the name



My friend and I were out at a bar in West Hollywood.  We started at different ends and worked toward the middle.  We caught up after an hour and she starts harassing me.  ”Why is it?”  She asks, “That I can hang out in a bar and seven girls will approach and give me their numbers and you’ll have only gotten one?”


“Because,” I say, “You are a bunny and I am a Wolf.  Bunnies do not come after wolves.  Wolves have to go after bunnies.  Now hop along.”  And she did.


It’s harder to be a predator than prey.   Our hunger is insatiable and it can be a long time between meals, although one number can change your whole life, if even just for a week.  That night I didn’t need a phone number.  I met someone who had that je ne sais quoi and I don’t even speak French.   She was dark and mysterious like any blond in film noir isn’t.  Who she was, I couldn’t be sure.   When we introduced ourselves, I was too busy wondering if I was shaking her hand firmly enough, if I had any food on my shirt, or if she would ever one day love me fully.   After such scrutiny, a name can seem inconsequential.  But when you miss the name the first time, it can be impossible to get another chance.  There is no smooth way to admit you were too self-absorbed to listen while the name cart was circulating the aircraft.


So, no-name girl and I connected in a way that felt sort of telepathic.  I could read her mind, although as it turned out, she was actually reading the mind of the girl seated next to me thinking they were my thoughts.  But still, we had a connection.  She “got” me.   We shared the inside of a few cocktails, when suddenly I noticed her finger running up the seam of my pants.  It was a subtle gesture that managed to send me into an interior fantasy that involved coconut oil and go-go boots.  That’s when she successfully read my mind.


“Take me home.”  She said.  I could sense that, though she probably had her own home, she still wanted to come to mine to get some interior design ideas.

“I’ll take you,” I said, “but I have to pretend that we won’t have sex when we get there.  I might want to, but I like to be surprised.”

“Okay, we’ll just hang out and watch the sun come up.”

“That sounds groovy.”  I said, and off we went.


Lesbians are almost as closeted about one-night-stands as they are about their drug use or watching gay male porn.  I try not to mix sex and drugs, because it dilutes the high.  She followed me to my pad.  Even though we had just met and I knew next to nothing about her, I could sense deep down she would end up controlling me like a marionette, or maybe more like a hand puppet.  Either way, as fluid and dynamic as she was sexually, I couldn’t help being preoccupied with wanting to know her name.  It’s not like I’d even need her name until the third or forth month, but the idea of not having it was making me obsessive.  All through the night I was in my head, conjuring clever ways I could uncover her name.  I might rummage through her purse for her drivers license, but if she caught me, it would ruin my chances of ever successfully stealing from her in the future.   I could ask her how her parents came up with such an unusual name, although if her name was ordinary, more confusion would follow.  I might inquire as to how she felt her first name related to her middle and last and did she understand the continuity?


Morning came as it inevitably does when you’re involved in a something you don’t want to ever end.  She had taken it upon herself to write down her name, phone number and a little happy face and the words “call me.”  The strangest part about the entire event was in the end, I didn’t believe that she transcribed her real name.  The name didn’t fit her.  It didn’t fit any part of her.  I imagined she devised the whole phony-name-plan to shame me for missing her name from the beginning.  I went out with her a few times but I could never call her by her supposed name.  My only choice was to discontinue dating her because her name was so incongruent with who she had become to me.  She would always have a place in my heart as the girl without a name.