Thursday, April 15, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 50

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy

April 2005
After all the nonsense that went down with Betty, I took down my ads, both the F4M and the F4F, but I still have ads up on other sites that I've been ignoring. I get an email from some dude named Mark on Lavalife and think why the hell not. He seems kind of sweet. I figure I might as well give him a chance.
We meet, go on a few dates, it seems ok. Mark is a bundle of contradictions; I can't quite get a handle on him. I keep thinking of something William told me recently, that he heard from his therapist. The first year you are with someone, it's all about your fantasies of that person. You're not seeing them for who they really are. That certainly was my problem with William. I resolve to do better, to try to see Mark for who he really is. But the truth is I suck at it.
Like me, Mark is in his early thirties. He's working part time at the public library while going to school for his MLS degree. But he doesn't think of himself as an intellectual, as far as he's concerned, being a librarian is a form of public service. In his spare time, he likes to go to raves, but he doesn't take drugs. He just gets blissed out dancing in front of a towering stack of speakers. Like me, he's bi. Ok, this seems like a good start.
Mark doesn't look like what you might imagine a bi librarian raver to be. He's nearly bald so he shaves his head, and he has the blunt features, stocky build and crooked nose of a prizefighter. Not that he's particularly muscley. He doesn't work out or anything. It's just that his spirit is kind of airy and fey but his body is all dude. And while he hardly has any hair on his head, his chest and stomach are completely covered in fur.
Anyway, even though I'm still trying to work out how I feel about him, Mark seems totally smitten with me. He offers to make me dinner, so I invite him over to my place.
"I make the best Thai green curry," he boasts. Sounds great to me. But then while he's cooking, he keeps loading the curry up with more and more rich ingredients: tons of coconut milk, fists full of cashews. The result is so thick and heavy I can barely eat it.
After dinner, I let him sleep over in my bed. We make out and kiss a lot but we both agree it's too soon to go all the way. That's fine with me, and he doesn't push, which I appreciate. In the morning, he takes one look at my bedhead and exclaims, "Oh my god, your hair is perfect!"
I do kind of have a Bridgitte Bardot thing going on. For the record, this is the one and only time my hair has ever looked that good. Well, it's nice to have an audience.
Mark complains about his hairy chest, how it doesn't look good when he takes his shirt off at raves. I offer to wax it for him. I've just started waxing my legs myself, and it's not hard. It hurts a little at first, but then the endorphins kick in and it's fine.
"Ok, sure," he says. He brings over an old blue bedsheet, and we cut it up into strips together. Then he lies down in my bathtub, because I don't want to get wax on my bed or carpet, and takes off his shirt. I slather the sticky stuff on the cloth strip, and press it onto the top of his chest, over the left pec. I rub it in to grab all the hairs, then rip it off.
"Are you ok?"
"That hurt a little more than I thought it would."
"You're fine," I assure him. "Let's keep going."
As I work my way down his left side, I realize two things. First, the skin on your chest and stomach is a lot more sensitive than the lower legs. Second, once you start waxing your chest, you can't give up and stop halfway through, no matter how painful it is.
I clear the entire left half of his torso, but by the time I get to his stomach he's practically crying.
"Oh my god, I can't," he groans.
"You're fine, just let me finish," I order. I feel bad but he can't go around with a two-tone chest. The whole point is that he wants to be able to take his shirt off in a club when he's dancing.
Somehow we get through it. By the time I'm done, his chest is smooth but covered in angry red welts, dotted with tiny pin pricks of blood.
"Watch out for ingrown hairs," I warn him. "If you start getting ingrown hairs, use a loofah to scrub them out."
The next time I see him, his chest is even more red.
"What the hell happened?"
"You told me to scrub," he whines.
"Not right now, when it's still healing. Duh! I said later, if you notice ingrown hairs. Oh my god!"
Eventually it does start to heal, and he's happy with the results at least for a few weeks. He keeps coming over to cook for me, and we have oral sex but nothing more yet.
I mention that I used to bake all my own bread but I don't have time to do it anymore, so he loans me his breadmaker. I'm not so happy with the result, a cube of bread with a hole in the middle that tastes like nothing special, but maybe I just need to try some different recipes.
One evening Mark calls me up while I'm at home and he's riding the bus home from work, and he just casually mentions that he may have been exposed to chlamydia by a former boyfriend a while back.
"What?" I'm having trouble even believing this, because he almost sounds like he's joking. "Are you for real?"
"So real, sister."
"And you're just telling me this now? Why didn't you mention this before?"
"You should have asked," he says defensively.
"Ok, but you don't know for sure if you even have it, right? Have you been tested?"
"I'm still waiting for the results."
"But we haven't, like, gone all the way yet, so maybe it's ok?"
"I dunno."
"Why are we even having this conversation while you're on the bus? People can hear you, you know."
"Whatever. I don't care! Why should I be ashamed of my sexuality?"
Being sex-positive is one thing but discussing a possible case of chlamydia on a city bus is something else entirely, in my opinion. The whole conversation is unnerving to say the least. We both go to get tested but in the meantime I resolve not to have sex with him. What kind of bullshit is that to blame me for not interrogating him about his STD status?
Anyway like a dope I keep seeing him. He invites me over to his apartment. It's a nice place but he has to share it with two other guys, not even friends, just roommates who mostly try to avoid each other.
In his tiny bedroom, we lie on the bed and make out lazily. I remind him that we're not having sex until his test results come back, but I offer him a handjob, which he takes as some sort of strange throwback to high school. What is he even talking about? Mutual masturbation is the easiest, safest and most fun way to have sex. How is it that he hasn't done this since high school? For someone so supposedly free and open about sex, he seems to have a pretty narrow definition of what counts.
I don't want to argue with him though, so I decide to show rather than tell. There's a small square skylight above his bed, and as we lay there together, I watch birds fly by while I get him off, then he does the same for me. It's peaceful and sweet.
"See?" I tell him. "Wasn't that good?"
"Yeah, I guess so."

Mark's very favorite thing is to dance like a maniac in front of a huge stack of speakers, and he really wants me to come along with him. I tend to see going out to a club as a means to an end, not an end in itself, but I agree to try it out once.
He takes me to a medium sized club, an empty room dominated by two enormous towering speakers. The music is so loud it just blurs into incomprehensible noise. I can feel the vibrations in my entire body, and not in a good way. It's actually painful. I'm afraid that I'm doing permanent damage not just to my ears, but to my internal organs as well. It feels like my liver is being liquefied. After half an hour, I can't take it anymore. I feel a little bad making him leave early, but I've really had it.
For our next date, Mark asks me to meet him for brunch at a cool little café. I'm down for that but when I get there, he's invited along a friend named Willow. Willow is like a manic pixiedream girl in training. I thought that type only existed in movies and the fevered imagination of guys who want a cute girl to inspire them but not challenge them too much. But no, Willow cultivates an air of childish eccentricity all on her own, even without a guy to impress. She's a tiny, slender little thing with wispy hair, dressed in layers of flower print thrift store hippie clothes. Over brunch, she babbles away in an affected lisp about how it would be so fun to visit the Crayola factory.
Now you might be thinking that Mark is the guy she is trying to impress with this adult baby act but actually when he's with her, he starts to act in the same way. Or rather she just brings it out in him even more. I guess he's always been like this but I never noticed quite so much until he dials it up in her presence. By the time we've finished eating, the two of them have descended into baby talk and in-jokes.
There are some thrift stores near the restaurant that Willow wants to see, so we head off down the street. Mark is shuffling along like a toddler, deliberately not lifting his feet off the ground. Inside the store, Willow exclaims over toys and clothes, begging Mark to allow her to buy a pretty dress, even though she is going to pay for it with her own money. I start to feel like I'm slowly losing my mind.
We step out into the street, Willow skipping about as she exclaims over her new dress, then right there we run into Lulu. Her apartment is just a few blocks away, so it's not that big a surprise, but I'm so glad to see her. I introduce her to Mark, since she hasn't met him yet.
They shake hands and Lulu asks him what he does.
"I work at the liberry," he says, putting his head to the side with mock shyness.
And just like that, I am fucking done. I can't take another minute of this. Unfortunately Lulu is off to see her parents so she can't stay. I give her this look that says take me with you, but it's no good. After we say goodbye to her, I tell Mark I have some errands to run, and drive home as fast as I can.
The problem is now I need to actually break up with him. I think of all the times I've been dumped by phone or email, and I want to at least be kind to him, so I invite him over to my place a few days later for a talk.
Mark is already trembling as he walks in the door. "You said 'We have to talk,'" he says as he sits on the couch next to me. "That's never good."
He's right, it's not good. I lay it all out for him, using the standard lines: it's not working, it's not me it's you, the usual, but he's not having it. He does his best to argue with me about why we should stay together.
"I'm not ready for a relationship right now," I say, anything to get him to stop pestering me.
"You just need to dance it out in front of a big stack of speakers, then you'll feel better," he assures me.
"No! That's your thing, not mine."
"Come on, if you just dance it out you'll be happier."
"No, you're not listening to me. I don't like being in a crowded club with super loud music. It makes me feel worse, not better."
He puts his head to the side with an expression on his face reminiscent of a dog watching TV, like I'm making noise but he's not taking in any meaning.
"I think we're just really different people," I continue. What I want to tell him is that I'd rather stab myself in the ear with a pencil than hear him say the word "liberry" again, but instead I say, "I could tell when you were with Willow, you two are so alike but that's really not me."
"I'm a cracked mirror," he whines, looking at me with puppy dog eyes. "I just reflect everyone around me. I'm like Willow when I'm around her, but when I'm with you, I'm like you."
"Uh, you realize that doesn't sound very good or healthy, right? You have to be your own person."
"But I just want to be with yooooou!"
"Come on, knock it off. You have your own interests and preferences, and I have mine."
"No I don't! I want whatever you want! I don't have my own interests or preferences. I just want to share yours."
I pull away from him on the couch. "That's not what I want in a relationship."
"You have to give me a chance!" he wails.
"I'm sorry."
Instantly, his mood shifts. "I see. You just don't want to be with me because I'm a nice guy. You want to be with some asshole who treats you like shit."
Oh my fucking god, not this bullshit again. Now I have well and truly had it with him, and I'm done trying to protect his precious feelings. I show him the door, and I'd like to say it was in no uncertain terms, but somehow as I am escorting him out and letting him know it is completely over between us, he convinces me to keep the breadmaker.
"That fucking breadmaker!" I complain to Gretchen at our next rehearsal. "I don't even like it! Now what do I do?"
Gretchen has a good laugh over Mark the manic pixie nightmare boy but once she's done laughing, she's all business. "Yeah, that was just a ploy to see you again," she observes. Fortunately, she lives very close to Mark's apartment, and volunteers to return it for me.
I'm so relieved once that breadmaker is out of my apartment. As thanks, I take Gretchen out to lunch in Bayfront.
"He cocked his head like this," she says, demonstrating his little toddler move, "and made these sad puppy eyes when I explained that I was returning it for you."
"Oh my god, thank you so much. I couldn't put up with that nonsense for one more minute."
"You're welcome. I'm glad I could rescue you from listening to any more baby talk."
I may be cursed with a string of terrible dates but at least I have awesome friends. I'm so happy to be rid of him, but like with Seymour the Cyborg I'm disappointed in myself. It's kind of shocking how fast I flipped from love to hate. But my biggest mistake was putting up with nonsense far longer than I should have. At least my STD test is negative, thank god.
Right after all this goes down, I'm sick with yet another sinus infection. I lie around the house feeling sorry for myself, and I'm still fuming over Mark. I can't believe he used that tired old "nice guy" line on me, just like Seymour. I so wish I had called him on his bullshit in person, but there's nothing to be gained by phoning him to yell at him some more. Instead, I sit down and pour out all my frustration into an open letter to a generic guy who is a combination of Mark, Seymour, Paul the Pornographer, Bob, Doug, every loser who complained that I didn't appreciate him because he's too nice.

Dear Nice Guy,

I understand how upset you were when I broke up with you. Hey, I was disappointed too. I really had high hopes for our relationship. I thought you would be different from the usual assholes. Sure, you were less good looking, less stylish, not as cool as those other guys, but I thought, I can see beyond those surface imperfections to the great personality that supposedly lies beneath. I really tried, and I didn't want to break up with you, but you left me no choice. Then you begged me to tell you why, and I didn't, because I didn't want to be mean. But since I now see you slipping into that lame old excuse, "Women only like assholes who treat them bad, nice guys finish last," I feel compelled to explain exactly why I had to dump you.

1. You are a terrible kisser. There's really no way to say this in the moment, but your technique is disgusting. Please do not ever try to lick the roof of my mouth, stick your tongue up my nose, or slobber like a dog.

2. You stink. Yes, I realize your shyness around women makes you very nervous which can cause some incredibly foul sweat, but please, use more deodorant or something. And there is just no excuse for bad breath or a stinky butt. For god's sake, practice basic hygiene.

3. You have a huge fucking chip on your shoulder. Look, I'm really sorry those bitches in high school wouldn't talk to you. But you're 35, get over it already. You know, I was a loser in high school too, but I don't obsess over it every day. And I don't think it entitles me to whine about how difficult my life has been, and how everyone needs to be more accepting of my issues.

4. You're boring. And I don't mean that in the "would rather read poetry than go snowboarding" kind of way, because I'm a nerd too. No, I mean you never joke around, you never do silly or spontaneous things, everything with you has to be discussed seriously and at length. Lighten up!

5. You're creepy. Did you miss some secret boy meeting when you were a kid on how to flirt with girls without coming off like a total sleaze? Don't say, "You may not have noticed, but I've been looking at your body." Believe me, I noticed. You're not that subtle. Also don't say, "I'm going to pay for your dinner so you'll have sex with me." Your candor is not charming, it's repellant. Don't tell me how many times you've jerked off to thoughts of me naked. If you want to do that, go right ahead, but please don't announce it like it was the evening news, it makes you sound like a stalker.

6. You're shallow. I know you think wanting to be around me every second of every day demonstrates how much you care for me, but as soon as I realized it was because you have no life of your own, it just got annoying. You told me that have no interests or preferences except what I want, and no emotions of your own, except in reaction to me. That is not being intimate, that's just creepy. When I ask what you want for dinner, just say what you want. If you don't know, say "I don't know." But don't look at me with puppy dog eyes and whisper "Whatever you want" every fucking time! Jesus, it's just dinner!

7. You're a lousy lay. I know, your inexperience is to blame, but you could at least be willing to learn. Don't give me orders like I'm a piece of software you're programming. Jeez, if I wanted to be awkwardly groped and poked, I'd have sex with a 15 year old boy.

8. You have anger issues. You are so afraid of ever showing the slightest bit of anger that you repress it until you explode in rage at some inappropriate moment, like when I did not respond favorably to your demands for sex. Let me share a secret with you: if you had kept your mouth shut, you would have gotten some. But after you turned red in the face and started yelling at me for not giving it up fast enough, did you really think I would let you fuck me?

So let's review: you're secretly filled with rage and resentment, and you think you are entitled to sex on demand. That doesn't sound "nice" at all now, does it? Thanks for showing me that so-called "nice guys" are assholes too. If I'm going to be stuck with an angry, demanding asshole, I might as well choose someone who's at least pretty on the outside.

So long,

Your Ex-Girlfriend

I post it on Craigslist, and within a day it's made "best of." I start getting emails from women thanking me for expressing what they too had been thinking, and from guys worriedly asking if I was talking about them. It feels good to finally get it all out there.

One guy writes,

Reading your ex-post-facto dear john letter on Craigslist made me laugh out loud. I was looking at ads of cars for sale and some gay guy trying to get rid of his old air conditioner when the "best of Craigslist" caught my eye. The thinly-veiled layer of humor woven into your letter (or maybe its just your shoot-from-the-hip brutal honesty) really helps to drive home your disdain for "Mr. nice guy." Hell, we all like to rummage through other peoples' dirty laundry from time to time...even when the other parties involved are total strangers. Thanks for the entertainment!

Well my dating life may be a train wreck or a cautionary example but at least I can provide entertainment to strangers on the internet.

After all this nonsense, I renew my vow to only date guys with disabilities. Why have I been wasting my time with assholes who are not even attractive to me? I resolve even more to go for what I really want. For the past few months, I have let my correspondence with Mickey Cross lapse, but now I resume the late night messaging with him, not least because a new TV show with a blind guy character has me on a dev high again.
> Have you heard of the new show on ABC called Blind Justice? It's about a police detective who goes blind but stays on the job, I write.
> Haha yeah. I didn't watch it but some of the blind folks I know watched it and said it actually wasn't too cheesy...
>Actually I was impressed, it was much less cheezy than I had feared. It's a pretty good show so far, although I've only seen two episodes.
> Hopefully this blind detective's relationships with people will be portrayed as complex and difficult to navigate.
>Yeah, actually that is what they are doing. So far he seems like a regular fallible person, not a superhero, or a saint. The actor is not bad, in playing a blind guy he's about 75% convincing, but he just doesn't hold his head like he's listening instead of looking.
>Well a dev would know. :)
>Haha yeah.
> I heard apparently some ignorant person asks how he goes to the bathroom. *LOL*
>Yes, but to be fair, in context it's a guy they just locked up, and that "question" is really more part of a string of insults. He never bothers to answer.
>Haha ok.
> I think if someone asked me something like that I'd fire back with about the rudest comeback I could think of, like "well, hopefully your secretary will go in there with me and help me aim." Actually, I wouldn't say that, but I'd think it. *LOL*
>Ha ha, yeah, like asking her to hold it for you. The only real solution is to totally shame the other person, ha ha ha.
>Definitely! So, would you hold it for me? Maybe direct my stream onto parts of your naked body? Hmm maybe I can aim my hard little stream right at your clit in the
Oh my god, what is it with this guy? How does he always manage to take our flirty fun and make it so gross and uncomfortable? But I'm too invested in the flirtation. I don't want to tell him to fuck off, because there are no other kinky blind guys I know of who want to message me late at night. I ignore his suggestion and sign off, but the next night we're at it again. I pick up again with my favorite topic, blind guys in TV and movies.
>Anyway I did see Ray, I continue, and I thought it was a great movie. Jamie Foxx was great, even though it looked like his eyes were taped shut with band-aids.
>Hmm, I think they were cosmetically sealed somehow, probably just as you guessed.
>So do you wear sunglasses to shield the general public from the horror? /s
>Hahahaha. No.
>Good for you.
We chat some more, and I mention something about the opera, which I guess I never told him about, because he seems surprised.
>I didn't mention that I'm a part-time opera singer?
>Uh oh...I should mention at this point that I can't really appreciate
operatic vocals.
>Well, I'm just a lowly chorus girl but it's really fun. The company is semi-professional and the leads are very talented, so I'm just happy I made it in to the lowest rungs.
>I mean to say, I really hate opera. It's like nails on a blackboard to hear that kind of singing.
>Well, it's not for everyone, but I enjoy it.
>Ok cool. So, you have one of those opera singer bodies though? *wink* You probably anticipated me saying that.
I remind him that I am average size, and we call it a night.
The next night we're both online again, and we start talking about porn. He likes to read stories on
>So do you watch porn? Anything kinky, like watersports? he asks me.
>I've seen all kinds of stuff. I think it's really interesting to watch older films, like stag films of the1920s, the films of the 1970s (like in Boogie Nights) which are hysterically funny. I'm such a nerd! But honestly none of it does much for me. Being a sexual deviant, I get much more of a thrill watching a guy with opaque contacts pretending to be blind than watching ordinary boring naked people having sex.
> So, Daredevil is a porn for you then? haha.
>Yes. I mean YES.
>I have to admit I really hate Daredevil. Everyone expects me to watch it but it's so annoying the way everyone keeps asking. I could not care less. Please, shut up already about Daredevil.
>Sorry, I really like it. This is an understatement. Ever since Skip introduced me to the new Bendis/Maleev run on Daredevil, I've gone back to buying the comics every month. The day the new issue comes out is the highlight of the month for me, and I spend hours re-reading each one. I don't expect Mickey to be a fan the way I am, but it makes me a bit sad that he actively hates it.
>The movie really is porn for me, I add, in case he still doesn't get it.
>Wow, you'd really like fucking me then, a real blind man, no contacts necessary! :P :)
Then he asks me,
>So are you up for some playing over the phone too?
>Of course! Thanks for giving me your number. Sorry I haven't called yet, but since I was sick again (still?) my voice got weird again. It sucks, since I don't even feel congested anymore, but everyone I talk to says, "Wow, you have a cold!" Bleah. Also I'm busy with school work, double bleah.
>Well, let me know if you can still call sometime. :P or else. *spank*


  1. I love your "Dear Nice Guy" letter! That was the icing on the cake.

    1. Haha, thank you! I think today people recognize that guys who whine about that are actually not nice at all.