16 November 2010
Reptile Romance: Part 2-All the Damn Vampires
This song played the night of my thirty-third birthday. A birthday I was stood up on. It subsequently has became one of my favorite love songs...
So, a womanizing tattoo artist and a paradoxical misanthrope walk into a bar because neither one is clever enough to duck…
When I was in my late twenties, the Sisters of Mercy was one of my favorite bands. Although I never thought of them as necessarily a goth act. The way I’ve heard it, such a perception would’ve probably won me a kiss from Andrew Eldritch. With tongue.
So, I suppose it was somewhat auspicious that the gin joint Lee and I started frequenting played at least one Sisters of Mercy song an hour. This is where my friend hoped to socialize me and accomplish his mission of getting me once more know the company of a woman. Often, it turned into more me monkey watching at the bar whilst he caroused about, hit on whichever random splittail, and/or the two of us on occasion shooting pool.
It wasn’t that he didn’t try to introduce me to a girl or two. Maybe it was that he was hoping I might go for a similar taste in gin joint men hu as him. Perhaps I just made it a little difficult.
“Your friend says you wrote a book…”
“Your friend says you’re smart…”
“You have really nice hair…”
“You are tall…”
“What did you think of that girl?” Lee would ask me when said female scuttled off, and I quoted lyrical wisdom.
“I tried to tell her
about Marx and Engels,
God and angels
I don’t really know what for,
But she looked good in ribbons…”
After a few times Lee’s inquiry had changed to;
“Are you going to quote those Sisters of Mercy lyrics again?”
“Well, if you’d quit throwing things at me that cannot even grasp the concept of an opposable thumb!” I’d snap.
“Look, you don’t have to talk to them,” Lee reasoned. “Just have your fun.”
“With my wiring, unless there’s something there, sex is nothing more than a noisy, messy act done by animals in heat,” I said.
“Don’t you always bring up how we’re all animals?”
“True, but we like to believe we have the capability to rise above our more beastial natures.”
Lee kind of gave up on trying so hard to find me someone. As we hung around the vampire caste, we made friends and acquaintances. Lee had more than a few one night stands and even a girlfriend or two.
I had been cavorting with the vampires for about a year, when Lee introduced me to a girl with eyes that shown like jewels. This was not some vapid men hu one met in a gin or juke joint. There was genuine intelligence there. Something happened to me that had not in five years; I found myself interested. More to the point, intrigued. Jezebel has more than once told me my curiosity can get me into trouble, and not in the happy way that leads to grand adventures.
The girl and I became involved. Yes, I became quite enraptured. She was intelligent and well-spoken. Those eyes of her’s were amazing, and she had a nice smile and an interesting tattoo located in an interesting place near her left breast.
And during that time when we were both drunk on infatuation hormones, it bordered on mystical. Not fairy tale, because she was not a fairy and I am not in possession of a tail. I even kicked around the possibility of marrying her.
Then, sobriety came. Suddenly the chemical honeymoon was over. It happens sooner or later. First kiss, first passion, first fuck is done and over. Groceries need to be bought and laundry needs to be done. One of you lets slip a social vulgarity that leaves one or both mortified, and it is either the laugh or the cry of revulsion that decides what happens next.
Lee is one of those cats who speaks to my ability to tell a story. He’s always been frustrated that after I self-published that I stopped taking the idea of being a writer so seriously. That I wanted to move on to fulfilling new dreams. He thinks I have a sort of power with my words.
Yet, in his perception, there has only been one time he’s seen me outright lie. That was my three year relationship with the jewel-eyed girl he introduced me to. I lied that I was happy, both to myself and others. I lied that even though we rarely hung out, were still going strong. That I stayed with her because of the social expectation of not being perceived as broken, despite the fact I was happier when I was on my own.
Over the years and lifetimes, I’ve tried to figure out what brought on such a deception, even and especially against my own nature. How I got hoodwinked into thinking three years was such a good idea. I am not solipstic enough to think I’m the only one who’s been in a relationship like that. Every so often, I think I have the answer, but then, a few psychic incarnations later, I have a new set of answers. When it comes down to it, no matter what, at its most clinical reptilian; we didn’t work out.
I had met Sabina right before the girl and I started dating. Sabina was one of the popular kids. She had been with her musician boyfriend for ten years. Somehow, we got to be friends anyway, despite her gregariousness and my misanthropy. Her boyfriend and my girlfriend had been x’s, which seemed to just typify the incestuous nature of the vampire caste.
One night, under the auspice of shutting Sabina up, I went out with her for drinks. At the time, my relationship with the girl was in its death-throes and I was working up my escape velocity. I’d not been out much, preferring to drink at home. Like Lee, Sabina didn’t like the word no, and there was also the fact she offered to pay to get me good and drunk on cheap beer, which might speak to a whore-like aspect in my existence.
Several drinks in, she finally got out of me that things were less than rosy with the girl, and had not been for a very long time. Somehow, the topic of lists, those in-another-life-what-ifs came up. Apparently, I was on Sabina’s.
“I wouldn’t mind running my fingers through your hair,” she said.
I have thick wavy hair, which, even when tied back, goes about midway down my twisted spine. My personal joke is I am far too lazy to get it cut and deal with cowlicks that come after. Over the years and lifetimes, more than one individual has wanted to touch my hair to the point I let it happen if it means said cat might leave me alone that much sooner.
“Here you go,” I muttered, offering her a lock, which she touched gingerly.
“That’s not quite what I had in mind,” she whispered.
“Yes, well…” my eyes drifted down the bar where her musician boyfriend was whooping it up with friends.
So what the scent of Sabina’s pheromones was pleasing? So what she was in a relationship that couldn’t have been more about convenience if there had been a jerky rack and soda fountain in the bedroom? So what I was working up escape velocity from a relationship that had been dead for two of the three years it existed?
I am the worst kind of bastard with the morals of an alley cat. Yet I didn’t take full advantage of what could’ve been written off as a drunken slip, were one to use the cop-out of drunkenness as a defense. In fact, I spent the better part of a year after that night trying to help Sabina salvage her relationship, because I saw it as what a friend did. Even a bastard like me occasionally tries to do the right thing.