This was the first post I ever wrote in Courting on 8/13/04. I didn’t know people read blogs then. I didn’t know people would read mine. I will be putting in old posts all month in honor of my seventh year as a blogger.
When you think that you’re all over it, and the pain has subsided for good, something triggers a memory, and you’re no longer the sane stable person you were five minutes earlier.
You think, bastard, you ruined my life.
Or at least my formative childbearing years. Oh right I ruined his. Always forget that part. We’d play games that were too dangerous to even think about. I kept flying down Dead Man’s Curve faster and faster sometimes forgetting that the edges became ever more jagged and sharp. I would win the races because the pain felt good.
I had told him the first night at some club, not the club, but some cleaner looking Village fixture, that I hated pet names and terms of endearment.
He called me Pumpkin and worse, Baby. Other women envied me. He was a Southern Jewish Outlaw singer/songwriter on the fast track to memory lane. Even I was forced to admit that he was cute. We made a good looking couple. Sometimes that’s all life’s about. I’d walk into work each morning pissed as hell at something he had or hadn’t done and everybody would tell me about my perfect life.
Three of my five best girlfriends weren’t in New York. Elle was in Miami; Lucia in Atlanta and Jaz in Geneva. When they’d come to town with their men or on their own they’d just be so bowed over by his attention and obvious devotion. Lizzie and Dawn thought he was my savior.
Dawn was to give a eulogy years later for her longtime boyfriend, Franklin. “I saw stars in my eyes when I first met him, and I’m still seeing stars.” Everyone laughed a bit uncomfortably since we all knew that it was true.
I had done it. I had the worlds most perfect man. Could I tell them about the ever growing Dixie beer collection and the roaches that would be lined up around the 40 butts in the ashtray that would greet me when I came home twelve hours after leaving?
Every day I had an hour subway commute, I worked for ten hours, and came home to the house of horrors. He would be in the same position he had been in when I left with just the beer cans and newly filled ashtray as evidence that he had ever left the bed. (Had to, to get a new Dixie, and I assume pee, I hope it was in the toilet.)
I knew one contest that I could win. I had Fifth Avenue’s largest Dixie beer collection. Probably the only one. I would think that as I emptied the ashtray, washed some dishes and cooked dinner. I washed the glasses especially well, just in case that was were he had peed.
Yes, I, princess of Manhattan take-out, cooked dinner every night. It was difficult to support two people on my salary. Actually my salary was decent. I supervised fifteen people on the largest anti-trust case in American history. Out of 80 supervisors I was in the top percentile pay wise. I liked my job and loved being good at it.
I was a girl (women we called ourselves then) and never paid for a dinner, unless I was trying to make a point by not accepting somebodies now-you-fuck-me dinner. Even in the days of militant feminism which was overrated, I would let men pay for meals, drinks and/or the bottles of Dom Perignon they would send to the table my girlfriends and I were sitting at. Long as I didn’t have to put out anything my than my acerbic tongue.
Before I had been with him (and during the last year) I was out almost every night. The owner of the club, my club, was an old special friend. I seemed to know a lot of club owners, managers, and the like. I even knew Marc the doorman at Studio. I don’t know how I knew so many people. It seemed normal then.
Out of principle I wouldn’t spend any of the money my father had given you. Not when an able bodied man with half a mind slept next to me each night. He’d take the money I had made and use it at a whirlwind tour of New York’s worst bars. Nobody comped him.
He’d sing romantic songs. After awhile they stopped seeming romantic. Just this morning I heard Steve Earl being interviewed on the radio. I couldn’t help but wonder if he hadn’t ate his gun one day, in another state, would he have now been a big alt/rocker?
I wonder that each time I hear Lucinda. She had provided the introductions at the club. The club that looked tobacco stained even when freshly painted, was dark, dingy, with great people and music. The club that launched a thousand of my nights; not to forget many music stars. He wasn’t one of them.
He was talented; had a unique way with words, and now I begin to remember all the ways he embarrassed me with his words. Yeah he had a unique way with words for somebody who was half illiterate. I believed his story that he had dropped out of high school.
Soon after he confided that he had two years of college. In some ways he was brilliant. His ideas would be big now. If only he could have admitted that he was depressed instead of always blaming his problems on some other thing, some other person. I came along. Miss-no-self-esteem-sure-I’m-responsible-for-all-your-problems-plus-the-state-of-the-world.
You should have known the first morning when he wouldn’t let you leave for work and called you (no shit) a prisoner of love. You told him that was gross and you hated cute more than anything in the world.. Now you wish that you had walked out then and never looked back but you moved in together the next night.