This is a story that I tell. It’s true. A guy with a tattoo on his face started wooing me. It came out of nowhere. I was spending time in the library and he worked in the library. He told me he had a large puppet stage and that he could bring it to my house. I was ambivalent about this person; he was attractive enough and seemed quick but nothing about him really drew me. I didn’t understand why he wanted to talk to me. Maybe I was turned off because his eyes were blue or maybe it was because above his eyes he had a tattoo of a small dot, a bindi, like what an Indian woman wears. This was his only tattoo. I let him pursue me because I didn’t value my time very highly at that point.
I don’t think I ever saw his puppet stage. At some point we ended up having sex and it was very good. I guess I’d never been with any guys who were good in bed and he was someone who was technically and maybe spiritually “good in bed.” I have confirmation from another girl in town who backs me up on this, the experience is much better than average. I came to understand that he was enthusiastic about seeing me because he was trying to break up with his girlfriend, whom my best friend said was pretty but I thought her head was too large. After the sex happened I felt less ambivalent about him. He left my house one time and I threw a shoe out the window at his body. He didn’t like that. The event didn’t seem pivotal.
We had some plans to hang out before the Christmas break and he didn’t call me. I stood at his door with a blue ballpoint pen and scribbled a bit on the door frame. His apartment was a dump. One time he drew a large X on my leather bag for no reason, just real quick like a joke but it was permanently on my bag. He had oral sex with a girl who was a junkie sometime around the time we started seeing each other. He was generally a good person but I think possibly he was an alcoholic. I never saw him drunk but he was apparently eighty-sixed from all the bars in town and he told me he had thrown a municipal trash bin lid through the window of the men’s apparel store. I am maybe unclear whether he was good or not. He looked and talked like a good person but his behavior was questionable. One story he told me about himself was memorably disturbing. He had a job in an ice cream store and one day he stole $20 from the register. When the owner discovered the missing money he fired both employees who had been working, both this guy and some innocent girl who worked the same shift. I asked if he told the owner he had taken the money so that the other girl could get her job back and he said no. This seemed to me the definition of not being a good person but I was still interested in him.
I want to convey that there was a kind of lightness to his aspect that made him not appear bad. Maybe it seemed like his ugly behavior stemmed from a source of too much curiosity, as if he was looking at what existed in the world and his eyes stretched to encompass all the things that he saw, like a picture of the sky that is blue with white clouds and then darkness comes rolling into the picture from the edges and you just let it roll in. I don’t know and ultimately I don’t really care because he didn’t end up becoming a permanent part of my life even though I probably would have let him.
By the end of our involvement I wanted him pretty bad. He came back from break and got back together with his girlfriend or never successfully left her and I’d dodge around town with some flames coming off my skin looking for him and talking about how hot he had become to me. Only one friend of mine agreed that he was attractive and this was my butchiest lesbian friend who once told me, laughing, “I know that I could get any girl in town into bed, but I don’t really think I could get even one guy here to sleep with me.” My butch friend called the guy “dot boy” and it was meaningful to me that she confirmed his worth as an obsession because I’d been to bed with her and she knew what hot was. (I’d probably have ultimately preferred to be sleeping with my butch friend but I had missed my chance when she wanted me and moreover I was chiefly compelled in this era by missed opportunity. I could perceive what I wanted most clearly from the distance of not having it.)
During this time I experienced three occasions of something I am going to call “extreme intuition.” At the time they felt sort of like panic attacks. Three different times I was standing on the street downtown and got a sudden urgent feeling that I needed to go away from where I was standing immediately. My body yelled at me in clear language (sweat and tremors) to GO AWAY NOW. The feeling was so intense and so apparently random that it made me feel compelled to find out what would happen if I didn’t go away. What could be so bad? I forced myself to stay put and of course each time the guy with the tattoo came walking down the street in my direction. It was eerie, particularly because not long before that time I had actually been going around town seeking him out and my mind had kind of been always on the hunt for him, and I had never once found him. Apparently as I didn’t have the cognitive ability to reject this person another part of me had to step in and move me physically away. Do you believe that such a phenomenon could be real? I swear it actually happened and by the second or third occurrence I really started to have a new trust and respect for the voice that tells me what to do. That part of me is paying more attention than I am so I try to listen to it.
It’s cute that I believe that the voice I hear talking to me will definitely lead me somewhere positive but in my heart or in my gut I really do. When the voice tells me to go to the gym and I go to the gym I end up feeling better than I did before I went to the gym. The voice knew. Last time it told me to go to the gym and I followed the command I ended up laying in the sauna like a naked bacon on a plank and I suddenly came up with a bunch of new ideas about things I want to try creatively that I am very excited about and very happy to posses. Would I have gotten the ideas if I didn’t follow the voice? I’m not very well suited to complex philosophical questions, I watch 60’s French films for the furniture and the outfits, and I think that no, I would never have gotten the ideas. Maybe something similar but not those ideas exactly. It’s very tidy that I think that I somehow ended up with an A+ intuitive sense, one that hooks me up and gets me on the list to the better version of life. Every action a person takes is following some sort of inner command and dot boy no doubt heard a special voice that told him to throw the trash bin lid through the window of the men’s store. He listened to whatever he listened to and maybe he just ended up with a shitty voice? He made crappy paintings of sad looking harlequins, which I always tried to pretend didn’t exist but were hard to ignore because he had them hung up all over his house, and the voice that told him to paint these pictures and hang them was either the same voice or coexisted with one that told him how to excellently get a girl off in bed and make the room rain stars so I really don’t know how it all works.
No, wait, maybe I do? You have to wait for the voice to give you the command twice. I forgot to mention this. If you hear an inner voice say, “Kick that toddler in the face,” “Jump off this bridge!,” “Eat a dirty cigarette butt.,” you don’t do these things. I’ve thought about kicking a random toddler in the face so many times. The first command you hear is just like a voice testing a microphone to see if it can be heard. You have to wait for the repetition to know it’s a real intuition. If it’s telling you to eat a dirty cigarette butt or kick a toddler, maybe wait for it to repeat several more times just to be sure you’re hearing it correctly and it’s not saying “flick a modeler,” because it’s quite possible you’re getting the message wrong. Listening is a practice.