After our awkward bathroom encounter, I go to bed with a terrible, sinking feeling that I've just slipped into another impossible love scenario. I'm kind of angry with him - why did he pick up my foot at the table and massage it if he has a fucking girlfriend?! I do a cross check on our day to make sure I didn't flirt first. We'd walked the canal together engrossed in conversation, occasionally bumping shoulders. I wasn't digging into my usual bag of tricks, more just being myself, relaxed and chatty. We moved fluidly from funny, to deep, to brilliant, to silly, and back to brilliant with no showmanship. He was kind, courteous. Didn't seem to have an agenda...
I used to have an agenda and I almost always got what I wanted. The seeds of what became my giant love monster were probably planted very early, but the little beast didn't really start to grow until I completed 3 years in Japan where I suffered from prolonged isolation. If lack of intimacy was my condition, rapacious seduction coupled with drugs and alcohol became my remedies.
Following a few months of traveling around Asia, I moved to Vancouver and encountered a vibrant queer community in East Van all engaging in open, communicative loving relations with each other. Or that's how it felt to me anyway. I was totally amazed and dazzled by the queers I met. Especially the women. So sexually empowered, so in charge of their desires, so at ease with a criss-cross of relational dimensions, polyamory or whateveramory. Revolutionary!
I fell in love with a woman. She was, and will always be, one of the most naturally talented and beautiful human beings I have ever met. A tender, old soul housed in a body sculpted by the gods. Our love appeared suddenly on our first outing like a warm Pacific downpour that carried us away. She played me songs on her guitar and I whispered sweet stories in her ear as she went to sleep. Les vraies bohèmes, we lived in a cheap, ratty apartment, one of the last vestiges of affordable housing in East Vancouver, smoking nonstop, dropping ash on its stained berber carpet, ash she put into her paint, paint she put on her nude paintings covering the living room walls while we drank and danced and blasted Sam Cooke and Robert Plant.
But we needed men and loved them first. Mystified by our growing bond and unprepared to define it, our rapacious little love beasts kept asking for more, our cups never quite full, we'd accompany each other on man hunts, binges, and benders. I hated the crowd she was attracted to, nouveau riche dirt bags who glamourized Pablo Escobar and thought they were bad ass. Vulgarists. I hated them because I loved her, the one so deeply real, the real bad ass, the real one who attracted fakes and posers. Just like I attracted vampires. I hated that about both of us but I wasn't ready to be better. I was only ready to run. Fast.
She didn't hate anybody. Even when I left our apartment, left her, and dashed off to Brazil to get married, I left ruin but she only had love left for me.
I asked him if I could say it out loud while we had sex.
"Oui bien sur," he said, "mais quoi exactement ?"
"Cris-le ma chérie ! Cris-le !"
I perfected seduction in Paris. I figured out how to make it more understated and charming, less vulgar and desperate. I'd had a pretty good run that year in Montreal on a divorcée reign of terror, but in Paris I pulled it together and picked men off like ripe raspberries. The snake began to earn its charm.