Catastrophic Complacency

Andrew kissed his girlfriend before her front door.  He made a gentle fist with some of her hair in the back of her head with one hand and pulled her in by the hip with the other.  His hand glided up and down her side above her pelvis and found its way to the small of her back.  He continued to pull her closer and let his hand squeeze her rear. 

Melissa released her body into his grip and wrapped both arms around Andrew’s torso.  She used her hands to explore his taut backside.  Feeling his robust body made her throb inside.  Her breath grew heavy, so she withdrew one hand and started to massage the curves of his chest.  His panting aroused her – she felt like Andrew had a deep craving that only she had the recipe to suppress.  Each of them drew the other closer and closer and brushed their lips with exponential passion.  Both breathed restlessly through their noses.

“I want you,” he said, eager and breathless.

Andrew and Melissa were together for a five and a half months now and have been intimate with each other for five of those months.  They met online and things haven’t stopped going well since the first date.  Both in their mid-twenties, they were just starting to grow into a routine with each other around their hectic jobs, so they were growing very comfortable around each other.  They weren’t afraid to share secrets with one another and held a tight companionship.  Andrew told her that he loved her for the first time just two weeks earlier.

“Not tonight,” she said, embarassed.  She dropped her head and put a big smile on her face.  “My parents are home.”

“That hasn’t stopped us before.”

She laughed.  “Yeah, but we didn’t have to walk in while they were waiting for me any of those times.”  Melissa brushed her hair behind her ear and looked into his eyes.  “Listen, there’s something I need to tell you.”

Andrew thought Melissa a beautiful specimen, truly one of God’s masterpieces.  She was short at five foot three and her brown hair flowed with an irreplaceable sexual ambience.  Her blue eyes reminded him of his own and her tight behind blended well with her ample breasts and thin build.  She was very attractive physically, but even more impressive was the fact that she graduated college with honors as a physics major.  She worked in a professional lab helping her collegues operate neutron scattering studies of different materials.  Best of all, she was easy to get along with.  She often surprised Andrew by paying for meals, giving him tickets to new major league baseball parks (seeing all of them was always one of his dreams), and supporting him every time he made any kind of decision.  Andrew found her to be irresistible physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

“What’s up?” he asked, his body still tingling, shaking, and trembling with arousal.

Melissa sighed and diverted her eyes from his.  “I’m not really sure how to say it, but I don’t think this is working out.”

Andrew tilted his head in curiosity.  “What do you mean?”

“Andrew, I’m busy with work and I’ve been trying to get into graduate school and I really feel like I need some time to myself for a while.”  She said.  “I get panic attacks everyday and am always worried about what’s gonna happen.  I just don’t feel like I have room in my life for this right now.”

Andrew watched Melissa’s eyes circle around all of the space around him and never fully make contact with him as she spoke.  It was almost like he suddenly became a piece of furniture to her.  He observed her lips part and come together again, like she was kissing each word that came out of her mouth.  Her tongue licked her upper teeth and whipped back down and he imagined massaging his tongue with hers as he did all those other times before.  She scratched the back of her neck the same way she did when he first met her, when she acted shy and was flush red in the face speaking to him.

“You are right,” he said, very much to her surprise.  “We should stop seeing each other.”

Melissa’s jaw hung open and stood speechless as she tried to account for the miscaclulation.  “What do you mean?” she asked.  She found herself repeating his question.

“My being with you was always a sin under the eyes of God,” he said.  “When my eyes first came upon you, I knew that you were a transcendent creature; beautiful in the light of both sun and moon.  You were like the end of the universe, out of everyone’s reach, but always a thought to dwell and ponder upon.  How do I accomplish that which no man has ever achieved?  How can I fuel the rocket of my desire to have you, to hold you, to love you, and to tell the world about you?  How do I find the words to tell them that you’re even more spectacular up close and that you still manage to blush when you get a peck on the cheek, right on the corner of your lips?  Even your blushing tells me that the absolute best need to feel wanted and desired, like part of a set rather than isolated in superiority.  The star doesn’t make the Christmas tree, the Christmas tree makes the star and I’m your tree.”

Melissa watched him with wonder in her eyes.  She couldn’t believe any of what he had to say.  Did he really want to break up with her when he clearly felt so passionately about her?  Why did he agree with her decision?  Melissa memorized each and every word he said like they composed the best poem ever written – and it was written specially for her.  She finally found to courage to look up at him and his eyes drooled emotion all over her body.  She leaped forward, threw her arms around him, and gave him a big kiss in a way she never had before.

“I love you,” she said for the first time.  Then she let his arms consume her and continued to kiss him with renewed ardor.

Andrew inhaled the steam emanating from her body and succumbed to his addiction of her tobacco kiss.

Journal of the Omitted Man

It was 10:30 on Saturday night and Carl was in the passenger seat of Aaron’s car, talking to him about some of the troubles he’d been experiencing.  It was dark outside, doubly so because of the intense overcast in the sky.  The black clouds viciously circled above, like snakes waiting for the opportune moment to strike their prey.

Carl was recently dumped by a girl in favor of another man.  Normally, he wouldn’t call his best friend for advice, but the number of times it was happening to him was starting to wear his confidence.  It wasn’t that simple, though.  Carl had a girlfriend once, briefly.  And she left him because he wasn’t serious in their relationship.  A few years prior to when he met her, Carl stumbled across some helpful self-improvement material to help his dating life.  He’s able to get three or four dates with many girls without issue now, but that’s about it.  After that, girls just grow bored of him.

He traced his fingers along the folds of his palm in Aaron’s car, listening to the thunder countdown the impending storm. 

“I’m tired of girls,” he said.  “Every girl I date strings me along with a fleeting sense of security when, in reality, every one of them is fantasizing about the other guy they’re seeing behind my back.”

“Girls aren’t easy,” Aaron agreed.  “But it’s no reason for you to get depressed because another girl didn’t like you.”

“No, it’s not, but I’m just losing faith, man.”  Carl looked up from his clammy fingers and wiped them on each leg of his jeans.  “Most of these girls think I have no idea about these other guys, even though their eyes reveal the shattering truth about how much of a regular guy I am to them.  These girls make their choice and all the other men they’re seeing are forgotten like smoke in the air.  I become the man these ‘better’ guys never were; alone, hopeless, grim, depressed.  Then multiply that feeling by every single girl you meet.  It wears on a man.

“And then these girls boast about seeing their men and how great they all are individually while me and all the other guys like me sit at home thinking about how another girl we liked lost attraction for us in favor of this prick we don’t even know, but hate everything about.  And when they boast, it’s about ordinary things like a funny joke or a nice restaurant they’re going to for dinner.  Ordinary things men like me are more than capable of and succeed at doing while we’re seeing these girls.

“It bothers me that girls can openly tell their dates that they’re seeing other men to spark competition and can choose among who she finds more attractive,” he continued.  “It bothers me that if a guy dated two or three girls, he’d have to keep it secret from all of them because if he was honest, every girl would just lose interest.  Plus, he’d just be labeled a player.  He’s not keeping his options open like she is, he’s just an untrustworthy player.  I’ve been on both ends of this.  And it’s only one of the many double standards I’ve experienced.

“Then there are the guys that were too nice to their girlfriends so the girls leave them for ‘alpha males’ that know how to make her loins tingle with desire.  Guys that only care about tomorrow night’s lay.  I’ve been the asshole.  I’ve been the nice guy.  Neither one seems to win out.  And I can’t be myself because the real me is too sensitive, boring, insecure, and lacks conversational depth – every quality girls, and everyone else on the planet, gets grossed out by.  That’s why none of them maintain attraction.  So what the fuck am I supposed to do?”

“What can you do man?” Aaron asked coolly.  “Just keep your head up and keep fighting.”

“I’ve been trying.”

“You haven’t been the same since Sandy left you,” Aaron said.  “Don’t try to word your way around it, but that’s what this is about.  You feel like you got lucky because you met one girl that liked you.  She was your first major fuckup.”

“You imply that there’ll be more.”

“Likely, yes.”

“I can’t handle more fuckups.  I’m just giving up hope man,” Carl said.  “Sandy and I were great together and I made the foolish mistake of not opening up my feelings to her.  Sure, it’s a mistake I’ll never make again, but fucking a.  Why couldn’t anyone just teach me more about relationships instead of just the goddamn pickup, which covers the span of dates I can hold a girl?  Or how to handle things better?  I can’t keep learning how to do things the hard way.  It just hurts too much.  What really bothers me, though, is that these girls that boast about their men are really cute.  The girls that do treat me that way aren’t as physically attractive, so why should I feel like I have to settle for less?  Men instinctively want good looks and I’m not about to surrender my masculinity when these other guys aren’t.”

“There’s more to it,” Aaron said. “We’re alone in my car in a Montclair parking garage.  You’re too afraid to go outside because the world has hurt you so many times.  That’s why you never go out.  You’re missing out on a ton of opportunities to meet new people.  That and you never chase your hobbies.  There are girls in every profession except browsing the fuckin’ internet by yourself on the weekends.”

“We’re 27,” Carl said.  “All around me for the past few years girls and guys our age have been getting married left and right.  Most are totally happy.  Most know what they want out of life and already built the foundation for it.  I’ve had one girlfriend and it lasted a few weeks.”

Carl was an attractive guy too.  He was tall, with blue eyes and always walked confidently with his shoulders back and chest out.  He certainly felt like he deserved more with good looks, a stable job, and his own apartment, but things never found his favor.  He grew angry with his age.  Resentful.  Worse yet, he knew he had to hide those feelings from everyone because then he’d just be viewed as misogynist or sexist.  How was he supposed to get a girl to even like him, let alone be attracted to him, when he was in so much pain? It kills him that he wakes up alone every morning while every girl he ever wanted to sleep with is off in bed with other guys.

“Sandy’s downside was that she was slutty,” Aaron said.  “Sluts move on fast and they don’t care about the wreckage they leave behind them. Sandy’s been with over twenty guys and she’s in her early twenties.  That’s like five or six guys a year if you consider when she lost her virginity.  Eventually her fickle attitude would have ended your relationship anyway.”

Carl knew that wasn’t true.  In his time with Sandy, he found that she was very aware of her past behaviors and was actively working on ending them.  That’s why they were even in a relationship to begin with.  He saw the very self-improvement process he was going through in her.  That’s why he always had faith in her.  “Does that mean she’ll never get married or find someone to love her?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter right now.  She disappeared.  You need to find someone who will love you.”

“Maybe I already did,” Carl suggested.  Sandy said he loved him before he found the chance.  And then she dumped him the very next week.  It couldn’t be more obvious to him that she just grew sick of the jokes.  He looked out into the looming storm.  “I’m sick of Hollywood lies.  Every movie has a happy ending.  Every guy gets his girl and vice versa.  Everyone achieves their goals and accomplishments.  But what about those of us with harder lives and worse luck?  I’m not gonna live under their conceited fantasy.  People fuck up.  Mistakes are made.  In today’s short attention spanned society, we throw away what’s broken instead of fixing it.  And so that agony endures until time claims either it or you.

“Like you said, I do feel like I got lucky,” Carl said, “Sandy slept with me on the first date, from the rebound she never told me about.  And she kept coming back for more until she realized I was a pretty likable guy.  But is it true?  Did I really get lucky because she used me in lieu of what she concealed?  Am I truly unattractive to girls?”

Outside the parking garage, the first sheets of intense rain began to fall and pummel the ground below.  Carl stared at it derisively through his eyebrows, then turned back to Aaron who continued his effort to soothe his friend’s struggles.