Saturday, March 24, 2007

Playing the Odds, Early Morning Phone Calls, and Other Lustful Things

Halloween (Cousin Cole v. Flufftronix Remix 2007) [MP3]
- The Misfits
[Original Artist, 1981 Plan 9 Records]
OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- It took me a few minutes to figure out who was on the other end of the phone call. Not many folks call me so early in the morning, not unless the caller just happens to know that I'm usually up by five Eastern.

The sound of the cell vibrating across the kitchen table scared the shit out of me. I was barely through my first cup of coffee, barely finished eating my first Lean Pocket.

Though I'm sure the caller knew I answered, the other end fell silent, a disconnect. I wrote it off as a dropped call or, probably, a wrong number. I looked at the caller ID - didn't even recognize the area code.

Two minutes later, the phone went off again, and this time I caught it on the first ring.

"This is Jason."

"Hey, Fucknut."

"Uh, hey yourself."

"It's just me. _______ gave me your new number."

* * * *

Given the fact that, well, I'd never expected to hear "Tonya's" voice ever again, I sank to the floor, cigarette and cup o' joe in hand. I don't know if I was excited or shocked or upset or merely caught up in some early morning daydream. The room was spinning.

The only thing I could muster after an awkward pause was an exaggerated Oh, hey chica!, as if I were talking to some colleague about space planning or some female friend locally about plans for the weekend.

Deep down, I guess I knew that the phone call wasn't exactly one of those simple, friendly calls.

* * * *

It was clear, within five minutes of talking, that "Tonya" was drunk as a skunk. She slurred her words and apologized numerous times for being a little wasted.

Upon realizing that she'd miscalculated the time difference, she abruptly hung up, called back, hung up again, and finally, after one more call, believed me when I told her that I was already awake and that I was, indeed, alone and woman-free.

She was calling from a motel room somewhere out in Vegas and had just gotten in from a night on the town. Two of her friends had talked her into finally using up her Frequent Flier Miles on a Girls' Only vacation- they were still out on the Strip, enjoying the trip. And drunk "Tonya" was alone in the hotel room, talking on the phone to yours truly.

Her husband had moved out of the house back in January. The divorce was to be finalized as soon as the attorneys negotiated a fair division of assets.

Tonya's daughter was staying with her brother and his wife. Apparently, the split had gotten so bad that the only thing she and her soon-to-be ex could agree on without attorneys present was the importance of keeping the kid out of it...

As Tonya explained her situation, I couldn't help but feel guilty. But I didn't feel guilty because of what happened back in December. I felt guilty because I didn't feel one ounce of sincere remorse.

I felt guilty because, well, when one plays a part in another's train wreck of a life, that's how one should feel.

But, at the end of the day, passion, to me, is passion. People lose control when sexual attraction is combined with the momentary alignment of body, soul, and a deep-rooted past - happens all the time.

Of course, being single, I have the luxury of believing such things.

* * * *

"Tonya" started to nod off midway through the conversation. She did explain that her guilt, too, was more akin to mine; she'd called not because she was looking for some scapegoat but because she just thought I'd like to know that it wasn't my fault, just in case I heard it from someone else.

We finished our conversation as the sun rose and my tiny apartment filled with gray light. She asked if she could ever call me again, if I hated her, and if I thought she was somehow an evil person for giving up on her "perfect" marriage in order to finally live life again.

I told her that she was always welcome to call.

But I couldn't answer her other questions. I just couldn't find the words. I wasn't sure if she was looking for affirmation, for strength, or for condemnation. So I chose the straight and narrow path instead.

"Fuck it, chica. What are ya gonna do?"

* * * *

That was four weeks ago.

Since that morning, I've talked to "Tonya" a few more times on the phone and a couple of times online. She even sent me a picture, courtesy of her nifty camera phone.

Honestly, in hindsight, it's not too difficult to figure out why I was so damned willing to simply ignore the fact that, well, she was married at the time of our romp in a cheap motel.

Looking at the pic, I can actually remember the taste of her skin, can smell what she calls her "Born on the Rez" scent floating through my apartment.

[NOTE - That's about the only hint towards "Tonya's" actual ethnicity that I'm going to post online. I guess I need to clarify that only about a third of the women I've posted about on this damn thing would fit the WASPish stereotype associated with this region. Many Ohio readers naturally assume I'm discussing affluent "white" women, based on Oxford Fucking Ohio being known, nationwide, as being one of the least diverse campus communities in the America. ]

Online, we spent more time swapping mp3s (we share a favorite Misfits song [Mp3] and she recently discovered that, yes, GWAR makes great Soccer Mom Repellent at the gym) and arguing about how much growing up sucks than discussing her divorce or my "settling" for being a "pussy-ass librarian" instead of going back into media and image consulting.

And, well, it's been a while since I've had a conversation with a woman who's just as comfortable using words like cunt, twat, and hella in casual conversation as she is discussing her militant political libertarianism or her newfound love for Glock collecting / shooting (her Glock 20 weighs almost as much as she does; she could probably get by with a much lighter G26 - a great lil sidearm).

Nothing in the world like a woman who rides a skateboard to work, packs heat, and who, like yours truly, loves munching on soy chips while watching the original Dawn of the Dead.

* * * *

Faced with that kind of attraction, well, hell...

Give a shit about the whole adultery thing? Please. If I'd known how truly fucked up her marriage was, well, I would've suggested that we videotape the whole thing and send it to Sally Suckyfucky and her soon-to-be ex.

If you're gonna sleep with someone's spouse, it better be a goddamned marathon, especially if you're friends with the spouse in question.

Dislocated shoulders. Destroyed hotel room. Bottle of peroxide to clean the fingernail and teeth marks. Hell, I had finger imprints on my lower back for two weeks, a bruised pelvic bone, and...

Not that I'm bragging or anything.


I'm bragging. Who am I kidding?

* * * *

The last phone conversation lasted close to five hours.

It really is amazing what two people can find to talk about when, thanks to unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes, even the cost of a transcontinental phone call becomes a non-issue.

It's equally amazing what two people can manage to not talk about in five hours, too.

For weeks, we'd both been skirting certain issues, certain Where is this going? and What the hell are we doing? discussions.

We spent more time discussing her Warped Tour plans (her daughter earns the honor of being Most Badass Preschool Kid, since she's excited that her mother will, against Stepdad's wishes, take her to see her favorite band, Bad Religion, this summer) and my work problems than anything involving our continued interaction.

* * * *

I flinched first.

At one point, we were discussing her having to fire one of her store managers - this metrosexual kid who was spending more time trying to get women's phone numbers than actually doing his job.

It started as a joke. I suggested that she make me an offer - I'd love a chance to actually get back into the private sector, where taking a user-centered approach to day-to-day client relations is given more than the often silly lip-service found in public sector librarianship.

She made me an offer, all right. Six grand more than my current salary, with benefits - including some other, more intimate perks. We talked about how cool it'd be to work together. That became a discussion about me possibly moving in with her, dumping everything I own and moving back west to be her partner.

I thought we were still having a lighthearted, in-a-perfect-world type discussion. "Tonya," however, was completely serious.

Whoa, chica.

I stopped her mid-sentence and indicated that I was uncomfortable planning out some imaginary future based on our past together and one quick - but meaningful - fling.

I also pointed out that, well, in the real world, it'd look absolutely horrible for the two of us to, well, jump right back into bed together at the same time her marriage was ending - public image aside, the impact such an act would have on her daughter could be devastating long term.

And how would her friends react? She has people in her life who think she's crazy for leaving her perfect, upwardly-mobile overgrown fratboy of a husband - I doubt they would exactly welcome me into her social circle.

And what about our families? My parents barely survived my engagement to a stripper and were devastated when they learned that, well, I've been involved with several women who work in the hardcore adult industry. I don't know what kind of reaction I'd get if I showed up for family get-togethers with a girlfriend who a)I used to tutor when she was 16, b) who I'd slept with before she'd even decided to leave her husband, and c) who also used to be a fellow coke addict.

Her family? It'd take a miracle for her father not to put a bullet between my eyes.

And I'm sure her ex-hubby would just love the idea of his ex-wife shacking with the guy she'd had an affair with - talk about a juicy piece of information for any potential custody battle.

Besides, I reminded her, what are the odds that this would work, anyway? We'd probably break up or kill each other in a year, tops.

* * * *


She didn't say anything for more than two minutes, just made these oh-so-cute sounding noises she makes when she's thinking - or when she's seriously pissed - about something.

Yup. Pissed. She hung up without saying a word - no goodbye, no nothing.

* * * *

I didn't hear from her for more than a week after that. She calmed down and, well, finally came to the same conclusion I did.

Some things are not worth the gamble. And she'd be gambling a lot more than I would. I don't have a daughter, a soon-to-be ex who may or may not end up owning half of my business interests, a house that may end up being sold off as part of a divorce agreement, or friends I'm worried about losing.

Quitting my job and moving across country? Hell, wouldn't be the first time for me. But doing so for someone else, just because I could potentially, one day, fall in love enough to - Gasp! - move beyond being the Ex-Other Man wouldn't be the wisest move on my part.

There's no such thing as a movie ending in the real world. Maybe for some annoying suburbanite emo kid or Trustafarian, but not for anybody whose ever spent any amount of time studying at the esteemed School of Hard Fucking Knocks.

* * * *
We agreed to take some time away from communicating for a bit, to let whatever this lustful silliness is just die. The potential danger is, indeed, greater than either of us can really afford in our lives, at this point.

We do, however, have an agreement. A Fruitcake Sex Agreement, similar to this one.

If both of us are single next December, and if both of us just happen to be back in California after Christmas...

We're getting a room in the same motel. And we're not leaving until we're good and ready to leave. I'm thinking it could take days, maybe even a week.

* * * *
Goddamnit, dude. Wouldn't it be nice to just get involved with women who're single and uncomplicated?

You know, just once, to do the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing, without having to worry about getting a motel room or husbands or ex-husbands or potential stepchildren or ... ?

# # #


xboxgirl said...

Hey,I like to skatebord{but never to work}, and can beat anyone with my paintball gun{so far} who plays a ''forest painball match'' in the woods with me, and I like to play{my name is 'xboxgirl' after all} ''Dead Rising''[which is a video game based,sort of, on 'Dawn of the Dead'] more than watching 'Dawn of the Dead',have seen that too many times......{blows a kiss} :)

Anonymous said...

Ah. A trist made in the heavens.

I am really sorry that this goes down a bad road.. but you know if it is meant to be, you;ll be f@#*ing in California soon enough ;)

Nice to see you again, and I will try not to just lurk.


Jess the Fullerton Slut :-P said...

Dude this sucks. Been down this road too not fun. And I know youre doing better than this sounds in words because ha you actually did write about it -jeebus youre longwinded :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh! And thanks for the misfits remix!


The ZenFo Pro said...

I used to board a bit myself when Iwas younger, but, alas, the missing chunk of my ACL leaves me more of a spaz than I used to be :) Not a gamer myself, but I think I've heard of it.

Paintball? Oh do tell, chica :)

Yup. In a perfect world... lol, it's so funny. I'm probably the only blogger who people can say "there's some woman somewhere" when I don't write about some woman somewhere for a few months or write about previous relationships.

And I'm just glad all of the thoughts floating around my head came out fairly coherant :)

Nah, doesn't suck. If it weren't fucked up, lol, it wouldn't be me :) Like Cooper commented a while back, lol, it'd sure be nice to have a "nice, happy ending" relationship story to post...of course, I'd rather have the nice, happy ending offline.

Me? Long-winded? Nah ;)

And you're very welcome.

Woeful said...

You have one complicated life. It's amazing what shitstorms can crop up just when you least expect them.

Cass said...

next time I see you at brodies i'm buyin you a round kid. awesome site. i think we know some of the same people too.sorry you've been going through this.

cooper said...

"You know, just once, to do the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing, without having to worry about getting a motel room or husbands or ex-husbands or potential stepchildren or ... ?"

That would be a good idea.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Yup. I've actually been holding this back b/c of my new "not blogging about current relationships" rule...which, lol, defeats the purpose of this blog (i.e. to help organize my own thoughts) in a way...

Complicated? Nah. Just...bizarre :)

Free rounds are always welcome. Thanks :D

Yup. Will it happen? Not holding my breath...

HC said...

Hey Jason you are such a poser. i saw you at skippers last night dressed like some prep frat bitch with two girls. what the fuck??? sorry to hear about the chick but seriously. your supposedly older and more responsible. don't be one of those guys.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol, no worries. My "chach-oflage" experiment will be explained in another post. I didn't think anybody recognized me (I stayed away from places I assumed most would notice my, er, outfit.)

Think Borat meets Van Wilder. If you saw the popped-collar Lime-Green Polo of Death, then you know what I'm talking about.

Hey, sometimes ya just need to goof off. Sorry if I offended... :D

xboxgirl said...

Well the last time I played a paintball match, about 3 weeks ago, with about 20 people, a goosehead got real startled and hit me on the side of the face{which I'm pretty sure did not hurt as much as missing a chunk of your ACL,ouchy} ,with his gun, after I had snuck into their 'base',an empty two-story buliding ( to get a clear shot of their leader) and since he hit me, instead of shooting me, I shot him and added to my score, and after all was said and done, me and my team won(with me geting the most 'kills').....p.s you actually wore Borat-like outfit outside,you sexy babe :)

zydeco fish said...

Fascinating story. It makes me wish I could post something so frank and open and confessional, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Coyote Mike said...

If two people want to be together, they will be, simple as that. It happens. And nobody gets tricked into cheating.

I fucking HATE Glocks. Colt 1911 .45 is my friend :)

Nearly everyone who knows me knows there is one involotile rule: If you call before 9 AM, somebody better be dead.

Have fun next Dec. :)

EsotericWombat said...

heh. If someone calls me at 5 AM it's not because they think I'm already awake, it's because they think I'm still awake.

Friggin' life and it's insistence to get in the way.

Can't fault your reasoning though. About saying no or the guilt

Coyote Mike said...

Fuck. I think I used the wrong word. Involotile? Stupid brain. You know what I meant.

The ZenFo Pro said...

It's been months since I last went paintballing. I've always preferred the urban combat settings because of the sheer thrill of the "kill."

Lol, I wouldn't call me a sexy babe...esp. in the Super Chach get-up. Though, apparently, I've managed to piss a lot of local folks off who've learned of my "Punk'd" ing of a large segment of the local student body :)

Lol, thanks. Lol, you're probably smarter than I am for not being so frank online...:)

Lol, it's been years since I've fired a 1911! I think the last one I fired was a surplus 1911A1.

Aww...Glocks aren't so bad... I actually like the action on the glocks, esp. the 20 series. I really like the older Browning Hi-Powers, too. H&K's USP Compacts have some nice action, too.

Lord...I'm sounding like Ted Nugent...

Lol...yeah, stupid life :(

Yeah, unfortunately, I think my logic's fairly solid on this one. There's no point in feeling guilty, because, well, it's not like either of us can say we didn't see it coming...

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