Like Sand Through An Hour Glass, The Days Of No-Strings Sex…

Pokey and Aurie were trying to sweat me out.  They weren’t about to leave me alone with her.  Not as long as they each thought they had a crack.  It was getting late, Sunday night, and everybody had work in the morning.  Or at least I did, and that’s all that mattered.  The shitty bottle of wine they brought was long gone, and now everybody was subsisting off my largess.  My Sunday beer.  It was killing me.

Go home you lousy leeches.  Go home and vaporize into non-existence.  Just fold into some passing parallel dimension.  Hang out in quantum possibility for an aeon or three.  My beer is almost all gone because of you two fucks.

“Whose ready for another beer?” I asked, getting up.

“I’ll take another one,” everybody said.  Everybody in the entire world.   I winced, but my back was turned.

“Some more of my beer, coming right up!” I announced.  A little pissiness leaked through the pants of my facade.   I was hamstrung.   I couldn’t call these two couch mushrooms out as blood-suckers in front of the chick.  Not so early in the seduction process.   I would look like a petty alcoholic.  She’d get to see that part of me later.  Hopefully much.  This was no time to sandwich board it.

Besides, they might make a case for being Even-Steven because of the Two Buck Chuck they spotted earlier.  Like that counts.  I hate wine.

I looked at my watch.  33 more minutes before Owl Liquors closed.  The rail was coming down.  Should I just drive to the store now?  I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to wind up having to spot a whole new party package myself, and with the arrival of lots more beer, I’ll never get rid of the Toad Stool Twins.  I can try to wait them out a little longer.  I’ll give them sixteen more minutes.  I rolled my shoulders and cracked my neck.

“I really have to pee!” Bobbi informed us.  Well alright.  She pushed herself out of her lotus, brushed the cracker crumbs off her jeans and walked to the bathroom through our little dude triangle.

“Excuse me, guys.”

We all checked her out.  Nice butt-cheekage.  Two big melons straining the seams of her jeans.  Our shifty eyes caught each other looking so we turned away.

“Cool chick.”

“Yeah, she is.”

Bobbi had moved to Santa Fe from Providence, Rhode Island, which made her kind of exotic.  She was a little crunchy, and a little grungy.  She was Crungey or Grutchy.  No make-up, air-dried hair, torn jeans and thrift store sweater type.  She did sport a personal Kryptonite in the form of cat glasses, and you can tell beneath all the woodsy, wholesome burlap and denim, she had a burlesque stripper’s body dying to get out.  That was not going to happen with three dudes sitting around drinking beer.  I’m sure it happens, but not in the dimensions that I tend to frequent.

“So you guys have to get up early for a landscaping gig tomorrow?  Or, are you free to party on?”

They looked at each other.

“We don’t do landscaping,” Pokey said.

“That’s right, ” I said, looking at my watch.  Eleven more precious minutes left.  We heard the toilet flush, and looked at each other.  Uh-oh.  I could tell they were both in it to win it.  I just better go get some beer now.  This is going to be a long night.

She came out and smiled at us.  She went back to her pillow, sat down, and crossed her legs.

Is it even worth it?  She’ll just wind up hating you anyway.  Everything winds up rotting.  This whole game is rigged against us.  Death is our only true relief.

“Are you okay?” she asked me.

“Oh yeah, I was just wondering if maybe I should make another beer run.”

Everyone agreed that was a great idea.  Yes?  Great idea?  Not so great that anybody reached for their wallet.  Fuck it.  I break.  Lost this battle, but the war rages on.  Double down on victory in the Kursk salient.

I got up.  My death ray was in full effect as I looked at the two urchins avoiding my eyes.  Can’t penetrate into their souls if they don’t look.  Sneaky fuckers.

“Be right back, guys.”

“Let’s burble some herbal,” one of them said, as I closed the door behind me.

I walked out to my car.  No muffler.  The roar set off car alarms when I drove past.  Sometimes, like now, it felt good.  Sometimes it was just embarrassing.  The clerks at Owl used to laugh about hearing me all the way from Maynard.  Ha-ha.  I pay your rent.  Show a little respect.  A little awe.

I drove up to the window.  It was the old lady.  She looked like an apple doll.

“EEEEEEEE! Crazy huero is here!  We were talking that we could hear you–”

“A case of MGD bottles, and two 40s of Old English. Throw in a shot of Dark Eyes, tambien…por favor!”

I had no time for idle chit-chat.  Those two back there are probably filling her in on all kinds of information she hadn’t received clearance on.  Homo Todd’s Halloween party, The St. John’s Incident, any number of open mike nights, the Dread Zeppelin show, Soul Asylum at UNM.  Just a whole bunch of information she didn’t need to process just yet.

I didn’t mean to, but I peeled out from the window.  The tires were bald enough.  They didn’t need the abuse.  Like anything did.  It just seemed like when I got uptight, I would naturally scatter that shit wherever I doth roam.

My roaming took me on to St. Francis then a right up Alameda.  I cracked one open and murdered half.  Threw the cap out the window, and killed the rest.  Tucked the empty under my seat, and hand signaled a left turn.  I fished a butt out of the ashtray and sparked it.  I was feeling a little better.

I was grateful that the State of New Mexico had come to it’s senses about allowing package liquor sold on Sundays.  When I heard it was official, you would’ve thought it was V.J. Day by the way I rejoiced.  Jumping up and down and punching the air kind of joy.  For a long time, you couldn’t buy booze from a store on Sundays.  Just at a bar.  If you’re already passing up meals to keep the lights on, the extra financial burden of getting your grog on a Sunday, because you drank up your stash on Saturday, could be just the thing that upsets the household budget, and severely restricts how much beer Father can purchase for the rest of the week.

And that makes Father cross.  Hostage-takey kind of cross.

But those Dark Ages were behind us now.  We were moving into a brave new world.  I looked over to all the beer and smiled.  My happy bunch of beer.

I parked the car and cracked another one.  Might as well get a few under my belt to fortify me for battle.  I sized up my chances.   The trolls kind of came as a set, and women hate to break up a set.  I knew that much.  Advantage me.  However, they were more from the same tribe.  That woodland, Kashi-crunching, outdoorsy knit cap wearing, hacky-sack kicking peoples.  Advantage them.

They were easy-going and mellow.  I was hateful and dangerous.  Pretty even there.

They had weed, although I never actually saw it.  Advantage them.  I had lots of beer, although they’d never actually see it.  Advantage me.  Big advantage.  Okay.  I win.  I tucked the empty under.

I grabbed a six-pack to bring in.  Six beers between four people.  Heh-heh.  A party-spoiler if there was ever one invented.  I couldn’t pull it off with people who knew me well.  They’d see me walk through the door with a six and know I was hoarding.  But if these people really knew me, I wouldn’t have to go through this charade.

The whole night had been a charade for me.  I had been as fake as an electric fireplace.  A faux-finished one.  Sitting there, trying to nod my head in all the appropriate parts of the conversation, when I would have rather just stared, slightly slack-jawed and entirely not interested.  It was grueling.

Pokey had been talking about his idea for Judo trading cards.  God, what a stupid idea.  I had already heard part of this brainstorm before.  Typical late-night, unrealistic pipe-dream ambition caper.  Who the fuck cares enough about Judo, besides Pokey, to get into collecting trading cards about that shit?

I took Judo as a kid.  Pretty worthless as a martial art.  Unless you go to a bar where everyone wears the pajamas and agrees to only flip each other in a fight.  If some ass-hole grabs your chick’s ass, you could go over there, bow, grip each other by the pajama lapels and start waltzing around the dance floor looking for an opportunity to roll him over your hip like a jitterbug dancer.  Then Judo wouldn’t be worthless.  Other than that…

I had to act supportive.  Couldn’t just piss all over his Rose Parade.  Really wanted to though.

“That sounds like a great idea.  Everybody loves Judo, so everybody would love Judo trading cards.  I hope you will buy me a beer or four to replace the ones you drank tonight when you become a millionaire.”

Ha-ha-ha.  We all laugh together.  Ha-ha-ha.  We’re all friendly friends.  Ha-ha-ha.

I cracked open another beer.  I’ll go back in right after this one.   Not too eager for another earful of Aurie’s conspiracy theories, and the inevitable buzz-kill that results from believing some of them.  Sure most of them you could shuck aside, but if a dude just keeps coming at you with them, like that’s his thing, and he is very eager to share his personal nightmare with you, eventually he’s going to spin one out that you find yourself believing.  Especially if your stoned.  We’re losing the war for Man to the Lizard People, being one that rang true to yours truly.

Holy shit. He’s right!  It’s them.  From Reptilis Reticula or some shit.  Bush for sure.  Others?   Too many to list.  What can I do to overthrow them? I have trouble holding down a day job.  Oh yeah.  We are fucked.

I call it Fear Tripping.  Get yourself on a course of thought that leads from one scary thought to another, but always slightly scarier.  Amp that bitch up.  See if you can get your teeth to sweat with fear.  The thing I’ve found about scary thoughts, is that there are always other ones that reinforce them.  Once you go down that alley you’re doomed.   All you can do is stop thinking.  Meditation is one way.  I had another.

It started to get clinky under my car seat as I stuck number four under.  One more, and I’ll go in.  I snapped off the top.

I wondered how long Bobbi would be my girlfriend.  She seemed like a three-to-six month.  Stable enough to make it work for awhile, and then too stable to make it work anymore after that.  Those are a little rougher to bounce out of.  By then there’s enough history to pull out the long knives.  You’re not going to scoot out without getting shived a few times with The Dagger of Ugly.  She seemed like a nice girl, but that doesn’t mean shit in a break up.  I’ve watched Gaia Goddesses and Moon Mothers turn into Medusas once they smelled the funk.

Works with animals?  Helps the poor?  Teaches children?  Christian?  New Age?  Green?  Rainbow?  Doesn’t matter.  Hurt them and they all go wolverine.  God bless them for that.  Most dangerous animals will leave you alone if not provoked.  Why did I keep poking at them with my stick?

Well okay.  Yeah.

But is that really a good enough excuse?  Bobbi seemed like a really nice girl.  Nice enough not to deserve the likes of someone like me.

It was that last thought that did it.  I started the car up, and backed out of the car port.  I had this moment of clarity.  Or at least as clear as a moment you can have after 7-8 beers.  I didn’t need to get involved.  Just because she was attractive, and I was bored and “lonely.”  I didn’t need to insinuate myself into her life, and then feel bad for doing it in the first place.  I wasn’t up for the guilt this time.

I’ll hold out for somebody equally traumatized by life.  That way we’ll be even when everything goes to shit.  I’ll let the two trolls fight over her.  It was an ever so small inching towards something resembling a conscience.  An emotional troglodyte’s first evolutionary movement towards a sentient bi-pedal existence.

I turned onto St. Francis.  They’re going to be wondering what happened to me.  Hell, I was wondering what just happened to me.  I wrote it off as just saving myself a six-pack, but it felt like more.

A cop climbed up behind me.  The no muffler.  He had to be hearing it all the way in his bone marrow.  I was going to jail.  Going to have to wake up Marko for bail.  He followed me all the way down Cerrillos, but turned off on Baca.  Only in Santa.  Maybe my karma was getting a little better.  I aimed my car for home.  I had work in the morning.

Sanitized for your protection.

On-line Loverboy Roy, Part 1.

There was no need to consult the monkey bones for an oracle, when the question, “What am I doing here?” keeps going through your head like a mantra, the date is not going well.  I looked over at her.  She was studying the menu intently.  I watched her eyes loiter around a section I’d rather they not be hanging out in.  Go ahead and stick me for the lobster.  You know you want to.  Who knows how this evening is going to turn out?  You might as well ride the gravy train while you can.  Get while the gettin’ is good.

“I think I’m going to have the lobster,” she announced, and set down the menu.

“Good choice,” I nodded.

I don’t think it would’ve bothered me if I didn’t know it was coming.  I get so disappointed with people when they meet my expectations.  Now I had no choice but to get something really cheap to mitigate the damage, and hopefully shame her.  Grilled cheese?  Too obvious.  Hamburger.  Yeah.  Simple burger.  What am I doing here?

That was the million dollar question.  I couldn’t answer you then, and today, after years of reflection, I can only take a stab at it.  Boredom?  The idea that being out with any woman was better than sitting at home?  A desperate grab for validation?  Something to write about later?

I can honestly tell you it wasn’t for sex.  Not in this case.  It may have started off that way.  I can’t imagine any other reason someone would on-line date, except maybe to find a soul-mate, to spend the rest of your life with having sex.  No, dear friends, as soon as I saw her, I knew this date wouldn’t be about sex.  Not if I had any say.  And as the man, I thought I had a pretty good say.

I was living in Redondo Beach with my bubby, Spike.  I was newly sober and “lonely” as hell.  I was not doing all that well in the bars now that I was deprived of charm juice.  I thought about maybe using this newfangled computer contraption and enrolling in an on-line dating service.  I was hesitant.  It seemed sleazy and demeaning, which if you know any stories about me, you’ll know is a total howler.  Really?   This is too low?

I can’t explain it, but I was getting all Amish, and felt like computer dating was interfering with Divine Will.  What about meeting a girlfriend the old-fashioned way, hung over, doing laundry at the mat?  This was like reaching into a bag of snakes and trying to grab the non-poisonous one.  It seemed wrong.  I thought about it.  Wrong in my world usually says “Green Flag.”  I sat down at Spike’s computer.

I hated filling out the profile thing.  I stared at the questions.  I could fill out the parts that required scientific facts, like weight and height, hair and eye color, but after that…shit.

Hobbies and interests?   I don’t have any.  Not ones, I could list and expect a date.  But, I didn’t want to lie either.  Not out of some ethical concern.  I didn’t want to rattle off a bunch of bullshit like skydiving and chess, because with my luck, I’d wind up with someone who insists on jumping out of an airplane together or staring  at a dusty board for hours in her favorite cafe.  That or any other pain in the ass thing that people like do for fun.

I decided to gamble and be honest.

“Laying around thinking about Stalingrad or contemplating the collapse of civilization.  As a youth, I was a champion drinker and marathon brooder.  I also enjoy studying criminal history, and reading about the lives of social misfits, deviants, holy madmen and psychopaths.”  There, that wasn’t so bad.  What else?

Under spiritual life I put “It’s complicated.”

How would I describe myself?  “Deeply troubled, but in a happy-go-lucky way.”

Okay, likes and dislikes.  Be careful here.  Really?  Why now?

“I like sunsets, romantic evenings by the fire, good movies, music and food.  But also don’t really feel like going out of my way for them. Oh, I like aliens, too. ”

Nice. Brief and concise.

Dislikes?  This probably won’t be as brief.  Let’s see…

“I dislike food poisoning, organ music, jail, pushy people, greedy people, arrogant, slick, vain, pompous, shallow, craven, know-it-all blowhard people, people who slow down walking across the crosswalk when they can see you’re waiting to turn, people who try to push the lifestyle that’s making them miserable on you, people who have to actually tell you they have a great sense of humor (they never do), people who take the last slice of pizza without a courtesy inquiry, rats, back-stabbers, hypocrites, snobs, bad eggs and chiselers, but overall I’m easy-going and non-judgmental.”

Under education I listed my degree.  Pretty worthless, until just right then.  That’s right, ladies, a college man.  Let’s talk about a book.

Current Occupation:  Bouncer at a strip club.

I looked it over for any blatant grammatical errors.  None that I saw, but how would I know?  I’m the one who wrote it.

There, that should do it.  Don’t forget to put you’re a Cancer.  Ha-ha.  Boy, ain’t that right.

My finger hovered over the send button.  You’re really going to do this?  Pretty honest little resume you whipped up there.  Not exactly using the best bait.  Maybe put in some cute and charming.  A wee sprinkle?  Fuck it!  We’re going to press with what we have.  Let’s see what this gets, if anything at all.  I pushed send.  I like doing stuff like that.  Just-to-see kind of stuff.

My first response was an ex-porn star.  Heart-attack serious, folks.  Ask Spike.  She contacted me.  In her e-mail she said flat-out that she was an ex-skin starlet, and was now producing adult films.  I could see her photo on the web site of the company she worked for.  I clicked on the link expecting it to take me to some Dr. Viagra M.D. Next Day Delivery web site, but there it was, her porn company.  I clicked under producers and looked her up.

No way.  I think I know her.  Not sure how.  She looked good.  Major Mid-forties Milfage.

Okay, just what the hell is going on here?  Some sort of cosmic Candid Camera?  It sounded too good to be true.  I thought it was some off-shoot of a Nigerian banking swindle.  I smelled some kind of  rat trap or sting.  Maybe a militant male-hating cyber terrorism group, dangling some candy so you’d open something you shouldn’t.  Yeah, get infected with some kind of worm.  It destroys your computer, but worse, dashes your hope of dating a milfy ex-porn queen.

Come on. My first tug on the line and I pull up this up?  Could this be real?  If this is real, it’s going to end bad.  Maybe something so terrible and surreal you won’t ever recover from it.

Must pursue.  Must.

She said she thought my profile was funny and wanted me to send her a photo of me without my shirt (at least I got to keep my pants on).  I really felt like I was auditioning.  She asked me to send it care of her company in the San Fernando Valley, of course.

I did, of course.  Dirty whore.  Me that is.  The jury was still out on the other deal.  In the meantime, I picked up the pace on the push-ups while I waited for her response.

She wrote back saying she got the pictures and was okay with meeting me.  Then she sent me her cell number.  Hmm… this may be real…and…I can’t do it.  It’s too weird.  Especially now without my handy judgement-impairment elixir.  So much easier to step into any passing abyss with a little drinky-poo to cushion the fall.  What’s the matter with me?  Man up.  Can’t I have impaired judgement without alcohol?

Of course you can.  You have to learn how to do everything sober now, and that includes making bad decisions.  Dating a porn star (ex) would so qualify.  Even if she was now a polished successful professional business woman with two teenage sons and a track record longer than Santa Anita’s.  I picked up the phone.

Now before you think that this was the lobster date, I can assure you I wouldn’t have bemoaned fine dining Pornula Von Milfenstein.  That was another thing, and I’ll get back to Lobster Lana in a bit.  Let me first finish up with the porn queen.  Ha.

No, there was no dinner with the Baroness.  She invited me to meet her at Hustler Hollywood.  Her company was putting out (indeed) a new line of interactive porno CDs.  I nodded, “yes that sounds so new to me- interactive porn.  Technology is amazing.”  They were going to have a big opening at the store with an after-party appropriately after.  All the top people in her nasty, stinky business would be there.

Wow.  Very weird first date.  I’m in.

Friday night, I combed my shoes and shined my hair.  I got in the car and headed for Hollywood.  Nervous.   A little thirsty.  Having moments of kind of wanting to be dead that came and went.  I parked the car at some rip-off and walked in.

The store was busy, and there were assorted bouquets of harlotry placed strategically here and there among the crowd.  I started to shark my way through the crowd.   She recognized me first, which was a total relief.  Nice looking lady.  Dressed classy, a tailored suit, probably a Valentino.  Pearls.  Expensive heels.  My mom would approve.  Hahahahahaha!

She really would have.  That’s the thing.  Drop the bomb later.   Anyway, she turned out to be a nice lady, warm and friendly.  Very normal.  And that was a problem.  I didn’t mind her being a porn queen.  I tend not to begrudge women the amount of men they’ve been with.  In this case, it just happened to be a lot, and in a lot of weird ways.

I was kind of hoping that she’d be more unorthodox, like with her thinking, and not just with the way she handed out slices of mango to every ape in Hollywood.  From what I was picking up, she was pretty mainstream.

I don’t swim well in those waters.  Pretty boring too.  But then I watched her click across the floor to hug some up-and-coming starlet.  They kissed on the mouth.  Okay, this isn’t boring yet.

After the opening we drove over to a club on Vine St. that was holding the party.  It was okay, as bummers go.  It was the first time I tried to dance sober.  Tried is the word.  I would’ve rather crawled over broken glass.  Fucking murder.  Pretty bad deal.

Anyway, I couldn’t relax.  I was stiff and insecure.  I had no game, and just sort of stood around filling out a suit.  Knowing I could light it up with a couple of cans of joy, but having to hold off.  Knowing it’s not going well, and kind of resigned to be doomed for now.  Taking it on the chin.

At the end of the evening I walked her out to her car.  She drew close.  Here it comes, Chip Chappy.  Let’s see what your performance rates.

She gave me a hug…and then a peck on the cheek…and then…wait for it…a pitty-pat on the back.

Kill me now, God.  I date a porn star and get a peck and a pitty-pat.  The fraternal love death-blow.  What sort of dastardly Lord of Fate was on duty when this shit was dreamed up?  Seriously, that stings like a bitch, Dude.  I knew it was a set-up.  I smelled it!

The next night at work, one of the bouncers asked me how the date went.  I told him I struck out.

“I realized I actually have a video of her,” he said, “giving  John Leslie a Dirty Belgium Waffle.”

“That’s great.  I got a pat on the back.”

I was sour for a while after that, but when I realized that I stayed sober through it, I felt a little better.  What am I to learn from all this?   That the Amish are right.  That computer dating is worst thing ever invented.  It’s beyond evil and I would never do it again.

After one more try.

That try got me Lobster Lana.  But, we get to deal with her ex-con bad ass next week, in the second part of this saga, appropriately designated, Part 2.

“I almost got arrested at that place.” Photo by Guy Ambrosino