FLAT FUCKING TIRES and Just so we are all clear … even Heathcliff was a better choice …

It’s 4:30 in the goddam motherfucking morning and I am just — OH MY GOD — things could NOT go much more wrong — I cannot WAIT to leave for the beach in a few hours — Remember how I was all perky because the mechanics at my garage fixed my flat tire — the third in a few months — free of charge? WELL IT’S FUCKING FLAT AGAIN!

And, my “CHECK ENGINE” light has come on.

Really?

And …

Just so we are all clear on just how completely and absolutely incompetent I am in running my own life and choosing people with whom to become romantically (or, in ANY way)  involved, I present the following evidence:

The fellow with whom I last and lately found myself thinking I was in love — despite the fact that I had planned to carefully guard against any such feelings, meant it all to be a casual, meaningless fling, the sort of which I had too long been denied whilst trying to be what everyone ELSE needed and wanted me to be –that fellow, the one, as I said, with whom I found myself falling into my version of love, he who had not graduated from high school until he was 19, and then, only with the intervention of a Marine recruiter, after which he had become a trained killing machine. Yes, that one, who came to me, it was going to be a casual fling, and he had no interest in men, really, HE HAS NEVER IN HIS LIFE READ A BOOK BY CHOICE — it is not, really, an exaggeration to say he can almost NOT read — and I had no interest in 25 year old trained killers who could barely read, thought gun collecting was a great hobby, and mocked “those green-type hippie people” — of which, I explained, I was one. By the time he was done telling me his story, his long, sad, horrible story, I was in love. I, too, was going to collect guns and NEVER AGAIN RECYCLE or care about nature — yes, dammit, I would be a redneck republican right winger if it meant he would be happy — well, that was when he told me he had been demoted — alcohol and drug issues — relieved of his post, was leaving the Marines (not clear on EXACTLY whose idea that departure was) and going home to — wait for it — Lakeland, Florida for a month — (IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THE LOOK ON MY FACE WHEN HE SAID LAKELAND, FLORIDA — and told me there was nothing there but poor trailer trash and rich old retirees — well — I can’t go into this except to say that the meanest, cruelest, most heartbreaking letter I have EVER gotten came from Lakeland, Florida ) until he could move to — even worse, North Carolina. He said, and I quote, “I wish we could be together, but people like me from places like that, we don’t do this. I love you but it would never be enough.”

He left.

I told no one. Not really. I cried for a few weeks and sang eleven o’clock ballads non-stop — I had been seeing him for months and no one knew. He left me — no one knew. He still writes — such as he can — once a week or so. He misses me. He’s thinking he MIGHT start seeing a guy if he can meet one LIKE ME — But … you know … anyway …

So, I said to myself, “Charlie, you have GOT TO STOP thinking it’s your job to save all the damaged people in the world.”

By happenstance, I started seeing another someone, really casually, and I PROMISED myself it would remain casual. I started to feel things. I pulled back. He said, and I quote, “I really like you — you’re not like anyone else — you get things. I don’t have to say them. You just — like, you read me.”

I knew. STOP. The last person I read — well, let’s just say I thought I was reading Wuthering Heights and instead, he turned out to be one of those awful, frat-ass, stupid asswipe comedies about dickbrained twenty-somethings who never think of anyone but themselves and go into DICKPANIC (it is a word — a new one — LOOK IT UP HERE [and like it, while you’re at it] — that’s me, yep, read all about it HERE, I MADE THAT WORD BECAUSE WE NEEDED IT, alas) make fun of the fags, using them up like butt-wipes. So — I try NOT to listen to ANYONE who claims I can read them — which is apparently code for “You’re an easily manipulated sucker and I’m going to play to your empathy card and pretend you understand me like no one else ever has. Har-dee-har-har.” (NOT, mind you, that ANY OF THEM would BEGIN to know what an EMPATHY CARD was; their only familiarity with cards being those of the Master and Visa and Gift types, not even an Amex — yes, I dwell in the lower echelons — don’t worry, not a one of them would read this and if they did, they’d never understand it, so there is no danger of hurting their feelings – which, to be fair, they’d have to HAVE SOME OF in order for me to HURT them — and they most emphatically DO NOT because I have TRIED — but, again, me, being me, I digress.)

Fucker. Not this one — the last one — no, not the marine — never mind.  About this one, he’s a mechanic. (NOT from my garage — I’m not THAT stupid — although his specialty is tires — JESUS — has he been flattening my tires? No. My life is stupid-bad but it’s not QUITE a Lifetime Movie. Yet.) He has NEVER IN HIS LIFE READ A BOOK BY CHOICE. And still – STILL – I have continued to see him. I have told NO ONE.

I asked him, tonight, when he wanted to see me after eleven again, because that, he said,  was when he could … why all the weird hours? And I quote:

“My fiancee works weird shifts.”

YOUR FIANCEE? YOU HAVE A FIANCEE?

Yes.He does. I don’t know, did I learn NOTHING from all the Elizabeth Montgomery Movies of the Week I watched during my misspent youth? I mean –HOW DID I MISS THESE SIGNS?

Needless to say, I am NO LONGER SEEING HIM, but I would be remiss if I did not tell you that SOMEHOW I HAVE BECOME THE KIND OF PERSON TO WHOM SOMEONE THINKS IT IS OKAY TO SAY — “Well, I thought you knew I was straight? I mean, I don’t get why you’re upset — I still want to see you after I’m married too.”

I have NO USE for labels — but I am PRETTY CERTAIN that the WORD FOR YOU — a person with a FEMALE FIANCEE who is ALSO regularly SEEING a MALE FRIEND is NOT straight. I have ALL SORTS of words for you — but STRAIGHT is NOT among the choices.

Really? I mean — WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? What am I? Some combination of Susan Hayward and Charles Nelson Reilly?

I think, truly, flat tires, check engine, all the loss I’ve had, everything I signed away, jesus fucking christ, and THESE are the people I meet?

I. Am. Done. It’s to the moors for me. A ghost. Only I won’t be beating on any windows, begging to be let back in. Fuck you, Heathcliff. Fuck all of you Heathcliffs.

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