A four-year relationship has ended and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery, a return to a saner lifestyle. This hope is crushed when I realize something is missing from my new life, namely sex. I’ve never craved sex the way some girls yearn to be in love or the way some guys just have to get laid, so I’m shocked at how easily I join the women who hang out in bars or haunt parties with eyes that never really focus on anything.
As a kid, when I saw Dracula, I wanted to wear a long black cape and prowl for victims in the night. Now all I have to do is exchange victims for lovers.
It’s 1983 and my running mate, Jane, and I push our way through audi- ences of slamming punk rockers. We climb into cars, climb into the shadows to get high in parking lots, and finally split up and climb into strange guys’ beds for an hour or a week. Jane tells me that the name for a forty-four-year- old Los Angeles woman who wants to hunt, capture a heart, eat it, and then move on like any other animal in the jungle is cougar. Fine with me—I like animals, and I’m forty-four. Pathetic, I know, but it’s the most fun I’ve had in my little tight-ass existence.
One-night stands become an odd passion, and I get addicted to the very shortest of relationships, the most intimate of acts between two strangers. You decide if you like him or not without all the deceptions of the clothed world. I am not sure this is an improvement over normal dating habits or just my strange taste, but I like knowing how he feels without ever seeing how he eats his soup, whether he is an asshole about the wine he drinks or a connoisseur of the cheese he eats, or if he binges uncontrollably on ice cream while crouching sleeplessly in the blue light of the TV screen. Jane says I think too much.
Hotel Room 214, 2008
Oil on canvas
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