For lack of male options in Sonoma County, unemployed, illiterate, quasi-gangsters have become beneficiaries of my attentions. I'd been seeing one such man in his early thirties for a month or so, and my respect and esteem for his life plummeted every time I'd see him.
Initially, he was a hot, pseudo-skater/thug. I hadn't experienced this combination before, and I was intrigued. The first time I met him, he mentioned that he wore a uniform. This delighted me. In two seconds, I had envisioned fireman, doctor, police officer, military man, and/or Jesus. However, directly after the word "uniform," I also noticed that I had finished my drink. I screamed, "Bar! Rum!" and sprinted away from him like an alcoholic. The conversation that night never returned to occupation. It instead progressed to intelligent things, like how awesomely strong the drinks were, and how I could beat him at pool.
Over the weeks, it became evident that I would never be able to beat him at pool. He brought his own cue stick to the bars, complete with one white glove. Just one. Like Michael Jackson. He believed that The Glove caused him to excel at pool. The Glove might have been excusable if he was unbeatable. He was not. I couldn't conquer the one-gloved wonder, but many others did.
When I eventually remembered to inquire as to his uniform occupation, he said he was in law enforcement.
"Oh, you're a police officer?" I nodded approvingly. "And you carry a gun?"
"I don't carry a gun," he responded.
"So you're not a police officer. What's your job?"
"Oh, well, at least you have a badge!" I nodded approvingly again.
"I don't have a badge."
"Oh. Ok, what do you do? Where do you work?"
He worked as night security three times a week at Walmart. He chased kids smoking pot in the parking lot.
He eventually confided that he owned a dog teeth cleaning business as well. I was impressed by this until he proudly divulged that the business brought in about $250 a month. In total sales. He never shared stories about his childhood. He wouldn't tell me where he lived or whom he lived with. He did mention that he'd had 3 DUI's and had been arrested twice. This knowledge did not thrill me.
One night, he was over at my place and kept biting me. Hard. I do not like biters. Gentle nibbling is nice. However, it does not feel good to have my cheek bitten into like a chicken drumstick. I told him to go to KFC. He laughed and chewed my arm.
I grabbed his face in between my hands and screamed, "Please stop biting me, it hurts!"
He chomped onto my shoulder. I sat up.
"If you don't stop biting me right now, I'm going to kick you in the head. Maybe in the trachea. Stop it. I'm going to kick you in the head. I'm not kidding!"
He thought I was kidding. His yellow teeth tore into my stomach. When he moved towards me again, I bunched up both of my legs and kicked out. They connected with his chest, and the 6'3" 260 pounds of muscle shot into the air and crashed onto the floor. It was one of those body blasts you see in action movies. He flew. With his impact, we might as well have been in a two second 7.0 earthquake. The ceiling shook. My legs hadn't kicked anything in awhile, and I had been under the impression that they would feebly connect with his body and then ricochet off like small rocks. Instead, they launched him across the room. I was shocked and working extraordinarily hard at not laughing like a fiend. I snorted and asked him in a strangled voice if he was okay. I apologized. And then I really charmed him by saying that I had warned him.
He lay on the floor in the fetal position until that statement. He then stood up slowly, put his clothes back on, and announced that he was leaving.
"Okay," I said. "Sorry!"
He left. It was four o'clock in the morning and he actually left. He didn't call me. He didn't text me. I fell asleep immediately, smiling over the fact that I literally kicked him out of my bed. I clearly never contacted him.
I ran into him at a bar almost a month later. He had his cue stick and his one white Michael Jackson glove. I ended up going home with him. At nine o'clock the next morning, a woman pounded on his door like a maniac asking if he had any cigarettes left.
"No, leave me alone," the thirty-two-year-old man growled.
It was a woman's voice, his mom's voice. He lived with his mother in a rented apartment. I haven't seen him since. I slightly raised my standards to exclude anyone who wore one glove while playing pool.