I was (Marie) Kondo-ing as I do and I came across some old writing of mine.
I once dated a really complex, bad character (let’s be honest, I dated more than one), but this one in particular was quite epic. About 12 years ago, I decided to compile some of my dating stories and I was going to call it, “The Fallout Boys.”
This one dude was the inspiration for a few of the pieces.
I thought I would share a few of these today.
This one is called Damon.
I was in a sketch comedy group. I always had a crush on someon or another in the creative arena. Now being surrounded by the kind of creative boys I had been a fan of was very exciting. There was Adam, who played parody songs that were hysterical and made him a fan favorite. We would have those small moments where he would stroke my hair and tell me I am pretty. I would tell him that I think he is dynamic, as I give him a neck rub (theater people, amiright?). Like a huntress in an orange vest, I found my crush prey. I may not have the best eyelash batting moves, but I do have banter…and determination. I also like doing the chasing. Taking his cues, I called him and asked him out. Music grinds to a halt. Crickets chirp. The curtain came down with a thud. He politely declined but turned distant in a heartbeat. Just like that…my dreams of being the next Nichols and May lover team died on the phone. The next season of shows was unbearable as he actively ignore me, as if I had asked him to father my child.
As the performances carried on during our summer run, Adam “temporarily” dropped out of the group. Bye bye, Adam.
What remained was a rag tag group of gay men playing straight, one straight guy we thought was gay, several horny, single women (some straight, some bi) and one married woman who was thinking of having an affair. We were a time bomb of hormones.
It was one of those summer nights where the air smells clean and has a slight breeze. We performed our usual sketches but there were more ad libs than usual. I contributed to several of them, though I knew the director would chide us for going for the laugh.
After the show, I met up with my cast mates in the lobby to meet their guests they had brought to the show. I barely noticed the blond guy named Damon who came to see my cast mate, Easter. He was a mix of David Spade with Brad Pitt’s smile. He was attractive in a nerdy way. He looked like a tall boy, but not a tall man. He smiled at me and leaned in to whisper, “You were the funniest one up there tonight.”
I was a little taken aback, since we stood in earshot of my peers. Accepting compliments on the spot wasn’t my forte. I mumbled a polite, “thank you,” as I shuffled my feet and darted my eyes away from his gaze. On second thought, he was nerdier than handsome and not at all my type, so I excused myself from the group. Damon, go try your intense compliments on someone who will appreciate them. I left.
The following week, my friend and cast mate Sandy and I were driving her friend Marcy to a rehearsal for a radical play being held in a garage. Our cast mate, Easter was also in the play. And so was Damon. As we pulled up to the garage, Damon, leaning against a wall, smoking a cigarette, saw our car. He dropped his cigarette and dashed over with that same intense smile from the other night. He leaned in on the passenger side window where I sat and said, “Hey Sandy! Hey K! K, you were so great the other night.” Sandy, who was getting cranky from a caffeine withdrawal we were about to remedy, said, “Yeah, yeah, we were all great. OK, thanks. Bye.”
He continued to smile at me with that dopey, child-like gaze. “Come see our show, okay, K.”
“I’ll try,” I said, not sure if I was telling the truth or not.
“OKAY!” Sandy squawked.
“See you soon, K,” he said, backing away from the car and walking back into the theater. But not without turning around and waving good-bye.
He was actually taller than I had previously given him credit for. And for all his intensity, there was a slight coolness about him I hadn’t noticed until now.
As we drove away, Sandy said, “That guy is a piece of work!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I mean…he is the biggest scoundrel on that show. Easter and Marcy told me that he has tried to have sex with every girl in the cast and I think he is seeing 2 women from his last show. Plus, I think he is sleeping with the wardrobe girl.”
I wish I could deny this, but my interest was piqued. I would have to downplay my interest, at least in front of Sandy.
“That guy?” I said, trying to hide my excitement.
“Yeah, that guy who has been coming on strong to you. Watch out for him, K. Ugh, he is so obvious and lecherous. He is bad news.”
The fact that he looked like a nerdy boy but was apparently this pick up artist added a new layer of complexity. When he was just an intense, boyish fan, I had no interest in that kind of dynamic. But this…this was rich. This was dramatic. This was competition. This meant a challenge. An exercise in keeping the attention I hadn’t worked to get in the first place.
The huntress had been reawakened. My orange vest fit perfectly. I smelled a chase.