Sunday, June 14, 2009

Modern Romance 2.5

I bumped into a former flame a few hours ago. He came into the coffee shop to inquire about a bicycle pump. I was there to meet a girlfriend for a drive-in movie.

I called his name after catching sight of him approaching the barista (with whom I've been carrying on a mild flirtation). He was still as adorable as I remembered him: all mussed up hair and perfect cheekbones. He asked me about my new job; I asked him about school.

I offered him a ride home. He was, after all, stranded.

"It's alright," came the unconvincing reply, "I can just take the bus."

"Listen to you, talking like Oliver Twist or something. Let me drive you," I insisted.

So he took me up on it. We walked side-by-side, like innocent teenagers; the distance between us palpable, yet serene. My girlfriend played ignorant to our history as we chatted like old times.

The chemistry was still there. He's a sweet boy, just not for me. It's a shame it didn't work out. I'm glad I saw him though. It allowed me to let bygones be bygones and deftly diffuse a potentially awkward situation with a smile.

Everything I learned, I learned from '40s screwball comedies: When life throws you curve-balls, pile on the charm.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Modern Romance 2.0

I just came back from, as Oasis so succinctly put it, "fucking in the bushes." We met up at a parking lot. He moved his hand up my thigh as I peeled off my panties in the passenger seat. The whole thing felt like kids playing grown-up, a youthful pantomime at once absurd and clichéd.

After wiping the dirt from my knees, we traipsed back to his vehicle. Then he said those dreaded words, sequentially letting slip his hidden interest:

"So, how many guys have you been with?"

As we crossed a bridge, he told me he's been thinking of settling down. I don't know whether he felt obligated to say it or he was telling the truth; all I knew was I wanted to believe neither. While I'm content with our existing arrangement, however surreptitious, I am indifferent to his life because I am fully aware of our incompatibility, and by association, my contempt for him.

His excessive vanity repulses me.

His bravado forced.

His touch vulgar and unrefined.

Yet, the convenience of fucking him at indeterminate intervals overrides those qualities and allows me to unwind without the emotional ups and downs of a relationship.

In Alain de Botton's "Essays in Love," he likened the initial spark between couples to Groucho Marx's celebrated aphorism (incorrectly attributed to Woody Allen) of refusing to join a club that would have him as a member.

The paradox of the timid concludes that once mutual interest is ascertained, it cannot be sustained. For how could their beloved be perfect if they could love someone as imperfect as themselves?

But I am not timid. I am fetching, self-assured, and of sound mind. To love me is to reaffirm - rather than diminish - my attributes. I justify my promiscuity not as a response to monogamy, but proof that the arbitrariness of attraction should not be relied upon for direction. Where does it say that there must be a causal link between desirability and intercourse? Amorous feelings that encourage fucking in said bushes is as unpredictable as couples falling suddenly out of love for the same reasons they fell in. The medieval conception did not even bother associating sexual conquest with romantic love, for the latter wilts the moment the former is assuaged. In other words, I find it illogical to respond lustily only when the mood strikes when the determining factors for love and hate are capricious. Can feelings be trusted when a wisp of hair is interpreted by different individuals as both endearing and vile?

Of course, the simpler answer is always the most obvious one: It's a whole lot easier to spread my legs than pretend to be impressed with underemployed twenty-somethings eternally lost at sea.

I'm happy with how I've compartmentalized my life. I have a stimulating job to support myself, I have great friends whom I rely on for emotional sustenance, and I have men in my periphery who get me off. I wonder how long it will stay this peachy??

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Bret Easton Ellis was being cryptic, right?

Another day, another meaningless fuck.

I met this guy months ago through one of my best girlfriends. He's in finance and recently quit his job to start his own company. We'd chatted on and off. They had a falling out recently: She said he insulted her, he said she couldn't take a joke.

So today, after a three hour IM marathon, he challenged me to come over to his place. After some back and forth, I decided to take up his offer and drive over to his McMansion.

He opened his front door, gave me a hug, and asked if I wanted a tour.

"No thanks," I replied. "Where's your room? I have to meet my friend in an hour, so let's get down to business."

***

It was my birthday yesterday. I spent it reassuring people that I really did not care to celebrate it. I did pay a hippie dippy lady to do a tarot card reading for me. I picked out five cards and she ... reiterated everything I already knew about myself. It was fun. The woman said the primary conflict in my life involves the desire to have a "sweet" kind of love (characterized by tenderness and the feeling of being taken care of) paradoxically intertwined with my impulse to be overly competitive. She said I have a tendency to "best" my partners and then hold them in contempt for having "lost."

Her suggestion? I should take a break from men. Or in her words: "At least the ones your age."

I think the problem lies with me. When it comes to offering insight into other people's dilemmas, I am deeply empathetic. That's why I'm known as "Miss Reality Check": I'm blunt and cut straight to the issue. Some might even call it tactlessness. However, when it comes to copping to my own vulnerabilities, I clam up and will go to the ends of the earth to rationalize away those "silly" feelings.

After my boyfriend and I went our separate ways last September, I was absolutely ready to face the world alone. I could finally enjoy singlehood after two and a half years of my bickering, his nagging, and physical altercations springing from his addiction to World of Warcraft. Unbeknownst to me, I would fall hard for a man I'd meet through a friend. A boy, really. But a very clever boy. Goofy, intelligent, directionless, yet utterly irresistible. There was no way I could possibly see myself with him. I mean, What does one do with a philosophy degree anyway, I sniffed.

Despite that, he became the last thing I thought about before bed. I would replay, to nearly obsessive lengths, the last night I spent with him, reassuring him I couldn't possibly date him.

"Finding a job is my number one priority right now," I said. "I just want something casual."

When he offered to make me breakfast the morning after, I told him I couldn't stay. He said he makes a great breakfast. I told him I really couldn't stay. Why? So I could return the car to my mom before she had to go to work. But instead of just saying that, I had to act comically aloof.

So he decided we couldn't be friends. I asked for an explanation (a rookie mistake) and he said something about being afraid of what might occur due to the "residual interest" he still had for me. Needless to say, I was crushed when I discovered he was dating someone new. No one could've known, of course. If anyone asked, I said he didn't mean anything. I knew it wasn't the oxytocin talking when, bumping into him five months later, I experienced a surge of euphoria just seeing him reading on a bench as we made friendly small talk.

I hear he's pretty happy. Not that I would know. I still reminisce about his slender hands and the way he gripped my throat just before orgasm.

And here I am, in the present, picking up attractive men and dumping them the next morning. (My car definitely comes in handy for a quick getaway.) Even the most confident rogue reveals himself to be a needy mess under the unforgiving light of day. Which indicates to me that, yes, I really do need a long ass break.

***

I directed the prime time evening news last Thursday. What a rush!