Friday, October 2, 2009

Reptile - Part 5 (Tripping the Light)

I met a woman once who thought that I was her soul mate. She knew within the first fifteen minutes of meeting me that I was - for certain - the love of her life. I hope she was wrong.

She was beautiful, wearing a bikini when we met - body that wouldn't quit. Long, straight brown hair, tanned and toned with crazy-bright blue eyes. Really, her only physical flaw was a noticeable but faint cesarean scar. So yeah, she was a mom. I don't really hold that against her. I can handle dating a mom.

But she was older than me by a bit - which was kind of new. She also a smoker; and I swore I would never date a smoker. She wasn't dumb, but she also wasn't a very good conversationalist. I could get good stuff out of her; but it was always tied in the middle of paparazzi fodder, MTV, which stars eating what, dating, ditching, dancing with which. If she had more imagination than your average vapid cheerleader, she kept it pretty well hidden.

I'm probably being too hard on her because I was still too screwed up over the Reptile to entertain the slightest notion. She was kind of fun. Her kid was pretty neat sometimes too. She painted with her fingers. Yeah, like fingerpaint. But with actual beauty and these weird, wild colors, and abstract... I don't know what. Some part of her was like this bizarre, younger Maude Lebowski. We didn't date long; but she encouraged my own art. Outside of Texas, hers were the only canvases I ever painted on myself. She probably threw away the drawings I left her. We drew sketches of each other. I did a charcoal portrait of the kid. Whether she actually believed we were destined to be together or she was just one of those insta-cling codependent types, I guess I'll never know; but she started talking life and...

more kids, and...

apartments or houses, and...

I got pretty freaked out pretty quick. Like the once great Richie Tozer, I took a powder. It's not a regret; but I definitely don't know whether it was a mistake. The lonely bachelor in me right now wants me to remind you what a smokin' hottie she was.

The Demon was a smokin' hottie too, though. She called herself artistic. I don't want to belittle craft-people; but she bought plaster statues and busts and painted them copper and added patina to make them look old. It was pretty good for what it was, but... not art.

Her talents lay in something else. That reptile coiled up underneath her skin. The way she used it, manipulated it - the way she used & manipulated those of us around her - that was her real talent. And we - no.

That's me trying to justify myself by identifying with others. I was hopelessly caught in its grip.

That first trip to Reno - when we were still just becoming friends, though - that was fun. We parked near Virginia Street, and hopped between a few of the Casinos. Circus Circus is the only name I remember. We watched an acrobatic show, some small bears. We had dinner in the buffet and played a few games. On the casino floor we played...

I think it was nickel slots; and enjoyed the freely flowing liquor that comes along with gambling in Nevada. On the trip back we stopped in Fernley (it lies about 20 miles out of Fallon, where we lived - on the road from Reno. We spent about an hour in one of the truck stops there (it's nicer than it sounds - they're like little Casino/ Restaurant/ Gas Stations), playing with one of those stuffed animal crane-machines. I honestly can't remember if we won anything; but we were out late.

When we got back to Fallon, and I dropped her off - I made the first bitch-move. Not the first one I've ever made; but the first one that really counted. She invited me in. We slept.

"I'm not interested in you," she said. "We're not going to sleep together." Nonetheless, I stayed the night. We even slept in the same bed. I assumed she was being coy. I made a move. I got shut down. Hard. With what I know now - I should've been more aggressive. It's what she was really looking for. Thanks Mom & Dad - I'm not that guy.

If I were, we would've hooked up that night and that would've been it. I might've been just some dude, and things would have turned out a lot better. I wouldn't have this story to tell.

Instead, we slept. She wore these stupid, pink footie pajamas. Later, I would enjoy holding her when she wore those - almost as much as I enjoyed peeling her out of them; but she was the first adult I ever met who wore them and they were pretty dumb. On "my side" of her bed, now with a pillow between us, I slept like a baby.

And in the morning I awoke to the sound of screaming.

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