Better To Be Single Than Date A Deceiver
Getting over a fatal attraction.
She was beautiful and she was sharp. I don’t blame myself for being attracted, but by all means, you might find the grim reaper fascinating but you don’t slap on a sexy negligee and invite him into your bed. Unless you want to die.
My first mistake came the very first time I stayed over. I awoke the next morning to find her, well, not in bed with me. Perhaps she was humming softly and preparing a breakfast feast for her newfound lover and future partner, I thought. I could almost smell the fresh, local maple syrup she was surely decanting and heating ever-so-slightly so that it would reach the ideal temperature when it was poured onto my Texas French toast, achieving the maximum yum factor and thus winning my heart over forever.
As it turns out she was nowhere to be found. No real smells coming from the kitchen, less a faint foul odor from the inordinate amount of empty beer bottles that had been consumed the night before. I went back to bed, caring enough about wanting to sleep off the hangover to quiet the unsettled feeling in my gut. Could just be those cheese fries I downed at 3 a.m.
I went back to bed, not thinking too much of it. Maybe there was a bathroom somewhere else and she was having a private moment. Or maybe she had the urge for some warm underwear, the kind that only a run-through with the dryer could produce.
Some undetermined amount of time later she climbed into bed.
“Where were you?” I asked.
“Oh, just in Cara’s room,” she said.
Cara was her housemate, a boisterous and well-endowed gal.
“Sometimes we like to cuddle.”
Anything that happened after that point should have been my liability. I mean, who would tolerate their new girlfriend climbing into bed with her housemate on your first night together (or any morning, afternoon, or night for that matter) whether it was to cuddle, fuck, or knit scarves? It just wasn’t right. Yet somehow, I was so dumbstruck by her knowledge of art history or her talented tongue or something that I swept a tell-tale moment under the rug of perpetual denial.
I continued on with her for a year and a half. There were warning signs along the way – the occasional distant look on her face when we were together, what might have been a fading hickey – but I quieted those voices of doubt in my head, shoving them back into the shadows, refusing to examine further because the good times were the best I ever had. We explored new neighborhoods and one another’s bodies, finding beauty and excitement in everything we did together. She was an artist, crazy but brilliant. She saw the things that others didn’t, the way light refracted on the subway pole and danced in our pupils, the stoic look in the eyes of a homeless man, the contours of the human body. I lived with the awareness that she had some issues, prone to fits of rage and bouts of immobility where she couldn’t so much as handle driving to the grocery store to buy milk, part textbook bipolar with a twinge of psychotic episodes thrown into the mix (she had an aunt that had been diagnosed schizophrenic and had been locked up in a facility for decades), but I still allowed her into my heart, rendering myself vulnerable and expectant.
We shared intellectually-stimulating conversation, steamy bedroom fun, and exchanged gooey love letters and poems where she bestowed compliments and promises. She far exceeded anyone I had ever connected with in so many ways. How could I sabotage it by raising questions about her honesty and loyalty or holding her accountable for her mental health issues?
And then one day the true she came out. I received a phone call from a guy I knew as her acquaintance (and drug dealer) wanting to know why I was fucking his girlfriend of three years.
Flabbergasted was an understatement. My lesbian girlfriend of a year and a half couldn’t possibly be in a long-term relationship with the guy who sold her dime bags of pot!
I stayed on the phone with him for nearly two hours, mostly in listen mode, frozen in shock and on the verge of a sadness that would infiltrate every pore and dominate my every waking moment for months to come.
I called her seeking clarification. But she never answered the phone when I called. And she never called me back.
Months later, when the brutal burn turned into a steady sting, I woke up one day and realized just how much better it was to be single than living in the subtle chains of deception. I pledged never to submit again.