Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not so aloof after all: the one who got through

I spend a lot of time talking about my emotional distance from women.  It gets lost in the shuffle that I can be a decent guy.

This one's about Paula.  Paula was a relationship that emerged from talking in a professional environment.  Paula was married.  Paula and I confided in each other a lot.  Truth be told, she is the woman who knows, by far, the most about me.

Here's the kicker.  Paula's husband was dying.  A slow death, years, that had paralyzed him.  She was a workaholic and two of her sons were disabled teenagers.  If anyone in the world ever need someone else to be emotionally open to her, it was Paula.

In many ways, Paula was my ideal partner.  Why?  Because I never had to worry about the her wanting to escalate the relationship.  Even if her husband died, I would have lots of warning to get the fuck out before I'd be on the hook for marrying her or else.

One of my shittier qualities is that my willingness to be open with someone largely hinges on how likely I am to pay a price for that openness.  If you're never gonna expect a wedding ring from me, I can be the most open man on earth with you.  That's the deal Paula got.

Paula is also the rare case of a relationship that took a long time to turn sexual.  I;d flirt with her here and there because I knew she enjoyed being noticed.  I have no doubt that with her home life what it was, it was nice to just be dumb and cute for a little bit.

In retrospect, I think Paula escalated things in a more sexual direction.  I remember the one day, after she had done a presentation at a morning meeting and everybody left (Paula was a minor poobah, I was a young shithead in the organizational chart) we were doing our usual "everybody's gone, let's talk".  She was wearing a frilly green skirt that, to be honest, didn't come particularly far below her ass cheeks.  But, she was one of those tall, skinny chicks that could pull that off.  She was leggy and generally liked to show it.

I remember cracking wise about the skirt and telling her she looked especially cute.  She laughed and seemed a little open.  One of my great gifts, at my older age, is knowing when I have an opening.  I stood behind her and touched the hem of her skirt.  She smiled and demurred a bit.  So, I ran my knuckle against the outside of her thigh. She pushed her butt back into my crotch.

We locked the doors to the meeting room and went into the adjoining storage room.  All I did was pull down my pants and take of her panties.  Gross, Hollywood style clothes-still-on sex.  On a dirty metal table doggy-style.

The sex was like that.  Being skinny, Paula was never my type, physically.  But, she was very confident.  A little nerdy (that always helps).  And of course there was the personal bond.

And that's how our relationship worked for the next couple years.  She was my work wife, emotionally.  We didn't even have sex that often, but when we did it was intense.  Not great sex in itself, but it's hard to not have that intensity when she has all this other shit going on.

Eventually things ended because I had to move on professionally.  We kept somewhat in touch.  Her husband did pass a year later.  You never want to be thankful for someone dying, but for Paula's sake I was glad.  I'm generally a "fight the dying of the light" kinda guy, but this was just hopeless and drawn out and emotionally exhausting.

A couple years ago we got to talking a bit.  Paula told me that she never would have made it through that period without me.  You don't think you could be proud of yourself for screwing another guy's wife.  But, life is strange.  Somewhere in there is probably a screenplay for a mediocre indie film.

I guess, if nothing else, at least for the one woman in my life who absolutely needed me to be there for her I somehow managed to be.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The basics: how women approach guys

One thing I've noticed on the internet in open discussions about sex is that guys are roundly paralyzed by the notion that they do all the approach, they assume all the risk and then women just cherry-pick the men they choose to date.

That's not true at all.  Women approach men.  They just do it their way. 

When a woman approaches you, she rarely goes the entire distance and outright says, "Hi."  She will place herself in physical proximity to you and then sort of look around at anyone but you.  Depending on her determination level and self-esteem, you have somewhere between a minute and five minutes to respond.  If you like her, take the under and act sooner.

To some extent, the woman's approach of a man preserves the basic pretense that we all know, where the man must hit on the woman first.  But, if a woman likes you enough, she will essentially concoct a scenario where only a downright moron (or a guy) could miss the signal to move in.

When I'm out at a club, I tend to go solo.  I know a lot of guys would freak at this idea.  But, for me it works.  From experience, I've found that women have a much easier time approaching me if there isn't a herd of jackoffs drunkenly hooting around me.

What I like to do, especially if I'm not seeing anything that compels me to go approach a woman, is to move toward the fringe of the crowd and observe dispassionately.  You don't want to get so far from the crowd that you cease to be a part of it -- that renders you unapproachable.  Women do no easily separate from the larger herd.

In my favorite club, my favorite spot is a rail on the second floor that overlooks the main dance floor.  I try to find a spot where there's some space around me, not always easy on the normally busy nights.  The girls that like me will start filtering past and will stop along the rail in the open space left for them. 

If the rail is gone, I also like seats in less occupied table areas of the bar.  You'll find women take a similar action, there they'll sit down at the next table.  The only downside to sitting at a table is that women seem more compelled to open me at a table, especially if they decided to sit down directly at my table.

The only women that open me aggressively are the ones that are a bit below my league.  It's a simple fact of nature: an aggressive approach is often an attempt to overcome the status of the person you're hitting on.  If a strange woman opens you with "Why are you sitting by yourself?" she's pretty much admitting she's trying to make the jump from AA to the majors and is swinging for a home run on the first pitch.

If a woman waits and waits and waits and then opens you with a "Hi" it means she insanely digs you and is probably well within your league.  Truth is, it means she's seen you there before and she's been thinking about you ever since.

For most women, there is not open to their approach.  They orbit in the hope that you'll get the idea and open them.  If she really likes you, she practically draws you a fucking diagram. 

As guys, we tend to miss these signals.  We're pretty dense when you get right down to it.  And even when we're not dense, we're scared or drunk or just tired or shocked that anyone would approach us.

The one thing you have to understand is that for most women, a full approach is an affront to feminine dignity.  Guys open girls.  That's how the game is played. 

But, if you know how to watch them, women will signal you the closest approach.  They try to make it as easy as possible for us without sacrificing their sense of feminine dignity.  The tough part, of course, is that guys aren't very attuned.

Just remember the simple facts of women: they're not gonna take a chance of being hit on by a freak they despise.  If they're moving closer to you and orbiting there, they want you to open them.

Go forth with this new knowledge.  Conquer some women.  Maybe one of them will make you happy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why so aloof? There's no such thing as casual sex

I don't have a starting point for this one.  This story comes from a couple weeks during my grand tour of Europe.  There was a woman I met, a couple years older than me, in Prague.  Blond, Germanic.  Annelise had a kind of chiseled face, in an attractive way.  Hard to explain.

The tacit agreement anytime you sleep with a traveler the night you met him is that it is casual.  Not, realistically, I know better than this.  If a woman is near a guy, she wants a relationship.  If she says it's casual and non-committal, she's lying.

Women think time spent with a man will eventually overcome all obstacles.  I think this is one of the reason my relationships with women trouble me.  I tend to have to have short sexual relationships.  And it's hard to feel good about myself knowing that almost every woman I ever fucked was lying to me, hoping that the magic would kick in and I'd fall madly in love.

As to Annelise . . . the relationship was sex.  It wasn't great sex, because she liked very dominant, rough, man-on-top stuff.  Not my forte, to tell the truth.  We usually did it twice in a session.  Strangely, I got to get my first orgasm my way, and then the second turn was her way.

Two nights before I was set to leave Prague, Annelise asked me this question: "Do you think I'm the kind of girl you could ever see yourself having kids with?"

I think this is the single most devastating question a woman has ever asked me. 

There's a lot of vulnerability in that question. 

One of the things I loved with women in Prague is that on the surface there is a ridiculous confidence, a brazen sexuality and an almost masculine aloofness.  But, once you have them cornered, all you had to do was turn on the charm and they melted like a fucking ice cube on hundred degree day.  Tell a couple jokes, press a couple of her buttons and away you go -- shit a woman in New York would treat you like a retard for trying.

The further east you get in Europe, the more brutish the men become.  I know that's a stereotype, but some stereotypes have been earned the hard way.  Prague is the first place you realize that western European gender equity gives way to something entirely alien to Americans.

What makes that funny is that as an American guy, you spend your whole life turning on the charm just to get one fucking smile from one pretty girl.  Those Eastern European girls act like they've never had a boy act cute around them before. It's astonishing how fast they break down when a boy turns it on.  I'm telling ya, you could be Wilt Chamberlain in the old Warsaw Pact countries just by showing up on dates with a daisy you plucked from the front yard.  As best I can tell, those women have never seen charm before.  It's kinda tragic and makes you think about fucked up for how long those countries had to be for people to have gotten to that point.

That question, "Do you think I'm the kind of girl you could ever see yourself having kids with?" is the core question between men and women.  But, no one ever actually says it!  To ask the question borders upon naive.  To ask the question of a foreigner you're casually fucking around with?  Is that even possible?

Needless to say, that's where it ended.  Cordial enough.  But, after a half hour in the room with that question, I left.  I didn't see her again before I left Prague.  How could I?

Annelise's question itself is innocent to the point of being painful.  It makes her look like an ingenue.  It makes me look evil.  But, the truth is it's the question that hangs over every sexual relationship we have.

I know the truth about women.  Casual sex is a myth.  More horrifying, though, is the fact that women will agree to it on the slenderest of hopes.

Every woman thinks she's special.  She's the one.  This is going to work out.  That giant rush of endorphins is going to overwhelm him.  He's gonna feel it and fall in love with me.  And if that doesn't work, she'll fuck him so hard he'll never want another woman again.  And if that doesn't work, she'll take such good care of him that he'll never need another woman in his life.

I know how women see me.

I'm physically imposing.  If I'm with a woman, people will ask her if I'm her bodyguard.  If I'm by myself at a bar, people assume I'm a bouncer.  I give off a serious don't-fuck-with-me vibe.  Actually, it's more fuck-with-me-and-you-die.

When a girl sees me turn on the charm, it feeds into one of the great female fantasies.  Women fear physical men.  They know the cost of being wrong about us.  When the charm comes on and she lets go of all those fears, a woman's mind rushes the opposite direction.  The impact of emotions is defined by the height of the tensions.

I think about this woman, this Annelise from Prague.  I think about her because she encompasses everything I hate about sex with women.  I don't fall in love.  The relationships I do manage are short and sexual.  And I feel immense responsibility for the harm these relationships cause.  I hate how it makes me feel. 

"Do you think I'm the kind of girl you could ever see yourself having kids with?"

Remember this question.  It's the question almost every woman harbors when she is with you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The first time I knew I liked girls

Dana Delaney.  On China Beach.  It was a TV show that was on in the late 80s.  I know, strange, huh?  My first sexual reaction to a woman was a girl in loose-fitting olive drab military clothes. 

Then again, Dana Delaney is a redhead.  So, really the sexiest part of her was constantly exposed.  To this day I have zero judgment with regards to redheads.  A redhead has to be hideous before I can actually look at her and not be turned on. 

Certainly there are worse female role models for young boys than one of the better written TV females of all time.  Man, why can't I find a cute redheaded nurse?  Dammit.

I saw her on an episode of Desperate Housewives a while back.  Nostalgic, to say the least.  You never forgot the first girl who made you feel different.

Why so aloof? I'm just not attracted to you

This story is for a certain set of women.  The set of women who are convinced they can look at any guy and win him over.

The subject of this story is Olivia.  Name changed to protect the innocent, but I'm tired of using single letters.  Olivia worked the front desk at my first paid internship.  She sat in a both with two old ladies who we needed every time we had to fax anything or to make copies.  They also answered the non-direct line calls.

Olivia was the type of girl who dressed just to the tasteful side of too sexy.  Short skirts that didn't show anything when she bent over.  Tight shirts that didn't pinch.  Make-up that let you know she was on the make without appearing slutty.

Olivia had a nice figure.  Others thought she had a great figure.  I thought she was skinny and showed off more because she knew how to wear heels.  She was a little rough in the face, but, again, other people thought she was pretty.

As the paid intern in the downstairs office, I was the default youngest male in the building.  This is in a college town where women already outnumbered mean almost 3-to-1.  And we had a lot of gay guys and awkward foreigners (Arab and African kids who still blushed when they saw an ankle, no kidding).  So, if you were an eligible straight guy, the odds were in your favor.

The first time I realized Olivia liked me was when I went out front and she was leaning on the front window of the narrow front hallway, talking with the two old ladies.  To describe the pose, politely, it looked like she was presenting, in the Animal Planet sense of the term.  The old ladies started laughing their asses off.  Olivia didn't get it until I scooted by.  She then sort of bolted to the other side of the window and apologized, blushing.  And the old ladies laughed harder.

Olivia was never my type.  She gossiped with old ladies.  She smoked like a fuckin chimney.  Little too skinny.  Just not my type.

After a while, Olivia figured out my schedule and started plopping herself on the bench out front around the time I took lunch.  She'd sit there smoking and trying to slyly make eye contact, but not too much eye contact.  Every single day.  I swear it didn't rain that entire internship.

I remember one day a girl I knew, Sonya, came in to apply for a job in the upstairs office.  Sonya is the type of girl no woman wants to see talking to the guy she likes.  Sonya is tall, exotic-looking, mixed Asian and black.  She's very demur (not a trait I particularly like).

Oh, and Sonya and I were good friends.  Sonya liked me because I was the only person who didn't act inconvenienced when she couldn't get a baby sitter and had to bring her son to group work in the evenings.  Sonya basically spent all of college trying to orbit me in the hope of it turning into a serious relationship.  It got to the point where if I had a long day and I saw Sonya in public before she saw me, I'd try to get the fuck out of there before she waved me down.

Worse, Sonya was always very obvious.  Lots of smiling, lots of blushing, lots of quick eye contact that then turned submissive.

Sonya is a subject for another article, don't worry.

Sonya and I had a long conversation, probably 15 minutes, about what she was applying for and why and good luck and oh you work here et cetera.

When Sonya disappeared I happened to notice Olivia.  She was locked on Sonya walking up the steps and red-faced as could be.  The look on her face was one I know well -- it's a look of self-hatred women get when they realize they've fallen for guy who is not gonna work out for them.

The next day, during her bench time, I missed Olivia going out, but saw her coming back.  She was dressed to the nines.  She locked eyes on me from far away and kept them on me.  She waved.  I waved and looked away.  She stood up, threw her cigarette to the ground and stomped it hard.  She then walked away, ahead of me, stomping her feet hard and moving fast.  When I went past the front window in the office the old ladies shut up (which they never did) and Olivia sat there looking like she was going to throw up.

After that, she stopped doing the bench thing and did everything in her power to ignore me unless she was the only person at the front window.  The old ladies made a point of giving me dirty looks and treating me like shit after that.  They didn't like their vicarious excitement ruined, either.

My internship lasted a month longer.  They were going to offer me some permanent part-time stuff.  But, as you can imagine, being glared at every day didn't seem like a winning plan.  Plus, I kinda wanted the last couple weeks of my summer to myself.

Olivia's one of the girls who really bothered me.

There was never any spark there.  We didn't talk about anything besides "What's the fax number for so-and-so?"

Yes, I get that in a building full of old people, it would be nice if the only young person of the opposite sex showed some interest in you.  Summer in a college town sucks big time -- I know, I did three summer sessions!  But, he's not exactly obliged to hit on you just because you think the math's on your side.

And, yes, I get that other people wanted to fuck her brains out.  I listened to one of the single male editors in his 30s go on endlessly about that exact subject.  I didn't find her peculiarly attractive, especially with all the smoking thrown in.

I felt bad because it was obvious that she liked me.  And it was clear she had some type of stake in proving herself to the gabby old ladies who worked the front window.  It wasn't just that a guy didn't go for her.  It's that it was a marked and humiliating defeat in front of the only two people she really talked to all day.

Hallmark doesn't make a card for, "I never found you attractive, but I'm sorry you feel bad about it now that you know."  Sorry, Olivia.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Success does not make it easier

I grew up poor.  Dirt poor.

Over my adult life, I made money.  "Fuck you" money, as in, the answer if I don't like something is "fuck you" because I have money and I don't owe anyone shit.

One thing I always though was that when they day came that I had it together, it would be easy.  Women have liked me since I hit puberty.  So, having my shit together should mean it will be easy, right?

One of the great revelations of my adult life is this: the problem exists somewhere between my ears.

The simple truth is, whatever the reasons, I am a fucked up person who often cops a shit attitude for no good reason.  I'm not an abusive man, not in the physical sense.  I'm not even verbally abusive.

I'm emotionally abusive.

I am the definitive distant man.  I don't fall in love.  I often barely acknowledge a woman even when we're screwing.

The joke?  Women eat that shit up.

Women perceive a man's indifference as a signal of his status.  He doesn't need her, so he's indifferent.  Which, needless to say, makes him hot as hell.  This is why women hate men.  Women hate that the thing that turns them on the most about a man renders that man permanently unavailable.

The irony is, most distant men aren't signaling status.  They're signaling significant emotional damage.

And people wonder why our species is so irrevocably fucked up?

I want to be better than this.  But, I don't know how.  And even if I did, I somehow suspect I'd never have the courage.

Why so aloof? I hated you from Day One

This one is about J.  J was a girl I knew in college.  J is the titleholder for my longest relationship, two years of off-and-on with a girl who I never like.

I had the good fortune for most of my college life to live on co-ed floors.  You seriously, as a guy, cannot fail to get laid in this environment.

J was in the study lounge while me and my roommates' buddies were watching a hockey game on TV.  J was a freshman who was having immense trouble pulling together a paper for her ENG 100 class.  She needed a lot of help -- in fact, time would eventually flunk her right out of college.  Whatever the case, someone there told her to get me, because I was good with papers (see my first post for mention of my academic paper racket in high school).

So, I helped her.  And she ended up needing a lot more help, knocking on my door a lot.  And we spent a lot of time together.  And as happens when boys and girls spend a lot of time together, a relationship developed.

J was always a pain in the ass.  She was chubby cute, but not peculiarly my type.  I didn't relate to her at all.  I didn't like any of her stories.  She never got any of my jokes.

She also was prone to whining about her ex-boyfriend back home who had been like her only boyfriend through high school.  She even once came back from break with a pregnancy scare that subsided.  So, to be clear, he wasn't an ex-boyfriend in the strictest sense.  He was more like a boy back home who she still fucked.

Bear in mind, I was never particularly invested in J.  So, I could have really cared less who she was fucking.

But, stories from J also got increasingly disturbing.  She told a lot of stories about being sexually abused.  She even claimed her boyfriend had raped her.  And she wasn't untoward to letting me know that I was a prick and that I fit in nicely with all the other asshole men in her life.

So, that felt like a good time to break things off.

That wouldn't last.  I'll give J this: she went big.  She asked me down to her dorm room, chased her roommate and her best friend out.  She locked the door, stripped down to her underwear and basically offered herself to me.  I hemmed a bit, because frankly she was crazy.  But, considering most of the relationship centered on the fact that I didn't give a fuck and she was always an easy lay, it wasn't long before I had my hand in her underwear and was massaging her to orgasm.

That's actually my big memory of J, besides the simple fact that she was nuts.  When she hit orgasm, I could feel the twitch inside.  From a physical standpoint, she had a very hard and pronounced orgasm.

Things with J went like this off and on for two years.  I used to give her all kinds of vulgar, degrading nicknames and she took them as terms of endearment.  In truth, she stuck as long as she did simply because she was persistent.

After two years, she finally flunked out and was gone.  I found out when her best friend came by my dorm room the first day of the next semester.  She let me know that J was gone and she also made it less that subtly known that she felt she was right for the newly open position of my girlfriend.

I saw J once more after that.  She decided to make a trip up in the middle of winter a year later.  I let her stay at my apartment.  She bought a shitload of booze. As the night dragged on she stripped down and sat there naked in my apartment wearing nothing but a robe barely covering anything.  She got drunk and berated me for not wanting to fuck her.  She eventually got her way. 

I left about 5 in the morning to get breakfast.  When I came back, I got it both barrels for not staying with her all night.  At that pointed I told her to get a shower, get her stuff and get out.

And that's how the longest relationship of my life ended.  The second time.

I still cannot justify my relationship with J.  Aside from the fact that she was always available emotionally and sexually, I don't have an explanation.  I never liked her.  I never got along with her.  She just happened to be there and didn't care what else was going on in my life. 

The simple answer is: I took what was offered.

Why so aloof? You fuck like a guy

This one is about a stripper, who we're gonna call R.  Yes, I am selling a story of stripper conquest in discussing my aloof nature.  Don't worry . . . I stick to my guns by eventually disappointing her.

I'm not a hardcore strip club guy.  I go to a strip club when I'm depressed enough that drinking and trolling for women just doesn't appeal to me.  Yes, there are times where you just don't want to be among the normals.

This was the first time I had seen R.  It's a dive-y club, even by the relatively low standards of strip clubs.  But, dive clubs can be fun, frankly, because you can get away with all kinds of shit.  You get the right dancer on the right night, say she's on a bender and she broke up with her boyfriend, you got a chance to get laid.  That doesn't work at better clubs, where the level of professionalism ruins everything.

R liked me from the word go.  After the first set I saw her on-stage, she came down and sat with me.  We chatted and chatted until her next set.  She did her set and when done came back down and sat on my lap.  It went on like this for hours and expanded to hand-holding and necking until one of the bouncers actually griped about it.  And then we just sat and held hands and kinda played with each other below the table.

R falls under one of my types that I like.  R was a nerdy black chick.  She had a cartoonish figure in the tradition of the sexiest black stereotypes.  Probably 140 or 150 pounds, but fairly tall.  Like maybe 5'9".  She wore thick, ugly no-fuck glasses that she could not see without.  She cracked pirate jokes and nerd jokes and pretty sounded like a page from Reddit.  And she wanted to show off every silly stripper costume she owned to me.

No money changed hands except when she was on stage.  I tipped because tipping is the thing to do.  The bouncers were not amused by it.  I overheard a couple of the dancers talking about it and one of them said, "She likes him."

So . . . seven hours later, after her shift was over, we're on her couch.  It's like 2am at this point.  R does a little bit of tease for half a minute, we lose the clothes and she straddles me as I sat there.

It's weird what happened next, because I was starting to like R.  But, simply put, R fucks like a guy.  No foreplay.  No cuddling.  No oral.  Very hard, very quick sexy.  And she's not a small girl, so it wasn't particularly easy on my back or my legs.

I realize a fair number of guys would hear a story of quick, rough sex with a stripper and think, "Sign me up."  I'm not like that.  I don't particularly enjoy sex in itself, anyhow.  I far more enjoy just being close to a woman than fucking her brains out.

Stunned, and feeling a sudden insight into rabbit sex, I told R that I had a bit of a drive ahead of me and needed to get up for work tomorrow.  She wrote down her number for me.  I left.

I never called her.  I thought about it for a couple weeks.  After that I stopped even thinking about it, realizing how awkward that would be.  When I finally went back to that club, the girls there told me she had moved back to California.

It's kind of pathetic, considering I liked her on a personal level.  You don't like to think that sex can ruin everything.  But, I couldn't get past it.  And it didn't strike me there was an easy way to tell a girl you like her, but that one-night stand was way too rough.  Not to mention how much of a pussy I would have sounded like saying that.

So, I let it go.

My astonishingly shitty response to the first girl I've liked in forever

Several months back I started frequenting a club that is rather skeevy.  It's the kind of place where the girls are poorly dressed and often very direct.  As in, grab your arm and put it on them direct without asking you.  I go dressed to the nines.  My good suits, my good cologne.  I drink top shelf liquor.  I attract attention easily.

In other words, I've been trolling for ass lately.

Now, there are certain people that the greater forces at work in universe do not find amusing.  I am one of those people.  How so?  Let's say the universe sends you to a rather slutty dance club.  And in that dance club there's one cute waitress who likes you.  And you end up thinking about her all the time.

This waitress, who we're gonna call M, was instant like.  I don't suffer from that.  I don't fall head over heels.  But, M makes me crazy.  I think about her every night.  In fact, she's the only woman I think about regularly and has been for months.

When I feel emotionally vulnerable, I do dumb shit.  M has tried to chat me up.  She went on in the middle of a busy shift for about ten minutes and I finally asked if she was really that desperate for attention.  She made pouty face and left.

She has always gone out of her way to find me and chat me up at length.  She does the forearm touch, a serious indicator of interest.  She leans in and smiles.  She does a great deal more than a waitress ought to do, especially in a sexually charged environment.

The one night, she was off-shift and came into the club looking for me.  I was pretty drunk and did not notice her sitting next to me at the bar.  She sat there for several minutes before opening me with a very chirpy "Hi!" and then trying to chat me up.  The topic got to "well, I haven't quit my job yet".  And I drunkenly told her something clever like everyone should quit their job (I often advocate for maximum chaos). 

The conversation trailed and I finally got my drink and left the bar to pursue sluttier prospects.  M sat at the bar the entire night by herself not talking to anyone else and not looking at me or even around at anyone.

When I couldn't take it anymore, I did what any secretly man in love would do.  I ran away to Europe for a month and tried to nail everything in sight.  When I came back, I was cordial, but cold toward M the first night I saw her.  M had been promoted to bartender. I congratulated her and that was that.

Two weeks later I came in for the second time since Europe.  And for the first time ever, M did not engage me.  When I smiled at her and made a half-hearted wave, her face went red and she glared at me without saying anything.  I tried to get her at the bar, but she kept asking the other girls to take me.

A few weeks later, I came in and things were a bit more cordial.  We got to talking again.  Being the drunk dunce I am, I missed an opening when she started talking getting off work.  My response was, "Oh shit, I hope they don't ticket my care for being in a clean-up zone after 2am." 

I did at least finally say something nice to her.  We talked about her bartending.  I told her I missed her waitress uniform, because I thought she looked dapper in it.  She thanked me and blushed.  I know she hates that uniform.  M's a little pudgy, and that uniform gave her a little muffin-top.  Personally, I like a little fat on a girl, so for me it's a total turn-on.

It's sad that I'm so proud of myself for saying one nice thing.  You have to know my track record with women to really understand how rare it is that I treat them nicely.

That's where things stand.  I went looking for her last week, but she took some vacation time over Thanksgiving to go see her family.  I miss her.  Worse, I think I could jerk her around forever.  But, I owe her better.

Road to aloofness

The first time I realized there was something wrong with me was ninth grade.

My family had moved to a new school district between my seventh and eighth grades.  I spent most of eighth grade quietly resenting my mom for fucking up my life by forcing me to learn a bunch of new people.  I was a fat and geeky kid who was in the enrichment program and the senior high band by seventh grade.  I was a high achiever from a poor family.

The district we moved to was a fucking mess.  It was about 20 miles away from where we had lived.  It had no accelerated learning program.  No advanced band program.  It was in a school district on the verge of being sued into bankruptcy in a town where apparently every man, woman and child was on welfare or SSI.  Like many rural areas, the folks who had money segregated themselves visibly from everyone else.  Except, of course, in the public school district.  My mother moved us so she could go to school to obtain a trade she would never use.

In short, I fucking hated the place and I hated everyone who lived there.  I lost my special status and I pretty much stopped trying in school -- itself a revelations, because my grades dropped all the way from 99s to 90s -- my first taste of the fact that I could in fact cruise through life with very little effort, a valuable piece of knowledge on my way to acquiring "fuck you" money as an adult.

I bumbled through eighth grade and tried to fit in by engaging in the minor criminal hijinks I saw the other poor kids around me committing.  I made no friends that I cared for and I really didn't give a fuck.  This is also around the time that I decided it was appropriate to say the word "fuck" every other sentence.

By ninth grade I had established myself among the students as some sort of loner rebel genius.  Among the poor kids I ran with after school, I had a rep as someone who could get away with anything.  Among the "preppy" and "rich" kids (rich here meaning anyone with clean clothes and both parents), I had a rep as a kid who was so fucking smart he could cruise without trying in the college-track classes.  (By senior year this got so bad that I had a racket going doing papers and even illustration work for lazy rich kids.)

It's also around this time that puberty started to work its magic.  Now, by this point I had internalized the notion that I was an outsider and that no one wanted to fuck me.  This is critical to realizing why I'm still a very aloof person.  Simply put, I went from being a fat nerdy kid that no one wanted to fuck to being some sort of sexy rebel that every girl wanted to fuck.

Being a complete social retard from years of geekery and poverty, I had no fucking clue this flipping of the poles had happened.  When the first sexual signals started floating in, I figured it was some kind of chickenshit setup.  That other people were fucking with the fat nerdy kid for fun -- after all, it was high school.

The first girl who I liked who liked me back

The first girl who ever liked me back was H.

Yes, seriously, the first girl who ever liked me back had the most stereotypical high school cutie name known to man.  A name eventually used as the title for a fucking movie about high school politics.

H was this tiny little brunette who came from a good family.  She was a cheerleader and a tennis captain and all kinds of great shit.  She was quiet and kind.  She was cute.  And she was considered a serious prize to be fought over by all the guys on the academic track in our school.

She was, in short, everything I was not.

She sat in my home room in eighth.  She was also in my Algebra class in eighth.  And she was in home room in ninth, plus Algebra and Spanish.  In Algebra and Spanish, she sat right in front of me.

Now, as an adult, I'm fully aware that people who spend this kind of time together often develop relationships.   But bear in mind this was all going through the filter of a 14 year old whose class friends were geeks and whose out of school friends were fuck-ups, punks, a few drug dealers and two future lifers.  That kid simply doesn't live in a world where he gets the perfect girl.  That's basically the plot to Good Will Hunting.  Which hadn't come out yet.

I had kinda suspected H liked me in eighth grade.  But . . . I dismissed it as fevered imagination.

Early in ninth grade, I actually tried the old note-passing trick.  It went unremarked forever, but she'd talk to me, so I didn't view it as an all-around disaster.

I remember in the middle of the year one of the junior guys asked me if I realized she liked me.  I told him something to the effect of "no fucking way", again figuring this was probably some cruel high school trick.  After all, if she liked me, why didn't she reply to my note, right?

She'd flirt here and there and I didn't make much of it.  Until January, when we were reseated in Spanish and she got plunked down in a desk directly in front of me.

A pattern that has haunted my entire life started.  H decided that subtle wasn't the winning plan.  But, like all women, she couldn't just say it. Just about every woman who has liked me has, at some point, simply gotten so frustrated that she did something shockingly forward (except, of course, just overtly ask for a fucking date, because that's a violation of Woman Law -- if a boy likes you, he does the asking).

So, she started laying back on my desk with one arm.  And putting her books on my desk.  And tossing hair her around where it was brushing my hands.  And she'd constantly quiz me on my likes and dislikes.

Again, this is all shit that as an adult, I now completely understand.  It's standard female behavior to make a demonstration so obvious that even the dumbest guy on earth will understand what it means.

As the socially retarded nerdy kid who was never gonna be good enough for this girl, I shut the fuck down completely.  I started stacking my books where she had been planting herself to discourage her.  Her response was to lean back on my pile of books anyhow.

Now, in Algebra, she didn't pay much attention to me, even though she sat to my right.  I think she actually needed to pay attention in Algebra.  It probably didn't help that I lavished a lot of attention on T (name truncated to protect an innocent person with an astonishingly unique name).  T was just a friend, although I think if she had it her way, I would have made a move.  H was a queen bee and T was a good enough friend of hers that I don't think they would have crossed each other.

I can remember toward the end of school year, H started to get a lot less subtle.  In Spanish class she started using descriptions of me when she was asked to speak.  "Que ojos mas azules" still makes me smile.  (Trans: what blue eyes.)

She also started walking to school on occasion.  My walk went past up the street from her house.  I think she thought that a few talks in the morning would loosen me up.  In truth, I was never a morning person, and the last thing I ever wanted was to talk at 7:30am.

By May, I think H had largely moved to a "better luck next year" plan.

That was a really shit plan.

The first problem with tenth grade was we didn't see each other outside of home room.  I think she had figured we'd just be scheduled together until the end of time.  After all, that's how the previous two years worked out.

The second problem was that other guys had had enough of this shit.  There were several of them who liked her who decided to start fights with me.  One of them was this kid Bill, who had like an elementary school crush on her and whose family was tight with her family.  I think Bill was delusional, because I never caught a hint of chemistry between them.  Whatever the case, Bill got his ass put on the ground and was told that he was welcome to ask her out.

It was clear that there was a consensus that the poor street kid had no right to jam up the entire mating pool by not making a move.  Things weren't progressing and frankly I wasn't going to fight every guy in the fucking school for the right to flirt with a girl I was never going to ask out.  This was also around the time that half the school decided I must be gay if I didn't want to fuck one of the queen bees.

And then came N.  She was the cute blond who got moved into our home room as class sizes changed with kids leaving for tech.  N is an entire separate post full of lolz.

Over time, H and I went from cordial to cold to barely there.  She didn't date anyone in HS except to go to the prom with the aforementioned suitor.

I worried for the longest time that I had damaged this girl.  A year ago I looked her up on Facebook.  It was reassuring to see pictures of her at the beach with a decent guy and a baby.  I'm always afraid that girls lives end up completely screwed up from liking me.  I was glad to see life had worked out for H.