Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Opening A Bottle Rocket With Your Teeth (Part 7: Returning A Bottle Rocket To Its Shelf)
Dmitri is on the phone with the airline. It's snowing. And while the snow looks heavy from inside the house, I know it's not heavy enough to ground him here for one more night. Dmitri is leaving to return to his what passes for normal life. Landlord has offered to drive us to the airport whenever Dmitri's flight leaves.
"Hello?" Dmitri asks, signaling he's finally through the robot barricade and talking to an actual living person over the phone.
I stare at his bags because I think this will make him more comfortable than if I were to stare at him. I hate it when most people look at me while I'm doing something uninteresting. And because I'm neurotic, and Dmitri is neurotic, I just assume he feels the same way, so I stare at his bags, then his shoes, then...his ass?
In the days before wireless phones, my mother used to tangle the fuck out of phone cords during nervous conversation. She always had to be doing something with her hands. Her nervous behavior, and my father's ascent into obesity are just a few reasons I'm glad I'm not biologically related to them. Of course, my birth father was a rapist, so maybe obesity wouldn't be so bad.
Rather than tangle the cord on the phone, Dmitri is playing with his pants. As he giggle something about "So you can't tell me whether or not the plane is leaving?" his pants ride just low enough for me to make out a few inches of crack. I hope this is a signal. The snow will pick up. The pants will come down. We'll soon be making out, and I'll be running my fingers down that crack and...look at the bags, Safey, look at the bags.
He hangs up the phone and repeats the conversation that I just half heard. He's impossibly cute.
Whatever we talk about for the next hour must be fleeting because all I can think of is want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss. Then, it's time to head to the airport. Landlord gets the car running, we grab all of Dmitri's bags, and head to the car. We should be at the airport in...wait, we're headed in the wrong direction. Maybe Landlord is helping me kidnap Dmitri. This idea would intrigue me, except that Landlord is a sixty-something year old guy who likes to go to foreign countries and pick up young boys and do...whatever he does. I don't share well. But we are not on our way to the airport, we are clearly at the T station. I am tempted to say "This isn't the airport", but this week has gone particularly bad in every way except for Dmitri, and I'd rather just spend some time on the T with Dmitri anyway.
want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss Talk about nothing. want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss want to kiss
And we're here. The airport. Dmitri is leaving. The lady behind the counter won't let him bring his bags carry on this time, so he checks them. I want to say how sorry I am that my friends let him down (because I'm used to them letting me down, that's no big deal to me, I let them down just as often). I want to say I wish we'd had more time. I want to kiss him, and follow him to the gate, and on the plane, and back to Chicago. I could move my life to Chicago. Steggy is there. Dmitri is there. I know loads of people in Chicago, why I could...kill myself rather than move again. I'm no longer a satellite in search of a planet. I am a star, and someone will make their orbit around me.
And it's time for him to go, and we shake hands. A handshake. We met because he liked the way I wrote about being a complete whore, and the only physical contact is a handshake? I'm so far off my game, I'm playing patty-cake.
His plane takes him home where his Mutually Exclusive Hookup Partner will soon become his Boyfriend. They'll make forts out of blankets and play video games. I'll be at home playing solitaire.
I want the phone to ring. A trumpet flare or a sitar version of "Stay (Faraway, So Close!". I want the phone to ring, but only if there's a guy on the other end. I want the phone to crawl across the floor, lovingly nuzzle me, and say "It's for you." There's too many qualifications, but still I want the fucken phone to ring. It does. "Hello?" Please be Dmitri, please be Dmitri.
"Hey, it's Dmitri," He laughs. Lucky fucker is drunk. "Where do you live?" I give him directions for the cab ride back. An hour and a half later, he's sitting on the couch next to me. He tells me about $4 bottles of water, and finding "(his) people", hot guys who excitedly dance to Kelly Clarkson. I want His People in bed, but they must wear headphones in public. He heads to bed after "The Oblongs". I also decide to crash.
His whole visit has caused me to crash into contemplativityness reflection. After a delicious homecooked meal of fettuccine and Jiffy blueberry muffins, I stack the dishes on the table.
"You're so NEAT." Dmitri says. "What would you do if I made a mess?" He grabs a pile of Landlord's papers and scatters them over the floor.
I shrug. "Wait for you to pick it up." I say, knowing his OCD will kick in, and he'll be compelled to unmessify the floor. A few minutes later, he does.
I really want to kiss him, and it's bugging the fuck out of me. I'm supposed to be a top, the control guy, but I find myself wanting to wait hand and foot on this nudge. He's adorable and everything, but he's not that hot. Am I becoming a Middle Man? A "top" guy who waits for a "bottom" to tell him how to do everything? Shoot me yesterday.
"I'm bored." He says.
We go to The Trident to meet Clarissa for lunch. I'm almost out of cash, so I have this long internal dialogue about cashing my check. I scan through some books while Dmitri paces. Like all of my other friends, Clarissa is late. I locate her via cell, and determine that Dmitri and I have enough time to shop on Newbury Street before Clarissa will show up. First stop, Diesel, where Dmitri spends over $100 on a t-shirt I could get at Garment District for $5. I taunt him for being a Fag. Then we go to the Hello Kitty Store. I no longer have the right to taunt anyone for being faggy.
Clarissa is waiting when we get back to the cafe. Our server is hot but completely incompetent. Clarissa and I are discussing whether I should cash my check when I hear Dmitri breathing heavily...into a straw...that's bent into his left ear. "It sounds like an airplane." So I'm in crush with a four year old.
I turn to Clarissa to mock him, but she has MY straw bent into HER ear and says, "This feels sooooo good." Clarissa needs to get laid.
In an effort to reclaim some semblance of normalcy, I start talking about asses. Clarissa asks to see Dmitri's (because she's so classy the entire word class is in her name, I mean she's not socially obtrusive at all). He would have turned red, if his skintone allowed. He stood up and walked away from us. Due to his baggy jeans, I couldn't yet comment on his ass.
After Dmitri charmingly overpays the bill, we head to Central Square to cash my check. It's snowing. On the bus, Clarissa and Dmitri serenade me with a Brittney Spears song. It's cute, weird, and incredibly out of tune.
The banks are closed, so we have to go to a Western Union to cash my meager checklet. Not having my ID, I sign the check over to Clarissa. The woman behind the bulletproof glass says she's not allowed to cash it because it's now 3rd party. She does anyway, so I go across the street to buy her a flower. Dmitri chastises me for jaywalking, and Clarissa finally realizes "You have red hair." This, after months of trying to tell me I don't have red hair. Chicks are dumb and colorblind.
After Western Union Lady has been flowered, and Clarissa has left for a haircut, Dmitri and I head back to my house for what may be the last time. Unless the snow gets so bad, his flight gets delayed. Please, let it snow harder.
If I were a gerbil, my water bottle would be filled with Cherry Coke. If Dmitri were a gerbil, he'd be doing commercial modeling for Habitrail. If I were a gerbil, and Dmitri were a gerbil, we could have the kind of hot, kinky gerbil sex that doesn't invoke the urban myth of Richard Gere and an Emergency Room visit.
I'm not a gerbil, and neither is Dmitri. We are two humans who met through Livejournal, decided to hang out in person, and decided that a trip to an art exhibit would be fun. we hadn't anticipated that said "art exhibit" would be inside a warehouse that gave off serious Freddy Kreuger vibes. But there we were, on the wrong side of a swinging door. On our side of the door: wood chips, a fake hanging water bottle, large fake gerbil turds, a bowl full of water, another bowl full of stale crullers that were supposed to look like gerbil food, no other door, and the windows were barred. On the other side of the door, ominously approaching footsteps. Footsteps that never materialized into another human being.
During our moment of fear, I should have wrapped my arms protectively around Dmitri and maybe kissed him. I didn't. The two of us just sort of wandered around the giant cage making jokes about how bizarre it was that this exhibit was held inside a seemingly abandoned warehouse.
While I kicked fake turds, Dmitri swung on the giant bird swing, the only part of the exhibit that was out of place with the whole Gerbil Cage Mystique. I've owned several gerbils in my day, and never bought a trapeze swing for any of them. Gerbils would make shitty acrobats.
From the life-size gerbil cage, we made our way to The New England Aquarium. We were supposed to meet Zuzu there in the early afternoon, but like just about all my friends that I'd made plans with during Dmitri's visit, she failed to show. So we went in without her. On our way in, our photograph was taken. I would have liked a photograph of the time we spent together, but their photo looked like shit, I hated my hair, and they wanted like a bazillion bucks for a cheap ass picture that we hadn't been prepared for.
After making our way through the jellyfish exhibit, where Dmitri proved his skillz at video games by defeating a jellyfish game designed for six year olds, we arrived at The Giant Ocean Tank. As we circled the tank, Dmitri said some rather insightful things about sharks and giant turtles before jumping back about five feet and letting out a rather loud "Oh, gross!"
I imagined that if I looked hard enough, I'd see an amputated bloody hand floating in the tank. Then, I remembered how Dmitri felt about other human beings, and realized he'd be overjoyed to see that the Aquarium was feeding human beings to the fish. "What is it?" I asked.
"That fish. It's so huge and ugly. I hate giant things." I made a mental note not to show him my penis, then I made another mental note that I didn't have a giant penis, and we would both be safe should penis presentation time ever arrive.
At the top of the tank, an old lady was telling a young mom and her brood something interesting about sharks that I fully intended to remember and write about, but the goldfish part of my brain has since vanquished. Dmitri and I discussed how unhungry he was after the traumatizing giant fish situation, and headed back down around the tanks to check out The Penguin Pool.
For those of you just joining this journal, I love penguins so much, I am tempted to write I <3 Rockhoppers the most. Maybe it's the punk rock hair, maybe it's the way they honk for attention, I don't know. But it was at The Rockhopper exhibits that I had my first revelation concerning my feelings for Dmitri. Rockhoppers are incredibly territorial, and, while sociable, don't appear to be overly friendly. While we watched, one of the aquarium employees was moving around the pool doing something scientific. The Rockhoppers were taking turns honking at him. One would spend ten seconds "singing", then another would begin. There was never any overlap in the honking, and there as rarely a second between one penguin's honking and another. They were cute, obnoxious, and loud. Like Elvis. Like Alex. Like Dmitri. Nothing at all like MAMIP or Liam or Ryan; they were Magellanics.
I thought I'd passed through my Rockhopper phase, now preferring a less needy guy who loved me more than the attention I lavished on him.
Don't get me wrong, I am not and was not in love with Dmitri. I love his writing, the way he thinks, the way he blows into his own ear with a bendy straw when I accidentally stop paying attention to him for ten seconds while Clarissa asks me a question. I think he is mentally and physically amazingly beautiful, but I wasn't in love with him. I was just terrified by how easily I could have been in love with him if the scenario was a little different: say, we lived in the same city, or if I wasn't spending so much of his visit brooding over my irresponsible friends, or if he didn't have a boyfriend. I may be a naive, lust hungry, easy target for falling in love, but I have enough self-control to never allow myself to be in love with someone who is in a relationship already.
"He's not your type." Clarissa said well after Dmitri had left Boston.
"What is my type?" I asked in my vaguely annoyed tone of voice.
"I don't know. He's so Young. Don't get me wrong, he's adorable, and really sweet, but don't you think you'd be happier with someone older?" This from the thirty-eight year old, currently lusting after eighteen year old breakdancers.
"He doesn't write like he's Young. And, I mean, he does act Young, but he's so self-aware. I act Young all the time. It's what keeps me from being a depressed misanthrope like you."
Wisely, the topic of conversation changed at that point.
So what if he was is seven years and seventeen days younger than I am? He's...not available, so why bother finishing that particular line of logic?
"Do you want to go dancing?" He asked me, the night after our gerbil excursion.
The answer was Yes. I've never been a club kid, never spent much time at Manray or any of the clubs in Provincetown, but I've always secretly wanted to go, and now I had the opportunity to be guest listed at a club where I could dance with an insanely hot, nerdy, meglaphobic gay crush. So why didn't I go?
So, it's interesting to be writing about someone who actually reads this journal on a regular basis. I have tweaked the order of when things happened during Dmitri's visit in order to make certain points, but otherwise, I'm trying to be as honest as I can about his visit. So I e-mailed Dmitri and asked what he thought of the last post. His response:
The old woman at the aquarium didn't say much of importance, it was all just facts about the sharks. The one dumbass woman was all "VY DON'T DE SHARKS JUST EAT EVERY-TING?" and the old woman explained how little the sharks eat or how they feed them and they usually just DON'T EAT AT ALL. God, how stupid. But then WE had the idea of listening intently so that we could go down to one of the floors and repeat everything as if we just HAPPENED to know everything there was about tiger sharks.
My criticism (of your last post)? Only one.
I HATED ROCKHOPPER PENGUINS THEY'RE AWFUL VILE AND TERRIBLE LITTLE BASTARDS! I do NOT like having a parallel made to such STUPID birds.
Their hair was TERRIBLE, the noise they made was ridiculous, they all took turns, but didn't go in any specific order, and there WAS a conflict. The one chick wanted to make her noise and this guy took her place so she started squabbling and making a big mess until she silenced the other guy. And THEN she didn't even go! What a bitch! I hate Rockhopper penguins and their little SOCIETIES.
haha, remember the one fucker rockhopper penguin that LEFT the rock with the others and stood with the other, quieter, better penguins? THE PENGUINS ON THE MAIN ROCK STILL RESPECTED HIS RIGHT TO MAKE NOISE DURING HIS OWN TURN.
and what the hell did i say about sharks and turtles?
Also: I fantasized about throwing one of the huge fish up in the air, letting it slam on the ground, and then stomping all over it to secure my dominion as Top of the Food Chain.
You also didn't say anything about GETTING LOST and having a taxi driver give you WRONG DIRECTIONS and you bringing it up in every conversation no matter the topic. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I thought it was cute how you fixated on things that bother you to the point where you can't talk about anything besides how annoyed you are at taxi drivers.
Dmitri wears Diesel shoes. His shoes match his outfits flawlessly. Not in that pink shirt, pink sweatpants, pink shoes sort of way. His outfits are often from different stores, are different colors, and different styles, but they are, unquestionably, matching styles. They're unquestionably hot.
Having left a majority of my clothes in Pieceofshitdeserttown, my outfits are uhh...well, not outfits. And my shoes? During the last snowstorm my shoes got the toes kicked out of them. My feet didn't actually stick out of the toes, but I did look like a homeless person from the ankles down. I wasn't completely aware of this until I was actually on my way into Logan airport to pick Dmitri up. What I did know was that one of my many unreliable friends had flaked out and, as a result, my hair cut had never happened. I was a long-haired, homeless shoed freak in a non-matching outfit when I arrived at Logan. Late.
I buzzarded around Baggage Claim and the arrival gates about four times. His flight arrived at 10:45, and I had arrived at Logan at 10:47. I am tempted to blame this one Unreliable Friend #1, but I should have known that she wasn't going to show up or even bother to call me to let me know she wasn't going to show up, because she is one of my friends, and as I have learned this week, my friends are unreliable. If they say they're going to meet me somewhere at 6:30, they may or may not be there by 8:00, and odds are, they won't call to let me know they're running behind. I've been moderately aware of this for a few years now. In fact, I've caught some of their unreliableness. This is what happens when you belong to a community of people who advertise events starting at 7:30, but don't actually show up until 9:00.
I was cursing Unreliable Friend #1 for not giving me a ride to Logan (she was catching a flight there an hour after I was to pick up Dmitri, so I wasn't asking her to go out of her way) while I buzzarded. I was on pass number five, when I turned around. Dmitri was behind me. Apparently, he'd been following me for a turn or two. I'll probably want to kick myself for using Elvis's word, but the only thing I can think of to describe Dmitri is kyoooooot.
We took a bus, then the T, then a bus back to my place. Most of the trip home we followed/were followed by The Man in The Red Jacket. a mysterious stranger who had apparently been staring at Dmitri from the time he left Chicago. Creeeeeeepy. We ended up losing him when I got on the train going in the wrong direction. He did not follow us when we got off, and switched to a train going the right way.
Once Dmitri was unpacked, we went out for Indian food. On our trek to the restaurant, Dmitri began his one man show. I don't want to bore you with all the details, but I'm going to. When he was done berating me for not bringing a granola bar with me when I met him at the airport, he began making fun of my shoes. He then made several attempts to kick pigeons who had the misfortune to cross his path. When I crossed the street at places that were clearly not crosswalks, he let out a high pitched squeal, and ran across the street like a Muppet with its fur on fire. If he hadn't told me about his Mutually Exclusive Hookup Partner, I would have taken him right there in the street.
Our conversations deserve a post of their own, a la Drunken Conversations at Hampshire College. Dmitri is easily the Most Interesting Conversationalist I've ever met. He talks in and out of Gay so effortlessly, unlike most of our contemporaries. While Dmitri was on his cell, chatting with a Gay friend about dancing plans, I was on the phone with the guy who created the PE(s)T exhibit, a giant gerbil cage. The person sounded incredibly Gay. He expressed an interest in being at the exhibit when Dmitri and I arrived. I imagined him spending an infinite amount of time explaining"his vision" and the "metaphorical ramifications of a gigantic gerbil cage". This was not something I looked forward to.
Dmitri and I were discussing how Gay our phone partners had sounded when we arrived at the address of the exhibit. It didn't look like any art gallery I'd ever seen. In fact, it looked like exactly like the sort of vacant warehouse where serial killers rape, torture, and kill young art patrons and grind their bodies and incorporate them in their next "project". I sensed we would be the basis for an upcoming "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit". Dmitri vocally agreed with my inner-monologue, as we opened the heavy wooden door that led into the obvious trap art gallery. The stairway was filled with face shots of all the other unsuspecting people murdered on their way into the gallery.
Over the phone, The Artiste had said that his exhibit was on the third floor, the sign said it was on the fourth floor. I made the mistake of believing the artist over the sign (I spend lots of time with artists, I should have known to follow the sign), and Dmitri and I got out at the third floor. Someone in one of the little cubicles was either pureeing a human flesh smoothie, or vacuuming up the clues from the last murder. We quietly returned to the staircase and made our way to the fourth floor.
At the end of the long hallway was a set of bars that could only signify a gigantic gerbil cage, the place you lock up prisoners, or both.
Like most members of the animal kingdom, I am a bundle of nerves. Strike the right one, and I'm yours.
So far in my sensual history, I've fallen in LOVE with three people: Ryan, MAMIP & Liam. All of them sweet, and willing to do almost anything for anyone. One was straight and easily spooked, one gay and easily spooked, the other, completely unable to cope with his sexuality. But love is so overrated.
The guys I fall in LUST with get on my fucken nerves. In our first conversation, Elvis's voice was like a cat in heat being rubbed claws down on a chalkboard made of aluminum. Of course, I was Demoraled out of my mind, at the time, so I invited him to fly up and visit me. Worse, I spent money I didn't have buying his ticket.
Just about every guy I've found hot is either a spaz, a compulsive liar, a dingleberry or a user. Dmitri doesn't appear to be any of these. Annoying? Well, yea, but in SUCH a HOT way. The sort of annoying you want to get up real close to and kiss, and throttle so that the annoying tongue slides into your mouth.
I haven't been this nervous in quite a while. In six hours, I head over to my friend Cali's for a haircut. I'll give her a couple of books to take to one of my friends in Ireland, and then we'll drive to the airport, where she'll be heading off to Europe, and I'll be meeting Dmitri and taking him home.
Yep, for the first time since Elvis, someone is coming from out of state to spend time with me. Unlike Elvis, however, this is a very short term platonic visit. Three days, two nights.
So why am I so nervous?
I really like Dmitri. He's funny, smart, hot, and while he's not A WRITER, he happens to be a very talented writer. Much more talented than most of the "writers" that I know. He's also cruel, needy, and sarcastic. Three attributes which, against my better judgment, are HUGE turn ons for me.
So, in the week since I've known he was coming, I've been calmly trying to thing of fun things we can do on my...ahem...extremely limited budget. I've also been leisurely getting my room organized, and attempting to not freak out Dmitri, who is also a bundle of nerves. For the first few days, I successfully remained unfreakedout. Then my computer crashed. Then my TV crashed into my computer. Yesterday, I walked a mile into the evil sleet storm that hit Boston. The sleet was so hard, the discman I was holding was skipping. Today, on my way to work, I missed the bus I was aiming for, but the bus didn't miss me, slamming a HUGE puddle of slush first on my left side prompting me to say "Ohhhh gross." which allowed my mouth to be open just wide and long enough to get a mouth full of yummy Somerville slush. These are all wonderful signs.
So now, I'm in freak out mode. Straight Roommate leaves for Kaleeeeefornya in four hours, so he's hogging the washing machine, so I can't even finish my laundry. I tried doing it yesterday, but Landlord was doing his. The day before? Straight Roommate. Fuckers. I was going to borrow Zuzu's car to do the Logan run, but it won't start. I left my tips at work. The first time I wrote this entry, I tripped over the power cord and....yea.
I'm hoping that I get all this bad luck out of my system BEFORE Cali starts cutting my hair. I'm also hoping that Straight Roommate gets off the phone soon, so Dmitri can call. Right now, he's really getting on my last nerve.