Archive for April, 2012

Kelly coda

26 Apr

I talked to Rachel a few nights ago.

Rachel (who reads this blog, as does my current girlfriend, as well as my most recent former paramour, along with some indeterminate number of the subjects of my past and future stories) reminded me that my reasons (related to Rachel while these events were current but unrecalled at the time of writing) for breaking things off with the pseudonymous Kelly were not entirely sexual in nature. Or, rather, they were not directly related to sex between the two of us.

To be clear (well, clearer, anyway, and to address previous commentary, which, rhetorically speaking, is a terrible habit for me to be getting into, given conventional wisdom against feeding trolls, etc, but maybe just this once), Kelly’s partner number did not and does not intimidate me in terms of mere magnitude. Although the Catholicism of my youth had become so gonadally entrenched in me as to render inevitable an involuntary visceral reaction brought on by erotically charged disgust (or maybe disgustedly charged eroticism, which, really, is pretty common, and is expressed in our culture with phrases like “you’re a dirty girl,” et alia), the parts of me tasked with overriding the occasional baser instinct quashed the disgust part pretty quickly, mostly by subsuming it into the vast lake of internal shame already extant.

Which is how I cope. Which must be obvious.

At the end of some movie, Marlon Brando’s character says something like “you must make a friend of horror and moral terror. You must make a friend of them; otherwise they are enemies to be feared.” Probably that quote is inexact. I didn’t look it up. The point is, blanking out horror and terror so that they become emotional variables, the expressed sentiment outlines my approach to disgust and shame. (Soon after, Martin Sheen’s character, Brando’s conversational target, enthusiastically machetes Brando’s character to pieces. It’s an imperfect analogy. Don’t read too much into it).

Ultimately, I interpreted Kelly’s number through the lens of an inspirational childhood aphorism: practice makes perfect. And it does. Which is to say that both in terms of carnal and conversational enjoyment, I prefer sluts to prudes. Rather, my uneasiness stemmed from her story wherein she used sex as a bludgeon to punish her impending ex through his platonic relationships.

That, and (as Rachel was kind enough to remind me . . . you know, we talk) Kelly, for some reason, espoused a religiously motivated opposition to gay marriage.

Note that, as with all other political issues unlikely to directly affect my life, I’m unable to get particularly worked up about this particular controversy. I observe that I share this apathy with most humans who have a secure grip on the bottom tier or two of Maslow’s hierarchy. Which is to say that I don’t particularly care whether anyone agrees or disagrees with me, and I react to opinions on the matter with bemusement in direct proportion to their vehemence. However, also like most humans, I get along best with people who agree with me.

Recently I met a guy, a bearded corporate lawyer who seemed young to be a bearded corporate lawyer. I think, somewhere inside himself, he thought so too. He struck me as smart and lonely. He loosens but does not remove his tie to play bar trivia, giving passionate answers to irrelevant questions. The prospect of winning points can have that effect on a person. This story might seem non-sequitur, but stay with me for a minute. One night, he told a story about how a nascent girlfriend had lately dumped him for quote unquote no reason during what he’d hoped would be a nice dinner with her. No reason, as it happened, took the form of his political, philosophical, and lawyerly opposition to gay marriage.

My friend Jeanne and her (also nascent) boyfriend had taken me with them that night to a bar for trivia, which is where I met corporate lawyer, name unremembered. She sat at the opposite end of the table from C.L. and had drunk herself into the liminal zone between inappropriate honesty and criminally impaired driving. Through cowardice or some other motive, I’d chosen not to rise to his comment—although, like his date, I’ll apparently dump someone over it. She responded immediately to the story by telling him “You deserve to die alone.” C.L. shrank into his chair, assuming a primate defensive posture and remarking without irony about the intolerance he encountered from his political opponents on this issue. I laughed and laughed. Clearly on some level, his feelings had genuinely been hurt, which only made it funnier to me. Because here is a way to interpret a statement of his position, without weighing questions of rights or law or morality: “Because you are gay, you deserve to die alone.”

For what it’s worth, Jeanne felt bad afterward.

All of which to say is that, like everyone else, my dating life is informed by my prejudices.

Next time, I will tell you about the local someone. Did we fuck on the first date? It is with the extreme lack of affect borne of true dispassion that I tell you we did not. Did we fuck on the second date?