A Nice Guy

I don’t like to talk about my good qualities, only my vices, because otherwise you might think I was lying, because most good guys are just liars trying to get laid, right?  Or maybe the bad ones are just fakers trying to get fucked.  Either way though, this is my story—a confession, if you will.

***

Behind every story there’s a sweetness, a sliver of truth that didn’t make the papers.  That’s what makes a story great, the hidden underscore that people wouldn’t expect.  Sure, I was a cliché: I did things that others may have done way before me.  But was I really?  The stories I tell, the misadventures I boast about, are missing certain central pieces.  I only tell the gritty surface of my stories, and beneath the surface there is a depth that some might not understand.  I was a sweet kid.  Women loved me.  I was the kind of kid who stood at the party and didn’t talk to any girl there and yet I was the one they all wanted to fuck.  Alotta douchebags and assholes do this too—it’s their whole game.  Me, I never played any games: I wasn’t a player.  I was just shy and awkward and most the time felt as if I didn’t have anything to say anyway.  But get me started and I’d talk to you about poetry and philosophy and the words I used were poetic and in the thoughts I constructed lingered a depth so deep that any girl in a one hundred-yard radius would want to know me.  I didn’t play games: I wasn’t a player.  Over time, though, I learned to be tough and sometimes I would show off to my friends, act cool and whatnot.  I could have done anything I wanted back then; I could have conquered the whole goddamn world if I wanted to—and I was on my way to doing it, too.  DP once said that I got more pussy than tampons.  Did I?  Or did I just happen to stir more hearts than a defibrillator?  I was intriguing, to say the least—an enigma, so to speak.

I remember riding the train with Andrew and Travis and my big red boom-box which I called my “Stink-Box.”  We were heading into the city proper to get drunk.  Across the way was this young, petite Goth chick, with black fishnet tights, black skirt, black top, black fingerless gloves, black makeup, etcetera.  She was listening to headphones.  I said hi.  She took off her headphones and said: Huh?  Hi.  Hi, she replied, warily.  Why are you listening to headphones? I said, in my shyest, most curious voice.  She shrugged at me, then moved to place the buds back in her ears.  I said: Look!  With a sweep of my hand I indicated my Stink-Box, flanked by me and my two closest friends, who sat there and stared blankly at my performance.  She ignored me and continued to insert the buds into her ears.  Do you wanna join us and listen to my music?  She shrugged.  Sure, why not?  She got up and moseyed across the aisle and sat in our vicinity.  Into the city we exchanged some brief small talk, which, where me and my friends were concerned, was never too small.  I believe her stop came before us—Fenway was it—and then she got off, to never be seen by us again, swallowed up by the city at large.  We got off next—Harvard Square.

We got drunk, high, and rowdy.  We were bulls let loose on a city overflowing with targets and subjects, people to abuse fuck & disintegrate.  We viewed the world as if it were Silly Puddy, stretchy slimy & so much fun to move and manipulate—it was there for our enjoyment.  We were kings, living the sickest of dreams.  Booze fueled our evenings, marijuana devoured our minds.  Eventually, though, we had to hop on the train and head home.
But there she was.  She got on at Fenway—the same stop she had gotten off at.  I saw her take a seat across from us.  Just like before.  My friends sat beside me unfazed by her being there.  They were absorbed; they were dissolved; they had no resolves but that of mind-numbing self-destruction—they were gone….
Me, I was gone too, which is how I had the courage to do what I had done next.

I shouted: Hey!  She didn’t respond.  Hey!!!  Waving my hands above my head.  Hey, you!  She removed her ear buds and looked in my direction.  Come over here, I said.  She did.  She sat beside me.  No, don’t sit there, I directed, boldly.  Sit on my lap!  No please or thank you.  Just an order—an expectation.  I was drunk and entitled.  No, entitled isn’t the right word.  I was blessed—with good looks, charisma, and charm.  I didn’t deserve for her to sit there.  I wasn’t a king, even though back then I might have disputed you on this fact.  I wasn’t a god, either; just a clueless Punk rocker who could tell you the sweetest of lies, bring tears to your eyes, show you the twenty-two layers of the sky, and of course, do what I was about to do right now.  She got up and scooted over and dropped her butt in my lap.  Without missing a beat I brought my lips to her ear and whispered: So, I’m making this movie called Sex Drugs & Violence, and it’s got plenty of drugs and violence but no sex.  So come back to my place and blow me so I can film it and use it in my movie?  She didn’t even have to think about it: she instantly said yes, and my two friends were mesmerized by my boldness.  I understand Travis’s fascination, as he was never getting any of his own, but sometimes Andrew himself fascinated me—why did he seem so impressed??  He was more of a lady’s man than I ever could be: a real looker, a slick talker, a lover not a fighter.  All I had going for me were my big feet and big hands and carefree demeanor.  But whatever, I was going home with this 18-year-old petite Goth chick I just met on the train, and the two of them were going home alone.  I didn’t care how they felt.

So, I guess you could say I objectified her—or at least that’s what a feminist might say.  This is the story I tell.  This is My Act, My Game, the game that I play, so that you think I’m an asshole cuz it’s easier to be seen as a bad guy than a good guy cuz good guys get looked at it with shame and disgust and the bars they set are way too high for me to maintain, anyway.  But I left out the part about us smoking weed on my front steps, alone, and talking for hours.  Yes, the twenty-two layers of the sky is quite the fascinating place to visit when you enter that state of delirium.  I was nice to her!  Then she blew me on camera—I guess I wasn’t so nice to her, but it’s not like I forced her to do it, anyway—and of course we fucked, although the sex was nothing to be proud of, for I was much too drunk and high to perform successfully.  Then we cuddled and slept like that till the morning came.
At one point during the night I asked her why she came home with me.  Doesn’t seem too safe, you know.  She said it’s because I seemed like a nice guy.  I’m sure that’s not true.  I probly seemed like an asshole.  But then again, I guess her intuition wasn’t too far off, because beneath my tough-guy exterior was a sweet kid crying to be heard.

 

The following week, sitting at the Fenway station with Travis and Andrew, I saw her again, holding some guy’s hand.  I was suddenly the asshole again—I mean, now I had an audience.  The guy must have been her boyfriend.  I remembered she had mentioned something about a boyfriend.  I shouted her name—yes, I still remembered her name.  She wheeled her head around to face me.  You left your Marylyn Manson CD at my place, I said.  She turned back around and pretended to not notice me.  Andrew and Travis laughed.
As she and her boyfriend walked away, she turned her head again and smiled at me.  The sex wasn’t so great, so what was she smiling about?  Maybe I actually was A Nice Guy.

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