The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done

WEST HOLLYWOOD, 1995.  We go to my place, the studio apartment where I’ve been living an adventurous year alone, so a friend of a friend can show me a private screening of the Grateful Dead video he’s just produced.  A leisurely smoke and a few laughs later there comes a killer back-rub.  It would be the perfect evening if I could fall asleep massage-in-progress.  Pity I don’t know the guy well enough to not see him out.  I sit up.  His eyes gleam in meditation.  Perfect posture, deep cleansing breaths, a yoga man.  On another day a twisty braid would hang from his chin.  His intense energy causes an oxygen mask to appear around my head.  I exhale Darth Vader style.  His eyes beg: take off the mask, breath it all in, baby, I mean really breeeeath.  He’s about to run headlong into my invisible mask with a kiss when I say, “Wait, You know I’m seeing E, right?”  E, his closest friend.  “We can’t fool around.”  His eyes sober.  Astonished, he takes inventory of my strange and misleading planet: a dozen candles are lit, incense burns, sitar music fills the air, we’re on my bed for God’s sake!  “Sorry,” I say.  He collects his things and wanders off scratching his head.  Not only was this obscenely rude and misleading of me (largely due to my cavernous self-absorption; I lit candles and incense out of habit, during the back-rub I was off contemplating a difficult scene I’d been working on) it was also just plain dumb.  And yet one might be surprised to learn that this was not the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.                    

The dumbest thing I’ve ever done (in my adult life) is a story called, Obscene Callers: Don’t Date Them, and though the piece will never see the light of day (for obvious reasons) some aptly appalled players from the OPB radio show Live Wire created a Haiku version of the story which will air Saturday, February 2nd, 8pm.  Everclear and essayist Stacy Bolt also appear on the show.       

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6 responses to “The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done

  1. hey! you can’t bait us like that! Now you simply have to post the story! I love that title, “Obscene Callers: Don’t date them!”

    I don’t think it was dumb. Too many guys think a massage is the gateway to the underpants. Too bad for him, but I hope the massage was good!

  2. Because you light a few candles you’re saying have sex with me? Well, actually, I was told once by a man, that is how they know they are going to get lucky. If they walk in to the woman’s house and there are candles lit, then they know, tonights the night. With this information, I have been careful as to the lighting of the candles unless I mean business.
    Gawd forbid, we just like the smell of spiced berry.
    jb

  3. I agree that a candle-lit room doesn’t necessarily translate into “panties are coming off tonight!” However, it’s the total package that was undeniably misleading. Everyone knows that there’s a process to the whole sex thing…

    1.) Ask him, “would you like to come up?” —CHECK
    2.) Set the mood; candles lit, incense burning, slow jams playing —CHECK
    3.) Clutch your oh-so-sore neck and roll it around just enough for him to notice, “What’s that you say, would I like a massage? Ohhhh yeah, that would be great.” —CHECK
    4.) Sprawl across your bed; face down, ass up — CHECK
    5.) Close your eyes and let out satisfying oooo’s and ahhh’s as he erotically works those achy muscles —CHECK
    6.) After his generous one hour massage, look into his eyes as he takes the final step and leans in for a well-earned passionate kiss amidst the perfectly romantic setting (you so innocently created for your “friend”) that will no doubt lead to that long night of sweaty sex that, in his mind, you are completely into considering the fact that he has successfully conquered steps 1 through 5 — ____________

    Or not?…Yeah, I could see why it would be confusing to him seeing as you drew the line so soon in the game.

    And by the way, this Obscene Caller business is no different…Post or wear your “Tease” crown proudly!

  4. A most revealing post by E.

  5. Let’s not forget this “friend’s” own culpability in the misreading…I mean, he did know you were dating his friend…so although the atmosphere might have sent mixed signals, he figured it was okay to violate the trust of his friend. Not cool. Okay, yeah, I know that stuff happens, but I think in his mind two narratives should have been running–the one that obviously was (yea! cool! sex with this cool chic) but a second one too (whoa! what’s going on? what about E? am I doing the right thing?)

    Also, I agree with Bobby–I’d love to see the full text of “Obscene Callers: Don’t Date Them”!

    Karen

  6. Thank you for your comment, Ka. I only wish I could say he knew, but the friend and I kept it on the DL so no, he honestly didn’t know. I cringe just thinking of it.

    Maybe I’ll post the Obscene Callers bit one day. We’ll see. xo

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