And so it begins. The sad, sick tale of a man and his doom. And it begins with the following. A scene from a screenplay. A scene from a life.
EXT. CLIFF – DAY
A huge, rocky cliff juts out from the ocean below. It is beautiful. Solitary. Serene.
A GOOD-LOOKING YOUNG GUY stands on the very edge. He looks up at the blazing sun. Feels it against his face.
We pull back and realize he is completely naked. His firm, sculpted body on display for any and all to view. But no one is there. It is just him, alone, standing at the edge of the sea.
He opens his eyes. Stares out across the water. A look of complete calm and tranquility comes over his face.
Suddenly, he jumps.
CUE MUSIC: MUSE/”FEELING GOOD”
We watch his body fly through the air. From our slow-motion, upward angle it almost looks as if he isn’t moving. Somehow he is defying gravity. Defying the very laws of physics.
He appears to soar in the air for an eternity as we hear the soundtrack play a song of immense joy and happiness.
His body arcs gracefully downward with poetic grace. He is a Greek God soaring across the summer sky. Finally, free from the world of mere mortals. Free from a life of frustration, pain and longing.
And then his body smashes into the rocks below with a soft thud.
INT. OFFICE, SANTA MONICA, CA – DAY
What the fuck?
(Pretty much the same reaction you’re probably having about now.)
You can’t kill the hero.
You just can’t.
But that’s what he would do.
Then change him. I thought you
were going to work on making
the character less dark and more
I tried. I put in that whole
backstory you wanted in about
him being rejected by his mother.
And it detracted from the
main plot and themes too much.
This way it just drives forward.
Almost relentlessly so.
Are you trying to break my balls?
I just think this really works.
I don’t give a shit what you
think. Either you make the changes
we want or we’ll fire you and
bring in someone that will.
The two men stare into each other’s eyes. This is a critical point. The point where careers are made or broken. The point where lives are shaped or destroyed.
FADE TO BLACK
Such are my thoughts, right now. Remembering that fateful meeting years ago, when I was still in Los Angeles. Anything to keep my mind occupied and to distract me from my torment. I caved, by the way. I gave in. Well, kind of. I didn’t do exactly what they wanted me to. But I tried. A little. For a while. And THEN they fired me. Such are the ways of Hollywood. Which is why I got out. Which is why I am here, now. In New York. Six years later. In a theater. Wishing it was me that were dead and not just some character in a screenplay.
Some fucking fruitcake in a lion suit has been bellowing and screaming show tunes for the last hour. If that weren’t bad enough, I really need to let one rip and am feeling increasingly uncomfortable. Only My Mom could get me to do this. Sweet, sweet Mum. In town for four days from Wisconsin and really excited about seeing a “real” Broadway show. I hope somebody was enjoying it. Jill and Nancy seemed to be into it. Must be a chick thing. Or a gay thing. Will you just look at that guy?
Gee, have I already offended you? Then fuck off and stop reading. Nobody’s got a gun to your head or anything. If that bugs you, you’re certainly not going to take too kindly to the rest of this story. Then again, maybe you’re one of those self-righteous types. The type that secretly enjoys it when somebody dares to say the stuff you’ve thought but never had the balls to say. Or, God help you, you really are that wonderfully sensitive. In which case, you really should keep reading because I am the very lesson you are looking to teach. I am the “before” to your “after.” The sad tale of what happens when you choose to be a juvenile, judgmental, mean-spirited, self-serving and, generally, vile person. But I digress. As I was saying. Something about having to fart really badly.
Right, yes, I was about to explain to you how I ended up at this painful fag-fest with My Mom, Jill and Nancy. Well, My Mom, like I said, was in town and the catalyst for this self-inflicted matinee of pain. I mean, I owed the woman that brought me into the world that much. Not to mention, all the bullshit she suffered at the hands of my long-departed Dad. But more on that later. Suffice it to say that My Mom has been through a-whole-hell-of-a-lot of not very pretty stuff. Suffering through this was the least I could do for her.
Speaking of suffering, mine, let me introduce you to Jill. Jill is my girlfriend. Met her at work about ten months ago. The first thing you would probably notice about Jill is that she’s young and rather pretty. By young, I mean seven years my junior which puts her at the ripe old age of 27. Not a bad age for a woman. Young enough to still have a nice firm bod and not be in total panic regarding the ever-pressing biological clock. But old enough to have lived a little bit and learned a few things about naked playtime. Theoretically, the perfect combo of physical beauty and skills to be the ultimate age for a good romp. Unfortunately, Jill turned out to be a total stiff.
Jill was one of those girls that grew up thinking all a woman had to do was to lie back and think of England. Worse yet, as pretty as she was, she was no Kristen, my LA-X from back when I was pretending to be a screenwriter. Kristin was truly, amazingly, every-guy-in-the-world-dreamed-of-fucking-her beautiful. Jill, on the other hand, was one of those women that truly looked better with her clothes on. In the glaring light of nakedness, she was really rather disappointing. So sad.
Oh, I can hear the sighs of disbelief and amazement, already. How could I talk about my own girlfriend that way? How could I be such a total and unforgiving pig? Well, if it makes you feel any better, Oh Self-Righteous One, I don’t exactly think of myself as God’s Gift to Women. In fact, I am utterly amazed that I have been with the women that I have. I mean, sometimes I’m the one asking to turn off the lights, if you know what I mean? Think short, out-of-shape, pale guy and you’ve pretty much got ME described.
And then there’s the disease. Not the real one. I don’t feel like talking about that one yet. But the one that’s really making a nuisance of itself at the moment. The one that I think was my punishment for all the fucked-up and evil things I’ve done and said (as you can see, though, I haven’t exactly changed my ways). I am referring to that most awful affliction possible. A malady so cruel I can only speak of it by its initials, CFS. Too put it in layman’s terms, it simply means this. I fart. A lot. Far more than any human should. For that matter, far more than any living creature should on the planet, except for maybe pigs.
And the amazing thing is that, theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with me. After being prodded, poked, and explored in ways more degrading than you can possibly imagine (you ARE trying to imagine though, aren’t you, you Sick Fuck?), I was officially diagnosed as having “an extreme lower something something something, possibly brought on by stress.” In other words, I fart too much. Gee, thanks Doc. Next time, trim your nails at least.
Alright, I’ve made you squirm enough, for now. My point is, I am not one of those people that thinks I am so much better than everyone else. I, basically, think we all suck and we’re all basically doomed. Feel warm and fuzzy, yet?
Now, back to Jill. Jill and I met at work. I decided she was the best option currently available and made her my girlfriend. Yes, it was a bit more complicated than that, especially since she was living with somebody else at the time, but that’s all you get for now. Jill: girlfriend, age 27, pretty with her clothes on but a lousy lay.
Which leads us to Nancy. Not that she’s a lousy lay. I mean, she might be. But I really doubt it. You see, I wouldn’t really know how she is in the sack. I mean, I could guess. Being a straight, non-show-tune-loving, non-lion-suit-costume-wearing, heterosexual male, I’ve obviously thought about it. But Nancy is that most confusing of all things to a male, the trusted female friend. Very trusted. I can say anything to her. And do. The fact that she hasn’t run away screaming in sheer terror at the crap that comes out of my mouth is proof enough that this woman is, indeed, a rare find.
Alright, first things first about Nancy. I met her at work also. Unlike Jill, Nancy is in the same department at the agency as me. Oh, I forgot to mention the agency. Yes, Yours Truly is now part of the wonderfully glamorous world of advertising. Big time, Madison-Avenue-type advertising at that. Are you impressed? Me either. It’s fucking hell. Advertising is basically a refuge for all those people that love to think they are creative, but lack the talent to really do anything meaningful. It’s a way of having your cake and eating shit too.
Did I say shit? I meant and eating your cake too. How Freudian of me. Once again, I include myself in this sorry bunch of pathetic losers. In fact, I am one of the worst. I even have the word “Creative” in my title. Heaven knows, if you have it in your title, you most certainly aren’t. At least Nancy, and that is who we’re supposed to be talking about here, has a job that doesn’t pretend to be artistic. To her it’s all just product and all the people are just little units that need to be managed and billed for at incredibly absurd rates to the client.
So, I know Nancy from the agency. That’s also where I know her husband from. Great guy named Josh. A little dull and corporate for my taste, but a great guy all the same. And mighty good about sharing his wife with me. Not like that, You Pervert. Like I said, Nancy and I have never had any sort of physical relationship. Just in terms of time. Josh is really good about making sure that Nancy still has a life separate and apart from him. Don’t know if I could do that if I were her husband. Trusting her with my sort seems kind of dicey, if you ask me.
Looks-wise, I kind of don’t know how to describe Nancy. I can tell you that when I first met her I didn’t think anything of her. For one thing, she’s old. She’s pushing 38 at this point. Alright, alright, calm down. Yes, I know that’s only a few years older than me. But you’ve got to face it folks, it is different for men than women. Age does not treat the fairer sex very fairly. As for all that crap about women being beautiful and sexy at any age, I got two words for you. Complete Bullshit.
Anyway, as I was saying…Nancy. She is so cool. Really. That’s the highest praise I can bestow upon a woman. I don’t mean Nancy is cool in the “lets all wear black and pretend we’re stylish artists” type cool. Far from it. You would be pressed to find anyone less concerned with fashion, trends or style than Nancy. If anything, she goes a bit too far, in my book, for dismissing anything remotely connected with art or creativity as a waste of time. No, Nancy is basically a geek. Moreover, she’s proud as hell of it. She is extremely smart and knows it. Confident to the point of arrogance, at times. And straightforward to the point of total rudeness. In other words, she is much like me. Alright, she’s not as rude and obnoxious as me. I mean, who is? In fact, she constantly warns people that I have Tourette’s syndrome and that I could say anything at anytime. Anything. I know you find it hard to believe, but it has been known to happen, now and again, that I’ve actually said something highly inappropriate.
So, there you have it. Finally. Brief descriptions of Jill and Nancy and a bit on My Mom. Now, thankfully, we can get on with it and actually start to get into things a bit. I’m not quite sure of the best way to do this. I guess I’ll fall back on my days as a screenwriter, once again and actually let you hear the scene play out instead of me just ranting on about it. People actually used to think I was kind of good writing screenplays except for that terrible habit I had of always killing off the main character. As you saw, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that goes over big in Hollywood. Hence my current occupation. Anyway, back to the action.
The setting is the lobby of the hotel where My Mom was staying. We had seen the never-ending play and had a really nice dinner together. In fact, I remember sitting there with Jill, Nancy, and My Mom and thinking how frightening it was that I was with these three people that had such a huge effect on my life. And they were all women. Very cool women, in their own ways, except for maybe Jill who, in all honesty, was already kind of getting on my nerves. I think the funniest thing was watching Nancy with My Mom. You could tell that she was absolutely amazed that such a sweet, little woman straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting spawned such a nasty, smelly, ugly bastard like me. To tell you the truth, sometimes I wondered about that myself.
Oh, I guess I should tell you quickly how this particular group of us got together. As much as I like hanging out with Nancy, I don’t usually take her out wherever I go. Really. I swear. What happened is that My Mom wanted to see a play, and to meet Jill for the first time, so I bought four tickets to this hellish musical thing she wanted to see. The fourth was supposed to be for My Sister who also lives in Wisconsin. But Lynn got really sick just before the trip so she couldn’t come to New York with My Mom. So, suddenly I had this fourth, way-too-fucking-expensive, non-refundable ticket, so I asked Nancy to come.
Stupid, stupid me. What the hell was I thinking? Yes, it was kind of nice to have them all together. However, as you’ll see, it was a grouping fraught with danger. It was bound to result in more suffering in my already excruciating life. Now, sit back and pretend you’re a movie executive. But not such an asshole, as stupid, pretentious or high on coke. Of course, if you were a movie executive you wouldn’t actually ever read anything. But I digress. And read it with this clue in mind. Look for the pain. The pain of the inane small talk. The pain of a little, tiny comment My Mom will make that will cause ME a world of hurt. Look for the pain.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – NIGHT (Just in case you haven’t figured it out, the “INT.” just means interior or inside. The rest reads just like a play, more or less).
Jill, it was so nice to meet you.
They hug politely.
Nancy steps forward. Hugs My Mom politely.
Have a safe trip back.
I’m having so much fun with my Son. I don’t
even want to think about going back.
Wow, I guess a Mother’s love is blind.
My Mom laughs.
You take care of him. There’s no way
the little one over there is going
to be able to handle him.
They hug again. Jill is speechless.
Did you get that? Reread the last thing my Mom said. Not just said, but said right in front of Jill. Oh, Man, was I going to pay for that. Needless to say, the following exchange is just the tiniest fraction of the conversation that followed approximately 72 minutes later.
INT. MY APARTMENT – NIGHT
Little One?! LITTLE ONE?!!!!
I stand there trying to laugh it off.
She didn’t mean anything by it.
So, what did she mean, then? She doesn’t
think I can stand up to you?
I don’t think that’s what she meant.
So, explain it to me then. What DID
She just meant younger.
Like some little puppy that looks up
to you and bats her eyelids and goes
“Oh, you’re just the cutest.”
What are you, Sally, now?
Who? Who’s Sally?
From Charlie Brown. You know, she really
What? I can’t even talk to you right
now, I am so pissed off.
She storms out of the room ready to make, yet another, dramatic exit (Jill loved shit like that). She opens the door but turns to deliver the last dramatic line so the neighbors can hear.
I am not some child you can control
and manipulate. In spite of what you
or your Mother may think!
And so it goes. I do hope you were entertained by our little soap opera. Thanks, Mom. What the hell were you thinking? Anyway, I obviously didn’t get laid that night. Not that that was such a tragedy in terms of sleeping with Jill. As mentioned previously, it wasn’t exactly the masturbation fantasy you might have imagined. In fact, more and more I found myself wondering what exactly the point of the whole thing with Jill and I was. I mean, Jill wasn’t exactly someone I turned to for advice the way I turned to Nancy. She was a fucking nightmare to be around in terms of having someone fun to hang out with 49% of the time. And the sex…well, I’ve belabored that one enough. So, you tell me. What, exactly, WAS the point of her?
I briefly met My Mom again the next evening for the last dinner we would have together before she headed back to the Great Mid-Waste. I don’t get it. Why would anybody live in such a place? Anyway, I briefly mentioned to her that her comment has caused me some grief with Jill. In her gentle, motherly way, she basically told me to get over it and quit my whining. You gotta love Mom.
I had other things more pressing on my mind, anyway. I know, I know, hard to believe that I wasn’t totally consumed with angst, depression, and rage at Jill’s angry exit. How could I even find the strength to carry on? But back to this dinner with My Mom. Aside from the fact that my stomach was killing me and I felt like I was going to let loose and poison the entire restaurant with noxious fumes at any second, it was actually quite a nice dinner. I finally got to ask her something I had wanted to for years.
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Mom, when did Dad know he was
going to die?
Mom squirms uncomfortably and doesn’t answer.
Mom, please. I know it’s hard for
you to talk about but…
How well do you remember him? You were
only 13 or 14 when it happened.
Well enough. It wasn’t like he died
when I was 3.
Then you remember how he used to go on
and on about everything that ever
happened to him and what a tragedy it was.
I actually remember him being in really
good moods most of the time. And him
yelling at us when we weren’t, too.
It was always one extreme or the other.
Mom loses herself in the memories for a second.
You really don’t remember how he went
on and on about how he was going to
die when you were a little kid? His
long dark silences?
A little bit.
He made sure the world knew that he was
cursed and doomed.
Well, he was right, wasn’t he? Men on
his side of the family all die young of
Your Uncle Frank is still going strong.
Great, one out of how many?
Are you worried?
Of course, I’m worried. I could kick off
at any second.
Now, you sound like your Father.
It’s not funny. I’ve had every medical test
imaginable but they can’t seem to find
So, what are you worried about then?
Just ’cause they can’t find it, doesn’t
mean it’s not there?
You can’t go through life just waiting to
die. I’m your mother and I’m telling you,
you’re going to be just fine. You just
have to believe that.
God, I wish I could just take her word on it. But facts were facts. Men in our family died young. Usually, about my age, actually. Nobody knew why. Nobody could really even explain it. It just was. A Freaky Man Killer Gene which triggered all sorts of horrible maladies. A Freaky Man Killer Gene which Yours Truly probably had.
I was old enough to remember most of my Uncles dying. The look of pain on My Mom’s face as she broke the news to me. Always something terrible. Heart attack. Brain hemorrhage. Something. Something that shouldn’t have ever happened to men so young. And I clearly remember being told about My Dad. Of learning the news from My Mom just as I had all the others. Of learning that, he too, had been suddenly struck down by the Freaky Man Killer Gene.
One night, in bed alone, he just fell into a coma. My Mom found him and rushed him to the hospital. I hated that hospital. The terrible smell of it. The death-just-waiting-to-happen feel of it. My Dad never came out of the coma. He lived for months and months more just wasting away. Every now and then he would have these terrible convulsions and his body would twist and turn and mangle itself in the most horrible of ways. The doctors tried to tell me he was unconscious and couldn’t feel any of it, but I wondered. What if he could feel it? What if he could feel his muscles tearing and his organs collapsing? What if he felt more pain than we could possibly imagine, but he was just unable to scream? OK, I just freaked myself out again. Let’s talk about something else.
We could talk about Jill again. God, I think I’d rather tell you more about the awful diseases I was going to die of than cover that well-worn ground. How about My Dad’s funeral? Or why I hate funerals of any sort? Not that anybody likes them, I guess. Well, come to think of it, there are people that seem to thrive on them. Jill seems like the type that would enjoy a good funeral. More than likely, she’s fantasizing about mine at this very moment.
Anyway, I despise funerals. The last thing in the world I want to do when I’m really upset is dress up in a suit and play host to a bunch of incredibly irritating relatives. That part about getting their condolences is just too much. Not to mention, all the lies people tell about how great the person that just died was. No, personally, I would much rather just be left alone to get stoned and/or drunk. And to get really depressed, angry and pissed-off, all at the same time. Something I did with great aplomb, shortly after My Dad died.
It started innocently enough. I was just sitting near this pond I used to love behind our suburban-hell “complex.” The place was littered with beer cans, cigarettes and roaches (that would be a reference to marijuana butts for all you goody-two-shoes types that don’t know any better). I’m sitting there, and I suddenly start to think of this girl at school that I really wanted to bang. I mean, I rubbed myself raw thinking about this girl. Her name was Ann. Anyway, I get it into my head that I really need to be with Ann. That only she can take away the horrible feelings of pain and grief and guilt that I was feeling. So, I steal My Mom’s car and drive over to Ann’s house. Keep in mind that A) I am stoned out of my mind. B) I am only 14 and really shouldn’t be driving yet.
The entire drive over I get myself more and more worked up that Ann is somehow going to save me. Beats the fuck out of me how this was going to happen, but like I said, I was really stoned and pretty upset. I find her house with no problem as I had, essentially, stalked her and knew much about her. Now you’re really frightened aren’t you? Alright, stalking might be the wrong word. Then again…So, I get to her house, which is when it started to get really ugly.
I was sweating up a storm and probably smelled like the socks in my gym locker which I kept forgetting to take home. I go to the front door and Ann’s Mom answers. I ask to see Ann and tell her my name and that I’m “a friend.” I have to say, Ann’s Mom was really nice about the whole thing and asked me in. I started to wonder if she knew I was high, so I said that I’ll just wait outside. Which, in hindsight, probably seemed a little strange. Anyway, I stand there, totally worked up and just determined to do this thing. Ann comes to the door and looks at me like I’m from Mars. She was so hot. I can still remember how she was wearing these tiny little shorts and a tube top. I mean to a horny fourteen-year-old she was it.
So, I’m at the door trying really hard not to stare too long at Ann’s chest, but realize I have no idea what to say. I start by making sure she knows who I am. I mean, we had never really spoken or anything as she was one of the pretty, cool, popular people and I was, well, I was ME. Much to my relief, she knows who I am. But as you can imagine, she seems truly perplexed as to why I am there. I want to tell her I love her, and need her, and want her to run off with me somewhere. But I am just coming down from my buzz enough to realize exactly how insane this whole thing is. I start to mumble something about school or homework or something as I try to create some plausible explanation for bothering her with my presence. I should have just walked away. But no. I stand there long enough for another problem to arise. Richie.
Richie was Ann’s boyfriend. The Homecoming King to her Queenship. The Star Jock to her…to her something. You get the idea. Richie was also a total and complete asshole. I mean, anybody named Richard who called himself Richie was pretty much guaranteed to be a prick, right? And Prick he was that day.
He immediately started by asking Ann what a loser like me was doing there. Ann said she didn’t know, but was at least being nice about it and trying to figure it out. Richie just kept at it. And then he accused me of coming by just to get a look at Ann’s tits so I could jerk-off to the memory of them later (which was kind of true, but that’s beside the point). I froze. I could say nothing. Do nothing. Richie just took this for encouragement to continue the verbal abuse, in spite of Ann’s protests that he should be nice (she also didn’t take too kindly to that remark about her tits). And then it happened.
Richie told me to get lost and pushed me. It was a blur from then on. I just remember being so angry, and so hurt, and so frustrated, and so sad, and so everything at all that was wrong in my life, all at once in that one, single second. That one, single second in which Richie had offered himself up to me as a release. And release I did.
It started with a quick punch to his balls and then a knee to his face. I don’t know if he was really in pain or just in shock at the whole thing, but soon enough he was on the ground, and I was kicking him, and kicking him, and kicking him, over and over and over, and Ann was screaming and trying to pull me off, and her mother was screaming and trying to pull me off, and Richie was bleeding and crying and, and…And then the police came and I was arrested. I think I even tried to hit the cop. Honestly, I don’t really remember. I just remember being in a cell all alone covered in blood. Some of it mine, most of it Richie’s. I don’t know how long I was there. It could have been days. It could have been hours. Funny how time expands and contracts like that.
Eventually, My Mom and Lynn arrived at the jail. My Mom was so pale. She could hardly look at me. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t have to. I knew I had done something really awful to her. Something that had really hurt her badly. There is nothing worse than that feeling. That feeling that you have disappointed your Mom. I would go as far as to say that that specific feeling must keep about half the shrinks and therapists in the world gainfully employed. It’s a feeling you don’t ever forget. Just ask Jeffery Daumer.
Still reeling from that last line? Joke people, it was a joke. Unlike My Mom, My Sister made sure to take pains to remind me of what I had done. And how I had hurt My Mom at a time when she was already barely coping because of My Dad’s death. Leave it to Lynn to always make someone already feeling shitty about themselves feel even shittier. It was useless trying to tell myself that this whole fucked up thing was my way of coping. My way of dealing with My Dad’s death. My way of facing the fear. The fear that I would someday die exactly the same terrible way.
The police let me go and I was not charged with anything criminal other than driving underage without a license. I say “other than” because I know damn well that I could have ended up with a criminal record for assault and, God knows, what else. However, to a fourteen-year-old the driving without a license charge was cruel enough. Instead of being able to get my license at 16 the way everyone else in the world did, I couldn’t get mine until I was 18. That might sound trivial to you now, but to a teenager it was almost as bad as being pilloried in the town square and chained to your parents for an additional two years. Fucking torture, it was. Fucking torture.
How did we get onto this again? Oh, right, that conversation with My Mom about dying and the story of My Dad’s death. Got it. How do you folks stand me rambling on like this? Don’t you have anything better to do with yourselves?
Enough with the ancient history. For now, anyway. Never let it be said that I am not one to find ever more inventive and new ways to revel in the pain that is my life. I mean, you would think just dealing with this disease thing would be enough for one person, but it seems I can never find enough pain. Case in point, meet Thomas.
Thomas is the incompetent, idiotic, cock-sucking, stupid as a doorknob, could-not-be-more-pretentious, ass licking, always whining, ignorant Mother Fucker that I have to work with at the agency. In fact, theoretically, Thomas is my boss. I say, theoretically, because I refuse to acknowledge him as such, privately, to his face, in front of others, or under any other circumstance. He is an idiot. We have all seen the Peter Principal in action where people are promoted until a job is found for them that they are suitably incompetent for. But Thomas is not this. Thomas was never competent at anything. At least not in the profession of advertising. I know I have already said this but it bears repeating. The man is an idiot. How he even manages to get through the day being him is beyond me. Yet alone, how he reached the level in his career that he has. I can only guess that some of the adjectives I used to describe him earlier, in particular cock-sucker and ass-licker, may be more than just colorful expressions in his case.
Needless to say, my situation at work has become increasingly untenable. The fact that I am telling my supposed boss and senior to fuck off in front of anyone and everyone is causing more than a few unhappy faces among the higher-ups. I am challenging the structure. I am challenging the whole idea that you are supposed to respect someone simply because they outrank you. If I were in the military, I would be court-martialed. If I were in the military, I would be shot. I guess it’s lucky for me I’m not in the military.
There is, unfortunately, a very real possibility that I will be fired, though. The higher-ups are kind of in a bind. On the one hand, I am challenging things that simply should not be challenged in a corporate environment. On the other, they know as well as I that Thomas is not going to cut it. Moreover, they also know that he is, as stated, an idiot. There is also this. I am really good at what I do and make a lot of other people look really good because of it. What do you mean I deserve to get fired? Egotistical? Me? Just telling you like it is folks. Just because you’re a corporate weasel and have sold your soul doesn’t mean I have to. Alright, so I’m in advertising and don’t have a soul. What’s your point?
Speaking of losing one’s soul, let’s continue with the Jill saga, shall we? Yes, we’ll get back to this thing about Thomas and me kicking off at any second, in a moment. Just keep your pants on! (Unless you’re a really hot chick, in which case, I would be honored). Can we get this story moving a bit faster? Maybe fast forward, a bit? Let’s start with a quick overview of things since that fine evening with My Mom, Nancy, and her Royal Drama Queenness.
Jill and I took a trip together to London. Of course, since I was the guy and I made more money, I was absolutely, positively, without question, expected to pay for it. Which I did. Jill was one of those women that loved to be “traditional” when it suited her (i.e., the guy pays for everything). Yet, incredibly liberated when it didn’t (i.e., she demanded to be treated like an equal in all other ways). So, I pay for the airfare and this super-cool hotel overlooking Hyde Park for us to stay in that costs a billion dollars a night. I’m really hoping that this trip gives us the chance to remember why we got together in the first place or at least the chance to be naked a lot. Yes, in spite of the sex being so bad with said girlfriend, I was still a guy. And bad sex was still better than no sex. Instead, what I got was complete, total, and endless complaining. I’m telling you, the girl was walking misery. Nothing was right. Everything was tragic. The world was just too much of a struggle for her to live in.
I broke up with her the very next week. Never have I ever been so happy to be out of a relationship. Just being left the fuck alone without her constant whining was paradise. Not to mention, all the possibilities awaiting me with a couple of hot, little twenty-somethings that I had been working on at the office. I had a whole three days of this happiness and then, of course, I got fired. They told me it was something about my attitude. I don’t know what they could possibly be referring to.
So, in the space of very little time, I had broken up with my girlfriend and lost my job during the worst economic down-cycle in twenty years. As these things come in threes, I was almost waiting for the third to hit. Hence, therefore…two weeks later…
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
What do you mean? Like to a bigger
Come on. Out with it.
Josh got offered a job in San Francisco.
What about your job at the agency?
The way they keep losing accounts, there
may not be an agency in six months.
Have you even been to San Francisco? How
do you know you’ll like it?
Four or five times. It’s beautiful.
Yeah, it’s a great place for a weekend but
I wouldn’t want to live there.
You don’t have to.
We gave our notice on the apartment today.
Josh needs to start. They wanted him to
start right away and have me follow after
but he said “no.” So, we’re both going at
the end of the month.
You’re making a mistake.
San Francisco is tiny. And boring. And really,
And New York isn’t?
Living in Manhattan isn’t expensive? You
pay how much for that little box you
But it’s New York. It’s worth it.
Nancy gets very serious.
Look, you know that Josh and I both grew up
here. We just want to try something else.
I don’t say anything for a second. Think about it.
Yeah, I know.
We just need a change and somewhere better
to raise kids.
No, not yet. But we want kids.
You seem really upset.
It’s just a bit of a shock.
I know. I’m sorry about the timing. Things
have been a little rough for you lately.
And then she took my hand and told me it would be OK. And I should come to visit all the time. I was floored. I just felt so empty and dizzy from it all. I think I even started farting a lot but I don’t even remember. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. She was leaving.
I probably haven’t made it clear exactly how much Nancy means to me. You would have to understand that, I guess, to understand why I feel so sick and empty right now. Number one, the fact that she puts up with me and my shit the way she does is a fucking miracle. I mean, you just met me and look at the way I’ve made you cringe and wonder if you’ve made a really big mistake by picking up this book. Number two. Fuck this is hard for me to talk about.
Number two is she is just plain great. She is some absolutely bizarre combination of the best friend I have ever had, an older sister, a girlfriend, but not quite any of them. She is something completely unique. The fact was, I loved her.
Alright, all you Prurient Little Worms, let’s clear something up right here. Nancy and I never did anything physical with one another. Ever. I told you that. I never once thought of trying to steal her from Josh and move in on her. Ever. I never once tried to kiss her, grope her or anything else of the kind. Ever. I never once thought of her naked and on all fours as I…Alright, that last one is clearly a lie. I must admit there were times I was filled with lustful thoughts and dirty fantasies about her. But it’s not my fault. It’s just nature I tell ya’!
I wonder what you think of me right now? Do you think I’m pathetic? Do you think I’m pathetic, as in, I deserve your pity? Or just a pathetic loser? Both? I guess I should be grateful that you’re even still listening (reading, whatever). I’ll try to be more entertaining, really. Don’t give up on me yet.
I told her, you know. Nancy. The last night I saw her before she moved away with Josh to San Francisco I told her that I loved her. Somehow it was important to me that I say it, even though I knew that she already knew. The timing was more than a bit awkward. Then again, what in my life isn’t awkward. I have CFS. Awkwardness is the bane of my existence.
But that’s not why it was so awkward. It came down to this. I used to see Nancy one-on-one all the time. But between me getting fired and not seeing her at work and her moving, Josh seemed to be with us at all times. Telling a woman you love her in front of her husband just seems a little bit strange, don’t you think? Not that I mean I love you, want you to dump your husband, and run off with you, love you. But I also didn’t mean the bullshit, meaningless way that other people tend to toss the word around. I meant…well, you know what I meant. In any case, it’s not the sort of thing I wanted to say in front of anyone.
So, I waited until Josh had to get up to go to the bathroom and I told her. I started by telling her how much I would miss Josh which, oddly enough, was true. Josh was a truly, truly, great guy and the more I knew him the more I liked him. But he was no Nancy. And I told her. I said flat out that I really wanted her to go to San Francisco and be happy but it was killing me. It was killing me because the fact was that I really loved her. And then I waited.
Again, blurry memory phenomenon. But I clearly remember her making some joke about it and me just feeling like a complete and total idiot. I guess it showed. She looked at me and asked what was wrong and I mumbled something about me meaning it. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at her at that point. And then she said she knew that I meant it and was just about to say something else. And then Josh came back.
We acted like nothing had happened or been said and made stupid jokes. The thing I told her that night was never referred to again. Needless to say, though, when I hugged her goodbye that evening (in front of her husband, of course), I probably held her a little tighter than I ever had. Or, for that matter, maybe ever would, again.
Which brings us to the current dilemma. My life sucked. Alright, I know. I know that everybody has days like that, or times in their lives where things don’t seem to be working out very well, but let’s look at this objectively. I have no job. No girlfriend. And no Nancy. I DO have a rather embarrassing, humiliating, somewhat devastating to live with stomach condition. And most of all, and this is where I’ve really got all you people that don’t think I have it any worse than anyone else, I’m going to die soon. Uncle Frank aside, the simple fact was that men died young in my family. Usually, in their mid-thirties. I might be lucky and be like Uncle Frank and live a long and healthy life. But, come on, do I seem the lucky type to you?
So, what do I want from you? I don’t know. Maybe just hearing you say, “Wow, it sucks to be you.” Or “Gee, and I thought I had it bad.” I don’t know. Something. Some acknowledgement that this state I was in was not just some down-cycle that could be waited out and everything would be OK. Some acknowledgement that what I was about to do wasn’t out of fear, or unreasonable, or a dumb thing to do. Some admission on your part that sometimes suicide really was the best option.
What? Suicide, yes, that’s what I said. Haven’t you been paying attention? It seems very logical to me based on these three major supporting arguments: 1) My life sucks (see above). 2) I was going to die very shortly, anyway. 3) Living as if today’s your last really only works if today IS your last (or very close to last, in my case). Let me elaborate on this last point.
As much as people would love to live life as if everyday is, in fact, their last on the planet, anybody with a bit of common sense knows better than to actually do it. Just stop and think what would happen if people quit jobs they hated. Or, for that matter, even quit jobs they liked overall, but had a bad day at. They would be unemployed, have trouble paying the rent, fuck-up their credit rating, and eventually end up homeless.
Or, let’s say that you’ve dreamed of buying a sports car, or traveling the world, or living in a spectacular penthouse apartment and decide to go ahead and do it. Even if you could pull it off at first, eventually, the debt will kill you and you’ll have no money left for those little things like food.
Or, one last example, just to make sure you’re getting this point without question. Imagine how few people would ever finish school, take an entry-level job, or do absolutely anything that sucked but would pay off later. Are you clear on this yet? Praise Be. Because then you’ll get the next part with no problem.
If, on the other hand, you truly ARE going to be dead soon. None of the above limitations applies. You can buy that cool car and go into debt because you ain’t going to be around to pay the tab when it comes due. You can stop going to the office if you don’t feel like working anymore. You can take all sorts of risks you could never take before. Basically, you can do whatever. Whenever. However you fucking feel like it. Complete and total freedom.
It makes sense, admit it. Admit that I have discovered the ultimate paradox. The ultimate pleasure of living can only be felt if you know you’re dying and still have enough of your full physical and mental capabilities to milk the most out of your remaining time. The tragedy of most deaths is that either 1) it’s too sudden and people don’t have a chance to do anything about it or 2) it’s too prolonged and physically, emotionally, and mentally agonizing. There is only one way to truly enjoy life at its fullest. Experience the joy of suicide. (Good line, that. I think I’ll use that for the title).
I even know when. The end date for the Farewell Tour. My Birthday. Kind of cliched but sometimes cliches are cliches because they work. And this worked. For one thing, that gives me eight months. I know six months is kind of the classic length for this sort of thing, but I was going to give myself the luxury of a little contingency. Personally, I’m getting really excited about all this. All that freedom. All those possibilities. Who would have thought that planning one’s own demise could be so exhilarating?
My first act of total freedom, beer. A nice hearty Guinness. The nectar of the gods. A little piece of heaven in a glass. That last one is part of a brilliant advertising campaign they had. Wish I had thought of it. Hell, wish I had the chance to work on a cool campaign like Guinness. I still can’t believe they fired me. Asshole, Mother-Fuckers.
Alright, time to get to work. Pull out a pen. Grab a napkin to write on. And begin. Things I was going to do with the last eight months of my life. Let’s start with the obvious.
1. Get laid a lot
I mean, when isn’t this a goal? However, I certainly couldn’t afford the length of time it normally took me with women to wear them down into sleeping with me. It’s normally a long, grueling process before I, finally, break them. Even on the ever-so-rare occasions when things move fairly quickly. Say, with someone you just met. There was the other thing. The awful weirdness of having sex with someone you didn’t really know. Or trust. Sex without trust is usually just really shitty. The fear of partners not reacting well to my ineptitude is just no good at all. I’m still terrified that I am going to sleep with some woman for the first time and two minutes later (literally, in my case) she’s going to tell me it would be better if we were “Just Friends.” Oh, would that suck. This was gonna be tricky. We’ll move on and come back to this one.
2. Get Revenge
As long as I actually didn’t get arrested, I could pretty much do what I wanted to without any fear of retribution. When one was going to be dead soon, things like ruining one’s career really don’t seem to matter very much. This could be fun. Very fun. Are you still there, Thomas? Somebody’s gonna get you. Somebody’s gonna make you finally pay for being such a complete and total turd. Excellent.
There must be more. There must be more people that deserve retribution…RICHIE! That fucker. Almost beating him to death wasn’t nearly enough. I didn’t tell you the part about his family suing mine, did I? My Mom had to pay tens of thousands in an out of court settlement. Believe you me, My Sister never, ever, ever, ever, lets me forget about this. It sucks. And it’s his fault. And now he must pay. Richie…Your time is a comin’!
3. Do cool shit
This was the area most people tend to concentrate on when you ask them what they would do if they were going to die soon. Seems kind of secondary to the other two if you ask me, but there were still a few things I wanted to do. Not one of which I can think of at the moment.
Wait, let me see. I guess I always wanted to see a game at Soldier Field in Chicago. What do you mean that’s lame? Who’s the one dying here? No, it is kind of lame, but it would still be neat. A nice winter game in really shitty weather in an old stadium like that. That would be cool. Alright, that’s one.
I’ve never been to Las Vegas. I suppose I could do that. Gambling would be kind of fun since it didn’t really matter if I won or lost. Alright that’s two.
The Concorde would be awesome. Are those things still flying since that one went up in flames over Paris? Hmm, that’s worth checking into. Paris doesn’t excite me, though. There’s French people there. The trip to Paris was out. Not worth the aggro, as the Brits would say.
Wow, these Guinnesseses are going down really well. I can’t remember the last time I sat in a bar during the middle of the day and quietly got trashed. I love bars during the day. No scene. No loud music. No Frat boys in Khaki. That’s all good. But no stupid sorority chicks either. And that’s kind of a shame. I really enjoyed looking at them as long as I wasn’t close enough to hear any of the vacuous things they were actually saying.
O.K. where were we? We have three basic groups so far:
1. Get Laid
2. Get Revenge
3. Do Cool Shit
Do you think that covers it? I feel like I’m forgetting something. Think. THINK! Get laid, get revenge, do cool shit. Get laid, get revenge, do cool shit. Why do I feel like it still needs something? That final thought. That final border on the design.
Yikes, I just thought of one. No, it’s too corny. It just doesn’t work for a self-serving bastard like ME. Alright, here it is. Try not to laugh.
4. Say Thanks
Oh, Fuck You! I’m allowed to have the occasional sentimental moment, too. I’m human. Barely. So, it’s shocking. I know. Get over it. I know quite well what it takes to put up with the likes of me. In fact, I am constantly astonished that so many people have and do. Which is exactly why I want to see them and tell them “thanks.” So, Just Back Off! Now, who would I want to thank?
3. Nancy (and Josh)
4. Kristin (My lovely, ever-so-fuckable, LA-X)
5. My Grandmother
7. The Kind People at Guinness
11. Nancy Again (Oh, how that woman suffered)
Those last ones (besides Nancy, of course) were ex-girlfriends that played rather important roles in my life at various times. Julie was my first. Not much to look at but a real, real sweet girl. The perfect type for a first-love.
Rachel I want to thank not because she was such a great person. She was actually kind of a cunt (Sorry, I mean “bitch.” Does that work better for you?). No, the reason I wanted to thank Rachel is that she introduced me to the power and the glory of getting a good blow-job. That girl could do things with her…Alright, I’ll spare you. But if you could stop yelling at me and calling me a Sexist Moron for a second, I would tell you why I am actually serious. This is the woman who, basically, showed me how great sex could be. Which is something I carried with me to this very day (not, mind you, on doing my part, but in terms of getting enjoyment from others). Now, that’s worth a “Thank You” don’t you think?
Melissa. There’s somebody that actually deserves Sainthood. This is the poor, unfortunate soul that spent six years of the best years of her life trying to make me into a better man. I know it can’t be done and is hopeless but she totally deserves an “A” for effort. She even lowered herself to living with me for three years. Imagine that. I hope she realizes what a huge, huge favor I did her by refusing to marry her. “Forever” with me is just a little too long. I would never do that to such a sweet kid. I think she’s married now to someone else. I really hope she’s happy.
And Paul. No, I’m not bisexual. What is your problem? Paul is the long suffering friend. The poor, stupid sod that, in addition to Nancy, gets most of the whiny phone calls, cruel insulting jokes, and other joys of having me as your Pal. The only reason I don’t feel completely guilty about the things I do to him is that I am convinced he is a masochist in the truest sense.
This is a guy that could have done really great, rewarding things with his life but instead became a pitchman for retirement accounts and IRAs. He hates it, but mysteriously, never seems to try very hard to find another job. He also lives somewhere he can’t stand. Drives a car that breaks down all the time. And seeks out women who he knows will abuse him, reject him, ridicule him, and otherwise remind him how worthless they think he really is (Not that all women don’t do that to men but I’m talking extreme here). In other words, the fact that I am his best friend makes perfect sense in the context of the scheme he has developed for his own self-abuse.
Speaking of self-abuse. Five Guinnesses on an empty stomach later…
INT. APARTMENT – DAY
Through the sliver of the door we see a man (ME) bent over the toilet as he violently hurls his guts out.
He hurls again with incredible force as if his body is trying to expel the toxins before they can kill him.
Now, I know you’re not going to believe me on this, but I haven’t gotten sick from drinking like this in a long, long time. Never, ever, ever, ever, never drink on an empty stomach. Ever.
Oddly enough, as I was sitting there on the tile floor trying not to think too hard about the vomit taste in my mouth and the nasty stuff in my nose (pretty picture isn’t it?) I actually figured out a couple of things. Number one, drinking myself to death as a means of suicide was not an option. Number two, as much as I kind of wanted to already be dead so that I could stop heaving my kidneys and other internal organs out, I realized how my plan could come together. I’m talking about my list of four things, get laid, get revenge, do cool shit, say thanks.
The first thing was regarding the getting laid, issue. Kind of like I was telling you, hot women usually didn’t throw themselves at me and make themselves readily available for me to molest at will. I know, I know, if they could see me now, all covered in puke, I’m sure that would change their minds and they’d be all over me. No, seriously, I have been with some really, really, hot women in my day but it took lots and lots of work and lots and lots of patience to make it happen. OK fine, and a lot of luck. Therefore, ipso facto, or something, per se…why reinvent the wheel? What do you mean you don’t follow? Pay attention.
It comes down to this. If I was going to try to sleep with as many hot women as possible in my remaining few months, I had a better shot with women I had already laid the groundwork for than starting from scratch. Sleeping with ex-girlfriends also solved that sex with someone I trusted problem very, very neatly.
How many women had I slept with in the course of my 34 years? You would be shocked. God knows I am. Let’s see, there was my first, Julie. The problem there though was that I tried getting in touch with her years ago just to see how she was doing. OK, and maybe to get laid. So what? Anyway, I couldn’t find her. Someone told me she had married a Navy guy and moved to Thailand. I wonder if she was still there? I suppose I could fly to Thailand if it came to that, but…
Anyway, then came Michelle during my first year in college. All I really remember about Michelle is that she had a really great set of tits and liked Willie Nelson. Don’t ask me how the two are connected. Ask a shrink. Last I heard she was still in New York, though. A definite possibility.
Then there was Miss-Heaven-In-Her-Mouth, Rachel. Mmmm, even now, sitting on the cold tile of the bathroom floor, just remembering how that girl made me feel gets me going again. Except for the fact that I’m going to puke again in a second… False alarm (Thank God).
After Rachel there was, there was…Whitney. Right, Whitney, the little lovely from Connecticut who tried to give me a blow-job (after much cajoling) and vomited on me instead. Not that I was one to talk at the moment (Not about gagging on blow-jobs, You Fuck! About getting sick).
Then there was Mary. A really sweet girl but dumb as a fucking brick. And then, Sam (No, it’s not a guy) who was actually into some really weird shit in bed that I will spare you from, for now. No, not into that again. I think I still have some scars from the first time around. Yikes.
Then there was that girl whose name I never did know who was at the New Years Party (my one and only one night stand). Speaking of which, if I had sex but not intercourse with a chick, does that count? I mean, I think Clinton and I disagree on this one. For me, if an act of orgasm resulted for either party, then it was sex. Right?
And what about all the ones I really, really wanted to bang but never quite got there? Hmm, this could be a really long list if I started doing that (like yours wouldn’t be?). Ann would definitely be on that list still. All those years of longing, before and after the “Richie Incident,” made it feel like a goal had not been met. A quest never fulfilled. I’ll fulfill her alright…Yeah.
I guess then it was Saint Melissa. Actually, as much of a saint as she was, I had so much fun with her in bed, I can’t tell you. I almost wish it were never like that because it was truly great, fulfilling, mind-blowing stuff. And I still got tired of it after six years. It just goes to show you that it’s against the laws of nature for a man to only want one woman. It flies in the face of Creation itself. Man needs to spread his seed and help the species propagate and thrive. Woman needs man to remain loyal and protect and provide. All of which makes me think God is some sort of a sick jokester. Talk about a clear conflict of interests.
After Melissa was nothing good for a while. There was Debbie, Lynn’s friend, but that never really got past groping and making out. Although, I did cream my pants, once, dry humping her. Would that count as sex? I guess it would by the definition as I stated it. But creaming in your shorts really does seem like a stretch.
For that matter, I repeatedly had phone sex with someone I knew, but never even saw her naked. What would that be? This is getting too confusing.
After Debbie and Phone-Sex Chick was the LA-X, Kristen. And Kristen again. And again. And again. And…fine I’ll stop. You’re just no fun, sometimes.
And then Meagan. Catholic-School-Girl, making up for lost time, ever-so-young, Meagan. Although, she never would do the knee socks and plaid skirt thing for me (Oh, you KNOW what I’m talking about). That was a tough one, I must say. I liked her a lot. Especially naked. But there was way too much heavyosity involved for me. Issues of God and Sin and Hell and Redemption and all sorts of other stuff that was really kind of a downer to get into when all you wanted was a good blow-job.
Anyway, after Meagan was? Was who? That would suck, wouldn’t it? Sleep with somebody and have them forget you ever even did it? I wonder how many women have done that with me. I can totally see women I might have slept with dozens of times just forgetting about it because it was so unremarkable. Just so trivial and dull it didn’t even register. Death was starting to sound more comforting than ever. Well, anyway, I’m sorry if I forgot someone.
And after that came the one and only ever-so-wonderful, always-whining, never-happy Jill. That’s right, we’re done. From first love to last break up in four short pages. Happy now? That’s one of us. I still feel like shit.
Getting all this, you Hollywood folk? Got the one-liner all formed and ready to go. Here, I’ll even do it for you. “A man learns that he is going to die of a rare, inherited disease and spends his final days trying to sleep with as many women as possible.” Now, we all know that that isn’t quite accurate. But, it IS what will help you sell this book as a movie to your boss. Like I said, all the makings of a Major Motion Picture.
Was I really going to do this? I mean, this whole thing sounded right. Moreover, it felt right. I wonder what Nancy would say if I ran it by her. I often imagined conversations with her to help myself figure stuff out. This one went like so…
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
You’re an idiot.
What do you expect me to say? You sit
here telling me you’re going to kill
yourself in eight months, but you’re
going to have a really, really, good
time until…and I’m supposed to be
happy or something?
What’s so idiotic about not wanting to
die the way my father did?
So, this whole thing is out of fear?
You’re scared to die of this weird thing
in your family which you may, or may not,
actually have. So, you’ve decided to kill
Yeah. Kind of.
You don’t even know if you have this thing,
but, for the sake of argument, let’s just
say that you do. What about your Mom?
What about her?
How do you think she’s going to take it
when she finds out you killed yourself?
Yeah, “Oh.” I just can’t believe you can
sit here with a straight face and even talk
about it like this. I just don’t get it.
You don’t believe in euthanasia? Death
YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING, YET!
Just because I’m not showing the symptoms
doesn’t mean I don’t have it. My father
seemed fine until he slipped into a coma
and never came out.
That doesn’t mean the same will happen
But what if it does? What if I lost my
chance to take something so shitty and
turn it into something at least kind
What? Because you have sex a few more times?
Well, yeah. For a start. But there’s more
to it than that.
Yeah, going to a football game in Chicago.
Big wup. You can go to a game and not have
to kill yourself.
Not the way the Bears are playing.
How do you expect me to take this
seriously if you can’t?
I am serious.
That’s the scary thing. I am serious. As funny as I am trying to make this whole thing sound. As much as I am trying to laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. The truth is, I am terrified. I don’t really want to die. If there was some way I could live without the very justified fear of being struck down with this thing I would do it. If somebody could just give me better odds, say 50/50, that I might get through my thirties untouched and unscathed by the Freaky Man Killer gene, I would do it. But nobody can. Nobody can look me in the eye and tell me honestly that I will make it to my 40th birthday. Nobody can look me in the eye and tell me my final days aren’t going to be spent in a vegetative state as a prisoner inside my own decaying body. Nobody. Not even Nancy.
You think Josh knows I love his wife? Yeah, he probably does, that cocky bastard. He also knows that he is in absolutely no danger what-so-ever from the likes of me. 1) I would never do that to Nancy. 2) And more painfully, even if I gave it my all, she would gently tell me it wasn’t going to happen. Ever. Nothing was coming between those two. Thank God. If it did, then the evil fuckers like me would have truly won the war. Now, that’s depressing.
So, where was I? Yes, the list. I would have to put some more thought into people to go for just because I wanted to. I mean, this was my last shot, right? Nothing to lose. We’ve listed out all the sad souls that enjoyed carnal relations with me. How many was that? Fifty? Two hundred? I am such a stud. Who would have thought?
And then we have a few add-ons as a Wish List of sorts. Speaking of which, I wonder what Ann looked like these days? Maybe she was a total porker. What do you mean, just as you started to feel for me, I reminded you of what a jerk I am? Fine. Anyway, there must be more out there. I suppose it would be kind of nice to add them as things move along. Done. More chicks to the hit list. To be added later. How about the “Thanks” list. Funny how many of them are women already on the other list. I wonder if that’s a good thing or it just means I’m pathetically grateful that they ever allowed me to have sex with them?
And then there’s the “Do Cool Shit” list. I totaled up my credit limit and realized it was something like twice my actual yearly income. Being that I am/was grossly overpaid like most people in advertising (in terms of the work I actually do. But what price a soul?). This translates to close to $250,000. Was that the sound of your jaw dropping? Yes, a quarter of a million dollars just on the cards I currently had in my wallet. Oh, that was because you’re amazed I actually used to get paid so much when I’m, clearly, not very talented. Like I said, I worked in advertising. This is the way of things.
And now it begins. The Grand Plan. Step one, buy a map. I realized that if I was going to do even a fraction of the things on my bar napkin list, it was going to involve a great deal of traveling. Kind of cliched to want to see the world and travel in your final months of life. But that’s not what this was, remotely, about. This wasn’t about seeing the Great Wall of China. It was about getting laid.
So, anyway, I did it. I bought this huge map of the Great U.S. of A. and hung it on my wall. I sat there in front of it and imagined all the places I wanted and needed to go. This, of course, quickly led to incredible confusion and I couldn’t keep any of it straight in my head for more than a second. Hence, the pushpins in the map. Actually, I think I just liked doing that because it reminded me of cop shows and the way they mark the scene of the crime. Not that my acts would be criminal for the most part. You’re just not going to let that earlier comment about Jeffery Daumer go, are you? Whatever.
A couple of pins in New York. A couple in Los Angeles. Some more pins in New York for Mary and Michelle. Boston for Meagan. Whitney in Connecticut. Chicago for the Bears and, maybe, Debbie. Nancy in San Francisco. Mom, Lynn and My Grandmother in Wisconsin. And another one in Wisconsin for Ann. Which brings us to our first real hurdle. How the hell was I going to even find out where all these people were, now? The Answer. The internet. Never has stalking been so easy for so many, including Yours Truly. Not that I was stalking exactly, but still.
Melissa still lived in Los Angeles. She was actually now an Adjunct Professor at the same school she went to for her PhD. They even had a few of the articles she wrote on “Biological Processes of Memory and Syntax” and the like, posted on-line. Not that I understood a damn word of them. Hell, I felt like I didn’t even have a brain most of the time and got through on pure instinct and bullshit (not to mention my blazing wit and charm, of course). They even had her office address, office hours, and business phone listed. That was easy.
Similar things happened regarding Whitney, Michelle and Mary, obviously minus the stuff about them being professors and publishing papers. Mary, in particular, was lucky if she could find her way through a closet without getting confused. Not a real bright one, her.
And Ann. Poor Ann. Her story was a little odd. I actually found front page news stories about her. I really didn’t know whether to laugh or feel bad for her (nothing you could relate to, I’m sure). It seems she actually married that moron, Richie, and stayed right there in suburban Wisconsin hell (OK, that part is clearly sad in oh, so many ways). But this is the kicker. Richie got drunk one night, climbed out on his roof, and fell on his head. He died.
Come on, admit it, you chuckled and you never had the pleasure of coming face to face with this baffoon. What a perfect ending for the guy. As stupid a death as the man who died. What do you mean, now I’m being mean? Fine. I’ll stop…but you know it’s funny.
There were still some more things to be done. I didn’t have an address for Miss-Heaven-In-Her-Mouth, Rachel. But come hell or high-water, rest assured that I would find her, again.
Other than that, the biggest thing I realized staring at this big map was 1) There really is a lot of crap you fly over from NY to LA 2) People actually lived in said crap 3) Part of my sad little life was still connected with said crap 4) I had a whole lot of people to try to see in the next eight months. This last point is actually a good thing. It made the whole project seem bigger and better, somehow. A Grand Plan it was, indeed.
So, after some careful geographical studying, this is what I came up with. I could start on my quest locally before embarking on my great journey Westward. The journey would, ultimately, terminate in either San Francisco or Los Angeles. Along the entire way, I would be seeing various interesting people, enjoying all sorts of sexual encounters and experiencing wild and wacky adventures. In other words, A Classic Road Movie with a 21st Century Twist. Yes, I said movie. I’m still looking for that book option, Folks. Come on, you know I just handed all you movie people reading this a great marketing line! I’m in advertising. I do this shit for a living. And I’m telling you, it’s brilliant.
And so it begins. The first person on the list. Michelle. The first year college squeeze with the big tits (pun intended). After spending some time thinking about it over a few Guinnesses, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant opening move. I would call her and tell her that I had been doing some cleaning and had come across a box of old photos, including one of her and I on a trip together. New Paltz, maybe.
That really was a great trip. Non-stop banging by the fireplace. Room Service. More banging. What I didn’t have in sexual quality I made up for with quantity. “Quality” and “quantity” being highly subjective, relative terms, of course, since this is me we’re talking about. Back then, the slightest thought of sex would reawaken my…What do you mean too much information? You better toughen up a little bit or you’re just not gonna make it through the rest of the story. Anyway, the truth was, I had lost those photos of us together two moves ago. Knowing me, I probably tossed them out to make more room for my porn collection (like you don’t have one!). However, I still remembered enough about the photos to tell her about them. So, I made the call.
A guy answered. Boyfriend? Husband? Oh, well, might as well follow through. So, I leave my name and number and just say to the guy that I’m an “Old Friend.” I was having Richie flashbacks, already. Hopefully, this would go a bit better than that little scene. Not ten minutes later, Michelle called me back.
She sounded really excited to hear from me and we immediately got into stories of the way things used to be. Oh, nostalgia. Nothing like it. Although, I do have issues with this thing people have of making one-second ago nostalgia. You ever see people more into a photograph of a moment than the actual moment? Very odd, if you ask me.
Anyway, Michelle and I agreed to meet later in the week for a cup of coffee. I thought of pushing for drinks and dinner but didn’t want to scare her off. Part one of The Grand Plan was a success. I mean, as long as she didn’t cancel. She wouldn’t do that would she? This all just seemed too easy. I hate the way I always worry about this stuff. Anybody have some Zoloft I could borrow?
In the time before our “date,” I continued with the preparations. I got my hair cut. I bought a box of condoms (size: Extra, Extra-Large of course…O.K., not really). Which, I have to say, I still find a somewhat embarrassing experience. Something about setting that box of condoms on the counter in front of the female clerk and the lines of old ladies behind me, still really feels unsettling. Amazing how I can think and do some things that people find truly shocking without the slightest bit of embarrassment, but such a simple act still causes problems. Just another side of my obvious immaturity, I suppose.
I also continued to plan for the larger quest. I ordered tickets to the Bears game in December against Green Bay. The Bears will get their ass kicked but so be it. I also reserved a Penthouse Suite at The Four Seasons for $3500 a night. Notice I didn’t get the Presidential Suite or anything too nuts, as it was over $8,000 a night. I’m trying to be reasonable about this.
I also requested a number of “Convenience Checks” from my credit card companies. These “checks” were evil little slips of paper that looked like checks you would normally write but were actually cash advances against your cards. The interest rates on them could sometimes border on what you might get from the loan shark down the street. However, and this is a huge however 1) Since I was a “Preferred Customer” the interest rates weren’t nearly as bad 2) I would be dead before they could ever make me pay them off. Funny how I kept going back to the fact that my death gave me such power.
Anyway, I laid out my timetable for this whole adventure as follows. A month in New York to attend all that was needed to be tended to here. A trip to Philadelphia where Whitney (Connecticut, Gagging-Girl) was now living. Also while still in New York I would make a trip to Boston to see Catholic-School-Girl, Meagan. A trip to wherever Rachel was now (I still hadn’t found her). A trip to Wisconsin to see My Mom, My Grandmother, Lynn and Ann. I was now totally into the idea of taking another shot at Ann. If it was a no-go, so be it. But I had to at least give it a shot. Anyway, next was a trip to Chicago to see the Bears and maybe look up Debbie (Dry-Hump Girl). What are we up to then? Six weeks maybe? Huh, I had eight months to fill up and I only had six weeks, so far? This could be bad.
Alright, add another two weeks for Los Angeles and San Francisco, plus two-weeks contingency for all the stuff that inevitably went wrong. That brought us up to ten weeks. Wow, this was really kind of depressing. I actually felt like I was planning on living too long if I only had plans for one-third of my remaining time. Somehow, I had imagined it would be wall-to-wall adventure and intrigue. A flurry of activity and human drama before facing my end. But no. I had two and one half months of stuff out of eight. I was incredibly dull and uninteresting even in my swan song. This sucked. I really am pathetic, aren’t I?
Anyway, so there we are. Or is it, here we are? In any case, my big evening with Michelle was almost here. Three more hours and I would be with my first target. The first test of this whole plan. God, I hope I don’t blow it. Of course, my stomach is acting up even worse than usual. CFS is not exactly a real winning asset when it comes to wooing the ladies. Even in my dying days I would be cursed with humiliation and anguish. I mean, beyond the usual for me. I decided to leave early so I could walk to the coffee place that I was meeting her. Maybe I would get lucky and expel enough poison along the walk to keep things under control by the time I met Michelle.
No such luck. I was farting up a storm. I kept trying to move away from people but the place was really damn crowded. I’m sure I wrinkled more than a nose or two. Just imagine two people having this terrific, intimate moment with each other and then some guy like me walks by and poisons the whole magic scene, so to speak. If you think that’s horrific, imagine one of said two, intimate people also doing the poisoning. Such was looking like my probable fate with Michelle. And you wonder why I’m looking forward to death?
Let me describe this coffee place to you where all this trauma is taking place. Think fire trap. This place was filled with shitty, worn-beyond-human-use, found-in-the-streets, probably-pissed-and-shit-on several-times-over, pieces of overstuffed old furniture. Not that I really ever understood what “overstuffed” meant, exactly. It seemed stuffed just right if you were into that sort of furniture. Anyway, take this crappy garage-sale-reject furniture and combine that with dozens and dozens of candles and these Bunsen-burner serving things they used for fondue or S’mores or something and what do you have? That’s right. A fire trap. And you thought I was making it up.
At least the thought of these Upper-East-Side Assholes screaming in agony as their bodies were engulfed by flames brought me some comfort and distraction. The fact was, I was getting really nervous about meeting Michelle, again. After all these years. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe I should just leave. Maybe that’s Michelle walking right towards me.
INT. BLAZING CHAIRS COFFEE BAR – DAY
Michelle, mid-thirties, attractive, walks in with a huge smile on her face. Speaking of huge, her breasts were still magnificent. Yum.
Sorry, I’m late.
No problem. I just got here.
She looks me up and down still smiling. I try not to fart.
How are you? It was so weird you called
me like that out of nowhere. I was just
thinking about you.
Yeah, I was just telling Jeff about my
college days and started to remember all
the fun we used to have.
Jeff? Is that your boyfriend?
No, my roommate. You spoke to him on the
Oh, right? Where do you live now, anyway?
The same little place in Chelsea?
No, I live up here, now, on the East Side.
Chelsea got too expensive.
The price of being hip, I guess.
Yeah. So, did you bring it with you?
The picture of us in New Paltz you were
telling me about.
No, I threw out that picture years ago,
to make room for my ANAL PLEASURE GIRLS
videos. I just made that up so I could
try to fuck you again.
(Just seeing if you were still paying attention. I would love to just come out and say something like that just to get a reaction. But I do have some common sense when it comes to these things. Really. Why do you have such a hard time believing that? Whatever. This is what I actually said).
Oh, shit. I think I left it at home. I’m
sorry. I was just so excited about seeing
you again, I guess I forgot.
That’s too bad. Maybe we can go back to
your place later and look at it.
YES! The game was on. Michelle was never exactly subtle when she was in the mood for a good bang (well, a bang of some sort, good or otherwise, in my case). This coming over to my place was just her set-up for later if she chose to act on it. However, it was way, way too soon to count it as a done deal. She would still play “wait and see” until she was ready to pull the trigger, so to speak, per se.
So, we talk and talk and talk as we drink overpriced coffee drinks surrounded by highly flammable objects. We talk of old times. We talk about what we’ve been doing since. What we were doing now (of course I didn’t tell her the truth about my real plans. Give me some credit, already).
Oh, you’re wondering what she looks like. Just curious, I’m sure. No prurient interest at all, You Hypocritical Little Shits. Of course, you don’t want to hear more about her incredible breasts. You? Never.
Not that I have any interest in this story making it to the big screen or anything, but if this were a Major Motion Picture, Michelle could well be played by…Hmmm, let me think. Dark eyes, dark hair, medium to short height, a very, very nice body (Yum)…Julia Ormond, maybe? Sheryl Fein when she was still young and hot in her Twin Peaks phase? Oh, fuck it. Julia Roberts. Whenever a female part comes up, the correct answer is Julia Roberts or Gwyneth Paltrow. Works for me. In fact, I kind of like the idea of the actor playing ME (Tom Cruise, perhaps?) fucking the brains out of Gwyneth or Julia. What? Yes, I know what delusional means. Although, I do have trouble spelling it sometimes.
Back to the part about fucking Michelle. That IS what this part of the story is about, remember? It was easy enough to get her to go out to dinner with me. All it took was a “I’m starving. Are you hungry?” and we ended up at some Thai place across the street. I made the mistake of having a beer with my Gung Ya Yip or whatever they called the chicken/dog thing I ordered. The beer was good for my nerves but not so good for my stomach. Yeah, you got the picture. Other than one particular episode, however, I seemed to have it all under control. In fact, I was now walking with Michelle back to her place. GO ME!
Her roommate was conveniently out as we sat on her bed looking through an old photo album. There were only a few pictures of us together mixed in with lots of her and her family, friends, and other guys she started seeing after me. I guess we really weren’t together all that long. Funny how six months felt like an eternity sometimes and a blink of the eye others. She used to look so good. I mean, she still looked pretty good but it was a qualified “pretty good.” Like it or not, the inferred ending of the sentence is “for her age.” Have I taught you nothing about the way nature works?
As far as women in their mid-thirties go, she was still pretty hot. As mentioned repeatedly now, her breasts were as lovely as ever. Somehow defying age and gravity all those years to still be truly wondrous. I know because it was only a matter of minutes after leaning over to shove my tongue down her throat that I was lifting her shirt off and removing her bra. God, they were great!
Alright, you Vicariously Living Little Perverts, I’ll continue to go on in detail just for your sick thrills. I’ll tell you about how warm and firm they were in my hand. How she groaned when I played with her nipples. How she…No, that’s enough. Even I have my limits on this kiss and tell stuff.
You do need to know this though. You need to know to understand the state I am now in. The feeling that I am about to express. Just as I felt like I was going to hurt myself by bursting out of my jeans, I reached down to unzip her pants. And, and, and…And I was completely shut down.
That’s right. Making out and playing with her tits was fine but anything more was Strictly Forbotten. Not only that, but this evil creature that had managed to get me so physically worked up, refused to do absolutely anything to relieve the growing pressure in my balls. What gives? How can a woman be so cruel? Did she think it was funny to make my balls turn blue? Did she like to imagine me choking my chicken because of her? Explain yourself Woman!
All she would say is that it was pretty clear that neither one of us wanted to really pursue a relationship with each other again. So, she thought we would just “fool around” but nothing else. OK, in my book, and this IS my book in every sense (cue snare drum), “fooling around” entails orgasm. Cuming. PHYSICAL RELIEF. It may not include actual fucking, but it is not, I repeat, NOT, getting into things to the point her and I did and suddenly shutting off the tap. It was simply inhumane. I mean, what is this, High School?!
I was pissed. I made up some reason I had to leave and made sure I farted every step of the way out of her apartment. If she was going to do this to me it was the least I could do for payback. Bitch. “Fool Around.” “Fool Around MY ASS!”
Which leads us back to this sad state. Home. Naked and alone. Not only unfulfilled but in testicular discomfort, despite the desperate wank I had just given myself. Yeah, yeah, I know. Too much information. Fuck it. I’m not in the mood to deal with your delicate sensibilities at the moment. My balls hurt. Not to mention, what a totally shitty start this was to my Grand Plan. I mean, does Michelle count or not? I would say not since it was my hand that did the comforting, not hers. If this is the sort of thing I was in for, maybe dying of a strange medical malady that put you into a coma wasn’t a bad alternative. Maybe moving up the schedule for the final off-air date was even in order. Man, was I pissed. And did I mention that my balls hurt?!
Moving on. Three days on, actually. It’s time for you to meet Mini. Oh, you sick, sick Bastards. No, I am NOT referring to any part of my anatomy. Or anyone else’s for that matter. That subject needs to just be left alone for a moment as I am still fuming over the whole Michelle thing. No, by Mini I am referring to one of the greatest creations of the last four decades. I am referring to an absolute marvel of engineering genius, style and all out fun. I am, of course, referring to the Mini Cooper. Oh, God are you people frustrating sometimes! It’s a car. An automobile. Vroom, Vroom. Got it?! Sorry, I’m still really pissed off about Michelle. I’ll try not to take it out on you, but no promises. What a bad way to start things. Not good at all.
But back to the Mini. The Mini Cooper is a car built by BMW inspired by the original British Minis of the 1960s. There are many people that say the new version of the Mini is actually loads better than the old one ever was. In the art world, this would kind of be the equivalent of saying the new Mona Lisa blows away that little piece of crap behind the plexiglass hanging in the Louvre. Needless to say, I wanted one. The car, Genius. Not a Mona Lisa. Sorry, I promised not to take my anger out on you. Fucking Michelle. Blue-Ball-Bashing-Beelzebub.
Anyway, about the Mini…They were just really cool. Retro without being kitchy. Stylish without being pretentious. And they were really well designed, well built cars being offered at very reasonable prices. Just $18,000 and you could own a Mini. IF you could get one. Which is why the present situation with the car was pissing me off even more than I was already pissed off.
The Manhattan dealer of the Mini had a list nine months long of people waiting for one. As I was trying to be a reasonable human being up until recently and knew better than to own a car in Manhattan, I was, unfortunately, not one of the people on the list, anywhere. Obviously, it was kind of a problem even if I signed up for one now. It would be delivered about a month after I planned to be dead.
I tried sweet-talking the dealer which, not surprisingly, got me nowhere. I then tried flat out bribery. As mentioned, my credit limit was pretty significant and this was the perfect example of how to exploit my new found power and wealth. No good. I offered the guy $5000 above list price to put me at the top of the waiting list and he still wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t believe it. What are the odds of finding an honest car salesman in Manhattan that will forgo a quick profit in the name of integrity? $10,000! $10,000 above list price which would make the well-priced Mini kind of a rip off since I could buy a whole different class of car for that sort of money. It didn’t matter. I wanted a Mini. I could not afford to fall short of another goal so soon after that shaky start with Michelle. Still no good. Offer refused. The wonderful vision in my head of scooting across the country with stereo blasting in my ever-so-cool Mini was disappearing before my eyes. $18,000 over list! TWICE the actual cost of the car. I would not be denied.
And the answer is still “no.” He refuses to let me buy the car. I will not own a Mini. I will not have the chance to cruise the highways of America during my final fling on the planet. At least not in the style I envisioned. Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe, I am simply doomed to die sitting in my apartment in a noxious gas filled room with nothing to show for the last eight months of my life but a map and some push pins of goals never reached and dreams never fulfilled. It really does suck to be me, sometimes.
So, what does one do as a young man when he starts to feel really, really down? Alright, so I’m not so young, Screw You. My point is that men tend to have this really interesting way of reacting when they are sad, or hurt, or depressed. They want to hit things. They want to hit things over and over and over again until they bleed and beg for mercy. They want to make them scream in pain so the entire agency can hear them. They imagine that Little, Sniveling Ass-Licker finally paying for all the things he’s done. All the people that he’s gotten fired to protect his own ego and incompetence. Scream Thomas. Scream.
Oh, right, I’m back. I was just so enjoying my visions of violence. If you were a guy, you would understand. Alright, fine, maybe you don’t or maybe you think that’s still no excuse. I’m really not in the mood for this, you know? Have I mentioned I know where you live? My point is (yes, I had one) that men and women tend to react differently to things. Whether it’s the sudden urge I had to be with Ann when I was 14 or the resulting beating I gave the now dearly departed, Richie, I just did what came natural.
I really think that’s why people are so stressed out all the time. Nature gave them all these very necessary instincts like fighting, killing, raping, conquering and so forth which really don’t work too well in a civilized world. All that repression just does really nasty things to the human body and psyche. CFS, for instance. Maybe if I kill something, my farting issues will all disappear.
Alright, so I won’t kill Thomas. Can I at least hurt him a little? You’re right, no challenge at all with a wussy like him. It might still just feel really good to smack him around a bit, though. Oh, come on. You’re not going to let me do anything good are you? I would hate to do anything that got me locked up during my last precious months. I vaguely even remember being concerned about this weeks ago when I hatched this whole Grand Plan over a few pints of Guinness. By the way, no need to bring up the barfing issue again, thanks. Some things are better forgotten. Wow, that was weeks ago and look how much I had achieved. I got blue balls. That’s it. That’s all I had so far. God, did I suck. Where was that list? There it is…
1. Get Laid
2. Get Revenge
3. Do Cool Shit
4. Say Thanks
It still seemed like a mighty good plan to me. Why was I having so much trouble getting it off the ground? Let’s focus in on the Get Revenge part, shall we? There were only two people really on that list, Richie and Thomas. Since Richie had taken a drunken header to his demise, that just left Thomas. Surely, I could take care of one little thing on the list. Get some sort of pay back on that turd of a human being. I didn’t have to kill him. I guess I really didn’t even have to physically hurt him, even though it did sound like a lot of fun.
But I had to do something really good to make him pay. Something that stayed with him the rest of his sorry little life as a humiliation that he would never live down. Suggestions anyone? Any clever but cruel humiliations come to mind? Alright, you think on it and let me know. Trust me when I tell you I’ll be working on it as well. However, this was going to need to be timed exactly right no matter what it turned out to be.
If I do anything to him, rest assured that he will whine and cry about it to anyone and everyone. If it’s on the street or near his home (I really did know where he lived), he would call the Police in a heartbeat. If I got him in or near the office, there were the building Rent-A-Cops to be dealt with (not that that would be very difficult). Even though I doubt I could be held in jail for very long, I still didn’t want to risk it. It was horrible enough at 14 in the nice, clean, suburban Sheriff’s Office. I can only imagine what Riker’s Island is like inside. Not an option.
Therefore, and if so, per se, it follows that whatever brilliant act of degradation and humiliation I would exact upon Thomas, it had to be the final thing I did in New York. I would have to plan it almost like a bank heist and have a get away Mini all ready to go and a safe house already picked out (in Philly or Boston maybe?). I wanted that Mini. Why can’t I have it? Why?
Fine, I’ll stop my whining. If I have to. I guess. But I really do want that car. It’s just sooooo cool. You shut up! Fine. How’s this then Mr./Ms.-You’re-Not-Entertaining-Me-Anymore? Sex. That’s right. Sex. It’s really why you bought this book and what you keep waiting for in between my inane ramblings. Oh, come on. You know I speak the truth. As much as you love reading about the pain that is my life what you really want is some flat out, graphically described smut. So here you go. Time to talk about a girl named Mary.
INT. MARY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Mary, late 20’s, attractive (they always have to be in a script, you know) straddles a young Tom-Cruise-like man (that would be ME) in the chair beneath her.
They are both completely naked except for her red leather high-heeled shoes and the white boxers he has dangling from his ankles.
She lowers herself onto his huge, gigantic, massive, god-like, powerful, masculine, bigger-than-a-horse, pleasure rod and moans softly.
What are you laughing at? I could have a huge, gigantic, massive, god-like, powerful, masculine, bigger-than-a-horse, pleasure rod! How would you know anyway? Are you some sort of Peeping Tom and watch me in the shower or something? Yeah, I said Pleasure Rod. What’s wrong with you? Stop laughing so hard. It’s not THAT funny. If you would shut up and listen, I’ll tell you what really happened with Mary. I fucked her. Honest-to-God. I really did the nasty with her. It wasn’t quite the way I described above but it still felt really, really, really good. Especially after the whole Michelle thing.
Frighteningly enough, it was incredibly easy. I called her up. Told her I wanted to meet so we could relive old times together. And there we were, a few hours later, banging away in her apartment.
I have to say, as stupid as Mary was, and the girl was seriously dense, she was a really nice kid. She had already been married and divorced since we had gone out together. She had switched careers from Fashion to Art to Music to working in a pet store and now seemed pretty content. She actually seemed to love her job in a way most people would die for. Cleaning animal shit up didn’t sound very fun to me but it sure made her happy. Who was I to question these things?
We had a nice dinner at some Italian place and then went downtown to one of my favorite bars. This bar, not so coincidentally, happened to be only a few blocks from the apartment she shared with two other girls. (Yes, one of them was hot and definitely kicked off some Menage-a-Me fantasies). Mary was a blast all the way around. Fun talker when she’s sober at the restaurant. Funner talker when she’s completely trashed at the bar. And Funnest Talker when she was completely naked and whispering very, very, very dirty things to me as she lowered herself atop my massive pleasure rod (Hey, it’s my book! Delusional: D-i-l-l-u-s-s-…Why do you ask?).
Needless to say, I stayed the night enjoying my reunion to the fullest. I hadn’t had so much fun in a long, long, time. Which was exactly the problem. Yes, leave it to me to take something which I openly admit was really fun and great and turn it into a problem. I had committed a horrible, horrible mistake. I had let myself care.
Remember, this isn’t some skank I picked-up in a bar last night and never knew. This was Mary. This was a girl that I saw almost fail out of college but pull through after many months of pushing herself farther than she ever thought possible. This was a girl who bought me presents for no good reason all the time. This was the girl who…you get the idea. I’m not saying I was in love with her again. THAT would be stupid. Honestly, I don’t even know how much I loved her or IF I loved her even back then. But I did like the girl and seriously cared about her. Is that so bad?
If you answered “Yes” you are correct. Leave it to an Asshole like me to confuse a one-night stand with something meaningful. Leave it to me to create the following little piece of heart-wrenching (and/or vomit provoking) drama.
INT. MARY’S APARTMENT, KITCHEN – DAY
Mary, now fully clothed, prepares a simple breakfast at the counter. Tom Cruise (a.k.a. ME), also fully clothed, sits at a small table near her.
Thanks for breakfast.
Sorry about the toast. It’s an old toaster
and burns easy.
The toaster burns? Like it could go up
in flames any second? Cooooool.
Nothing. I was just thinking it would be
funny if the toaster caught on fire.
Why would that be funny?
You want some orange juice or something?
She walks by him to serve him his burnt toast. He grabs her. Kisses her. They make out for a second. She sits beside him.
I’m so happy I called you.
I bet you are.
No, I mean besides that.
What “uh huh”? I’m serious.
Yeah, it was nice. I had fun.
Would you be totally shocked if I
said I wanted to see you again?
So, you might want to get together
(Are you getting all this, Dear Reader? I’m supposed to be the guy with all the plans and all the things I want to do but I seem to have forgotten all about that. One night of good sex and I’ve become a total idiot. Fine, MORE of an idiot).
So, you might want to get together
(I repeated that on purpose, by the way)
I can’t. I’m seeing my boyfriend.
What? You’re kidding, right?
No, I have a boyfriend. His name is Rob.
You guys have an open relationship or
something? You’re non-exclusive?
Not as far as he knows.
So, you cheat on him?
Why not? Every guy I was ever with did
it to me.
I never did.
Really, I thought you and that girl you
had Bio with had something going.
What girl? No. I never cheated on you.
I almost believe you…Anyway, I have to
get to work. Call me if you’re serious
Yeah, of course I am.
O.K. call me later then. Just let yourself
out when you’re done.
She kisses me and leaves. I sit there looking at a piece of burnt toast feeling very confused. An all too familiar state of mine, these days.
I should be thrilled, right? A semi-hot young woman is offering to, occasionally, have sex with me without any of the usual relationship stuff involved. Sex without commitment just like I had wanted. Why did I feel so shitty about it, then? I mean, the night with her was great. Really comfortable, fun, much needed sex. And here she was, offering more of the same whenever she could fit it into her schedule. And I was balking. I don’t get me. What the hell is wrong with me?!
I go home and I pull out the napkin with the plan on it. I cross off Mary’s name. One down. I also decide to cross out Michelle’s name. Not that I had done exactly what I hoped to with her, or TO her or…But, I certainly was finished with her one way or the other. I also crossed off Richie’s name on the “Get Revenge” list. I think I even smiled. How evil of me.
Speaking of evil. I went back to the “Get Laid” list. There were still an awful lot of names under there: Rachel, Melissa (oh, sweet, sweet mouthed Rachel), the LA-X, Whitney, Debbie, Meagan…Which brings us back round to the current topic du jour, Mary. What was I going to do about this thing with her?
Alright, time for the Pros and Cons technique. Completely useless methodology for anything because it assumes, incorrectly, that each “pro” and “con” are of equal weight and value. Obviously, one big con like “life imprisonment” can outweigh reams of pros. All the same, I always found that the list would somehow help me realize more clearly what I really wanted. Kind of like imagining you had to have sex with the next person that walks into the room makes you think pretty damn hard about who you do, or don’t, want to see come through that door. Oh, like you’ve never done that! I’m sure. Anyway. Pros and Cons about going for another round with Mary.
She looks really good naked
She likes being on top
She’s a really fun girl to drink with
She likes giving head
She doesn’t swallow
She has a boyfriend
Dumber than a brick
Less time for other goals
Which all ads up to…to…to…fuck if I know. They seem pretty equal to me. Maybe I just needed to sit with it for a while. Look, you don’t think I realize how absurd it is for a smelly, lecherous, old fuck like me to be considering things like not seeing Mary because she “takes time away from other goals”?! As dillus…Fuck! Thank God for Spell Check. As I was saying. As delusional as I may sound, I am not one who normally looks a gift pussy in the mouth, so to speak. Alright, that was bad. Go ahead and shoot me. But try to wait six or seven months, if you could.
So, the Mary issue remains unresolved. What I am thinking is that I will continue to see her again for a while as I continue to work my way through my list. If I ever see myself getting too comfortable or content with staying in New York just banging her while her boyfriend isn’t around, I will leave the city, and her, immediately. Makes sense, right? I thought you would agree. Good. Done deal. I will call her tonight and make plans to see her Friday, as previously discussed. Why are you making this so complicated?
In the meantime, I still needed to buy some mode of transport to fill the void left by my Minilessness. I could always buy a Jaguar or a BMW or something. That could be kind of cool. God damn it! I want a Mini, Now! There had to be an answer to this dilemma. Mini Shall Be Mine! Somehow.
I guess, while I was waiting for that magic light bulb to go off in my head about the car situation, I could try to contact Whitney or Meagan. Meagan was definitely the one who provided more fodder for the jerking off fantasies. So, I’ll try her first even though Whitney was actually the prettier of the two. No, I am not going to apologize again for grossing you out with references to me jerking off. If you haven’t put this book down by now, it’s your own damn fault.
Remember that warning as I describe the following. Meagan, wearing a crisp white shirt, matching knee socks, and the Catholic School outfit of her youth. She is on her knees with her mouth wrapped around my massive, horse-like, organ as she… Alright, fine. This is what really happened. I called her up and told her I would be in Boston for the weekend and really wanted to see her. She said she was busy with her boyfriend, but she would love to meet me for a quick drink on Sunday before I caught the shuttle back. Yes, I said boyfriend. One could hope it was a similar arrangement to Mary’s, but I rather doubted it. So we meet and the following occurs.
INT. BOSTON BAR – NIGHT
A hotel bar filled with pretentious assholes who are under the misconception that Boston is a real city and somebody really gives a fuck what they think about anything. (What do you mean I have “hostility issues?”). Among the crowd is Meagan, 24, attractive in an uncanny Julia Roberts sort of way, and an incredibly handsome Tom-Cruise-like stud, ME.
Thanks for meeting me like this.
No, I was really happy to hear from you.
You look really good.
(Actually, she had put on some weight and looked kind of dumpy but I WAS trying to get laid here).
Thanks, you too. It’s been a while. How
have you been?
To tell you the truth. Not so great.
Why? What’s wrong?
I’m dying. I have that disease my Father
had and it’s only a matter of months.
OK, I’m a total asshole. I admit it. To say something like that to someone just to get laid is just so unfair, cruel, and vicious, it is beyond immoral. It is something I should be, and will be, condemned to eternal damnation for. I just didn’t know what else to do. I mean, the conversation really didn’t go quite like that, believe it or not. What it went like was thirty-minutes straight of how great things were with her boyfriend and how they were probably going to get married soon and so on and so forth. I just saw no other way to make things happen the way I needed them to. I justified it by saying to myself that I really was dying. In six and a half months, actually. By my own hand. Somehow, I still felt like shit. Even I am amazed how low I can go sometimes. I really was despicable.
I laid it on thick about how I really wanted to see her and “be with her” one last time. Again, it was kind of true but not in the way I was making it sound and I knew it. It worked. I got laid. Another name off of the list. I was so filled with self-loathing though, I didn’t even take her up on her offer to wear the Catholic School girl outfit. She remembered far too well every kink and fantasy I had ever revealed to her. It should have been a great time for me, but I really just wanted to get through with it and get out of there. God, I’m an Asshole.
And then I did something seriously stupid. Maybe, it was being surrounded by all that religious stuff in her bedroom. Maybe, I had more of a conscience than I wanted to admit. I don’t know what it was, but something made me turn an ugly situation into an even worse one. I told her the truth.
O.K., not all of it. I skipped the part about killing myself, the list, and the goals I had set for myself. But I did tell her that I only thought I was dying and nothing had been confirmed by doctors. This was just enough information for her to realize that I had just manipulated her into sleeping with me with lies. I mean, they weren’t really lies. I WAS going to be dead soon, but she assumed it was ALL lies and I was an even bigger asshole than I actually was. Which, as you know, is a pretty damn big asshole.
If you could have seen the look on her face. That look of anger and pain. Oh, Man. She hated me for lying to her. She hated herself more for cheating on a guy she really loved. It was just awful. I slunk out, mumbling words I knew were totally inadequate for what I had done. “Sorry” just wasn’t going to be enough. Nothing I could do would be enough. I hopped on the next plane out and returned to New York.
The entire flight I kept trying to justify and rationalize what I had done. To use my impending death just to get laid was just such a violation of so many things that I believed in. I really hoped I didn’t fuck things up permanently for Meagan and her guy. I wondered if she would tell him. I wondered how he would react.
New Rule: There shall be no mention of my impeding death to anyone. Any objective on the list achieved by using said tactic shall be null and void if so achieved. Or something to that effect. You get the idea. I ain’t gonna do that no more. Ever.
So, here I sit in my little apartment more depressed and self-hating than ever. This whole Grand Plan of mine was not going very well. I was expecting all sorts of fun and freedom. I was expecting to go out with a bang, so to speak. I was expecting…I don’t know. More.
Well, here’s a lesson for you, My Moralistic Little Friends. You may like to think that people like me pay a karmic price for being people like me, but you’re wrong. Look at the people with all the money and power in the world. Do you really think they are “Good People”? Do you think Mr. Evil Capitalist Bastard, who fucked over everyone and anyone that got in his way, is really redeemed by setting up a philanthropic organization? And if all you religious people are wrong about this whole Hell and eternal suffering thing, then what? The bad guys win, that’s what. Because if there were any justice in the world, I would be cast down even further into a world of emotional and physical pain until I paid in full for my vile deeds with Meagan. But that’s not what happened. In fact, quite the opposite.
For one thing, Meagan called me and told me she forgave me for what I had done. She said she knew it didn’t matter if a doctor had confirmed that I had the disease or not. As long as I believed I would die young from it, she could understand how I felt. In other words, I hadn’t really lied to her. It’s incredible the twisting and turning people will do to rationalize their own actions. She did tell her boyfriend, by the way. He was pissed and hurt but claimed that he forgave her. We’ll see on that one. My own observations have shown that these things have a way of haunting relationships and never really go away. But who am I to say?
The second thing was about the Mini. We were talking about karmic justice, or injustice, remember? It seems that Mr. Mini Dealer had a customer that planned to flip his purchase. Flipping is the capitalistic art of buying something and selling it immediately for a higher price. How anyone had the balls to do this with something as sacred as a Mini is a bit beyond me (as most things are, unfortunately). However, this buyer’s greed provided me with a golden opportunity. For $5500 above what he had paid for it, I could have his Mini almost immediately.
It really is SUCH a cool car. Come on, admit it. Even you find yourself smiling when you look at one. Not exactly the colors I wanted (I was hoping for silver with a black top and this is red with a white top) but a damn fine vehicle all the same. As I handed this Greedy Fuck the cashier’s check, I had to almost stop myself from laughing. This was just too cool. The Mini was mine!
So, here I am King O’ the Fucking World cruising down the streets of Manhattan. Oops. Missed the gear (like you wouldn’t, if you hadn’t driven a manual in four years. You probably never even learned to drive a stick did you? DID YOU?!). Anyway, so, here I am King of the…You God Damn New-Jersey-plated, Bruce-Springsteen-listening, Bud-drinking Mother Fucker!! What the hell do people drive like that for?! For that matter, why do ignorant, Cock-Sucking, worthless, poisoning-the-gene-pool, bags of flesh like that even continue to exist? Eliminate Them! ELIMINATE THEM ALL FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY! God Damn, I hate these people.
And then it all comes flooding back. The instinct. The rules of driving in Manhattan. Dominate. Control space. Be aggressive. Take no quarter! I dart in and out of the tiniest of spaces as I cruise East down 57th Street. I flick the gears up and down with an almost unnatural ease. If they wanna play. I’m ready. Bring it on, Assholes!
As long as I don’t get too concerned and feel “the fear” I am safe. As long as I don’t worry about scratches, dings, or dents on my spanking brand new car, I am untouchable. One of the many things I love about this city is the way it rewards aggression. In this town, indecision kills. That’s true of the pedestrian trying to cross the street (like the hideous fat sow in front of me) and even more true of the urban warrior on wheels. It’s all about being decisive and being clear in your intentions. Being the slightest bit hesitant or indecisive will get you hurt. Just like an athlete concentrating on trying not to get injured probably will. This is no time to play half-way. TAKE THAT YOU FUCKING CAB! I am joy. I am fun. I am a Mini-God and nothing can get in my way!
And there it was as I was speeding up to blast through a crowd of pedestrians trying to cross against the light. The great epiphany. The magic light bulb. Pure and crystalline. And it had been there the entire time. Indecision Kills. I had been guilty of thinking too hard. Planning too carefully. Hesitating when I should have been decisive. There was nothing wrong with the Grand Plan. Only the cautious, half-assed way I had been bumbling through it. Yes, I had done a couple of things on the list. Achieved a few of the goals. But where was the Power? Where was the freedom?
No more hesitation. No more trying to play it safe. It was now or never. Wasn’t that the point to begin with, after all? So, I parked the Mini in a local garage and paid the king’s ransom required to keep it there for another day. I almost ran at full speed into my apartment. Suddenly, there was not enough time. Everything had to get done and get done now.
Which is how I ended up walking back into my old office the very next morning. Yes, Folks, Thomas was about to feel the Wrath O’ Me! I seriously considered physically hurting him in all sorts of ways. The thought of his never ending screams put a smile a mile long on my face. However, I decided this wasn’t the answer. For one thing, he couldn’t help being such an Ass-Licking, Two-Faced, Turd. It was his nature. His destiny. As much as I was part of that destiny.
It was all so easy. I walked right past security and waited among all those poor, unfortunate wage-slaves still wishing away their lives, minute-by-minute. As I rode the elevator up to my old floor, Samantha got in. Sam, with the great legs and awesome ass. I had never had a conversation with her in my life but God knows how I loved looking at her. So hot. So young and firm in all the right ways.
By the way, in case you were too dense to figure this out, this is not the same Sam or Sam I was referring to earlier. The one I had had an earlier relationship with. The one that I still was scarred from, physically and otherwise. This was a total stranger, basically. A stranger that just happened to have the same name. A stranger with the hottest young body you can possibly imagine.
Facing my fears and being decisive, I stayed true to my new ideals. I introduced myself and asked her out right then and there in front of a crowd of eavesdropping strangers and former co-workers. This is all the more ballsy, considering what I was about to do to Thomas and what I had in my hand. None of that mattered. Face the Fear. Banish It. Be Decisive.
It worked. Somewhere between the eleventh and twelfth floor I got her number and we made plans to go out for a drink that night. Yes, that’s what I said, that very night. Apparently this confident, aggressive thing really worked for her. She smiled, said “good-bye” and stepped off giving me one last glance at that lovely, lovely body of hers. I almost got stiff right there. But it would have to wait. As the remainder of my audience got off the elevator. I focused on the immediate task at hand. Thomas.
I walked in and strolled past my ex-co-workers as I made a B-line for Thomas’ office. If he was in a meeting, I would be really pissed. Then again, nobody asked Thomas to meetings anymore because they knew he was useless. Not that it mattered when it came time to fire me. Fuckers. God Damn Weasels, all of them. Too bad I only had time to take care of Thomas and not all of them.
And there he was. The Little Prick, himself. He still had that strange self-adoring smile on his face. That same look that used to drive me up a wall. And then he saw me. First shock. Then a quick reading of the look in my eyes and he was stricken. Stricken by the terror.
INT. THOMAS’S OFFICE-DAY
Thomas sits in an office decorated with awards for work done by others that he has claimed credit for. My work among others.
What are you doing here?
I smile at him and enjoy his increasing fear and nervousness as I put on a pair of kitchen gloves.
What’s that? Gloves? What are
He tries to laugh it off but the fear shows. He is about to get a taste of justice in every sense. He tries to exit his office. I block his way.
I think you better leave before I
Go ahead. They won’t get up here soon
enough to help you.
Help me? I…
And with that. That open mouth as he said the letter “I,” I reach into the plastic bag I have with me and insert a serving of 100% Pure Dog Shit into his mouth. Yes, that’s what I said, dog shit. I had carefully collected it earlier in the morning and double bagged it so it would be nice and fresh. If only you could see the look of horror and disgust on Thomas’ shit-smeared face as he realizes what’s happening to him. It’s glorious. Pure Heaven.
He struggles to spit it out which only makes me more determined that he have a nice, big, second serving. I physically grab his wimpy little frame and help him keep his mouth shut so that he can savor the flavor of shit. The whole experience is made even more enjoyable by the fact that several people have heard the commotion and run over to witness his humiliation and are being more than attentive. In fact, I notice that not one person was rushing to Thomas’ aid. I even see a smirk or two on some of the faces in the audience.
But, being Thomas, he finds a way to ruin the fun. He starts choking. Not scratch-in-your-throat choking, but turning-blue-can’t-breath kind of choking. I ease up. It really isn’t my intention to kill the little prick. In fact, for a brief second, I actually start to get worried. But then he pukes and everything is alright. I say “good-bye” by throwing the remaining shit in the bag over his head. I take one final look at him hurling his guts out and covered in shit and take off. Some moron actually tries to stop me. I just push him aside and make for the fire escape. I’m not sure, but I think I hear the sound of applause.
And then my own fear strikes. What if I get caught? What could I be charged with? Assault? Attempted murder? My God, what if he gets hepatitis or something? That’s not what I intended. At least he didn’t choke to death. That would have been bad. I really disliked him (duh) but not enough to really want him dead, when it came down to it. In fact, part of the joy of this whole plan was how he would have to live with the story about it for the rest of his life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved and changed careers after this. I mean, how would you like to be known as “The Man Who Was Forced To Eat Dog Shit” for the rest of your life? I reach the first floor and open the door. Not one rent-a-cop in sight. I had done the deed and lived to tell the tale.
I run down the street. Climb into my Mini, being quite careful not to be tracking any shit in with me. I mean, it’s a new car, after all. And then I drive off. I have a duffel bag in the backseat and a road atlas next to me. Good-bye New York. Hello All That Other Stuff. But what about Samantha?
Sam was an opportunity I never expected in a million years. I hated to just drive off and leave New York forever without giving her a good go, so to speak. Poor Thomas. How much effort do you think they’re going to put into finding me? I wonder if they’ll even call the police. Not exactly the kind of incident that makes a company look good, is it? Maybe, they’ll just quietly bury the whole thing. I couldn’t take that chance. Being imprisoned right now would just screw up everything, not to mention being rather terrifying and horrendous, in general. Nope, me and the Mini had other plans. Philadelphia here we come!
GW Bridge, straight ahead. I was leaving New York forever. What a strange feeling. Somehow it didn’t seem real. Somehow it didn’t seem right. This city had meant so much to me for so long. To leave it forever just killed me. Me and this city were one and the same. Impatient. Angry. Fast Moving. Use It or Lose It kind of beings. I’m not ready to do this. Not yet. Not like this. I dart the Mini into the other lane. The one not headed for New Jersey. So much for being decisive. So much for not hesitating. But the truth is. I wasn’t done here. If anything, staying a little longer was holding true to the course. I had to see this thing with Sam through.
I decide that I still don’t want to take the chance of returning home, just in case the police are looking for me. Instead, I do something that should have been on my “Do Cool Shit” list the entire time. I pull the Mini up to the Soho Grand Hotel and check in. For those ignorant souls that don’t know what the Soho Grand is, it’s a boutique hotel in Soho (hence it’s name). It’s not the most expensive in the city, but it has been one of my favorites since it was built a few years ago. It is just kind of cool inside. Not to mention, they have this really nice little bar/lounge thing that always served me well.
I make sure the Mini is safely tucked away in a garage and get myself a nice little suite. To tell you the truth (which I always do, even though it makes you cringe), the room was a little disappointing. It was nice and large enough, I suppose, it just wasn’t “wow.” Somehow, for all that money in such a cool place I just imagined something more mind-blowing. Maybe I should have tried The Mercer. Or 60 Thompson. Or Morgans. Or…Oh, well. Who was I to complain?
Samantha sounded incredibly happy to hear from me when I called her at work. She whispered and giggled like a little school girl trying to keep a secret. Apparently, word of my attack on Thomas has spread like wildfire. I was the talk of the building, if not the town. She didn’t know if the police had been called in or not but would try to find out for me. She was more excited than ever about meeting me that night so she could hear first hand of my exploits. I think the bit about me hiding out in a super-nifty hotel went over pretty big, as well.
She would meet me in the bar downstairs at 7:00 PM. Just long enough to take a quick nap and a shower. I still smelled slightly of shit, for some inexplicable reason. The way Sam was talking about my exploits, maybe that would be a big turn on for her. Oh well, the smell was starting to make me sick, so if that were the case, she was out of luck. Speaking of getting lucky…
Alright, time for a little reality check here. Before I continue with this saga, I need to remind you of two things. 1) This is a work of fiction (at least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it). 2) Extreme situations cause extreme behaviors. In other words, Folks, I’m trying to head you off at the pass and remind you that not long ago, before all this happened, my life was as boring and wretched as yours.
However, unlike yours, my life was thrust into this very strange situation where I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by acting as irresponsible and outlandish as possible. Oddly enough, there were some very cool side-effects of this extreme behavior. For example, I went from a guy who primarily took comfort in the touch of his own hand (oh, grow up with the “ick” reactions!) to somebody on a pretty damn miraculous role. Case in point, Samantha.
I found my face buried between her legs not five hours after talking to her for the first time in my life. Some men find this oral activity a chore. Personally, as long as the woman is appreciative and I get to listen to her moan, I’m quite into the whole deal. The payback blow-job is also rather appealing. Especially when swallowing is involved. Anyway, You Perverts, my main point was that somehow a total loser like me was now in a luxury penthouse suite, on a massive bed, eating out an incredibly hot girl that I had just met and picked up in the elevator that very day. And they say miracles can’t happen.
Actually, this is how it all came together. We met in the hotel bar, shortly after seven. I was grateful that the bar was nice and smokey as my CFS was in full swing at that moment. Hopefully, the smoke would mask the devastation. So, I’m sitting there in the really comfy sofa, drinking a Beamish Ale (stick to your Amstel, Philistine.) and digging the cool Parisian electro-funk when…Oh, you people just won’t give me a break, will you? Electro-funk. Kind of a mellow electronica kind of thing.
As I was saying, so I am just feeling really, really mellow and digging in life when I see Samantha strut up the stairs. And I do mean strut. This girl had a way of walking that just made that fine body of hers move soooo nicely. You ladies out there, never underestimate the power of a sexy strut. Every single guy I know reacts to it. A lot.
I stand up and smile. In spite of my CFS, I feel I can do no wrong. Life is mine for the taking. Samantha is mine for the kissing.
Which is exactly what I do. I kiss her right on the lips. Make sure I stay there a second beyond “polite.” The fact that she didn’t turn away should have clued me in to what I wonderful night I had in store. She sits down next to me and orders some weird drink I’ve never heard of. I find myself trying hard not to stare at her legs but fail miserably. Lucky for me, she seems to like it.
We start drinking more as I launch into a bite by bite description of Thomas’ shit eating exploits. She laughs hysterically, of course. Never underestimate the pleasure people take in other people’s pain. Look at you, for example, Dear Reader. The fact that you’re reading this pretty much says it all. But back to Sam. The way she laughed at everything I said just egged me on with my description and comments. The fact that she looked so damn sexy when she did that (something about the leaning back and the sticking out of the breasts, I presume) also helped. And then I did something absolutely unbelievable for me. I leaned over and kissed her again. Flat on the lips-tongue in the mouth-sort of kissed her. And she responded favorably. Very favorably. The next thing I know we’re making out like high school kids on the sofa. People everywhere are looking at us. Some are disgusted and deem our behavior inappropriate. Most are just amused. I don’t care. I am kissing this really, really hot woman I hardly know and really liking it.
And then I hear her whisper “do you have a room here?” So, we get up and I just hand the waitress a bunch of money (I think I tipped her 300%). Sam and I get into the elevator and continue making out as soon as the doors close. I contemplate stopping it between floors but realize how stupidly cliched this is (not to mention the all-seeing security camera which may or may not have turned Sam on more). Before I can think twice. We reach my floor and are headed toward my room.
She is suitably impressed. I start to undress her almost immediately, which she was really quite cooperative about. Hell, if I had a body that good, I would be getting naked a lot more easily myself. Wow. She makes a half-hearted attempt to undress me but seems more than content to let herself be the focus. No arguments here. Let me serve you, Oh Goddess. And serve I would. Or is it service?
Needless to say, Forty-minutes and one tired tongue later, Sam is feeling quite relaxed and happy. I, on the other hand, was turning a nice shade of blue, once again. But Sam, that sweet kid, was no Michelle. No, no Blue-Ball-Bashing-Beelzebub, this one. That Little Goddess takes me into her little mouth and makes me quite the happy man. I can’t repeat myself enough about that swallowing thing.
Which brings us to the next morning. No, my Voyeuristic Friends, I will not give you any more details about the sex. I know you need the smut to keep you going and reading through the rest of this never-ending, egocentric shit that I type. But the next morning, alas, I woke up naked and alone. Sam had left about 2 AM because she had to go to work the next day. We did have another round of things, by the way. I’m not THAT old. I asked her to stay but she was pretty adamant about not going to work the next day in the same clothes.
When I asked her when I was going to see her again, she just kind of smiled and didn’t say anything. I guess in her mind, this was just a one-time deal and the idea of repeating it never even occurred to her. Or maybe it wasn’t quite as satisfying an experience for her as I had thought I was. The fact that women can, and do, fake it, is always an ugly factor in trying to determine these things. Eventually, she just said “call me later” and we left it at that. I walked her to the door and kissed her one last time for the night. Maybe forever. And kept my eyes on her ass as she strutted down the hall. What a great walk.
So, here I sit, still naked. Still alone. OK, fine. Actually, I had put my undies on right after Sam left. I just sleep better in them. Something about the fear of “sheet burn” on a sensitive area. “In boxers and alone” just sounded like crap, though. So, naked and alone, it is. Speaking of crap, I wonder how Thomas is doing. I hope he has the taste of shit in his mouth for weeks. Is that cruel of me? Duh, yeah. Do you like it? That’s what I thought.
I order breakfast. It is almost one in the afternoon when I wake up and I am just starting to think about what I want to do with my day. Did you know it costs almost 30 bucks plus tax and tip to have a breakfast of eggs, bacon, juice, and coffee brought up here? Well, now you do. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s worth every damn penny. I don’t think a breakfast has ever tasted so good.
I walk around SOHO and really enjoy how quiet and empty the streets feel without all the brain-dead tourists that invade the place on weekends. Said tourists are as likely to live in Manhattan as they are Long Island or Omaha but they are all from the same mold of morons. You know the people I’m talking about. Those slow-witted wonders that stand six abreast at a full stop, gawking at the Empire State Building, blocking the paths of thousands of other people.
Eliminate them. More gene pool poisoners that should be removed for the good of mankind! What do you mean it makes you nervous when I start to talk like that? It’s not like I have a gun and plan to use it or anything. Or do I? (insert dramatic pause here). Oh, it’s just that you don’t think it’s very funny. Well, that’s different. YOU DON’T LIVE HERE AND HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THESE DULLARDS!!!!!
Right, so, I am enjoying this nice peaceful afternoon just strolling about the city. I look at some crap on the walls that passes as art in one of the few remaining galleries down here. At least they’re trying and haven’t turned into another Banana Republic. It is a tragedy what has happened to certain parts of New York. I keep telling people what we need is a good crime wave to scare the tourists and get rid of all the pretenders that moved here. But I digest (umm, bacon). It was getting time to call Sam.
It wasn’t good. Sam said she really liked me but…Oh, you can imagine the rest of it. And screw you if you wanted me to write it out anyway. You sadist. The long and short of it was that she wasn’t ever going to let herself repeat the night of fun we had just had. Or maybe I should say, I just had. Obviously, if it was as fun for her as for me, she would be back here in a heartbeat. I must just really suck.
I miss Nancy. Yeah, you read right. I actually miss someone for some reason other than they gave good head. Not that Nancy didn’t give good head. I just wouldn’t know about it one way or the other. She probably did, actually. Anyway, that’s not what I was getting at. I meant I really missed just hanging out and talking with her. Shocking, I know, me just wanting to talk with a woman and nothing more.
The fact is, we used to talk a lot. Pretty much everyday. Sometimes, it was just bitching about work. Sometimes, it was arguing about some issue or other just because it was interesting. Often, it was about me and my pathetic little life and what I was doing with it. Look, you can call me “ignorant” and “Asshole” all you want. It’s just not the same as when she did it. That’s probably because you actually mean it, you ungrateful Fuckers. Whereas when she said it, I always knew that, in some bizarre way, she actually really cared about me.
And now, she’s gone. She might as well have fallen off the face of the Earth. We traded e-mails every now and again. They were fun and it was always great to hear from her in any way. San Francisco seemed to really suit her and Josh well. You could feel that excitement she felt in every word of the e-mail. Stuff I had seen first-hand many times and found rather lacking, they seemed to love. Her two page description of the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog was painful enough. It was her description of all the “Great Art” they saw in Sausalito that was really too much. Any “art” there was strictly of the Tourist Schlock and Norman Rockwell variety. Pure crap. But try telling that to Nancy or Josh. To them it was the greatest thing since the microchip (you didn’t really think “sliced-bread” was coming, did you? Welcome to the 21st Century, Bub).
I called her. What do you mean who? Haven’t you been paying attention? Nancy. I called Nancy. I figured if I was that bummed about not being able to talk to her, I should try to talk to her. Like I always said, if you’re not happy with your life, fix it. Or end it, as the case may have it.
Anyway, it was nice. We talked for about an hour. I can’t imagine how much the hotel is going to charge me for the call. Not that it matters. I heard all about their trip to the Great Redwood Forest and the Aquarium in Monterey. They were both still treating their move out there like a big vacation. Josh was already working long hours but Nancy wasn’t working at all yet. And she made a point of dragging Josh away on weekend trips, on a regular basis. Not that he minded. He loved her as much as I did.
Time to get drunk. Anytime you hear me get all sentimental like that, take it as a warning sign. There is a major drinking binge on the way. Conveniently enough, one of my favorite drinking pals, Tim, was available. The fact that I told him all the drinks were on me seemed to give him the incentive he needed to break his original plans and meet me instead.
So, we go to a very cool bar on the Lower East Side and start drinking many pints of Guinness. When he asks why I am being so generous about buying all the drinks, I tell him I am celebrating. At which point I launch into an only slightly embellished, incredibly graphic description of my exploits with Samantha. Of course, I make it sound like I was the one who made it clear it was a “One Night Only” deal. By the way, I also told Nancy about Sam during that earlier phone call. She got the real version. The version where I told her I was really kind of bummed that Sam didn’t want anything more than just the one night together. At which point, Nancy in her always sage-like way said “Well, at least you had some really good sex.” Yes, she actually is like that. Shocking for a woman, isn’t it? What do you mean, “not really?” Whatever.
Five pints later, I’m telling Tim about Thom, or Thom about Tim, or something. You know, shit-eating shithead at the agency. He laughs his ass off. He even tells me that I’m his hero. He tells me I’m every pissed-off worker in the world’s hero and suggests I sell the rights to the story to Hollywood. HE said it. I didn’t push him at all. I already know this book has the makings of a block-buster. The makings of a movie with huge commercial and critical appeal. Can’t you see it, you Damn Studio People? CAN’T YOU SEE IT?!!!
Two more pints and I am staggering toward the hotel. Thank God, it’s within walking distance. Walking distance for me, anyway. The idea of being in a cab right now makes me sick. All that stopping and starting. Those funky smells. You leave my smells out of this! Oh, I really don’t feel so hot. I really don’t want to puke. The air feels really nice. Not as nice as Sam did. But nice. Actually, it’s probably a really good thing it doesn’t feel like Sam. Walking with a massive hard-on like that would be rather difficult. People along the streets might notice. I mean, of course they would notice my huge…Alright, I’ll spare you. This time.
So, I wake up the next morning, naked and alone. Fine, I wake up the next morning in boxers and feeling like fucking shit. I sit up in the bed. Look at the clock. It’s only nine. Too damn early for an unemployed guy living the wild life. My head still hurt, but wasn’t too bad. And I came to a conclusion. My life sucks. I mean, ask yourself how you would feel if you were doing these great things, with great people, in great places, but ultimately, you were as miserable as ever. I mean, I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but I don’t really have sex this often with this many hot women. Shocker, isn’t it? And yet, it still sucked.
What exactly was the point if it’s still the same old, depressing crap as before? Had I just found a new way to make sure I wouldn’t miss life when that happy day came? That day when the Big Video Game of Life said “Game Over?” Maybe I was in hell. That was the only plausible explanation. I was already dead and already in hell. Maybe if I thought hard enough, I could remember the moment of judgement.
EXT. PEARLY GATES – DAY
A line of people waiting in white togas before Saint Peter and the Gates of Heaven. I am among them. Finally, I step up to the front of the line.
But why? At least tell me why.
You didn’t prey, didn’t go to church, didn’t
read the bible…
But I thought all that was just stuff made
up by men to control other men. Religion is
the opiate of the masses and all that.
What would that matter?
What do you mean? Of course, it matters.
How can you expect me to follow these
fictitious practices when they don’t
really have anything to do with God?
Rules are rules.
I don’t like your attitude.
And with that, I would be cast down to hell and eternal damnation and all that good stuff. Or here. In this hotel. Miserable. Not to mention, naked and alone. Sorry, just being hostile.
Actually, what I really believed was that there was no Heaven or Hell. You were just done. Black. Darkness. Nothing. Well, at least after your brain chemicals stop doing trippy stuff with the white lights and so forth. That wouldn’t be so bad would it? Pure neutrality.
Nothingness. I guess you did even go on as a being in the sense that you became worm food and were digested and deposited back into the earth. It wouldn’t be so bad. I could do this. I had to do this. I really didn’t have a choice, now, did I?
Fast Forward. It’s four days later and I had just crossed the George Washington Bridge and was on my way out of there. My ties with New York were now severed. Whatever was ahead of me was something else. Something new. Something better than the incredibly screwed up mess I had just left behind. In the movie version (and there WILL be one, I assure you) this is where the helicopter follows me in the Mini as I cross the river. A score of grandiose music will be added to make sure you feel the incredible emotion. The huge adventure that was taking place. And then you would go get popcorn or go to the bathroom or something because you realized that it was dead space and you wouldn’t really miss anything.
Actually, being that I’m in New Jersey, right now, you honestly wouldn’t miss anything. What a fucking dump of a state. Strangely enough, the part that I thought was kind of interesting was the heavily industrial part right by New York. There was a strange modern beauty to all the steel and machinery and highways that crossed the swamplands of the area. The part that was killing me was this “nice part” of the state that was not rural enough to be country, but certainly nowhere near anything approximating civilization. At least it got all ugly and more interesting again near Philadelphia.
By the way, in case I haven’t mentioned this. Minis Rock! OK, they’re a bit cramped inside. I mean, they are called Minis after all. But they are So, Damn, Cool. Retro and Modern married in perfect harmony. Can you tell I used to be a copywriter? What do you mean “not really?” As I was saying, the Mini was the one part of The Grand Plan (aside from the memories of Thomas choking on shit) that still put a smile on my face. And that night with Sam. Sweet, sweet Sam. I suddenly feel the need to grab my stick-shift.
I cruise past a line of trucks and enjoy all twenty minutes I get of “open road.” The depressing thing about liking to drive was that there was really nowhere good left to do it. The roads were broken. And I mean both physically in shambles and clogged to the gills with moronic baffoons. I heard somewhere that the amount of cars on the road was almost triple what it was in the Fifties. Being that there certainly weren’t triple the roads, it made sense that modern travel was such a nightmare.
I was now down to five months before my self-inflicted demise. What the hell was I going to do with all that time? I had the Bears game but that wasn’t for another month and a half. I had some other things left on my list. The “get laid” list was looking amazingly well tended to. I still hadn’t connected with Whitney, but I honestly can’t believe I have already achieved so much with so many. So many hot and semi-hot naked women, that is. Do you think a woman would be really hurt if you called her “semi-hot?” I guess that’s what they mean by damning with faint praise. Personally, if a chick called me “semi-hot,” I would be kind of thrilled. Then again, if a chick called me “stupid, fat, uncoordinated loser” and still let me have sex with her, I would still be thrilled. So, I guess that really doesn’t account for much.
Back to my main point. I really hate the way you ramble on like that. When will you learn that fiction is a concise format? No room for padding or rambling on about God knows what. Then again, there’s a whole lot more room to mess around in fiction than there is in screenwriting. Now, that’s a concise form. Every scene and every line must propel the story forward. MUST. It is written by the great minds sitting in studio offices trying to justify their massive paychecks to their bosses. Not that I’m insulting studio people. I think they are some of the most intelligent, hardest working people on the planet. Unless they don’t option this book. In which case, I revert to my true opinion that they are all heroin-addicted hacks.
Philadelphia. The land of Whitney. Next exit. She certainly was pretty back in her day, in spite of her lack of oral skills. But somehow, I just really wasn’t up to dealing with her right now. I just needed to keep going. Get on with things. Besides, maybe if I kept driving I could make it somewhere really exciting. Somewhere really, really cool like Pittsburgh. Fuck. I should just shoot myself right now. There had to be something good I could do. Something worthwhile to dedicate my last few months of life to. Time to reevaluate. Get Laid. Get Revenge. Do Cool Shit. Say Thanks.
Like I said, the “Get Laid” part had been going better than I hoped in some ways and was rather disappointing in others. It was clearly easier than I had ever imagined to get people to have sex with me. I’m not exactly sure why something that had seemed so daunting my entire life seemed so natural, at times. Maybe it’s a confidence thing. There was a definite correlation between the times when I felt like the world was mine for the taking and when I got laid. Or maybe it was just returning to the trough. I guess, reestablishing relationships that were already well-formed was just a lot easier than creating new ones. But it shouldn’t be. They knew me well. Which, believe it or not, usually didn’t work in my favor. Especially when it comes to sex. They must be desperate. Really, really desperate. But how would you explain Sam, then? I just don’t get it.
The “Get Revenge” part had certainly lived up to expectation. I was actually kind of pissed at Richie for falling on his head and robbing me of any opportunities with him. I wonder how Ann was doing. Wonder what she looks like. Age and time can do an awful lot of nasty things to a girl. Alright, or a guy (but face it, not as much). Especially, those people that physically peak in High School. Almost without exception these people seem to go nowhere good in the future. Alright, it’s wishful thinking. But come on. You’re with me on this, aren’t you? Don’t you think that anybody that looks back at their High School years as the greatest years of their lives is by very definition a loser? Fine, just tell me I’m being mean. You know the truth. You know I’m just telling it like it is.
Anyway, I am really, really curious about Ann. If nothing else, just having a conversation with her would feel like some sort of age-old dream accomplished. I should definitely try to look her up. And lick her up. And…You know I did that just to bug you, I hope.
Speaking of licking, there’s still Rachel of the Heavenly Mouth. As frustrating as some of my recent visits down memory lane had been with various ex-girlfriends, she was still worth trying to see again. She was THAT amazing. Hell, even if she were fat as a tub, I would just turn off the light and let her do her thing. It would still feel incredible, I bet. Now, if only I could find her.
So much for a new path. Here I was in Nowheresville Pennsylvania at two in the morning and I was contemplating an exact retread of everything I had told you made me unhappy and miserable. Sometimes, I wonder if I really do enjoy the pain. Well, if that were the case. I guess I would be ecstatic about seeing My Sister, again. The second mom I never wanted. The one who was topped only by memories of Dear Old Dad at making me feel like crap about myself. God Bless her. She meant well. I know she did. Her idea of looking out for me just wasn’t my idea of looking out for me. All the same, the fact that she tried counted for something. Counted for a lot, actually. She really was someone I would have to thank before I bit the big one. Doing the same for My Mom goes without saying.
Man, I was tired. No, not in some big metaphysical, symbolic sort of way. Unless, you think that makes me a better author, or something, in which case I totally meant it as that. No, I meant as in the “I have been driving for hours and really need to stop for the night tired.” I mean, it’s not like I need to be anywhere or anything.
So, here I lie in the Motel Six naked and…Just making sure you’re still with me. Actually, I was naked. And alone. Something about being in a cheap hotel was actually kind of a turn on. Before you accuse me of giving you too much information (or going “ew”), you might want to learn who I was thinking about. Still too much information? Fine. Figure it out for yourself, then.
I checked out of the Motel Six. The bill for the night was less than one day’s room service tab at The Soho Grand. I did take the opportunity to call Nancy, before I left. To say she had been on my mind a lot the night before was a bit of an understatement. See above paragraph. What do you mean I’m pointing out the obvious again? You wish you were that clever. As I was saying, I had been thinking of her a lot in all sorts of ways. Mostly, believe it or not, just really missing having her around to talk to. Mostly just missing her, period.
I told her I had decided to take getting laid-off from the agency as a second chance to enjoy life and was now on a roadtrip to nowhere special. I then, stupidly, told her I had bought a car. Which was a mistake. A big mistake. She had nothing against me or anyone else splurging on something they really wanted. But, even for her, buying a car just cause you wanted to seemed a bit much. She asked if I was OK and unlike most people when they ask that, really wanted to know.
So, I winged it. I told her I was having an early mid-life crisis and wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay in advertising anymore. I told her I was even trying my hand at writing (what do you think you’re reading, Numb Nuts?). She kept pushing about the money for the car. I told her I would sell the car, once I had finished my big road trip. In fact, I had even calculated that it would turn out about the same cost as if I had rented some bland econo-box for the length of the entire trip. And this way, I got to drive something cool. I hated lying to Nancy. It made me really tense. It made me feel really crappy, actually. But, what was I gonna do? Tell her I planned to kill myself in a few months? Not gonna happen.
Anyway, I wormed my way out of it. I think. It was always hard to tell with Nancy. Aside from the fact that I really had never tested it by lying to her about anything, she was kind of quick to know when people where being untruthful. I had seen it at work when she would totally bust people trying to pull one over on her. It was such a fun thing to see. I just really hoped I wasn’t about to be one of those “busted” people. I wonder if she would tell me if she knew I was bullshitting or just let me keep going until I hung myself.
I quickly turned the conversation to her. Things were still wonderful. She still loved it there. Her and Josh already had a bunch of favorite restaurants and places they liked to go on a regular basis. Josh still liked his job and seemed to be doing really well at it. Josh this and Josh that. Blah. Blah. Blah. It’s not like I didn’t care but honestly, I didn’t care. I wanted to talk to her about her and what she was doing and what she was feeling and so forth. Not about Josh’s new gym. And just as I was thinking all this. She busted me.
PHONE TRANSCRIPT – NANCY AND ME
Somewhere outside of Pittsburgh. In the hellishly, bland state of Pennsylvania.
Why haven’t you said anything about
What about him?
Why are you lying to me like this? What’s
I really don’t know what you’re talking
I talked to Becky. Remember Becky in Account?
She was there when you came in and did your
thing to Thomas.
Why are you lying to me? You never used to
lie to me.
Look, do what you want. I’m just asking
because I’m worried about you.
Then what’s the deal with the Thomas
I just got myself kind of worked up over
being fired. You know how much I hate
that little prick.
Yeah, I can see you thinking about doing
something like that. Even talking about it.
But not actually doing it. That is, unless
there’s something else going on.
Maybe if you were here to talk about it
with, it would have stayed talk.
Silence. Dead, Painful Silence.
Are you still there?
Yeah, I just really don’t know what to
say to that.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.
Yes, you did or you wouldn’t have
I just miss you, that’s all.
And so it went. We talked more but I still clung to my story of having a mid-life crisis and just feeling very confused about what I wanted. All of which is true, I suppose. Kind of. I mean, I guess it is more of an end-life crisis, but I certainly wasn’t going to get into that with her. As far as she was concerned, I never had any thoughts of killing myself and just died in some horrible accident. Some accident I still had to figure out, by the way. The last thing in the world I wanted was to cause her any pain or do anything that might ruin her happiness.
The one concrete thing that did come out of the conversation was that I promised to stop and see them on my road trip. I couldn’t give her a firm date, as I had to see Lynn and My Mom at some point, but I absolutely promised her I would see her. Not that I wasn’t planning to, anyway. There were some things about the Grand Plan that were simply non-negotiable.
So, there we are. And here I am, cruising through Pennsylvania filled with more conflicting emotions, torments, and longings than I can remember. Talking to Nancy just seemed to do that to me. It always had. Still, this was different. I couldn’t afford to let my last few months go by obsessing about things that were to never be. I needed to find good ways to distract myself. Ways to celebrate this shitty thing they called my life. Melissa was a definite. So was Kristin. I wonder if she still turned heads in a room the way she used to. I’ll never get how I ended up with someone that fucking gorgeous at any point in my life. Then again, I don’t get a lot of things, as I believe I have told you before.