Why I Don't Date Within the Fellowship Anymore

By Jaime Neptune 10/22/14

Earth girls and boys are not so easy.

Image: 
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You know why I stopped dating within the fellowship, right? For the same reason we all stopped.

1. You walk into a meeting looking to save your life, only to note that you’ve embarrassed yourself with at least six people in the room, and they’re all now looking at you and whispering as you try to find a seat. 

2. You suddenly married the guy you met in detox

3. You never went on any dates once you got clean and therefore didn’t have any opportunities to get food poisoning.

4. “Let’s watch a movie…” was considered foreplay. Speaking of which, you … 

5. … still say, or think, phrases like “Let’s rent a video.”

6.  You found out too late (after the great, desperate sex) that his driver’s license was revoked and he doesn't have any money. 

And so it begins. Witness my first date with an Earth person:

You’re lying on top of me. We’re kissing— slow and firm. We’re fully-clothed, but your flannel shirt is pulled up so your pale belly is pooched against mine. My legs are clamped around you, in a way that screams desperation, or at the very least, years of marathon running and yoga.

Speaking of desperation, you’re the first person I’ve made out with since the divorce. Aren’t you glad to know that? I haven’t kissed or groped anyone other than my ex-husband in almost 13 years! Do you mind if I purr up against you like an addled house cat? Almost 12 years clean and I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have a belt buckle jammed against my pubis! We’re not going to dwell on this, but you’re 17 years younger than me. Your belt buckle is oversized and fashioned after a beer logo—or a hood ornament. There’s your tongue in my mouth again. This could be very nice. You know how to kiss.

Alas, I taste old beer in your mouth and cigarette smoke in your beard. At the moment, this is not problematic. However, you told me a few minutes ago that you didn’t know how to fuck without “getting high” first. When you said “getting high” I assumed you meant smoking weed or whatever the hell you people do.

Yes, it is really cool that I’m clean and I didn’t die. Yes, I used to shoot cocaine and dope. If I could, I would cook you up and shoot you, too.

You’re sitting up. I’m squashed against the corner of the couch, kicking my legs in the air, giddy, until it’s suddenly awkward. You’re glancing at the clock and I’m coming down, crashing actually. Now, I’m feeling every one of those 17 years older than you, plus all the other decades I have piled on. The fizzy, horny feeling is receding and I am crow-footed, disheveled.

When you drive away (did you peel out or am I just imagining that?) I will stand under the lamppost, alone on my street, watching your tail-lights— a little confused, maybe.

Earth person dating looks, feels, and smells somewhat different from the 12 step terrain, where dating means sleeping over on the first date or, at the very least, leaving a scrunchie on the nightstand that you’ll be forced to retrieve later. Not so with an Earth person date, where you may not actually have sex, on the first date, or on any date. I've also learned that it’s not acceptable to send a barrage of texts like the following:

Me: You must excuse me… I am just carbonated with lust.

Me: For the individuals out there right now who get more ass than a toilet seat, they can't know what a dry spell is like.

Him: I feel you. I do

Me: I feel YOU.

Me: That's what I've wanted to tell you all this while as I think about your hands and mouth on me.

Him: Goodness gracious.

Yes, well, I am cringing here, reading this in the rheumy light of day. The above is just a small smear of my monologue (and his brief interjections) from my night of thwarted lust. I’ve gone back to read this thread several times and admittedly I get a southern throb from the following:

Me: fuck.

Me: I would like to show you, once.

Me: and you to show me, just how my skin feels all the way up against yours.

Me: I would be on your lap right now with my mouth open.

Me: I am wet.

Wet. No. Really? And just a few short, dry weeks ago you thought you were touching the outer edges of peri-menopause! Imagine his phone chiming away, like a sodomized pinball machine, as I send, send, send. I wonder what he thought when he read them—if he read them. Nah, he read them.

I’ll never know what he thought, because that was our last date, our first and last sext. I’ll never know what Earth people think, anyways.

Okay, there was another Earth person date. With someone else, of course, and it took place five days after the date on the couch with the younger one. The second first date was with an older man. And he had one and a half legs, which didn’t come as a surprise. I had been warned about the half-leg before the date.

When he arrived for the date, he already had food on his face. This is important. I, too, had eaten before the date. My marathon-running partner told me not to date hungry and to avoid looking like an urchin grabbing up the bread basket because we’re running 35 mile weeks— no bread is safe.

I didn’t have food on my face. I gave my mouth an involuntary swipe when I saw the remains of his meal in his stubble.

He was disheveled; flyaway gray hair and a stained, untucked bowling shirt. His chino shorts revealed the hairy leg and the metal one, and he smelled like old perspiration. Guess why?! No, not because he was a few bundles into the evening; it’s because he’s a writer. And, unlike the younger man mentioned above, he definitely doesn’t have a girlfriend doing his laundry.

Now, this was more fucking like it—a writer. Never mind that he looked at my two legs like a bum looks in the deli window at a pastrami sandwich. I appreciated that he covered his face when he talked/muttered and basically acted like he was forever weary.

He ordered a glass of red wine: a Merlot. Merr-low. I looked around and felt a prickle of … what? Fear? Worry, that the Merlot will leap down my gullet? God, this is hideous. Here comes the meal. Have you ever had tepid Tempura? I have, and I’ll have it again, when it comes jetting out of my small intestine, fore and aft, in hourly bursts, starting five hours from now.

But I get ahead of myself. Just for tonight, I will be in the moment, I will enjoy the disheveled man’s company and not let him make more than one pass at me.

I’m actually staring at his wine glass. I imagine the stem between my thumb and middle finger, idly twisting the glass around in circles on the tablecloth.

In any case, I don’t touch the wine glass and I try not to touch the date either— even though it’s cute when he says, “Kiss me.” in this debonair Clark Gable-ish way while almost tipping over in the parking lot. I do kiss him and it’s awful: part mushy and part gagging rodent.

And that was that. The dates had ended with a cough and a shrug — not the scream and the shatter we have all come to expect. In the course of one week, I tasted the traces of cigarettes and wine on the faces of two very different Earth people and that is about as close as I’m willing to get.

Jaime Neptune is a pseudonym for a regular contributor to The Fix. She last wrote about being an addict with a bunch of jobs and the difference between NA and AA.

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