July 14, 1996
Maureen invited me over for my birthday. She baked a cake, bought the new Ramones CD for me [Note: Greatest Hits Live] and gave me a card. Then she took me out to dinner, which is very sweet when you consider she doesn’t have a pot to piss in. Then she took me to her friend Stephanie’s party, where I met Eve. Eve is pretty and aggressive. Pretty aggressive. Very charming. Petite with a bright smile. Have I mentioned she’s pretty? I didn’t ignore her but I didn’t overtly flirt with her, either. It was a tiny, packed apartment and at one point, Eve brushed past me and I felt her hand slide into my pocket. I thought she took something out but she didn’t. She put something in. A slip of paper with her phone number on it.
Let me think for a minute and try to recall how many times I’ve been to a crowded party where a pretty girl jammed her phone number into my pocket.
… … … …
Okay, NONE. Zero. Nil. Never. The empty set. So I called her on Monday and arranged to meet for drinks on Friday, to which she promptly and happily agreed. By Wednesday, this had somehow gotten back to Maureen. She called and beat the shit out of me with the old ‘How can you do this to me?’ one-two combination to the kidneys and solar plexus. Then she gave me the ‘I’m humiliated’ upper-cut haymaker and I was down for the long count. After I got up off the canvas, I immediately went into begging mode which, let’s face it, is the only thing in life I’ve perfected. It’s a shame I can’t monetize begging.
I was tripping all over my words with apologies for my transgression. The next day, as part of my penance, I called Eve and cancelled our date. When she asked why, I couldn’t come up with a sensible reason. I forgot to rehearse one. I said, “Well, because Maureen is quite upset,” which makes me sound like a fucking noodle since Maureen is NOT MY GIRLFRIEND. Eve said that Maureen is just jealous, which sounds logical to me.
I subsequently wrote a befuddled letter of apology/explanation to Eve which she should get either today or tomorrow. We’ll see what kind of response I get, if any. [Note: This is how it was done before the internet was invented, kids.] It seems that fate tosses a potential date in my path about every six months. If Eve counts as this cycle’s allocation, I won’t meet another girl until well into 1997.
Pouring over these journals reminded me of this post. It’s a bit crass but I love it.
* * *
When I think back, the breadth of my cluelessness regarding the sweet science of love is almost too astonishing to be believed. I was awful at it. I knew nothing. The group of guys I hung out with weren’t popular with the ladies, so there were never any discussions about seduction or technique. It was a slow, painful, embarrassing learning curve.
For a good long while, I thought you got a girl to sleep with you through insistent pleading. I thought the game of love was to wear down her resolve until she finally capitulated. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that haranguing was not considered a legitimate aspect of a foreplay. I remained in my clueless state for a number of years. I failed to recognize a lot of green lights and opportunities. I was unaware of how many women were willing to sleep with me. But I realize it now.
* * *
The first time I had sex, she said, “Go ahead. You can do it.” But the DIRTY DEED had already been DONE. Admittedly, an inauspicious debut.
The first girl I slept with had the temperament of a sea monster.
* * *
With my first regular love, I used condoms that were about as thick as a garden hose. I didn’t know anything about lamb skins or sensitivity. I was mortified that I had to buy them at all. I just wanted to get in and out of the drugstore as quickly as possible without asking (or being asked) any questions.
The condoms robbed me of all sensation. So much so, that I often couldn’t finish. I would occasionally pull the damn thing off and toss it across the room just so I could finally complete my mission. In retrospect, a terrible idea. When I think of all the unprotected sex I had, it’s a miracle I never had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. Or worse.
* * *
I read an article by a woman who said her boyfriend was so emotionally overwhelmed by sex that he routinely wept afterwards. She found this romantic and touching. So the next time I slept with my girlfriend, I tried to cry but my heart just wasn’t in it. It sounded like fake, ridiculous, insincere blubbering. My girlfriend asked if I was having some kind of breakdown.
* * *
Once upon a time, I was making out with a girl. I got up and put a Kenny G album on. I didn’t like the guy’s music but I thought it would be romantic. That’s what I’d read somewhere. About two songs in, she stopped kissing me, sat up and yelled, “My God! Would you PLEASE turn that OFF!”
* * *
I faked an orgasm once. The sex was tedious and went on far longer than it should have, so I decided to end it by faking an orgasm. I believe she was equally relieved it was over.
* * *
They weren’t all bad experiences. Many years ago, on a warm summer night, I made beautiful amour in a rooftop garden atop a downtown Brooklyn brownstone with the twinkling nighttime Manhattan skyline at our feet. It looked like a magical movie backdrop.
It’s time to bid a fond farewell to the holiday season. Only 11 months until Christmas!
Harry Winston on 5th Avenue all gussied-up for the holidays