b Papa Dog's Blog: 6. Eve

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Friday, December 30, 2005

6. Eve

"Dearly beloved we gather here to say our goodbyes/Here she lies/No one knew her worth/The late great daughter of mother earth/On this night when we celebrate the birth/In that little town of Bethlehem/We raise our glass- you bet your ass to-/La vie Boheme" -- Jonathan Larson, Rent

So this is Christmas. Haley nestled into an armchair, while the Director sat alongside her, their hands intertwined. Deb and I sitting beside each other, each of us holding our glasses and all of us laughing riotously at "Team America: World Police." Fuck, yeah!

Enjoying this day was certainly the last thing the Director and I ever expected. As little as a week ago we were dreading its arrival, fully expecting to drown ourselves in booze at whatever shit bar happened to be open. Instead it was Christmas Eve, and we found ourselves in the company of two beautiful women, nibbling on a lovingly crafted meal, and savoring fine whisky while watching one of the most offensive movies ever made. While children were struggling to conquer their excitement and get to sleep, so as to allow the fat man to break into their homes, we were howling with laughter watching an extended montage of puppet sex. How is it that the most ornery pair of scrooges New York has ever seen found themselves in a room devoid of Christmas trappings, but fully immersed in that spirit of fellowship that the holiday is supposed to engender? Up yours, Bill O'Reilly.

We were buzzing on the companionship: each of us getting up to refill each other's glasses, holding out our lighters to each other's cigarettes, cheering in unison when Michael Moore strapped a bomb to his girth and blew up Mount Rushmore. Who needs holly when one has such joy?

Who has need of mistletoe when the affection flows this freely? The Director and Haley's new love so overwheming that simple glances would send them off into their private world. Meanwhile, I would trail Deb into the kitchen, cleaning the dishes while she put the food away, happily engaging in domesticity for the first time on record. Refilling our drinks we heard the bedroom doors slam, then shared an approving giggle. I looked into Deb's gemstone eyes. "It's past midnight," I said, "which means it's Christmas. So kiss me."

She startled me with her passionate embrace. I was expecting some chaste peck on the lips, but instead she opened herself to me, and I, gladly, gave up witholding the affection I already felt towards her. There I was in my best friend's kitchen, holding the woman I'd been waiting to meet. There she was in my arms, like a Christmas gift from fate, a woman with whom I could pass an evening rapt in conversation. A woman who challenged my assumptions and brought out the best of my mind. Who'd seen the world and loved the news, who took no shit and suffered no fools. Here she was, her hands in my hair as I pulled her close to me and pretended not to let my defenses down.

We retired again to the living room, now eschewing any pretense of concealing our attraction. I held her hand and she played me her music, and, good lord, I must have been some sort of schoolboy smitten, because I actually appreciated the Earth, Wind, & Fire song playing on her computer. She introduced it as a window into her past: a woman in her early twenties living on the Lower East Side, working in news, bearing witness to history. Though I haven't as much experience, I know it's not an easy job. She was there before A.I.D.S. had a name, watching friends suffer and crusading to find out the truth. At great emotional cost, she watched the end of America's dream of space. More recently, when 3,000 of her neighbors were massacred, she immediately threw herself and all of her resources into the effort to heal her city. She told me I could never understand these things because I wasn't there, and that much is true. But I admired her courage, both for her deeds, and for unflinchingly sharing these painful, but indelible pieces of her experience. This woman is a wellspring of strength, Apollonian like me, and seemingly invulnerable to fear. Though my senses admire her beauty, my soul can't help but adore her mind.

We talked on for hours, and in speaking of our talents and ambitions, she revealed her one insecurity, which is, frankly, none of your business. I did, however, see right through it and told her as much. "Don't you go den mother on me," she said, "that's what I do." I told her she'd just have to deal with it, because she was far too smart and talented to sabotage herself. I knew, because she told me one of her stories, and it passed critical muster, but more importantly, she appreciated the fact that I was being critical.

Somehow night gave way to dawn and the conversation just kept going. At one point she remarked that I was an old soul, which I've heard before, but rarely from someone I regard as an equal in that sense. Though we are of different generations, our minds felt cut from the same cloth. At one point she softly said, "Don't make me fall in love with you." I told her it was a bad idea. Anyone who's ever dated me can attest that I'm a lousy boyfriend. We let the matter rest and walked into the kitchen for another drink. Standing at the counter where the bottles stood half-empty, our bodies were pulled towards each other. We wanted each other violently and gave into the magnetic pull. Though I did my best sell-job on why I'd be a shitty prospect for love, as I led her to the bedroom, I couldn't help but hear Tom Waits:

Well I hope that I don't fall in love with you
'Cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays and you display your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you calling out for me
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Well the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair?
Well if you sit down with this old clown, take that frown and break it,
Before the evening's gone away, I think that we could make it,
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Well the night does funny things inside a man
These old tom-cat feelings you don't understand,
Well I turn around to look at you, you light a cigarette,
I wish I had the guts to bum one, but we've never met,
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

I can see that you are lonesome just like me, and it being late,
You'd like some some company,
Well I turn around to look at you, and you look back at me,
The guy you're with has up and split, the chair next to you's free,
And I hope that you don't fall in love with me.

Now it's closing time, the music's fading out
Last call for drinks, I'll have another stout.
Well I turn around to look at you, you're nowhere to be found,
I search the place for your lost face, guess I'll have another round
And I think that I just fell in love with you.


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