“These words: you will be mine, all the time.”
Like buying bitcoin for pennies, the peak time to meet a girl on the internet came and went before you ever knew what you were losing. Before anyone would have thought to use a term like early adopter– a time so raw that it couldn’t have been confined to language. Before they called it the “wild west.” A time without shape or form.
Forget selfies, rewind past digital cameras- when scanners were still exotic technology, the most pressing question after “ASL” became asking what she looked like. The description of her body would ignite the imagination. You’d never have guessed that this primitive fumbling would yield more honesty than digital pictures, twenty years later.
I knew I was in over my head when I heard Kristen’s voice. She spoke with the easy confidence of beauty. I always came out of left field. The outsider art of trying to get laid. A punchers chance, but give me enough time and I’ll land a clean left hook. There was a crazy charm to this and Kristen picked up on it. She didn’t know what to make of me, but she knew I was unlike anyone she’d ever met. I spoke with the easy confidence of insanity.
We met on the cusp of Autumn turning cool- where the air feels heavy and frames the night for romance. Parked under the tracks, we made out to the sound of passing trains. She was the prettiest girl I’d ever kiss- when I thought that kissing the girl meant riding off into the sunset.
You thought that was the end of the movie.
Our drama would only last a few weeks. Kristen was the first girl I’d kiss after Jessica. She was the kind of girl who had every guy in the room gawking at her wherever we went- dark hair, large breasts. She was the hottest girl in the club out with a kid in a Misfits t-shirt.
She’d never had known I existed without the internet.
I was too invested emotionally to compete with her game playing, but like the drug dealer in an after school special- she gave me a taste and I was instantly hooked on the kind of emotional warfare that would define all of my future relationships.
I did my best to keep up with her. I wrote taunting poems accusing her of being emotionally dead and kind of fat (she wasn’t) while implying that I was fucking another girl in her absence. This bought me a few more hook-ups, but I was ultimately out of my depth. Still, she’d remember the poems years later.
When you start down a road of emotional manipulation, you end up an addict. You get hot for the process. Coming up with jabs and tuning into the subtle reactions that she thinks are hidden. When you find a sore, you pick at it. You’ll end up getting off on this harder than you get off on sex.
Later, I’d tell Abigail that she had cute knees. And she did- petite in stature, she had the thighs of a woman who had not yet borne children and the knees of a teenager- untouched by time. But when you play these games with a smart girl, you get called out on your bullshit- something that would always make me smile. If you’re smart enough to pick up on it, you deserve to win.
You like to break women down so that you could rebuild them in your own image, she’d tell me. Your compliments are backhanded- insults by omission. You want her confidence dependent on you; reliant on your permission.
You want to own her.