17 March 2010

i can't sleep for remembering

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Which is goofy because it started some thirty-six years ago, and, well, shit happens in that amount of time. He was one of the ones who disappeared and called a few months later from another state to tell me he was sorry but he loved me and so had to call it off between us.

I've mentioned before, I'm sure, that this happened to me an embarrassing number of times. I am not kidding that I thought it was some secret guy thing, a secret code of chivalry where they tell you this so you don't feel like a loser... or something... but if that is so, I sure have been with some fine actors in my day. And why wait so long to make that announcement if yer trying to be chivalrous? But then I read The Hite Report on Male Sexuality, or part of it, and found the astonishing bit of research where most of the respondents to her famed questionnaire said they did NOT marry the woman they loved the most... the main reason given was the feeling of loss of control. It was a huge majority of them, if I'm remembering right. So, uh, let's just chalk it up to me being blessed with extreme lovability, shall we?

Anyway, in the midst of my fugue over the spiritual test the other evening, suddenly the first time I had the first part of a clue that he fancied me popped into my mind. I don't know if it was my American Woman thing hopping up out of her crypt to keep me from cuing in on the source of the hate that had shaken me, but was already pretty close to certain what was at its core, starting to relax a little, when this memory sprang out of the bushes and made me grin and start chuckling and run out to sit on my steps and smoke and really think about him.

He was living with one of my co-workers when I first met him. I was wildly impressed. It was my ideal to be with a guy like that. I remember a hot wind of wishing I'd met him first, and I remember immediately turning that into deciding I wanted one like that, because, believe me, I do not mess with men in relationships with other women. Have never and will not, EVEN having seen that this goody-two-shoes code of virtue can actually be evil and selfish, unbelievable as that may sound.... I'd say this is my code because I know the pain, and that would be a true statement, but I think it was true even before I knew that pain. Maybe it was the old movies with all the floozies stealing the protagonists' husbands. Or maybe I just never have been any good at putting me first. Whutever. I was bonkers for him and figured he was madly in love and not even ever going to think of me.

The matter was completely settled in my mind.

Well. He wasn't. And they broke up, and she stopped working there and I stopped working there and he started working there... "there" being a wildly popular bar in a college town where I'd bartended the ten to two shift on weekends until my job at the law firm just started eating up so much of my time that my fun job on the side was only making me so tired I could barely stand up. He even got my station, the one at the very end of the bar that sort of jutted into the action and customers would be coming from your right and your left and directly in front of you. Whenever I went to this bar after I quit, which was plenty often, I went to him for my drinks.

He was always SO nice.

It was darn pleasant.

What a great guy. I want one like that.

Finally, one night, he fixed me my drink and as he was handing it to me, leaning across the bar to say it right directly into my face, he said, "Say, what does a guy have to do to flirt with you anyway?" That knee thing happened immediately. Instanter. I do NOT know how they take yer knees out. It must be some caveman thing. Whut? If he came up and grunted at her sweetly and she dropped, this was nature's way of telling him he could drag her by her hair off to his cave...?

So. I made myself laugh, remembering that moment, that surprise polar bear, how close I came to LITERALLY crumpling all the way to the floor as it was dawning on me what he'd just said to me. Come to think of it, he had been seeming to be extra nice and buying me a lot of drinks, but, well, I didn't know he was single and I thought he was just being extra nice because he got my job.... I'm pretty sure he wasn't used to having to ask women that. I'm pretty sure he was used to smiling warmly and catching 'em on their way down....

Thing is, as you know, I never have been able to stop loving anyone. Even though I haven't laid eyes on him in twenty years, he came right up out of my kettle of love soup and kept me up all night.
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It's 7:45am and I'm getting in bed again to see if I can't get to sleep yet. If I don't go right to sleep, I'm going to bring out the big guns and switch on that lecture from the old droner. THAT will work.
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It's now 4:35pm and I'm feeling bound to point out that I think when they do that, and see that your sea level starts to drop, they know they've got you. I think to myself that maybe I ought to have caught on to this and experimented with playing hard-to-get, that old standby that works so vexingly well, but I always have been hard-to-get... except... well... except when I'm not. I think I'd probably suck as an actress....
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7 comments:

  1. The ending line I've been given a number of times:

    "You're too good for me."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooooooo, THAT one sucks planets. For certain that one's bullshit... except... well... you ARE too good for most of them....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just now decided to reread what I'd written in my brain dead sleeplessness this morning, and have fixed some typos and clarified a tiny bit... if that matters to you....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Clarify?

    Sheesh...

    The only thing I'm clear on is that we're fucked - beyond that it's way too psychedelic to get a grasp on.

    Have you ever seen the movie Skidoo?

    Jackie Gleason after he licked the acid coated stamps - grabbing at unseen insects in the air?

    Kinda like that!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You mean, what I wrote? Or the world in general?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know I'm pretty far "out there" but sometimes I really can't tell when I've been clear enough to convey the thrust. I know it's impossible to SAY anything clearly enough, but, well... I had hoped to have become more scrutable over these years of reseating the writer in here.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Killing off the old one and bringing up a new one....

    ReplyDelete

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