My thoughts divide roughly into three categories: memories, observations, and fantasies.
Fantasies include desires.
Probably there’s a better word than fantasies, one that encompasses both fantasies and desires, but what would it be?
Also, what is a word for what happens in my head when I read? I want to call this mastication, but that seems different from the things above.
Anyway right now an ice cream truck outside my window is playing that insipid ice cream truck song over and over. You know the one. If I could I would gladly and without remorse smash the truck’s speaker into a smoking heap of metal and wire. This is both an observation and a fantasy.
Also, had I previously seen someone do this, or had done it once myself, or had once fantasied about doing it and had now, hearing the song again, remembered my fantasy, it would also be a memory.
I used to claim I didn’t regret things. Maybe that was true when I said it, I don’t know; I just know I regret plenty of things today.
For example I regret breaking up with J. I mean the fourth time. I don’t regret the first, since I really had no choice that time. The second and third times were her doing, so I can hardly regret those. Although it’s true that I drove her to it the third time, so if I wanted to regret that I could.
Similarly I could regret getting together the second time. Also the third. I could even regret getting together the fourth time, but what’s the point? It’s all too easy to say you should have known better given what happened.
Still, I should have known better. I mean about the fourth time. She called and said she wanted to get back together and do it right this time. She even said she loved me. It was only the second time she ever said that. The first time was during our third relationship, and that time she didn’t actually say she loved me but that she had told her therapist she did. In response I said that her therapist knew better than to believe her. I regret that now. It was mean. All the mean things I ever said to her I regret.
Not that she ever actually loved me. In fact that was why I broke up with her the first time. It’s also why she broke up with me the second. The third time was different: that time we broke up because I didn’t love her.
Actually the third time may not count as a time at all, because all it was, was sex. Once a week we would have dinner, talk about our weeks, and fuck. To distinguish this from “going out” or “having a relationship” or “being together,” we would say we had “an arrangement” – an arrangement she ended because it prevented her from going out with or having a relationship with or being together with anyone else.
She told me this over the phone. She also said that my comment about her therapist had hurt her.
The second time she said she loved me was when she called and said she wanted to get back together. That was how the fourth time began. In response I told her that I loved her too, which I now regret because it wasn’t true.
Also, while having sex we would sometimes say we loved each other, but that was different because we were having sex. In other words, I don’t regret it.
Here are all the things I regret:
- Saying mean things to her
- Telling her I loved her
- Breaking up with her the fourth time
Everything else I’m okay with.
Someone is writing to me via the search function on Oblivio. Each week I receive a report that lists the ten most popular searches on the site, and in recent weeks someone has been conducting the same searches over and over, so that they appear at the top of the report. Last week there were eight searches for “u r an unabashed prick” and five for “fuck you asshole.” I’m not totally sure that “fuck you asshole” was bogus given that the most popular all-time search is “fuck my wife” (!), but there’s no question that “u r an unabashed prick” was directed at me.
Last week there were 14 searches for “but you are a jerk.” However this is nothing compared to the week of May 10, when the top seven searches were:
- 18 for “and that means you mike boorish”
- 16 for “how do you live with yourself you stupid fuck”
- 15 for “murder any ducklings lately j o”
- 14 for “total fucking prick”
- 13 for “complete and utter asshole”
- 13 for “u r a complete and utter asshole mike”
- 12 for “u r a total jerk fuck mike”
Being a complete and utter asshole, I considered writing a piece in which this exact thing happens, except that the searches add up to a love letter. That’ll fix his wagon, I thought. But then after a minute I decided that I didn’t really want to fix anyone’s wagon. If anything I feel grateful to this person for transforming my weekly search report into something I look forward to reading. Perhaps it’s the unabashed prick in me, but I enjoy imagining this person at his computer (I believe he’s a he) doing the same inane searches over and over, with what I imagine to be demented glee.
Naturally I realize that I invite more of the same, from him and others, by writing about this. Still, call me a total jerk fuck, but I could care less. Anyone who does 18 searches for “and that means you mike boorish” deserves a few paragraphs of public acknowledgement.
We kissed for the first time at the northeast corner of St. Marks and Fourth Avenue. It was raining. We had been walking in the rain for several blocks and I was standing to her left, holding her umbrella above us. We were standing so close that our arms were almost but not quite touching. The light was red. I believe she had just been explaining why she wasn’t wearing her sweater, despite the rain. It was because she wanted something dry to wear later, which seemed more important than to be warmer now. I didn’t say this at the time, but I totally respected her logic and in fact this may be why I kissed her.
She was wearing white and red sneakers which I believe are called Vans. Normally I don’t notice such things, but these sneakers were adorable. When I first saw them I remembered that on our first date she wore blocky black sneakers which I couldn’t help but find sexy. Truth is, I’m usually impervious to such things; if anything it’s a turn-off when I sense that a woman devotes too much attention to fashion. The sneakers were white with little red flowers. The red matched the red of her pants. Later she confessed that she had left her entire wardrobe in a giant pile on her bed, which may have been the hottest thing any woman has ever said to me.
The way the kiss happened was that I turned to her and started kissing her, without really thinking about it. Well, there was a bit more to it of course. Because as I moved in I definitely looked to see if I had permission to do so. Did she tilt her head in acceptance? Did she part her lips slightly? Probably she did both, although I don’t pretend to remember. In baseball this is called a bang-bang play. A player slides into second, the throw comes in, the second baseman catches it and slaps the runner with his glove, and that’s it, it’s over, bang-bang, no time for anyone to think about what’s happening. Contrast this with the kiss itself, during which I focused entirely on the fact that we were kissing, that those lips touching mine, as well as that flicker of tongue, belonged to her. This part was more like those slow-motion replays, usually in basketball, in which the announcer scribbles a bunch of lines and arrows on the screen to explain what just happened and how it relates to what previously happened and how it reflects and reveals what each team is trying at this moment to do, beneath all the lines and arrows.