Warm The Fuck Up

There’s this girl who when I hug – a normal hug, standing up, fully-clothed and outside of a shitty Mexican cantina – it feels like we’re lying in a bed with gravity pulling all of her weight down onto me.

Like it’s a tight hug with no gap between the curvature of our bodies, no space between the molecules. A dead-weight hug, like when a woman falls asleep on you and your blood circulation slows and you’re out of breath but you regulate that shit because you don’t want her to wake up. Your shoulder’s numb and your elbow’s twisted, but you lie there and fucking take it.

So that’s the kind of hug we do while standing up. We sigh and fall on each other, me slightly crouched and her on her tippy-toes, holding the other up like we’re relieved but also because we’re right on the border of black-out-drunk and should’ve known better than to drink face-sized margaritas at shitty Mexican cantinas in the first place.

Wait, so maybe it’s less of a hug and more like alcoholic codependency physically manifesting as a hug. It’s just two people leaning on each other so that neither tumbles down to the sidewalk and takes the other down with them.

Whatever, what I mean is that it’s a hug of commitment while also of letting go, if that makes any sense. It doesn’t make sense because I’ve stopped reading and writing and now my brain’s back to this cryptic, poetic, pretentious bullshit instead of clear and concise, short and pithy. Bleed on the page, motherfucker.

Toronto Turned My Single Friends Into Miserable Zombies :(

I lasted three weeks in Toronto before I had to get the fuck out of that city before I killed myself.

I would say this as a joke before, but after stepping out for 16 months and stepping back in, I could see that the sadness is real. Palpable. I knew I disliked the city before, but I thought it was because of things like the weather, high taxes, shitty public transit, etc. Well, it’s all those things, too, but that’s not the worst part.

The worst part is that whether these things are your goal or not – marriage, children, home ownership – everyone in the city thinks that they are. So the people who don’t have these things are melancholy as fuck, just absolutely demoralized. They’re ready to settle, ready to take short cuts because they think they’re done for, that it’s too late, that they’re too old. Jesus fuck, you can’t think like that. But nothing in that city tells them that they’ll be okay. The entire city really is against them.

I would begin to tell them, You’re beautiful, you’re better than that, there’s so much time, you have options, but they don’t believe me and so I stop.

The people who are winning are the ones who aren’t competing. They’re happy as fuck, but they always were and always will be, anyway. Alright, so maybe all of this is a sweeping generalizing about all Torontonians when it’s really just a certain demographic. Whatever.

Half of my friends complain about their kids. The other half of my friends complain about those friends that does nothing but complain about their kids. I don’t find any of it so bad, but I have a tendency (and the power, thank god) to look into everyones’ eyes and ignore what they’re saying while thinking about which cheeseburger to eat next. People just need to talk and I let them, which is also why I’ve been mistakenly categorized by women as The Guy Who Will Listen To Your Problems.

The rest of the world isn’t like this. The rest of the world knows that there’s an infinite amount of ways to live. Maybe it’s because for decades, Canada has remained the same? No disasters, no wars. So everyone has the fortune to think about the future – 20, 30 years from now – because chances are things will remain the same. So you see, people can make these plans and outline the next few decades of their lives. They (think they) have the luxury to think about the future when the rest of the world is like, Fuck that, life is short. No one aims for retirement (which is also wrong).

Anyway, so on the 11th day or so, I began to feel the pressure. I woke up one morning, sweating, “Why aren’t I married, when will I have kids, what will I do without a condo?” Thoughts I haven’t had in over a year, while lying on my couch in Bangkok or gallivanting throughout Eastern Europe. It’s not that those things aren’t for me, but stressing about those things aren’t. I’ve always had a process-oriented life, not a goal-oriented one. (ie: I will do this and this and that every day, and wealth and love and happiness will be by-products of these processes.)

So the pressure in Toronto was just relentless and overbearing; no one can escape it. 16 months of being away and it took 11 days to get fold back into that dreariness. I feel bad for those I left behind, the ones who think that they are behind because they don’t know that they can change their environment to suit their personalities, and not the other way around.

Look around the world and you’ll find a city where shit like this isn’t your fault. Where shit like this isn’t a fucking fault in the first place.


The Most Beautiful Girl I Ever Fucking Met, Ever

The most beautiful girl I ever fucking met, ever, I met 3 years ago, and then once again 16 months ago, and finally last weekend in New York City.

Three Years Ago
It was at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, on Friday Night ROM Nights when the museum would transform into a destination, a “night on the town”. Almost immediately upon arriving, we were introduced. I shook her hand and she locked her eyes with mine and I noticed her face and I gasped. I gasped at her fucking beauty because it was so rare, because I thought it was impossible for me to be startled by beauty anymore. So I gasped and a rush of air hit my lungs and I felt faint and she kept looking into my eyes and so I averted them to the floor.

Her fucking eyes! Never have shit like eyes seized me so powerfully. She blinked twice and her lashes swayed and I fell and I was finished. Of course now I know that it’s not just her eyes; after years of Facebook updates and Instagram photos, of studying and dissecting her face, I now know she’s unconditionally gorgeous. It’s her protracted eyelashes and heart-shaped head. Her perfectly symmetrical smile with glossy white teeth, the front two being proportionately larger than the rest, with the corners of her dark lips tucking sharply into her cheekbones. It’s the aura she has, this energy that she radiates that she’s this Disney princess who could walk into a forest and twirl and twirl and birds would land on her outstretched arms. It’s her sophistication and elegance and exquisiteness that she’s this mature, entrepreneurial professional who’s good at what she does, intelligent, strict, but absolutely fucking feminine and graceful and girly girl in her many dresses and heels.

Though at first, I swear, it was just her eyes. And in the next second it was her mouth, and then in the next her entire face.

My brain didn’t know what to do with this caliber of woman, and so it reverted back to high school mode, back to th self-preservation of the ego: You can’t get a girl like this, who the fuck do you think you are, you go take your beer and sit quietly in the corner and try not to pollute her air. So I looked at the floor so she couldn’t see the weakness through my eyes and made myself small and impotent and invisible. Don’t waste her time with your bullshit.

Sixteen Months Ago
I was drunk in a bar in Little Italy. She was at an adjoining table. I told her, “You are so beautiful.” She said, “Oh my god, thank you! Let me introduce you to the guy I’m dating.” I can’t remember what he looked like.

Last Weekend in New York City
There were tales that she was dating and had a boyfriend, and I was glad to hear it. When the odds are stacked against me, that’s when I’m empowered. The married, the divorced, the jaded, the celebrities, the met-through-Instagram-comments-section – this is the arena in which I’m emboldened and persistent without a hint of anxiety or self-consciousness.

Because now her rejection – I have a boyfriend – would be neutral. It’s no longer a personal rejection, you see, but a logistical one. I could now declare my confessions and she would say, I’m sorry, I’m seeing somebody, rather than, You’re a dirty, brash and immature man without a home and I am not physically attracted to you at all. I could trick myself that it’s not personal, that given different circumstances, she would be mine.

We have a mutual friend who was with her. Due to our enormously differing opinions on the piece of shit area that is the Meatpacking District, I didn’t see them until 4am, when the night had already winded down. My friend and I were drunk in the Lower East Side and refused to let the night die, so went to bother them at their hotel up in Murray Hill.

I was in a drunken, blacked-out state – I don’t even remember fighting with the taxi driver on the way over – and recall just a fleeting moment of the night: lying on the bed next to the most beautiful girl I ever fucking met, ever, holding her hand and her letting me do it, once in awhile stroking her palm with my finger to check that it was still there or that it was all real in the first place. I felt completely relaxed and utterly content and thoroughly whole, like I was sleeping on a fucking cloud. Like after chasing a sense of home for 16 months, I finally got it, in the tiny, perfect hand of this girl with a fucking flower for a face.

(That was fucking lame.)

The next morning I woke up on the couch of my friend’s condo, smiling, physically feeling like we kissed. Like we made out and held each other in a meadow until sunrise and spilled our secrets and confessed our sins and connected on a deeper level and took the next step – although we did none of those things. But that feeling you get that everything’s falling into place – that’s what I fucking felt on Sunday morning after drunkenly having my fingers intertwined with hers for what was probably only sixteen goddamn seconds.

What the fuck, do I have a chance? Did I always have a chance? I went in there to be rejected, to die in a hail of bullets, but I came out with a sliver of a chance that’s now going to consume my thoughts for countless hours, weeks, months?

She left New York the day after, and now she’s back in her world and I’m back in mine, and it’s just too baffling to see how the two would even fit together. But Jesus fucking Christ, that’s exactly the kind of woman I should be with, isn’t it? The one who made me gasp, the one who I thought was too radiant, the one who I’d be scared to death to lose, the one who I’d change who I am in order to keep. The one who finally stumped me, silenced me, turned me into a bubbling, incoherent buffoon at her feet.

The one who makes me think, while on this plane to Los Angeles and then to the rest of the world, what if she’s the adventure?

That’s the one I should be with, the most beautiful girl I ever fucking met, ever.


Friendzone Part One

Oh man, that girl, that fucking girl.

She told me she just wanted to be friends. But it didn’t make sense. Why would I be your date to a wedding? Why would I sleep over at your place? Why would we make plans to cook this and eat that and drive here and visit there? Why would we plan these things before my arrival to Toronto only to be friends after I’ve arrived?

That’s the thing with women: they think men using them for sex is a bad thing. But women using men to play Suburban Family Couple is fine.

We fought about this at the wedding and then she cried. You’re making me fucking cry! And then the next day she said, as I woke up next to her, both of us fully-clothed: “Remember when you made me cry because you made me feel bad about using you to be my fake-boyfriend while not giving you anything in return, while not even giving you a fucking slow-dance on the dance floor, literally pushing you away in a showy manner to convince the public that I did not want anything to do with you? Remember?”

And I said, “I remember; I stand by what I said.”

And she looked at me a bit shocked, a bit, “I’m not going through this fight again,” while I had my dukes up, ready to go, ready to head-butt and bite my way into her goddamn head. But it didn’t happen. She was too sober to tell the truth.

I was beyond annoyed. Furious. I left her place, where I was supposed to stay for a few days, and retreated back downtown, back to my friend’s couch where I could be angry in peace.

But then I would call her again. Let’s meet up, let’s go out, let’s eat here or there and she would meet me and we would eat and I would try to kiss her and she would kiss me back and I would yell, You can’t fucking kiss me back like this. And then she would not sleep with me and I would be angry again and again and again.

But then I would call her again and again and again.

My last night with her, I told her this: “I never thought we would work out because you always annoyed the fuck out of me. I always left angry, drained, unfulfilled. It would never go how I wanted it to go.

“So I thought, she’s not the one. She’s not for me. I always want to leave. But maybe that’s unimportant. Maybe the important part is that I always come back. Always. Like I have a perfect track record of coming back to you. If I left 843 times, I came back 844. So maybe that’s the best I can do and maybe that’s good enough and maybe you’re the one and maybe maybe maybe.

She lay next to me wearing a red, ribbed tank top. Fitted, like an undershirt. Her giant breasts spilling from the sides, in the way natural breasts do, flowing to where there is space, escaping from cracks and openings in wardrobe. She sat on top of me and flipped her hair, now big and messy from sleeping. God, she knows what she’s doing when she bites her lower lip and looks down at me. She knows exactly how perfect she looks. Her slender shoulders, thin arms, slim hands on my chest and I sat up and wrapped my arms around her and collapsed backwards so she would collapse on top of me with my face lost in her hair. I wanted to feel her full weight on me and for once a woman made me feel physically secure, made me feel like I was in a womb instead of the other way around.

I remembered that I missed her while I was away. I told her this when she asked if I was sad that I’m leaving her again. “I’m not sad but I remember how sad I was. So I’m pre-emptively sad.” It was true: every romantic village, every good meal, every patio table atop cobblestone, I would message her from thousands of miles away: Why aren’t you here with me? Why the fuck aren’t you? You’re so stupid.

She kept her mouth shut. Smart girl.

Fuck Toronto

At the airport in Zadar, typing this out on my iPhone. Frustrating as fuck.

What’s even more frustrating is going back to Toronto. I began to feel anxiety about it a few weeks ago when it hit me that 16 months of traveling was about to come to a (brief) end, with me returning to where I’m from. 

You know what it is that’s stressing me out? It’s the people. Not the city, it’s the fucking people inside of it. Granted most of my friends in the world are in Toronto, the people I love the most, or whatever, the people I get along with the most. The people I like the most, can stand the most. Of course, of course that’s true — it’s where I spent 35 years of my life. Just based on the numbers alone, Toronto would have to be the city where I know the most people, hence like the most people. 

But the other side of the coin is this: it’s also the city where I hate the most people. Those that I despise. Who stress me out, who bother me, who keeps me up at night thinking, “Why am I friends with this person?” There’s a lot of them. Maybe half? 

Ugh. 16 months of not thinking about these people, or if I were to meet their counterparts in Asia, I had the pleasure of walking away, no harm done. “Alright, gotta go,” while they’re in mid-speech. No worry about looking rude or like a big meanie-face. 

God, that felt good, to not waste my life having to be around people I don’t like. 

That doesn’t happen in Toronto. I have to suck it up and take it. I have to listen to opinions and unprompted advices. Hear peoples’ philosophies on things I don’t care about. 

Okay, so, this isn’t an issue with Toronto. It’s more an issue with friends-who-think-we’re-closer-than-we-actually-are. Which I suppose makes it my own fault, that the relationship got to where it is. 

I bet someone will say this: “Well I love my life without traveling. I don’t need to run away from…” I bet someone will say that to me, when I’m silent and minding my own business and talking to a friend about an episode of the Simpsons. I’ll feel a tap on the shoulder and it’ll be someone who has a need to put down my lifestyle — and really, I try not to compare mine to anyone else’s, like, to each their own — and that person will say, “Oh yeah? Well I have this and you don’t have that,” a fierce, snarky comeback to something I didn’t say, that reveals more about them than me. 

I really don’t mind shit like, “Grow up and move back here and get a job.” That’s actually an okay statement. I’ll giggle and say, Naaaaah, and we’ll move on. That’s just a difference in opinion on how life should be lived, and everyone’s entitled. My mom says that to me every day. 

It’s the snarky ones, the ones that come over aggressively, sleeves rolled up, ready to fight. The ones that think they’re right and I’m wrong — or that anyone can be right or wrong about life. That I’m on the same race track as them and behind. That we have the same goals, the same endgame. 

That’s a Toronto thing. I don’t have friends like these in LA, New York, Hong Kong. Because I have the opportunity to not be friends with them. I had the opportunity to walk away. But not in Toronto, where relationships solidified with so many of the wrong people. 

I don’t need people to support anything I do — I don’t need cheerleaders in life — but goddamn, I don’t need detractors. And while most of the people I like in the world are in Toronto, it’s where all the stress in my life is. 

Unsuccessful Tindering in Dubrovnik

There was a girl on Tinder, a pretty Asian girl with a sharp chin and thin smile. In this part of the world – the white part – whenever there’s an Asian girl on Tinder and I swipe right, sooner or later we’ll match up. Not necessarily because we find each other attractive (although we need to find each other at least moderately attractive), but probably because we see comfort and solace in each other. We’re in this together.

Man, this girl was sharp. All of these quick-witted responses, dripping in the proper ratio of smirky sarcasm and light laughter. Like she wasn’t so sarcastic that she came off cynical and pessimistic (some people go too far), and she wasn’t so full of ha ha ha’s that she seemed overeager and idiotic (most people go too far).

I actually became frightened that she was too smart. I became self-conscious of my responses. Am I funny enough? Is this reply funny? No, wait, what’s a better word for…

We switched from Tinder to Whatsapp. She gave me her Australian number. Obviously a defunct number still attached to her Whatsapp account, as she’s been living in London the past few years. “Australia, then Singapore, then London.” “Ah, you’re in finance.” “I know, I know. So predictable.”

I messaged with her on the bus between Split and Dubrovnik, in between the times I was talking to the Korean in the seat behind me. I did a quick comparison between the two and the Tinder girl handily won, even though the Korean girl was right there, present, in person, in real life. What’s that saying, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? I never went by that. I’d rather roll the dice on the 9/10 girl on Tinder than the 7/10 girl less than an outstretched arm’s distance away. Usually what happens is that I end up losing both girls, but there are worse things in the world than to go back to your hotel alone to watch Munich.

I got to my apartment rental late, around 8:30pm. I still hadn’t eaten all day. I quickly unpacked, then messaged her.

“Whereabouts are you staying? It looks like I’m in the suburbs. Is Old City the center of Dubrovnik?”

“Well it’s where I’m staying, so yeah, it’s the center of everything.”

“Of course. Well I need to eat so I’m going to head there. Wanna grab something?”

“Nope. I’m gonna go eat nowhere near you.”

“Ha ha, fuck!” I laughed aloud at this. It was such a plain, harsh rejection that it was witty. I could feel her smiling behind it. Ballsy move.

The next day, I walked 20kms for no reason, to what I thought was going to be a shopping mall to what I thought was going to be a decent beach and finally to the old city. Quite pretty, an almost fully intact castle. Or a city surrounded by castle walls. Aside from a bombing by the Serbians in 1991, everything looked generally the way it did a thousand years ago. Cobblestone alleyways and pubs and clothes drying on clotheslines above. Strange to see elderly locals running their errands, carrying grocery bags and pushing carts, through what’s basically now an adult version of Disneyworld.

I messaged again with Tinder girl. Not asking her out, but just to say, Hey look, I’m still around, I still exist. I was walking atop the city walls ($20 for 2km walk) while she was on a boat.

At night, I went out to eat. In case we ended up making plans, I dressed up. Well, it’s hard not to dress up as all of my casual clothes are either dirty, or in the trash because they’re irreversibly dirty. So I went out in my black G-Star jeans (raw denim), fancy Berksha t-shirt and red Converse kicks. That’s “dressing up” in vacation mode, man. Also a clean pair of underwear, one of the last ones I have as I refuse to do laundry before London in a few days.

We didn’t end up making plans – it was her last night and she had to spend it with her friend – so I rushed home to take my good underwear off and save them for another day, before the crotch sweat absorbed into the lining, before they would lose their shape and sag in the ass.

The next morning – my last morning – I asked if she wanted to eat ice cream while sitting on the old city wall. She declined, saying her friend wouldn’t let her. So I left on a bus without meeting her in person, but we still message so I can make her feel bad about it.

Korean Girl Loves Her Korean Grub

I met a girl on the bus between Split and Dubrovnik.

Halfway through the 4-hour ride, we stopped at a rest stop in Bosnia. She sat behind me and quickly exited through the rear doors to light a cigarette. I took notice of what she was wearing: flip-flops; weirdly-patterned balloon pants; a loose white t-shirt; plain white baseball cap over her simple ponytail. Korean? I looked at her small, almond-shaped eyes. Korean.

“You’re Korean?” I asked. She looked at me blankly, but in a blank way that only Korean women can do (I don’t know, but it’s, just, truth). “Hangook sadam?” Korean person? I pointed at her.

She answered in a flurry of Korean words, maybe half of them I recognized and then half of those I actually understood. “No no no! Na hangook mal mot hae!” I can’t speak Korean!

So began our meager conversation, me in my broken, elementary Korean, and her talking to me like I was retarded. Surprisingly, I got by. The words slowly came back to me, and the ones that didn’t, I quickly looked up on my phone.

She’s from the middle of South Korea. I never heard of the city, but on the back of the bus seat she pointed at an imaginary point indicating Seoul, another one indicating Pusan, and finally her city somewhere smack in the middle of the two.

She flew from Seoul to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia – I’m terrible with Korean numbers so have no idea when she came or how long she’s been here – and from there hit mostly the same island as I did: Hvar, Bol, etc. Now she’s on her way to Dubrovnik for (I think) 5 nights before flying back to Seoul from here (maybe). =

Or she could’ve actually said, “I like puffy clouds and elephants,” and I mistranslated the whole fucking thing.

I asked how she got around Europe, alone, without any English. She pointed to her Google Translate app on her phone. Jesus Christ, every interaction with locals must’ve took quadruple the time. Though most of her hotels are booked online, as was her bus ticket –

(For this ride, I bought my ticket on the bus. Sometimes it’s pricier, but other times – like this one – I simply bribe my way onto the bus. The ticket should’ve been $30, but I gave the driver $20, did this little half-shrug/half-winkie thing that (somehow) signifies that we’re on the same team, we’re in this together, man, and he smiled from the corner of his mouth and pointed down the aisle with his thumb, like get outta here, ya scallywag!)

Of course, throughout this entire exchange I was wondering if I could sleep with her. She was attractive enough. Maybe 7/10? Good, clean, honest face. I don’t know what that means, like, naturally pretty without any make-up? I couldn’t see her body because of the loose clothing, but her appendages – neck, arms, ankle peeking out from the weirdly-patterned balloon pants – seemed slim, indicating that the rest of her body probably was, too.

But it’s the communication. The lack of communication. It was too tiring. Too exhausting. I know myself at this age, everything’s about convenience and level of ease. Maybe a decade ago I would’ve screamed, in my head, I accept this challenge! But in my mid-30’s? I was stressing out, sweating, just trying to think of the word food in Korean, to ask her if she liked what she’s been eating.

(Is it just bap? Do you just say the word for rice? Like, “Croatian bap jowah?” Do you like Croatian rice? I went with it and she seemed to understand, but she was also treating me like a retard so who knows.)

She told me that in her luggage she had: kimchi, bulgogi, seaweed wraps, burnt rice, seasoned perilla leaves, marinated beef brisket, packs of Korean instant noodle. I asked how she got this through customs and she said she shipped that luggage to meet her in Zagreb while she took the flight. Holy fuck, I thought I loved Korean food. Compared to Koreans (Korean-Koreans), I just have a casual work relationship with Korean food.

In Dubrovnik, we exited the station and waited for the local bus. At this point I would’ve hopped in a taxi, but she was clearly on a budget – she didn’t want to pay to use the washroom at the station – and I wanted to make sure she got onto the right bus to her Korean-owned hostel. Because I have to be fucking Good Guy, the fucking hero that puts girls onto the right bus in foreign countries that I don’t even know, and then be angry about it after. Why’d I wait an hour with her? What do I get out of it? Now I’m starving and my muscles ate themselves and and and! I think it’s less what I get out of it and more that I don’t have to worry had I left her. What is that, some bullshit Canadian upbringing?

Anyway, she said she was 33 years old. I told her she looked 20. I said I was 36 and she told me I looked 30. Then we sat there laughing at young/old white people.

Tall French Probably Thought I Was A Human Being

Is this sustainable? The way that I have these mini relationships that are distilled into a week’s time, valid only on whatever small island we would meet on? I’ve done this several times now – Hawaii, Bali, Ko Lanta, Crete – and I enjoy it. I like the structure. I like the short-lived commitment of it all. It’s like testing out a marriage, kicking the tires.

These things, you really need to dive head-first into. Just you and a woman that you barely know, practically living together, literally being around each other 24 hours a day. I can’t think of a better way to bond.

Well. Okay, for me, at least, since I’m built in this way, to have these quick bursts of love. Not enduring, long-lasting marathons of caring and patience and building a fucking foundation, but quick sprints. 100-meter dashes. I’m all fast-twitch muscles, reacting only to a loud, sudden starter pistol going off and ending in fanfare and a great big parade and a lonely ice bath in the dark change room underneath the stadium.

What the fuck am I talking about?

In Greece, in the first 5 or 6 days, Tall French and me fell into each other as much as any regular couple could. We went through all of the stages of a relationship in that time. The trepidation of the first date lasted for ten minutes; the honeymoon phase lasted a few days. The smooth, happy, rhythmic part took up the bulk of the week, and then tedium and annoyance and irritability set in afterwards. Then the break-up, where I would smile a big smile and try to convince her that it was an amazing experience that just doesn’t need to go further. Let’s not ruin the memory!

Earlier, we decided to end things in Athens. We would do Crete and then Santorini and then head to Athens, where I’d go to work on a tight deadline and she’d go wherever. But as the week went on and we became closer and our relationship authentic, I think she thought – like any normal human being would – that things changed, that there’s no more set expiration date. That we’d have a new discussion and that maybe I’d follow her to Paris or she’d come with me to Croatia or we’d split for now but regroup in Costa Rica or Bangkok or Sarajevo or South Africa.

But I’m not a normal human being.

Can’t fault her, she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that something inside of my brain is broken and just because something – or someone – makes me inexplicably happy does not mean that I won’t throw it away for nothing, for a chance to start from scratch and work my way back up there. She doesn’t know that I’m at my happiest when I’m after happiness. That I’m comfortable when chasing things and riddled with anxiety when I catch them.

I could see the confusion in her eyes. “But we like each other and had an incredible week of sex and conversation and eating and lying on top of each other in the sun. Why would you do this?”

Because we made a plan, and I’m damn good at keeping plans.

Anyway. Isn’t it manipulative of her to try to change things? To turn our agreed-upon, one week tryst into something longer, wider, more permanent? For her to even attempt to derail me from my track, to make chaos of my short-term plans – isn’t that selfish? Childish?

Meh. Probably not.

Knife Beats Gun at 21 Feet

After a week in Greece with Tall French, I was craving male bonding. Drinking and talking about girls. So I met up with the ex-cop again, the mid-40’s surfer dude Californian who stands at, probably, 6’7” and has forearms the size of my thighs. We traveled through parts of Croatia — Split, Hvar, Bol. It’s unbelievable that I first thought he was some sort of gentle giant when I met him in Bangkok. I thought, If this guy gets out of line, I’ll destroy him; Judo-chop him out at the knees.

No fucking way. He would obliterate me with a swipe of his giant left paw, like a bored grizzly bear taking out a fawn, and I would go down hard and make an outline in the cracked pavement like fucking Wile E. Coyote. Even more frightening is that he’d enjoy doing it. His mouth would slip into a smile and his blue eyes would glow radiant while I gasped my last breath with crushed lungs and a red hand print on my face.

“So during the operation they had to remove, like, 2 feet of my intestines and…” I was half-listening to why he couldn’t eat that day, until he offered up this nugget.

“Wait, what? Operation for what?”

“I never told you? I got stabbed. Back when I was a cop. Guy stabbed me with a machete. In through the front and it hit my spine.”

“What the fuck. Stabbed with a machete? Not, like, chopped?”

“Stabbed. I was on patrol and there was a call about a domestic disturbance. Back then we were just one-to-a-car, so I said I’d go check it out while my back up was on the way. You’re not supposed to go to domestic disturbances alone — and, fuck, this is why,” he rolled his eyes, like, oops.
“—so I go and bang on the door. This is in Arizona, by the way. ‘Police! Open up!’ And I was looking through the screen door and see her just standing there — well, kinda like a screen door, you know, with those little holes? Like you can see through it but you can’t see through it, you know?” I didn’t know.
“Whatever, anyway, so I’m on the porch, banging on the door, trying to get her to come over to me. And she’s standing there looking stiff. Scared. She wouldn’t move and I knew shit was fucked up. Then from the corner of my eye, from the left side of the house, I see a blur…
“See, there’s this thing called the ’21-foot rule.’ It’s all science and stuff, and they did tests and found out that if a guy with a knife comes for you and your gun is holstered, if he’s closer than 21 feet, he’ll get you before you can unholster your gun, raise your arm, aim and pull the trigger. This guy was, like, 20 fucking feet from me. Like right on the fucking line, man. Another few inches and I would’ve beat him to it.”

“Mexican?” I don’t know why I asked that.

“Black. So he dove and stabbed me, and as I fell back I pulled the trigger 12 times — I had 13 rounds and I let go of 12 of them, just blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam.”

“Holy shit.”

“Yeah,” He demonstrated with his finger how quickly he could pull the trigger 12 times before hitting the ground. “Yeah, so I’m lying on the porch bleeding all over the place and back-up came just in fucking time, man.”

“He tried to kill you — a  cop — over a fucking domestic disturbance?”

“He was a scumbag, had all sorts of priors. He was on his third strike so he would’ve went away for good. That’s why that Three Strikes bullshit doesn’t work — if they know they’re going away for good, they’ll risk everything on their last one.”

“So it’s like, possession, possession, possession gets you the same as possession, possession, murder?” I asked.

“Well, not really.”

“What happened to the guy?”


“That fucker.”

“That fucker.”


Tall French in Greece, Part Whatever.

If I think about it from one point of view – that if Tall French didn’t show up, it would’ve been a week of me traveling Crete and Santorini alone, earbuds firmly buried into my ear canals during solo, anti-social dinners at old fashioned tavernas; taking necessary selfies at each place, beach, Cliffside resort; falling asleep reading my iPad since every single hotel had shitty wifi and therefore, no Netflix.

So from that point of view, it’s good she came. We split most things, car rentals and decent hotels and dinners where we ordered one main and twenty appetizers (though I had to coerce her to not be vegetarian for the week – any idea how hard it is to get a Muslim to eat pork? Well, I don’t know either, it was easy). We had lots of sex, lots of loud fucking that the neighbours must’ve heard but we just couldn’t stop, couldn’t hold back the ecstasy of it.

Let me talk about the sex more.

God, she has a porn star body. I hate that when I want to say a woman has a great body, I have to say she has a porn star body, but I suppose it makes sense because porn stars, out of any human beings on the planet, need to have perfect bodies made to grab and suck and fondle during sex. So that was her body. She’s not tight – there aren’t any rippling abdomen muscles and exposed veins – but she has definition on her stomach and wide hips and girly shoulders and these voluptuous breasts that hang just perfectly off of her clavicle. The perfect colour of a light-skinned Algerian or dark-skinned Parisian.

Everything was proportioned perfectly, in a comic book way: big tits, small waist, big ass, long legs. She’s how I used to draw women in my sketchbooks when I was a 14-year old teenager full or raging hormones, wishing I could put my mouth on a body like this.

She may very well have the best body that I’ve ever had sex with. She could be number one, but it’s one of those things where you can’t award 10/10 just out of principle, you know? 9.5/10. Half a mark off for curly hair (or something).

The way she had sex was to sit on top of me and grind, hard, in a back and forth motion (why did I say that, does anyone go side-to-side?). She would do that and I would match her movement, sometimes going the same way and sometimes the complete opposite, whatever my instincts nudged me to do. When she would bear down her hips, I would raise mine, and our fucking pelvic bones would be rubbing with so much friction that I swear I could smell smoke.

She would climax immediately, and then three more times, with more minutes passing between each successive orgasm. Often I would climax at the same time as her last orgasm, like some ridiculous Hollywood movie.

One time she stopped, mid-fuck, with tears in her eyes. She said she was scared. Third time this has happened to me. What is this? What sensation does a woman feel that makes her want to stop? The next time, we fucked through this wall, and she went from hard grinding to soft, fucking like we needed to be covert, silent. I sat up on the bed and she sat up on me, holding onto my neck and back so tightly that our bodies couldn’t move independently. We just sat there, undulating rhythmically. No in-and-out, no back-and-forth; just fucking to the small movements of our heart beats (really) with her speaking unintelligible French into my ear. It was like an artsy music video, fucking in the back of a Volkswagen in the rain, sweating, trying not to awake the people outside. Her eyes rolled back and she didn’t care about kissing anymore.

She came and cried at the same time. Cried.

We rolled over on the bed and she stared at me with her big, dark eyes with eyelash extensions and thick mascara. “I’ve never felt that before.”

“I didn’t really do anything,” I said. I hated being special. I never wanted to be the first anything to a woman.

I ruined her moment and breathed a sigh of relief that I did. I didn’t like the conversation and especially where it could end up. It was too real, too much. Too off my plan (what plan?). I just didn’t want it to be anything but two people fucking in a hotel on the Greek island of Crete.

She rolled over and went to sleep.