[Catch up:  Part 1.]

The next day, Saturday, we walked around Manhattan (Midtown maybe) where Mr. Schwartz patiently waited outside while I shopped.  Before I entered each store he handed me some cash–not much, usually $40 per store.

I went into my first Urban Outfitters, where I bought a cute dress I still own (only now I don’t look nearly as cute in it).  I went to the perfume counter of a high-end, only-in-New-York (at the time) department store (Saks Fifth Avenue maybe) and did some sniffing.  I settled on Byblos, a scent I still wear on occasion, and which I got for my mother-in-law one year for Christmas when the Ex and I were still together.

Mr. Schwartz showed me the usual sites–I think we even went into FAO Schwarz and other touristy crap in that area.  Eventually we made our way back to his place.  Once in his apartment he pulled out a wad of cash.  He asked me how much weight I had lost and paid me accordingly.  We also had at least one other agreement that garnered me some more cash.

I believe I went in to “my” bedroom to get ready for dinner when Mr. Schwartz followed me in and fondled my breast (the left one, I think).  I told him that I didn’t want him doing that and he implied that he could do whatever he wanted since he had paid for my trip and so on.

I left his apartment.  I walked around for a little while.  It was early evening and not too cold so I was fine.  When I calmed down a bit I called him from a pay phone (you might have heard of them, kids).  I asked if he had realized the errors of his ways, to which he responded that I needed to apologize to him.

I went back to his place, packed up my stuff, and left.  I was not about to let ol’ Saggy Schwartz do whatever he wanted to me without my explicit consent just for a place to stay for the night.

I walked around Manhattan with the little luggage I had for just the weekend trip.  I was trying to figure out what the fuck I was going to do until my flight back to California the next afternoon.  I went to a B. Dalton Books and told the clerk that I worked in the Santa Anita Fashion Park store.  I also told him that I didn’t have a place to stay for the night.  He didn’t give a shit about either.

I could have gone back, but I didn’t want to humiliate myself by either apologizing or touching his pendulous friends again.  I also didn’t know if he would have required me to fuck him as a form of punishment/payment.  At the time I was still scared of penises–I’d probably only had two or three in me by that time, inclusive of my disastrous loss of virginity.  Thinking back, I don’t recall that his penis was ever hard the night before.  Maybe his age combined with his diabetes affected his erectile function.  This, of course, was the days of yore, when Viagra and it’s brethren pharmaceuticals were mere fantasies of the limp-dicked oldsters.

I walked around, but after all the stories of rape and murder I’d heard about New York I was scared to wander too far from where I’d already been.  Knowing what I know now, Times Square was still a sleazy, dirty place in the early 1990s.  If I had found it I may have been turned out by a nice pimp daddy.  (Instead I opted for the straight life of formal education.)

I hung out in Central Park for a bit.  This was before I’d ever watched Law & Order, but I knew stories of horrific events that took place in Central Park.  My step-sister had been obsessed with Robert Chambers (she thought he was hot).  I was not about to roam into the bowels of the park, so I stayed on the periphery and sat on a bench to observe rats boldly going through rubbish that was overflowing out of a trash can.  I had never seen rats that weren’t pets (the step-sister and I had had pet rats when we were in seventh grade) so I was entranced.

Also in Central Park I saw fireflies for the first time.  Having lived in California my entire life fireflies were something I’d only observed in movies, and I suspected their wonder was exaggerated.  It was not.  Fireflies are fucking cool.  Years later, a visit to Indiana showed me how artistic their illuminated bodies look when sacrificing themselves on a windshield.

It was cooling down significantly and had already gotten dark.  I needed a place to stay.  I had only the cash that Mr. Schwartz had given me.  At the time I had no credit cards at all, and my bank was only found on the West Coast so I had no way to get more.  This was before independently-owned ATMs could be found in abundance so I couldn’t access my bank account at all.

I hailed a cab.  I told the cabbie my sob story because I certainly couldn’t tell him where I wanted to go–I had no fucking clue.  He drove me around for a while.  He offered to take me to the Russian Tea Room.  I decided I should make my way to the airport and declined his generous invitation.

I don’t remember where that cabbie dropped me off, but it was somewhere in Manhattan.  I hadn’t gotten very far.  I took another cab to Queens with the intent to go to the airport.  Again, I told the cab driver my lament.

I was nineteen and dumb.  I had no clue about getting on a flight on stand-by.  But neither did the cabbie apparently, or he didn’t care to share the information with me.  I was prepared to wait at the airport all night until my flight was scheduled to leave.  The information the cab driver did share with me was that the airport would close at night.

Obviously, I was quite naive at the time.  I’m now sure that the cab driver got a kick-back from the motel at which I ultimately stayed for the night, but in all my retellings of this story over the years, NO ONE ever pointed out that major airports don’t fucking close, ever.

The cab driver took me to at least three motels that were relatively close to the airport.  I was looking for the cheapest one that didn’t require a credit card.  I ended up staying at a motel that charged by the hour.  Amazingly, I was able to sleep.

The next morning I took my final taxicab in New York City–from the shitty pay-per-hour motel in Queens to La Guardia Airport.  I recall hearing someone with a heavy New York accent in an elevator in the airport.  I almost laughed in the guy’s face because he really did sound like he was putting on the accent.  To my West Coast ears he sounded like he was playing the part of a typical New Yorker; I had always thought those characteristics were exaggerated.  Apparently they were not.

I immediately went to the bar closest to my gate.  In the hours I waited I had several margaritas.  I was prepared to show my older sister’s driver’s license, which I had become accustomed to using to buy alcohol since I was seventeen.  However, I was never carded.

I made it home without incident.  I told everyone my harrowing adventure.  I didn’t spare any details for anyone, including my mother.  If anyone expressed concern for my personal safety I’d point out that there I was, telling the tale, so obviously I was fine.  Ahh, the arrogance of youth, how I miss you.

I never spoke to Mr. Schwartz again.

Before this whole adventure Mr. Schwartz had already planned a trip to LA for later in the year.  He wanted to further “audition” me as well as a friend of mine, Rachael.  Rachael and I had gone to high school in northern California together, but at the time she lived in Albuquerque.  He had bought her a round-trip plane ticket, the schedule of which coincided with his LA trip.

I was so dense that it really didn’t occur to me that what he really wanted was a threesome with two nubile young ladies.  I was nineteen, but Rachel was even younger, probably barely eighteen at the time (she had definitely finished high school).

Rachel’s plane ticket was in my possession.  I thought I was so clever by changing the dates so Rachel could come visit me.  I mailed her the ticket.  Unfortunately, I was not clever enough to write Rachel’s zip code on the envelope correctly, so by the time the ticket arrived, the date of travel on the ticket had passed.

I swear.  True story.

12/14/89, 5th Period

Might as well give up the good ol’ math test.  I’m doing horribly and I’ll have to do something next semester to get myself more credits.

There is nothing wrong.  Wonder how long she wanted to do that.  I guess I’ve wanted to for a while.  I might as well with everyone.  I hate this class.  I am tired of smelling Mr. Massey’s b.o., it’s not very becoming.  I just don’t know what I should do.  It’s a tragedy to see the dream is over.  And I never will forget the day we met, girl I’m gonna miss you.  Math analysis is quite stupid.  No matter what, I can’t be normal.  If I’m going alright I have to do something to screw it up.  I can never talk to anyone, not even [my step-sister] now because they will think I’m a weirdo.  I can imagine telling my life skills [peer counseling] class that yesterday I kissed a girl and liked it.  What would they say then?  I believe a majority of them would shit purple Twinkies.  Then, after the mess was cleaned up they would treat me like more of a freak than they already do and then think I was disgusting and “unnatural” and boy, would that be some juicy gossip to tell your boyfriend during climax.  I’ve already heard that Erica and I were gay.  And that’s work gossip that I heard at school.  Mr. Massey’s looking at me but I refuse to feel guilty for not doing my test.  But then maybe he’s looking at my exposed thigh.  “Everyone likes Suzanne.”  Guys, girls, cats, dogs.  Everyone but herself who is quite confused about what the fuck is going on with my life right now.  Second semester I can do speech and debate.  Within an entire semester I should be able to get at least 2 1/2 credits.  At least I hope so.  I know no matter what I do, my mommy will still love me.  So I guess I’ll just go down there [to live in Southern California].  Quotable quotes by Carl Massey, math teacher, varsity basketball coach extraordinaire:  “I’ll spell ‘B’ the same way I spell ‘F.T.'”  Amy knows–Erica told her.  So she (Amy) asked me how it was.  I told her the truth–not great but not terrible.  The first kiss is always the fighting kiss though–have to get used to each other.  I’m not in conflict because I know it’s not wrong for me.  Why does it have to be so hard for me?

__________________________________________________________

By the way, I graduated from high school a full year early, despite the fact that I purposely failed math analysis.  The above was hand written in pencil on the backside of a test, which was just a photo copy of page 217 of our text book.  I know I understood the stuff at one time, but now even the non-Greek looks Greek to me.

Each trigonometric relation has an inverse relation that can be restricted to define a function.

arcsine = {(x, y) | x = sin y}

arccosine = {x, y) | x = cos y}

arctangent = {(x, y) | x = tan y}

Arcsine = {(x, y) | y = arcsin x, – π/2 ≤ y ≤ π/2}

Arccosine = {(x, y) | y = arccos x, 0 ≤ y≤ π}

Arctangent = {(x, y) | y = arctan x, – π/2 < y < π/2}

What the fuck?!  The more I look at this, maybe these were the formulae we were allowed to use for the test, not the actual test.  That’s how much I’ve forgotten.

I swear.  True story.

I met DJ when I was eight.  She was one of my mother’s many lovers, but the only one with whom I am still in contact.  Having the absolute conviction that she loves me unconditionally has helped me through life.  My sixteenth year was a particularly hard one:  I lost my virginity, I had my first “real” relationship, and I moved out on my own.  DJ gave me her unique counsel.

_______________________________________________________

Suzanne, a person of sixteen years.  Lived half socially unacceptable, half nuclear.  Caucasian in body, defineless in spirit.  A doubter of self, a watcher of others, a question mark the base of her emotion.  Filled with wonder at the meaning of it all.  Surely she cant’ be the only one who won’t catch the ball, and just what makes the masses play day after day?

How can she be expected to understand the contrary ways of a world not of her design?  A giant in a dwarf’s playground.  Naive or clean slate do not capture her essence; it isn’t what she knows but what she is.  So sweet and infinite in depth.  A willingness and openness, a burden gift from a god not yet of her understanding.  Forever blessed with the vision of light and dark.

Going against the American grain, she did not ask to be different, nor did she choose, picking between a personal right or wrong is not a defiant action; it is what makes each one of us uniquely ourselves.

The more she sees, the more she learns, bombarded into confusion.  Rules and puzzle pieces fly her way and from behind her daze she continues to wonder, “Just what the hell is this all about?”  Her survival listens to the faint self knowledge that she’s okay, but unable to turn down the volume of voices that say she’s not.

My “Nanner,” sixteen years in age, with all this vast feeling within her.  Sensations that reach beyond her physical being.  No words in the English language to describe it.  She is not what she appears, this body only interferes, if only this were a spirit world, she’d understand then.

Sweet one so young, you need to know, not in your throat but down in your soul.  You’ve learned your lessons well, but a lesson in life is not the lesson of life.  It takes time.  Be aware of your torso, the sensations here are your “soul,” for lack of a better word that might be “window.”  From here comes your personal strength, your essence and conscience, it isn’t a Rubic’s Cube.  The answers will come to you, don’t look so hard, it will only cause you frustration.  You can’t miss your answers, they’ll come to you along the path you take, or the path that takes you.  Relax as best you can; a generation blossoms between the ages of thirty and forty.

Experience what you know to be 90% safe, look both ways before crossing the street and know beyond knowing that I love you!

It was so perfect; it was too perfect.  I can barely believe it actually happened.  And it happened to me.  Wow.  Oh.  My.  Fucking.  God.

It was better than I’d hoped because it wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t easy at all.  Though I hope I didn’t goad him into it, and I don’t think I did, despite everything.

I want to fuck him.  I want to make him cry.  And he’ll be so fucking beautiful when he does.

The whole time walking back from Dolores Park I wanted to get on my knees and have him fuck the shit out of my mouth.  Just good and hard and let himself go;  not worry about my feelings or whether it was feminist of him, to just fuck my face, hard.  He would feel so free.

And I want to suck his cock.  I want to suck and suck and lick and lick and suck and smell and nuzzle and taste and feel and bury my face and lick all over and rub my face everywhere.  I want to do it long enough so he goes from being tense because I’m doing it and not being able to relax because he thinks I won’t want him to come to just letting go and realizing there’s nothing he can do that would make me stop, that I’m going to keep my mouth all over his cock F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  And I will.  I want to taste every bit.  I want to take it in, to swallow it down.  He’ll smell like HIM.

At the bus stop was the most perfect thing ever.  EVER.  I was just stroking the backside of his thigh with my right hand.  I can still feel it.  Just slow and easy.  Earlier at the park I’d had my right hand under his shirt; I could feel his soft sweet skin.  That skin makes me want to cry.  I would brush my face all over it.  He’s younger than I thought.  He just turned 22.  Wow.  Oh, wow.  Fuck, I wish I didn’t know that because that makes me want him more.

He’s afraid.  He kept saying things about hurting others.  I’ve got so much more life; I’m so much more jaded that he can’t hurt me.  He’s so sweet and vulnerable I want to take care of him.  And that maternal thing is such a fucking turn-on.

So at the bus stop I was stroking the back of his leg.  And he had his left arm around my shoulders, and it was no big deal.  Until it was.  His hand went from my arm to my left breast.  And there was no denying it was on purpose.  My breathing changed.  It was fucking happening.

When he went out with me with Isis much earlier I had blurted out that I wanted to kiss him.  He said, “Please don’t.”  That, of course, felt like a rejection.  I was quiet all the way back to my place.  I told him not to worry, that I would be fine.  And we were fine.

Then I found the poem “Hello, my name is …” labels in his bag and I said we HAD to go out to put them up.  He and a friend had started a street art project where they wrote out an epic poem on “Hello, my name is …” labels and they put them up all over town.  Only he and the friend weren’t so friendly any longer.  He needed to finish the project and I wanted to help.  We left my place, putting up labels with poem bits along the way.  We fucked ’em up quite a bit; we didn’t necessarily put them in the correct order.

We bought some pear cider and the guys in the liquor store said something in Arabic (?) that sounded suggestive to both of us.  We had a great time being artist/vandals.  The whole time I gave him shit for rejecting me, but in a nice way I hope.

Then in the park we were lying (laying?) on the walkway and there was a nice breeze and I was touching that skin and he was talking about having trouble with the sex/emotion connection.  He just doesn’t know.  He doesn’t trust himself or me.  Mostly himself.

He touched my left breast at the bus stop.  And it felt so fucking good.  There’s something about knowing that a guy is clumsy and awkward that’s so fucking hot.  Because I know he has the desire.  He WANTS to be a dirty, dirty boy.  Just as he began touching my breast the 14 Mission bus showed up from the south.  I reminded him he had to catch that bus.

And he leaned down and kissed me.  We kissed.  We kissed.  It was just too fucking perfect.  We had to tear away from each other so he could catch the bus.  I walked home.  I was giddy the whole way.  I kept thinking about how wet I’d be when I got home.

Perfect.

I swear.  True story.

My first job was at Taco Bell.  My step-sister and I are the same age, with our birthdays only two months apart.  After my birthday, the later of the two, our parents–her mother, my father–sat us down and told us that now that we were sixteen we had to get jobs.

We panicked.  We lived in a crappy suburb of Sacramento, California, which is itself a crappy suburb that just happens to be the capital of California.  (To be fair, I think all suburbs are crappy.)  Driving was required to get anywhere, only we didn’t have cars or drivers’ licenses.  The town had no public transportation whatsoever.  Our parents had been making it clear for years that they did not like giving us rides anywhere.

The only jobs in the town were in the food service industry.  The town is between Sacramento and Tahoe, so it’s a common stop for people on road trips.  There were many fast-food franchises and a few “fancy” places too, like Sizzler.  But none of these places were particularly close to our house–definitely not walking distance.

We both applied for jobs at Taco Bell.  I remember actually being worried that we wouldn’t get hired.  Of course my worry was unfounded.  We were both hired without fanfare and issued maroon polyester pants and “Run for the Border” t-shirts in nice 80s pastels.

Our parents still refused to help us get to or from work but suggested we ride our bikes.  I, however, did not have a bicycle.  To this day I have never owned a bike.  My dad was nice enough to let me borrow his bicycle, a man’s 10-speed with a frame too large for my height.  I had to tip the bike to the side just to get on the seat.  My feet reached the pedals, barely.

The town had one major road that ran perpendicular to the freeway.  The speed limit in practice was around 45mph.  There was no bike lane; there was no sidewalk.  In order to ride to and from work we had to utilize the very small space between the white line marking the outside of the lane and the edge of the asphalt.  Beyond the asphalt was gravel, and potential maiming.  We rode our bikes on this road even at night, without lights, and without helmets.

Obviously I wasn’t killed on the side of that stupid road, but I’m still bitter that my parents were such assholes.

Everyone had his/her specialty at Taco Bell.  I was assigned to the drive-thru on most of my shifts.  On the register was a golden plaque that read, “UPSELL” to remind us to always ask the customers if they wanted anything else.  I utilized the somewhat silly, “Would you like Cinnamon Crispas with that?”

During my tenure at Taco Bell they stopped selling Cinnamon Crispas, which were fried flour tortilla pieces dredged in cinnamon and sugar, and started selling Cinnamon Twists, weird dry pasta-looking things that were fried and dredged in cinnamon and sugar.  Jeremy (his real name) was the fry guy.

Jeremy stood over vats of oil and fried the Crispas, and later the Twists.  He also fried the bowls for the taco salads, and the chips for the nachos.  Everything that was deep fried at that Taco Bell, Jeremy made.  Jeremy went to my high school but I didn’t know him at school at all.  The most amazing thing about Jeremy was the fact that he had the most beautiful, clear skin.  A teenager and a fry cook, but not a blemish in sight.  It really was incredible.

When school ended in June I continued to work at Taco Bell.  Because of the labor law’s application to minors I was allowed to work longer and later hours when school wasn’t in session.  Occasionally, when I worked late a co-worker would give me a ride home so I didn’t have to ride my bike in the dark.

Along with my parents being assholes about the transportation issue, they were assholes about letting me do anything other than work.  Usually when I asked if I could do something I was told no.  Consequently, I stopped asking and began sneaking.

One night Jeremy and I closed the Taco Bell together.  He told me he was on his way to a party and asked if I wanted to join him.  I knew I wouldn’t have been allowed to go if I asked my parents; they would have wanted to talk to the host’s parents, and make sure there wasn’t any alcohol served before they’d consent.  I assumed the host’s parents weren’t around, thus giving a reason for the party.  So without asking my parents, I went to the party with Jeremy.

I was right, there were no parents at the party.  And there was alcohol.  At the time I did not drink because of a nasty little alcohol overdose I’d had when I was fourteen.  Jeremy and I hung out for a while, and then we went for a drive.  We were bored but not yet ready to go to our respective homes.  Also, I figured I was going to get in trouble anyway so I might as well have enough fun so the punishment would be worth something.

Somehow we ended up in Folsom.  Jeremy parked the car in a random subdivision.  We talked.  I sucked his fingers.  And that’s when things changed.

Up to this point I’d had limited sexual experiences, none of which included a penis entering my vagina.  My first finger bang was part of a Big Red-flavored make-out session on a football field with Terrence (also his real name) when I was in ninth grade.  I’d had serious dry humping sessions here and there.  I might have given a blow job by this point, but I can’t recall.  I was most definitely still a virgin.

The way I felt at the time was that everyone had had sex but me.  I was convinced I was the last virgin out of all my friends.  My step-sister had lost her virginity a full two years prior, when we were fourteen.  I was getting left behind.

I was so awkward and insecure around boys that I’m sure I passed up a lot of opportunities because I was too clueless to notice when someone was actually into me.  But I was not going to let the time alone in a car with Jeremy go to waste.  As soon as I began sucking his fingers it was clear what we were going to do.

We got into the car’s back seat.  It was Jeremy’s mother’s Ford of some sort.  There was some lumbering making out, and then we were having sex.  Oh.  My.  God.  He was on top of me grunting and sweating.  There wasn’t much room to move.

I had always heard that teenage boys didn’t last very long when they were fucking.  I don’t know how much time had elapsed as he clumsily pushed his penis into me, but I was concerned that he would come inside me.  We weren’t using a condom. I said, “You’re going to pull out, right?”

At which point he pulled out.  I have no idea if he came.  I certainly did not.  We were finding our clothes when a loud tap at the window and a bright light got our attention.  Jeremy lowered the window and greeted the police officer very politely.

Jeremy hastily put on his pants and got out of the car.  As I was getting dressed the cop told us that someone in one of the many houses within our view had called the police because of our “suspicious activity.”  He asked us how old we were.  Jeremy answered that he was seventeen.  For some reason I thought it would look bad if he was older than me, so I lied and said I, too, was seventeen.  The police officer told us to leave.

Jeremy got in the driver’s seat and looked back at me.  I was so embarrassed I couldn’t make eye contact.  He was waiting for me to get in the front seat but I decided to stay where I was.  Neither one of us said anything while he drove me home.

He dropped me off in front of my house and drove away without a word.  It wasn’t until I reached into my empty pocket that I realized my house keys were still in the back seat of Jeremy’s mother’s car.  This was well before cell phones were in common use; I had no way to contact him.

I had to get in my house without my parents knowing how late I’d been out, so knocking on the door and waking them up was not an option.  I also was not ready to face my parents after having just had sex for the first time.  I checked the back door–locked, dammit.  The kitchen window was slightly ajar.

However, the bottom of the window was well above my head.  I found something to stand on but still had to jump to get my arms over the sill.  I hung there with my head, shoulders, and arms inside, and the rest of my body outside.  I tried to gain purchase by scraping my feet on the wall.  I was panicked.  My mind was darting everywhere and nowhere to try to figure out how the hell I was going to get myself out of the pickle when the kitchen light turned on.

My step-mother stood in the kitchen doorway.  She looked very sleepy.  And pissed (but she always looked angry).  I dropped to the ground, she let me in the back door, and I went to bed.

The next day I got one my my step-mother’s infamous lectures.  A form of punishment was to have to endure her harangue non-stop for at least an hour.  This particular speech lasted much longer than that.  Everything she said was repeated countless times.  I had learned soon after I moved in with her when I was eleven that it was best to say as little as possible when on the receiving end of one of her diatribes.  I answered direct questions with one-word responses if possible.  I said, “I don’t know” a lot.  If I had said too much, it would have meant her discourse would have continued even longer, because she would have felt the need to address everything I said, point by minute point.

The gist of this particular exhortation was clear:  She did not know where I was the night before but she suspected I was either at a bar (since the alcohol overdose when I was fourteen every time I left the house she thought I was getting wasted) or fucking; and I was lucky she didn’t shoot me right there in the kitchen window (she did not have a gun).  I did not tell her what I was doing or with whom I was doing it.  I did tell her I had not been at a bar, and I still wonder what bar she thought would let in a sixteen-year-old.

I’m sure I was grounded, but I was still allowed to go to work.  Jeremy’s friend, our co-worker, had heard about Jeremy and me and teased me about it.  I learned from this co-worker that Jeremy, too, had been a virgin, and that Jeremy was moving to Minnesota.  I never saw Jeremy again.  I never even talked to Jeremy again.

I vowed then that I would never again fuck in a car.  I haven’t and I won’t.  However, there’s nothing wrong with road head.

I swear.  True story.

[Continued from “Correctional Officer, Part 1.”]

This was also during a time I was doing my best to be a faithful wife.  I invited the guys to my room with the intent of talk and mutual lamentation of the misery of the craptastic town.  The three guys got into my rental car and gave me directions.  We dropped off the original cute guy so he could get some pussy.  Then I was in the car with T and CO, only I had no clue of their names at the time, and hadn’t yet had a chance to give them nicknames.  We drove to T’s apartment so he could pick up his car, and beer.

I told them where my hotel was and drove there myself.  T and CO later told me they were afraid I’d have a thug in my room ready to roll them.  I naively often think only women have to worry about personal safety, so their worst-case scenario hadn’t occurred to me.  If it had, I would have done my best to reassure them that they were in no danger.  That night we hung out in my hotel room and talked about movies, and books, and how miserable their little corner of hell was.  CO told me he was a correctional officer at a local county jail, that he was married, and that he had a young son.

Actually, he didn’t tell me so much as I drew the information out of him.  His phone rang throughout the time the three of us were hanging out.  When I suggested he should attend to the caller he told me it was “just” his wife and that she’d be fine so long as he went home eventually.

As I was drunkish I definitely was cuddlier than usual.  I made it a point to touch CO as much as possible while enmeshed in a conversation about zombies.  He was not receptive at all.  Which was good considering T was in the room as well, and both CO and I were married, not to each other.

The three of us agreed to get together again the next night after I was done with work.  We went to a Japanese restaurant that CO assured me would be good.  I was doubtful that the town knew good sushi, but CO was right.  T, CO, and I had a great meal.  After the previous night’s discussion about movies and books, and the realization that he knew good food, I had developed a bit of a crush on CO.

He was big–6’4″, 220 lbs.–and awkward, and cute.  Nice full lips.  A sweet personality that belied his chosen profession.  I love having my preconceived notions shattered, and I love people who are walking contradictions.  This guy was a dork in every way but his job.

After sushi we went to the same bar where we had met.  Our pregnant bartender was working hard for the kid’s future Ivy League tuition.  I got VERY drunk.  I was so hung over the next day I had a very difficult time checking out of my hotel by noon.  I was not looking forward to the several-hour drive home.

I had gotten T’s phone number the night before and I called him to thank him for making my stay in Crapville just a little better and to tell him I’d be back the following week (my work was not yet complete).  It was obvious I was in shit shape so he offered his couch for me to sleep on until I felt well enough to drive.  I took him up on the offer–really I was capable of little actual function and was concerned that I wouldn’t make the drive.

More to come ….

I swear.  True story.

Correctional Officer (CO) broke up my marriage.

Well, he was the final nail in the coffin which contained my marriage.  I don’t blame him in any way.  For a long time I blamed myself, and punished myself accordingly.  But the end of my marriage was just a change in the relationship with the Ex.  I am proud that the Ex and I are still friends because I love him so much.  He still drives me fucking nuts sometimes, but I love him and want him to always be in my life.

I met CO on May 31, 2007.  There are several reasons I remember this.  One is that it was the day after my birthday.

I had spent my birthday at a goddamn Applebee’s (which deserves a mention only as an illustration of the sheer shit factor of that birthday) because that was the best dining option.  I was in a shit town in northeast California (that deserves no mention whatsoever) for work.  I was bored as fuck because there was nothing to do.  Towns like that are why people do meth.  If I had had to stay there much longer, I probably would’ve given meth a try because the town was so utterly dull.

My big birthday party was at the Applebee’s bar, where I ate a shitty “salad,” and had only one drink because I had to drive.  One of the many reasons I love living in San Francisco is that I don’t have to drive to get shit done, and I can drink a whole lot without worrying about how I’m going to get home.  I don’t even have a car; I rent out my space for fun and profit (that’s a fun double entendre).  I had no interest in being arrested for drunk driving in that crap town.  To be fair, I have no interest in being arrested for any reason in any place.

During the week I was there I had finished reading two books, watched too much tv, gone on pointless un-scenic drives, went to the mall where the anchor stores were Sears and Hot Topic, and experienced a lot of spiritless tedium.  I did discover Cash Cab on that trip, and I met Correctional Officer, so it wasn’t a complete–if billable–waste of time.

The night after my birthday I decided I was going to try to have some actual fun, or whatever could approximate fun there.  I went to the town’s one “fancy” restaurant; the one about which everyone I spoke to gushed.  It was mediocre at best.  I dined alone and finished a bottle of wine so I was good to go.

Go to one of two dive bars across the street from the restaurant I did.  I sat at the bar where the bartender served me my beverage in a plastic cup–wouldn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to smash the barware into anyone’s face.  The bartender–I promise and swear on all things I hold dear–was visibly quite far along in her pregnancy and smoking.  NOT smoking hot–though she may have been to some.  She was smoking cigarettes.  I’m sure there are Websites dedicated to cigarette-smoking knocked-up chicks (look ’em up yourselves you deviant pervs (written with affection, I swear!)) but that is most definitely not my thing.  Had I been on Twitter at the time, the sheer sight of her would have been tweet-worthy.

California has had a law banning cigarette smoking in public places for quite a few years–they were instituted when I worked at the pool hall several years prior to my visit to this particular dive bar.  The impetus/justification for the passage of the law was workers’ rights not to breathe in second-hand smoke.  Bars can bypass the law by being worker-owned.  Because my lovely smoking preggers bartender was, in fact, smoking, I assumed she was at least part-owner of the bar–I tipped according to my perception of her situation.

Eventually I began to chat with a cute guy.  He invited me to hang with him and his friends who were playing pool.  Despite my years of working at a pool hall I am a shit pool player, but I was willing to watch.  The cute guy’s friends were also cute.  They introduced themselves to me and we began to chit-chat.  I was talking shit about their town and they contributed their own stories of local woe.  Someone eventually bought me a drink after I all but demanded he do so.  Finally, it was time to go and somehow I invited the guys back to my hotel room.

More to come ….

I swear. True Story.