Monthly Archives: February 2009

You got your neediness in my my self analysis!

Two posts about my maudlin pre-spring behavior in a row, Jesus. It’s probably time for a vacation.

There are two types of people who fuck with my head most righteously. One is the cute person who has no idea they are cute, one is the cute person who KNOWS they are cute. The first, I can usually dismiss, because they’re usually so disconnected from sexuality that I don’t even know if they have genitals. I assume that in their ideal world, they’d just run around like the Eloi, gently humping on everything and then falling asleep. The second though… the second has barbs on it.

I was recently at an event, and a cute person was nearby. She began, to put it bluntly… fucking with me. Not because she was interested, but because she could tell that she could. I don’t think there was any malice in it, she was simply interested in why I was acting so oddly, but it continued for several hours, and I have found myself thinking about it.

Most of the time, people think I’m normal. They look at me and see all the earmarks of a functional social being. They don’t see how much effort goes into projecting that, nor do they spend too much time scratching at it to see if it holds up. And as long as our interactions are fleeting and shallow, they never seem to notice. I look them in the eye, we shoot the shit about the weather, I drink my beer, I ask the right questions when they talk about their day, and I usually leave before they notice that I’ve been drinking too much for too long, or that after we get through the cycle of bullshit questions, I tend to want to start them again, for fear I’ll let something real slip. But every now and then, someone will see under the mask. I’ll get too drunk, or I’ll think I like them, or maybe I’ll just be too tired to be the right kind of fake that day. Maybe they are just paying more attention than most (that was the case this time). And then, like a scab or paint chip, they almost always want to pick at it and see what is underneath.

Now, I’m not gonna be so dramatic as to say that once they’ve peeled back the mask they recoil like I’m the Phantom of the Opera. It would be cool if that were the case, if I were so repugnantly weird under my skin that it sent people flying away shrieking. I’d probably do it more often, and I’d most certainly buy a real mask. I’d run around like a fully fledged sociopath, inflicting my weirdness on others in choreographed moments. Take them to the brink of intimacy and then show them my scars. Sadly, the truth is : I’m just kind of boring. I get caught up in my own head. I spend most of my time alone. Sometimes I get caught in a mood where all I do is watch the same TV show for six hours at a time. There are days when I talk to myself out loud just because I can’t remember the last time I heard my voice – To practice the art of it. Make sure when I need to lie – to pretend that yesterday I didn’t lay awake half the night thinking about something stupid I did in high school, to pretend like my real concern of the day was the stock market and not that I feel fractionally more fat than the day before – that I still can.

And when someone interrupts my flow, when they “fuck with me”, they send me back to that place. I’m no longer just normal Aaron, drinking a beer and laughing. I’m now being forced to calculate, to think, I’m back in my head, watching me at 17 bolt out of a room because the emotions got too intense, my girlfriend having to chase me down the street where I was incapable of explaining why I had left. Watching me at 20 get told I am an idiot. Watching me at 25 realizing for the first time I can’t remember what intimacy feels like. And there’s always that fear that once I’m off balance, once I’m off my game… everyone will see behind the mask. And then what?

Soaking in it…

My birthday is Valentine’s Day. It’s a hugely lonely day for me, for a whole host of reasons.

First – I typically don’t get it off work, because all the married folks have seniority and tend to take it off to spend with their spouses.

This doesn’t bug me too much during the day, but I also usually end up being on call for the evening, which means I’m not supposed to leave the house or consume mood altering substances, which basically eliminates all my favorite birthday activities. I usually tend to sneak out to a bar or sneak into a bottle at the house, but for the most part I keep with the spirit of being on-call, which is to say staying sober enough that I could fix something if it broke.

Second – I have never been “with someone” on my birthday.

My seasonal brain chemical fuckups usually start around November or December and all of my relationships have, traditionally, been smoldering piles of wreckage by the end of January. And since my marathon of singledom has continued unabated for yet another year, I haven’t even had the smoldering piles to keep me warm on Cupid’s big day in recent memory.

Third – I get maudlin and nostalgic.

The second half of my brain chemical fluctuations almost always kick off with a “where are they now” week, where I scour the internet for information about people I used to know, desperately wishing that I hadn’t done this or said that. Mostly, this is over by Valentines, but some years, like this one, it hangs over me like a mist, well into the end of February. Nights are spent dreaming of people past, and glorious reconnection. Mornings are spent shaking off the unadulterated glee of dreamtime and feeling it replaced by harsh, angular reality.

Fourth – I don’t want to go out.

Despite rankling at being “stuck at home” because of work, I really don’t want to go anywhere. I make plans and then back out of them, I am unresponsive when others ask me to go out. I am stuck inside my head and when I feel like that, I always want to just sit at home, on the couch or in front of my computer, processing.

It feeds on itself, this depressive cycle, but thankfully it’s usually short lived and localized to my birthday, and I can usually force myself to go do things. And when the sun comes out, I feel rejuvenated and alive again. But for now: grey outside and me on my couch, stuck in my head, analyzing, analyzing.

Neurotoxin

Whats the use in tryin?
All you get is pain.
When I needed sunshine I got rain. – The Monkees “I’m a Believer”

Officer Ben is yelling something at me and I just don’t get what the problem is. I just don’t want him to see what a mess the garage is. It’s getting late and Ricky is going to be home soon and there’s a cop here and he hates the cops. Frankly, this whole breakfast for dinner thing has really lost some of its charm. I don’t understand where it all went wrong!

We joked on the ride from the grocery store, he told me his name, and we started to chat, he even let me sit in the front! He made them all feel OK and let me go and get more eggs and clean up the mess, and then we got in his big police car and we drove home. I sang along with the radio and he really seemed to like that. He was all smiles and then I opened the house door and suddenly he’s completely freaked out and I think I’m going to cry. He is asking about the smell that smell that smell for days and he’s got his hand on his gun and I just don’t know what to do. He pushes his way past me and goes into the garage and I think I heard him sick up, and I went to get some paper towels to clean it up. I am rooting around under the sink and I hear him come up behind me and I look back and see he has his gun out now, he’s got it pointed at me, and he’s not pretty anymore. Officer Ben’s not happy and there’s nothing smooth and I can just tell we’re never going to be friends. He’s saying something about where my hands are and telling me to get up and asking me if I have anything I want to talk about and I can feel this migraine starting right in the back of my right eye. I feel the cold heavy handle of a plumbers wrench under the sink cold, heavy, and I’m trying to concentrate on the questions he’s asking. He’s asking something about my husband and if there are any kids in the house, and I think about kids and then I see the wrench fly up and hit his hand. It made a horrible sound, like someone eating cereal and the gun makes a roar and I can just tell it hit my cabinets. Why would he shoot my cabinets? What kind of a person comes into your house and does that? The wrench is coming up again and I can see the fear in his eyes and it’s making him so ugly. He looks just like Ricky right now, he has that same anger inside him. He wasn’t ever nice, he wasn’t ever going to help me. He was going to bring me here and touch me. he was going to try to touch me He’s just the same as the rest, I can see that now.

And now the wrench is hitting the edge of his jaw and he and I will never be friends. I watch his head wrap around the wrench and see that look go out of his eyes, and get replaced with something… blank. His shoulder speaker is squawking something now and I just can’t make it out. I put down the wrench and grab those paper towels, it’s time to go clean his sick up in the garage. Boys will be boys, and sometimes that means cleaning up sick. I walk into the garage and there’s that smell again, and for just one second something glints in my eye and I look out next to the Bronco and there’s something there. Something bad. Something I should have taken care of. It’s like when you leave the house and you think you might have left the iron on? I can’t put my finger on what it is that is out of place. It has something to do with that stain, I think. Something to do with the light coming off the floor. Something. And then I see the car keys on the ground, and I hear the shoulder speaker on that mother fucker cop squeak again and I think maybe it’s time for me to leave. Ricky is just going to have to take care of his own dinner tonight and I hit the button to open the garage door, grab my jacket off the hook, because who knows if it’ll get rainy later, and I get into the Bronco.

I turn on the radio, and they’re playing Suspicious Minds, and I barely notice when I ram into the back of the cruiser that son of a bitch blocking me, trying to keep me here and I turn up the radio so I can hear it over the roar of the engine.

Thirteen, Baby

I know this has kind of been Personal Factoid central around here lately, but Jason was hugely unsatisfied with my “25 things” post on Facebook and demanded that I answer “things that people might actually care about knowing about”. I was immediately excited by the idea of being interviewed, to some degree, by a friend, kind of an adult version of truth or dare, where you’ve cast off the silliness of seeing each others undies. I expected deep, probing, personal questions about specific moments in my emotional and sexual development. What I got, instead, was this.

1. When did you first become aware that you were a sexual being?

I was about 13 and had invited another boy from my class home for a sleepover. I’m not sure why I did it as we weren’t very close friends, but he came anyways and we watched some movies, and then I suggested we play truth or dare. I became aware over the course of the night that I desperately wanted to see him in his underwear, and felt some unknown “desire” wash over me when he eventually took his shirt off. It was the first time I had a fully formed sexual thought about another person. I dared him to run around my back yard with his clothes off, he refused. I don’t think he ever spoke to me again after this night.

2. What’s the most important material item you own and why?

While I’m an immensely material person, as regards my goals, prime motivators, and day to day existence, I don’t really tend to focus on individual items. If the house were on fire and I had only enough time to run back in and get one thing, I guess it would be my laptop, though that’s less about the laptop individually and more about what the laptop represents: communication, entertainment, intellectual challenge, and sexual release. A significant amount of my “sexual activity” revolves around internet pornography (specifically the alt.sex.stories text repository). If I were just going back in to get the most irreplaceable item, it would be my copy of Catch 22, given to me by Jason K. Watkins. But all told, I’d much rather just make sure my dogs were safe.

3. What would be the most hurtful insult someone could hurl your way?

I don’t really freak out when people attack me with insults, the ones I’m more apt to get upset by are suggestions that I don’t care or I’m not listening. When someone begins to say that it’s obvious I’m not paying attention, or not into it, I get very hurt. I’m always listening, I’m always paying attention, I’m always wishing I had more to give.

4. What exactly would you be willing to die for right this moment?

If I could die to ensure a family member would live, I would do it. I’m not big on causes though, it would have to be something incredibly major. If I could die to create a cure for cancer? Possibly. Dying for my country? Not so much.

5. If you were crazy enough to kill the POTUS, how would you do it?

I think that if you’re a skilled enough sharpshooter to kill the president from any range that you could possibly get a rifle to undetected, you’re probably already on the radar of the secret service, so I think the best chances are a John Hinkley, Jr. “pistol and plan on getting caught” type assassination. I for one would probably go with an explosive because the chances of killing the target and then yourself with a gun are much lower.

6. What is the closest you’ve ever come to death? Did it change you?

I’ve rarely ventured anywhere close to death. The time in my life I was most concerned I was going to die was while being wheeled into the hospital with my broken leg (I was six, I think). I apparently screamed “I DON’T WANT TO DIE” while they wheeled me back to set my leg. I believe it may have been too early for me to consciously know how it’s affected me, but looking at the photographic evidence, that was the absolute last time in my childhood that I was thin and athletic. From that moment forward, I was more sedentary, fatter, and introverted.

7. If you could be known as any one thing for the rest of time, what would it be?

If everybody just knew me as a good friend, I would be happy. If I couldn’t have that, but instead only something professional, I wish people would know me as a writer. But secretly, more than any wide renown professional or personal, I wish that just one person knew me as an amazing lover.

8. What ethnic group are you most prejudice against and why?

Blacks. I try to be very nonjudgmental, but I certainly hold the highest amount of stereotypes about black people. I’m extraordinarily attracted to them, physically, but tend to generalize about them more than other ethnic groups. Hispanics I grew up around so I never really had to get past that whole “they’re people too” barrier like I did with black people.

9. What is one major crime you would like to be able to commit?

If I could get away with it, I’d like to be part of a vault-and-all bank robbery. The entire process appeals to me, from the psychological hacking element of crowd control, to the science of cracking the safe, the in-the-field battle experience of knowing when to run away, the high intensity driving of a getaway. Most other crimes have one or two of these elements, but bank robbing has the entire package.

10. Who is your best friend and your worst enemy? Why?

My best friend, the person who knows the most about me, is probably Brad. We’ve never met in person, but by grace of the amount of time we’ve been talking, he knows more about me than anyone else. The irony here is that if I died, he’d probably never find out. There’s something comforting about the semi-anonymous element of our relationship that lets me really be myself.

Edit: Just realized I never named my worst enemy. I try not to hold grudges, and I’m not gonna name names, but the guy who sided with the crazy girl, despite having been in the room with us, and corroborated her story, leading to my arrest? He’s not gonna be on my christmas list anytime soon.

11. What is the irrational thing that freaks you out — makes your skin crawl — the most?

Bacterial infection. I know I’m unlikely to get tetanus, or flesh eating bacteria, or MRSA, and most of the time I just go about my business not caring. I don’t have any OCD handwashing behaviors. But as soon as I get a cut or puncture, I tend to freak out about it. I’ll check and recheck myself and the wound for symptoms of infection, make laborious internal arguments about whether it’s better for the wound to breathe or have antibiotic goop on it, and usually have a hard time sleeping that night.

12. If you could meet any living person, who would it be and why?

I’d like to meet the Dalai Lama. It’s trite, but true. He seems like a really fun, joyous person, and I’d like to know the secret to how someone whose entire life is beset on all sides with such struggle can be so happy. Even if he’s just faking, it would be worth knowing.

13. If you could look like any person on earth, who would you choose to look like?

Matt Damon circa the first Bourne movie. Fit but not bulging, clean, simple clothing, effortlessly masculine. If I were going to look like a woman I’d want to look like Anna Paquin as Rogue, though I’d probably wear less leather skinsuits. Maybe I would, I don’t know, but as either I’d spend the first six days in front of a mirror beating it like it owed me money.

Special bonus fact:

When I was in college, I slept with (it would be disingenuous to call it dating) a Peruvian exchange student named Denise. We were talking about things one day and she asked me if I ever thought about having sex with men. I told her that I did, but that it was a little embarrassing. She looked over at me like I was a slightly slow child, and said, “No, embarrassing is knowing that if you put sweetened condensed milk on yourself, a dog will lick you.” I wish I could say that her admission of bestiality was revolting, but I found myself powerfully turned on.

He’d sing it…

with his eyes squeezed shut, and he’d laugh at himself when he screwed up the lyrics, and then pause to pick the tobacco out of his teeth. I’d roll us up another while he finished the song with an atonal TWANG and put his guitar to the side.

The papasan

She slumps back into the papasan with a giggle. I grunt as she lands on my hip, and there is a comic moment of rearranging while we make spoons. I yank the blanket back over us, and feel the her body hot against mine. Dead silence falls over the room while my body inevitably reacts. Her mouth is making silent words, testing them on her tongue while she tries to figure out how to react.

“Just ignore it,” I tell her “it’ll go away.”
She laughs again, and buries her face in her hands.
“I told you I was gay, right? We went over the… lesbian thing?” she laughs out into the darkness.
“Just… just ignore it.”

I try to position it so it’s not as noticeable. I can smell the Southern Comfort on her breath, and feel her chest expand and contract, expand and contract, noticing as it turns from laughs to giggles to the regular rhythm of sleep. Somewhere in noticing that, I fell asleep.

“You little pervy liar.”

She is hitting me in the arm and I can feel the wetness of a drool spot under my face. My shirt has wound itself around my chest and is choking me a little. I jerk to my feet, trying to figure out what she means. She’s laughing and pointing and I look down at my tented out fly. I choke out some embarassed noise and try to hide it behind my cupped hands while I rifle through the junk on the floor. She has fallen onto the beanbag in front of the TV and is wiping at the tears coming out of her eyes. The red faced embarassment has sent enough chemicals through my brain that I can feel it softening and I’m laughing a little too.

“You said it’d go away, you drunky perv.”
“I, uh… I thought that…”

The laughs are subsiding and coming in fits now. I wipe at my wet cheeks and pull my jacket on, meandering for the kitchen for a glass of water. I turn on the light and immediately regret it, turning it back off and feeling around for a glass.

“You underestimated it.”
“That’s the first time anybody has ever underestimated my cock.”

She smirks at me and grabs my glass of water, drinking it down in one desperate motion.