I had sex with Tommy last night. Ugh. Why did I do that? I am not even physically attracted to him!

For weeks we had plans to meet Saturday night in Ojai for dinner at The Ojai Valley Inn. A very luxurious resort that I have always heard about, but never been. Did I mention Tommy is a trust fund kid? We both come from Laguna Beach, one of the wealthiest communities in Southern California and although I do not come from wealth such as his, I know what that kind of wealth does to people, and it is not pretty. But I never knew Tommy was a trust fund kid until he told me on the phone the other night. That basically he does not have to work. At all. Ever. I have never met a species such as this. And yet, he lives almost like a hobo. He bought 13 acres of raw land to farm in Goleta, just outside of Santa Barbara, and built, BY HIMSELF, a dome on the property that has a bed, a dresser, a hammock, and a futon in it. He also has a pottery studio in town that has a community shower where he bathes. He and his 11-year-old son have been living like this for the past six months. Homeless. When he has his son, he sleeps in the hammock. He has no running water or electricity. He chooses this lifestyle. He drives a beat up old Volvo station wagon. He certainly does not look the part of a millionaire. And I hate to admit, that knowing this fact about him, his inherited wealth, made me forgive many things I might have not forgiven.

The Friday night before our date my daughter has a surprise sleep-over with a friend, so I hesitate briefly before telling Tommy at 6 pm that night. He immediately says he is driving down, to my house. I don’t say no. Intrigued. Excited. Nervous. I wait the 2.5 hours it takes him, filled with anticipation after weeks of talking and incessant texting, a lot is riding on this first visit and my nerves are high.

He pulls up and I walk out to meet him. I am not sure what to expect. I have not seen this person in over 25 years and did feel close to him briefly in High School. He reminds me of a time when things were still good. Still innocent, in a way. Before the heroine and the darkness engulfed me. He represents something sweet, in a way, and I am curious if he can offer that sweetness now, again, when things feel so hard.

He drives a beat up old Volvo station wagon. I poke my head inside, to show him where to park, and am hit with my first impression, cigarettes. Yuck. He smokes. Slightly repulsed, my sense of smell is one of my strongest, I direct him to a spot across the street. He is smiling. His face is not what I expected. He does not look like his photos. He looks old and weathered. Feelings and warnings started swirling through my body as I waited for him to park. I did not know how to manage them. So I froze.

He got out of the car and walked towards me. His style reminded me of the guys from Laguna. The surfers that I detested so much. A lazy beach style. Not my style at all. He sauntered up lazily and in a compulsive act that still defies all reasoning I walked up to him and kissed him, right there in the middle of the street. Maybe I had some poetic notion about this, about how the only other time we kissed was in the middle of the street 25 years ago in front of my house in Laguna and if this was going to be a love story, wouldn’t it be best written this way?

He tasted like cigarettes and had hard, chapped lips and I pulled him into my house regardless. It was robotic. I felt completely disconnected and uncomfortable as he entered my home and sat on my couch. My mind was swirling rapidly as I sat next to him. I did not want him there. I was not attracted to him. Yet, he drove so far and I felt so guilty and did not know how to ask him to leave. There was so much history. So much expectation and anticipation built into this moment and the fear of disappointing him, not pleasing him, overrode my alarms going off that this was NOT the man for me. Without a doubt. And yet… and yet…

We had sex. Almost immediately. I was completely dissociated through the entire thing. I could barely look at him. When I felt the carpet of hair on his back and giant mole, I almost gagged. But I did not stop. Too many years of giving this body away unconsciously. It was like rote. I went through the motions. I know the script. I play my part. They play theirs. It’s always the same.

He stayed the night although I did not want him to. But he had no idea. I am such a good actress. I could win an Oscar for these performances. He thought I wanted him. Desired him. Found him attractive. Inside I was dying. I did not sleep.

The next morning I got him up and out of my house as fast as possible.

Then he started the texting. Incessantly. I asked for a break. He didn’t take it well. He said he loved me. I told him I adored him. Makes no sense.

My daughter is sick tonight and wants to be home with me. I felt relieved. I do not have to drive to Ojai to have dinner with him.

He asked me if I would come to Santa Barbara next weekend instead.

I said yes.



One thought on “YES MEANS NO

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