“I dressed up in scarecrow, she dressed up in white.”
She told me that she likes “fuck boys”- a terrible, disingenuous cope of a nomenclature; a way for women to reclaim power in an otherwise powerless situation, thinking that, in our modern landscape of gender equality, a slur designed for a man who has too much sex will have the same sting as one made to shame women- fuck boys, she said, because she likes the way they talk to her. She was almost forty with three kids; when she ditched the hubby, she got herself a personal trainer and breast implants- which was probably the most sensible thing to do. Ride the midnight train out as far as it will go- better to have your pick of fuck boys than to get a look at the kind of loser who’d take you seriously.
She had fake tits so I felt compelled to continue the conversation. Breast implants are sexy for everything but their aesthetic value- they rarely look good, with the exception being implants that look so good you’d never know they were fake, surely a secret taken to the grave, but typically they’re closer to bad 90’s porn. There’s an unspoken symbolic value to fake tits- signaling an intense vanity combined with a deep comfort in promiscuity, where even if her tits are fake, her willingness to exist as a sex doll is more real than any woman with “no hook-ups, not looking for a one-night-stand” at the bottom of her profile. There’s a refreshing purity to this approach- only a woman with fake tits will tell you that she likes fuck boys.
“And I’m in so deep- you know I’m such a fool for you. You’ve got me wrapped around your finger.”
She kissed my cheek and excused herself to the bathroom. Alone in her bedroom, I walked over to the shelf with her wedding picture. My peripheral vision had picked up on this when I entered the room- my eyes developed the keenness of a hunter. Her husband finally moved out that morning, she told me. Time to party.
Two weeks since I’d sent a text that read “no one fucking breaks up with me,” a few days after which I was sitting in the backseat of my car with a brand new girl on my lap, hunched over with her arms around my neck and the small of her back pressed against the driver’s seat; my hands in her hair and her breath on my cheek, as she sang along to “Pretty Good Year” while quietly crying. Puzzle pieces that would’ve seemed foreign to anyone who walked in late- who didn’t see her response to things I’d written that resonated with her, who didn’t see the video she took of herself singing “Linger” with the word fucking inserted in the chorus- a little something I always thought would intensify the emotional impact of the song- just to impress me.
“Some wine, some wine, she’ll never decline some wine. She sees her ship is sinking so she’s drinking all the time.”
Thingsjust didn’t go as planned, she told me, her face stained with tears. I knew she was talking about me. She was naked and crying- something that would’ve turned me on, but I wanted to be there for her.
It just wasn’t in your cards, baby. I thought this was comforting. Confront reality like a stoic- always have a love of fate. The stars brought us together, baby. Your life crushed from divorce, my eternal adolescence- if that isn’t a love story, what is?
She swore she didn’t drink at work, but she called this her downward spiral, so I always wondered. She’d get nervous when it was closing time at the liquor store and she was running out of wine. By three in the morning, she’d tell me she loved me.
“We are the end of the world. Goodnight, farewell.”
She told me that she never likes the ones who call her pretty. A mistake made in earnest, a fleeting desire for something real- not playing teenage costume party with another aging woman over cheap drinks. When the fantasy is all that’s left, the impulse is to get lost in it. You want to forget that you’re an arm above the water and your legs are giving out.
You want this to be what it isn’t- it’s been too long, and you’re too far from the shore. You want to pretend that you’ve lucked out and the prom queen agreed to a Saturday night at the drive-in. That isn’t what this is, and you know it, but it’s more satisfying to spend time pretending rather than going through the motions where you say the right words at the right times like you’re punching in a Nintendo code, to skip to the end and pump rockets into Mother Brain.
“You give me a good whore house every time. A guy can go in an’ get drunk and get ever’thing outa his system all at once, an’ no messes”- George Milton, Of Mice and Men
Compared to male sexuality, female sexuality is surprisingly linear. While it’s true that men enjoy the typical signs of youthful fertility- large breasts, curvaceous hips, clear skin- a man’s attraction to a woman must be tempered by a sense of realistic accessibility. “The girl next door” archetype is sexy because she isn’t intimidating; she’s unaware of how sexy she truly is and this makes her accessible.
Female sexuality is more linear because women don’t feel indebted to accessibility as a component of attraction; for a woman, this would be like going to a movie and wondering, “do I deserve to be here watching this movie?” Since women don’t have this concern, a woman can feel entirely unencumbered with whom she’s most attracted to- which inevitably is the highest-quality male in any scenario.
However, defining highest quality male isn’t always what it seems.
While I haven’t seen Christine in years, every time we catch up the conversation ends with her saying something like, “well, as long as you’re happy…” She doesn’t understand why I’ve never left the suburbs, nor have I had any real desire to do so. Even more troubling to Christine, the idea that I may be happy with this.
For a conscious man wading through the muck of modern treachery, yes, I am fairly happy. Living in the city never appealed to me; there is nothing better than a quiet summer night. Everything I need is a car ride away, and since I was never really much of a drinker, I rarely had to face the quandary of getting home from a bar.
But, like always, there was more at stake than what Christine could understand. We may as well have been playing out roles on a reality TV show- not exactly scripted, but loosely scripted. It was hardly a genuine conversation. Even if neither party felt the overt grasp of invisible puppet strings guiding our interaction- our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our identity- they are deeply present regardless of our being conscious of them.
Understanding the presence of these puppet strings is what separates the conscious man from the unconscious man. Understanding the depth of their control dictates the level of consciousness. And understanding the true power of these influences can make a man omniscient.
Christine went to great lengths to convince you that she wasn’t like those other girls. Her experiences had greater depth, her thoughts were more developed, her interests were more artistic, and her feelings were more genuine. Christine had esoteric qualities that made her special and unique, while those other girls were basic and shallow. Christine also had a bigger waist and fatter thighs.
She wasn’t fat, but Christine was conscious of her limitations and adjusted accordingly. If she couldn’t compete with those other girls, Christine would attempt to hijack and redefine what it meant to win and then try to convince men that what they thought they wanted was all wrong.
Men are universally able to separate all female acquaintances into two categories: women we want to fuck, and the rest.
The more of a beta-doofus you are the more likely it is that you want to fuck everyone you know, but for any man with a shred of dignity there will typically be a line drawn between potential fucks and “the rest.”
A female not being on our literal “to do” list doesn’t mean we want them to fall off the face of the planet or die in a fire, and it certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t lend a hand if they were falling off a cliff- it quite literally means that we don’t want to have sex with them. And it is this distinguishing detail that opens up the rather new, from a generational standpoint, possibility of becoming just friends with a woman.
“None of these girls want to be your girlfriend…”
It’s twenty years later and I still remember the uncomfortable feeling my Dad’s blunt assessment produced.