Friday, September 23, 2005

We're getting there....

I don't want to.

No, I SHOULDN'T want to. Big difference.

Tim stopped seeing Dom a month ago. Told him it was getting old, that they both needed to move on. It was a transaction they each carried out periodically, emotionlessly, like a busboy clearing dirty dishes and wiping with a damp cloth 37 times in one night, and then not remembering any specific table the next day.

She never mentioned my name specifically. Neither did he. But they both thought about me, because I had woven my way into each of their lives, tangling and knotting and complicating their relationship like a slinky that's been stretched too far, so irretreivably twisted and malformed that the only solution is to throw it in the garbage.

Dom and I went drinking one night, two weeks after the breakup. The conversation made its usual rounds, from work, to current events, to sports, and Dom's voice was as soft as an eye pillow, his disposition as cool as a slushy drink with an umbrella in it. Like always.

But as the bartender's tray became more and more crowded with empty glasses, the ice thawed and dribbled, and Dom's eyebrows tried harder and harder to meet in the middle of his forehead. The air tasted sour, like a Margarita with too much lime juice.

He stared at me from the sides of his eyes, not turning his head. "The only reason you know her is because of me."

I expected him to say more. He didn't. His words hung in the air next to me, like an invisible bar patron in the next stool.

Dom couldn't have cared about Tim. Dom, who probes the vagina of a different blonde ingenue every Friday night, could not have been affected by this. He was too jaded, too emotionally unavailable, to care. He was INCAPABLE of caring!

And yet, the words still sat there, next to me, looking at me with their sad, drunk eyes.

I asked him who he was talking about, but I already knew. I needed time to process what he had said, and to conjure a reply.

I cupped my hand and rubbed his shoulder, as if polishing it. "It's just like you said, Dom: Next week, there'll be someone else. Right?"

"Right, Steve," he said, staring first at his Beck's Bier coaster, then at the movie posters on the wall.

It would have been considerate to stop seeing Tim. And professional, and smart, and selfless. And so I searched every inch of my psyche, combing it the way you would a wine cellar in search of the last bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, looking for just a thimbleful of compassion, enough to allow me to hear my words with someone else's ears.

I found nothing.

I didn't care.

I didn't. Fucking. Care.

Tim and I dated, and IM'd, and chatted on the phone, and gradually learned to finish each other's sentences and to make each other's day by calling just to say 'hi'.

Then it was disclosure, an agreement under which we bedded who we wanted, but confessed all to each other when we did.

Healthy communication, you say? Trust, you say? HORSESHIT, I say.

She confessed more than I did. A lot more. She confessed every fucking week. Sometimes twice a week. And each confession was just like a sewing needle through the groin of a voodoo doll that looked like me. It was a sexual call to arms, a booty-knocking gauntlet being thrown down right in front of me. She was getting more than I was, and my pride could not accept that.

She fucked, and then I fucked back, and then I raised her fucking with more fucking. And then she fucked in return, and pretty soon I was Reagan and she was Gorbachev, and this was a sexual arms race. And somehow, all the while, every visit ended with a smile, every email with a happy emoticon, every phone call with a "take care!"

Well? Did we want to kill each other, or were we in love?

I didn't know. But we decided to date each other exclusively anyway.

After all of these weeks, I should have been feeling something. By "something", I don't mean envisioning her in a $20,000 Vera Wang gown with a cathedral-length veil and a fistful of cartoonishly red roses, or seeing us at an obstetrician's office, a technician rubbing cold gel into the basketball-like bulge in her abdomen, and looking up at a grainy black and white screen, joking that the little guy looked just like an alien. But I should have felt SOMETHING more than I did, which was basically nothing except, "I want to fuck you."

It's come to me in flashes. With Stephanie, yes, and moreso with Lila, I did sometimes feel like I wanted to be with one person forever. But they were just teasing glimpses, like someone tapping me on the shoulder and then running away before I could turn around.

In each case, the relationships built very slowly. So if anything was going to happen with Tim, it was going to take time. She was nice enough to be around, and she certainly wasn't afraid to take her clothes off for me. Besides, I was tired of scouring my BlackBerry for girls with names like "Chrissy" and "Jamie", and saying, "You've been on my mind lately" and "I'd love to buy you a drink sometime," when she hadn't and I wouldn't. So why not?

That was two weeks ago. And now, here is Jenny, right in front of me, Jenny, with her tumbling black curls, and the thick, heavy tits under her blouse, and the sexy, compassionate way in which she so selflessly helps ailing boys and girls feel better, and the horny manner in which she has just asked me to play her the 15-second porn clip that I was jerking off to when she walked in.

I play it. Cocks penetrate the young girl's vagina and anus, pumping in feverish rhythm, like pistons in a horny engine.

I turn around. She's biting her lip.

The mouse, slick with sweat, slips out of my hand. I sit down next to her on the couch.

"Why did you come here?"

We kiss.