02 January 2008

A cautionary tale: On dating aging rocker dudes

A trip can make or break a relationship, whether it be platonic or romantic in nature. I am back from my Seattle trip with Snow White, a day earlier than I had intended.
I would say this is an irreparable break.
It started off well enough. We took the train up and had no specific plans except for where we would stay. We stayed at my favorite hotel there, right by the Pike Street Market. We spent our first afternoon wandering around the market, taking in the sights. For dinner, we tried a restaurant recommended by the concierge.
The Pink Door is just that--- a pink door, festooned with lights for the holiday, but otherwise unmarked and unremarkable. Once inside, however, it is a sort of otherworldly place full of beautiful people, soft light, and wonderful Italian food. Half-way through dinner, the entire restaurant spontaneously took up the song that was playing softly over the stereo.
A chorus of "Que sera, sera...whatever will be, will be..." filled the room as the puzzled kitchen staff peeked out from their respective posts.
Neither of us had slept much, so after our somewhat surreal dining experience, we headed back to the hotel. There are no televisions in the place, and we wanted something low-key with which to entertain ourselves. Snow White stepped out to buy a Scrabble game and some wine. When he came back, it was apparent from his purchases that he had other entertainments in mind as well.
"We're playing strip-Scrabble!" he announced as the condoms and lube tumbled out of his shopping bag.
I was tired and not feeling particularly amorous, so it was regular old-fashioned, fully-clothed Scrabble for that night. He seemed a little pouty, but I could not discern if it was my points lead or my lack of ardor.
In the morning I nuzzled up close to him. I was still not feeling particularly amorous, but he was insistent, in fact, rather unceremonious in making his intentions known, as he shoved his hand down my jammie bottoms.

Sometimes, as one friend of mine put it, "it's just maintenance".
Oh, you've done it too...those days when you're not particularly in the mood but you know it'll make the day go more smoothly...You go for efficiency, not style. You push just the right buttons, move here, squeeze there, and you can get on with your day and keep things friendly.

As I mentally plotted my course, I asked him to grab a condom, which he tried to coax me to forget, citing a time when we had, rather stupidly, done without. I persisted and he finally, reluctantly, conceded upon my third request. That did nothing to improve my mood so I strengthened my resolve to get on with my day as quickly as possible. Buttons, push, move, squeeze...and we were shortly on our way to the EMP and Science Fiction Museum.

The morning's events---his brusque approach, his complete disregard for my initial resistance, and his lack of respect for my safety--- weighed on me as we walked through the exhibits. I finally broached the subject when we sat down to order a snack.

"So are we going to talk about what happened this morning?" I began.

"What about this morning?...We've done it without condoms before..."

"Just because we've done something stupid before, doesn't mean we have to do it again. You're showing a total lack of respect for me, my body, my health..."

"I have respect for you and your health," he countered, "I just think...yeah, you should use condoms with other lovers, but if I'm your primary partner, we should be able to have sex without them..."

"You don't get to make that decision...it's my body..."

"So... what...you're making all the rules now...?" he interrupted.

"Yeah...! When it comes to my body...absolutely!"

"Well, maybe we just shouldn't have sex anymore, then..." he snapped nastily.

At that very moment, those were my sentiments exactly.

He dismissed the conversation, saying he didn't want to talk about it then, in the restaurant. He said he prefers when we have our talks during our rambling walks.
Alright. I let it rest for the moment. I didn't want it to turn into a scene, and we were about to go do one of those Duck Tours.
After the tour (which, incidentally, was really fun) and another hour or so at the EMP, we started to walk back to the hotel.
If we were going to walk, we were going to talk. I wanted to be constructive about it, so I chose my words carefully.
"Just like you like to clear the air when you're upset, I need to talk to you about what we were talking about earlier. You really hurt my feelings with what you said." In reality, I was pissed, but determined to talk, not fight.
"You showed an utter disregard for me, my body, and my health. You were disrespectful and rude. You just lashed out. That whole 'maybe we just shouldn't have sex anymore' comment was rude and immature..."

I waited for an apology.

"I didn't say it to hurt your feelings." And then silence and tension.

"What are you thinking?" I ventured after a few very quiet blocks.

"I didn't say it to hurt your feelings." Then more silence.

I wanted an apology, resolution, but neither was forthcoming. I racked my brain. I wanted to go home then and there, ask him for my train ticket, raid his bag for my train ticket. I didn't want to spend New Year's Eve with somebody who would treat me this way. The rest of the evening was silence and distance.
We had morning plans to meet with a high school friend of mine for brunch, so I hopped out of bed and got ready. When he returned from his shower, he approached me and said he was sorry, that he had wanted to apologize the previous day, and that night, and all morning.

"That was all I wanted to hear...an apology" I told him. It was mostly the truth. The fact remained that there was now a breach of trust and only time would determine whether it could be reconciled or not.

"Well, I am sorry," he reiterated. "I really wanted to tell you that yesterday...it kind of ruined the rest of our day"

"Yeah. You were kind of being a poop"

"I was being a dick" he corrected.

"Well I was looking for something more innocuous, but yeah, you were being a dick" I agreed.

He seemed sufficiently contrite.
I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and we began our new day on good terms.

My school chum and his lovely wife drove us to a great cafe for brunch. They brought along their 2-month old. She's pretty cute as far as hairless monkeys go, but the idea of my old cohort having reproduced was a bit difficult to grasp at first.
I still remember our childhood escapades---sneaking out at night to go find whatever trouble we could. Trouble was limited in that tiny logging town. We were dumb kids, but not dumb enough to get into meth or heroin like some of our peers. The worst we did was go walk around the graveyard in the wee hours and smoke cigarettes.
It's nice to see people achieve their goals. Some people always search for their "true identity" and never find it. I witnessed much of my friend's search, as he tried on different identities---goth, skate punk, alternative kid (whatever that means, but that's what MTV called us at the time, right?), raver...but through it, all he asserted that he wanted to be a yuppie when he grew up.
Well, he's done it. House in the burbs, sensible car, wife, kid, job at Microsoft...

He and Snow White talked tech, but soon the conversation came around to my travel companion's musical past. It seems he was once in a fairly prominent hair metal band.
I don't know hair metal. I was in Colombia during its hey-day and was never interested enough to learn anything about it.
He has refused to tell me the name of the band these past two months. While I was in the bathroom, he swore my old friend to secrecy and told him. I was a bit indignant.
It has become a sort of game, though, trying to guess which band it might be, and which (label-assigned) pseudonym he used. Our typical banter and ribbing about spandex and make-up further lightened the mood. By the time we got dropped off by our hotel, we were great friends again, and ready for a fun New year's Eve.
We took in the Seattle Underground Tour and did some shopping to kill time before the evening's festivities began.

So why did I end up cutting my trip short? Well, that's a story for the next blog...a mystery involving us, the Five Point, and a very drunk tranny named "Sophia"...

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

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