Unrequited from the beginning...

He ate my heart, then he ate my brain.
That boy is a monster

- Lady Gaga

May 1, 2008

I blame Frank Sinatra.
Years ago I watched a movie about the Rat Pack starring Ray Liotta as Sinatra and a bunch of other guys starring as the rest of the Rat Pack.  At one point the pack attended a fancy dinner at a boozy Kennedy’s house.  The stupid-rich grande dame of the party, with her sexy, middle-aged drawl, explained the appeal of Sinatra to an intrigued redhead sitting across from her.  Milky Chanel dress, too much makeup, a haze of smoke surrounding her, she commanded the gold rimmed table while redhead leaned in.  Chanel whispered, her eyes never parting with Sinatra’s,
“You want to fuck him, you want to mother him, you don’t want to piss him off.” 
            The dialogue she exhaled legitimized everything I felt for Jack.  Her lyrical bluntness stoked my own personal bonfire, which I feared might never be extinguished, or would be.  Chanel, a snow white cigarette filter a fingerbreadth from her mouth, stylishly sashayed around my head.  Because of her pragmatic and subjective exclamation, I plotted.  I pressed pause on the remote and grabbed a pencil. 
Direct routes to constant, uninhibited sex with Jack was the easy part. 
Next. 
I created maps and studied instructions, malleting together an Ikea furniture friendship.  From my studies I honed my radar.  Astutely collecting information and relaying back anything I thought he would enjoy, (and respond to), became my mission.  Reconnoitered Intel went into specific files: songs; articles; photographs; movies; TV; sex preferences; family tree, anything to up the daily communiqué and constrict the gap between whatever kept us apart that particular week.  After I nailed together this rickety rapport, I attempted the rash, stupid and intolerable quest: the nurturer role.  Sex, soup and house-calls when he was sick, (he loved sex when he had the flu), pep talks when he was down:  You rock, It will work out, Hang in there, I’m here for you and compliments when he was up:  Amazing, Wonderful, Good in bed, Funny, You are god.  I offered him me: every painted toenail, pound, blemish and highlighted hair on my head.  I wanted to devote myself to him, and I did. 
I thought this was love.
With love, a simultaneous hatred treaded few steps behind.  As I pursued Jack with an anorexic hunger, my stomach wrapped two sticks of dynamite in furies and duct tape.  This interposed contention contained a determination I could not know as my finger grazed the lighter’s thumbwheel.
A cliché was part of the problem.
“January, guys like the chase, they don’t want to be pursued, they want to pursue you,” my brother theorized between gulps.
While pulverizing beer and nachos, he admonished me and zoned out to an episode of The Amazing Race above our heads.  I whined, drank vodka and didn’t acknowledge the nachos.  My brother looked eerily similar to Brad Pitt -  a taller, non-manicured and childless version of Brad Pitt.
I squinched my eyes at this detested, modern American, you-must-follow-the-rules enforced female mentality.  A ‘no control over my own romantic, (or sex), life and might not get what I want’ philosophy set forth for the stupid and desperate.  Set forth by whom?  Who can I blame for this colossal waste of time and advice?  Parents?  Dumber than a dartboard girlfriends?  Movies?  Books?  Shrinks on Nancy Grace and Dr. Phil?  Me?  DNA?  The boys themselves?
This conversation took place after a duel between my Ketel One and soda, and phone, tipsily dialing Jack’s number and announcing my desire, or love, depending on my blood alcohol level.  His voice mail became my confessional. 
Press three to delete.  
Voices weren’t the only criminals.  Our texts became a symbiosis of violence and pornographic obsession which didn’t want to be tamed. 
           
Me: I'm an idiot. Why do I leave my boyfriend in Pismo to come see you?  And then you fucking bail as soon as I ask about what bar you’re at. What is your problem? Am I that horrible you don't want to be seen with me in public? Instead of just being upfront, you just don't respond to my texts. Really classy.  Am I too available for you?  What the hell have I done to you to deserve to be treated like a piece of shit?
Jack: Sorry sweetie the lady showed up

Not single.

Me: Go fuck yourself.
Jack: Ur really being that mean
Me: you treat me like a whore and a piece of shit. What do you expect? Do you care about my feelings even somewhat? I stupidly assumed that you had broken up...there's a lot more I'd like to tell u.
Jack: i am sorry. I thought u knew what was going on. I apologise.
Me: And the worst part is I'm dating a great guy and its getting serious and I leave him last nite bc I wanted to see u!! I'm a fucking idiot. Don't apologize. Its my fault. And how would I know "what's going on"? You don't tell me shit! Anyway, I gotta go.
Jack: Sorry. Have a good day

I tossed the cigarette and walked back inside the Shack.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Drink?  Call the current boyfriend?  Eat?
“What happened to B11?”  (Current boyfriend.)
“Exactly.”  I sighed. 
 I nodded at Too Tan.  After a few sucks on my straw I set the comforting defense mechanism on my napkin.  I deleted his contact with fingertip spraining gusto, smelled finality and rebirth and couldn’t feel any worse than I did at that moment.
omg omg omg.
I hate him I hate him I hate him.  I hate Short Fat Fuck.
St. Croix and I nicknamed Jack ‘Short Fat Fuck,’ a few years back.  Most of the
time I couldn’t say Jack’s name out loud, so Short Fat Fuck he would be for weeks and months and years, in whispers, laughs, slurs, screams and tears.  Jack, Short Fat Fuck, SFF.  One in the same.  But that day, the ‘Sorry the lady showed up day’, he was,
asshole asshole asshole. 
For the five-hundredth time, the next few hours blurred into greys and whites as I hunched on a saddle under The Amazing Race.  Owner drank a few seats over.  Life didn’t matter if the B’s trickled down around me like rain on an umbrella.  Or if one, secure, agreeable boyfriend, B11, filled voids with his Toyota, average clothes, dull conversation and hand and lip substitutes.  Days and nights, breathing or my world didn’t matter if I didn’t have Jack.
 “I know.”  But I didn’t care.  I nodded at my brother and his pursuance theory.  I tippled as I lied and gold-medaled at each.  The black plastic container in front of me, with cherry, lemon and lime slice and straw compartments knew how sad and war-torn I had become in four years.  I rubbernecked to see if Short Fat Fuck walked in as often as I swilled the ice in my glass. 
“You ever notice this place looks like a high school cafeteria?”  An awful shade of white painted the walls many times over.  Childless Brad Pitt rotated himself a centimeter right and left and grunted.
Would Jack/Short Fat Fuck be here tonight?  Here: the Shack, Moondoggies, or the Roost.  Varied establishments, (luxe weaved into divey), dotted the Central Coast, a section of California charted with several towns, as consequential and small as bits of dust.  These three lay a proud claim to the divey end of the spectrum: the three sons of Pismo Beach.  Its residents and vast vines of grapes became my audience as I drank, cried and experienced pure elation at all of them.  Pismo was the best bit of dust.  Less agriculture and blue collars, more resort and polo shirts.  The vibe, location, people, beach/pier and the 6-foot tall sand colored clam greeted me as I veered right off one of two exits from the freeway.  Eight thousand people lived along the 101’s palisades - a beach town without beach weather.  Colder than most.  I’d rather be cold than hot. 
Since getting slizzard in one of the three sons led me down a glazed pathway to Jack, and the possibility of my legs wrapped around him, the stools I sat on and the hops drenched air I breathed were essential because we now shared these hostelries.  A sliver of a factor out of his control and, irrationally, in mine. 
I silently demanded a recount from my brother while splashing vodka on my knee.  Why do I have to wait around for Jack to call me, text me, want me?  I would be the exception to the rule.  All of the rules.  My amorous mania shoulder-convinced myself I would, eventually, get what I wanted.  I was smart, mostly easy on the eyes, and good in bed, (according to him a few others), so why wouldn’t he want me?  Why the hell couldn’t I pursue him? 
So, I did.  And here we are.
Jack.  Short Fat Fuck.
I wanted to die over him.
I thought this was love. 
It’s not Sinatra’s fault.  I blame Ray Liotta.

May 7, 2008      

            “I need to ask you something.”  My makeup smeared and sweated into my phone.  I switched hands and lit a cigarette.  Slouched on a step leading up to my house, I stared through the Parliament Lights box.
            “Oh no.”  He giggled.
            “No no, it’s not bad.  I just …”  Lie.
“Ok sweetie.”  His pitch consisted of the usual corrupted mix of high, soft, and
kind.  I already knew the answer so difficult to pull from his teeth.  A final anti-elysian twist if I didn’t hear out loud, I would never, ever, stop the repining wrapped around my entire existence, cauterizing me at the head.  If I didn’t ask, in the end I would be alone.  With a ‘fuck buddy.’ 
“Look, I just need to end this and move on, or take it to another level, I mean, don’t you feel anything for me?  I inhaled.
“Don’t you…”  Politely, unflinchingly, laughably and institutionalizingly, he cut me
off,
“I’m sorry, I just don’t feel that way about you…and honestly, I never will.  I just don’t feel that spark.”  A simplified declaration, cooked down to the brown bits on
the bottom of a fry pan. 
What, the, fuck.
A bad accident-y feeling hot-flashed me from my chest to my knees.  I smelled metallic toast.  Was it a stroke?  He continued, butchering me with sentences. 
“I’m sorry I kept having sex with you.  I thought we were both having fun with each other... I rubbed the splinters on the wooden step with my free hand.
Four years?  Gone.  Relationships?  Irrevocably destroyed.  Self-respect?  Evanescent.  The penny-sized amount of happiness and hope I had left?  Titanically placed on his bookshelf of sadistic souvenirs.
More moronic sentences. 
“…we were being naughty together.”  He had me where he wanted me; a chance
to make me aware of everything.  
            Wow, this is sucking much worse than I imagined.
“You’re joking, right?  Come on, all of this time?  You’re ridiculous Jack, I can’t believe this…I can’t believe you.”  I stood up and walked down to my backyard
so I could pace.  My mouth hurt.  A fireplace burning smell blew by and I heard a neighbor call my name.
“I’ve told you before how I felt, right?  There, there was always an excuse with you, always, I’m just sorry I didn’t see you for what you are sooner.  What you were doing…to me.  Oh my god…no spark?  You have to be kidding, am I that fucking disgusting to you?”
“Sweetie.”  Jack never said January: never texted it, spoke it, emailed it.
            My disbelief pressed the red end key.  Fantastic.  Disney and John Hughes movies had infected my unconscious.  Pin a lonely dependency on fictional characters to a writer’s imagination and I was unprepared for this fresh, dirty reality.  Exploding pieces of shit understudied my life, bonding me to him by orgasms.  Fragments dissolved me into a rayless hole as I walked back upstairs to pack for LA.  He wasn’t like me, he didn’t know me, yet he would have the world. 
Jack side-carred more of my emotional and physical triumphs, (and failures), than any other man before him.  After four years of lascivious fucking, faces and necks fused together, cocktailed encounters, sober encounters, thousands of keystrokes, (some reciprocated, some ignored), proclaiming every visceral and cognizant idea and sensation I possessed, I was nothing to him. 
Jack.  Short Fat Fuck.
I wanted to die over him.
I thought this was love. 
He was the Grand Canyon.  I was the tourists’ spit below. 

May 8, 2008

I brainstormed.
Easy, simple, obviously zero gruesomeness and zero agony. 
A painless suicide?  Jesus, I’m a suicidal pussy.
Nothing appealed to me.  You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, or listening to me while I drove to Los Angeles for work, but I was sea foam of whats, ughs, ehs up the bendy 101 through the ocean’s rocky shores, seals and piers on one side, hills and vultures on the other.  California land/seascapes had no effect on my muted flesh with sunglass exterior.
Drive off a cliff, in Goleta?  The Cachuma Pass had bridges and roads one could easily overcorrect and outmaneuver.  Business men, dumbass teenagers and moms with kids in the backseat died there every year.  Self-inflicted or not, control lost of their vehicles: action movie worthy soars into goldenrod prairies where only the demi-mountains, freshwater, and cows knew the truth. 
Eh.  I didn’t want to wreck my car.
Shotgun?  Chin, mouth, chest?  Too messy, too vain.  Not a fan of breathing, but not really a fan of ending my life as a contortionist: shoving cold metal in my mouth while attempting to squeeze a trigger, either.  It seemed like a ton of fucking work.  Plus, where would I have found a gun?
Xanax.  I had a full bottle at home.  Chalky peach ovals go with white wine, right?  How many did I need?  5?  10?  30?  Should it be red wine? 
Wait.  Garage.  Yes!  The old fumes in the closed garage door bit.
I didn’t have a garage. 
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