I met Jan on New Year’s Eve at a friend’s party. It was really nice, y’know, we talked about simply everything, from new beginnings to the Super Bowl. Then we shared a sweet little kiss at midnight. No tongue or anything. Very chaste, very nice. We started getting pretty involved over the next few weeks, and one night, when we were making love, she asked me if I wanted to get a little crazy. So I said yeah, and she said Like how? So I asked her put me in a diaper and give me a good spanking. She did it, but she never called again.
Purity was short and sweet: only four-foot-eleven, and she worked at an animal rescue shelter and a daycare for retards. Things were going swell, and I thought for Valentine’s Day, it’d be fun and non-cliché to go out to an archery range. That didn’t work out so well, though. Let’s just say that, as little as she was, she was hard to miss. I understand she’d be upset for a few days, but you’d think after all those flowers I sent to her hospital room, she could at least return a phone call.
Marcy was fun, a lot of fun. A very outdoors-y woman, too, which was something I wasn’t used to at all, y’know. Very much a city boy, me. But she would take me on nature walks and stuff, and it was very educational. So trying to return the favor, I bought her some snakes, y’know, as pets. I really wanted to impress her too, so I bought the whole lot from down at the pet store, something like fifty or sixty of them. Then, I thought it’d be really romantic to leave them all in her house, y’know, a surprise when she walked in the door. Her attorneys were very intent on getting in touch with me; her, not so much.
April had a voice like an angel. I was at a karaoke bar with some of the guys, and when I heard her sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” I won’t lie to you, I was moved to tears. I caught up with her as she came offstage and told her she should really be a professional. I think she really was impressed that someone appreciated her for her talents moreso than her body, which was considerably attractive. Over the next few weeks, I really began to think she had a shot at a singing career under my management. I started making her this concoction that my great-grandmother claimed would keep one’s voice in pitch-perfect condition. Thing is, I couldn’t remember the recipe too well, and had to improvise. In hindsight, perhaps substituting Tabasco for one of the ingredients wasn’t such a great idea. I hope she makes it one day, though, I really do.
After only a few dates, May and I really started talking seriously about children. We’re both getting up there, she reasoned, so perhaps it would be best if we didn’t muck about with these courting rituals and just got right to the procreation. This may be surprising, but I was all for it, y’know, her argument made a lot of sense. I had seen this special on animal husbandry on TV a few years ago, so one night, I tried to do what I had seen the farmers do. Suffice it to say, as important as the rectum may be during artificial insemination, you really shouldn’t try sticking your whole arm into your partner’s anus. Perhaps I should have said something first, sure, but I still think she could have returned my calls.
Around this time, a lot of my friends started getting married and having weddings, which was a little depressing, I won’t lie to you. But the upshot was that I met June. It seems a lot of my friends were marrying a lot of her friends. I met her at one wedding, made out with her at a second, and then we made sweet, sweet love in the cloakroom during the reception of a third. But I don’t know, things seemed to fall apart outside of a wedding environment, as though our relationship only worked if nuptials were in the air. Perhaps when I took her out to dinner and she ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, I shouldn’t have called her a cunt. But I mostly think it was the absence of that special brand of romance that you only find at weddings that led her to never call me again.
I took Julie to an Independence Day party. That one was totally on me. I should have realized she was wearing a lot of hairspray, and regardless, I shouldn’t have lit off those Black Cats so close to her head. Completely my fault, but I was genuinely sorry. Alas, she never even called to thank me for the card and coupon for Uncle Joe’s Fireworks Shack that I sent her.
Gussie may have had an old lady’s name, but she made love like a sixteen-year-old cheerleader. Which was appropriate, I suppose, since she was about to go into the 12th grade. Now, I am all for a woman trying to better herself through higher education, but I really don’t think that was what she had in mind when she told me that her senior year would be too hectic for her to maintain a relationship. Frankly, I think her gym coach came between us, but I still was only calling her to see if she wanted to get coffee sometime, or rather a nice glass of milk. But no, no response from her at all.
Siete was a nice girl of Mexican heritage, the seventh child in a large family. Her parents were very traditional, very Catholic, but they approved of me whole-heartedly, a nice boy with a good job and cultured manners. They welcomed me with open arms into their home, very kindly, and oh, the food. What a spread! To show my gratitude not only for their hospitality, but their general warmth, I decided to dress some store mannequins as Spanish conquistadors and burn them in effigy on their lawn. Well, the police and fire department were rather upset, and that I could appreciate. But after I explained the gesture to them, they seemed to mostly understand. Siete and her family insisted on failing to see it my way, however, and the restraining order they took out on me only proved that to me all the more.
Autumn was really into the occult. I don’t really want to go into details, but turns out a Ouija board is not a toy after all.
Nova was a real handful, but still a sheer delight to be around. Very impulsive, very much a woman who lives in the moment. One brisk day as we were talking a walk, I made an attempt at her own brand of spontaneity and suggested that we go jump in the piles of leaves scattered about the park across the street. For the record, she had no more idea than I did that that “park” was actually a cemetery. So really, I don’t see why I ended up shouldering the blame for that one. The party whose mourning we interrupted was rather upset, but I could forgive them that, being bereaved and all. But I wasn’t expecting them to return any of my phone calls, now was I?
Christina was extremely devout, and she would have absolutely no hanky-panky before marriage. I was agreeable to this, however, for I felt that she really may have been the one, that special someone I’d been looking for my whole life. She was kind, considerate, intelligent, well-read, and had the nicest rack I’d ever laid eyes on. As the yuletide season drew near, I really wanted to wow her with my gift, y’know, something that would really show her how I felt about her. But nothing in the many stores and shopping malls I visited met that very high expectation. So I murdered her Jewish landlord. Okay, perhaps I am not as up on my religious teachings as I could be, but I still think it was the thought that counted.
This is my story, my many pitfalls on the path to true love. Reflecting back, I must ask, what is it? What is the one thing these women, these failed attempts at amour, all have in common?
No, seriously, I really want to know.
Jimmy Callaway wants you to know that more of his writing is at attentionchildren.blogspot.com, and also that it took him a little while before he realized Tim O’Brien’s novel Tomcat in Love was mostly ironic.