They bulldozed the whole block to the ground and now there’s nothing but a big black hole. It’s as vast as the universe. It stretches deep into the core of the Earth. But just like the universe, it’s not empty. Who knows what goes on underground? In Vegas, there’s thousands of people living in underground tunnels. Talk about Heroin-Chic.
Friday was a night just like any other, except for the fact that I was now “Facebook official.”
I had even gone to my actual boyfriend’s actual band practice that very afternoon.
“Thanks for inviting me to your band practice,” I say to Rusty. “I won’t say anything about the unreleased material.”
“I am so HONORED that you came,” he says.
Now Rusty is driving us to the bar where a punk show is set to begin. It’s been months since I was at this particular establishment, and yet it feels like it was years ago, even though it was only this past May. It was one of the demented stops Randy and I made the night we decided to stay up until sunrise to watch the Royal Wedding . It was just as deranged as it sounds. I wound up singing “Interstate Love Song” upstairs at karaoke.
But I’ve moved on from Randy, Billy, Mick and Pete (In fact, Pete up and vanished. What ever became of him?)
Rusty and I met when right off the bat, he offered me some smoke.
That’s right. A totally millennial moment took place at the Mohawk one chilly September day. To quote Brittany Murphy in Clueless – “Right off the bat, he offered me some smoke.” It was Metal Fest at the ‘Mo, and I took the Metro down because it started at noon. I decided to roll up on the #24 around 4. I just got a blow dry from a new girl, and my head was caked with beach spray. I wasn’t feeling like David Lee Roth though, more like Tammy Faye Bakker. And of course, I was a little bit baked. When I knocked my purse to the ground, the guy next to me dropped his sunglasses and so I picked those up, too.
Next thing you know, Rusty and I found ourselves in Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson territory. He rolled up to my house one day, Sweetest Day, it turns out, with a bouquet!
“Wow, cattails, very autumnal! Thanks, Rusty.”
I was honestly so shocked, I mean, a bouquet from a metalhead dude? Who knew! I suppose I was accustomed to way worse. I.e, the time when Billy acted crazy on Valentine’s Day, of all days….
“Can we go see 50 Shades Freed?” I texted.
“Yeah, sure,” Billy replied.
No way, I thought. Billy just told me, in between drags of his Marb, that he doesn’t “do” Valentine’s Day. I was merely being a smart ass by asking. Ha! Surely, Billy MUST be coming to his senses. Finally!
Of course, Billy never set an official date for 50 Shades Freed. In fact, he acted like a total dick at the Marilyn Manson show, for no apparent reason! Despite the fact Billy picked me up and we drove there together in a snowstorm, at the concert he refused to touch me or hold my hand, in fact he stood a foot away from me and stared me down like a shark! Not to mention, at the casino, he randomly insinuated he had a one night stand there in the not-so-distant past! So the next day, I was confused. I called him to see what all that was about.
“What? Oh nothing, nothing’s wrong,” he said.
“Did you…really have a one night stand at the casino, then?”
“I made that up.”
“Like, do you even care?”
“If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have taken you to the concert.”
So I was crazy then.
“All right, sorry,” I said.
A few days later, Valentine’s Day: Billy sent mean texts all morning while I was trying to concentrate at work.
“You’re too sappy, you’re too emotional,” Billy was blowing up my phone. “Go find another man who will do what you want. I’m out. Maybe if you came over when I didn’t expect and have sex with me maybe then you’ll be surprised to see what I’d do, like go out to dinner, or to the movies, I’m just so tired most days, you work in an office, I come home and I have no energy to do anything.”
“Fine, whatever,” I totally gave up. Every time I text Billy with a simple question, it goes unanswered. But then he has time to blow up my phone with abuse all day. Why me?
“I’ll come over Friday then. Peace out,” I said, to get him to shut up.
Of course, I had no intention of going over to Billy’s house Friday – or at all!
I made plans with my Chapter 13-version-of-a-Sugar Daddy, my “Stevia Daddy,” if you will, instead – Mick! He made last-minute reservations at the Protocol on Transit.
So we hit up the Protocol, and Mick dragged over a gargantuan funeral bouquet just for me. Gee, thanks Mick…I tossed it on my bed. All I wanted was to get wasted, to be able to get through/enjoy this day.
While at dinner with Mick that night, Billy must have been stalking my Instagram or something because later in the night, after I posted a pic, my phone blew up with texts, again.
“Don’t bother coming over Friday,” Billy said. “I don’t want your sloppy seconds. Have fun doing whatever it is you’re doing, it was nice knowing you, I’m blocking your number, goodbye.”
Like, what? I wish I could say it ended there, but I ran hysterically crying out of the Protocol, only to call Billy all night in vain, until when in the a.m. I realized he unblocked my number so I blocked his and never spoke to him again.
Until I got sucked back in, you see.
Tonight, this punk show, this is the first public debut Rusty and I are making after becoming “Facebook official.” Not that anyone cares. But just let me have this moment, would you? I decided to wear gold sateen shorts with stockings and heeled, hiker-esque boots.
My neighbor Dan came to my house beforehand to lend me a cup of weed. Then off we went, Rusty and I, with nothing to tarnish the silver-plated memories being etched in our minds.
“We are a Super-Couple,” Rusty says at the bar. I’m lapping up his words along with my pinot grigio like a submissive puppy dog. My leg is draped across his lap, his bass player BDE steeping the air like cologne. That’s the thing about Super-Couples, aka Angelina and Billy Bob, Tommy Lee and Pam; they do not care about societal norms and common decency, or what is even going on around them, necessarily…We prefer to live life á la music videos and porno sequences, inside an elite plastic bubble ungoverned by rules and conventions…
Wait – who is that getting their ID checked? It looks like, no way – some fool who looks like Billy but is acting totally grandiose! I squint, but get tunnel vision and the area where Billy’s doppelganger is standing becomes a blind spot, a black hole, and I’m staring down a narrow corridor. I don’t know if it’s Billy or just some clown who looks like Billy. His beat up Vans are the same – but everyone has those. And his vest – it’s not the same patch-covered one Billy wore before. But this one looks like he could be starting a NEW VEST. Perhaps a new life. He grew a mustache too. And he’s…smiling…a totally sick, deranged, and menacing smile, but he’s smiling across the room, in my direction, nonetheless. My vision gets blurry and I convince myself that it is not, in fact, Billy at all, but just somebody with the unfortunate curse of looking like Billy.
I turn back to Rusty; it’s not uncommon for me to look dazed and confused.
“Yes, Rusty,” I lean in closer. “You were saying?”
Billy’s doppelganger sits behind Rusty with a mousy girl who could be his cousin, a random from Tinder, or his steady girlfriend of five years – who’s to say?
A short time later, I get up to go to the bathroom, and as I’m walking by…
“Damn…” says a voice behind me which sounds like a stoner-slash-skater from somewhere in Ohio…
I don’t turn to look who said it, because I already know. It is Billy standing back there, or wherever that voice came from.
I keep walking. I didn’t really hear that. Whoever said “Damn” falls back into a black hole, again, behind me, sinks down into the ground… I lean over the ledge at the bathroom mirror. I’m trying to convince myself that it was all a visual and auditory hallucination – nothing but a mere hallucination!
Any man reduced to communicating with you via email is probably on the outs (except for Eddie, who just doesn’t have a phone) and should stay there. On Easter morning, I began to receive apologetic emails from Billy. I choked on a Peep. First, he acted like everything was no big deal. He ended the note with an Irish blessing. He proclaimed he was in touch with his therapist. He said he was sorry – but didn’t explain for what. I didn’t reply.
But for some strange reason, I fantasized about revenge. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I think I read that somewhere. Meaning, it’s best to wait awhile for tempers to cool….
You think it would be easy to avoid someone emotionally abusive, run as far away from them as possible. Then I ran into Billy when I least expected. I was just walking down the street and there he was like a big obtrusive glacier, staring at me as I walked up to Stamps, the Bar, and unlike the Titanic, Billy never sunk completely from my mind.
“Hi,” Billy said.
He ended up buying me drinks, acting “nice,” even saying he’d buy me a DVD player for my birthday. (Like, what?)
Next came more long-winded email proclamations, until I finally did the unthinkable. Something I vowed I would never, ever, do.
My willpower took a dive and I couldn’t ignore him anymore, or the fantasy that maybe, just maybe, Billy was remorseful.
I was four months sober from Billy. So of course I had to fuck it all up. It only takes one second, to fuck it all up. For all the time it takes to learn to not fuck it up, it only takes a second to fuck it all up completely.
What’s one little hit, totally in secret, just one little, one-time hit it n’ quit it?
I’m going over to Billy’s in fraying, white denim shorts with laces down the front, and a vintage Rage Against the Machine tee my dad once confused for a dirty rag. I know that tonight is the night for make up sex with Billy. Stars twinkle in the sky like an exotic dancer’s body glitter.
Last week, during my quest for “revenge,” I unblocked Billy’s number, called him and told him I was coming there to his hot tub. That’s what I’m talking about, fucking it all up in an instant. All those hot tub selfies he posted apparently got to me. I wanted nothing but to “use” Billy for his hot tub. After work, I went to Tappo with Mick, and of course I had to get lit, how else can I cope? Either way, an hour later I was in Billy’s hot tub with only a bra on, as I had been going commando since midway through the workday.
“I won’t let you drive home,” Billy said. “Just stay here.”
So I did. But we didn’t hook up. I definitely submerged my head in the hot tub after shouting “Underwater BJ!!!!!” loud enough for the whole town to hear and swam towards Billy’s crotch, but that was a drunken fail and it doesn’t count.
Then, this afternoon, I texted Billy and asked –
“What time does the hot tub open?”
“Nine,” said Billy. “But can you bring a friend for Tony?”
“Tony?!” Tony is Billy’s omnipresent homeboy. It’s a “bromance”. “I thought he has a girlfriend.”
“They broke up.”
“Oh. I’ll see if Trixey can come!”
And, sure enough…
“Yeah maybe,” Trixey replied right away. “What time?”
“Nine!” I said, overjoyed, because we were about to become one big, happy love triangle, no wait, a love RHOMBUS, and it would all work out with Billy too and we’ll live happily ever after in a barn/skatepark somewhere.
Of course, Billy and I had sex.
“Get out!” I barged out of the bathroom in exotic nightwear, aka a thong reminiscent of Rose McGowan’s “naked” VMA attire alongside Marilyn Manson. “I don’t care where ya go, but ya can’t stay here.”
Trixey and Tony skulked out of Billy’s kitchen, leaving us alone to consummate our twisted romance. They were to fall victim to their very own one-night love affair. But that’s a different story for another day.
It didn’t take long for me to reclaim my sex object position on Billy’s dusty shelf. Sad, really. Pathetic.
“What’s this scar from?” Billy said as we laid on his bed in the a.m., in his disorganized and unadorned room.
“A palm tree,” I laughed, squealed really, because Billy locked me in a vice grip with his legs and I couldn’t break free.
“Where were you where there was a palm tree?”
Since when does Billy care what I do? He simply projects his own issues onto me…
“Tampa, duh. My cousin lives there,” I said. “Do you still have the articles I wrote?”
Billy leaned over the edge of his bed and rummaged in his bottom dresser drawer. He pulled out a stack of Hustlers and a handgun fell out from between the stack onto the floor and spun away.
“Is that loaded?” I looked over at him; Billy was holding the Hustler with my story in it. “Aw Billy, you really do care.”
Billy didn’t say anything, just laid back and stared at the ceiling. If I would have looked, I mean really looked at him, I would have noticed Billy’s stare was as dark and empty as his soul.
The same old cycle began once again.