ENEMIES WITH BENEFITS
ENEMIES WITH BENEFITS
It was a meatwagon called desire.
On our second date, she arrived at my apartment drunk enough to pre-embalm her corpse, should spontaneous human combustion fail to scorch her pierced and perfume-drenched remains into a smoldering blackened smear across the seat. Before I could even register, she had yanked me out the door—swiftly as her limbs could clumsily respond—and right into her ominously purring sports car, planting a violent lipstick-smearing drool-splat vodka kiss against my face, while she quickly hit the locks…and then, the gas. She sped off with me in tow/in shock, against the waning sun, a cool burgeoning night wind, and my impending doom. The top was down—and hers would follow—as she flashed oncoming traffic, screamed at random passers-by, and shamed still-grieving spirits of her ancestors at top speed, running lights and signs. Without a single eye or passing thought upon the road we raced to our demise upon, she turned to me with lazy bloodshot eyes, and confidently slurred, “My boyfriends drive. Men drive. If you’re going to be my man, you’re going to learn to drive.”
She then took her hands off the steering wheel, floored the gas with all her might, and threw her head down in my lap. As I nervously gripped the steering wheel from the passenger seat, barely able to weave us in and out of traffic, she unzipped my pants and wrapped her mouth around my cock…all the while never relenting on the gas, and depending on me to steer us to her house.
Yes…this all really happened. I was 20. And she was my first girlfriend.
We weaved viciously and violently in and out of traffic, and whipped around sharp turns at speeds that should have flung us off the road. I was certain—my young mind never more sure of anything—that she was going to bite my penis off, either by accident or by whim, or that we would spiral head-first into some large oncoming death machine. The latter almost happened more than once. I’d never driven a car in my life. Hell, I’d only had a blowjob once. And I’d never been so utterly fear-stricken in all my days. I wasn’t even old enough to drink—in fact, I’d never been drunk in my life—and here I was…about to be a furry little corpse photo for the D.A.R.E. cops to use in “scared straight” demonstrations.
I don’t know how we made it home. I really, truly don’t. I also couldn’t tell you why we never saw a cop. The odds still seem unprecedented, though we were blessed with only modest traffic. All that I recall is that, at some vague and merciful moment, we gently rammed into her garage door, and she yelled at me for not clicking the garage remote when she’d handed it to me three panic-inducing turns ago. I stepped out of the car a nervous, shaken mess…but determined to deny her the satisfaction of seeing any shred of fear. She snatched the keys from my hand, and drunkenly giggled at my flustered state as I followed her messy, lumbering steps toward the door. She turned to look at me—and giggled even harder, despite (or because of) my attempt at being stone-faced. You see, I had forgotten to zip my pants back up, and my bits were hanging out in front of her bewildered neighbors, who’d stepped outside the moment we noisily banged into the drive.
I’d finally found something to laugh about with her; it was the first thing in common that we’d shared (apart from madness and saliva) since I had known her...
I followed her drunk and stumbling frame upstairs, into her room. She kicked off her remaining clothes, and sprawled out on the bed. Her eyes rolled back in her head as if possessed, as she writhed across the sheets, and called my name. She informed me, in a bizarre sort of slur reeking of some botched attempt at “sultry,” that I now got the “reward.” The reward, she said, was that I could do whatever I wanted to her—whatever I could think up, with few limits at all.
This would become standard arrangement on future dates: she would achieve stupendous feats of drunkenness with the frequent objective of infuriating or endangering me…and if I made it home with her intact, she would passively disrobe and await further instruction; I could do as I pleased. It was one part Sleeping Beauty, and three parts Hostel.
This was my first relationship. I suppose it tells you all you need to know.
She was beautiful, and often very sweet, in a Jeckyl & Hyde sort of dynamic. At times, she seemed so normal and so perfect—sometimes it would even last for days, though her manic-depression left me frequently on eggshells, perpetually on the defensive, and guarding every phrase. Any random thing could set her off, and end hours or days of calm. The objects of her rage would be seemingly meaningless, but she would carry on as if I’d wounded her very soul. Generally, I could calm her, and the storm would pass as swiftly as it came. But if left alone and understimulated, she would nip from hidden bottles—mostly inexpensive vodka—and pretend as if I didn’t know. And then the night began.
Ever the young romantic, convinced that love was real and magickal—able to save us all, no less—I was a gentle touch at first, and leery of the freedom I’d been granted. Ever the pastor’s son, I was determined I would save her. From what? I wasn’t sure—but I figured I’d find something, down the road. I had to save her; it’s simply what I did...it’s simply all I knew. I was determined not to abuse the bodily dominion I’d been given. But as months filled in a year, and that year filled out a dungeon full of phobias and hang-ups that I never may unpack in full, I would slowly come to appreciate the fullness of my liberties. With every torment and indignity that she compounded upon me by day, my conscience would come to whisper less and less when it came time to settle scores by night.
This tale/tirade is not quite about sex, despite the expectation. Rather, it concerns a lover’s gaze.
There is a look that pierces time itself, like the tattooed teats of any random pink- or purple-haired Suicide Girl that you drunkenly befriended on MySpace when your girlfriend wasn’t looking. It’s not a look of love, or even lust—though desire lends it strength. But it is indeed a look of longing. It is a weary look that seeks to curtail curtain calls, and hasten the inevitable.
I’ve seen it; I’ve received it; I’ve dispensed it.
It is a look that thirsts for death. It’s eyes water with sorrow for a time, but soon they parch with apathy and dread. It’s a lover’s gaze that loves only the grave…
(But I’ve dug this grave deeply enough tonight; and dispensed more than enough. You will have to wait ‘til next week for the rest. Who’s with me? Tune in next week…)