared me enough to keep from moving in with him in 2010. Now he was flirting with Alia, playing poker with Gary and he seemed at peace with the matter.

angry coach

There was one late morning where I confided that I was  a little jealous of his flirtation with her and he invited me over for cocaine and sex. I considered it. We kissed in Alia’s empty kitchen. He asked me to think about it and left. I went somewhere else that night. I needed a roommate who had money, who had income and who I know well enough to avoid surprises. I liked the idea of living with Frank because we watched crappy television together, we both kept odd hours and he would be good to my dogs.

His neighbor, a mutual acquaintance, once asked about our friendship as it went through so many highs and lows in the blog. “What is the deal with you two?” she asked. “We have three things in common; broken hearts, cocaine and classic rock.” Later he said, “That pretty much sums us up to sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.”

Sex_Drugs_and_Rock_n_Roll_by_Jestersdream

Frank loves sports, he loves gambling on sports even more. He loves my dog Maggie, probably because she is overweight, lazy and loves to eat and some part of him identifies with that. When I was up in Washington he said, “You know I do miss you, but I miss Maggie even more.” Frank was a New York stand-up comic and everyone I introduce him to asks me if he still performs. He doesn’t but he can riff all night with just a half a glass of scotch and a dirty cigar. He was a good friend to me when sex didn’t get in the way, whether that be the want for sex, the rejection of sex or just the idea of sex.

Sex always got in the way.

While looking at three bedroom apartments, I asked him one question every day: Are you sure you can deal with it if and when I get a boyfriend?

“I think I am in a different place right now with everything. I think it will be fine. Especially with Gary there.”

And with Gary, the quiet stoner who followed me down the west coast, I asked him one question: Are you sure you are going to stay in LA? “Yeah, I am not going anywhere,” he said.

Broken_Promises_by_HerrFous

In between afternoons walking dogs and feeding cats, I frantically reviewed rent ads on Craigslist and forwarded them to Frank. He would be the one laying down most of the deposit since Gary never got his final paycheck from the Hotel where we used to work and my savings was quickly depleting from not making enough and paying too much on gas.

It was nerve racking. We would find a house we really liked, put in the application and lose it to a family. Frank and I even posed as a couple for one particular house. We were interviewed and I felt the eyes of the landlord roll down my skinny jeans to my converse shoes. She knew I was a dog-walker before the interview but that didn’t seem to matter. Every week we would fall in love with a house, and every week we lost it to someone with kids and a real job. When we walked into an empty three bedroom house in Glendale, we were both exacerbated, grouchy and emotional.

“See? I like this. I want this now,” I said, walking over faux wood floors and white stucco walls.

Our living room

“You like this? You want this? Fine. I am putting in the call right now,” he said pulling out his phone, “Yes, hello. We are in the house up for rental in Glendale and we have seen a few places, really liked them and just didn’t get the application in on time so we are a little frustrated. We are really serious about this place and want to do whatever it takes to rent the place now. What do we have to do? Can I drop by and put a deposit on this now? (silence) Tomorrow? … Ok, we will stop by tomorrow.” He hung up the phone and looked at me against an empty kitchen with lonely washer/dryer hook-ups staring at us from the wall.

There was a lot of light coming through windows on every side of the house. There was no yard for the dogs but plenty of room for them to roam around inside. I already had my heart set on the bedroom facing the front yard.

my bedroom

Frank would take the bedroom furthest from me so he wouldn’t hear the music of love-making from my room. He only required a private bathroom. In this house, the third bedroom not only had a private bathroom, a walk-in closet the size of a small office, but also a private entrance. If he needed to, he could avoid me for days.

*I realize this sounds like an odd friendship, but being a man and a woman in a friendship is complicated for me and Frank. If I were a man, there would be no question … he would be my best friend.

“There it is, we will go in tomorrow and I will put money down on the deposit. Happy?” he said, almost barking like a chained up dog across the street. We were both fried from the experience of drifting around homeless, couch surfing and living out of our cars for the entire summer and now most of Fall. He was subletting an apartment from that same acquaintance who inquired about our friendship. Frank was on borrowed time and was floating around Los Angeles, uneasily creaking by on a rocky canoe. He wanted to settle down, to stop and put his feet on solid ground for awhile. “You need me for this. You and Gary need me and I don’t like this feeling that I am being used.”

“Using you? HA!” I popped. Frank’s face was getting red and his eyes were growing.

“Yeah, what would you do without me putting the money down on a place? You would be stuck with Gary and three dogs. You have no other option so you are pressing me to help you out!” he rattled.

“I have been on my own since I was 18 years-old. I have been doing it without you and without anyone else for a long time, even with these dogs. I don’t need you and I don’t need anyone! Don’t move in with me if that’s how you feel!” I said, raising my voice and hands in the air. We were both shouting now in our new empty house. An Armenian man was pacing outside along the driveway. He must have heard us arguing, but I didn’t care.

“No, it’s fine,” Frank said, lowering his voice.

“Now I have to go to work,” I angrily chirped. I burst through the back door and jumped in my car. My face was hot and my voice squealed. Frank pushed for a relationship. He always went on about how he wanted a wife and a family and a house- and now in the face of a platonic, low-commitment arrangement on an apartment he was freaking out. “I hate men!” I shouted to myself, slapping the top of my steering wheel while wading through one stoplight after another.  My phone buzzed. I picked it up and opened a chat window. “heya” It was from Huck (the Milwaukee poet who broke my heart last summer). I yelped and dropped the phone like it burned my hand. Then I picked it back up and called Frank:

burning phone

“I am glad you called, I feel a lot better about everything now. You said everything you needed to say,” he said.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, Huck just pinged me. Why would he do that? What the fuck?” I asked.

“Um … yeah ... he is going to try to fuck you again,” Frank said matter-of-factly. Huck lived in Wisconsin and, as far as I knew, was still dating some girl he mentioned in his poetry. We just shared a week last residency in what we called a “tryst”. I fell for him, and maybe he fell a little bit too. He fucked someone else a few days after returning to Milwaukee and the whole affair sloppily dismantled in the messiest way possible- over cell phones and GChat. The students at school meet twice a year on campus for ten days and we call those periods “residency”. Last residency was June. The next residency was December. It was now late October and I didn’t know how I would react to school or Huck after he broke my heart.

“Anyway,” Frank said, “I feel good about moving into this place with you and Gary now. Thank you.” I came from an Italian Mother with a hot temper and wild eyes. Frank was a Jew. When it comes to resolving matters, shouting and slamming doors are familiar. That is how we do it. The next day, Frank laid down the deposit and the three of us signed a lease.

lease

***
My time in Alia’s fairydust house was coming to an end. No more waking up to quiet, chlorine pools or falling asleep to the chatter of friends around a firepit. I fell for her a little bit too. One morning when talking to her about the stress of money, the house and my parents, I simply walked up to her in the kitchen and kissed her on the mouth. It was unlike me to ever initiate a kiss with a woman or a man. I can’t explain why I did it. She looked up at me startled but smiled. I wondered for a day or more if that made her uncomfortable until it became a ritual for us to kiss each other hello and goodbye on the mouth. We joked that we were “Sister wives.”

“I always wanted a sister wife,” she would sing from her couch throne, under her wild ruff of hair, nursing a bong and balancing an iPad on her knee. She was eccentric, always singing with me when I randomly broke into song, always begging to hang out when I was too consumed with school or work to give her the time I wanted. We had our banter over breakfast in the mornings before I headed out to the city.

“God, I love taking showers stoned,” I said, walking out to the living room with wet hair.

“Are you kidding, why do you think I am always stoned? Cause of the showers, man,” she said.

She drove like a madwoman in her Prius, cutting around cars and speeding down quiet streets. “My therapist and my pot dispensary are on the same street. They don't like each other, though." I would chuckle and then she would look at me as if waking out of a dream and release this high pitched cackle from the base of her throat.

Alia on an interview

“I want to make love to Jim Morrison. How unfair …” I would say to myself, in a daze in front of my computer.

“Yeah, me too. Like, God? Not cool, man,” she bellowed from the living room.

She was random and strange, but she moved in my conversations easily, often making them more bizarre and funny. "I have a dead friend on Facebook. Yeah ... it's weird."

If she left for a job interview, or to see her therapist, she would mosey back into the house looking around. “I was going to grab my laptop, but I forgot it … because I got high … I was gonna clean my room until I got high (singing) I gonna get up and find the broom but then I got high …”

It was strange that we connected at random on Facebook. Stranger that we shared an acquaintance we both disliked, the same acquaintance who connected me and Frank, and Frank to her. We were all so loosely brought together and somehow it worked in all its disheveled charm.

After working all day, I would write a blog from midnight to 5am in the kitchen nook, while Gary snored with a dog under his legs. Alia wandered out one morning before the sun rose and saw only my face in the monitor light. “Wow, you really don’t sleep do you?” she asked.

“Not really,” I said.

When we told her we found a place in Glendale, she squealed and hugged me. It was bittersweet, and I buried my face in her robe and hair. “I can’t thank you enough for taking me and the dogs in. I am really going to miss you.”

“And I am going to miss you too,” she said, “but I am happy to get my house back.”

“You really encouraged me and validated me. I wish you were my mother,” I said.

“And you pay attention to me and take lots of pictures of me, like I wish my mother did.”

We shared a crazy laugh and then I asked, “Maybe you could move in with us?”

“Are you kidding?” she said, “And give up this sweet pad? Hell no.”

I always had trouble saying goodbye, even if I knew she was only 45 minutes away in traffic. In LA, 45 minutes reduces a friendship from everyday to once a month, if that. I haven’t seen her in over a month now. As I said goodbye to one new friend, I was thinking about another; Michael, the 23-year-old boy who snuck into my room one drunk night and made love to me on the floor, surrounded by pillows and dogs just before slipping away at 5am to go to work. He was still on my mind.

***

Michael didn’t call me after we had sex. I was so overwhelmed with the new job and the new place, that I didn’t think too heavily about the brief sexual encounter we had. I should say, I didn’t analyze it very much. In memory, when I heard the moaning of a boy losing all control of himself on top of me, inside of me, I felt my head fall back, my eyes get lazy and my thighs shiver.

He left his cell phone charger in my room and I texted him “Hey, you left your charger in my wall.”

“That’s ok, I have another one,” he texted back.

toaster sex

We hadn’t had a conversation about what happened, despite being friends for the last few years. It seemed strange that it happened at all, but I couldn’t afford the time to really think about what it meant.

“Sorry I had to leave so early, I had to be at [Doggie Daycare] at 6am,” he wrote.

“Yeah, where are my flowers?” I texted back.

“You never got them?” he texted back.

That was my little joke to ease the tension. When I dropped my dogs off at his house, so he could watch them while I moved most of my things into the new place, he met me outside with a cigarette propped out of his mouth. The skin under his brown eyes bubbled in a restrained smile.

“Thank you for doing this,” I said, handing him the leashes to all three of my dogs, “but I never did get those flowers.”

He smiled around his cigarette and then gracefully removed it. “Still? I am never using that flower shop again!” he said, buying into the joke.

It was on this night that cocaine was guided back into my life like a surprise entertainer, led in through an alley entrance. Alia, Frank and I spoke about getting coke for a week or two. When we signed the lease and got the new place, Alia and Frank split the expense and got a decent amount of white. I don’t know the details of how much since I have never really been able to afford my own blow, but they were both generous with it. Alia’s lover Ryan played music on the laptop and we all rotated in and out of Frank’s walk-in closet, taking turns with a line or two. Even when I think about it now, the powdery aspirin sear through your nose, burning the eyes and groin almost immediately, wets the appetite. Then to wait for the drip down the back of your throat, bitter at first but followed by a thick, heavy heart beat.

peter pan coke

I took on a few lines and texted Michael, “Thank you so much for taking care of my dogs, I really owe you.”

“You don’t owe me. Maybe I can come to a housewarming party or something when you get settled,” he texted back. I was impressed but equally confused as to why he wasn’t being more aggressive with me after our night together. I needed the space, that was certain. He was very calculating about that, and perhaps I underestimated him … in general.

“Why don’t you drop off the dogs and join us?” I texted back.

“Now? At the new place?” he wrote back.

“Yeah. Now.”

The high was making me restless. Between the living room and Frank’s closet, there wasn’t much to do. The more coke I snorted, the more I felt like a goldfish dropped from a plastic bag into a larger glass bowl, whipping back and forth in the empty L-shaped house.

“Ok” he wrote back.

Alice and cocaine

Frank always had one rule with buying me coke. “Have as much as you like, but don’t have sex with another guy on it.” When someone is cutting me a line with a debit card, and muttering one rule or another, I will nod my head … hell, I might even utter a “Yes” or “Ok” but really all I am thinking about it how that next line will taste. Frank was mixing xanax with coke to ease the high. He didn’t seem concerned about Michael showing up or even aware there was something going on between us.

The evening got foggy in the laughter, the dancing, the pillows on the floor and the flirtations. Pearl Jam played from Frank’s small, computer speakers. Michael arrived with the dogs and waited patiently for me in the living room as I excused myself every 15 minutes or so for another line. When Alia and Ryan left, and Gary fell asleep on the floor of his new room, Michael sat cross-legged across from me on the floor. The wet of morning was already falling into the night air and I watched Frank to see if he was awake. Sprawled out with one arm around Maggie my dog, and his face buried in pillows, he fell asleep next to the music crackling through the speakers wired to both ends of his laptop.

Michael

Michael was watching me, and waiting. He wasn’t like the other boys, he was playing it real cool. He sat there, propping his boyish grin up in the heel of his hand, knowing I was high even though I didn’t tell. Knowing I would seduce him even though I hadn’t called. And as soon as Frank’s snore found a rhythm, I took Michael’s hand and led him into my empty bedroom.

He crawled on top of me, peeling the clothes off of my body. Brad, my little terrier, lunged at his face a few times. “Brad, no! Mommy doesn’t want that!” Brad curled up on my chest and stared at Michael, who slowly eased off my body.

“Uh uh!” I said, gently pushing him off.

“I think he is in love with you, like in people love with you,” Michael said.

“I know, he is my husband from a previous life. I think somehow he was offered the deal to either live with me in this life as a little dog and watch me make love to other men, or wait a lifetime away from me.”

My husband from a previous life

“Wow, that seems um … very elaborate.”

“Yeah, it’s complicated,” I said, grabbing a handful of shirt and pulling him towards my face. I felt the cocaine dry on the inside of my nose and my lips swell. He went down on me and I was shy about it. I felt the scratch of his morning beard knock against the neglected slope of my thighs. The burn and the wet crawling all over me until I came once, maybe twice. When he entered me it was brief, again, but erotic with the groaning of boyish innocence, the hard, wet forehead collapsing on my breasts and the dry, perfect kisses to follow.

“You are sexy,” I whispered.

“Thank you,” he said, catching his breath.

“But now we have to go sleep out in the living room in case Frank wakes up.”

He took a moment and then said, “Um … ok.”

The morning came, Frank still asleep in the center of the room with my dog and his computer. Michael against the wall on pillows and a blanket. And then there was me, half awake, wondering what I wanted from the boy in the corner.

sex__drugs_OR_Rock__n___roll___by_Annnce

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Michael and the FagHag

The day after my conversation with Gary’s ex, Mary, Gary called his children to talk to them about leaving Washington, leaving Mary and most importantly, leaving them. I gave him my phone and watched him pace outside by the pool while I worked the coffee press. He came in, put down my phone and hugged me. It was the first time he had ever hugged me. His eyes were full of water and he choked up a, “I talked to them. I told them not to use this as an excuse to fuck up in school. You know? I told them it was because of Mary, not because of them.”

I just held him in the kitchen. Nothing was happening. No one was there. It was just a moment to be there, and I was.

lying on the kitchen floor-laurie simmons

There was another matter that needed resolve: I was horny and hadn’t had sex for a couple months. A comic I dated two years ago offered his services to me while I was still stuck in Washington state. As soon as I made my way down to California, I asked if he was still available. He said he was. First, I requested we wait until my monthly packet was in for school. When that deadline was met, we made a date the evening I started my period. I texted him, “I got a visit from Aunt Flo. Just a heads up. Do you still want to grab a drink or something or call it off?”

He wrote back: “Thanks for understanding. Let’s see each other next week.”

That was kind of a disappointment, even for a booty call. He didn’t feel my company was worth a few hours of time if I wasn’t sexually available. So I never called him again, and made plans to go out with a few of my queer friends to get back into LA. The raggedy crew for this particular night included Michael, the receptionist from Doggie Daycare (where I used to work) and a friend who often dog sat for me, Trent, my gay boyfriend, and Aura, the overnight at Doggie Daycare who was a bit scattered and out of touch, but ultimately a good soul. Once I called her to see if she could dogsit and she answered the phone, “Hello? Who is this?” I told her. “Oh … I was sitting here watching 21 Jump Street and my phone rang and I thought, ‘Who is calling me when I am watching 21 Jump Street.’” That is Aura in a nutshell.

bleeding tv

She and Michael went dancing every week and asked I join them as soon as I was back in Los Angeles- so back to West Hollywood I went. On the way, I picked up my twin flame, Trent. My gay boyfriend. My best friend in confidence. My day tripper. My platonic lover. Me … if I was an androgynous Native American homosexual with a drinking problem. When I picked him up, he was kind and proper as he always is, “So, how’s it going?” he always starts. I noticed the scar around the top of his neck, just under his jaw, from his suicide attempt last June. He tried to hang himself in his room. His family dog barked until he was cut down. He ran away. The cops found him, put him in jail and then he hung himself with his pajama bottoms.

I lifted his head and smacked my lips and tongue in dismay. “Jesus, that is from June? It’s October.”

“I know,” he said, “It was pretty bad. I mean, I blacked out when I was hanging. They had to resuscitate me.”

I smacked my lips again and turned away, twisting my mouth. “Why do you have to do that?”

“I was fucked up,” he said. Trent is chased by shadows.  The red burn mark across his burnt sienna skin looked like an upside down smile. I hated it. It reminded me how close he was to dying. A lot closer than I realized.

We got to the club, the Eleven Nightclub. The place was a typically overpriced gay bar in West Hollywood with mediocre music and more chain smokers than dancers. We went out back to join Aura and Michael on the smoker’s patio. Both had black hair, Aura’s hanging down in a sloppy ponytail with lazy eyes and lots of eye make-up, Michael’s the color of malabar black peppercorn. Michael is 5’4, 23 years old, with the eyes of a puppy left behind in a shelter. Even when he isn’t sad, his brown eyes still look glazed over with loss of some kind. He is the kindest person I have met in Los Angeles. We all attribute that to his youth and the fact that he is a recent transplant from Milwaukee. He will dogsit and not charge you, give you money, pay for everyone’s drinks and still go unnoticed because, really, all he wants is to be accepted and loved by anyone.

He will be your designated driver. He will buy you drinks until you are shit faced and never make a pass at you. He will pick you up on the outskirts of Los Angeles and still refuse gas money, refuse the thank you and disappear from your social scene for several months, quietly waiting for another invite. I didn’t know that much about him then. I was there to dance and really spend time with Trent.

“So you are still moving back to Milwaukee?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, smiling, holding an American spirit up off the table top.

“So are you still skyping that girl?” I asked. Supposedly he was moving back to Milwaukee and entering a relationship with a girl back home.

“Yeah. Let me show you a picture of her dog,” he said, pulling up a picture of a corgi on his iPhone.

“Can I just say I am impressed your first instinct is to show me a picture of her dog instead of her?”

“Look, he is so cute. His name is Casanova,” he said.

puupy corgi

We all thought Michael was gay. When Michael started at Doggie Daycare, he went through the usual initiation from the “kennel attendants”, that is to mean those of us who actually cared for the dogs in back. Michael was a receptionist, paid more and forced to deal with humans. Initiation was necessary for any new recruit, no matter your position. We mixed up the names of dogs. We gave the total opposite directions for how to handle something, where something might be and who to talk to. You either learned very fast that everyone was advising you the exact opposite of what you should actually do, or you quit. That was our fun stupid filter. Michael took it personally, and we all liked him, so most of us backed off a little. Most of us. Not Trent or me.

For our Secret Santa exchange, the gay doggie groomer gave Michael a Gay Porn magazine for Christmas. When my roommate at the time, Dora, tried to take it from him, he refused to give it back. We all thought he was in the closet because he had only lived in LA for a few years. To see him at a gay club, drinking around his people, and know he was heading back to a traditional life in the MidWest was heartbreaking. We all wanted him to stay and be happy. No one deserves it more than Michael.

"I had sex with a black guy recently," Trent said.

"Was he huge?" Michael asked.

"No actually he was 5-6 inches,” Trent said.

"Who says that’s not huge?" Michael said, deadpan.

"He stood over me, jerked off and did the whole (Trent mimed a spit) and I did the whole (Trent mimed ecstasy mmmm). And then we cuddled. It was nice,” he said with that little cackle kept in the back of his throat. When we are alone, it comes out like a wildcat.

We sat and quietly giggled to ourselves over cocktails and cheap beer. Everything was expensive, so we tried to manage the drinks slowly. The bus boy came by and would take his time clearing my side of the table, then gave me the eyes and an elbow.

“He likes you,” Trent said.

I shrugged. “I despise you,” Michael said, rolling over me with his eyes.

“That’s a weird thing to say,” I said, knowing he was drunk.

“Why? Why is that a weird thing to say?” Michael asked.

“Because the only reason to despise her is if you really like her or you want to be her,” Trent said.

“How about we rock-paper-scissors for marriage? If I win, you have to marry me. If you win, then forget it,” Michael said, leaning close to me. Whether or not Michael was gay didn’t seem to matter in my world. I knew he loved my blog. When I wrote some of my more sexy French blogs, he pinged me:

“I will trade you (1) baby through the method of your choosing through (a) intercourse (b) artific insem (c) adoption of a legit black baby; for partial custody of (a1) all your doggies. I've got sweet as hell genes btw”

“Uh oh . . . my blog got you a little warmed up, huh?” I wrote.

“Hot 2 trot,” he wrote back.

“And you called me last night. My words are so powerful. They move you! HAHAHAHA” I wrote.
“I think I called to make barking noises. Can't quite remember,” he responded. He was the only person who ever drunk dialed my dogs. He would call up, late at night, and leave a long voicemail. I would wake up to listen to them over a bowl of cereal, listening to him beg to speak to Maggie and tell her how pretty she was. Or asking to speak to Brad and put him down because he is such a “Mama's Boy”. Then he would ask to speak to my deaf dog, Esther, and say, “I know you can secretly hear.” He was hilarious.

“You're the only one I entrust with my drunken late night shit talk, it is quite an honor,” he wrote.

“I feel honored. Sorry I can't deflower you, I am in Washington,” I wrote back.

“You're also about 7 years late.”

I knew he had a crush on me and I didn’t associate that with his sexual identity. Back at the bar, he would face me with a Bud Light. “Come on, let’s rock-paper-scissors for it,” he said again.

“Fine,” I said. We played three games and he won the best two out of three.

“Yes!” he cheered, “That’s it! No way out now!”

“Great,” I sighed, “Now I have to marry a sexually ambiguous 23-yr-old because I lost in rock -paper- scissors.”

rock paper scissors

“Yep,” he said, “You sure do. You know, I saw this 70s film called ‘Cruisin’ and for the last three nights I have had really dirty, graphic dreams about men fucking and woke up with a boner. I don’t know what it means, though.”

We tilted our heads to the side. Trent let out a half gasp, half cackle. “Because you are gay, honey, that’s why,” I said.

We danced inside for awhile. The music was not horrendous, it just wasn’t very good. Michael danced and a few men would gravitate towards him, dancing against or over him, whichever they could. Michael’s hips and torso, fist and forearm pumped in the air with welcome. Men were drawn to him because, despite being small, he was handsome. His arms are built, he clearly lifted weights. His boyish face and smile are easy to slip into. He is attractive, so men waited in a small line to take turns dancing with him. The three of us watched him and, though I can’t speak for the others, I felt a certain pride that he was finally coming out. He was finally realizing who he was- a fag and reject like the rest of us.

Go-Go dancers, all male and one female, danced on the bar. There was the one white guy who committed himself to the Asian chick  go-go dancer in a Super girl shirt and knee -high socks. He mooned over her so everyone would know he was not gay, though in fact in a gay bar.

supergirl (8)

Trent leaned in to whisper something in my ear, and I turned instinctively into his mouth. His corpulent lips touched mine. “Oh my God,” I said, “My dream just came true.” His cackle fed out off his tongue a little louder this time and he continued to gossip about Michael’s sexuality. We wanted him to come out and save himself before he moved back to Milwaukee. Once he went back to the Midwest, he would be lost, oppressed, stuck with some girl he didn’t even think to show a picture of at a bar late one night.

After Trent had his routine fight with an authority male figure- sometimes taxi drivers, sometimes older men- this time a bartender who stiffed us on drinks, I made Trent pour his Bud Light into my mouth like a fountain on the dance floor before wiping my fingers over my lips and smearing the froth on Aura’s face (only later did I remember she was an alcoholic and that was in terrible taste) … only after all of that were we released onto an empty Santa Monica Blvd to fend for ourselves. There we were unleashed to the world to smoke and chat and laugh without 2am hovering overhead, without crowds and without an audience. We were free.

SMBlvd

A tall, black man was flirting with Michael and we all waited in the cold, cradling bummed cigarettes, waiting for him to finish. It is part of an unspoken rule, you don’t rush it when someone is about to get lucky. Especially someone on the precipice of a major sexual revelation. In between exchanges with the stranger, who was in a relationship with another man, Michael would turn to me and say amazing things:

“Can I get real for a second?” he said to me, “You are a great girl. I've loved you from the minute I saw you. You are a very sexy girl. And I think men like you. Any guy that says he doesn't like you is lying."

“That is the nicest thing a man has ever said to me,” I said, looking at the man in a boy’s body. The stranger suddenly appeared, placing his midnight arms around Michael from 6’4 in the air and rocked him gently from behind.

"Have you seen Ghost? He is Patrick Swayze and I am that girl …,” Michael said, trailing off, grinning in another man’s arms.

"Demi Moore. You are Demi Moore,” I said almost sad. I turned to Trent and Aura, “My new fiance is being rocked like Demi Moore by a large, black man. Why am I disappointed?”

demi-moore-ghost-13

“Your new what!?” Trent asked.

“Fiance. I lost to rock-paper-scissors, so we are engaged,” I said, flatly.

“I am outraged. OUTRAGED! Engaged to HIM! HA!” Trent said, slugging it out to the forgotten trash on the street.

“You will always be my gay boyfriend,” I said, putting my hand on his arm. He threw it off playfully. "Twin flame."

“That’s not good enough. He gets the hot black guy and my straight girlfriend, great. And I get nothing!” We chuckled and I took pictures. We were a messy crew, smeared make-up, burning cigarette butts, shivering under cheap coats and hoodies. We were who we are, unloved nobodies. At least unloved in the way we wanted to be.

my fiance

Michael made out with the stranger as a few other men collected and looked on, waiting to use the ATM machine my new fiance was collapsed over.

“Who is that?” a new, shorter, black gentleman said.

“That’s my fiance. I can’t get a straight guy to commit to me .. that is just wayyyyy TOO much to expect so I am left sharing my future husband with a strange man at an ATM,” I said.

“I am really attracted to your personality,” the new stranger said.

“Yeah?” I said, “WHAT ABOUT MY LOOKS!?”

“I like those too, but your personality, I don’t know … there is something about it,” he continued.

“Well you figure it out and let me know, cause I promise if you are straight, you won’t commit to it!”

When we pulled Michael off the stranger at the ATM, like a corn husk too ripe to be bothered, we parted ways; Aura and Michael went to their car, Trent and me went the other. “Do you want to come back to my place for drinks?” Michael asked.

“Sure,” we agreed. Aura would go back to her home. She was in a relationship with a much older man even though they refused to live together. They worked best as a couple out of separate residences, but we all knew she was going back to him. The rest of us had no one else to go back to.

Trent and I drove back to Michael’s house in Pasadena. On the way to our parked car, we had trouble shaking the new stranger, who fell in love with my personality, and the tall white guy next to him. “I am a rapper, you should come to one of my shows,” he said.

“Oh yeah, what kind of rap?” I asked, “I only listen to one kind; Feminist spoken word.”

There was a silence as Trent rolled his eyes and leaned against my car. “I do that, too,” the new stranger said.

“Fine, call me,” I said, climbing into my car.

“But I don’t have your number,” he said. I turned on my engine and drove away.

“God, these guys are so aggressive. The guy who preyed on Michael and then this guy with you, I just can’t stand it,” Trent said. He had two silver balls pierced on the back of his neck, like reverse antennas. He is sexy but without the assistance of gender. He is feminine but a boy. Masculine but a girl. I know he feels he is often rejected or overlooked, but if I could look like anyone, it would be Trent. He is the best of both worlds. Big lips. Soft eyes. Sloppy, short hair. Thin as a rail. Skinny jeans. Rock n’ roll t-shirts. Enigmatic. Gay men often want twinks or typical, straight boys. Who wants someone who is everything?

mick-jagger-young-teenager

When we arrived at Michael’s house in Pasadena, it was no surprise that a beautiful Victorian house had been trashed and reassembled into a dormitory. It smelled of dirty socks and rotting food. On the hardwood floors, in front of antique, bay windows were a slew of computer desks, computers and open bags of chips, soda cans and junk food. I walked into the empty large master bedroom on the first floor, which would have been mine if Michael’s roommate’s weren’t so opposed to the idea of more dogs moving in. It was gorgeous. The walk-in closet was as big as Alia’s kitchen nook- where my computer, books and Gary were stored. The smell and the total disregard for the space were a red flag. There was a reason why the previous two female residents moved out- the computer nerds were un-fucking-bearable. It smelled. I mean, it smelled bad. And to see such daylight and space completely wasted on Halo parties was heartbreaking.

Trent and I settled in Michael’s bedroom with beers we grabbed from the outside refrigerator. (That’s right, there is a fridge in their backyard just for beer). While Michael was in the bathroom, I turned to Trent and said, “You know who I really feel sorry for? That girl in Milwaukee. She thinks she is getting a guy who really loves her.”

“I know …” Trent said, “He just needs to admit he is gay and get over it.”

When Michael came back, we chatted into the night and left not too long afterward. Michael worked at 5am. What I didn’t know was Michael heard us through his bedroom wall from the bathroom. Not only did he hear us, he was incensed by what I had said. “You know who I really feel sorry for … that girl.”

**

The next week, I endured my sexual frustration equipped with a newfound love for bourbon, which both Alia and Frank always made sure to keep in stock. My attitude got sharper, a little less pleasant and a little more dark. I was short, immediate, antsy. “You either need to cut your caffeine in half or get laid,” Frank said. “I can see an actual difference in how your brain works from when you have sex and when you aren’t.”

“I know,” I said, “I am sexually frustrated.”

“Well, do something about it,” Frank prodded. “You have options …”

The comic was out because he wouldn’t have drinks with me on my period. Even though I actually liked him,  liked-him liked-him, I still wouldn’t tolerate that. There were young men on Facebook, actors, who pinged and texted me. With all my working and living 30 minutes north of the rest of Los Angeles, it was difficult. Finally, I contacted an old lover- Cowboy Whore (for those of you who have followed my blog that long), an actor I worked with on a student film in 2011 who was a little older than me, a lot taller, attractive, very well endowed and yet somewhat unnatural. He will resent me for saying this (again) but something, even now, in his interaction with me- even after a few bong hits and a few beers- feels controlled, scripted and affected. I call him Joel for the sake of this blog.

He invited me over to his new place in North Hollywood and I eagerly parallel parked at the end of his cul-de-sac. He invited me in and we shot the shit with his stand-up comic roommate before he went to bed. I stroked his roommate’s dogs. We spoke of how he lost two of his bartending gigs and was now on unemployment. I like Joel. I care about him. However, I don’t feel a connection and that annoys him, not because I think Joel likes me but because Joel wants to win.

Emin_Tracey-Big_Dick_Small_Girl_from_Family_Suite

We watched an independent film he was in, where he, of course, played a violent anti-Semitic who tortures and murders a Jewish family. No matter how I feel about him personally, the man can act. After I watched him molest a Jewish teenager in a bathroom and give an otherwise unsympathetic character some kind of a heart, the credits rolled and I leaned back on his bed. We were in front of the closet, spitting out socks and t-shirts on the floor, and I allowed him on my body so I could feel him breathe fire into my lungs and bury skin between my legs. When I say he is well-endowed I mean his penis is the size of a small person’s arm. It is intimidating. It takes time to ease in. And considering it had been some time since I had participated in any sexual activity, it hurt.

The next morning, he gave me a few orgasms with his tongue, which tends to tense up my vaginal canal. With anyone else, that would be a perk. With him it was an obstacle and after a few attempts, I told him I couldn’t fit him back in my vagina. “Well, you could offer a guy a blowjob,” he said, almost jokingly.

“You know my rules about blowjobs,” I said.

“I think its silly to have rules. You should just do what feels right,” he said, “Rules with regards to sex are silly and totally impractical.”

“Ok, let me rephrase: I don’t feel intimate enough with you to give you a blowjob.”

“Alright,” he said.

“No, we should address this. I used the word ‘rule’ before to ease the news, but the truth is I just don't feel comfortable or close enough to you-”

“Alright, alright, alright!” he said. “I get the point!”

I wanted to date Joel. I wanted this time around to be different and feel that connection I couldn’t find almost two years before, in the dark, smoking pot and listening to She & Him. There is just something keeping me from the real him, and because of that we will never have really good sex.

I went back home and Alia was waiting for me, as usual. “How was it?” she asked.

“It served its purpose,” I said. “I just always feel there is something keeping him from being completely genuine.”

fun-with-venereal-disease-old-guy-young-woman-demotivational-poster-1282396114

Alia was bringing older men back to her fairyland every once in awhile. She and Ryan weren’t serious yet, and there were a few one-time dates with men in their forties. An older gentleman the leered at me and Alia as we danced and seemed a little too entertained by a flirtatious text exchange I had with the Quarterback.

“You are texting an 18-year-old?” he asked, before dragging a chair across the floor and parking it in front of the couch.

“Yeah, so?” I said, holding up my phone and giving him an icy stare.

Another older guy arrived via Skype in Alia’s living room. He offered advice when I opened up about my parents and I was too drunk to deal with him. “Don’t tell me who I am!” I said to the floating head on the screen, “You have no idea who I am or how hard I work or what my parents mean to me.”

“If you want your dreams, then work for them, that’s all I am saying,” he said.

“And what about you? Are you working for your dreams right now?” I said … just before spilling the bong water all over Alia’s MacBook (I still owe $230 for in repairs) She wiped it up as I promulgated, “I am working! I AM! A person like you doesn’t even know what that means!”

Another time, Alia brought an older guy back to play poker with Frank and Ryan and herself. They had taken up late night poker since Frank was introduced to the circle. I can’t play poker, not because I am poor. Ryan and Gary were dirt poor. Alia and Frank were not. They would put money in a pile and divvy it up among them for a game just so there were stakes. I can’t play simply because I can’t bluff. It is embarrassing. You would think as an actress, I could manipulate any moment. However, as an actress I simply generate genuine feelings for the moment whether they pertain to a tangible reality or not. If I have a good hand, I giggle. If I have a bad hand, you can see it in my frown and eyebrows, crunching forward, desperate to break the code.

On this particular night, Alia brought this older gentleman over. She cooked dinner as he left for a marijuana dispensary to pick us all up goodies with her money. After two hours of no phone call, no show and no word, we decided to smoke his joint and eat without him. He wasn’t picking up his phone anyway. Shortly thereafter, he showed up. He must have been in his early 60s, grey hair, wispy in the sense that Southern California played with him and was almost ready to discard him; his thick tan, his melting wrinkles and forced physique. He walked back to us in the firepit and said, “My phone died. That was terrible. I had to drive all the way to Encino to find an open dispensary.” Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the valley, Encino is 10 miles from West Hills. I kept my big mouth shut.

“I had to drive all the way to Encino. Thank God they were open,” he said.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alia said. “We thought you ditched us so we ate already and smoked your joint.”

“I was so hungry, I had to stop and buy a 3 Musketeers bar,” he said.

I turned to him. “Your story gets more and more horrifying. Next you are going to tell us about stop signs and construction flags,” I said.

gangway 3 musketeers

Alia gave me a severe look. “New rule, we are going to be nice to everyone at this house because we are all friends. Understand?”

I slowly nodded and excused myself. I love Alia, but these men she was tracking through the house were whiny and pathetic. I couldn’t keep quiet around them. I couldn’t swallow their complaints and gripes.

Recently, I was asked why I gravitate towards younger men. “Because they are nicer,” I said. It seems simple. I don’t mean to say no old men are nice, and all young men are nice. I mean to say young men still have a sense of wonder, they still listen to you and pay attention. They make you feel pretty and sexy without putting you down. They play silly games and laugh like an orgasm when they catch your joke. They love you the way you should love someone, not the way you try to remember.

That is the difference between old people and young.

banana sex

**
I received a voicemail from Michael one or two nights before. “Hey, I need to have feelings talk. Call me back.”

I rarely returned Michael’s phone calls because we were never close and often drunk. One particular night, I was in another text message exchange with QB, the Quarterback of which I had a platonic affair with in Washington State.

“I know you like me because you always text me when you are drunk,” he wrote.

“Please,” I wrote back.

“I am going out with a girl tonight,” he wrote. The only way he knew to get things started was through jealousy.

“Well, that sucks for you because a) I am a sex goddess and b) you like me.”

“Yeah right. And … yeah.”

Dear QB

“I like you, too,” I wrote. I was tipsy from drinks with someone, somewhere. I always came back to West Hills though, stumbling up the grassless lawn over New Mexican pebbles and cactus. I opened the door to a few throaty barks from Brad, my terrier, and then was covered in pool of dog kisses and wagging tails.

Anyone who loves a dog learns what coming home really feels like.

“I knew it! I knew you would have sex with me!” he wrote.

“Way to ruin it,” I wrote.

“Sorry. I am drunk.”

From there things escalated to a picture battle. He would send me a pic of himself topless in the bathroom, and I, unabashedly, asked everyone in the house to take pictures of me in a fishnet dress. Somewhere in the mix, Michael called and I just said, “Come over.”

He did. That was unexpected.

Me in Fishnet

Me in Fishnet 1

I should preface the following sequence with: I was sure he was gay and I was intoxicated. I handed him my phone and asked him to take topless pictures of me. He directed me, as Alia and Ryan retired from the position 30 minutes beforehand to watch a movie.

“What’s next? Is it Los Angeles or Belgium?” I asked, knowing his girlfriend lived in Belgium.

“Right now it is a toss up. ha ha.”

“Come here now!” I wrote.

“i just started a new construction position that pays really good.” He called soon after, and we chatted on the phone. “I was thinking I could come down there next summer,” he said.

“I don’t know if I will be sexually available then!” I declared. He was silent and I realized I was being too intense again. “That would be nice,” I softened. We chatted. Nothing especially dirty. Nothing especially promising. We just chatted. And when we said goodbye, we both chuckled like we were buddies.

The pictures kept coming. My breasts. My pubic mound. He pushed for my vagina but I never gave in. He sent me a picture holding his erect cock with red, pubic hair around the base. I saved it on my phone and insisted on looking at it with my first cup of coffee every morning for two weeks.

When the drunk texts were through, when Gary was snoring on the couch, when Ryan and Alia disappeared under a blanket of soft words and pleasure … I stumbled into my bedroom and collapsed on the floor with my dogs, still naked under my fishnet dress. The door to my bedroom cracked open and I saw Michael’s head peer in and heard him gently close the door behind him. I thought, “God, now I will have to reject him. Now I have to hurt his feelings.”

I rolled on the floor like a drugged sow in the mud, feeling around for her next feeding of slop. He laid next to me and I felt his fingers crawl across the fabric of my dress, occasionally hitting the potholes of skin swelling between the netting.

sex in the dark

“Oh God, I will have to tell him no. Now I have to lose my friend,” I thought. Then he kissed me. His lips slowly opened my mouth, gradually, sensually. I invited his tongue into my mouth and I felt the spark, that inexplicable spark from one head to another. “Please, whatever happens, keep walking my dogs for me,” I said, gasping for the room’s stale air under his mouth.

“I promise,” he said.

Before he entered me, I said, “I haven’t been tested for STDs recently, and I have had a decent amount of unprotected sex.”

“I don’t mind,” he said. Then I felt him inside of me, and realized his penis was larger than the proportions of his body. He lunged. He fired air at my mouth. He buried his hair into the crevice of my shoulder, moaning like a child. Those moans are what got me. He sounded like he was breaking open from pleasure. The youth, the inexperience, the pure adrenaline exploded all over my stomach in a matter of seconds.

I caught my breath in the dark, hearing him roll over in thick, milky saltwater. His hand spread it over my stomach onto the floor and blanket. The smell of alcohol and nicotine rotting inside his mouth, ready to be swallowed with all the other poisons of adulthood. My head spun into a dream and I thought, “That, just now, was what I really wanted.”

what I want

Monday, December 17, 2012

The MotherLoad


I have taken a break from writing so I could go to residency at my writing school, apologies for the delay:

Where was I? In a house in West Hills Los Angeles, living with a polyamorous hippy named Alia who just broke up with her boyfriend and the Native American stoner I stole from the Northwest. There I was, finishing the reading of my last book for discussion and working on my final pages to submit before the end of the semester. When I finished, all I wanted to do was go out and party.

There were only a few friends to come and see me while I was away in Alia’s house, where time was lost in a fog of cannabis and privilege.  “I will wash the dishes after work,” I said.

Ryan in Alia's kitchen

“Oh, I am spoiled, didn’t you know?” she asked, pulling the bong from her lips. “Rosa does comes once a week and cleans up the place. My Mom insisted I have Rosa and I kept refusing, ‘No, Mom, no!’ Then Rosa came for a little while, and I still said, ‘Mom, please, I don’t need Rosa.’ After a couple weeks of no Rosa, I called and said, ‘Alright, Mom, if you really want to send Rosa, I will let her come.’ She does my dishes. Just leave them in the sink.”

One of the regular visitors was Frank, my middle-aged Jewish friend with a dry sense of humor and a poker habit. Frank was one of the men who promised me a place to live but backed out unless I agreed to a monogamous relationship. While walking the dogs in Skamania County (Washington), I explained what horrible terms that was for a relationship. Though I had strong feelings for him as a friend, I knew that somehow we would ruin things. We didn't work for the weekend that we dated. We wouldn't work in a house with three dogs.

Nonetheless, I love Frank. He doesn't get along with most of my friends because he is different. He insists that he has never experimented with sexuality. He asserts the traditional masculine identity he was taught as a child; competition, dominance, cigars. Surrounded by my medley of sexually unpredictable friends, he often feels attacked or aggressive. I guess with “real men” they are one in the same.

Frank Persona

Either way, Frank was the first to come and visit with a bottle of whiskey and good tidings. I wasn't surprised that he and Alia hit it off almost immediately, but it still made me jealous. Frank gently pined for me the last two years. To let him go peeled a little skin off, but not much.

Alia, in the meantime, had taken on a regular lover. She was open to sharing her lovers with me- mostly young, poor, confused boys which I must admit is my type. But I was living there rent free, and as long as I was there, I wouldn't dip my toes in the pool even with permission.

Her most recent lover was a boy by the name of Ryan. He was 27 and looked like a Northwest hippie with a sunken face and a goatee. He was also a stoner, and the two would get together and listen to music, cook and coo to each other over the cluttered house as Gary, my stolen Indian, sat outside quietly by himself. Recently, Gary got a job at the Halloween store and was pulling in some income, though it was minimum.

I was hired by a pet sitting company that was interested in keeping me on for administrative duties and dog training on the side, so it seemed that things were working out. We were looking for a place, but I needed to be close to Glendale for my job and Gary knew his was temporary. Neither of us had money for a deposit. Gary was still waiting for his check from the Hotel and mine had come and was spent on gas. We were on the verge of a presidential election and the oil industry had hiked gas prices well over $4 a gallon. Commuting from West Hills to Glendale ended up costing me $20 a day, when my income was roughly $50 a day. It was dire, but you keep the faith.

arm leg born

Frank would come over with the whiskey and play Pink Floyd on the guitar. We all sat around, smoking pot and singing “Wish You Were Here” … Ryan made avocado sandwiches or Alia would cook up some organic eggplant concoction we would all scarf down before spacing out in front of her fire pit with a beer and cigarette. It was nice. It felt like a makeshift community of people who didn't know how to connect to most people, but could finally connect to some people.

It was a utopia. Alia would sing to my dog Maggie as Ryan would pound on her forgotten piano. The place would smell of pot and rosemary. Her one request was to keep the dogs off the furniture, so I slept on the floor inside her spare bedroom to be with them. My back hurt. But I would sleep for 4-5 hours a night, wake up and make coffee before the dog food. Every morning, the dogs pranced behind me like a happy caravan, my blanket still wrapped around me like a bridal train dragging on the floor.

I was worried about staying too long. You see, there were a few possibilities regarding my living situation:

A) Frank get us a place
Negated.

B) I move in with Michael
Michael was a friend from Doggie Daycare who was in a house occupied by dogsitters and computer nerds. The dogsitters were moving out and he promised me their room. When the computer nerds said they didn't want to deal with dogs anymore, Michael stopped returning my phone calls and text messages.

C) I found a studio for $750 a month in Glendale. When I moved down to West Hills, the landlord informed me the previous tenant refused to move out, despite not having money for rent. He was forced to file a lawsuit for eviction and refund me the deposit.

dog fuck cartoon

“I want you to know I am grateful for staying here and want to do whatever I can to show you that gratitude,” I said to Alia.

“I am happy right now. I will let you know when I am not happy. As long as you can keep me high, we are ok,” she said.

I agreed until I found out Alia smoked a eighth a day, which adds up to $35-40 a day. I tried to keep the green flowing but ran out of money. She smiled at me and said it was ok. Still, leaving my dogs and a stoner at her house everyday I went to work was wearing on her. I could see it in the tension around her smile, in the receding green of her eyes. She liked me, so she tolerated them. Again, I was on borrowed time.

***

Amidst the working, the driving, the worrying, the reading and the writing- my friend George asked me to join him on his birthday at the MotherLode. George is a gorgeous, black, gay man who, sadly for me, is genetically perfect in every way. The MotherLode is a gay club in West Hollywood. I was functioning on 4 hours sleep and working everyday, but I had to honor his birth, so I drove down to meet him.

motherlode

I left behind my three dogs and all the sad eyes that followed me as I dashed out the door. Gary, quiet on the couch, waved goodbye.

I parked my car somewhere close. It is hard off Santa Monica Blvd. on the weekend, but I managed. He and I met in the same class at Writing School. I was immediately attracted to him, so intuitively I knew he was gay. He was articulate, oddly intune to people, well read, agreeable so you felt immediately accepted, sharp and attractive. The man has no physical or personality flaw and you almost grow to resent him when he won’t share your eye roll in the middle of class. He simply nods and smiles, chewing on a piece of gum in a perfectly assembled outfit one might find suitable for the cover of GQ. A vintage, olive sweater. A white shirt accidentally washed with the reds, turned pink and flirting at you against his black skin. A New York scarf. Black rimmed glasses. Loafers that would look awkward on any other man bring a sophistication to his walk. When he laughs, his ivory white teeth open up to the back of his throat and I can hear the music of his soul bellow out. I could fall in love with George, but George could not fall in love with me.

I walked into the club and saw him at the bar in knee high sports socks, shorts and a t-shirt. He carefully put down his cocktail, threw his arms up and embraced me. I laughed like you do when you finally make it home.

cocktail pour

“How are you? I have been following you on Facebook? I told my brother, you want determination, my friend has been working her ass off to get out of Washington. It was really inspirational,” he said, placing the straw back in his mouth.

I blushed and ordered a cocktail, knowing I shouldn’t have had a few shots of whiskey prior to driving. But he paid and when you are poor for so long, you never turn down anything free.

George and I spoke about the writing program, how it was low-residency but the spirit of writing works its way into your mind everyday. Each semester your talent and work load expands. George sent me one of his short stories while I was in Washington and it was a funny, poignant and unusual story about finding a man who claimed to be Jesus on the streets of New York. He and Jesus find their way into a gay club where the narrator bumps into an ex-boyfriend and grapples with heartbreak.  

jesus-loves-gays

“So tell me about the old man,” he asked. I told him about the old man who took me in after my parents kicked me out in Washington and asked about his job and how the other classmates were doing, Mostly I was curious about Miguel who I was hoping might take me out for dinner upon my return to Los Angeles. As much as I loved my philandering with young men, I was hoping Los Angeles would signal a turn for me and ground me with a steady job and a nurturing relationship. The best guy I knew of was Miguel, the handsome Hispanic public high school teacher from writing school with a dry sense of humor and a great reputation for creative talent. 

“Miguel likes you, he really does, He cares for you,” George said.

“He cares for me?!? What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means he is really a private person and doesn't want to be mentioned in the blog,” he said.

In my switch from whiskey to vodka, I thought it wise to text Miguel to join us immediately and consummate his care for me. He responded promptly that he was at a Bachelor Party far away but wanted to know where I was staying. In all my intoxicated wisdom, I thought that meant he was asking if he could express our physical appreciation for each other somewhere private. I told him and he continued to say he could not join me but acknowledged he would like to remain anonymous.

why doesnt he like me

Hmp.

“If you don’t come down, George will take me home and I am sure you know how disappointing that will be,” I texted.

“He will take care of you,” he wrote back.

Around this time, I was sloshy and making jokes to the gay men around me. I bummed cigarettes and was indulged with the type of humor you only get from people who have been rejected by mass society; wicked, sharp and sardonic. Between the cheap cigarettes and the mixed cocktails, a woman started dancing with me. She was petite, not quite plump but not thin either. Her curves remained in her underwear. She had blonde hair and cheap eye shadow on. How we started dancing I am not quite sure, but I let my hands linger over her hips and breasts, occasionally cupping her groin just long enough for her to know it was intentional.

Soon, another woman joined us, also blonde but dirtier and taller than I was. She must have been 6 feet tall because I was looking up at her. With colder eyes, she yanked on my pony tail a few times. I submitted, taking turns between the two girls mouths, sampling the sweet flavor of cherry lip gloss. I love men, but women are better kissers. They are soft but aggressive, and men have trouble balancing between the two. It wasn't long before an even taller gentleman joined the circle of dancing, kissing and fondling.

girl vampires

He must have been 6’3 and looked down at the two blond girls. “I like this one,” the small one said, pointing at me like a teddy bear in the window. He grabbed the back of my hair, tilted my head up and buried his tongue in my mouth. I could almost taste the cocaine. I took him in, though I didn't enjoy it and resumed dancing. “I want this one,” the girl continued. I felt hands on my hips, tugging me into the circle of vampires when George grabbed my hand and shouted, “We have to go!”

George tugged me into the cool night and I stumbled out onto the street, calling Miguel. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember him erupting in laughter long enough I felt the need to pause before my next sentence. When you make a boy laugh, it is better than hitting five cherries in a row on a penny slot machine. It is better than a proposition for the night. When a boy unleashes a laugh from his belly, you know that is as close to his soul you can get without cooking a meal or making him cum inside of you.
George took the phone away from me, “She is drunk. Hang up now, and don’t pick up if she calls again,” he said.

I got the phone back and Miguel was gone. I called again and got his voicemail. “God damn it, George,” I said, swaggering to my parked vehicle. George stuffed me in the passenger side and drove us to his bachelor apartment downtown. He led me up the stairs and down dark hallways in a bare apartment complex as I stumbled over my feet and tugged my hoodie tighter around me.

“I love you, George,” I slurred, falling on his bed.

“Ok, we are going to go to sleep now, ok?” he said.

light art

“You are so handsome!” I said, jerking at his clothes.

Around here, it gets confusing in memory. I will freely admit George is a perfect male specimen. His body, face and personality are molded perfectly for this white girl, Sadly, his erection was not. I pulled off our clothes and kissed the carob skin, remembering how I didn't like the smell of the first black man I slept with but loved the smell of George.

“You know you have the soul of a gay man,” he said.

I crawled over him, dropping kisses along his chest and back. Dragging my fingers and mouth along his skin, I discovered an inch long scar on his upper back. I fell in love with that scar. George didn't really fight me off, but I could tell from his semi-erection that he wasn't easily surrendered. I only remember wrapping myself around his warm, sinewy body, watching his head bow down like an infant wrapped in sling.

Things stopped. I guess I just passed out.

However, I did wake up in his arms. We were both in our underwear and I felt him around me as I huddled in a self-sustained ball around his blanket. I woke up. “Oh my God,” I said, “I have to get home.”

“Shhhhh, lay back down,” he said, burying his head under the covers.

Giggling, I stumbled into his bathroom. Over the door was a pull-up bar. The bathroom was bare and bachelor.

“Oh my God,” he said, “Come lay down …”

I hurdled myself over him, laughing, “I am sorry, I am a morning person.”

alter ego

“Shhhhh,” he cooed, trying to pull my hand closer to the bed. I felt my cold breasts nestle into his backside through my bra and kissed his skin one last time before retreating to my phone.

“I have to go take care of my dogs,” I said, moving to the chair in front of his computer. I rolled over my email and Facebook to jumpstart my brain. “I think I made out with someone last night...”

“Those girls,” he mumbled into his pillow.

“That’s right, those girls,” I said. “I hope my memory is a lot dirtier than what I did to you last night.”

“You did touch my penis,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“What kind of gay guy would I be if I didn't understand that,” he retorted.

I laughed into the cold morning air and typed our exchange into my FB update before pulling on my coat and kissing him goodbye. His eyes stayed shut to keep his birthday morning quiet as I danced out into the checkered hallways of his average, forgettable, grey, Los Angeles apartment building.

My car had a parking ticket, but I plucked it from the windshield and drove home before the other Angelenos woke up. When I arrived back to Alia’s house, she was staged on her throne, upon the couch and holding her bong. Her hair was wild and hadn't been brushed. Her robe was slightly open. “How was it?” she asked.

“I smell like black man,” I said, opening my jacket and taking in the scent. “I love him …”

***

That night, Gary fell asleep with his Facebook open on my computer and I saw a message from his ex, Mary:

I am worried about you, I heard this girl you took off with is bi-polar and hasn't been taking her meds. And she broke into her parents house and stole some things. You need to know what type of person you are with.

My chest caved in. The only people in Skamania who knew I was ever diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder as a child are my parents. I left on such a good note, with my employers, with my co-workers and with the Quarterback. Now, my personal history was poisoned in the well of small town gossip.

bi-polar-bear

As Gary slept, I emailed her:

I know about the rumors you are hearing about me. They are not true. I work very hard, I am in school full-time and work full-time. I rescue dogs. I am single. I don't need to deal with character assassination because you feel you need someone to blame about Gary. He is safe with me and a good friend. It might be easier to believe every weird fucking rumor about me from people who never spoke to me ... and being someone who has had her heart broken many times, I will understand that.

Just know it is a lie and that's what you are perpetuating. It doesn't hurt me now, down here  in LA, but it is wrong.

Best of Luck,
Me

*
Yeah, I don't know what to think about you. It's perplexing, this situation. My first emotions were erratic, this is true. Shocking, mostly.

I don't hate you, just confused as to why you would support this act. He had a full-time job -in which he was waiting for it to become- and two children who love him. I still love the guy too, he seemed "off" and in a moody daze for three weeks prior to you moving to Cali. He would never converse with me when I'd ask what was wrong, just shrug it off. Something is bugging him and it worries me.

He didn't say a word about wanting to leave, or being unhappy. He was unapproachable to the point I didn't want to talk for fear of an outrage of emotion from him.

I have fibromyalgia and thoracic outlet syndrome and finally overcoming my chronic migraines I've had for 18 months, the week before his departure. When he became full-time, the state cut off my health coverage and I've been off pain meds for 9 weeks. So I admit to being difficult to deal with, but after we moved from Stevenson to Carson-out of a moldy trailer-I'm FINALLY feeling better, then he disappears.
All I ask is for him to call me. I miss him very much and it hurts me that he couldn't even tell his children goodbye.

I appreciate your communication, greatly.

Thank you, 
Mary

*
Mary,

I understand.

Gary was miserable and was saying things like he hoped he would die of lung cancer before returning to work.

The night we left, I asked him a hundred times if he was sure. He said he was and then just sat in my car with my 3 dogs for the trip. I wanted to help my friend. I want him to be happy, but also encourage him to communicate to his family. I don't know how much he does.

I often prod him to talk since he mostly just thinks to himself since we left.

I don't know him well, but help when I can, if I can. I don't want to hurt anyone.

He mentioned your migraines and feels responsible for them, since they occur more often when you two live together. I also get migraines, so I know how hard that is, I can't imagine as a Mom.

I tag him [on Facebook] for his friends and family, so you guys know he is ok. Not to hurt you.
As for the rumors, I was diagnosed bi-polar when I was 15 and stopped taking the meds when I was 17 because I thought it was bullshit. I am 34 now, and I still think it was bullshit.

I broke into my parents house after they kicked me out and ‘stole’ my loofa sponge, my disposable razor and some soy chicken nuggets because I couldn't afford to replace them before payday.

My parents kicked me out because I went to a bar after work, but was home before 8pm. I think they are going senile. It is painful to hear bad things about myself when I loved everyone in Skamania, but that is the way life goes. It doesn't matter my intentions, how hard I worked, how I paid people back, all that matters is what is a juicier story. I have to let that go, but it stings.

I am always here to chat, I know men don't and I hate that too,

Me

*
I apologize for listening to the rumors, it's how people want to ‘help’, I guess. Feed me information that they think will be useful. Assuming isn't something I enjoy, yet that's all I had. I don't know you and Gary rarely spoke of you when he chatted about work.

Gary is a private person and it hurt that he'd speak of me in a bad way to people I don't know. He's been the only man I've been with, father of my two girls and was the best friend to share secrets and stories with. To lose my best friend in one 'swoop' feels horrible. I cry after my girls go to sleep, or when they are in school. He's made me feel so horrible,

Mary”
*

I suspect my parents started the rumor and that hurts. Lets friend [on Facebook].

Gary is nice, and never once hit on me,

Me

*
Lol, I had to make the 'moves' when we met. Been attracted to him since the day we had to introduce ourselves in camera class in New Mexico.

Let him know his ‘ghouls’ love him, but are hurt by his actions.

They spoke to a school counselor the day after he left, Ebony was hurt the most (she's I'm afraid they've learned, from us, to hide their feelings and I hope they still talk to the counselors. I haven't been able to talk to them about Gary. It makes me emotional and I don't want them to worry about me too,

Mary

*

I know its hard. I can't influence him, he needs to decide for himself. I suggested he call the girls this afternoon and left it at that,

Me

*
Thank you for that,
Mary.”

*

I just want to do the right thing. Please remember that. Shit is in flux,
Me

**

My parents. My God damn fucking parents. I bought a bottle of white wine and a pack of American spirits and I brooded in Alia’s backyard. Then I emailed them one last thing:

Some rumors about me being bi-polar, refusing to take medication and stealing from you are circulating around Skamania, which makes me sad because I left on such a good rapport after working my ass off all summer.

I know some part of this came from you two, and I hope you know you are only hurting yourselves. 

Darkness begets darkness.

I am staying in the light.

Shame on you.”

I never heard back from them.
write drunk edit sober
*

That night I got trashed and Alia didn't know how to deal with it. “I have poor coping mechanisms,” I slurred, leaning on her quiet piano. She calmly smiled before I slipped into the spare room to bury my head in dogs and pillows.

Around 4am, I woke up and I spoke to myself. “You are ok. Focus on getting money and getting a place to stay. You will be ok.”

Alia appeared in the crack of the door. “I heard you talking so I thought I would get up and talk to you,” she said.

“Sometimes I talk to myself to calm down,” I said.

“That’s ok. Just know your parents found each other and fell in love. They thought, how awesome is this I found someone just like me, who understands me! Then they have this beautiful baby who is nothing like them. She has high energy, she sings all the time and can’t sit down for too long. They look at each other and think, ‘What do we do with this?’ They just didn't know. That’s all. It doesn't mean they don’t love you,” she said.

In the dark, I smiled for her, even though she couldn't see me. “Thank you,” I said, softly. “I love living with you.”

“I love living with you, too,” she said, “but you are a lot easier to talk to when you haven’t been drinking.”