The slut and the feminist are both begging me not to write this blog. They’re like “Just write something glib and funny and irreverent.” But I can’t right now. Because I’m in pain. I spent a day and a half crying in bed. I called in sick to work.
This is what happened. Last week I had a lapse in judgment and I texted Gaffer Guy for the first time since I saw him at that party with that other girl. Last I heard from him, he had said he wanted to do “Normal people stuff,” like “go to a movie, or a museum, or get food, or make food and eat it, or rent a movie and watch it in pajamas.” Since then, radio silence. And then the party.
Don’t ask me why I can’t keep my hand out of this fire.
Him: “Miss me?”
Me: “Don’t ask me why.”
Him: “Let’s meet for drinks after work.”
And so we did. We had a couple beers and, besides some weird flirt-taunting with the bartender, he was pretty cool. And I got pretty drunk. So we went back to his place. I was greeted by his two large and friendly dogs. He showed me his house. Not exactly the palace he had described, and definitely in need of a good clean, but a considerable upgrade from Coffee Shop Guy’s messy studio. And then we talked for awhile. About careers and death and this old gay guy with a Liberace voice who Gaffer Guy helps out with various tasks. I enjoyed talking to him and I felt myself opening up, even told him about the cat scratch fever I got as a kid that made me permanently partially blind in my right eye. I had forgotten about this because I rarely think about it, and it’s a detail many of my closest friends don’t even know. Maybe it was him, or maybe it was the beer, or perhaps the couple lines of ecstasy we blew off the counter. Whatever it was, I felt close to him and like maybe I had misjudged this person. Or judged him too fast, which I have done in the past. Maybe I misinterpreted his behavior as weird and malicious when I was the one choosing to see it that way?
At a certain point, he started kissing me, and I have to say I love kissing this guy. And he smells amazing, not sure what he puts in his hair but damn. I went to go pee, and when I returned, I found the bedroom lit by candlelight with some sexy tunes playing out of his phone. We started making out, which started leading to sex. I wanted to go down on him but he said it would make him “come too fast.” I appreciated this consideration, in light of our sexual history. He went down on me, and when I pulled him up, he didn’t want to stop. He was actually trying to make me come (unlike last time), which I also appreciated. We had sex for awhile in a number of different positions, and it was fun and lasted longer than a minute and a half.
He asked, “Will you kill me if I fall asleep right now?”
I laughed. “No.”
“I don’t want to experience your wrath in the morning.”
I assured him I was fine, that I felt good, that I had fun.
I kissed him on the cheek and turned away to go to sleep.
“Thanks for that,” he said.
There was no cuddling, which I guess should have been a warning sign. No spooning, no good morning kisses, no affection whatsoever. We both had things to do so we got out of bed early-ish and got dressed and got ready separately. He had to go help Liberace upholster a chair, and I had a plane to catch. When we were just about out the door, I started kissing him again. Which led to making out. Which led to a real quickie fully clothed, bent over his bed. We kissed goodbye and that was that.
I was flying to visit my parents for the weekend, and upon touching back down in LA, I found myself with a text from Gaffer Guy.
Him: “Are you back yet?? I want to have lunch…”
Me: “Aww you miss me?”
Him: “Don’t ask me why.”
Cute, right? I told him I was waiting for the bus, going straight to work.
Him: “Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve picked you up.”
I consider picking someone up from the airport a huge favor that I don’t ask of most of my friends, let alone casual sex partners. My usual ride, my dependable ex-boyfriend, was out of town himself and unavailable. Gaffer Guy offered to come to my work and lend me his car while he went to work himself, and then I could come pick him up afterwards and we could go bar hopping. This seemed very inconvenient to me, but I did want to see him and I found this proposal exciting and unpredictable coming from him. Had we really come this far? I’m now borrowing his car?? I agreed.
At 10:30 pm, I park his car in front of his work.
“Give me all your money!” I jump, then quickly realize Gaffer Guy is standing beside my driver’s side window with his hand pointed at me like a gun. He opens the door.
“You gonna go around or slide across?”
“I can drive,” I say.
“I don’t let women drive me. Y’all are terrible drivers.”
“Why is it always guys getting in accidents then?”
“90% of accidents, you drive past, there’s a woman involved.” Not sure where he got that statistic.
“90% of accidents, you drive past, there’s a woman involved.” Not sure where he got that statistic.
“Well, I’ve never gotten in an accident.”
Off to a good start. I walk around and get in the passenger door.
He sniffles, sounding stuffed up.
“I can’t fucking breath. I drank seven beers this afternoon.”
“Well, you can just take me straight home if you want.”
“Nah, let’s get a beer.”
“Nah, let’s get a beer.”
No kiss, no nothing. I reach out and touch his hair. I don’t know why I insist on doing this.
“You’re a petter, aren’t you?” He says.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize you don’t like being touched.”
He doesn’t deny this. I keep my hands to myself.
“I sold my motorcycle today. The one I’ve been fixing up. Bam boom. $3,500. Cash.”
He beams, proud of himself. Looks over, expecting a big reaction from me. I smile.
We arrive at the bar, the same one we came to before. We order beers and I’m looking at the food menu. I didn’t have dinner. He hasn’t eaten all day but when I ask what he’s going to order, he says “Nothing.”
I order ceviche.
“I feel like shit,” he says.
“We can go if you want.”
“No, let’s have a beer.”
I can imagine how tired he must be, having drunk seven beers that afternoon then gone straight to work. I can’t believe he’s still drinking.
I’m having fun, high on adrenaline, ironically singing along to Blink 182 on the radio. I like who I am around him. I feel open and excited. I’m like that girl in the rom-com you just can’t help but fall in love with because she’s so awesome.
I glance across the street, enjoying the heat this late at night, feeling content.
“Oh god, that look,” he says.
“That look on your face. You look so bored.”
He’s got to blow his nose. I offer him a napkin from my purse. He gives me a strange look.
“I’ll go to the bathroom.”
While he’s gone, the bouncer and I start talking. When Gaffer Guy returns, the bouncer excuses himself.
“Nah, you don’t have to go man. This is my sister. She’s my sister from another mother. She’s my wingman. I bring her out to attract people.”
“Mostly guys,” I say.
We laugh about this, but I don’t understand what’s with him.
When the bouncer leaves, I decide to bring it up.
“I feel like you’re done.”
“Dude, I’m here with you.”
“It’s just that, you say all this stuff through text and then I see you, and it’s like none of that exists.”
“Look man, I’m not gonna stroke your leg in public. I’m not into that PDA shit. I don’t know who you expect me to be.”
“It’s just a little confusing but I’m getting used to it.” This isn’t entirely honest. I don’t know how to express the fact that him wanting to pick me up from the airport and watch a movie in our pajamas doesn’t compute with this person who barely looks at me when we’re together and won’t even give me a single kiss until he’s drunk.
“I think you have intimacy issues.”
This starts him off on his favorite topic of conversation, about how all women are the same. He’s now on his second beer. He indicates the space between us.
“This is how it starts. They all seem cool in the beginning. And then you’re gonna start leaving shit at my house. And you’re gonna wanna move in. And then you’re gonna get crazy, and I’ll still be the same guy.”
I can’t believe he’s talking this shit again. He tells me a story he told me the last time we were at this same bar, about the other girl he was screwing who recently confessed she was developing feelings for him and wanted to be exclusive.
“She was like, all or nothing. So I said, it’s gonna be nothing then.”
I can’t believe how cold and heartless he can be. And what kills me, is that the look in his eye tells a different story. In his eyes, I can see that he likes being with me/that he’s interested in me as a person, but out of his mouth comes this bulldozer of bullshit that I can’t believe.
“You’re all the same, man.”
“Then why me, why not that girl?” I indicate a girl near us, her boyfriend’s arm wrapped tightly around her.
“She’s taken.” Wow.
“Well, I don’t see you as interchangeable. When I look at you, I see an individual. I don’t see a representation of all men. I don’t make time for everybody, I’m here because I like you.”
“So, does that mean you wanna date and be exclusive?” He looks worried.
“No, that has nothing to do with it.”
I can’t believe where his mind goes. In this moment, I feel like crying because I’ve let this person in too close and he’s fucking crazy. Except crying won’t work with him.
“You’re all the fucking same. The only difference is that you get your periods on different days. And when you all get together, you even get them at the same time.”
This is too much. I can even feel myself becoming the crazy girl he’s describing, and I don't want to be that girl.
“Well maybe we should just call it quits now, before it goes any further.”
I’m bluffing. I’m testing how deep his apathy goes.
His eyes look sad but his mouth says “Sure.”
We get the check.
“I’m sure you wanna walk home, but you’ve got all your shit in my car.”
He drives me and I’m silent. He talks bullshit, tells me “I told you I was crazy.” I’m about to burst into tears and I need to get out of the car. I still want him to hug me and tell me he’s being an asshole, that he’s sorry and he didn’t mean what he said. He doesn’t. He’s done learning, he’ll never change. He’s living this self-fulfilling prophecy and he’ll have another crazy chick to fill my slot next week.
“I like just going home to my dogs. I don’t like girls staying over at my place.”
He pulls over and I thank him for letting me borrow his car. I don’t look at him as I grab my stuff and slam the door behind me.
I open the door to my apartment and I sink to the ground in a puddle of tears. I cry like I haven’t cried in years. Heaving, full body sobs that I don’t understand considering this person I’m crying over. I don’t understand why I care so much. Why I feel such profound disappointment and loss. My biggest regret? That I didn’t get one last kiss. I feel so pathetic, so fragile.
The next day, I tell my ex all about it. He thinks the guy is an asshole and can’t understand what I’m doing with him. I expect this will be the response from most reading this blog. My ex tells me I need closure with this guy. I should meet him for coffee and tell him how my feelings were really hurt. I text Gaffer Guy, he tells me to come to the set where he’s working. It’s nearby. I go. Not sure what I’m expecting, but needing to tell him. He steps out to meet me, in a semi-private area.
“I just needed to tell you that you really hurt my feelings with what you said. I don’t know what kind of women you date but I’m not like everyone else. And it hurts me that you can’t see that. But I don’t feel great today and I just need closure with this.”
He stands there watching me, a half smile on his face – mocking or sympathetic, it’s hard to tell. His eyes are full of regret but what comes out of his mouth is this:
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Have a nice life.”
And that’s that. I turn from him, keeping my emotions at bay, feeling like I just showed my naked heart to a wolf.
I put on my sunglasses to hide my blotchy face and the tears streaming down my cheeks.
I skip work and go straight home. I get in bed to watch Six Feet Under on HBO-Go and I order in pho from my local noodle shop. I burn my hand badly as I pour the broth into the noodles, spilling liquid everywhere. I grab an ice pack and crumple to the floor, once again in a puddle of pathetic, self-pity tears. I like to think it’s my period that’s making me so emotional, but I’ve never really had these symptoms before. I don’t like to think that I allowed Gaffer Guy to have such a strong affect on me. I sob into my soup bowl, then crawl into bed. I wrap the ice pack around my burnt fingers and cry myself to sleep.