By Carrie Thompson
A dimly lit bar in Larchmont Village. I entered with the outfit and the intent, to grab something hot and bring it home with me. I find a barstool and order a double Bulleit rye neat and flip hair over bare shoulders. The Chilli Peppers played in the background, urging “give it away now.” Give me a chance, will you…
Enter him, a tall, muscular brunette, glasses, and neatly kept facial hair wrapped a strong jawline. I guess I have a certain type of white boy. Among empty bar stools, he chose the seat next to me with a half-smirk. He takes a distant whiff of the liquor in my glass, then orders himself a Bulleit. A good nose, wonder what else he’s good at…
He returns my drink and introduces himself with a deep and long drawl, “I’m the man of your dreams. Aleksander*.” Tumblers are refilled with whiskey, eventually emptying the bottle. Laughs graduate to kisses. What’s with all the trepidation? I know what I’m after, let’s get to it.
Inside his West Hollywood apartment clothes slip off, beers are spilled, we fumble back to his platform bed and… Fall asleep because we were too drunk to fuck.
I awake to Aleksander’s laughter, as he recites an iconic quote from David Duchovny’s character Hank Moody, in a mutually beloved Showtime show, Californication. We watched a few episodes on-demand before I gathered my clothes and rushed back to Pasadena.
Nights we shared became weeks, we talked and texted, but abstained from the friction and moisture thing. We just enjoyed each other’s company, until, he ghosted me. Basic bitch move, but it happens. At the time, I was hurt and didn’t understand why the sudden communication blackout, when everything seemed fine. But you know how men are. Well, boys, can be cowards.
The only plausible reason I could think of was, one day he said in passing, “Carrie, you’re really vulgar.” Now, we’re both watching Californication, the aforementioned quote and tag-line of the 7-year-long show was David Duchovny saying “MOTHA-FUCKAAAHHHH!” Now it wasn’t what he was saying, it was the delivery that made the quote a fan favorite. But somehow, my usage of the words fuck, shit, pussy, shib-bid-dwee-bee-dop are vile and off-limits.
My quality of character isn’t lessened by use of ‘curse’ words. Men are celebrated for bold behaviors and lascivious language. Worse, any form of black expression brings about condemnation. Obscenities do not limit the expanse of one’s vocabulary. At the end of the day, Aleksander has every right to desire a meek-mouthed and delicate woman.
I wish that was the end of the story…
Fast-forward five years, present-day 2018. I had previously worked as the head of Receivables for Fashion conglomerates in Downtown LA and FINALLY, I’m in Production Finance at a TV and Commercial Company on Melrose. The job I’d been waiting for my entire life!
While reviewing payrolls for our network and SVOD shows, it was time to distribute checks to above-the-line employees in the office. As I stuffed an envelope with a particularly sizable payout, I saw a familiar name next to a net pay of $5,100.00 per week for a name spelled similarly to Aleksander’s. Nah, it couldn’t be. Was the address in West Hollywood?
It is chiefly my job to deliver checks, and if it is not the guy I hooked up with 5 years ago, there was no way out of knowing either way… But life wouldn’t be that cruel. Would it?
I entered the Production bullpen. One-by-one, checks dwindle down to one envelope, Aleksander in West Hollywood faced a dual iMac monitor with eyes on a quasi-pixelated logo of a Netflix show. His chair swiveled toward the sound of my voice…
Something in his eyes froze, as they recalled our shared memories. Five years of life’s pressures had delicately aged him to look exactly like the man that I’m currently, madly, deeply in love with. Aleksander looks like a Y-chromosome split off of my Silverlake Composer, Trevor.
Before “happy friday” could finish rolling off of my lips, I dropped his check and ran into our company gym and locked the door. I needed a minute. I felt sick.
I called Trevor and told him everything, I told him about how I was still attracted to the face that made me feel so little, so unloveable. How could I think about Trevor when I look into the eyes of someone that broke my spirit? Aleksander made me feel like I needed to, fix me, and ‘tone it down’ little black girl so I can ‘keep a man.’
Trevor listened until I flushed the toxins out of my tear stream. He replied with the expected minimalist wisdom: “…Babe. Fuck him. I love you.”
To end yet another Shakespearean dating tragedy, you’ll never regret saving money or saving your chocha. I’m with a man right now who loves the word fuck, just as much as I. Some find four-letter-words derogatory, but this isn’t a bible-belt preschool.
Do not ever let a man (or the opinion of anyone not paying your bills) silence, control, or refurbish your personality. Statement inclusive of the black community and potential white male suitors. Allow life to exist both in and outside your female archetype and allow the woman on the other side of the screen or sidewalk to define what is or isn’t suitable for her alone.
*Names were changed to protect the innocent, and my ass 🙂