Tuesday, October 03, 2006

You Can Read This Post, But You Might Not Respect Me in the Morning...

OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- I woke up Sunday morning, got up, made coffee. Climbed into bed, curled up with last week's Rolling Stone and started to read an interview with Jack Nicholson.

The woman in bed with me had just finished it.

All she could talk about was the fact that Nicholson's profile reminded her of me, how I live like an eccentric artist, how I'm not a traditional relationship kind of guy...

* * * *

For the record, nothing happened. No sex, at least.

As you'll soon read, there's a very good reason for that.

Since I started this blog, whenever I've posted something about various relationships, I've had various people ask: why are you so damned neurotic when it comes to women? Occasionally, someone will leave a comment about how I seem like a decent guy, that I'm cute, etc.

I must warn you, dear reader, that this post may cause some discomfort. It may just change your opinion of me, if you even have one, and probably not for the better. I'm used to it, so don't feel bad.

* * * *

The woman wouldn't let the Jack thing drop. She became enamored with the idea that I prefer being the fling, the relationship escape hatch, the go-to guy when passions fail. For some reason, she thought that made me seem, well, more attractive.

Even though I'd made it clear the previous night that I really didn't want to be yet another one-night stand, the woman decided to test me, to see if I'd changed my mind.

The only thing I remember is her climbing on top of me, trying to dig into my track pants like a horny ferret, and politely rolling her off me several times. I tried explaining that, well, her being in my bed in the first place had more to do with logistics (i.e., she was too drunk to drive back to Indiana Saturday night, we were only sharing a bed because I no longer have a couch for guest use, etc.) than a desire for a quick, dirty fuck.

That just made her mad. Rejection does that to people.

If you really wanted to be somebody's boyfriend or something, you'd just ask single girls out. You get off on this shit. Some guys are the boyfriend kind. You're not, asshole. Get over yourself!

I finally snapped. It's been a while since I've kicked someone out of an apartment at nine in the morning.

What pissed me off?

If there's one thing that scares the shit out of me more than anything, it's the idea that one day, I'll be that old man in a big old house, alone with nothing more than memories and my failing libido to keep me company.

Just like good ol' Jack.

After Ish left, screaming about how she hoped she never saw my lame ass ever again, I bolted the door, cleaned up pieces of the broken coffee cup she'd flung at me, took a cold shower. I put on the stereo, a little Tom Waits to soothe the ol' nerves.

I finished the article, browsed some JASIST articles I'd downloaded from work, and went back to sleep. I didn't even have it in me to be angry.

Hell, what's wrong with me? I've got to be one of the only guys on the planet who's more proud of himself for choosing not to fuck somebody than for choosing the alternative.

* * * *

I happened to be taking a drive through Liberty, Indiana, Saturday morning, trying to figure out where I stood after a recent tryst with a woman here in Oxford - a tryst that I'd hoped, at least, could possibly turn into something meaningful.

Tryst. It's amazing how I use so many euphemisms when I write these days. Sounds so much more, well, diplomatic than trying to explain how one ends up as a clandestine player in a rather bizarre love triangle, how one ends up as the odd-man-out in such things completely by accident.

As I've stated before, no, I don't steal girlfriends. It is impossible, really, to steal another human being. Women are not property and have a right to choose things for themselves. I do, however, have a nasty track record of borrowing them.

The latest tryst, however, began as a friendship, and went right at the wrong time. I fell for someone I actually enjoy spending time with - unfortunately, she fell for me whilst still being committed to someone else.

These things happen.

* * * *

Through some cosmic clusterfuck on nature, Ish and several of her friends happened to be camping at nearby Whitewater Memorial State Park. We ran into each other at a gas station.

I told her about my recent odd-man-out, love triangle tryst. She told me about how she was bored shitless at the campsite, how her ex-boyfriend was also a member of her group - along with his new girlfriend. She invited me to the camp site. I declined but gave her my new address, in case excessive amounts of beer failed to relieve her boredom and ex-fueled anxiety.

Somehow, she ended up driving to Oxford Saturday night. She somehow showed up on my doorstep at just before midnight.

I'm an old pro at these sorts of things. When a woman shows up at your door late at night, tells you they have no clue why they decided to drive 20 minutes just to say hi, there is no need for explanations.

While I may be dense when it comes to reading those all-important signals, some things, like having a woman tell you, point-blank, that you are more than welcome to do whatever you wish, are kinda-sorta hard to miss, even for me.

Hell, if it weren't for blunt women in this world...

* * * *

I almost gave in to that uncontrollable, Devil-may-care lust, the dangerous kind of passion that always hides somewhere inside of all God's creatures. Sometimes, lust can be a good thing; at other times it can be more destructive than a hurricane in hell.

After being a revenge-fuck for way too many women in my adult life, I almost decided that, yeah, maybe it's high time I start using women the way they seem to use me.

Part of me wanted to just fuck away the memories of my recent tryst. I wanted the heartbreak to go away, to take the easy way out, to not care long enough to forget that I'd been in another woman's bed less than 60 hours prior, that I'd been happy.

Part of me, the immature, lustful part, could almost believe that.

* * * *

I wanted to forget all the other drama of the last month, too. The stuff I haven't really felt like talking about with anyone, much less posting to the ol' blog.

I finally told P. (the Backpacker Fling) that, well, some folks can't afford to take a month off to renovate Spanish villas, that I wasn't exactly comfortable playing the role of Rich Italian Woman's fuck-buddy carpenter while her boyfriend plays at being a race car driver. I wanted to forget her and her shouting through Skype that I'd led her on, that I was behaving like a stereotypical American boy, that most guys would kill to hop a plane for Europe....

I wanted to forget that I apparently sent an ex running to her stereotypically Los Angeles, $600-a-session shrink because she called me after eight months and I bluntly stated that I don't miss the twice-a-month STD testing or being the East Coast Boyfriend portion of her open relationship. I wanted to forget being told that I'm addicting, that I'm to blame for her once-again exclusive boyfriend's failure to meet her intellectual needs and the fact that she can't help remembering how my hands felt on her lower back.

I wanted to forget the fact that I've had two different women on two very different sides of the planet tell me that it was downright wrong for me to even consider actually DATING someone while they're lonesome and horny, to actually consider being in a relationship.

I wanted to forget all about work, forget about the fact that I spent an extra week ill with walking pneumonia because I was too driven to take time off, forget every damned thing related to libraries, librarianship, and my job. I wanted to forget the $6-million, taxpayer-funded gorilla on my back. I wanted a reason to call into work, to say that I'd be in bed for the next week, screwing my brains out, and that I'd need to cancel a few meetings.

Part of me wanted to just not give a shit about anything.

And that part almost won out. But, well, sometimes, dignity can overcome lust.

When there's a woman running her tongue down your arm while you're not-so-innocently sprawled on the floor, watching a film like Interview with a Vampire, I don't know how - or why - the other, more responsible, side won.

It was obviously a hard-fought internal battle. But, dammit, sometimes having a soul means one accepts that there are indeed times for conscience-driven impotence.

And that kind of impotence isn't cured by some little blue pill. That kind of impotence doesn't go away the next morning, even when, physically, one is indeed turned on and able.

Some women, the ones who think I'm the kind of guy who enjoys being nothing more than a fuck-buddy, don't seem to understand that.

* * * *

I've been the revenge-fuck. I've been the fling, the other man, the chronic womanizer, the wreckless fun guy, the once-and-a-while lover, the Angel of Death for soon-to-be ex-boyfriends and fiances, the passionate exit ramp off the Abusive/Alcoholic/Junkie Assholes and Bastards Expressway.

I've had guys tell me they've dreamt of pulling a bullet through my skull because I slept with their girlfriends. I've cried watching college drinking buddies walk out of my life because I went home with their significant others. I even had one guy who probably has no clue, to this day, that his "best girl" was actually paying my rent in 1997 with the money he was stealing from his fraternity.

I have spent the majority of my adult life as that guy. The guy that makes other guys nervous, because he has no problem talking to women like human beings, with listening when they won't. The guy who makes boyfriends want to hold their girl's hand a bit tighter when he walks by, the guy who turns jealousy into an art form for some women.

And I've spent the last few years of my life trying to learn how not to be that guy. Maybe, just maybe, I'm tired of it. Maybe I want something more, something deeper. I'd like to learn how to, one day, do normal boyfriend/husband/whatever things with someone while in a meaningful, long-term relationship. Maybe I'd rather just live the rest of my life without any of the drama, to be able to die happy one day in the distant future without acquiring any more guilt.

Maybe, subconsciously, I knew I'd be reading a Rolling Stone interview the next morning, an interview with a guy often called the Great Seducer. Maybe, somehow, I knew I'd read that article and realize that if I had acted on instinct alone, I'd one day end up being the kind of senior citizen who never got the whole healthy relationship thing.

Maybe I don't want to be just like good ol' Jack when I grow up.

* * * *
When I finally rolled out of bed Sunday, I felt, strangely enough, at peace with the world.

I shaved off my weekly stubble, got dressed, made another pot of coffee. I cleaned the hardwood floors, did the dishes, folded laundry.

At one point, I stared at this picture I keep on a shelf in the bedroom, this old black-and-white photograph of another guy named Jack, the biggest influence in my life and, at times, the reminder of the kind of man I wanted to be when I was a child.

This Jack isn't some actor; the weathered old coonass in the photo, the guy staring off into the sunset with a Stetson on his head and a factory seconds cigar between his fingers, was bigger than that. This was a man who said things like holler and Hot Damned! and yellerbellied yet was still able to hold high-ranking positions in various embassies around the world, a man who played golf with the rulers of nations and who was one of the only American diplomats decorated for doing his part to help diffuse the Suez War.

When he died in 1986, he died knowing that he had left his mark on the world. He left behind a wife of 40 years, his one surviving son, and two grandchildren. Despite all of the acclaim he received in life, despite all of his adventures, his family and the unconditional love they held for one another was his greatest accomplishment.

For some reason, staring at that photo, I couldn't help but be envious of a man who went to bed with the same woman for almost a half-century and always felt he was the luckiest man alive.

No offense to Mr. Nicholson, but I still think I'd rather be like my grandfather when I finally grow up.

And I don't need a Rolling Stone article or some random bitter woman in my bed to tell me that.


Jessie said...

whoa. All I can say. Whoa.now i understan what you mean by drama in yur life causing stress. fuck women are evil. and i'm a woman

Ms. Monkeythong said...

Maybe it'll get better as you get older. I dunno.

If it's any consolation, *I'm* not attracted to you! :-) Or that kind of Jack Nicholson guy. So maybe you need to go to library conferences and find some nice nerdy UNATTACHED librarian girl who also likes Battlestar Galactica and who is also attracted to you.

Dances With Books said...

You are human, and you have your dignity. That has to count. Imagine that, speaking to a woman as if they were human. No wonder so many women run away from so many guys. Then again, the inverse has been known to happen. Anyhow, you are a work in progress, keep going forward.

And no, don't think less of you.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol, yep. Not as bad as it sounds, now that I've finally got it out of my system. I blog, well, to vent, and sometimes I don't feel like I can do that.

Nah, women aren't evil. Some are, but most aren't :)

I frigging hope so. I'm hoping to hit the maturity of at least a 16 year old before I hit 40 ;)

Library conferences? Oh hell no. I swore off female librarians when I realized that about 60% of librarianship is made up of insane people.

Hey, thanks! I hope dignity counts for something. Very true. I think, in writing this, I somehow managed to boost my own self-image a bit. I realized that, lol, I guess I do some things right, at least. Just have to figure out the rest.

Yup, a work in progress, est. 1978 :)

Thanks, too, for the affirmation.

Joanna said...

Jason- I read this blog a couple of times and I haven't lost an ounce of respect for you. On the contrary, I think more of you for writing what you did. It seems like nowadays the men our age are more interested in being the one night stand or the fuck buddy. I have to say that I admire you for wanting more. Not alot of guys your age are able to see that there are things worth having out there.

Coyote Mike said...

I hate when someone tries to put me in some sort of box: "Boyfriend material, not boyfriend type, fuck buddy, etc". It isn't anyone's fault but hers that you, being yourself, wasn't what she was expecting. I think women have thought for too long that any guy will jump at the chance for a quick fuck if offered. I've turned several girls down and have felt better about myself than I know I would feel if I had said "sure, climb on" or words to that effect.

Men aren't walking penises; women aren't walking tits; we're all people, and if that isn't good enough for someone, fuck 'em.

alice said...

My life has little drama as least shareable drama but I enjoy reading yours even though it exhausts me.

I think most people want to be free to do what they want and become what they want while still hoping they will find the one and only. The fear of not finding the " real one and only" and or the fear of losing the one and only and not being able to stand the pain often makes people - both male and female - go after those they feel are unobtainable or not likely to want a sustainable relationship.
Good for you for figuring it out.

HuneeB said...

Wow I have so many things swirling around in my head that my fingers can't type fast enough to articulate them....I'll come back to this later but Wow it is amazing to be inside a man's head when he takes that step from frat-boy (don't be offended I am using that very loosely), sow your oats, steal (cross that...borrow) your lady, live in the moment of lust, let the chips fall where they may kind of guy to a man. Someone that has an idea of what he wants and sticks to it. I am impressed Jason. Very impressed. To turn down an easy guaranteed lay because you want something better and know it is noble. Just when I was loosing hope in men... Okay gotta go I'll be back to visit this one...

ziggystardust73 said...

"If there's one thing that scares the shit out of me more than anything, it's the idea that one day, I'll be that old man in a big old house, alone with nothing more than memories and my failing libido to keep me company."

I don't want to be that man either; but equally, I don't want to be the man who compromises what I want to simply be 'involved'.

oh, and I don't think there is anything 'wrong' with you at all. In fact, just the opposite.

There is a lot that sounds very, very right.

pia said...

Lose respect for you? Uh, why?

Do think Jack Nicholson's living with a woman. But I still think you should be like your grandfather when you grow up

Anonymous said...

Oy. Heavy, dude.

I'll have to share the Bri story with you sometime ... although that one is more funny than introspective ... but it relates nonetheless. Not one I particularly want to post, in any event.

So instead I'll offer some cheer. If this don't make you smile, you may not actually be a librarian at heart. Not that I'm bragging about the skillz or anything.

Cheers bro,

sassinak said...

I've been the revenge-fuck. I've been the fling, the other man, the chronic womanizer, the wreckless fun guy, the once-and-a-while lover, the Angel of Death for soon-to-be ex-boyfriends and fiances, the passionate exit ramp off the Abusive/Alcoholic/Junkie Assholes and Bastards Expressway.

i've been the other woman, i've been the last fling before they start a 'real' relationship, i've lost count of the number of people who married the person they were with after me, i get hit on by married men and men with girlfriends. i am not girlfriend material and i don't get asked out but oh lord do the old drunk men want to fuck me.

and i'm so tired of it i just give up. hopefully you will have better luck sir.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Oh, thanks so much! Lol, I'd at least like to think there are more guys out there who at least question the fling-holding-pattern. It's something I've grappled with for years.

Oh, it's annoying as hell to be put in a box like that! I rarely fit most stereotypes of who I'm supposed to be. Hell, I was watching PBS and listening to hip-hop while I wrote this post, for christ's sakes. Yeah, there's this idea that, well, women can't objectify sex the way men stereotypically do - complete horseshit. And, yeah, choosing to not fuck somebody is a lot easier than going "oh hell, what the hell did I do this time?" after a stupid mistake.

Lol, well, I'll trade ya ;)

Sustainable relationship....hmmm...I like that. Good choice of words.

No offense about the fratboy thing...lol, if I still had my goat and shaved head, it'd probably something like growing out of your Biker Bar Regular ways ;)

I wish it were solely out of nobility, but, well, I'm just tired of drama, the games, the hollowness, that goes along with the whole mess. But its refreshing to know I'm not the only one, too.

Yeah, the no compromising on standards is the other edge of the sword, certainly. I refuse to settle. I know very well that I'd never be happy in some LEave It To Beaver type relationship - boring as hell. Thanks!

Yeah, I thought ol' JAck was still with that obscenely thin woman, Lara Flynn something. But apparently, he's just got his housekeeper and Oz, his chef/bodyguard. And I agree...Grandpa was a better role model.

Like mercury in the sun's core. Yeah, not a fun September. Yeah, I'd love to hear it, man. And, lol, the LB Photoshopping returns! Rock on!

Oooh...the last fling before the "real" relationship...yeah, those usually sting a bit. Yep, I'm swearing off women for a while...like I told a friend of mine, the next time, I'll just get a cat.

Anonymous said...

k not sure if anybody can comment or not. isee you almost every day standing outside kofenya smoking and on your cell. hehe my friend sara thinks she may have hooked up with you at a party not sure. doesn't sound ike it though. this may not be apropriate but you've always been a bit of a mystery to me. always standing there alone. a friend sent this to me from OSU this morning. yeah i've been that girl too. sucks ass. don't know what the hell is wrong with me either. i'm tired of it. guys here suck. being single sucks. fucking just b/c your bored sucks.

i don't mean to like ramble but you have a really neat site and i'm glad you live in oxford. somebody's got to write about this shit. hope you're doing okay. do you have a facebook acct?

Miz BoheMia said...

Sounds like you're tired of the same old BS... maybe changes are in store for you?

I agree with Pia... your grandpa sounds delightful...

Where do you meet all these freaky women??? My god!

HuneeB said...

noble ws just a small portion of it...

The ZenFo Pro said...

LMAO! You know, the quickest way to identify yourself as a resident of Oxford Fucking Ohio is to post a comment about a ZenFo Pro spotting... :) Yeah, I'm a bit of a loner. I guess I'd rather just keep to myself most days.

Lol, err...no, can confirm that I've never hooked up with anyone named Sara at any party. Honestly, I can't even begin t imagine what it would be like to be percieved as the "other girl" here. And, yep, I do have a rather inactive, non-public Facebook acct. Doing fine, actually :)

Chica, I'm so done with the BS. I think I've done a pretty god job changing a lot of the internal stuff, but, lol, now I just need to stay away from the drama that's caused so much of it.

Lol, you know, I guess it's hard to be perceived as the girlfriend-stealer/borrower for the past week and to think about how I did the right thing.

A samll portion? Lol...sounds like I'm in trouble ;)

LibraryTavern Liz said...

I didn't read this entire post or the comments. I just wanted to leave a comment to suggest that you take the what is my life rated test that I posted on the LibraryTavern.

HuneeB said...

No trouble Jason...first off about the girl friend stealer/borrower title.

While I admire your “women are not property philosophy” borrowing a woman still implies ownership…While I try to reject the idea of ownership completely I am afraid some people can be owned; but I believe that is a matter of choice. Some women or men for that matter are complacent (or search out) someone who will be the dominant alpha looking for just a trophy…(this sadly I see all too often where I live, something that tends to flow where old money and new money congregate!) When you give up your free will you submit yourself to someone’s ownership if it be only a piece of you. This is a quote that I picked up from another blogger (not sure where he got it…) but it sums up where my thinking is running with this: “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” Then of course there is the ownership in the sense of my boss owns me from 8-5 kind of thing well unless you really love your job but how many people in the cubicle/corporate world really do? (Some not all, and def not even close to 50%). Just wanted to correct you on the borrowing thing :) Sorry…I went off in a little tangent like I said my mind was all wheels spinning when I first read this!

Okay about you: titles. You said that is was hard to think of it as noble when you have been called this label for the past week. As we grow up, evolve and learn there will be a lot of people that call you a lot of different things. Some will be bad some will be good but what is important the most is not what they call you but what you answer to. This may take a while to learn but don’t let other people’s opinion and self desired labels affect how you feel in your heart about you or your actions. Those other people are not you nor do they define you. Some people name call out of jelousy or hate, other because well they don't know how to shut up and just accept people for who they are. Someone told me a long time ago that the thing people tease you about the most is the thing that they hate about themselves the most. Also that everytime you point a finger three more are point back at you (four if you count the thumb :) )

I will repeat the important part: It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that matters. :) (A little feel good for the soul I hope)

Now I said that noble was just part of it because I have known plenty of people that bounce from person to person not in search of the “one” but in search of a better piece of ass…I look at a small part of nobility as stopping and saying wait a minute I know what it is like to be hurt and I am no longer willing to freely hurt other people, nor do I want to intentionally hurt someone soooo I will be more careful. I will think of other people sometimes before my own self; wants, desires or lust. That is why I said noble.

Now I have no clue if this is where you are coming from or not but that is why I threw that in the mix. I see that as maturing and growing up a bit; no longer feeding the selfish child within us…

I totally get the tired of drama thing. I got tired of the games, lies and emptiness a long time ago. I gave up on the dating thing, that is not to say that I don’t date because I do but I am completely open and honest with people from the get go and it has saved me a lot of problems.

I tell people flat out look, I am a cool chick and I know it, I am independent and self reliant. I may say dumb things sometime but I am in no way dumb, please don’t treat me like I am. I demand a level of respect and try to conduct myself like a lady. The most important thing you could give me is honesty and your time, the rest I can do for myself. Don’t take time the wrong way because I don’t require a lot of time and I am not some needy girl. I like my friends as I am sure you like yours, spending time with them is important to me please don’t feel threatened by that… Anything you ask me or are concered about I will answer openly and honestly, I hope that you will do the same. If you are looking to just get into my pants keep on moving; I am not your girl. If you want to move on there are no judgments here, it was nice meeting you. :)

For the most part I have saved myself from all that mess that people my age (24) go thru and all my relationships have lasted years not months with the last one being three years long. I am not afraid to be alone and I won’t compromise my standards to just be with another person. I have a sense of who I am and what I want. Ambition in another person is so important to me, even if it is ambition to be the best pizza delivery you can be…LOL, okay well maybe not…but you get the point. Wow SORRY I think that this turned into me when it wasn’t supposed to.

Anyway I wanted to tell you that I think you have moved onto the next stage of yourself, and of what you want in relationships. I think that you grew up a little is all. When you decide that you are done sowing oats and you want more I think that it is admirable. Good luck with the future ones…oh and next time just get a fish not a cat (fish may not be such a long commitment)… :) (but that ref was hilarious btw)

HuneeB said...

okay in type that was long winded and well that was just a small fraction of what was on my wheels. :)

...And hey why do my HTML tags NEVER work!! Boo!

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol, yeah sometimes comments just ned to be long :)

You know, a big part of my neurotic dealings with women comes from the fact that I have been willing to to be an active participant in so many extrarelationship affairs. The longest relationship-relationship I'veever had? Probably two months. I finally accepted a while ago that, well, if I don't want to be that way, then I'm really the only person who can change it. Figured that out shortly after I figured out that I know longer can afford to be involved with women with serious, untreated mental illness (2003, I've been involved with Borderline PErsonalities, Antisocial Personalities, Histrionic Personalities, etc...women who, in all fairness, had conditions that untreated are almost certain to be unable to commit to relationships and who were about as stable as two-legged tables) or were generally emotionally unavailable. Lol, I'm also a proud survivor of domestic violence and have the PTSD to show for it ;)

The problem for me, actually, is that I think I've backpedaled a bit. Sure, no desire to date women who are nucking futs or prone to potential homicide/suicide attempts, overdoses, but I've been intentionally steering clear of developing emotionally meaningful relationships. Being the other man is easy; the only thing I have to do is be myself. I'm rather charming in person I guess, and though I talk a lot, I'm a better listener than most and serve as good cousel (lol, part of the reason I almost entered the preisthood). But I haven't been willing to commit anything in a while - that bothers me.

I'm tired of being the other man. It's draining to be the fling. And, frankly, whatever I used to get out of it now feels like...work. The missing link is the ability to allow myself to care enough to even think about emotions. The "borrower" thing was a bit tongue-n-cheek, btw. You're right - it does still imply ownership, but, lol, it was simply a way to describe in less than 1000 words my reputation ;) One cannot even borrow a girlfriend; it's as silly as the idea that a cheating partner's lover is to blame for infidelities, for getting upset at the non-fling. Cheating starts, always, in the heart, with doubts, long before any cheatee comes along.

Lol, talk about a tangent....look what you started, chica :)

HuneeB said...

I don't mind what I started at all, I would love for this to turn into something much longer, there are so many more things that I think you will discover about yourself and I would love to hear about it all. I realize that comment was a little tongue in cheek and I also realize it was a little ego boosting that is okay. I just had to let my little inner feminist out for a comment or two, no hard feelings. ;)

Indeed we are in control of our own lives, our own emotions and our own destiny. When you take that on, wow.

Like I already said I would love to hear more...

HuneeB said...

you should know there is amazing potential in you. I can see that.