door_to_paradise_fund

LIFEGUARD

 

 

I innocently found a girl on the Internet while perusing gay websites for braised chicken recipes.  Brit’s picture sucked me towards the computer screen like a Dyson vacuum ad.  She had that kind of face to make anyone double take while flipping through a magazine. Her photograph must have winked at me or said something.  What she said was, “You want me,” and she was right.

I wrote her an email, something strong, but not desperate, because I was desperate, and desperately aware of it.  I sent the letter off and waited as patiently as I could, considering I was waiting.  A few days went by and I began to feel like she wasn’t interested in me anymore.  How had we grown apart so quickly?

My letter was charming.  I re-read it seventeen times so I was sure it was enticing.  Then I had this wild idea to write another letter, this time with a different AOL user name so I could be assured I would lure her into my clutches.  This letter was clearly better than the first.  Surely she would have to respond to this one.  As I wrote the second, I felt very competitive with the first letter.  Would she like me better, or the new improved me?  I sent the second off and waited for a reply.

Later that day something very disturbing occurred to me.  What if the girl had just been too busy to write the first me right away?  Now she would get two great letters and be torn between which fabulous girl to write back.  Perhaps she would write to both of us pitting me against myself.  I would constantly be at odds trying to one up me.  Maybe I would even try to date her as twins.  I jumped on-line attempting to retrieve the second letter.  I felt that the first letter was my true self, and the second, my inflated ego trying to prove something.

 

I tried to Un-send the mail which was the coolest option AOL had for Neurotics.  A message from the AOL powers-that-be responded, saying “You may not un-send something which has already been read.”   She was actually reading my letter while I attempted to yank it back.  I had to do something fast.  I couldn’t let her read both.  I immediately instant mailed her and ordered her not to read the letter from HotBoxGRL.  Of course, she wanted to know why, so I spilled.  I didn’t go into complete detail about what an obsessive, compulsive, neurosing freak-show I was.  That was too personal.  Oddly, even after hearing my explanation she liked me.

 

We wrote to each other all evening and by midnight we were talking on the phone.  She said she was a twenty-eight year old architecture student and who was I to say she wasn’t.  She was interesting, had great typing skills and was quick as a computer chip.  She said had just broken up from a long-term relationship, which was a coincidence as, I was also recovering from a break-up I could only describe emotionally as the second “big bang,” of the Universe.

 

She wanted to meet me, so we arranged a date at a coffee place near her place in Redondo Beach.  I loaded a backpack with a wool blanket, a great bottle of red wine, a candle, a corkscrew, a lighter, a flashlight, and an extra jacket.  I was already plotting to seduce her on the beach if we had any chemistry that wasn’t repellent.

 

I sped into the Starbucks lot flaunting my convertible, top reclined and tunes blasting.  I spotted her immediately.  Brit was far better looking than her picture, possessing a three-dimensional quality that instantaneously ripped my false bravado into shredded strips.  Reverting back to my natural awkwardness, crouching behind the imaginary safety of an open vehicle, I flashed to the first time I had an arranged meeting with a girl, age three.  I hid behind a giant dining room chair.  Would she be my friend?  Would she love me?  I snapped back to reality.  I had to grow up fast.

Brit smiled crookedly like a flirtatious rocker chick, all dimples and mischief melting my snowdrift of nerves.  Then she created a vortex that can finally be scratched off my “moments,” wish list.  Seemingly in slow motion, she leans over the passenger door, saying “Hey” with a gypsy flair, while effortlessly vaulting her body into the passenger seat without opening the door.  It was the epitome of “Groovy,” that massaged my inner hippy on a primal level.

I followed her lead, tearing through the gears, fish tailing my ride, and recklessly peeling out of a crowded intersection.  I catapulted the convertible toward the beach while we bounded along grinning silently, two juvenile homosexuals in someone’s stolen car.  She would glance at me, quickly looking away.  I unconsciously mirrored her behavior.

Parking at the beach, and lead by some invisible thread we headed for the lifeguard tower.  I had always wanted to do the lifeguard thing since I saw the film Lifeguard as a kid.  Although, my devastating crush was not on Sam Elliot, or Kathleen Quinlan’s character, the jail-bate slacker who hung on the beach all day exhibiting the vocabulary of a wind chime.  I was run through, slain for a decade by Anne Archer, and her smoldering seductive pained expressions.  This was before I discovered her connection to The Church of Scientology.  Not sexy.

We sat there together under my blanket taking turns sipping wine from the bottle.  I thought about bringing glasses, of course I had, but glasses telegraphed a certain pretentiousness I wasn’t ready to reveal.  We snuggled closely and didn’t speak. In the grand scheme of things, we were less than strangers.  We sniffed the air and felt each other’s warmth.  We fell towards each other and kissed as if we were inventing the act.  We kissed forever.  Days went by, planets aligned, then disassembled.  We didn’t speak.  There was nothing to say so we didn’t speak, for once.

Eventually, it became too cold to live on a lifeguard tower.  We had to be nomadic and move on.  I suggested taking her home since it seemed proper.  She said she wanted to see the place where I liked to call home.  I told her my ex’s house was out of the question, but I’d take her to my pad.  It had been months since I had fooled around, and I wasn’t remotely over my ex, so I was apprehensive about what to do with her once I landed at my place.  I showed her my digs, but felt uncomfortable being near a bed.  I decided to take her for a long walk with my dogs.  I figured walking would help my dogs feel less vulnerable, since they were obviously projecting all their vulnerability onto me.  She educated me all about the different styles of Architecture that surrounded my house.  She held my hand and kissed it sweetly as a metaphor to explain what was meant by the design credo, “form follows function.”

 

By the time we arrived back at the house I was so relaxed it only took one finger for her to push me into bed.  I don’t think she let me off my back the whole night.  Oh sure, I tried to flip over but she kept pinning me down like a rabbit.  She wasn’t a big girl, but she was a cyclist and had pinning muscles.  After a while it started to bother me that she wouldn’t let me experience her fully.  She wouldn’t say why she didn’t want me to touch her.  It’s just that whenever I came close she would divert me away like she didn’t have a torso.  Besides that, everything felt almost as good as being in love.  By the next day, when mid-afternoon rolled around I was beginning to feel frustrated, like a woman trapped in a woman’s body.  She refused to discuss the situation.  We finally parted ways and the whole event left me feeling like I had been the only female living in a Greek fishing village.

 

A few days later Brit called and wanted to see me again but I told her I couldn’t have a one-sided relationship.  I confessed I didn’t want to see her again because she wouldn’t talk about why she wouldn’t let me touch her.   After a long conversation, she finally revealed what was limiting her being able to totally let go.  She had never actually had sex with anyone before.  She and the girlfriend she was with for years had never actually consummated their relationship with the sex part.  No judgement.

 

I was sort of shocked.  She was so mature, bright, and loving and yet she had never allowed anyone to please her.  She said she wanted to try it again with me.  The idea of it both thrilled me and repelled me, but without the thrilled part.  Don’t get me wrong, I like breaking things in, just not intimately.  Horses buck you and chicks do what rhymes with that.  I knew enough to know someone would end up getting hurt and since I was still hurting from a prior relationship, I was sure it wasn’t going to be me.  But that didn’t matter, even when I mistakenly end up hurting someone else, it always hurts me worse.  I’m like a receptacle for emotional discord.

We never did have sex again.  Brit reunited with her ex.   Her ex was so furious and titillated that she had slept with someone else, she finally negotiated fucking her fully and for that I was grateful.  But not as grateful as Brit.