Prose: Mensch

When I walked in exhausted from work and play – but mostly from thinking about him, I just wanted to relax and be alone – with him. This was not allowed. He is always with me no matter where I go and where I am, though admittedly when I am with him I am perplexed by how whelming the dichotomous feeling of can’t get enough of him plagues me. He is too much for me and everything; I love him so much I think I’ve had enough.

I threw down my bags, always superfluous with the staples of my nomadic, motherly, boy scout-like life…I carry everything around just in case someone needs something. I am always the hero. Those random items of sporadic necessity à la toothpicks, Band-Aids, hand lotion, nail files, safety pins, paper clips, condoms…you never know what your inherited children will need from you.

I’m always concocting a new methodology of organization. One bag for this, these are over here in this pocket, the more secret stuff secluded in an undisclosed location behind a zipper or buttons or Velcro that someone would never think to look in, including myself.

The weight of the backpack told its tale by the reddened imprints on my shoulders and the indentation on the sides adjacent to my tailbone where the heaviest implement in my arsenal, my laptop, banged against my hind side at the staccato rhythm coerced by my left-right/left-right-left militant steps towards yet another thing to cross off on my over-crowded list. I am always walking from one place to the next to the next to the next…

The other bag was a little lighter, only full with the extra apparel as needed for a gypsy like me. I never know if and when and where my company will be needed, if offered to stay or basically forced to stay in a bed or couch or floor that is not my own. Clean underwear (albeit undesired by most of my perverted paramours) is a staple of my transient belongings.

The third bag, housed inside of the backpack, is always removed immediately when I arrive at my newest destination. It is full of all of the at-a-moment’s-notice items that I require to be at a close proximity to my existence. This smaller man purse usually contains the following: cigarettes, wallet, lighter, cell phone, handkerchief, pen, candy/gum, keys (though already removed to open the door), iPhone, sunglasses, glasses case.

I released my cigarettes from the shackles of the man purse and put them in my right pocket along with my lighter, certainly a lighter that will be stolen by one of my children quite soon – for seemingly I am the only one to ever purchase a lighter at an actual store using actual money (the bags on bags upon bags are a testament to my loathing of carrying anything in my pockets).

I wanted to wait until I poured a glass of Pinot Noir and I had changed out of my work/play/and everything else shoes and into my hausshuhe to embrace the full-bodied inaugural inhale of my first, unfettered cigarette away from the rest of the world but as soon as my tired and worldly germ laden fingers touched the long skinny stem of the big bowled wine glass, he was breathing on my nape.

This method always worked, the slow and steady and charming attack of this beast, welcoming me home with a silent but deadly raping of lip caresses on my neck, wrapping his ample hands around my gaunt waist, spreading and closing his fingers warmly and tautly in that alluring way, a sense of ownership and desire overcoming the both of us in this simple and poignant gesture.

I played the winner-less game by doing that coy thing I always do, relenting a bit by craning my neck to the side, offering a little bit more skin while trying to take it away from him at the same time. I steadied myself, now warm in my loins and weak in my knees as his hot wet tongue began to dance towards my ear, and I played oblivious, reaching for the bottle of Pinot Noir and popping open the cork seductively, as if I was releasing a cock from the confines of its zipper. I let out a little sigh slash moan slash giggle to augment the flirt – for I knew and have always known that the way to a man’s heart is by unleashing the animal in him; men are enthralled and captured only through the thrill of the hunt.

I was the prey and he was the predator, and I mumbled something about, “Not now, I have shit to do,” but in Spanish, in order to drive him more crazy and hungry for me. He doesn’t speak any romantic languages verbally, only physically.

Before I could fill the glass completely he spun me around, the mating call dance continuing, and he gripped me by my back, peering into my eyes which were not looking at him but rather at the ground in an obvious command of submissive control, letting him know he belonged to me just as much as (if not more than) I belonged to him.

I was happy.

He reminded me of every man I have ever wanted, received, lost, liked, lusted, loved…He had the centaur-esque stature of my greatest love and longest boyfriend, Rob. That fetching blue-collar gait of a carpenter – strong haunches and wrists that overpower a more fragile lover, a lover that wants to be broken by the strength of a manly man.

Picture 3

Besides his blue collar proclivity he also had the blue eyes of my very first love, little Josh from 2nd grade. This was the boy that paved the way for all the concupiscence of my future. I have never forgotten the way his azure eyes struck me in the heart every time he turned around and looked at me in class, sitting 3 rows in front of me and looking back with a grin at one of our many inside jokes that we shared inside our own minds and in and out of class.

In regards to things less physical, he had the big altruist heart of Craig, my first long-term boyfriend, who even on his deathbed was worried about everyone but himself. It was that love that could be felt in that passionate embrace and that lasts wherever I go.

He had the amicableness of Chris, and Chris, and the other Chris – a definitive reminder of my “Chris Phase” when I was sure that my husband would bear that moniker for it was fate or something like it that thrice I became obsessed with elusive and challenging best friends who kept up a firm fourth wall to save me from the tragedy of closeted love, instead providing a stage for a sometimes farce, sometimes melodrama, sometimes comedy, but strong stories of passionate love nonetheless. The “Chris Phase” was also a pivotal time for me to mold my intricacies of desire. At that monumental time of emotional and physical development (aka “puberty”), I realized that I wanted someone who gave me everything, without giving it all away. This was when I learned that I needed someone that I couldn’t always have, and more so, love had to come from a person who was more than just a friend, but a friend of the highest caliber and magnitude that I could share everything with, while still hoarding unbearable secrets (namely, emotions).

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As his deft and dirty fingers made way toward my quivering, hairy chin (like I knew they would), he wordlessly begged me to look into his baby blues that were always the source of the most beautiful trouble. I thought about the Ryan and Anthony in him, two boys-to-men that catalyzed my sexual and emotional rite of passage in high school though I never had nor wanted to have sex with either one of them. For the first time I endured that sensational burning in the heart that parents sometimes negate as “puppy love” knowing full well the brevity of such a precious time where the heart not only wants what it wants but it needs what it needs and there is no convincing it otherwise. It was that aching feeling of a rejection junkie – in that big concrete walled place where teenaged hearts were broken everyday for a million reasons, but the most paramount being having a crush on him or her, but being unable to vocalize this aching was a chore for me and my homosexual brethren. Luckily we could ask our girl friends to the dance, and dress down the queer nature of our existence, but I was one of the lucky ones who decided it was best not to hide in the dark corners of the closet but rather exaggerate my gayness to protect myself with a shield of “So What?”. I was proud to be a “faggot” so the artillery of bullies and homophobes did not harm me as much as they could have (though the harm was duly noted). Since I could not vocalize what and how I was feeling, I wrote letters to the both of these upperclassmen – and they wrote back.

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The first nicotine stained peck on the lips reminded me of Kevin. That awkward and unexpected kiss that came during the same 1/8th of a lifetime – when I knew and everyone else knew that I was gay but I couldn’t do anything about it but pretend that it wasn’t making my life a living hell. Kevin and I kissed (at the time this was called “hooking-up”) and kissed and kissed and kissed, for hours. For me it was my “first time” and it is indelibly etched on my lips as being the best I ever had. Perhaps it was because they were good, hungry kisses that he planted on me or maybe it was the emotional attraction he brought out of me – but this first “I miss you” kiss, from this man who was as far from a boy as you could get but still bearing the boyish heart, much like Kevin, was exactly like how Kevin kissed me. Like a secret always kept between us that no one could ever learn about.

When he finally spoke, he sounded like Gino, that married Italian Stallion from college, who seduced me not only with his suave words but the sound they made when they came out of his mouth. This kiss already had me paralyzed but when he came up with that new adjective to describe me like no one else before him (jaded by the word “beautiful”), “magnanimous”, I lost everything that I ever was and wanted to become – I was there just being me, not an idea of myself that he wanted me to be or what I thought I should be for his benefit or for him to love me.

Picture 8

I felt guilty for a moment as the kiss got stronger, wetter, deeper, better…He loved me for me and I was thinking about all the other boys and men (and a few women) that made him the complete person I wanted to complete me. He smelled like Mark (the deaf Mr. Leather guy who was so sweet but talked too much), he laughed like another Kevin (the hairy polish meatball with the classic vintage car fetish and the Brooklyn accent), he was a horrible cook (like my pizza loving fireman Joe, and every boyfriend I’ve ever had), he was a great dancer (like my first boyfriend Al), he loved to take care of me (like my second, statutory rapist, Elektra Complex initiating boyfriend William), he had impeccable style (like my diva lover Greg), he liked to use big words (like my other college crush Tony, who was a consummate writer and helped me to invent the hilarious and fun-filled game of Night Tennis), he was good with his hands (like my sexy neighbor in Collingswood, Josh, who was a plumber and cleaned sewage pipes for a living), he had a bright and overwhelming smile (like my boss/manager at Wawa, another Tony), he loved motorcycles (like Jerry, another secret-ish best friend crush from my middle school years, fit between the beginning and the end of my “Chris Phase”), he understood me like no one has ever before (like Eric, that insane and cherished Scorpio), he loved animals (like my dirty but sweet colleague from the hotel, John), he was crazy and kept me smiling whenever I couldn’t bear to smile anymore (like the other Eric, the young, non-Daddy, artist that I tried to break my Daddy pattern/cycle with), he was generous in the most natural way without any ulterior motives (like Larry, another guy who could make me laugh and understood my dark sense of humor and would come to visit me at work just to cheer me up), he loved sports (also like Larry), he read the newspaper everyday (again, like Larry) he was dangerous and a good mind fuck (like Tim, a man who changed my life forever in more ways than two), he was hairy like an animal which brought out the animal in me, for I never once scoffed at his hairy back (like aforementioned long-term Craig, who was a cuddly fur beast himself), he was walking sex (like Melissa, my biggest girl crush to date), he told great stories that I could listen to for hours (like Jim, my first foray into trying my best not to become attached to one-half of an open relationship), he was always up for an argument (like Cristoph, my Woody Allen-ish German comrade, nemesis and amazing friend), he was devoted and almost subservient (like K, the newest addition to my repertoire of found and lost lovers), he proudly touted around his rose-colored glasses and consumed my every thought (like Rob, the biggest love of my life)…

When he took the half empty half full glass of Pinot Noir out of my hand and placed it on the counter, preparing the full assault of the predator, I remembered to breathe. I readied myself for him to devour me, now trapped with no desire to be free, and then I realized – he didn’t exist at all.

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