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Pickett Fences: Love Stinks

January/February 2002

After reflecting a good five minutes between sips of my Bailey’s and coffee (treating myself special these days) I can confidently say that for 2001, the "Tears of a Clown" episode wins the Tragedy Tiara.

Of course, the "Clown" script had competition in the non-fiction category this past year. Reams of competition. Reams of hook-ups and pick-ups and way, way low downs. Love affairs and lust affairs. Walks down the aisle that never did veer off the deep end. Admittedly, much of the competition could not even be considered as such. I mean, a first date that devolves into a formatted question and answer session usually signifies there is to be no sparkle. And tragedy always sparkles, Neely.

Me: "So ... um, what’s your favorite food?"

Him: "Potatoes. And salad."

What a terrible thing to say. I forgot the next question as I lost myself in the implications. Minutes, hours, days later (who knows), upon leaving the neighborhood Ethiopian restaurant where we had supped together (salad indeed), it seemed despite everything, Mr. Enigma wanted a little dessert, with his Sanka. A slice of Pickett pie. His AOL pic was hot -- those weren’t potatoes in his Speedo from what my practiced eye could tell, but I begged off.

Me: "I have to get home to watch Mad TV, and later wash my hair."

Speaking of interviews. I encountered another man online who wanted to meet for a drink. So we rendezvoused at the nearest dive. As luck would have it, Sunday nights were "Chili Nights," so we were able to enjoy a well-balanced meal as well as get to know each other. For three beers and two bowls, of chili thank you, I patiently answered a tedious litany of questions. Rather pedestrian this plethora, nothing pertaining to my views on the nature of the universe, more like my views on The View (hate Star Jones most). He fired them off, pumping and probing as if he’d done this before. Because I was hungry for more than chili at this particular time, I hung around for the complete interrogation.

We made love in the front seat of his car in a dead end until that simply became too awkward. So he double-parked and flipped on the hazards and we ran up to my place for the finale of our sweet, sweet love-making. What I failed to understand was that this meant we were married. The next day I filed for divorce. As is the custom, I simply typed "I divorce thee" three times, and clicked on "Privacy Preferences" where I blocked him from Buddy Listing me. Ever.

Lest one think that I only date freaks from Chicagom4mNOW, I’ve had my dance card signed by men I actually meet in person first, fotch to fotch. Like the one in a towel. Unbelievable. Gorgeous. Same birthday as me, so ya know, we think the same, very dawning of the Age of Aquarius. While he’s a lot older, has lived in the suburbs for 30 years and talks a lot about "masculinity" and "being a man," I choose denial. I attempt to ignore that when we’re close, intimate, he sniffs me. Sniff, sniff. Sniff, sniff. Appears he enjoys how I smell, but it kinda grosses me out. Does he have to sniff so loud?

Things go downhill when we get into an argument in the car about making eye contact with waiters as an indication you acknowledge their humanity. He comes out against this position, I say he’s a horrible creature akin to my father, he starts screeching, “You’re nothing but an angry, bitter ... AIDS ... QUEEN,” and I demand to be let out of the car immediately.

I don’t have AIDS, bitch.

So, crying clowns. Actually, I was the one who was crying, after the fit of anger and puking and passing out.

It was in the summer, and I had been dating this lovely man with whom I had blistering, whimpering sex twice daily and who loved to cook for me and bring me capuccino in bed. He was a bit of a bad boy, but I knew what I was in for, and I knew deep down that I could tame him. After all, fellas, this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, I knew how to win the hard way. Giving him my love would help the healing begin, take away the pain that made him be naughty in a bad way. So, I saw myself as a well-fucked Mother Theresa figure. Compassionate. Very tender. Hot.

His first week on meds, I rubbed his back and held him when he needed it. I kissed him on the forehead and put his hand in mine.

And then we sent for a clown. A stripper clown, to be exact, a stripper clown hired as part of a bon voyage party for a pal of mine. A stripper clown arranged by me. We’re at the party, and my new honey is in tow, meeting this particular gang for the very first time. "Oh, he’s so nice," they say, "He’s the best one yet," they say. And they’ve seen and said a lot. It was a very hot night, the house was packed with sweaty people, and there was a good deal of red champagne punch to make it all tolerable.

The clown is punctual. The clown has a pink Marge Simpson, a red nose and big clown shoes. Perfection. The clown berates our departing friend. The clown makes filthy balloon animals. The clown asks our friend to help him take off his shoes, as the clown’s dogs are barking. Our friend senses something unsavory in this request, but assists with the clown shoe removal nonetheless. The music starts and the clown strips down to a pink g-string. Wow, those ain’t potatoes. All is going according to plan until I catch the clown and the new love of my life honking each other’s horns in the dining room. I hear the new love of my life say, "Nah, Jim’s cool, he doesn’t mind."

An eyewitness, one of many, says: "Jim, what’s he doing? I thought he was so nice."

Me: "Tonsillectomy."

At which point I tapped the new love of my life on the shoulder, said that I wasn’t very cool, that I did mind, that I would have no more of this clowning around. We left. I hollered, puked red champagne punch, fell out, awoke, and hollered some more. I cried. I stomped. I slammed the door, too hurt, too humiliated to return.

A day later I did.

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This article was provided by Positively Aware. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
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