Saturday, February 26, 2005

Cuckold Cocked: The Power of Poon




















Names have been changed, scenarios condensed... but all of this actually happened...

In the time I've spent on the planet earth, I'd like to think that I've managed to get a grip on the inner intricacies of male-female relationships in contemporary America but a recent chain of events have smashed my concepts and theories into a thousand pieces and scattered them to the winds. This chapter in my story began when I landed a J-O-B on the editorial staff of a dot.com in L.A. [see Walk Through the Fire post] As I settled into the groove with my new co-workers I began to hit it off with this older woman from Europe, we'll call her Ute. About eight years older, this lady was a hottie. She was single, divorced with no crumb snatchers to hold her down and she was flirting -- often a good sign.

Ute seemed to have it all together; she was decisive and sure of herself, in short, the antithesis of all the ladies closer to my age bracket that I'd pursued in the past. We began to hook up on the DL, a dinner here, a movie there, etc. Initially, playing our cards close was the rule of thumb and our workaday contemporaries in the office were none the wiser - it was perfect! I was having my cake and eating it too, no pun intended. By the third month, however, the cloak-and-dagger exoticness of the scenario began to dull around the edges.

One night over drinks in some Italian restaurant in Los Feliz, I committed a cardinal sin of the dating rulebook. I'd like to say that the combination of scampi bette and the wine weakened my resolve but I'd be a liar-in-the-wink. My faux pas was that I opened up emotionally to Ute that night like I never had before. My rationale was that coming clean was the next logical stage but man was I wrong.

Note to self: the woman will let you know when she's ready to go to the proverbial "next step" on the relationship stairway to heaven - so shut your trap, pay the waiter, keep grinning and enjoy the ride. After that night and a couple of sub par trysts later, Ute began to fade away with maneuvers that would make Herschel Walker proud. First at work, then on the phone and finally one day I looked up and she was in my rearview mirror taking the off ramp from The Freeway of Love - and she cruised on down to "It's Better-than-Ever Street."

What came next was that special kind of hell that can only be experienced during the emotional vacuum of remorse that follows a clandestine on the job poke-in-the-whiskers:
1.) I had to see her everyday at work, 2.) apparently this frauline possessed that whole German precision thing because in a few days she was already slipping off to lunch with some other schlub from New Accounts and lastly, 3.) it became readily apparent that our "classified ops" were now subject to the 2 week Post-Coital Freedom of Information Act - all that butter and no toast.

I felt as if I were laying on the muddy ground of a coliseum in a pool of my own blood while the hoi poloi swilling grappa watched me slowly expire from afar, like all of the vanquished gladiators in the battle of the sexes who went before me, I was forced to eat my heart out with a sullied spoon. Although I felt like a doofus maximus, after a few days I got it together. I ignored the wiseacres on the whisper circuit and did the "old focus on my work thing" while I silently licked my wounds.

One day one of my "concerned" female colleagues - one of the frauline's running partners that I'd dubbed "the ludaligen" - cornered me by the coffee machine to ask me what was wrong, because "I'd been acting differently lately," as she emoted with an I-already-know Cheshire grin. Staring straight at her, without missing a beat, I did what I'd advise any man in similar circumstances to do - I lied like cheap welcome mat while feigning the most earnest, Oscar-worthy facial expressions I could pull up from the within. I told "Scoop Newsworth" flatly: "I'm just getting my priorities straight and it was time to, you know (while tugging on my tie like Rodney Dangerfield), grow up and start getting serious about my career" as I threw two mini-moos into my coffee and got the hell outta there.

A few weeks later, to my surprise, the psychological scars did, in fact, start to heal. I began to venture out among the living again and embraced a new-and-improved mantra: "no more emotions." Since getting all Whitney Houston and emotional threw a spanner in the works, I decided to become a card-carrying member of the Four - F Club: Find 'em, Feed 'em, Fuck 'em and Forget about 'em. It was liberating. Like Superman in bizarro world I knew what my weaknesses were. If I could manage to avoid the rays of a red sun (oh, yeah and hidden vials of kryptonite), I'd be scott-free to do whatever it took to get some leg without all that pesky morality dragging me down - a small price to pay for "a whistle in the weeds." Rejuvenation! Master of all that lie before me! Like Caesar, I was looking for new worlds to conquer! I was rising from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix! I was all that and a bag of Funyons but alas, there weren't any new shores to plunder . I was up to my old shenanigans that rained down a monsoon of hurt. I still hadn't learned but this time I had, what I thought was, a more refined modus operandi. Little did I know I was about to be humbled (again) in one of the worst ways possible - by someone nearly a decade my junior.

A friend of mine from college called me up one sunny Saturday afternoon to tell me that I needed to forget about the "Deutschland Debacle," run for the border and get my ass down by the water. I complied and shot on over to Manhattan Beach to play it fast 'n loose while washing away the previous four months with whatever the guy passed out on the floor was having. That night, following a brief club crawl, everyone returned to the beach house and everything started to swing calmly enough - the standard L.A. glad handing and conversations out on the patio. Unbeknownst to me it would prove to be more than just a standard Southern Californian evening of pressing the flesh and puddle-deep bromides.

I got into a conversation with this younger lady we'll call Tanya. Through the course of our conversation, Tanya and I began to talk about the power of a woman's sexuality over the primal drive of the heterosexual male psyche. Quite sure of myself, I ventured to say that "every man has the choice to control any encounter with the opposite sex if he were of sound mind," which sounded appropriate theoretically as my mouth formed the words to say it. Tanya continued to entertain my naive musings for quite a bit out on the patio, biding her time no doubt and then she moved in for the kill.

About an hour after blurting out my self-assured declarative (was it the White Russians talking?), my new found friend began to break it all down to me in a series of moves that rivaled the fight sequences of a John Woo chop-sockey shoot 'em up flick. Tanya began to explain to me how a woman, especially the younger ones (her words), could control any man she chose to as I scoffed in her face with the snarky hubris of W.C. Fields in a prohibition-era speakeasy.

"Any man," she repeated clinically, "can be rendered a cerebral weakling by executing a simple series of touches to the chest, wrist, forearm and shoulders" Meanwhile she assumed a singular raised-brow demeanor not unlike Jack Klugman in the opening credit segment of an episode of "Quincy, M.E." - remember the sequence when all the hardened cops start dropping like flies while Q. pulls back the sheets covering a toe-tagged cadaver and starts nonchalantly slicing into it's icy-blue gullet like a turkey roast? Tanya began to demonstrate with live-at-the-cutting-slab overtones as we enacted a couple of scenarios with me sitting and her standing and vice versa. After about a dozen run-throughs, she had successfully managed to "overpower" me with subtle sexual ennui every time. Even when I knew what she would do -- I was so ill-prepared that she started warning me about what was coming in her summary examples. After employing a handful of stealthy moves she'd have me rendered null and void, in the palm of her hand -- do they teach this stuff in some secret underground bunker?

Although I was repulsed by this vulgar display of power, I was equally intrigued. I wondered "how could I harness this evil and use it for my own selfish and prurient purposes" but all for naught. As the party pulled to a close, and I stood there deep in my cups feeling like I'd been channeling Don Knotts [old one-bullet Deputy Fife, himself] from the great beyond when I got the zap on my dome and realized that I wasn't just dealing with a sex per se. I had, in fact, stumbled into a super-strong race of beings that only needed men around to extract y-chromosome solely for replication of the species. The onus was on me to find out where they came from -- I'd soon get my answer.

A few weeks after "The Quincy Incident" I got a call from a woman I hadn't heard from in quite some time, Tina. My guard was down because Tina was a single working mother making her way in the world, you know the whole Mary Tyler Moore / Ann Romano, "One Day at a Time" thing, so when I saw her name on the caller ID, I figured "what the hell" and picked up. Despite giving birth to a rug rat, Tina had retained her model-thin figure, she was definitely coming into her own and looking for a new sheriff to hold things down in Dodge City. BOING!

It appeared that Tina was "in a mood" to have a little grown-up fun and wanted to know if I wanted to go out for drinks. I was thinking that bagging her would be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel so, like a lion crouched on an Acacia tree branch surveying the savannah herds for does and calves, eyes slit, I closed in for the pounce and agreed to meet her. After hanging up, I looked in the mirror and cocked an air shotgun chanting: "Who wants some?!!" I should've known there was something rotten in Denmark when she wanted to hook up in a mall restaurant at 4:00 PM, near my house over in Pasadena.

I met Tina that Saturday outside a shoe outlet in the mall and she seemed genuinely thrilled to see me. We chatted for a few moments and then I asked her why she wanted to hook so damn early in the day - while that question was still hanging in the air, and as if reading cue cards offstage, her 7 year old daughter sashayed out to meet and greet -ouch. Who wants some? I guess I did, but that too is in the rear view mirror...now at least.

The reptilian side of my mind had assumed that Tina would've found a babysitter to watch over her daughter for the day but no sirree sir, she brought "Tina 2" along. As I felt myself slipping through the sticky plasma around the border between single life and parenthood I shifted into "familyman-mode" (no cursing, smoking, off-color jokes, etc.) which results in a steady stream of gaffes and unfinished sentences for those of us who don't interact with "the little people" on a daily basis. Like the three musketeers, or rather, Dorothy, Aunty Em and that schnook with the egg on his face, we all walked to a nearby restaurant for din-din. In spite of my "microphany [what I call small epiphanies] that there wasn't going to be any raunch-n-rawness in my immediate future, I put on my game face and settled in for what promised to be fast breaking coverage from the dreaded front lines.

A few minutes after the hostess got us situated into a booth, the waitress arrived with our first round of refreshments - a Chard for Tina, a glass filled with two hydrogens and an oxygen for the crumb snatcher and a strong Kettle One Cape Cod for yours truly. I sat on one side of the booth and the girls sat on the opposite side, the drinks arrived, we ordered grub and Tina and I segued into a conversation that was neither here nor there -- for obvious reasons. As Tina 2 became more comfortable being around me, she shed the shy kid act and slowly began to dominate the scene in that way in which only children her age can.

After fielding the same-ole, same-ole questions about school and the like from me, the littlest Tina launched into me with a barrage of questions, comments and character analyses that I couldn't possibly have answered honestly without breaking the rules of "tall-talk" which I think was a concept she'd already firmly grasped. She was having a field day observing my discomfort while the bigger Tina looked on approvingly at the expansive development of her daughter's conversational skills -- an expression similar to that T-Rex while watching its offspring tear that guy to shreds in Jurassic Park III. When our meal arrived I sucked it down, went around the horn and asked if anyone wanted anything else and promptly closed shop. I gave the waitress my card before she could leave, she seemed to know the dealio because she comped me with another double 'Cod on the house - I guess she'd witnessed this type of cruel and unusual carnage before.

Looking back on that dismal state of affairs, I've wondered if Tina chose to bring along the "date bomb" as a fail-safe from getting hurt again by yet another grubby man-type or if she was just scoring free vittles off the first schmoe who slipped and picked up one of her "let's get together sometime" cold-calls. But even more disturbing, I think she might've been introducing Tina 2 into that shrouded sisterhood of male domination that she'd inherit a decade or so in the future - a primer before the mystery bunker drills mentioned above, if you would. If I had my druthers, I'd say it was probably a mixture of all three but that just didn't help me at all at that moment.

On my way home from the "Episode of the Tinas," I was completely chastened. I felt born again in that I'd sank to a Jerry Maguire low (trying to shoplift the pooty) and still got sidetracked by the unknowable. Men of the world beware: they're making them faster, stronger and (apparently) smaller - they have the technology. The Tinas managed to clip my wings with "the old good cop bad cop bit" which I should've sussed out with ease but we all know that the whole point of said process is to throw off the third party (or mark, in my case) just long enough to roll him for the desired goods and make him want to run for cover- no fuss no muss, thanks for shopping at Target. The ruse worked, I paid, pecked Tina on the cheek, shook "Chuckie, Jr's" hand and I haven't called her since. No follow-up, no phone messages, no thank you - as Kenny Rogers said "You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done. " Amen brother, you're preaching to the choir. As I pulled into my driveway, I had a moment of clarity that I'd like to share.

Despite the above instances, I don't feel like a complete idiot - wait, I'm going somewhere with this - I realized that I lack the ability to see around corners or through brick walls. The specter of feeling like that old, bald guy who gets slapped over the head on "The Benny Hill Show" around the opposite sex has, in no small way, made us menfolk paint ourselves into a corner when we're forced into dealing with the fair sex. We got nowhere to run, nowhere to hide - they're on to us.

Further, I'd venture to say that I don't even think "they" were ever out of the loop in the first place, so sidestep that topical landmine if the lady you're chatting with brings up the issue - that is, if you know what's good for you. It appears that we have just cajoled ourselves into believing that maybe there is some koan of truth, some Rosetta Stone-like kernel of info that will help us weaken the tenacious vice-grip that biology has on our nads (and hence every decision that we make). Sadly, my brothers, there ain't one so stop squirming and take your medicine - acceptance of reality, as passively-aggressive as it may seem, is the only weapon that we have in our arsenal at this point.

I liken feminine power of poon to that of Jules Winfield, Samuel L. Jackson's gangster character in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." Whenever you want to seriously question who's in control of the relationship that you may have with any woman, you should reach down into the emotional grab bag and find the wallet that reads: "Bad Motherfucker"... and you better be ten times more charming than that little pig Arnold on "Green Acres"...laters

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1 Comments:

Blogger mj said...

as bb king might say, "that's good work, young meing!"

10:24 AM, March 01, 2005  

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