Monday, September 30, 2013

Oops... I Did It Again

I saved his number in my phone under Think About It. That was my friend Claire's idea. She's a couple years older than me and she's been through this shit before.
“If a guy treats me badly, it's over. I'm not attracted to him anymore.”
I so had no intention of ever texting Gaffer Guy again. I honestly tried to delete his number from my phone's memory and fucking iCloud foiled my plan and refused to forget not only his number, but also his goddamn name. So I saved his number under Think About It. I knew this would deter me.

And I do think about it, I really do. I'm laying in bed, in my PJs. Having already eaten dinner and watched three episodes of Six Feet Under. Already moved on to reading a couple chapters of Bright Shiny Morning before drifting into a deep sleep, when my phone starts luring me to do bad things. I stare at it. Think About It. And when I think about it, I come up with a brilliant idea. I'll text him three blank spaces, and he will receive a text from me with an empty dialogue bubble. In other words, I'm opening the door but not enough that I can't deny ever opening it. I mean, phones do weird things and text people random empty messages sometimes right? Totally could have been a technological gaff, just a friendly little digital blip reminding him I still exist. I text him the empty message and put my phone down, feeling good for smacking the ball right back into his court. Then I start to feel a tad remorseful. What if he looks at this blank text and ignores it, as he's done in the past with my accidentally-on-purpose, meant-for-him-but-not-really text digressions. What if his response is to roll his eyes at my childish indirectness and turn off his phone?
My phone vibrates.
Him: “Oh yeah? I'm going to meet some friends at a bar. Join me.”
Wow. One blank text and we're right back where we started. Is it really so simple to put all the baggage behind us? Wipe the slate clean.

But I really don't want to meet him and his friends at a bar. I don't want to give him the opportunity to humiliate me in public again. I especially don't want to be outnumbered by his weird friends. And I really just want to make out. Since he's told me definitively that he hates PDA, he needs to come over.
Me: “Why don't you stop by on your way and make out with me a little?”
Him: “Come to my house now and we'll ride over together.”
Me: “I want to get you alone for a minute.”
Him: “I'm meeting my friend. It's nice out. Come if you want.”
Me: “Have fun.”
Him: “You too! Happy friday!”
I feel disappointed, and annoyed at myself for feeling disappointed again. For setting myself up for failure. I delete the entire text chain out of my phone so I don't have the urge to write him back. I do this often with him. Virtually after every single text. It sounds a little crazy when I say that out loud.

Ten minutes later, he sends me a song to listen to. Blue October's Bleed Out.
Me: “I don't want your songs, I want your tongue down my throat.”
I don't hear from him again for awhile. But I'm excited. My heart is pounding. I don't know why this guy makes me feel this way, but it feels like I'm on drugs. Up down up down up down. I look up the lyrics to “Bleed Out.” The chorus goes “Bleed out/ I gave it all/ But you can't stop taking from me/ And way down I know/ You know where to cut me/ With your eyes closed/ Bleed out/ It won't be long/ til this heart stops beating/ So don't let me bleed out here alone/ Hear my plea/ you won't hear my plea.” So dramatic. I'm pretty sure he was the one who cut me, but whatever.

A little while later, I'm seriously getting ready to go to sleep, but also thinking he might text me again, which makes it impossible for me to go to sleep. I'm just turning out my light when... my phone vibrates.
Him: “Meet me for a drink. Yes or no.”
Me: “Why don't you come to me?”
Him: “The lady comes to the man.”
Me: “I think you've got that backwards buddy.”
Him: “No then. Copy.”
I stare at my phone. That old sinking feeling. That same old feeling that says 'why should I be the one to fucking compromise' mixed with 'I blew it.'
I delete the text chain, turn off my phone, and switch out the light. Once again, Fuck You Gaffer Guy. My phone vibrates.
Him: “I'm willing to head your way, close to your home. Last chance to be human together. Meet me for a drink. Yes or no.”
I'm already in my PJs. There's no way I'm getting out of bed to meet this asshole. I read his text again. The “last chance” jumps out at me.
There's no way I'm doing that...
But then I just do it.
Me: “Promise to be human?”
Him: “I'm nothing but.”
Me: “You gonna play nice?”
Him: “Pick a destination. Quick.”
Me: “Same spot I guess.”
Him: “OK. See you in 15.”

I jump out of bed, heart racing. Mouth guard out. Get in the shower. Don't shave your legs, I say. Fuck that guy! I'm totally not shaving my legs for him.
But then I just do it.
I dry off and look at myself in the mirror. Don't put on makeup for that fool. I take out my mascara. Sexy underwear? Goddammit yes. If what I want out of this is physical, I need to prepare for it to get physical. I try not to think too much about the clothes. Throw on a sweater-like shirt, skinny jeans, boots. Not trying too hard. No cleavage. Fall is coming and I'm not gonna freeze for this fucker.
Even though I'm going from half asleep in bed to bar-ready in minutes, I still beat him there. I'm searching through the Friday night crowd. He's not there and I start to panic. What if he doesn't show? I can't stand another humiliating episode. I'm starting to get PTSD from our last encounter at this very same bar. Maybe I should have picked a new spot, somewhere with less bad memories.

I'm just getting a table outside when I see him at the door. I don't even try to give him a hug or a kiss hello. I coached myself on the drive over to play it cool, protect my heart, don't let the conversation spin out of control... blah blah blah.
The waitress approaches and asks how we're doing this evening.
He asks if she really cares or is just saying that.
I'm about to apologize for his rudeness when she shoots back with “well, now I don't care.”
I like this girl.
She says she needs a card to hold the bar tab. He asks if he can hold it with a hundred dollar bill. He takes out a wad of hundreds.
We order beers and he orders two shots of patron. I'm thinking, there's no way I'm drinking fucking tequila right now.
He tells me he's got to work at 8am tomorrow.
We talk about a lot of things. We talk about last time we were here. We have different ideas about what happened, but he actually seems to be listening to me. He's not on an all-women-are-crazy tirade this evening, so that's a plus. Maybe things have calmed down with the female wrestler he was fucking.

Our drinks come and, when the conversation starts to go in a direction I don't like, I ask about the shots of Patron.
I say, “I can't really drink tequila anymore.” Then I clink my glass against his and shoot it back.
I explain to him that the smell of the shit he puts in his hair is like fucking catnip to me. I tell him I'm going to find out the source of the smell and make every guy I know wear it.
"Come closer so I can smell your hair.  I promise I won't touch you.  I know you don't like to be touched."
"You can touch me," he says.
He leans forward. His hair smells fine, but it's not the hair.
Let me smell your face. I promise I won't touch you, I just want to smell your face.”
He moves his face in close to mine. I breath him in. Whatever the smell is, it's on his face. He rubs his nose against mine and we Eskimo kiss over the table. Okay, this definitely counts as PDA, which he supposedly hates. I don't question it. I close my eyes, heart fluttering.
He tells me it's not that he doesn't like to be touched, it's just that when I was “petting” him last time, it was just “too sweet.”
He says he obviously still feels the “magnetic pull” between us. Well I'm glad I'm not the only one.
"So are we going to your place or mine?" he asks.
"Well, I guess yours since you obviously won't come to mine."
He doesn't argue with that.
"I've got to go," he says.  This confuses me.  Does this mean I'm not coming over?
"Are you sure you want me to come over?"
"I thought it was already decided.  You're coming over."

I follow him in my car. He drives slowly and uses his turn signal so I don't get lost. I half expect him to floor it and take off, to change his mind and decide he wants to go home alone. At his place, his two sweet old dogs greet us. They like me, I can tell.

He pours us two glasses of water and apologizes again that his bed is not made, his place is a mess.
I never have people over here.”
I don't think that's true but I don't honestly care. The new toothbrush he made me open last time is still on the bathroom sink. There's also a third opened toothbrush, but I don't ask about it. I peak into the shower, looking for the source of The Smell. I find VO5 shampoo and generic soap - clearly not what I'm looking for. I snoop through the bathroom cabinet. Aha! Three perfume bottles of Hei by Alfred Sung. I put my nose to the fullest of the bottles. I get lightheaded. The scent is absolutely intoxicating.
Found it!” I gleefully carry the bottle into the bedroom where he is making the bed, and present it to him. He smiles at me.
You obviously know this shit works because you've got three bottles of it in there.”
He starts lighting candles. I take a photo of the bottle so I can go tell every man I know to buy some and start wearing it NOW.

I return the bottle to the bathroom cabinet. When I'm back in the bedroom, he tells me to flip the light switch. Blue October's “Bleed Out” is pouring out of the speakers.

After we have sex, we keep kissing. He tells me when the CD ends, he's going to sleep. He has to get up in four hours to go to work. He means business and when the last song has played out, he blows out the candles and we lay back in bed. He kisses my shoulder and holds my hand across his chest. He doesn't turn away from me like that first night. It feels nice.

In the morning I watch him get ready for work. His hair is crazy and standing on end. I'm fond of that hair. For whatever reason, I'm fond of him. But I know I have to be careful. I know I must protect my heart, that he is fully capable of breaking it. He comes over and kisses me goodbye. I linger in that kiss. He gives in to me a little bit, then pulls away.

Later that afternoon, I'm at my friend Paula's house when he texts me.
You ever wake up? I wish I was still asleep! I'm a zombie today.”
I text back. “I'm painting your house pink, hope that's cool.”
I can picture myself becoming his worst nightmare, and for the moment this is hilarious to me.

I confessed this latest episode to my ex-boyfriend.
His advice: “You can't write about this in your blog. No one will respect you.”
I know that's probably true, and I considered strategically avoiding the subject. But then I talked to my friend Paula, who is 40 years old and much wiser than me.
Her advice: “You have to write about this in your blog. Because it's you, it's your honesty.”
I chose to follow her advice because she's right, this is me, I am a woman in my 20s and the reality of me at this moment in life is that I'm choosing to live out this story, even though I already know the ending.


  1. Oh man... painful to read this one... such adoration lavished on such a man-child. and the mention of HIS DOGS LIKING YOU!, just the saddest trophy dude... the excuses for him, the stupid games that excite you, the self-deprecation and labeling of this passage as honesty to make it brave catharsis instead of...sad. CLEARLY not just a venture for casual sex (there's zero focus on it), too much to psychoanalyze here and I don't have a degree to back up any thoughts. wonderful that you're writing this, but it would be great if you see a counselor/psychologist as well and talk through it! ya need someone who's not a 40-year old Paula who knows how to lead you to places of self-discovery and progress so that this isn't the story that continues to be the pattern until you're too old to lamely say "I am a woman in my 20s".

  2. Ouch...good luck with that. It won't be long till we get the follow up. But hopefully it won't be as bad as last time.

  3. Oh boy. This was a very tough to read indeed.


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