In his second column, Todd Levin offers another drunken tale (warning) of a life of dating hard with an unexpected, heavy metal twist…
Bad boys, good girls…underneath it all there is a barely recognisable persona that we assemble for everyone but ourselves.
We’re all the same thing; Blood, bones and slightly different scales of sociopath.
Women, in my experience, seem to have the strongest urge to talk about their childhood when they’re lying there, hot and open. If you’re the type of guy who doesn’t fall asleep the second you’re satisfied, you’re going to get to know the person they were. If they came out screaming, they’re probably going to spend the rest of their life screaming. The misconception often is that those are the ones you have to be careful of. The louder the siren… the ones we always envision dancing up on the table who scream through the chorus, drink through the verses and whichever is appropriate for the solo… they have more to lose but lost all fucks somewhere along the way from the womb. They inevitably end up somewhere in the gutter early in the morning with what we can only hope is a good friend to guide her home and dress her wounds. She’ll be out there again after the bruises have healed and there’s enough breath in her lungs and booze in her heart to hear herself scream over the beat of the night all over again. While she’s busy swishing her hair and everything she’s got, her girls in tow and enraptured like we all get from time to time with her. There’s one in the group who seems like the prude, who sits with modest makeup and her hair tied back tight is silently pondering in the corner while pretending the best she can to be taking part. She’s the quiet one.
The quiet ones…they know they have things to lose, they just don’t want to admit it. Not yet. While the rest of the group seem to fly through the bars slowly losing their minds into cocktail exotica, their dignity flying into the walls and doors of each place they visit, she’s the one who might just get left behind come the witching hour. It’s somehow an appropriate time for abandonment and when, unwittingly, you might walk up to her, looking dishevelled and alone and at her least intimidating of the night and talk to her a while with the pack all out hunting. The night might suddenly seem quieter and right and she might look like she’s had enough and whatever intention you might have might be something she’ll share. Trust me, she is far from vulnerable.
I’d spent a good six months with the ones who scream from the bottoms of their lungs with mixed fortunes but all that was earned from that time came to a big fat nothing with one or two shimmering diamonds in the proverbial rough. It’s likely that having been close to that girl one too many times with the same outcome, it might just not be the right place for you to rest your head come the night time. After all it’s too long to spend not getting what you need and not sleeping half as much as you should.
That’s when I walked up to a girl I’ll call Kerry on a Thursday evening sometime when it was cold last year. She’d just been left to fend for herself by her friends on a bar on the edge of the city and didn’t remember how she’d gotten there or how to get out. I told her that they weren’t friends to leave her that way, even if they were as half cut as the stench of vodka that lingered long on the soaked, empty table there in front of her would have had me believe. If anything that makes them worse, I’d continue. She so very quietly agreed, like a doormouse in the middle of a cattery. She was unassuming and when she agreed to let me be a good boy and walk her to her tram, she finally let her hair down after she’d thrown on her coat. She was glad to be leaving and despite the rush her hair scattered around in slow motion like it does with all the other girls.
She didn’t say much with the icy air seeming to speak more when she breathed out. I asked her questions to which she nodded and shook her head; offered retorts about the quietness to which she laughed. Laughing seemed the key. We always say that.
Before I knew it, three dates down the line we were having times that resembled something that I’d known some time ago. It felt like a good path was being traced from the one already forged and hard forging it was. She was never the most interesting of girls but for I had decided against the flash in the pan for once under the hope that she was a slow burner.
Sometimes it’s the hardest things that can lead to the better; that’s the one solid thing I’d learnt from all these years. Just like the one time she spoke that first schizophrenic night I’d talked to her, she asked for my number, the last night she asked if she could see my place. The story seemed to be writing itself and it looked like the road was clear and forging ahead. As I drunkenly messed with my keys in order to find the right one in the elevator, she stepped forward and finally, from nowhere, she started speaking.
Before I knew it, breathless, arms tied to the brackets of my bed, she was finally shouting if not yet screaming. That road had taken an unexpected turn and fuck me it was more than a little welcome. Fuck me whether it was welcome or not, I couldn’t move, I finally had no choice and was in her hands.
Suddenly the doormouse disappeared into the kitchen area of my modest abode and was nowhere to be seen for the next five minutes.
‘Building tension, are we?’ I asked from the bed.
The silence returned apart from a soft hissing coming from whence she had disappeared.
‘The cat can be a bitch sometimes, don’t mind her.’
Still the silence. There was a bottle of Yamazaki down by the side of the bed that I had left there from a few drunken nights before and I was wishing for a shot. Being bound and tied is not my favourite place to start to sober up especially not when the doormouse came back through the door with my iron steaming in her hand.
‘So…not the cat then.’
‘The cat’s fine. You put too much water in this thing’, she said shaking the iron, a little steam leaving through the metal base.
Her eyes had changed and I was suddenly realising that as it turned out I had too much water in my bowels.
I tried laughing her comment off but it didn’t stop her from approaching the bed little-by-little as if fucking scared to do what her eyes were telling her to.
‘I think I know where you’re going with this. There’s a big part of me that wants to call fucking veto.’
She looked down at my waistline.
‘The other part of you doesn’t seem to mind.’, she said.
Though it was the least of my concerns, way to knock a man when he’s vulnerable. The irony here is that I never thought I’d get burnt by this one.
Don’t fuck with the quiet ones and if you do, expect them to leave a scar.