Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Heart Like a Wheel, II

Someone out there seems to be rather amused by my romantic antics, so I thought I'd do a sequel to one of my very first postings.

More ex-bfs and other close encounters:

An acting teacher, cute in a goofy boyish way, but too Jerry Lewis to be sexy. Too rabbity. I had the murmurings of a crush, which were nearly stilled the day I saw his red Porsche in the parking lot outside the black box theater. I confess it, I'm a reverse car snob. If you positively must own an ostentatious automobile, you have to be able to wear it well. He was bright, funny, neurotic, affable, confident, a chain-smoker and very long-legged. I was completely shocked to feel the hairpiece sewn into his crown, and completely able to mask my surprise. Somehow I thought he was duty bound to prepare me for it - like if I were Heather Mills, but you didn't know who Heather Mills was, I would definitely tell you I had a detachable leg before any clothing hit the floor. I forgave his vanity because he was nice and and I'm long-suffering, until he started hurting me out of sheer clumsiness. He was cumbersome in bed, precisely the place where one should avoid avoidable pain. That was easy to say no to.

A skater-boy from Palos Verdes, who studied classics at Brown, smoked too much pot, and had his right arm in a cast nearly the entire time we dated. I was completely infatuated with him. He had a face like an angel. full red mouth, big almond shaped blue eyes with long lashes, and brown soft waves of hair over his tender face. Two years before, he had a fling with my former roommate, and was subsequently stalked by her in rather frightening, if artistic, ways. She and I were never very close, and had mostly fallen out of touch. I also had scant knowledge of their relationship until he and I were already together. Nonetheless, she caught the scent in the air - really he told her out of some misguided sense of honor - and started stirring up trouble right away. I don't know if that's the reason he dumped me, or if it really was that convoluted explanation about his drunken parents and the harm his unsettled emotional life could do me. Whatever the case, though we'd never made love, I was completely devastated and came inches from stalking him myself. The grief was huge, and whether it was augmented by the end of school or not, I often was awakened by my nocturnal dolor. I literally cried in my sleep for months.

Or how about J. Wellerstein - hyperactive and hilarious art crowd figure. Immensely talented, his graphic murals adorned the back stairwell of the List Art Center (it was permissible to graffiti there), and he was in a band, Slow Children, like the yellow street sign near school yards. He was about the most fun you could have on a Saturday night, and we raced around together in a manner that was more like two comically sparring dudes than boy meets girl. We remained friends even after our parting. One late balmy spring night, in my junior year, we lay on our backs under an immense old campus tree by the Sarah Doyle house and talked while he tripped his brains out on mushrooms. I was stone sober, but thoroughly entertained and participating in his musings. As he looked up at the sky obstructed by branches and trunk, he observed, "Now I know how my pet iguana feels when I lower a piece of broccoli into his cage."

A NYC upper-east side rich boy, and best friend of a Von Furstenberg, who in college pursued me for two and a half years. I was immediately attracted to this (previously unmentioned and not to be confused with the other) Adam. But almost as fast, I smelled a rat. He was gorgeous, dark, smokey, and stylish. Barney's was his highboy. Smooth skin, smooth clothes, smooth affect, there was no question he made me swoon, but I put up a resistance that would have made Henri Frenay proud. Fall of senior year we were in a class together. Each time he sat with me, walked me to the main green afterwards, and held me in conversation for at least an hour. Over the weeks, I learned of his father's death, the importance of his relationship to his brother, and the Canaanite origin of his last name. Once he got sick, so I took him Theraflu, ginger ale, and some silly dime store toy. After about a month he asked me to dinner, and I finally took the bait. He picked me up on his 60s BMW motorcycle, and we ate angel hair pasta at Adesso's. I guess you could say I was too easily seduced that night, but it had been an epic courtship, after all. I slipped out with a kiss early in the morning, mostly because something was triggering my allergies, and I feared facing him with rapidly swelling eyes. It should have been a sign; my body felt dread. Two days later, Adam's friend Stephan invited both of us to party deep in the locked-jaw of Greenwich, thrown by his father, H de K, aviation millionaire, owner of the Calumet Farm (polo ponies), and inspiration for Jeffery Archer's book and miniseries, Kane & Abel. Adam told me he was going to the Apple, but would meet me there. The Connecticut estate was immense, had several buildings (someone whispered that there was a separate guest house for each of the children), and the party was held in the massive ruin of an old stone barn. The windows were out and the roof had long since weathered away. Dining tables and a dance floor were set up inside the structure, which was lit with what seemed thousands of white candles nestled into and dripping over every nook and crevice in the stone walls. There were armloads of flowers, an incredible supper, Pimms Cup, an African percussive group and dancers, and Tatiana von F flitting about in a black velvet cape. The whole scene was pure magic. But where was Adam? He had seemed nervous and aloof earlier in the evening. Then he finally pulled me aside and quickly explained to me that while he was in New York, he had been invited to our classmate's mother's show at Carnegie Hall. While he was backstage, Diana Ross' daughter expressed her long-standing crush, and so you see, he was now going to be her boyfriend. So that was why I had seen Tracee dragging him across the lawn to the dance floor earlier. I was in shock, but mustered no argument. What could I do? Not only had I been completely outclassed, I had failed to listen to the continuous larum of my instinct. Who can compete with the child of a pop icon when the booty is a superficial social climbing cad? Still, it was astonishing to have been the object of such an enduring conquest, only to be dropped like last night's coat check chit. I had mistaken the lifespan of his affections and his unwillingness to accept my refusals, as an indication of sincerity. So, she got him, and dragged him all around campus for the rest of the year. It seemed like every time I saw them, she was leading him by the hand somewhere or another. Oddly, when I ran into him, he often engaged me with this earnest and wistful look on his face. Usually she was somewhere near by, and as soon as she spotted him talking to me, the hand would reach over like Stretch Armstrong, and drag him away. Even at a graduation dance, he pulled me aside to convey some remorse over... what? He had a lot of nerve. I can only assume he was sorry, but I really think part of him regretted his choice. When the hand showed up this time and pulled him thither, he actually grasped mine and held on. There we three were, Adam in the middle, pulled like Silly Putty, and not letting go of me. But I wasn't trying to drag him back to me, so he gave me his last 'meaningful' look, let go, and she pulled him until they were swallowed up in the dancing crowd. After college was over, I once saw him on last page of Vogue, seated with atleast one other alum. They'd had their picture taken for eating in the right Manhattan brasserie. Balthasar's, I think it was. A while later he married the daughter of one of the ten richest men in America. He almost immediately cheated on her with her best friend and that year's "It Girl," so designated by Page Six and the society mavens. They too married and now have at least one child.

Sophomore year there was a very cute former child actor and friend of J. Wellerstein, who had dated the aforementioned Tatiana, and who allegedly obsessed about me from afar. As usual, I had no idea of it until my roommates boyfriend, Josh, who was also Scott's "big brother," leaked the deep dark secret. Though to my knowledge, we'd never rubbed two words together, I'm told he got quite emotional about the whole ordeal, and a late drunken night vandalized the Sigma Chi hallway outside his room with my name and some avowal of his affections. Well, I'm just the kind of girl whose ego gets seized with adulation, so soon after a date was arranged. I mean, he really was darling. But that was about the extent of it. We had a date, kissed awhile, kept our clothes on and fell asleep, and never went out again. I guess I broke that spell pretty quickly. Within a month he was in a comitted relationship with a very sweet younger co-ed who looked like his sister. My favorite story about him includes Wellerstein and his sidekick (and one of my favorite people at school), Ed Diaz. Ed was this tall, lumbering, long-haired half-indian looking fellow who, though mostly silent, would occaisionally say the funniest things. He always seemed always to wear a half-smile on his face, and we got on very well. Anyway, one night the three of them were in Scott's room as the young actor described his conquest of the night before. Josh's room shared what were very thin walls, so he heard the entire description of Scott's belabored sexual explorations. Ed, who was growing tired of waiting for the punchline, finally blurted impatiently, "Why didn't you just fuck her, man?"

In Prague, I was pursued by a fairly well-known actor, who is sort-of a Paul Newman knock-off - not quite so arrestingly handsome, and a small fraction of the career. He was assuredly male in that way that makes my heart buckle, but I managed to stave off his advances for weeks. Until the night after the wrap party. I had left the late-night festivities in Matt D's suite and secured myself a solo ride on the elevator back to my hotel room. Unfortunately, in a 4:30 am blur, I hit the wrong floor, and had to ride the lift up once more to another wrong floor. I was at the mercy of the call button, pushed by none other than the russety actor who had draped himself over my shoulder for the last two hours. He smiled at me like he'd just found a well-padded wallet, an old friend, and a cask of good scotch, all at the same time. Following me back to my room, he insisted that all he wanted was to curl up beside me; there would be no sex. I had my doubts this would play out innocently, given the voluptuousness of his previous come-ons (he had a fixation on my hips, which he expressed with unnervingly winsome poetics), and his earlier insistence that we go break into the pool together. But he was about the most charming suitor I had met in ages, so I slipped the card in the lock and let him in. Once in bed, he wrapped his arms around me, but decided that he absolutely would not let me sleep unless he could hold me naked. There was quite a long and not unplayful argument surrounding the issue. I really did not want to have sex with him, even if he was impossibly handsome. I was in all sorts of emotional turmoil from the horrendous work situation I was in there, and the last thing I needed was to feel like some sort of star-fucking groupie loser. But he plied me and he reassured me that no further harm would befall me beyond the injury of his bare skin against mine, and that seemed like pure heaven to me. So the clothes came off, and he was as good as his word, "I just want to hold you." He nestled his face into the nape of my neck, stroked my limbs, and held me close. And then we slept, for maybe seven hours. In the morning he left, and I felt sad. But he came back, bringing me bottled water from his room and we stayed in bed for a while longer. He kissed my face and smoothed my hair, and was gone. I learned something about men that night, something I'd always felt, something most people don't want to admit: you aren't so different from us, sometimes you just want some tenderness. It was a perfect night.

6 comments:

The Frito Pundito said...

"...the russety actor "

Oh my God, it wasn't Tim Russet was it?? You tramp!

Russ Tamblyn now, that would be OK.

kissyface said...

When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, but NO!! Why don't you try someone who was born at least forty years later. Oh, the temerity.

GrizzBabe said...

Okay, I had to stop reading mid post to ask - Tracee as in Tracee Ellis Ross? I'm shocked! Now, I don't like her as much because she stole your man!

GrizzBabe said...

I've finished reading the whole thing now. A very interesting read. I like the last story the best. Very touching.

Broken said...

Tenderness, yes sometimes. But then there are also those times in which you know you have done everything you could to make it happen, and you know its not going to, so you take a step back and just savor and enjoy what has happened.

Pioneer Woman said...

Dang. I'm glad someone out there remembers boy details at the same high level that I do. I remember every smell, kiss, and song. And word.