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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I have often bitched about the amazingly inconsiderate neighbors who occupy the welfare building next door to my tenement building; these devil-may-care intentionally-jobless fucks hang out on their stoop and mine all day and night, selling low-grade ditch weed and making ungodly amounts of noise, so much noise that the first floor apartments in my building stay occupied by the same person for no more than six to eight months. They regularly have friends who drive over in their SUV's that have had the back seat removed and replaced with speakers that put out enough eardrum-shattering bass to violate most strategic arms limitations treaties, and in general bring all of the worst black and Latino stereotypes to life. But today they earned a respite from my hatred by ironically doing exactly what they usually do, only this time by doing something that I like.

I left my flat on a mission to buy onions for the dinner that I was set to begin cooking when I heard the opening lyrics to "La Di Da Di," a 1985 rap classic by Doug E. Fresh with vocals by Slick Rick. My college buddy Nina loved that record and I still have the vinyl 12 inch somewhere in my monstrous collection, every word of which was burned into my bonghit-fueled mind during many a stoned afternoon of long ago. Upon hearing it, I turned toward the parked car from which it blared and began to sing along. Believe me when I say that it shocked the living shit out of my neighbors to see that I, the stuffy bookworm who speaks proper English, knew the song, right down to the often censored line about how the protagonist of the piece would not get with an older woman who aggressively pursued him because of, among other reasons, her "wrinkled pussy." (Excuse me if I'm wrong, but by virtue of general construction, isn't every pussy wrinkled to some degree?)

Upon finishing the song, I left to continue my errand, showered with applause and loud whoops and hollering from my delighted miscreant neighbors. I won't encourage them in future, but that song is just impossible for me to resist.

Monday, August 29, 2005

SEASON OF REGRET-a postscript

So late last night I posted that entry about my regrets over the situation with a certain lady and our almost-child, a situation that I sadly believed had killed our friendship (see "Season of Regret"). This morning I checked my emails and the first thing I saw was a letter from the lady in question; she only occasionally glances at my blog and wouldn't you know it? Today she checks it out in detail and reads the aforementioned account.

That could easily have gone very, VERY badly, but she was moved to write to me about it and fill me in on a lot of what was going through her head during the whole incident. What was sent to me shall remain between she and I, but she let me know that she does not hate me.

Thanks, upstate lady. I missed you immensely and hope that we can someday return to the regular communication that we once had.


DISCLAIMER: I am a toy collector and enthusiast who is not into Barbie per se, but am utterly fascinated by what the toy represents. No Waylon Smithers, me.

Barbie. An icon to little American girls since the late 1950’s, whose cornucopia of accessories allow a child’s fantasies to take her — and maybe even him — into any possible situation. Barbie’s careers have been myriad; be she judge, doctor, dolphin trainer, flight attendant, astronaut, Special Olympics athlete, surfer and even international/ethnic/cultural chameleon (in the guise of African, Japanese, Germanic, etc. versions) the lady has done it all, usually with her erstwhile boyfriend, the actually and metaphorically nutless Ken (I defy you to find a more sexless male toy). Since her entry onto the toy shelves Barbie has been a wholesome, clean cut paragon of what is supposedly the pinnacle of womanhood in the US of A, a template of possibility for young women-to-be. “You can do anything, sister!” seemed to be Barbie’s mantra.

But in recent years Barbie’s world has undergone some radical changes; the first sign of toybox “what the fuck”-ness appeared in the late 1970’s with the introduction of a disturbing take on La Barb’s little sister, namely “Growing Up Skipper.” The concept with this doll was that by turning Skipper’s arm in the correct way she would literally “fill out;” her adolescent budding twins would instantly turn into full-blown lung warts, much to amusement of pervy little brothers everywhere, while all of the little girls whom I knew at the time were rather repulsed by the doll’s insta-titties. They had enough shit to deal with in regard to the mysteries/terrors being wrought upon their own bodies without watching Barbie’s little sister take an endlessly repeatable trip to Russ Meyer territory. The doll was quickly discontinued and now remains an oddity known only to toy collectors and disturbing reprobates who lay in wait at Toys ‘R’ Us in hope of another such lurid novelty.

Then the 1990’s happened and ushered in the honest-to-God pregnant Barbie, whose swollen abdomen could be opened up to reveal a removable baby and switched for a more svelte, post-delivery stomach.


Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall Barbie ever being married to anyone, much less Ken, whom I have long suspected was actually Barbie’s stylist or something. So who’s the father? Considering Barbie’s role as a wish fulfillment figure, what does this mean? Is it aimed at getting little girls to act out mommy and newborn scenarios or is it geared toward the growing number of potential adolescent/teen unwed mothers?
If that’s the case then what’s next for future possible realistic gimmicks? “Date Rape Barbie?” “Spousal Abuse Skipper?” “Prescription Drug-Addicted P.J.?” “Menopausal Midge?” As Kelly Bundy would say, “the mind wobbles.” For more on this check out the lyrics to “Bitterness Barbie” by the Lunachicks.

But the biggest Barbie-related bombshell to rock Toyland is the long-in-coming split between Barbie and Ken. Their separation actually made nationwide news, right next to the latest casualty reports from the War on Terrorism, and it has me wondering what’s in store for Ken’s vacantly smiling ass. If Mattel had any balls at all they would officially “out” Ken and market him as the first mainstream gay doll. It’s not like there aren’t future fags out there who could use an openly gay role model in the toyscape, with just as many fabulous outfits and cool cars/houses/spacecraft — yes, Barbie had a lunar module, I swear to God — so get with it, people! Kids today still have a way to go when it comes to tolerance of various sexual preferences/orientations, but they appear to be considerably more open to diversity, especially with queer adolescents being able to publicly declare their once shameful burgeoning sexuality and schools supporting such pride with various clubs, classes and even whole educational facilities that lean away from us breeders.

Anyway, it seems to me that Barbie’s time as a quaint piece of plastic Americana may be about to pass, what with Mattel’s launching of toy franchises such as “My Scene,” a bunch of male and female teen dolls who more accurately reflect the style and tastes of today’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and hip-hop influenced generation. And as for me, I’m holding out for “Biker Hag Barbie,” complete with Motorhead t-shirt, chunky figure and a hairy male companion named “Spunker Andy.” Hey, it can happen.


For the past three years, when this season rolls around I am struck with a profound melancholy. The summer arrives and when I behold nature strutting its stuff, children laughing and shrieking under an open hydrant’s torrent and the acres of nubile female flesh shaking off the test drive of springtime revelation after being buried for months beneath fall and winter layers and getting down to the business of hot weather display, I am pointedly reminded of the time three years past when I was told that I was going to be a father.

Let’s set the Wayback Machine and I’ll fill you in.

In the year 2000 I finally got off my ass and had my first full checkup in at least a decade and was not surprised to discover that my blood pressure was dangerously high and that I had developed adult-onset diabetes (which, in case you didn’t know, has some deleterious effects upon one’s manly hydraulics, rendering the Johnson operative on an iffy basis; hey, if Richard “Shaft” Roundtree can talk about having had breast cancer then I can talk about this. Thank the gods I was bitten by a radioactive lesbian), both conditions that are common to my mother’s side of the family. Along with those discoveries I was also told that my sperm count was so low that the chances of fathering a child were pretty much nil, a piece of news that seriously bummed me out since I have always wanted to unleash a gaggle of Bunchely daughters upon the world, but you have to take the hand that you are dealt, so I just accepted the diagnosis as gospel. I continued to practice safe sex from that point on, with the exception of a couple of women who I knew I could trust not to put my penis — not to mention my life! — in jeopardy if I “rode bareback,” secure in the knowledge that my line would not continue unless I adopted (or my long-out-of-contact half-sibs decide to spawn).

For some time I had been involved in an on-again-off-again affair of rampant carnality with a friend I had known since the first day of freshman orientation in the fall of 1983, in fact she was the very first person I met when I set foot on the campus of SUNY at Purchase. We became friends during our second year and she began a long-term relationship with the man who would eventually become her husband and father of her son, and since life sometimes throws you a serious curveball, she and her man separated in 1995, freeing her for other romantic pursuits. Namely me, who had nursed a longstanding crush on her for her intelligence, respect for ancient lore and arts, and her earthy Wiccan sexiness.

This goddess of British-Nova Scotian stock stood nearly six feet tall, sported brownish/blonde shoulder length hair and had a pair of blue eyes that turned her foxy, knowing smile into a hypnotic jab that could stop me in my tracks. Our trysts were limited to her school-related availability or whenever her son was away visiting his father, and I must say that she remains a favorite, one whose mere memory still brings a wistful smile to my face and not-so-pure thoughts to my febrile brain.

Yet while we enjoyed each other physically, we were definitely not in love with each other; the strong friendship was there, but since we lived so far apart — she’s nearly two hours upstate — and had only sporadic windows open for any flaming osh-osh, we both actively pursued other possible mates with gusto. And so it went until the summer of 2002, when the woman who had owned a large portion of my heart for nearly twenty years divorced her philandering idiot of a husband, left Georgia and moved to Brooklyn. Upon getting the news of this development my plans immediately began to formulate toward making the returning expatriate my full-time squeeze, but first I would have to bring things with the Wiccan wonder to a close.

I informed her of the situation and since she knew of my feelings for the other woman, she let me know that it was cool for me to go off in that direction. We then decided to get together for one last weekend, and what a weekend it turned out to be... To put it bluntly without getting too graphic, we explored each other with abandon, knowing that this would most likely be the last time we would ever share our bodies, and consequently we wore each other out, all in the name of sending each other on our way with a happy memory. Adding to the fun was the bonus of our farewell foray being utterly condomless for the only time in our five years of making with the good stuff.

I returned to Brooklyn to begin active pursuit of the newly returned inamorata, a task that wasn’t very difficult and yielded much naughty fun; a mating dance that went on for a couple of weeks and gave both participants a lot of much needed, loving comfort. Then, one day I returned home from work to find an urgent phone message from my upstate lady friend that requested I call her immediately. I dropped my book bag and punched in her number. She picked up the phone immediately and said in an ominous tone “Are you sitting down? I’m pregnant.”

My knees literally went weak and my senses reeled; I trusted the lady implicitly, so there was no doubt in my mind as to the truth of her claims and I knew that I was the only man she had been with for some time, but her announcement meant that my diagnosis of sterility was obviously incorrect. And, as she so enthusiastically put it, I had also given the finger to occasional erectile dysfunction.

But before those two bombshells could sink in, she very quickly let it be known that she was notifying me of her pregnancy solely so I’d know, and that she didn’t want any form of support from me for the child.

That stunned me more than the sudden possibility of fatherhood; if there’s one thing that I can say it’s that I was the son of a man who every day reminded me through either words or behavior that I was a disappointment to him and that he could not have cared less about me. He had money and when he and my mom split up he directed his attention toward establishing a new family that fit more closely with his fantasies and withdrew any form of child support or alimony payments, forcing my mother to toil thanklessly in soul-killing jobs in the Connecticut school system and work with unwed mothers/mental cases/delinquents, all while she carried a burning hatred for men in general and harboring a none-too-well-hidden resentment of the fact that her only child was male. Don’t get me wrong, my mother loved me, but her love was not without its long-term emotional abuse, a pattern that continues to this day. I bring all of this up to make clear that if I ever do have children I will be there 24/7 for them, and shower them with as much love and attention as I possibly can. And then some. So my lady friend’s desire for no involvement from me did not sit well with me one iota.

I explained that point of view, even suggesting that I could eventually move upstate to be with her and the baby, but she didn’t want that, reminding me of the fact that we were not “in love” per se. I then attempted to appeal to the practical reality of the situation, namely that she already had an adolescent son whom she was struggling to support, and that I didn’t have a salary that would yet allow me to properly care for the baby’s needs. The simple fact of the matter was that I didn’t think it was a good idea for her to have the baby. She informed me flat out that she would not have an abortion, and being a Pro-Choicer I agree that it’s her body and she can do with it as she pleases, but I strongly argued against keeping the kid.

Thus was an impasse reached.

We talked back and forth for almost a week on the subject, making no headway, and she agreed to come down for a weekend so we could try to figure out some course of action that would work. However, by the end of the week she had decided that an abortion was the most viable option since I “wasn’t ready for parenthood.” That fucking stung, since I honestly don’t think that my readiness was the central issue at all. I knew from previous conversations years earlier that she held out hope for someday become a mother for a second time and as we were both rapidly approaching middle age at that time this child might be her last chance. And, as she pointed out to me, I had beaten some pretty major odds to get her pregnant and it might be my last shot as well, no pun intended. I understood that all too well, but I had to remind her that a child is not some sort of accessory or plaything, but a living, breathing, feeling individual human being that we would be raising for the next couple of decades, a venture not to be entered into without some thought for the child’s security. Seeing how she was already a single parent who was dealing with the harsh reality of dealing with her son’s well being I couldn’t believe that I was being vilified, but as they say, motherhood is a powerful thing indeed.

The abortion was agreed upon and I took care of the financial end of things; she tells me that she took something akin to the “morning after” pill and that it was no more physically traumatic than getting her monthly, but when the smoke finally cleared and we were able to really talk again she told me in no uncertain terms that she hated me for quite a while. To be honest, our friendship has never really recovered and her somewhat solitary nature has intensified to the point of her not really communicating with me at all, politely brushing aside my attempts at phone or email chats. It saddens me deeply since I value her friendship and frequently wise counsel, but if she’s more comfortable without being my friend then so be it. A damned shame, really.

So now when I gather with my extended family and see their wonderful little ones I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if keeping the baby with my lady friend had been feasible. I would like to think that I’d be a good parent, but who knows if I’ll ever get the chance again?

Now that I have thoroughly brought myself and you down, I recommend doing something upbeat such as watching a classic comedy film or calling up your own parents — if they did right by you — and letting them know that you, their former little one, are glad they were around.

Friday, August 26, 2005


When one works at a bar/restaurant I suppose that it is inevitable that you will eventually be on the receiving end of anonymous adolescent crank phone callers. Well, my workplace is currently weathering a barrage of such annoyances from some of the local urchins, several of whom may be the same punks who thought it was a good idea to smear ice cream all over our front windows.

The calls started a few days ago and are definitely perpetrated by kids in the neighborhood. At first they were merely content to torment my boss — who could have handled the little darlings a bit better — but now they call to ask "Can I fuck that big black homo at the bar?" Hey, at least someone finds me sexy.

Tonight one of our bartenders answered and at first the kids were thrown by a woman picking up the phone, but they eventually asked her if they had reached a sex line. The red-haired bar goddess politely inquired if the kids knew that their number was now on our phone and that she wondered what their mommy would think if she called back and asked to speak to her. That move killed the prank calls for the rest of the evening, but I know bored kids and I'm willing to bet that they'll give us a jingle soon. Everyone's a would-be Bart Simpson...


Since last I posted I have been buried in work and muddling my way through a romantic disaster, so I have been a bit busy.

The barbecue joint catered the first of three weddings that we committed to — leftovers from the closing of our rival, Biscuit — and it took us a week to do all of the required food for a reception of two-hundred people, including various nibbly things, meats, side dishes and two hideous-looking roast suckling pigs. My average workday began at 1PM and didn't wind down until midnight or later, and my boss very quickly sussed out that we are not equipped to handle such a workload alongside our daily sitdown crowd, so once the other two weddings are over that's all she wrote.

The romantic disaster basically boils down to my responding to an offer being made, and the woman who made said offer backing off once things became a viable possibility, citing every half-assed excuse in the book. Things will stay amicable between us, but I think I'll need some time before we're really cool again; you don't offer a parched man who's been crawling across the desert a bottle of Poland Spring and then yank it away while basically saying "Psych!" I do not respond well to mind games since I prefer to be up front with relationship concerns, and I refuse to play along with such jackassery. I am so tired of this shit...

Anyway, I'll be back with more fun stuff asap.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Once again the ageing spud boys are on tour, and the loyal Bunche was there to bear witness. The venue was Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom, a spacious hall that has a perfect view of the stage from nearly every angle of the auditorium, and, more importantly, the bar.

The tickets were a bit pricey — $55 a head — and bore a stern "no cameras" warning, a command that I chose to ignore by hiding my disposable Kodak in one of my shoulder pack's many hidden compartments ("the smuggler's friend"), but Devo is one of the handful of bands that I would willingly miss my mother's funeral to see perform, so until admission reaches the Broadway level of extortion I will always be found among the adoring rabble. Totalitarianism and inflation can lick my beige ass.

Accompanied by my fellow Devotee-for-life, Chris Gazelli, I endured the entrance checkpoint, was asked by the gargantuan security Negro "You got any pocket knives in this bag?” and finally breezed into the nearly sold out theater. The crowd was as unpredictably diverse as I have come to expect at a Devo show, consisting of metalheads, behatted cowboys, costumed lunatics, hardcore punkers, rastas, hip-hoppers in search of beats, parents who were fans and brought their pre-teen progeny with them because the kids know Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh from his music work on the cartoons RUGRATS and ROCKET POWER, first-generation fans who have been into the band since at least the first album back in 1978, and, inevitably, the army of folks tricked-out in their "Freedom of Choice"-era "energy domes," better described to the layman as those stupid flower pot helmets seen in the video for "Whipit."

NOTE: let me just say that you can tell a decent energy dome from one of the cheap-assed Chinese knockoffs sold at the shows by their strawberry hue and glossy sheen, as opposed to the slightly orange and matte-textured bargain version. The good ones can be had online from Club Devo ( while the crappy ones are flogged at the souvenir stand for an appalling $30. Having an original that thrown to me by the band at my first Devo show — the OH, NO! IT'S DEVO! tour in November of 1982 — I opted for a pair of tour boxer shorts that can also be worn as regular shorts. Always thinking, those boys from Akron...

The DJ who provided the pre-show music firmly understood the musical tastes of the audience, treating us to many new wave classics and several superb Devo covers and apparently new material that I am in the process of tracking down; if anyone who reads this knows who that DJ was and has any contact info, please get in touch with me immediately!

The opening band was the stunningly bad Vic Thrill, coming in at number three for the title of Worst Devo Opening Band of All Time, right behind the outrageously bad Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the mind-bendingly wretched and deservedly obscure Red Flag, and Chris and I weathered the Vic Thrill set with a futile argument over who was the worst of the opening bands; Chris goes with Red Flag while I pick the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and since this is my blog, I am right. So there.

Then the headliners came out and the crowd turned into a throbbing, bouncing, pogo-ing sea of mutated humanity, united in the de-evolutionary groove that we positively thrive upon; along with the usual well-received jibes against the "right wing assholes" currently in office, the boys gave us many of the classics, had two dancers in chimpanzee masks dancing to the herky-jerky "choreography" during "Jocko Homo," and even broke out "Going Under" and "Wiggly World," two songs that I had never seen them do live, while "Uncontrollable Urge" worked its usual magic, driving hot, scantily-clad girls into an erotic go-go frenzy, while simultaneously pushing steroid-abusing frat boys into mosh-and-skank overdrive. Chris and I even witnessed some poor bastard being hauled unconscious from the floor by two of his pals, his head lolling and his legs dragging behind him, apparently the victim of a shot to the skull in the mosh pit.

All in all, an excellent show, but my favorite sight during the whole shebang was the old, fat dude who looked exactly like Santa Claus in a Hawaiian shirt and Gilligan hat, a chapeau festooned with tour buttons dating back at least to the 1980 Central park gig, grooving HARD on the dance floor to "Freedom of Choice" with his nubile grand-daughter.

Fuck, I love rock 'n' roll!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Today my boss' wife referred to me as "the Joseph Campbell of Crap." I like it!

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I don't have any idea why Mark Lindsay's classic single "Arizona" — it reached number 10 on the Billboard chart in 1970 — has entered my head. Or maybe I do...

Anyway, check out this chorus:

Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world, my, my
Arizona, cut off your Indian braids
Arizona, hey won't you go my way?
Mmm, Strip off your pride
You're acting like a teeny-bopper run away child
And scrape off the paint from the face of a little town saint

What the fuck? That's like ordering someone to cut off their long-cultivated Jim Kelly afro or rip out their Dave Lister dreads!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Since as far back as I can remember the human female has fascinated me. Ladies, I love the way you think, the way your bodies yield when held close, that look in your eyes that says, “I have secrets that you’d love to unravel,” the way you move… Shit, I just love everything about you. And as a man who piously worships at the female altar, I love to give you that special kiss. You know what I’m talking about. Whistling in the wheat field. Yodeling in the valley. Getting a taste of the pink delight. Eating the fish sandwich. You guessed it, chica; I’m talking about that face-first greeting to the one hundred percent all-girl sandwich meat. Yes, I’m talking about eating your pussy until your eyes roll back into your skull, your knees wobble like a Jell-O mold during a major earthquake, and your nose starts to bleed.

The phrasing may seem crass, but true passion is seldom eloquent.

Some guys refuse to even entertain the thought of orally pleasing a lady — especially many members of my own highly rhythmic special interest group — and I not only pity them, but I also pity their women. These men usually explain away their reluctance with pronouncements that the pussy is “nasty.” In my opinion, I think they are skittish thanks to ignorance, fear, and belief in such outright falsehoods as the long-held male belief that woman-stuff smells like fish; perhaps when the woman in question is gynecologically ill or putting up with certain punctual annoyances that their gender is heir to, but usually the stuff is quite nice. So, guys, butch up and go south.

It’s not the hardest thing in the world to do, especially if you communicate with your partner. Newsflash, fellas: women like to come just as much as you do, and if you show an eagerness to get them there, they will direct you with the same aplomb as that displayed by a skilled air traffic controller. Some like the “alphabet” method — wherein you lick the alphabet, but if you do that I advise against humming the “Alphabet Song” — others like aggressive attention to their clit, there are those who like a gentle kissing effect to the aforementioned “yummy button” coupled with some manual stimulation to their G-spot, exactly the same as the aforementioned only with the added bonus of a friendly digit up the booty, and the real adventurers who enjoy that most personal lick accompanied by a carefully and patiently administered hand that becomes a gentle fist, filling her utterly in ways that a penis just isn’t equipped to do… The variations are endless, so ask her what she likes, you horny fool!

But then there is that most frightening of anomalies: the woman who finds her own good stuff to be repellent and disgusting, thereby being grossed-out in the first place, and utterly unwilling to let the kind headsman get down to business. These women, I am convinced, were raised by repressed mothers and had no borderline-nymphomaniac friends or sisters to inform them that good, orally-generated, ear-grabbing orgasms are the exact cosmic opposite of such things as the Black Plague, the Holocaust, and GIGLI, and may not necessarily be beyond help, but those whom I have run into with this sad affliction are impossible to convince otherwise and so I politely get out of being with them. I mean, how the fuck do you get someone over her deeply rooted genital self-hatred without years of therapy? Sadly, I am merely a blogger and not a sexologist, so the answers to such questions cannot be provided by your humble cunnilinguist. If any of you readers — particularly the female ones — can add any constructive comments, or even your own advice for the would-be oralist, please send your comments and I will eventually craft an entry culled from your musings, so don’t delay, send them today! And don’t be afraid to be graphically honest; the details are always fun!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Once again, dear readers, yours truly has been shot down over the battlefield of romance (mind you, with the door left open for consideration), but for once I have received a long overdue dose of assessment with the perishing in flames, an assessment that I appreciate: the lady in question — who several months ago originally broached the subject of us possibly hooking up in the first place — says that after careful thought, she equates me with comfort rather than excitement.

As I tried to maintain some semblance of dignity as I sank into sadness and disappointment, I realized that I do represent comfort to many of the women in my life; whether as a sounding board, sympathetic ear, “old comfy couch.” or just plain old emotional tampon, I must send out that comfort vibe like an industrial strength pheremone.

It’s all well and good to make people feel welcome and at ease, but enough with that! I can name many lovely women who I have known who have told me to my face that prior to being married/divorced/generally mistreated that I would have had little or no chance with them whatsoever, but once they have been through the wringer they tell me that they erred by not looking at me from another angle. I know that’s true, but I’m tired of it. However, I will give the woman who had the honesty to say it to my face points for candor. I’m not mad at her at all, just saddened, and once more a bit wiser, but at least I tried to put it out there. And as flaws that render one undateworthy go, being a comfortable nurturer could be a lot worse.

Oh, well… Time to live up to my own oft-given advice to others: when faced with rejection, just say the magic word, namely “NEXT!”

Monday, August 01, 2005

ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH, or FEAR-"False Evidence Appearing Real"

Sometimes the most obvious of things can sneak right up on you and you can be too stupid, stubborn or just downright scared to deal with it.

A few months back, an old friend of mine let it slip that she found me attractive and wanted to discuss the possibility of us hooking up as a couple. I had known this woman for fourteen years — we met at a Halloween costume party in New Jersey; I was a giant psychedelic mushroom — and even lived with her as a roommate for about a year or so, but I had never thought of her as anything other than a friend, so her intoxicant-fueled Saint Patrick’s Day revelation came as a bit of a shock. I agreed to speak with her about it on my next day off, and we set the meeting at the pub two blocks away from my apartment.

The day for our meeting arrived and we went to the pub for dinner and drinks, however our intended tete-a-tete didn’t happen as planned since there was a birthday party going full swing and another friend of mine from my days at DC Comics was unexpectedly present. He did not appear to be having much fun at the party, so we invited him to join us. What I did not know was that the guy used to date the lady in question, and that she was in rather serious dating mode. When I could, I tried to communicate with her regarding my reservations about the whole thing and I basically stated that what with my nocturnal schedule I would be unable to maintain an easily-accessible role as her boyfriend, but I was perfectly willing to engage in a “fuck buddy” relationship, although I did phrase the proposal a lot classier than that. She had her own adamant stance as well, namely that she didn’t want to risk our friendship (despite the fact that it was she who got the ball rolling in the first place) demanding a guarantee that I would fall in love with her if we began something. I told her that I couldn’t make such a guarantee, so we amicably left it at that and she went back to the former boyfriend — for about five minutes, when she pulled the same ultimatum on him and he didn’t go for it either.

So the months have passed, and she comes to hang out at my place every Monday or Tuesday night, time that we use to catch up, expose each other to new and interesting media, and of course drink like fish and smoke water-pipe hits until we get giddy. I have come to greatly enjoy the time we spend together, and despite the fact that we lived together in Manhattan during the 1990’s, I truly feel that I have only really gotten to know her in the past few months. When she comes to hang out I have found my thoughts in realms that are very far away from the platonic…

Sadly, one of my deepest flaws is a genuine fear of commitment and intimacy to some extent; I have had many lovers over the course of my life, but only three of them really mattered to me in a serious emotional way and for a variety of reasons — my fuckups and theirs — things just didn’t work out. My fears stem from witnessing the balls-out failure that was my parents’ marriage and the lack of truly positive love in that dysfunctional hellhole that was my home in my growing-up years. I am terrified of how I might stack up as a potential husband/father, and I often don’t let the women in my life past my considerable defenses. I can handle the sex part of a relationship, but when it comes time for real commitment and letting someone really get close to me I am one scared shitless motherfucker. I think my lady friend has similar issues, but I can’t say for certain. However, I know fear when I see it since I am way too familiar with it in my own fucked up emotional life. Why else would she put the idea of romance between us on the table and then try to drive me away? Such tactics make her her own worst enemy, and that's a damned shame. But who the fuck am I to criticize anyone else's neuroses?

I freely admit that I am a very lonely soul, and I am going to bite down my personal demons and butch up.

That said, she and I are going to sit down and once more mull over the possibilities, and her natural relaxed air may be just what I need. She’s imaginative, funny, genuinely sweet and a damned good friend. She may have reservations about possibly ruining things between us, but I have no such worries. I hope to put her fears to rest and with any luck move into someplace good with all of this.

Fear is a bitch, lemme tell ya. She’ll probably read this, too, but I don’t think she’ll be offended; hopefully by writing this stuff out I can more eloquently make my case when it’s time for face-to-face communication. Well, I’ll just have to wait and see.

And I think she may be worth the wait.