Saturday, September 22, 2018

Blue Balls, "straight Boys" And Boobs: Lessons Learned

by john robertson (writer), Minneapolis, MN, March 29, 2009


Now, I am not saying that what I did was premeditated, but I am saying I think it stewed in the back of my brain like a strawberry jam until it boils over and tells ya it’s ready.

So I've been meeting a lot of new people lately.

I guess it's in the stars. Just as I exit one phase of my life, with gaping holes where my ex-husband and family used to be; new friends walk in to fill the spaces.

My friend Nicky, for example, has become my new straight girlfriend. She's beautiful to look at, beautiful to listen to, and you better get out of her way when her mind's made up. For example, her and I work for an organization committed to sheltering homeless families. It can be a tough gig convincing landlords to take a chance on the population we service. That is, until Nicky gets her hands on em. "Push 'em up and get me that apartment," our boss tells her. Nicky gets out the lipstick, puts on the heels, and literally pushes the girls up (proud and prominent if ya know what I mean) before meeting the landlord for a "second presentation" regarding our organization. Often times it works. Now that's determination.

Of course, I'm no stranger to using my assets either. Sometimes you gotta pull out all the stops to make good things happen. Trust me, not all business associates like breasts. (Wink).

What her and I have in common is a life full of tough knocks and resilience. Having grown up with crazy parents, no advantages, and just our charms to get us by; we have both learned to endure, persist, move on and forget about it. It makes us the perfect personality type to help those who are struggling. In fact, we are referred to at the office as "the partners in crime."

"You two are filthy," our boss says proudly as landlords everywhere sign on the dotted lines. "Good work," he says with a smile and returns to his office.

See, Nicky was sofa surfing when I started to get to know her. A single mom surrounded by dysfunctional family, she's still accustomed to being all alone in the world. The father of her child never married her, although he wanted her around at his convenience, and when it wasn't convenient, well... let's just say the things he called her weren't befitting her class. Nicky knew she couldn't cut him out of her life for good, but she had decided she couldn't live with him anymore either.

Nicky knew what to do: lipstick, shoes, assets.

Bags packed, she grabbed her son and put an offer on a condo. Financing was tricky, but she knew it was endurable. Nicky had been homeless a few times before while growing up; her mother incarcerated and her father absent, she knew sofas upgrade into mattresses which eventually will become beds. Life is circular that way sometimes.

Nicky cried once after a good tongue lashing and was on her way to deliver keys to an excited family. Her ex wanted her to come back and she stood her ground. In need of composure, she met me in a parking lot along the way so we could dry her eyes before meeting the happy new family. "He called me a low life. He said I was trash and nothing but a fucking bitch," she told me. “He called me a whore. He blamed me for ruining his life because I wouldn‘t get an abortion.“ I just listened, gave her a hug, and kissed her on the forehead. I told her she had seen worse times before, and she would get through this one too. Nicky moved into her new condo shortly after.

Partially exhausted, and partially inspired; I also decided I needed a positive change in my life. After twelve years of good times, bad times and then worse times, I decided to divorce my partner. Looks like I am the one sofa surfing these days. Oh sure, I can go home, but until I have my own apartment, happy hours and nearby couches allow me to avoid eye contact with the broken hearted party. What can I say? I’m sensitive.

Lisa ain’t sensitive, though. She’s Nicky’s friend and she’s a scrapper. Lisa is a social worker who likes to try out local happy hours with us. Lisa is divorced and the pleased benefactor of gastric bypass surgery. Naturally, one would never guess in a million years that this petite waif was ever rotund, but Lisa is not too embarrassed to tell you about it. In fact, I think she's proud to let people know how she transformed. In my experience, most survivors are proud people. Most of em wanna share the secret of their successes.

Recently Lisa visited a client who was having an episode and he decided to cut his throat in front of her and his girlfriend. Trying to de-escalate him, Lisa grabbed the few knives he had in the kitchen and stuffed them into a bag and told the girlfriend to run out the door with them. Determined to kill himself, the young man found a cork screw and dug it into his neck.

“As I was standing in the kitchen watching him open himself up, I realized he had a sharp instrument and I was trapped. I knew I had to get out of there, so I crawled behind the refrigerator, unplugged it and used it as a barricade until help arrived. A few years ago I would’a been the size of a refrigerator myself and I would’a just quarterbacked him. Thank god I thought to do that.”

Moral of the story: when backed into a corner, use your assets and fight like hell!

Also like many survivors, Lisa has picked up a few irreverent words of wisdom along the way, and she told me the best way she knows to mend a broken heart. "John, the best way to get over a guy is to get under a new one," she said with cocktail in hand. Nicky, Lisa and I belly laughed, and then we toasted to good company while watching the sun set over the bay from our comfortable perches in the cocktail lounge.

Don't think her advise was too crass to go unheeded by me. Now, I am not saying that what I did was premeditated, but I am saying I think it stewed in the back of my brain like a strawberry jam until it boils over and tells ya it’s ready.

JC is a guy I met online. Being a natural born writer, I have been trying to blog my way out of this funk for the last six months. I guess it has been working, because I have made so many new friends, and JC is one of them.

JC blogs too, and we admire each other’s style. JC is also very good looking, professional and fiercely popular with the ladies. Funny thing about JC is that he is way comfortable with his sexuality. So comfortable in fact, he doesn’t seem to mind telling me how hot, handsome, talented and all around great I am.

Now, one will have to forgive me if I am just not very used to such flattery from straight boys. Oh sure, I have been flirted with by men of the heterosexual persuasion before, but in those cases it turned into both of us taking our pants off and me getting blamed for “turning them out“. Therefore, the straight boys I know have never flirted with me. So why should I have believed JC was any different from those “straight“ boys who did?

In fact, when I met JC he instantly reminded me of my very first ex-boyfriend; also a “straight“, second generation, Asian immigrant who liked to flirt with me. That year I got to learn all about Asian sons who grow up trying to prove to their parents they are smart enough, rich enough, and worthy also while trying to prove to Caucasians they are American enough, hip enough, and worthy.

I learned it’s rather traumatizing living a dual life in which you must get straight A’s to please your folks while hiding your report card from your peers so they’ll stop saying, “all Asians are good at math“. Forget adding sexuality into the mix. They’re all straight, whether with quotations marks or not, and that’s the story they’re sticking to!

But I digress; I met JC and figured he must be another one of those straight Asians with quotation marks. Despite the eye candy, it never occurred to me to try and do anything about it. I mean, I have real problems right now, and I am thirty-seven for chrissake, and…and… I know better than to complicate my life with a complicated situation when I am going through complications.

Alas, marriages don’t end over night. Marriages die slowly; over years in fact, like a slow leak. The last thing to go is the sex, and I had only had sex twice in six months. The more happy hours I attended, and the more sofas I awoke on with morning glory, the more I started to smell that strawberry jam.

JC had read a few articles of mine mentioning the divorce and wrote to tell me his shoulder was available. “I understand what you are going through better than you may think,” he wrote. “Lets get together soon.”

JC and I decided to get together for a rematch at the local bowling ally. The last time we had gone out bowling he sharked me and got me to agree the loser would strip for the winner when I was still twenty points ahead. As soon as we shook on it he bowled strike, after strike, after strike! Let’s just say a neighborhood bartendress had a great show after last call.

I was hoping for a similar situation and this time I didn’t wear my flannel penguin boxers. After he bowled strike, after strike, after strike he wanted to go to the car and have a cigarette. Making myself cozy in the passenger seat I looked into his eyes as he indulged his oral fixation. I listened to him talk about his lawyer mother, and his doctor father, and the pressures of growing up the product of a loveless marriage. I listened while he talked all about his over achieving nature and his drive to always do better while never seemingly doing enough to please his parents, and as I could see, himself.

I was listening, I really was… because I wanted to make sure I heard the part about his perverse desire for men and how he knows how awful it is but he just can’t help himself. I was gonna be prepared to help him at just that precise moment, you see.

Then came the teary eyes.

JC turned and looked at me and told me that less than a year ago his fiancé had left him for another man. They had been together for nine years, and they were engaged to be married on their tenth anniversary. JC was really crushed. I could see the rejection on his face and hear it in his voice. I can tell JC wasn’t the kinda guy who cries on a bud’s shoulder, but he was the kinda guy who sure looked like he needed to.

JC had everything a good Asian son was supposed to have: a degree from a good college, an acceptance to MBA school, articles published in magazines, a five bedroom house, a Honda. He also had everything an American is supposed to desire: tons of hot babes on his arms, the right designer clothes, admission to the right nightclubs, a high credit limit and buns of steel.

However, JC was unhappy because he couldn’t work and study his way to the things he wanted so badly. Seemingly JC doesn’t have any close and personal bonds with his parents, his bitches or his house. The one woman he may have had that with went away while he put in twelve hour days, and I could now see JC for the first time.

I told JC about the last time I was homeless. My father was mentally ill, and after many decades of abuse, drinking and suicide attempts, my mother could take it no longer. My mother left him and I felt like someone had to stay and help out, so I tried my best. My father only got worse, and he decided to not only end it once and for all, but he decided to take his children with him. I took my little sister to the city and we stayed in motel after motel until my father stopped looking for us and he took his own life. My father changed the locks on the doors so that you could get into the house, but once the door closed you could only escape with a key. He also screwed the windows shut. My father spray painted the walls with warnings of what terrible things he was going to do to us. He took all of my stories, my plays, my essays and poems, my clothes and photos, furniture and belongings and he burned them in the back yard. My father spared my bed, so that he could lay down on it in the garage and kill himself.


When my mother called to tell me the police had found my father’s body and it was safe to finally come home, my heart stopped as I drove up the road to our secluded property. In giant letters my father had spray painted the walls on the exterior of our house: “John is a faggot and he deserves to die.”

I told JC I never wrote again after that. For the last thirteen years I have tried my best to help other people, especially the poor, the homeless and the mentally ill. Only since the past few months have I started to write again. It’s been a long time since I have been myself, and I have missed myself, and I will never lose my friendship again.

I dunno if JC is straight with quotation marks or not, but our little chat shrunk my boner faster than a white girl jumps on an NBA star. JC said he started blogging to meet new people and force himself to live life too. JC and I declared our strategy a success, and we hugged and we parted ways. We’ll be seeing each other again.

As I got into my car to drive home, I wasn’t disappointed about having blue balls anymore. When I looked into JC’s face I saw another’s: my ex-husbands. I know that look, I know that feeling; I know all too well what it is like to be left behind by someone you love.

The next time I see JC I will be living in my own place. I will not try to lure him there, nor check out his ass like I usually do. Instead I will give him a brotherly hug, buy him a drink, and tell him I am glad to see my new friend doing so well.

Well, I might check out his ass while he’s bowling, but what’s the harm?

I see Nicky nearly everyday. She grows brighter, stronger and more composed each week. Nicky is raising a smart and good boy and she has met a man who thinks she’s the classiest act around. Nicky has decided her condo should be decorated in green.

Lisa is still plugging away and she does it fearlessly. When I feel a little bit panicked by the mountain of divorce proceedings before me, I think of a fatter Lisa, ramming her way out of that kitchen like a football player, or sometimes I think of Nicky applying her lipstick and putting on a tighter sweater, or I just remember myself stopping at the bottom of the hill on that day when an old chapter ended; frozen with grief and stunned with pain as I looked up at that house on the hill and read my father‘s final words to me. I sat there and let the tears form and I did not wipe them, and although I paused a moment to compose myself, I drove up that hill and I walked into that house and slowly figured out day by day how to endure, persist, move-on and forget about it.

Look, sometimes you gotta pull out all the stops to make good things happen. People are hurting everywhere you look; even beautiful, shiny, articulate, successful people like JC and Nicky and Lisa are trying to out run their pain.

So I've been meeting a lot of new people lately.

I guess it's in the stars. Just as I exit one phase of my life, with gaping holes where my ex-husband and family used to be; new friends walk in to fill the spaces.



















About the Writer

john robertson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Blue Balls, "straight Boys" And Boobs: Lessons Learned

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By L DeSilva-Johnson on April 23, 2009 at 11:26 am

really great story. nice job.

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