I wrote this story a while back and would be interested to know what you make of it.
Lauren is perfect. No, scratch that. She would be perfect, if only she didn't wash quite so much - a shower a day plus some sort of rose scented spray under the armpits, after they've been shaved of course. What is it with women and hair removal? Even her intimate area is trimmed to resemble a landing strip. Doesn't she know anything? All that hair is there for a reason, to trap her natural scent and billow it around her person in order to attract a mate. No wonder she's single, ponging up the place with her creams and feminine hygiene sprays, shaving herself as bald as a cue ball. It's no way to attract a man.
I don't care that she hasn't found Mr. Right, but I know she does. On the phone to her best friend Janice, she's said often enough that although I don't fulfill all her requirements, no one could ever replace me. In fact, sometimes she goes so far as to say she can't imagine sleeping with anyone else. Well, who can blame her? She knows which side her bread's buttered. And okay, I admit I have a roving eye. When a prime bit of ass wiggles itself in front of my face, what am I meant to do, ignore it? Sorry, but that's not the way I'm wired. I like the ladies and they like me, and I'm not going to apologize for sometimes getting a tad carried away while chatting up some gorgeous young thing on the street, while Lauren stands there calling my name. Like I was her property or something. And okay, so Lauren's my number one girl, but that doesn't mean we're exclusive. It's something that's understood between us, without me ever having had to explain it to her. Truth be told, I'm a man of few words. A man of action.
We met by coincidence, a year ago. Not for us an Internet match where people put up photos of themselves that are years out of date, and spend days frantically texting and instant messaging each other, only to meet up in person and find there's absolutely no chemistry. Waste of time, if you ask me. I don't have a cell phone and I don't own a computer. Call me a Luddite, but I happen to believe that there are too many words these days, burbling from TVs, seeping out of the radio. And words can also cut deep. When I met Lauren, I was wandering around Roland Park, my previous lover's harsh words still ringing in my ears. Three days before, I'd fallen out with Danielle van der Post, and she'd shown me the door. What can I say? She didn't like me scratching my balls while she was having some fancy schmanzy dinner party. Well, fuck her, that's what I say.
Since she kicked me out, I'd been sleeping rough, cursing the day I ever laid eyes on Ms van der Post. An architect with a string of high profile commissions under her Gucci belt, she was also OCD and had serious intimacy issues. You probably know how it is: we fall for the same personality time after time. I always fall for these obsessively groomed, uptight bitches. And I suffer for it. Do you know how it feels when the woman you love kicks you in the ribs at three in the morning, only to tell you that your breath stinks? Oh, I put on a tough front all right, but it still hurts. By the end, things had deteriorated so much that we were sleeping in separate rooms. I begged, I pleaded, for her to let me back into her bed, but she was having none of it. Fine, I said, although I missed her terribly and would sometimes sneak in beside her while she was asleep. I’d snuggle myself under her armpit, where, if I was lucky, I'd get a tiny sniff of the woman, the real Ms van der Post.
I knew all about the way she liked to spend hours scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush. I knew about how she had to wash her hands three times every time she used the bathroom. She's a famous woman, the press would have had a field day. But I'm loyal. I could have made a buck selling her story. But I didn't.
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, how I met Lauren. There I was, half crazed with hunger, on the streets of Roland Park, when I see this tall blonde woman, mascara running down her face, hurrying down the street. Evidently, she couldn't see where she was going, because we collided. She was very apologetic, pulled out some tissues and dabbed her eyes. I stared at her. She stared back, with these big blue teary eyes. There was so much emotion running between us, that for a moment neither of us spoke. We didn't need to. Even before the whole sorry tale of finding two timing Mark in bed with some floozy tumbled out, I knew what had happened.
"No need to explain," I wanted to say, followed by, "Men, they're all bastards." But I didn't. We didn't need words, only gestures. She reached out and touched my neck.
I didn't flinch. Baltimore is a friendly place. People greet total strangers with a cheery How are you doing? every day of the week. This isn't L.A. You don't have to worry that the baguette in someone's pocket is actually a gun. Still, you don't expect beautiful young women to just reach out and touch you.
"Where do you live?" she said.
Hey lady, slow down, is what I was thinking, but I guess she was so emotionally messed up she didn't know what she was saying.
I explained to her about Danielle van de Post and our abusive love affair. That she'd chucked me out and that I was basically a free agent.
We talked, oh how we talked. She invited me back to her place, and yes, into her bed. It's been the happiest year of my life. I'm here now, stretched out on her mauve bedspread. I'm dozing, but I'm also listening to a man, Andy, who's in the sitting room with Lauren. It's a pretty rare occurrence, her entertaining a man for this length of time. Lauren is very literal, and when she invites a date back for coffee, that's exactly what she means. One cup of exquisite capuccino and they’re shoved out the door, quick as you like. Afterwards, we giggle together over their various shortcomings.
"He tried to grope my breast in the cinema." "No!"
"He smokes." "Oh please. Get rid of him already."
"He split up with his long term girlfriend a week ago, but he says he's totally over her." "Forget about it."
Oh, what good times we had, laughing about the suitors that were so wrong for her. So wrong, because they weren't me. She couldn't see it, of course. Thought there was someone out there who was more intelligent, more sensitive, more in touch with his feminine side. If you want someone to bring you Eggs Benedict in bed, hire a maid, that's what I say. But you know women, they're never satisfied. She had me, but she wanted something else. Good luck to her. I wasn't going to tell her that the macho, hairy brute she so desperately needed was right here, and if she wanted another brute she'd have to stop using scented sprays and frequenting the kind of cocktail bars with brushed steel walls and little leather cubes instead of chairs.
Come to think of it, Andy's voice is rather loud and deep and resonant. He's not her usual type. And, oh God, he's been here for hours. How much coffee can he possibly drink? Why doesn't she just get rid of him, so we can tear him apart?
Now the bedroom door is opening and Lauren and Andy are stumbling in. Oh sweet Jesus, my Lauren is drunk. I've never seen anything like it. My ears prick up with alarm. I'm getting very bad vibes about this situation.
Then the oaf sits down on top of me, squashing me flat.
I act outraged. Well, wouldn't you? But rather than apologizing about the fact that a swarthy individual in a tight black t-shirt is rolling on top of me, she just smiles the smile of the inebriated and tumbles on top of him.
While I struggle for freedom, Andy says, "Can't you get rid of the dog? I don't think I'll be able to do much with him watching."
"Just a sec," says Lauren, getting up off this mountain of hair gel and muscle, and shooing me out the door.
The door is slammed and now I'm trembling. You know that sense you get, deep in your gut, when you know you've been usurped? That's what I was feeling.
Peeing all over her three thousand dollar sofa helped a bit, it's true. But nothing could really erase the basic fact that it was Danielle van der Post, all over again.
Who am I? Displaced Londoner now living in the States with my two little girlies and long suffering husband. Co-author of hilarious parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.cocktailsatnaptime.com
My mom's an Austrian, my dad's a Brit, which makes me a Britaustrian, or possibly an Austrish?