I think that most everybody has secrets. It could be any kind of secret. I won’t even pretend to make a list because there are literally millions of possible secrets each of us hold. I know I have more than a few. What would one example for me be? I’ve always wanted to know what it was like to perform oral sex on a woman. I want to know what it tastes like, feels like inside and out for her and on my finger and tongue. Is it gross? Does it smell like I smell (not the gross kind of smell). I just wonder. I’m not attracted to vaginas; in fact, I think they are really gross looking. Plus, I know what goes on down there so I really want nothing to do with that but it doesn’t stop the curiosity from sneaking up on me.
I think that the average person that gets to know me might come to a few conclusions about my personality. They’ll discover I’m brutally honest, loyal to a fault, possessive, uncaring, hard-working, emotional, thoughtless, reckless, and a whole bunch of other things but what they might not ever think is a huge part of what makes me who I am is that I am a hopeless romantic whose life revolves around sentimentalism and fantasy. I’ve always been like that and will probably die this way. What I find most strange about my romanticizing everything in my head is that if I left my husband home alone and came home to find rose petals all over the floor and lit candles, I’d probably throw up then laugh in his face. My idea of romance completely revolves around emotion, fantasy, and all of those “what if” thoughts that grow from possible missed opportunities.
I’ve written a total of 4 romance novels and no one has ever read them because I keep them locked behind a password protected file hidden in this computer I’m on right now. Kasper knows it exists but has no desire to read them (thank goodness because that would be so embarrassing). That was a lie; I only have 1 novel that I’m working on because the others burned when my hard drive crashed 2 years ago. It was devastating but I saw an opportunity. I’ve only started to rewrite one of them so far and it’s coming along quite well. I remember the wrong turns I took last time so it’s like rewriting the story, only better. I’ll still never let anyone read anything I write though. I like romance that revolves around tragedy. My stories have a lot of blood, rape, beatings, whatever. Because there has to be a victim before there’s a hero, right? We can’t find a golden light unless there’s blackness surrounding us, right? Maybe it’s not true, maybe it is. Who am I to tell?
The thing is, when I think of romance I think of lonely women that aren’t really attractive at all, sitting at home with their cats fantasizing about a life of love that will never happen to them for whatever reason. Kind of like Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone,(don’t pretend that wasn’t a good movie), minus the fact that she was actually hot by the end of the film. I’m not at all like that. I’m not lonely in the sense that I am married, I do have kids and I have no cats. I don’t dream about romance because I don’t think it exists, it’s the exact opposite. I know for a fact it exists because I’ve been lucky enough to experience it…more than once. And I mean the kind of romance that I appreciate, not the lace and rose petals kind. What I think makes my view on this more interesting is that I don’t think it’s just women that believe in fantasy or romance. I also don’t think it’s only fat, ugly and lonely old men that believe in it either.
My most recent run-in with a “what if” fantasy/romance moment occurred a few years ago, about 6 months before my stroke in 2011. I grew up in an apartment complex in New England. It’s still one of the longest periods of time I’ve ever spent living in one location. I made a lot of friends there because it was such a huge place with two properties separated by a U-street. It was easy to cross for us kids during a time when danger wasn’t quite real yet (mid 90’s). Bad things only happened in other places to other people. I had this neighbor downstairs that quickly became my best friend even though he was 3 grades younger than me. We were awesome together. We did everything together. We were like Vada and Thomas J in My Girl. We were completely inseparable. I slept at his apartment on weekends, I even went with him to his dad’s during custody visits. When it rained, we’d chill out in his apartment playing Sonic on Sega or playing Sorry! which was our favorite game. He’d show up with Blow Pops for me because he knew how much I loved them. He was my bestest friend ever. When my step-dad started molesting me, I started to change and it changed us and even now I’m starting to cry because it was just one more thing Krank Ficken had taken from me, my best friend. When Allmotor moved, I was in the seventh grade, he was in fourth. I was heart-broken but I got to visit a couple of times and spent the night. I felt normal again. The last time I saw him he told me without apology that I was too different. I smoked cigarettes and pot and had a lot of boyfriends. Jesus, I was like 12, what did either of us know? It would be the last time I saw him and I started to forget things about him, about us. I moved on, we moved on.
When I was 19 my mom somehow managed to find his mom. They were good friends at one point in time. An address was passed along and I sent this ridiculously long letter filled with secrets and a photo of what I had grown to look like. I never got a response and learned that it was because he moved shortly after or before I sent the letter. Now someone out there has a pic of me at 19 and a letter filled with my dumb secrets. I never sign my last name on anything it’s not required to be on anymore. If my dream of being an author were to somehow magically become real, I’ll write without my last name, without a doubt.
Moving on; life moves forward whether we want it to or not. I grow up, date, get herpes, move around, get engaged, get homeless, get drunk, move around, date…there’s a pattern here. Then I’m 26, married, a mom, and I’m messing around on Facebook, bored out of my mind. I’m looking up random people for no reason. I find Allmotor, creep his profile like a normal, sane person would. He’s a damn good looking fellow. He finally grew into those buck teeth. He looks an awful lot like near every man I ever fell incredibly hard for, Kasper included. Blonde-ish hair, big blue eyes, goofy smile. He even has near full sleeve tats on both arms. He still skateboards and has added fast cars to his list of activities. He likes to build engines and race. I’m fascinated and send a friend request. He accepts within a day or two. Weeks go by with no communication. I always keep my chat off, always have, always will. One day, I get a message and I’m going back and forth with the e-mails with someone and I finally say, get on FB, get on chat. I turn my chat on and bam, he’s there like he was waiting the whole time. I forget whoever it was I was e-mailing and talk solely to him. He remembers me, remembers everything, including things I totally and completely forgot. He wants to talk by phone, he has to. I agree but tomorrow, okay? Fine.
I got to work, do my thing, whatever. I get home, kiss Kasper good-bye before he heads off to work and immediately pick up my phone. Allmotor answers on the first ring, he was waiting. Here’s where it gets depressing. We talked for hours. I tell him I’m married; he’s in a heavy relationship with a stripper who has two kids and is going to school. I think of my stretch marks, ew, and crappy retail job, can’t compete with that. We caught up on everything and move to the past. He tells me I was his first kiss but I don’t remember. He said it was on his cheek and his mom was mad because he refused to wash it for days. I tell him I remember the bloody nose he gave some neighborhood kid; turns out they’re great friends now. He tells me he hasn’t played Sorry! since the last time we played together
I can’t even look at the game without thinking of you, Kt.
I tell him I remember sleeping on his living room floor beside him, the first ‘guy’ I ever ‘slept’ with. He tells me he keeps a bag of blue raspberry blow pops in his house at all times because it reminds him of us as kids with blue mouths and laughter between us. Our secret world. We both remember his awesome snow sled that had a brake handle. We would take it in the woods and go down this thin path that ended with a rock that was like a ramp. The goal was to not hit the tree behind it. Stupid game, right? He remembers me, not just me but me. Is that even possible? He tells me how he reacted when his mom finally broke the news about Krank Ficken to him. He asks if it was true, I tell him it was. He told me he cried, he was so angry and hurting for me and he wished for so long that I had told him. He wanted so badly to help me but it was already too late, I was gone, we were thousands of miles apart when he finally found out. I told him everything that happened, he asked me to change the topic but I couldn’t. I feel remorse when I think back on that phone call. I should have listened to his request but for what purpose? He tried changing the topic, talked about the many afternoons we rode bikes together; the many times we played in the woods together. But I keep bringing up Krank Ficken. I think it’s because of how talking to Allmotor made me realize that it wasn’t just my sense of self-respect that had been taken by him but so much more. It would take the stroke for me to fully understand what exactly had been taken and lost because of Krank Ficken. The denial and cluelessness lasts for a very, very long time.
At the end of the phone call I knew I wouldn’t hear from him again. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. It was painful. I knew that he had been harboring this image of me, this perfect woman that he had created because he didn’t know who or what I was, just what he knew of me in our shared childhood. He had a romantic fantasy and talking to me had torn it to shreds. I could feel his reaction to it through the phone. Every time I talked and revealed another part of my changed self to him it altered the recipe that made me up in his mind. How long and often had he thought of me over the years? It sounded like I was a common thread of thought in his life…until we talked. Maybe that is wishful thinking on my part; what woman doesn’t want to be the woman that keeps a man’s mind occupied when reality is just too real? I feel like the image he had of me, the image that is not me at all, maybe helped create the man that he is, some character that helps define him. If it’s true that’d be amazing.
I haven’t gone digging for anyone since. I don’t want to disrupt anyone’s fantasy with truth. I’m much better as your fantasy, trust me; and you’re probably much better as mine. Allmotor and I do not talk and have not talked since that phone call. I’ve destroyed something that I didn’t know existed and that was a romantic part of him. Maybe he lays down roses for his girlfriend or wife – I have no idea if he’s with the same woman as he was then. It sounded serious even though at first he told me that he would be on his way if I said come get me. I bet he’s glad I didn’t say “I’m hanging up to pack!” especially since I’ve had an unavoidable stroke since then ha!
The point is, this guy is a tool, a douche bag. He’s everything that women don’t look for in a man but are still attracted to somehow. You can tell just by listening to the way he talks about his mom with so little respect. She’s not great but she still raised him, stayed by his side when she could have bailed on him. So this guy is a dick yet he still had a romantic thread in him; he still had this fantasy about a girl he adored that grew into the woman of his dreams. And when he discovered she was as normal and functionally messed up as the next woman, what happens? I have no idea because we don’t talk! And I’m not asking. So this is my secret: I’m a hopeless romantic and I believe men are too. Maybe it’s that most of them were until they discovered that the woman they kept hiding in their head is no saint and is far from perfect. I feel ike I ruined this dude’s idea of romance and it bothers me. What’s worse is that he managed to confirm my belief that romance and fantasies created with emotions and feelings is real and it doesn’t just reside in the hearts of ugly, older, lonely people but within even the ‘coolest’ of dudes and somewhat happily married women.
I’m an awful woman and wife.