Wednesday, June 21, 2017

insert questionable robin thicke lyrics here

Tall brunette creatives with a penchant for self-inflicted poverty — the romantic kind of poor, reserved for artists with trust funds and parental enablement — and a tendency toward overt emotional instability and maladjustment once made my heart go pitter-patter at a speed that cruised violently close to cardiac arrest. But that was before I consciously went against type, after years of going no where, in an attempt to abandon infatuation and fall for real. I did, eventually, trip down love’s thankless, empty chasm, once I finally gave up the ghost, but this isn’t that story. And thank god it’s not — may I never unravel like that again.

This one takes place in a bar, by the water, and then in my bed. It was humid and early July when I agreed to meet a guy whose app location indicated he was 300 miles away. "Do you live on the moon?" I asked. "No," he said.

I’m not so sure I believe in serendipity, but he happened to suggest we get a drink at a bar on my block, so I took that as some sort of otherworldly sign: He sensed where I lived so maybe he was magic. It turns out instead that I am dangerously forthcoming on social media, but I found his invasive tendencies charming because he was beautiful, in print and in person.

We met and we drank; the conversation doesn’t matter. I only remember his name when I strain for it, nearly a full year later, but he was dreamy and impressive in the way men are dreamy and impressive when you've never been in love — he had that unyielding frenetic energy that acted as a me-magnet before I understood the limits and shortcomings of unhinged perma-passion. His hands were everywhere, all at once.

He brought me to the waterfront after I paid for our drinks, and he told me I was weird before he pulled up my Twitter account on his phone. I was unbothered by this mild revelation of light stalking, which he explained away with a wink and his hand on my thigh. He could have flayed me alive with a butter knife then, peeled off the thin top layer of my skin in one lengthy transparent sheet, and I would’ve stayed still for it all, if only he’d asked. His eyes were very green; I would never judge Ted Bundy's victims.

He made us listen to a Justin Bieber/Slipknot mashup, a song I haven't stopped talking about for more than six years. I would like "Psychosocial Baby" to be played at my wedding and again at my funeral, at all funerals, at every christening and baptism and wake. I want to watch New York City plummet into the ocean as Bieber's prepubescent vocals are superseded by Corey Taylor's guttural screams, the track blaring from the mega-speakers across the sea at Jersey’s Prudential Center. The song and its unofficial music video are seven minutes long, but we watched the whole thing together in erotic silence. I think quite often about who will take it hardest when I die.

Likely emboldened by that unencumbered sonic bliss and my clear willingness to ignore my own gut instinct to flee, my date then dove into a detailed plot description of Nekromantic, a 1987 German exploitation film where a man fucks corpses and bathes in his own cat’s blood to deal with the fact that his father killed his pet rabbit long ago. We all cope with trauma in different ways, after all. At one point, the male lead watches a horror movie which makes the film very meta and smart.

Before revealing its end to me, my date paused and laughed and then he kissed me, pulled me onto his lap and kept kissing me. I let him do this.

Would you like to know how Nekromantik ends? Well, OK, here: Our protagonist is an inconsolable necrophiliac who ultimately stabs himself just as he ejaculates one final time, which is very romantic. We should all be so lucky to die doing what we love most.

“I didn’t think you’d let me kiss you if I told you how the movie ended first,” my date told me later, though he was wrong. Someday I will not need to feel wanted.

We walked back to my apartment after making out on a bench I haven't sat on since. He held my hand the entire way home. I think that was my favorite part.

Things accelerated from there, once in my room. No one needs the gritty details, though I am inclined to give them anyway. He didn't have a condom, so he asked if I was on birth control and trusted when I told him yes. This is because women never lie.

I realized too late I didn’t want him to fuck me anymore, but I don’t always know how to say no. I found my voice that night, but it was too quiet in the end. It’s like he went deaf right before he pushed inside me, as though all the blood had rushed so far away from his face that it left a violent ringing in his ears loud enough to drown out my meager objections.

And it's important to note my NOs were weak and lifeless, coupled only with some tenuous physical protests that ultimately petered out. I felt like a 33-year-old cat, made of dust and molasses, and I probably looked worse, as I pawed pathetically at his hands. “No, no, it’s OK,” he mumbled, offering definitive proof of his newfound selective hearing. I did say some of those words, after all.

I gave in then, but it wasn't because he was strong or scary or mean — I still wanted him to like me; I didn't want him to leave.

What he wanted was an artisanal hot dog, he told me, moments after he came, and Crif Dogs was only open for another 20 minutes. When he left my apartment — "It was nice meeting you. I had fun," he noted — I checked their site and saw they’d closed an hour earlier.

Some stories don't have an ending, and this one lives eternally inside my brain, where the unsavory bits and pieces resurface when I'd like to remember them least. Whenever I retell it, I launch into writer-mode, editing the ending to avoid becoming a burden. I guess I'll have to stop talking about it now.

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