I haven't had the worst of luck with the opposite sex. I know a lot of other guys who've had it much rougher than I down the twisting path of relational bliss. Still, I feel like I've erred in unresolvable ways thus far with all of my relationships. There haven't been many, yet because of all the drama and sadness involved with them, I've ended up being an introverted and helplessly dejected young man. The story of how I became the spectacle I am today is invariably and inseperably connected and curled around the women in my life, so here goes everything.
Phase I: First Love
I met my first girlfriend when I was fourteen. It was my first year in high school, and she was in the grade above me. She dated a friend of mine for a month, but they broke up and I hadn't seen her around since. Then one day a shirt I left over at a mutual friends' house appeared on this thin, pretty girl who had the locker across the hall from mine. It seems her friend borrowed the shirt and stayed over her house and left the shirt there. She liked it so much that so she wore it to school. I was shocked, and exasperatedly stammered out something I'm sure was uneloquent to her. A week later she called our mutual friend sometime in the afternoon and asked her if I wanted to go out. I said yes, and so begins the first tale of my sordid love life.
Her name was...let's say Diane, after the actress she always reminded me of. Diane was almost two years older than me, but was old for her grade. I was always a bit young for my grade, but got along fine. We hung out that first week listening to Weezer and Nirvana and The Rentals and talking about what we liked and didn't. We fell in love very fast (I said "I love you" one night while listening to The Rentals with her in my room), even if we didn't know what that was. There were problems, complications, and setbacks along the way. We loved each other - as much as two teenage kids can - but because our lives were flying so quickly into the future that there was never any room or time for seperateness. Just me and Diane, in our little compartment, zipping through the air of life. There were good times - great times, even. The first summer we spent together, riding around in her first car, a black '79 Mustang, sleeping until 5 PM, then driving around all night to far-away destinations, listening to the Smashing Pumpkins. It was a rock-and-roll, two-crazy-kids kind of love. Pure and innocent.
**WARNING: HEAVY STUFF AHEAD***
About a year into our relationship I began an affair with a friend of my sister's. To make matters worse, she was also my best friend's girlfriend, at the time. We continued our liasion for about six months, getting together three times in that space. I didn't find the girl particularly attractive or even very interesting. She was just there, a very available (as she clearly made herself) person to me. The girl was just a white trash whore, and I was a bad, selfish person who completely desecrated my lovely, pure, innocent girlfriend's trust in me. There's no excuse for cheating on the first girl I ever loved, and I hate myself for it and every day still regret that I had ever done it. My best defense is that I was 15 at the time and didn't know shit about shit then. Even that is weak, at best. Diane found out suddenly one afternoon, as the girl's "friends" had told her over the phone. The girl's (much, much older - I mean, this was 5 years ago, and I'm still not even close to being as old now as he was then) new boyfriend didn't find it too funny and threatened several times to kill me. The closest friend I ever had in my life would secretly hate me and even presently still remind me that I was a large factor in the ruining of his life. Diane still loved me, even after all the terrible drama, and took me back. We dated for another two years, but the memory of my infidelity had shaken the very foundation of our relationship. Nothing was ever so clean and pure for me again. This was the largest and most significant independant event in my life so far, and it changed everything.
I would also like to add that the old saying is bullshit. People can - and do - change. It's all a matter of how much they really want to. Lord knows I'm a much different person now than I was when I was 15. I would never cheat on my girlfriend ever again. I would rather die by immolation or get my skin torn off or watch my family get killed in front of me than hurt a person I love and care about that much again.
********BACK TO REGULAR NARRATIVE************
So after the unpleasentness and public shaming, I followed my older sister's track by dropping out of school in my junior year. Diane was going to college, and by gum, so was I along with her! However, we broke up shortly after I began my studies in Computer Science, and the three years of our relationship evaporated as quickly as it began. After everything we'd been through, it was all gone, like ashes in the wind, smoke in the air, rain into the ocean.
Phase II: The Second Relationship
Diane was a very pretty young lady and found a new bo easily. She was older and soon created her own life out there in the world. She now lives with a guy who has the personality of cardboard and is so shallow that ants would drown in him. Still, he probably makes her happier than I ever did.
I spent three months in a terrible downspiral after we broke up. I simply didn't know how to function without a girlfriend, not after having one since my first semester in high school. Now I was surrounded by strangers in college, and was much younger than everyone else. I met a cool guy named Trevor and he rekindled my then-waning interest in music, and gave me a good taste of what misanthropy and being a bitter old man at the age of nineteen meant. Still, I needed someone else in my life. Someone I could share my time and love with, who I wouldn't be such a bastard to. That's when I met Lucky Girlfriend #2.
Let's call her Marilyn, as that's the first name that just popped into my head. She was a very shapely, very sarcastic young lady, just sixteen.years old but very sharp. I was introduced through my sister and we seemingly hit it off very well. For lack of anything else to offer, we started dating. Not to go into any gross or overt details, we fucked like rabbits on Judgement Day. It was great fun, as sex was a part of life that I had very little experience with (even with an affair and long-term girlfriend behind me, full-out sex like Marilyn and I had was only a dream to be imagined). However, I made the tragic mistake of mixing up sex with love, and soon found myself in a bad position (no pun intended). After a few months of sexing everything up with Marilyn, I found myself at odds with her personality. She hid a lot of who she really was behind a benign facade, only for that surface personality to start wearing thin the further we got into our relationship. I had met a group of people through her, with whom I hit it off very well with. Soon after, one of these fellows became a close friend and he started asking me why I was dating Marilyn.
It seems, before she started going out with me, and even when I wasn't around, her M.O. was as a controlling bitch whose offenses were always set on high. Though skeptical at first, I saw what he had meant by the third month, when she began arguements with me just to watch me get angry, stop talking to me to get me frustrated, and plow and prod at me with insults, jeers, and mockery. The sarcasm became heavier and I grew more weary of her. However, a paradox occurred inside of me. We had started our relationship on a purely physical basis. Now, I was the older (17) and therefore wiser of the two, having already been through one long-term serious relationship. I knew that great physical attraction and sexual compatability had about as much to do with a healthy relationship as monkeys have to do with the theory of Relativity.
I was her first boyfriend and she was very much in love with me. Though our sexual liasions were always filled with passion and flair, with want and desire for each other, I found all other time spent with her rather dull and occasionally very unpleasant. She was simply not the girl for me. Also, a huge guilt complex built up inside of me over the sex we were having, and how sinful and terrible it really was. Talk about tempations of the flesh! So I did what any bored, frustrated 17 year old misanthropist would do and dumped her on her prom night.
Ah, the stuff of legends! Yes, I dumped her on her prom night, and yes, that makes me a terrible person. At this point of the story, what hadn't made me a terrible person in the past two years? This - and I don't mean to be over-dramatic - destroyed Marilyn. What I never understood was how much this girl really loved me. I mean, she honestly, truely, deeply loved me with all her heart and soul. I tossed her aside like used tissue paper, with as much callous and calm as an exacutioner performing his task. I wrote her quickly off as a rebound relationship and she spent the next two years pulling herself back together, both emotionally and psychologically, from such a blow. Now, of course, I feel terrible over the way I treated her, and how insensitive I was in the end. If mistakes were cakes, I'd be a very fat man. Fortunately, they're just disasters that affect nobody but yourself and those involved. Also, I was still a real asshole about things back then.
Phase III: I (Finally) Get My Heart Broken
I finished my first year at college, now detached from all relational woes. I had turned 18 in April and met a new girl through a few friends of mine. Her name (rather, the psudo-name I'm giving her) was Jenny and she was a young, free spirit that caught my heart harder than anyone before. I was a little older, a little wiser from my trials and tribulations with my former two girl-o's. She worked, as fate would have it, at a video store two blocks away from my house. We started hanging out and hit it off immediately. I had never met anyone that I felt so comfortable with. A female counterpart with all the neurosies, hang-ups and ons, quirks, eccentricities, and general outre that gives my personality the certain flavor it lives on. Jenny got me a job at the video store at and we became close. I knew - knew - this time, it was love. Real love.
This is also the part of the story where Mike's Teflon coating wears off and he finally feels the backfire of his hair-brained, weakly structured love antics. Every girl I had gotten involved with up to this point, they had all been bent back and blown away by my thoughtless, often downright evil doings. Not only that, but everyone around us had also been caught in the blaze and hellfire of my actions. Everyone got hurt in the end, except for me. Nothing could touch me, for whatever reason. That is, until I met Jenny.
I don't want to draw this part of the story out, partly because it's not very interesting, but mostly because I'd already written everything I had to say about this in my screenplay, The Perfect Thing, which I stayed up all night writing soon after our relationship hit the fan. Jenny was the one that destroyed me. I probably meant very little to her, and she was everything to me. I was half-crazy by the end of the summer, working at a video store that finally went under, going back to school to pursue a degree I never wanted in the first place, finding myself adrift in the sea of life, a broken-hearted 18-year old with no money, no prospects, and not one happy note in his heart. I finally felt what everyone else did when I fucked them over in the end. And it was terrible.
At the end of the summer, everyone noticed a change in me. Even after all the terrible things I'd done and been through with people before, I would always come out smiling and bright as a button in the end. Now, my face was a perpetual scowl, my lips always puckered, my jaw clenched. I froze up inside and out, because someone had finally extenguished the seemingly endless fire in my heart. Then I went completely insane, had a few drug-induced mental breakdowns in the company of friends, cut my hair odd shapes and sizes, fell back in love with Jenny, had my heart broken again, and then silence. White noise. My life stopped completely in early January, 2001. At eighteen, I had became a college drop-out.
What sick cosmic joke was this? I start dating a girl one week back when I was 14, and before I knew what hit me, WHOOSH! This was the conclusion to that part of my life. The linear path, from 14 - 18, marked, stamped, and punctuated by the relationships I'd had with a series of girls. Bounced from one senseless action and setting to another, only to end up where I did at that time.
I had a moment, wondering if I should leave this life now and hope for a reset button when I get up to heaven, or if I should claw, struggle, fight my way out of this dead-end I found myself in. I, obviously, chose the latter.
So what did I do? I pulled my shit together, and how. After wasting an incredible 9 months of my life working from one low-end job to the next, scraping together money, living in poverty, I had earned enough money - and self-knowledge - to go back to school. I was now 19 years old, and felt as if I was 90. Sometimes I wonder if too many things happened to me in such a condensed period of time, and it somehow aged my brain to a tired, old-man state. Maybe I'm just tired of a lot of things.
Anyway, I went back to college and ended up doing quite well for myself. That summer, I began a bit of a sexual tryst with Marilyn again, out of boredom and lonliness, but stopped after discovering that she was still somewhat in love with me. It made me feel cheap and dirty, and I knew that one-night stands were not for me.
After that, nothing. No more women, thank you. Not to say never again, but I'll be a junior (I'm actually in the grade I'm supposed to be in, after three long years of dislocation) in college in the fall, and I can just feel that diploma, right in my grasp. I plan on working very hard at the things I care about most in the world (writing, music, my studies) and continue to improve the very flawed person I have allowed myself to become. I'm not saying I'm perfect, and I probably never will be. But after all the heavy psychological and emotional trials I've been through (whatever degree self-inflicted), I know that I've learned from my many mistakes, and am a better person today than I ever have been before because of them.
I can only hope that the next girl I love will love me back, and that
we both know better than to hurt each other by
then. I hope I get the chance to find another wonderful girl, and treat her right this time. I want to do the right thing, finally, to be the type of boyfriend I always thought I would be, but never actually was. I don't want to leave a trail of broken hearts behind me. Not again. After the adventure of my teenage years, I can only hope my adult ones aren't nearly as painful or regrettable. I hope.