I USED TO BE ONE of those men of mystery you hear so much about.
After I split — amicably — with my last girlfriend, she complained, only half joking, “It’s not fair! You know all my embarrassing secrets and I don’t know anything about you!” We’d been together three and a half years, a long time to know nothing about someone. If being mysterious is an art, that was my masterpiece.
But after she left, something changed. Suddenly I wanted everyone to know everything.
Blame it on writers like Bukowski or Henry Miller, comedians like Louis C.K., Artie Lange, and Jim Norton, all of whom create brutally honest work based mostly or entirely on the sordid details of their own lives. There’s nothing more seductive to a blogger in our narcissistic age of ME! than knowing that Miller’s Tropic of Cancer is considered “one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century” (Norman Mailer) and “a book which […] might restore our appetite for fundamental realities” (Anais Nin). Why? It’s about bumming around, getting drunk, and sleeping with whores — not being derogatory toward women; I’m referring to actual prostitutes. Plus, his stories are, if what I hear is true, true. Henry Miller is Tucker Max if Tucker Max wrote like Walt Whitman.
So I’ve been stocking this website with truth these past few months, hoping to restore appetites for fundamental realities and going to some pretty dark places in the process. But a little over two weeks ago, I had a strange experience. I didn’t feel good writing about it and I didn’t feel good having people read about it, and even knowing it had happened made me feel ill at ease. There was so much comedic potential waiting to be unleashed but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Then I remembered something: you don’t get consideration for Norman Mailer’s “Top 20″ list by holding back. So I won’t, consequences be damned. To quote a t-shirt I once saw Stephen Malkmus wearing in an old Pavement publicity photo: “FUCK ART. LET’S DANCE.” Shall we?
Let it be known that none of this is my finest hour –it’s possibly my worst — and almost all of it reflects badly on me. I’ll get the most embarrassing part out of the way first: I tried online dating.
A writer friend recommended OkCupid.com: “I know lots of plain-looking, socially-inept people who’ve had great success. You should try it!” Not really what I wanted to hear. Then I got a different endorsement from another friend: “There’s no straight equivalent for how gay men can go out at night and expect to wake up in a stranger’s bed the next day every single time… well, except for OkCupid.com of course.”
Truthfully though, that’s not how I approach dating. The very fact I say “dating” as opposed to “screwing,” “fucking,” or “raping” should tell you all you need to know; I’m a classy guy. But my hedgehog approach had been incredibly counterproductive for the single life (per the earlier post, a hedgehog can only think about one thing at a time, like me and my longterm relationships).
I needed to try something different, so I went back to my bread and butter: being mysterious. An OkCupid.com profile features sections like “my self-summary,” “the six things I couldn’t do without,” and “what I’m doing with my life.” I refused to answer any of them straightforwardly. My hope was that I’d attract a lucky lady who’d see me as a puzzle to solve, some hot “Sherlock Holmes” piece of ass.
It was Friday afternoon. I didn’t have plans for that evening because I’d thought I’d be in New Orleans by then (for a film, where I am now). In fact, I’d told everyone that I’d be gone as of a week earlier, so even though plans had changed and they knew I was still around, they’d already held the going-away party and cut the emotional umbilical cord. So I had a Friday night to myself, and Friday afternoon as well, as I’d run out of work early and was the only person in my office. Nothing else going on, I went on OkCupid, and suddenly someone started chatting with me…
“I liked reading your profile. It was really interesting.”
This girl knows what’s up, I thought, so I checked out her profile. It was awful, just awful. But I didn’t want to be rude, so I responded, “Thanks. How’s it going?”
And so it began.
There were a number of red flags early. She mentioned how her last date from OkCupid tried to slip her a roofie, and she told him, “It’s going to take more than that. I don’t go down easy. It’s like trying to drug a horse.” After her date left — because it’s hard to bounce back after you attempt rape — she started talking to another guy in the bar and they wound up in her car having a seven hour conversation about anal sex. “On the topic of anal sex, I could last maybe half an hour tops,” I told her.
She also said she’d been dating too many Jewish lawyers lately, but avoided Mexicans because “those motherfuckers are fertile; they can get you pregnant just by looking at you.” She was a single mother with a kid, by the way, by a Jew, so I wasn’t sure how the comment about fertile Mexicans applied unless she was trying to invent a stereotype on the spot. She also told me she came from a poor town south of Los Angeles where the only things to do are “drink liquor” and “catch herpes.” Then she assured me she hadn’t done the latter. Finally, she said she had to run and fix her kid dinner, but came back within a minute. I said, “Wow, that was fast,” and she said, “It’s a fucking cheese quesadilla. I’m a good mom.”
This girl was insane, that much I knew, but Goddamn it I had to believe she’d make for an entertaining evening. She left her phone number casually multiple times while we were chatting — “I need to go get the mail. In case I forget to come back… ###-###-####” — and finally I just called.
After hours telling me that she’d either spend Friday night “crashing a high school party to buy 17-year-olds liquor” or “planting myself on the couch and watching a Project Runway marathon until Monday,” she remembered she had not one but two other dates she’d already scheduled that night. Was she blowing me off? “No! I really want to go out with you! You’re way better than either of those guys! One of them’s the creep who tried to rape me!”
I told her I’d feel shitty for having her blow off someone else — or two someone elses — but she didn’t care. Ultimately, I didn’t either, because this was the only night I had completely free and I wasn’t going to rearrange my schedule to set a proper date in the future.
We agreed on 10:00PM.
For the sake of this story, I’ll call her “A_____.” A_____ told me I could park at her place and we could either walk or take a bus to a bar. As I was driving over, about a block away, A_____ called me, hysterical, saying she couldn’t find her shoes. “Park right next to me,” she told me. “You’ll see me outside digging through my car looking for my shoes.”
I did, and she was, bent over in the driver’s seat scouring the floor. I finally got a look at her in person. She was shaped like an egg with tits, and also wore an excessive amount of makeup, halfway between “natural” and “kabuki.” I found it odd, as she was a makeup artist, but later I noticed her business card matched her steering wheel cover: leopard print.
“Just give me a minute,” she said. My car was parked to her left, so I walked over and hung out by my driver’s side door. It provided a buffer between me and the crazy. But five minutes later, I decided, “Fuck it, this what I came for, isn’t it?” I went back to help her look for her shoes.
She wanted heels because she “doesn’t get to go out with tall guys very often,” and there were heels all over her car — six of them — but no matching pairs, just six individual shoes. She was also missing her debit card but couldn’t go back up to her apartment to look for it. “My aunt is in there with my little boy and they’re watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on full volume. I kept telling them to turn it down and they wouldn’t do it. I can’t go back in there.” She looked through her purse and found an EBT card — food stamps — but joked that “you probably can’t buy drinks with it.” We laughed.
I don’t remember how we solved the shoe problem — I think A_____ finally settled for flats — but by then she didn’t want to walk or take the bus. I offered to drive but A_____ wanted to drive instead. “It makes me feel safer,” she said.
A_____ put in her CD of “feel good” music and skipped every song. She hated them all. Then she told me, “I shouldn’t be driving at night. My eyes are really bad.” I shrugged. At times like these, I tend to step outside the situation, look at my life, and quote Rocky IV: “If he dies, he dies.” I noticed what neighborhood we were in and mentioned that if she took a right rather than going straight there’s a really good burger place.
“I have to drive the exact routes I know,” A_____ said.
“Oh, I know this area pretty well. I could redirect you.”
“No, I mean, I have to drive the exact routes that I know or I will crash. My vision is not good enough to drive new places.”
Oh my God.
I let her drive where she wanted and we wound up at a bar called “Boardwalk 11.” We didn’t talk about much for awhile except how badly she needed a drink, even after she had one. A_____ told me she’d been on a lot of dates with guys from OKC — she kept saying “O-K-C” and I kept thinking she meant The Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team — and could write a book about her experiences. I asked her what she’d discovered and she had virtually no insight; the book seemed like a bad idea.
She told me she had a hot, slutty friend who she went out with all the time, but hated her because guys would completely ignore A_____ and go after her hot, slutty friend. Once it got so bad that A_____ said, out loud, she’d give a blowjob to any guy who could name five dinosaurs (A_____ is a big fan of all three Jurassic Park movies), and still no one paid attention! A_____ then asked if I could name five dinosaurs. “Come on, this is for a blowjob,” she said. So I said, “Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Velociraptor, Oviraptor…” and that was it. After spending every weekend of my youth at the Natural History Museum in New York, where my favorite exhibit was the dinosaurs, I went completely blank.
I guess it’s true what they say: I really didn’t want this girl to give me a blowjob.
We saw a guy with dark hair, a five o’clock shadow, and glasses enter with two blondes. He shook the prettier one’s hand, and A_____ said, “‘Jeff Goldblum’ over there’s not getting any tonight.” This guy looked nothing like Jeff Goldblum. A_____ went outside for a cigarette break — I stayed and drank — and “Jeff Goldblum” seemed to be doing pretty well with the blondes while she was gone. I pointed this out when she returned and A_____ said, “Yeah, I forgot, ‘Jeff Goldblum’ has an eight and a half inch dick.” I asked whether she meant the guy in the bar or film and television actor Jeff Goldblum, and she said, “No, that guy. Jeff Goldblum’s dick is only six inches.” I asked how she knew and I believe her response was “firsthand experience.” Then she added, “But I have a talent. I can tell how big a guy’s dick is just by looking at him.” She didn’t guess mine — somewhere between “Jeff Goldblum” and Jeff Goldblum — and I was glad.
We went out for her second cigarette break, and A_____ got a text. “Uh-oh,” she said. “Remember how I had those other dates tonight? I sort of forgot to cancel them.” She showed me the text: “Hey, I’m inside! I see you!”
“I told him I was staying in tonight, unless I went out with one of my neighbors,” A_____ said.
“You don’t understand! I told him all my neighbors are gay or Jewish.”
“Okay,” I said. I had no intention of pretending to be gay but I told her I could pull off a convincing Jew; I’ve attended my fair share of Hanukkah parties and my nose is larger than average.
Her other date came outside. He seemed nice, and I didn’t know whether to feel bad for him (he was blown off) or good for him (he dodged a bullet). A_____ excused herself to go to the bathroom and the guy and I chatted awhile. Turned out he did marketing for Stamps.com, a competitor of my dad’s old company, and we had a great conversation about start-ups, marketing, and internet postage. Then A_____ came outside and said she needed me to take her home. I said goodbye to this guy and decided I didn’t feel bad for him in the least.
We didn’t go back to her house, but to a place called “Barfly” on the Sunset Strip. A lady selling roses walked by. “I love roses,” A_____ said. No fucking way, I thought. “You know how June’s birth stone is the pearl? It has a birth flower too: the rose.” She pulled back one of the straps on her top to show a tattoo on the back of her shoulder. “A lavender rose. If a guy gives me one of these, I’ll fuck him no question.”
“Do those occur naturally?” I asked. “I’ve only ever seen red, white, and pink roses.”
“I don’t know. I think you can buy them at supermarkets.”
She told me she was getting pretty drunk. I said, “I thought you said you were like a horse. You look like a horse.” I was referring to her earlier comment about having a high tolerance, but realized it didn’t come out right. I tried to recover by mumbling something about how she was “‘sleek’ and has a big ass.” “Big ass” was meant as a compliment. “Sleek” was a stretch.
At around 1:15AM, she told me she was ready to go home. I couldn’t agree more.
She parked across the street from her apartment and told me to give her a moment. She had a long day coming up where she needed to refinance her apartment. “I have to make some bagels and lox for the refi-guy. He’s a Jew.”
“Of course,” I said.
“But I’m worried that my aunt may have locked the door and I won’t be able to get in.”
“Do you want to go check?”
“Maybe in a little. Let’s just rest a second.”
A_____ cracked the window and lit up a cigarette. “I hope it’s not a problem that I smoke,” she said, as if I might be sizing her up for a relationship rather than contemplating suicide. I told her it wasn’t.
Then I made a mistake…
“I can’t believe you talked that one guy for seven hours about anal sex,” I said.
“Give me your hand.”
She had me ball up my fist. “The guy took my hand, like this, and said, ‘You have to go slowly…’” A_____ worked her fingers into the creased part of my fist like it was an asshole — indeed, I felt like an asshole — until my hand opened fully.
“That must’ve been a very awkward conversation,” I said.
“Eh, not really,” she said. Then she said, “I really like porn.”
“What’s your favorite kind of porn?”
“Don’t be a prude. Come on.”
I didn’t want to admit to a single mother that I like the ones where the guy doesn’t pull out. But when I finally told her, she simply said, “That’s hot.” Then she said, “I like gangbangs.”
I tried to relate. “Yeah. That’s how it is with porn. You get bored and start having to watch stuff that’s more and more extreme.”
“Gangbangs aren’t extreme,” she said, somewhat defensively.
“Oh,” I said.
“Have you been in one?”
“A gangbang? No. You?”
“Yeah. I’ve been in…” she started to count on one hand but ran out of fingers. “A couple. One time — this is kinda crazy — I had two brothers. But we were all really drunk…” Then she said, “I used to have these fantasies about… I was a punk rock girl, you know? I had a band and everything. And I always wanted to fuck one of those punk rock kids at a show. So I went to one recently, picked out a kid, and said, ‘You’re coming with me.’”
I looked at my phone. It was 3:30AM.
A_____ continued, “So I took him into my van… you know how you said you like the porn where the guy doesn’t pull out? I’m on the pill, so I let him go unprotected three times in a row. Nineteen-year-olds! He wanted to keep going and I was like, ‘No, sweetie, I need a break! I gotta clean myself up!’”
I should say, at this point, that I’ve made the language a little more family-friendly for the purpose of this story. In actuality, this girl was quite crude.
She took a blanket out of the backseat, pressed it to her nose, and inhaled. “Smell this,” she said. I did. It smelled neutral, but good in the sense that it didn’t reek of cigarettes and gang sex. She laid it across her body and reclined her seat back so she was almost horizontal, the correct position to engage in cigarette smoking or gang sex.
“Don’t you need to get some sleep for the refinancing tomorrow?”
“Just a few more minutes.” She paused, then added, “Talking about porn has got me really horny.”
I stayed as firmly on my side of the car as I could, pressing against the door to see if I could escape by osmosis. “Boy, it’ll sure be nice when you can go inside, watch some porn, and take care of that,” I said.
“Why do my pants keep coming undone?” she asked — a non sequitir, but not really. She looked under the blanket to confirm that yes, the button on her fly was undone and the zipper was partly down. I myself didn’t check but the information was relayed to me by a reliable source. “You know, a lot of guys say they can’t believe I had a baby because my pussy is so nice. It’s magic.”
“When you say your ‘pussy is magic,’ do you mean that it has magical powers or just magical properties? Because there’s a difference.”
“I guess it’ not magic, but magical.”
“Wizard pussy,” I said.
She laughed. “I still can’t figure out what size your dick is.”
“Yep.” Still a man of mystery.
This went on for some time, I’m sorry to say, me alternating between somewhat suggestive comments and subtle hints that I should leave, her getting aroused and telling me not to go. For a few brief moments, I even think I heard her masturbating audibly under the blanket.
At 6:00AM, I finally said, “I gotta go.”
“Just a few more minutes.”
“I gotta go.”
“But you’re so entertaining. Don’t leave.”
I wasn’t that entertaining. “I gotta go.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch all the porn you want when I leave.”
She went inside. Her aunt hadn’t locked her out after all. I got in my car and drove home, and as I was parking, I got the following text message:
“My aunt took the computer!!!!! Im going to die”
I responded: “that’s the worst thing that could possibly happen”
HER: “Im dying of horniness and lack of imagination”
ME: “I feel terrible for you”
HER: “Help meeeeee”
ME: “What could I do?”
ME: “I just got home”
HER: “Im so mad!!!! Im really really turned on and i dont know what to do”
ME: “I’m sure there’s some way to handle it”
HER: “Im sure there is too. Ur no help…”
I got back to my apartment and turned down the sheets. The texts kept coming more rapidly, with graphic detail, and I thought about going over there just to shut her up, but it made me feel like a low-self-esteem chick who fucks a guy “just because.” Just because he bought her dinner or a necklace. That doesn’t work for me. I need to be romanced, not hassled or bought off. I didn’t even get a necklace.
The valuable lesson here was that I could get a very desperate girl aroused by speaking frankly about sex and being vague with my intentions. It’s not a helpful lesson, but it’s something. Being mysterious has always been my forte.