The best way to reach Atlantis is by drowning. So, yanno . . . be advised.
By the spring of 2007, the blog was settling into a predictable rhythm. I derived zero enjoyment from the notoriety we had garnered after the Britney shot; partly because it was fucking stupid but mostly because it wasn’t my personality. Blog hits were a currency I couldn’t relate to in the least. But rather than dwell on it, I kept my nose to the grind by rubbing more spice into the beast in order to cull that ching. I wrote provocative shit and connected with other bloggers and brainstormed ideas with Dan late in the night.
Dan wanted to schmooze and to get known and I wanted to write and be left the fuck alone, so we were able to achieve a perfect balance. We were vastly different people who found a righteous third pedal with which to ride this duct taped circus tricycle into a flow that had some keeps. And so what if the means to our endgame was polar bear opposite? We figured there’d be insurance for that.
As someone with depression, writing had become a beautiful outlet through which I could invite my inner tempest without need for a visit to the psych ward. When I wasn’t chitting with sports bloggers or chatting with food bloggers, I was commiserating with depressed peeps like me. I treated blogging the way I treat cocktail parties. Fetch a comfortable drink, find a spot on the fringe and then cozy up to someone who fits my perspective.
Unfortunately my love life didn’t follow the same set of rules. In this respect, I always seemed to find the loudest crash. After a few soft landings to break me in to the new old fashioned ways of romance, I’d gotten down to brass knuckles. In the months leading up to my head on collision with the “Dame”, my common sense had gone rogue warrior. A top five mishaps from that most interesting period? Sure why not . . .
5- Tracy loved Jaeger shots and revolvers. Moving right along . . .
4- Lizette gifted me an Irish soccer t-shirt after our St. Patrick’s Day hookup. Her gun toting baby daddy proved to be too expensive for my umm . . blood.
3- Gina smoked weed whilst driving and her hobbies included bar fights and tat collecting.
2- Karen was always there. Like when she needed a place to crash rent free. Or when she needed money. Or when she needed to recover from a bad breakup. Yep, she was there.
How do you solve a problem like Maria? Damned if I knew. The girl was TNT in spaghetti straps, with the ability to seduce a Pastor on Sunday morning. We’d reconnected at her birthday party the previous summer, where everyone had been invited to feel her new boobs during champagne toasts. Months later during a snowstorm, she invited me over for a private showing. She had a couple bottles of wine and smokes, which clinched the summit for me.
I’d been planning an exit strategy ever since, because every moment spent with her brought catastrophic risk. Girl had a posse of ex boyfriends with warrants and possessive ex girlfriends who hated men. Understandably, I never actually slept during the time I was sleeping with Maria. Thank God for Dan’s incredibly shitty judgement, or I might have ended up being immortalized on some after hours cable crime show.
As if Britney hadn’t harshed my mellow enough, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up to a post on our blog written by Maria. Evidently she had sweet talked Dan into letting her write with us after I kept turning her down. So it was that she treated our readers to the specs on her boob job, her crush on Jesus when times got tough. And oh . . sordid tales of sex with Marco.
My brain exploded, after which I deleted the post, changed the password on the blog and warned Dan that I wasn’t planning on giving it back so easily and that if he ever pulled some stupid shit like that again, I’d tell Emie about his recurring dreams. And then I broke up with Maria, which was awkward considering the fact we weren’t actually dating.
I decided to practice celibacy after that. It was a combination crash diet and detox program, with lots of early nights involved. I read like crazy and wrote like a maniac when I wasn’t running and meditating and for about a week and a half I thought I had the stuff of monks. Until Dan, bless his dark, misguided heart, turned me on to a blogger who would end up changing my life forever. She went by the moniker “Dame” and her blog was a literary cutlery set.
I still remember the first time I read her. She was promising to exact revenge on her former beloved in ways that would have had Messalina shuddering in her sandals. And while it was evident this fellow had proven to be a master cheat, the Dame’s punitive measures were, to put it mildly, extreme. Her vengeful anecdote didn’t mention water boarding, since it seemed too lenient a measure. Everything else was on the table, however.
She believed in an eye for an eye- as in, applying a skewer to his roving one. She talked about how she was going to sleep with his friends, his brother and maybe even his old man if it came to that. I was well aware these specific threats were made in jest, but I was also aware there was no jest in her enmity for the sonofabitch.
Her ramble was homicidal, with only trace elements of sarcasm involved, to keep you from calling the authorities; sort of like a tinctured brandy in a whodunit that lets the damsel escape to some exotic locale before a single badge makes the scene. She was straight up wicked in her brilliance, with the kind of cunning that John Grisham couldn’t touch with a satellite. She had two moves carved to a platinum inset before you stepped out of bed, and while Dan called her crazy, I knew she was something more than that. Entirely.
Truth be told, her ode to a lover gone wrong read insanely. It was the kind of beau bounty that should have had me running into the Atlantic Ocean and not coming up for air until I reached a well lit tunnel dressed in cherubs. That would have been the normal reaction, sure. But me?
I was falling.