Private Magazine

Tag: Romance

No Ifs, Ands, Or Big Fat Butts

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This story isn’t about butts. It’s about romance. But what is “romance?”  No one seems to know, not even the dictionary. The dictionary says it’s, first and foremost, a “novel, movie, or genre of fiction.” Google says it’s “a feeling” associated with “love.”

I always thought romance was something sold in the Victoria’s Secret catalog.  This is probably because I used to wear the Amber Romance fragrance from their Fantasies line. (I later switched to Strawberries & Champagne, and they’ve both been discontinued).  Romance, to me, is rather illusory and fleeting, like cheap perfume.

In college, one of my upper-level English classes was “Romantic Journeys.”  It was taught by a very handsome professor-slash-documentary filmmaker.  It was then that I went from an Existentialist to a Transcendentalist.  Romanticism is about being free to express raw emotion.  There are also lots of castles in Romantic literature, so maybe that’s why Cinderella and all of them live in castles and get swept off their feet? But in reality, some Romantic guys actually went insane.  Edgar Allen Poe had syphilis, didn’t he? Frankenstein is also from the “Romantic” era.

Men today shouldn’t be scared of Romantic gestures, or expressing their emotions for that matter.  It’s slightly macabre, scary and perfect for the Halloween season. Here are some ways to make your relationship more Romantic this Halloween.

Live on Your Own Private Island/Castle

You will be able to have sex anywhere and everywhere, first of all.  On an episode of MTV Cribs featuring Nas and Kelis, they boasted that they are super loud when they have sex, so it’s a good thing no one else is around. I can’t remember where they lived, but it seemed pretty secluded.  Sadly, they went through an acrimonious divorce.

I once visited Alexandria Bay, NY with my belligerent former-sugar daddy and we did a ghost tour. There’s a castle there called Boldt Castle; it’s very famous.  The man who owned the Waldorf Astoria in NYC started to build a castle on a heart-shaped island for the love of his life, but she died mid-construction.  He ordered all work to permanently end.  You can take tours of the place now though, and the area’s ghost tour covers that and other places.

Sigh… so Romantic. A ghost tour would be perfect for a spooky yet sexual date. Or you could drive around looking for castles and explore.

Wear Vials of Each Other’s Blood

Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie were certainly a Romantic couple.  I never found out how they obtained the vials of each other’s blood that they wore around their necks. Was it professionally drawn, or was it more of a DIY effort? Donating a pint of blood would be something interesting to do as a couple.  You will get free juice and donuts, too! #FreeDates. Maybe you can take some blood home and fashion it into jewelry.

Bram Stoker wrote during the Victorian period, not the Romantic period, but Romanticism permeates the novel.  Dracula lived in a castle, of course. The sexualization of vampires is no secret; Helloooo Robert Pattinson.

Today you can visit bondage dungeons that resemble castles.  While there, mingle with the folks turned on by blood. There’s nothing closer to the heart, and therefore passion, than blood.  You might pick up some new ideas for the bedroom.

If you prefer to stay in for your Romantic night,  red wine and candy apples make succulent and sexualized treats. The Halloween film Sleepy Hollow contains blood play/bloodletting sex scenes.  It will surely get the blood flowing to the right areas.

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Pick Out Your Tombstones Together

So what if it’s only your second date? It’s never too early to choose how your headstones will look side-by-side. Personally, I want a heart-shaped tombstone. Black marble. What can I say, I’m a Romantic ‘til death. And the font is very important – chic cursive for me, all that way, with an etching of a rose.  A cemetery date would be great for Halloween. A walk through Forest Lawn is very picturesque, not to mention Rick James is buried there and I recently discovered a pond coated in cool green slime.  You can decide where your side-by-side burial plots can be placed, too, and then listen to “Cemetery Gates” by The Smiths.

Edgar Allan Poe is said to have died from syphilis, probably due to the fact he married his first cousin, but the actual cause isn’t known.  He was apparently murmuring the word “Reynolds” over and over when he appeared  at the hospital. It could have been syphilis, alcoholism, rabies, or something else.

His first cousin/wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, died before him, even though they married when she was only 13 and he was 26.  She had “the consumption,” but Poe’s extramarital “sexual improprieties” are said to have contributed to her early demise.

They’re buried together in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, Baltimore, Maryland.

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You may not view all this stuff as “Romantic,” and simply dismiss it as the stoned ramblings of an utter nitwit.  That’s your decision. You can keep it PG, put on the old French maid costume and tickle your man with a feather duster again…  That’s cool for Halloween, too.

The dark and the mysterious has always been sexy, and dare I say, Romantic. The brooding Romantic hero in an exotic setting  has become a familiar plotline.  A Happy Ending is what we crave,  but sometimes, it’s the emotion and intrigue in between Happy Endings that makes the Happy Ending feel so good. The whole ‘Happily Ever After’ thing is for the birds.

Romantic Retardation*

*In the clinical sense of the word

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Another Memorial Day, another drama. That’s my life. For the past two months, I was seeing this guy “Billy,” an electrician with peroxided hair. I thought that I knew the real him.

Our passionate connection made me feel like we were sheltered under the sunny boardwalks of Venice Beach in 1994 with nothing to kill our buzz.  I was wrapped up in his bubble. Billy skateboards all the time, and lives out in the country actually. He was kind of like an obscure record I discovered in a beat-up barn out in Cambria.

We met in a strange twist of fate and turns out, we both read Hustler for the articles. Our romance was meant to be. Billy took me out to eat and to the park all the time, brought pinot grigio and PBR for us, held my hand and gazed into my eyes… He was just so romantic.

But then the record totally scratched. Billy flipped the script. Everything changed.

Masks

The masks we wear

One week ago, Billy told me that he was too broke to take me out to eat anymore.

“I’ve been saving for a house,” Billy texted me. “I can’t spend any money.”

“But it’s impossible not to spend money when there’s a woman in your life,” I said.

Honestly, I was hurt. Why would Billy take me out on dates for two months straight and then suddenly say he can’t anymore?  I figured it meant he wanted to do his own thing, and that I should break up with him as soon as possible, before I’m the one left in the dust.

“Look, Billy…” I said. “If you’re trying to be rude and passive aggressive, than just leave me alone.”

“What are you talking about?” He texted me about five hours later. “I’m not mad about anything.”

So I’m a crazy bitch then, apparently. It was all in my head. Ugh!!

 

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But the situation didn’t go away. For the entirety of this past week, Billy turned into a withdrawn and depressed goon who didn’t want to do anything, despite the fact I told him I would be an emotional support and wear a schoolgirl outfit to his house.

“I don’t want to bring you down when I’m in a depressed mood,” Billy said.

“It’s okay to be in a depressed mood,” I said. “Everyone gets in depressed moods, you don’t have to totally ignore me because you’re in a depressed mood.”

But that’s basically what Billy did. His personality changed. Emotionally, he disappeared. He hid away in an emotionless purgatory, and he didn’t care how I felt about it. I suppose you could say he left me high and dry, feeling abandoned, vulnerable enough to join the Church of Scientology…I mean, right when I thought that I met someone honest, it turned out to be an act.

“I actually don’t even like going out to dinner,” Billy said. “I hate going out to eat. I hate going out downtown.”

“What?” I said. “You could have fooled me.”

“I don’t know how to show my emotions,” Billy continued.

“You are a sociopath, I think,” I told him. “American Psycho!”  I hung up the phone, and then I went out for the night.

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Saturday night, Allentown was pop, lock, and droppin’ from Wadsworth to Main. I decided to forego stilettos and wear pointy ankle boots which said “Girl’s Night – Not Trying to Talk to or Be With Any Men.”  Except that is, the men who were in Q. and supplying me with dollars to pick out songs by Nicki Minaj and Demi Lovato, (what can I say, I’m a great DJ at Q. late at night, when the THC and pinot grigio and Adderall are coursing through my veins and I think that 1:30 a.m. is still early and that I should call a bunch of people right away).

“Eddie!” Eddie is my somewhat nocturnal ex-bf/BFF who is definitely an emotional support.  I thought maybe, just maybe, he might be awake. “I’m tipsy and I can’t get home!” But did I really have any intentions of going home?

“I’ll be right there, where you at?”

By the time Eddie’s olive-green Honda pulled to the curb, I had already twisted my ankle while crossing the street. Damn ankle boots…I muttered, flicking the ash of a cigarette whose origins were unknown. Stupid little Billy boy…I paced the corner of Allen and Delaware amidst taxi beeps. If only he could see me now! 

“Eddie!” I hopped in the passenger side of his olive-green Honda. “Hi!’’

“So, you, like, needed a ride home?”

“Meh, I guess. But I don’t really feel like going home yet!”

Eddie drove around to a quieter street, and we sat in the car and talked awhile. I hadn’t seen Eddie for several months; but it doesn’t really matter, because we’ve known each other a super long time and there just aren’t certain pretenses between us. Except now, Eddie has a girlfriend who would chase me away with a broom if I were to ever show up at his place.

“It’s just all gone to shit,” a tear rolled down my cheek under the glow of a crescent moon. “This dork Billy, I never should have given my heart away. He’s too busy saving for a house, apparently…”

“He’s an electrician, he should already have a house,” Eddie lit another cig. “They make good money.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

“What an asshole,” Eddie said, and I realized he was wearing finely-striped silky pajama pants the whole time.

“I like your pants,” I said.

“Thanks,” Eddie said, and I leaned over to give him a kiss.

 

 

Asshole in Sheep’s Clothing

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Fresh pieces of a mutilated cat lay along Delaware Avenue.  Its body has been crushed beneath bicycle tires. What was once a cat is now a torn-apart, unrecognizable mess. Stray cats slink up and lick the delicious cat-aver.  Dripping ooze falls from their whiskered lips, as they devour their feline friend. Cat-ibalism.

There’s one glittering blue eyeball here, a pile of white goop there.  Blood red body parts decorate the asphalt. There are other rainbow hues – bright yellow, green, purple – melting in the humidity. There’s a blue jellybean face and white frosting flesh.

The cat cake had been my idea. It seemed like a stroke of genius for Neil’s birthday. He has cats – and it’s no secret that men love cake and pussy.

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WHEN IT ALL BEGAN

Neil and I have been going out and talking on the regs for a few weeks now.

We went to the movies and shared popcorn (Neil ate most of it). He held my hand at the Bisons game, while he took an Instagram of the fireworks. When we went to the Taste of Buffalo and it started to pour, Neil gave me his hat.  Neil’s a nice guy, an interesting guy, and I really like him a lot.

Sure, at times he can be condescending and egotistical. Like that time he said – “What you should know about our friendship, our relationship, is that you can’t get defensive, you just have to listen.” I had poked fun of a drunk college girl who fell in her heels. Her friends stood up in Founding Fathers and shouted, “Melinda!” I’m usually that girl, so it was nice not to be Melinda. I stood up and said “Whoa!” and staggered at Neil. He found it a cold-hearted move…I  was wrong, I should just admit it, I was an asshole for making fun of her. Neil always has to be right. But I really like his beard.

Neil’s birthday is today. For the past few days, Neil’s texts have been spotty/ borderline nonexistent. But, according to my friend Julie – who has known Neil many years – that’s not unusual. “He just gets really into his work,” she texted. “Definitely make the cake. No girl has done anything for him like that before. He’ll love it.”

I have all the cake supplies set up on my kitchen table. It’s noon. I call Neil to wish him a Happy Birthday, and tell him I’m making a gift.  He doesn’t answer. I get a quick text back. “Sorry, can’t talk, I’m picking up produce for a photoshoot.” Neil’s a photographer. “Shit’s hectic.”

“Ok,” I say, “I have something to deliver to you at some point. It’s not done yet.”

“I”ll text you when I’m back in Buffalo,” Neil writes.

So I go about concocting my creation. I separate the cake batter into six bowls. Then I make each one a different color, with those food coloring drops. I pour the colors one on top of the other, in layers, and make two round cakes.  The insides will come out tie-dye. One cake is the cat’s body. The other I cut into the head, ears, and tail. I frost the thing white, and put Funfetti sprinkles on the tail.  I put in sour Jelly Bellys for the eyes, red ones for the nose, and paint on whiskers. Then, in the final step, I write in icing “Happy B Day Neil.”

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I run out on some errands, then go for a walk. Before I know it, it’s 8 p.m. and still no word from Neil. Hmm. My friend Jerome and I are supposed to go to Blue Monk later.  I’m anxious for Neil to be impressed by my culinary artistry. I’m one step away from pastry school in France!

So I text Neil. “Are you done with your tomatoes or nah?”

“Yup,” comes Neil’s reply. “I’m at dinner with friends from out of town.” My eyes narrow – did he not say he would text me? Then Neil says, “I’ l be free in a few.”

An hour passes by. Annoyed, irritated, and dumbfounded, I text Jerome. The cat stares at me mercilessly.

“Come over to my place before Blue Monk,” I say, looking the cat in the eyes. “Looks like we’ll be having cake.”

By eleven, Neil still hasn’t texted me. Jerome just showed up.

“This cake was supposed to be for Neil,” I say pitifully, exhaling marijuana smoke. I wipe the word “Neil” off the cake with a sigh.

“This is one badass cake!” Jerome says. “I’m going to take a photo of it with my camera.” And he does.

“Yeah, thanks Jerome.” I plan on getting drunk on wine ASAP.

I send Neil a photo of the cake with the message “I ate the cake with friends. Happy B Day.”

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We go to Blue Monk and sit in the DJ area. Jerome is taking photos. I plant myself on a stool. My phone dings; it’s Neil.

“I don’t know what you want me to say?” Neil is responding to the cake photo. “We didn’t have plans to hangout today. Thanks for making a cake.”

The ungrateful, selfish, rude things that I’ve heard from people are nothing compared to this moment. As soon as I look at my phone, I want to run away from this scene. Don’t know what you want me to say?

I have some transient promoter from the West Coast jabbering away and repeating everything I say back to me in the form of a question…Dudes staring at their own reflections in their pint glasses of ale….Everyone guy here seems completely enveloped in raging narcissism. It’s like that scene at the end of “American Psycho.” The only emotion I feel is disgust. When “Sue Sue Suidio” comes on, it’s too much to bear. I run out of Blue Monk, and go to the left so no one can see me disappear through the front window.

I trot across the garden path in front of the Unitarian Universalist church, down West Ferry and around the corner, past Canisius High School. This is where it all started with the men in my life, at the Canisius dances. The Canisius men, drunk on Daddy’s scotch, would walk around with raging hormonal boners and come up behind you, as Usher came on. How little they change.

I’m intoxicated and decide to pee in the Canisius flower bed. The sprinklers mist around me, concealing me. Educating men for and with others since 1870.

I pass Brylyn medical facility, and consider going in for the night. We are crazier out here, I think to myself. It could be a fun overnight stay. Maybe I’ll wind up with some meds.  But I venture on and arrive at my apartment. I run upstairs in my platform shoes. There’s one more thing I have to do.

I dig my hand into the cake in one fell swoop and take a giant bite.  It’s delicious. Then, I run down three flights of stairs, carrying the cake pan in front of me. I run to the end of my driveway, grab the cake with my bare hands, and fling it down on the Delaware Avenue pavement. I throw the pan on top of it all and run inside.

My final reply to Neil’s remarks – “Fuck the cake. It’s gone. Was trying to do something nice, and you completely did not care. Just leave me alone.”

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The next morning I wake up, and see that Neil defriended me on Facebook and Instagram. Well that’s mature, I’m thinking, You make someone a cake, and they delete you on Instagram. Only in America.