Friday, June 23, 2006

En flagrante

I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, scanning for long-missing accessories amid the dirty laundry. Here's an uncapped marker. There, a rental renewal notice. I feel like crap, but circumstances are jolting me into an upright position of productivity. My mom called me a few days ago asking that I return home:

"We [the family] go to Yellowstone. You take care of business. And brother."

I reluctantly agreed; she deserved a vacation, being on her feet 13 hours a day (as she's apt to remind me).

A few hours later, she rings me again: "You want to go to Cuba?"

Hell yesssss!

I'm told it's a belated birthday gift. MArt is so jealous. But he's still going to housesit for me. A lovely gesture, no? Apparently, we're in love or something.

***

A few evenings ago, a met an Irish tourist at 3 a.m. who asked me out for coffee.

I agreed, knowing it would be acceptable grounds for MArt to break-up with me. But I did it anyway because I am prone to being courted randomly off the street and this one, this one seemed decent enough (although a bit sloshed). The man ended up being a hedge fund associate for Goldman Sachs. We ended up at a 24-hour cafe, talking about the state of world economics, specifically in the Middle East and North Korea. I asked him what he thought of the latter's goals, and made him elaborate on his company's intentions in that country, what America really has in store for that side of the planet.

"They're completely unrealistic. They're delusional, yeah?"

What I gleaned from him is this: North Korea's basically paying him and his ilk to invest in the country for the sole purpose of securing confidence. So it, unlike China, is paying him interest. A few years ago, I heard through the familial grapevine that N. Korea was cordoning off a tiny area to experiment with capitalism. My dad's older brother was in the running to manage it. Now, I get what it really is: an office block all the big players are vying for. But the catch is, it's also entirely owned by the Europeans, so from what I'm told, investing in it commercially only really benefits the EU. America, in turn, also gets rich(er). It's win-win, unless you're North Korean. And since the South acts as everyone's money lender to access the North, even they get something out of it. Gabby, as my companion was called, already put down $4.3 million, but thinks the North Koreans need to cop to their situation and realize that they're in a strategic position, geographically, to govern as the gateway to the East.

An hour later, he's declaring his love for me. "Sorry," I said, "but my man's waiting up."

"He is a very lucky man."

Apparently, I'm one hell of a woman.

The conversation was fascinating in its candid portrayal of American interests versus American rhetoric from an insider. Before slipping into bed with MArt, I asked him whether he thought my actions were opportunistic.

"Of course."

I'm a journalism student, dammit! It's survival of the best story; the only thing I have in my arsenal are contacts.

***

Why some women can be a fucker to deal with absolutely eludes me. I've always thought as sharers of vaginas, we were born to have some sort of affinity with each other. Well, Tuesday's linguistics final showed me otherwise. This boorish lady, whom I had never spoken to before, took an immediate disliking to me. She was sitting with three other classmates, all of them men, who were so kind to offer me a seat and a hand in studying for the test. Immediately, everything I contributed was aggressively put down by this woman.

"Did you guys get this question? Does it mean that since the current discourse drives the idea that the mind emerges from the brain ..."

"NO! You don't get it at all!"

"... from the brain, Chomsky suggests that we distance ourselves from it in order to discover the linchpin of the mind/body duality?"

The men all nodded, "Yeah that's it." And there she was, arms crossed, giving me the eye, seething. [Sarah said she felt her negativity the moment I approached the table. That's why she left 15-seconds in.]

This continued until 15 minutes before class started. That's when she really brought out the claws. I asked her what her plans for the summer was:

"I'll be working."

Oh, I said, surmising that it must be something to do with getting her M.A.

"No, work. As in, I have a career," she scoffed. "I'm 31-years-old."

I decided I was just going to fuck with her now: "That's amazing! You look great, like one of Kylie Minogue's back-up dancers!" I enthused.

By the time the professor waltzed in with the booklets, she had already checked off her "accomplishments" for everyone to hear, chewing on every sizeable chunk like she actually carried speech bubbles in her back pocket along with the stick up her ass:

"I'm married.

"I have a 4.3 GPA."

"I have a mortgage."

"My husband and I are buying a house."

All accompanied by the requisite eye-roll.

"How 'bout a windmill? You planning to get one of those, too?" I asked. She wheezed like I had insulted her 4.3-rated intelligence. I smiled and listed off its various practical uses: Grind wheat, bring up water from a well, as an environmentally friendly air conditioning unit, a hideout from zombies.

"I don't get it."

Smarmy bitch. *sigh* Laxatives will do her body good.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Foam core

"How'd the midterm go for you?"

"It wasn't too bad, being open-book and all."

HOLY AYATOLLAH PAT MORITA! Open-book?! I had no feckin' idea. Didn't bring a goddamn thing. This, obviously, convinces my mother that I am on the cusp of getting kicked out of university even though I'm getting solid As (and Bs) towards my concentration. Yeesh, it's a summer general ed. course on linguistics; I don't give two shits about Chomsky.

Wanker.

***

I told my parents about MArt.

"This one's serious," I said.

"What is he?"

"What do you mean what is he? He's white, mom. He's a white guy."

"Oh, okay. [*silence*] I so busy now. Mommy go back to work."

***

I've been meaning to write in my blog this past week, but everytime I found an opening, I opted out. Two nights ago, I considered leaving MArt. The strangeness of intimacy boiling over, I thought of running away the following morning.

Thankfully, it didn't happen.

We were fucking and he said something that hurled long-buried issues into my face.

"You have a very dominating personality," he said, and patronized me from under my torso. "I only allow you to get away with it most of the time."

"Don't pull this childish shit with me," I warned before pulling on my underwear.

"Where're you going?"

"Home."

He held me back. I resisted. Unable to keep from laughing, I tried squirming off the bed instead. MArt nuzzled the back of my neck and asked that I tell him what's wrong. I ran my hands through his auburn locks and demanded an apology. Not until you tell me what's wrong. Tears crept to the corners of my eyes, fragilely cradled between meddling lashes.

"I cannot deal with passive-aggression," I stately flatly.

My assertiveness has always been a problem for certain men to accept. I've been slapped around in public, beaten in private, and generally humiliated for being the way I am. I have always been told I needed to be "tamed" -- an ill-natured game for the emasculated man. I should read less, they'd joke, not talk so much. Their feeble intellects easily cornered, I took the brunt of resentful response. Break me, they tried. I am better than you, their eyes similarly burned and seethed. I will cause you anguish. Submit, submit, submit. Always by force.

And so it came, fast and hard: the hand, the foot, the tightened grip. I fought back, and back it came. They'd been triggered, they'd reason. It was me, not them. It was my stubborness/foolishness/girlishness that was the cause. Don't do it again. (When I accidentally rolled over MArt's toe with my chair yesterday, my first reaction was to flinch before saying sorry. It was my body preparing to be struck. Instead, he shouted a couple of profanities, sat me down on his lap, and continued surfing the 'net. Amazing!)

I told MArt having a strong personality is how I prevent anyone from co-opting my identity: I don't want to disappear just because I've prioritized him. He ended up staying awake all night making sure I was alright and apologized for the things he did, and the things I never even thought of bringing up. He acknowledged that he has to work on accepting his more submissive role if I am to remain in his life. "You are the best thing to have happened to me [since I was 14]," he whispered in my ear.

What is a relationship worth? Can it be expressed in monetary terms? Is it even measurable? How fair is it to compare it to material necessity? In any case: Here's hoping long-term success with my first official squeeze. Huzzah!

***

Prada mules arrived in perfect condition. The eBay seller sent me a hand-written letter explaining why exactly my purchase was delivered late and paid for priority express. That's what I call service.

Lord, my shoe collection is getting to be way too ... Who am I kidding? It's awesome. The front door doesn't need opening!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gush the light fantastic

Techbiana told everyone at breakfast how she stood outside MArt's room this morning listening in on us having sex and deduced each of our positions from my aural hints. She was in Toronto these past two weeks enrolled in a communications course. Her dormmate was this extremely gorgeous gay guy Bryan Singer (yes, the Hollywood franchise maker) befriended in Hell-Ay. The story goes, Singer invited him to this year's Golden Globe's after-party where he met George "My smugness was immortalized on South Park" Clooney.

"Definitely gay," the guy confided. "He kept checking me out. We made eye-contact at the party six whole times. They were the lingering ones that last way longer than they should too."

Great, another Cary Grant copycat. Everyone should just be required to grow sleazy Burt Reynold 'staches and bow at the alter of Hasselhoff. That's Tinseltown in a nutshell. Or what it really, really, really, really should be.

***

Two days until the big 2-0. I'm not one for celebrating birthdays, but Readerdroid got the date out of me last week and is determined to bake me a cake since I kept refusing everything else she offered. MArt also had something for me, but I told him it wasn't necessary because we only recently started dating exclusively, and I don't think it's fair to expect anything from anyone you've only known a few short weeks. Oh, and chicks before dicks, and all that.

***

"Like rabbits," Sam chided in mock disgust.

He was referring to me and MArt's bi-hourly romps in the room next to his temporary pad. To the tunes of Propellerheads, we made ample use of the equipment laying around the bed as the sounds of the city permeated from the window.

At this point, it seems rather redundant to say that he and I are "intimate." Yet with the imaginative use of ice cubes and metal fixtures, it still strikes me as odd that he's a traditionalist. So last week, I asked him out shortly after my modeling gig. He confessed he was taken aback because he thought I didn't want a relationship. Besides, he continued, "What's a gorgeous girl like you doing in a place like this?"

The truth is, I like him. It feels wonderful to be the Annette Bening to his Warren Beatty. ("No more bitches," he vowed.) He calls me his very own Vargas pin-up, cannot stop himself from displaying affection. And most surprisingly is his lack of inhibitions around me (which is apparent to others as well). "I'm attracted to you sexually, mentally, and emotionally," he remarked as he drifted off to sleep. "There's no bullshit with you. You make me feel comfortable being myself." He's not out for control and possession like the others. He respects my boundaries without ever resorting to passive-aggressive schemes that only work to alienate. There are no obsessive feelings of inadequacy and unhealthy wanton impulses. MArt simply acts like a man in love. Yes, in love. Respectfully so. The type built on trust, compassion, and self-improvement. It is difficult to wrap my mind around it. No power struggles, no mind games? Our relationship exists in a gelatinous state of shifting flexibility. It is a quiet satisfaction and a personal triumph of independence within co-dependence. Except not. "Not," because we are not co-dependents at all -- there are no fake pronouncements that might bring us "closer together" nor pre-determined rituals feigned for the sake of security. In fact, when we eventually make our way off the mattress, I continue to play the role of the hapless spinster too proud to settle down (and he, the promiscuous artist of the starving kind). Of course, that might be because I am too much of a socialist to be an exhibitionist.

I suggested to MArt that my fear of dating might stem from my aversion to monotony. So we decided to combine my love of dress-up with novel activities when the chance to go out arises. Our first outing consisted of me in an outfit reminiscent of a Roman Holiday-era Hepburn, eating breakfast at an authentic '50s diner followed by an extended stop at a retro-themed ice cream shop complete with black and white checkered tiles and Richie Valens.

Simply said, there is no shortage of communication between us, and perhaps that is why my life is just that much richer with him.

But to be sure, still equally complete without.