Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paranoia. Part II.

In this story, I am not the hero (but like I had to tell you THAT...). I don't mind being honest about the fact that when I was young, I may have been a self-centered jerk. Most likely, I will realize at forty-two that I was egocentric at thirty-two. In fact, I hope for that. I hope I keep growing and evolving.

If you didn't read Paranoia, read it first. I mean, if you want to. If you don't care about me or my blog, then fine. Skip it and just read this. Fine. That's fine. Go right ahead. You're missing out. But do what you want. Who am I to advise you? I'm sure the back-story is completely unnecessary and I'm sure you can find several individuals who will pitch in during a gripe-session about my needless wordiness. I'll give you their email addresses. You guys can meet up for coffee.

To pick up where I left off, Ted asked me to marry him after three or four years of wishy-washy behavior towards me and the relationship. I said no, and goodbye forever.

The following school year, the Scorpio who'd taught me that men can be passionate and vibrant (rather than dead inside like withered autumn leaves, like Ted) moved to the Midwest to take care of his grandfather. We fell out of contact and I began dating a beautiful bead-maker with Native American roots. He made me bracelets and necklaces when he couldn't sleep because of a rare condition involving asthma, and taught me how playing the banjo can be sexy and not just silly.

I romanticize this because I can—it's in the past now. You know how it is.

I'm telling you this next part so you can see how I was somewhat cruel.

The next summer, the bead-maker wanted me to stay in our college town, but I insisted on moving back home to work. It crushed him and I thought he was just being ridiculous. While I was in the city, we had some kind of misunderstanding (I could detail it, but for brevity's sake, I don't) and he vanished. I was lonely and broken-hearted.

So what did I do? The only wise thing a moron can do. I called Ted.

In my defense, I didn't have any friends in the city. People got married and moved away. I had spent three or four years chasing Ted and never had time to nurture friendships.

I only wanted to go sky-diving. Something really crazy. Because the bead-maker had left me cold and lonely and I thought in all my theatrics that I had nothing to live for.

Ted and I went sky-diving. Then after that, he wanted to date again. I relented to just "hanging out." Cruel. I know, because I was really set on never getting into another exclusive relationship with him. I mean, honestly and stupidly, I thought that if I spent time with him and he'd changed and treated me better, then I could see us getting back together. So I wasn't a complete monster. You know?

But my how the tables had turned....

When fall came and it was time to go back to college, I let Ted help me move. And like a mean jerk, when he left to go back to the city that night, I said good riddance. It's kind of hazy. Maybe we spent a few weekends together wherein I tried to see if he had suddenly become chivalrous and cool and sweet and not small-hearted and etc. And maybe not. My memory fails me.

I began dating someone else. I told Ted that it was really over. Good luck. He accused me of being a jerk and I said, I know, you're right, it was unfair of me to ask you to go sky-diving with me. But we'll always have Paris, kid. He didn't think that was funny.

I thought he was REALLY gone this time.

Sometime that winter, I learned about eBay. I began bidding on things. I really really wanted this stupid script to the movie "Grosse Point Blank" because I fancied that if I had it, I could definitely write a blockbuster romantic comedy. Like a fool I used my unique last name as my screen name on eBay. Two of the auctions I'd participated in on other items (LP's of "Astral Weeks") got snaked from me at the last second. I was feeling pretty bitter about losing.

But there I was, winning the ridiculous script because NO ONE WAS BIDDING ON IT. My day had come at last. Victory never looked so scrumptious. Suddenly, out of nowhere, some jerk bid against me. One person. Being very competitive, I fumed. The bid war began. I had to win.

I felt strongly that if ONLY I HAD THIS SCRIPT, all my problems would be solved. The script I was working on in my spare time would magically become the golden script, the script to rewrite history, the script to turn the Sahara into verdant fields of corn, putting an end to hunger. I needed that script so bad. I needed to KNOW THE KEY to making my script* enchanting and the key was in the "Grosse Point Blank" script.

Naturally, I emailed the competing bidder. Or maybe mysterious-bidder emailed me first. In any case, I pled my case. We quickly struck up an email relationship because I have a tragic weakness for emailing. Want to disarm me? Send me a compelling email and expect a response in return, THEN write me back and charm me completely with your wit, your clever insights, and your sparkling intellect. I'll be putty in your hands.

It's disgusting. But also, isn't it awesome?

Mysterious bidder was named Rob. He lived in San Diego. He had a girlfriend named Laura. Laura was great, but she was mad at Rob and they were on the brink of breaking up because Laura wanted to live with Rob, but somehow Rob had strong core values and thought that was wrong and he didn't think it right to take advantage of her. So Laura was dating other guys to make Rob jealous—turns out, what she really wanted was Rob to marry her**.

There were signs. I'm not a moron (though all clues say otherwise). When Ted and I were dating, we communicated by email A LOT. People have tics in the way they speak that show up in their writing. I started to feel like I was emailing Ted. I tricked Rob into describing himself. How could he lie?

Rob looked a lot like Ted.

But Ted denied it.

*A compelling tale about a college age girl who writes a letter to John Cusack, which he answers, and then of course he falls in love with her, and the college girl's dreams come true, etc. Contact me if you'd like to buy the rights to this potentially surprise hit.

**This is sort of the plot to the film/book "High Fidelity." Notice a pattern? No, not a pattern with my former love for John Cusack, but the other pattern.

No comments: