Jebediah

It was one of those humid and refreshing evenings in Johannesburg, the type that had just a bit of chill in the air that served only to cool the layer of moist heat that settled over your skin after a summer thunderstorm. I loved those types of evenings.

It was on this evening that I finally met Jebediah.

We had been talking for months and months. The actual meeting part, however, alluded us. He was chronically shy and introverted, or so he claimed. I later came to the conclusion that in actual fact he was a douchebag in disguise. That’s the thing with the quiet, nerdy types- they are possibly more douchey than the rest of them. I am, of course, generalizing but I do have some experience when it comes to dating geeks and nerds, the intelligent, quiet and introverted types. In fact, they are more my type than anything else. I find them interesting and quirky.

But that is what makes it all the more deceptive. Some of these lads will claim quite verbally and more often than not that they are the good guys, that they are the guys who have been hard done by in life, looks, dating and so on. Perhaps it is this cunning and this wit that makes them so adept at playing games, or maybe it is their own self-absorption that blinds them to the harsh reality that other people are bound to get hurt- whatever it is, Jebediah was officially the last self-proclaimed geek that I ever went near.

Anyway, as I was saying before, it took us months to finally meet. When we did, it was to play a round of adventure golf outdoors, followed by some bowling, followed by some dinner, followed by some heated snogging in the parking lot. For this little excursion I was the one who had to drive some 40 minutes in order to meet him in a shopping mall that was close to his abode. I was naïve and much younger than I am now, and quite possibly very horny, so I was wearing my anti-douchebaggery goggles at the time.

During the date, I showed off my shockingly poor ability at any hand-eye coordination sport. It must have amused him greatly. He was nice enough and we clicked rather well. Jebediah was good-looking, a bit chunky. He reminded me a bit of a slobbering Saint Bernard.

He ended the date with a lengthy kissing session which went on and on and on. Good, right?

Well, the next day he was decidedly off. I received a “good morning” text to which I reply in my normal delightful way, to which he replied, “Gud.” He never used poor spelling. A bit put out, I told him I enjoyed meeting him and hoped to do it again.

“K.”

#kbye.

I left him be after that. Message received loud and clear, right? And I moved on to greener pastures. Happily, I might add. I was not pining after him, I was not obsessing or infatuated. The date had been nice but that was it.

However, this was not a simple good bye. Jebediah had this odd way of drawing me back. After weeks of not hearing from him, I would receive a message from him out of the blue. It would be friendly and amiable and coaxing, teasing me that I had lost interest in him. Eventually the weeks shortened to days and the days to hours and soon we were back to our daily communication. It became flirtatious and openly naughty, until one evening he invited me over.

His excuse for not contacting me right after the first date? His grandmother had died and he had to take care of his mom for a time. I suppose that was acceptable. I didn’t dwell on it. He had invited me over, right?

Well he lived in a disgusting little hovel. It was this small apartment on somebody’s property. He claimed he had just moved in and hadn’t had time to unpack or buy any furniture (he moved in a month ago). I sat on the floor and drank a vodka to ease the transition of inhabiting such conditions (I am a fussy and spoilt girl- spoilt by myself). At least he had made some sort of effort to maintain his bedroom, though it was sparse and the linen smelt a bit dank.

In any event, the sex was good. I liked sleeping with Jebediah. It was probably some of the best sex I had ever had. The chunky boy had stamina and moves, yo! And there was no awkwardness that usually exists during the first time. It just sort of flowed.

We cuddled for a bit afterwards and I was about to drift off to sleep when he left the bed. Curious, I sat up, thinking he was about to chuck me out.

“Just need the toilet,” he informed me. “Sleep.”

The toilet was in the other room, separated by at least ten feet of space and two closed doors between us, so I am not sure if Jebediah thought maybe it was possible that I would not hear the chaos that would ensue in the water closet or that I simply fell asleep in the speed of light and would not notice.

I fear he may have consumed a diabolical feast of Chimmichangas or some intense hot periperi nachos, perhaps his colon was undergoing an intensive flushing procedure, for the sounds that I heard that evening were akin to the contents of a big pot of steaming curry being tossed into a sink. Oh Jesus, and the trapped pockets of gas that heralded the onslaught and echoed against the bowl of the toilet…

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Horrified, I covered my head with the smelly linen and tried to ignore the clamor. It went on for 30 minutes or so and when he returned to bed, I fiercely pretended that I was indeed asleep.

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When I left the next day, I vowed I would not be put off by the post-coital events of the night before. After all, they were simply bodily functions that were (fearfully) normal. These were some things that could be changed at a later date when we were more comfortable with each other. For instance, I could send him outside into a bush where he could dig a hole and happily continue his business.

However, after this encounter, Jebediah continued in his strange and aloof way and after another “k”, I figured that we had run our course now. When I didn’t hear from him in almost a month, I figured it was time to move on.

I can’t remember exactly when or how long after our first night together, but some time must have passed. It was winter, that much I am certain of, and I had been dating a guy I had been quite fond of only to find out via Facebook that the heinous creature had another girlfriend. Naturally, I called upon the assistance of my cousin and we went out to drink my sorrows away. In my drunken haze, I was reckless and no longer hurt, so I began messaging Jebediah. I do not remember what my drunk persona said to that boy, but that bitch has my back (sometimes). When we returned to my apartment that evening that was currently occupied by 3 other women, Jebediah came over.

As my room was a right mess, I was hastily trying to prove I didn’t live like a pig when the doorbell rang. One of my most sarcastic friends at the time answered the door and to my mortification she told him, “Another one for Ash? Hang on, I’ll get her. Ash! Another one here for you!”

Jebediah spent the night and most of the next day with me. I saw him again the next night. And gradually we became almost a regular occurrence. It was nice and I enjoyed our nights together. During the day we would mostly message each other, sometimes flirty and sometimes playfully argumentative.

I was feeling bold one night that I was supposed to visit him. We had spoken at some length about turn ons and fantasies so I opted to indulge in one of his.

I had a black coat that covered the tops of my thighs so I wore that and nothing else other than a pair of black heels. In winter.

Freezing, I was driving to his apartment when he called me and asked me to pick up some McFlurries for us. Sure, why the fuck not?

Well I sure as hell could not go into MacDonald’s dressed like that so I went through the drivethru only to receive knowing looks from the ladies serving me as the tops of my very naked thighs were exposed. God.

Perhaps I was misinformed and men don’t actually like girls who show up to their apartment wearing nothing but a black coat and bearing ice cream as gifts, but Jebediah did not invite me over again after that evening. When he turned aloof and cold this time, so did I. I grew tired of the game he played and eventually I lost contact with him altogether until out of the blue, last August, he sent out a tentative message to establish contact with me again. Maybe the smell of freshly jilted and broken engagement oozed in the subconscious of all that knew me once and now, but I did not take kindly to the gesture.

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I learnt a lot from this relationship- douchebags come in many shapes and sizes. Girls, don’t let an articulate geek misinform you of his actual intentions. When it came straight down to it, Jebediah was looking for a serious relationship but not with a girl like me. I was his back up, his hook up for whenever he felt lonely, horny, depressed… I was his emotional security net. It is an easy thing to be and it is even easier to use someone for those exact purposes, but it is cruel.

You’re feeling lonely? Deal with it. Get a plant or a pet rock.

You’re feeling down? Join the club! Seriously, sort that shit out though in a healthy way.

Your self-esteem is dragging on the floor and you need uplifting? Go to gym, brush your teeth and shower, get your mother to tell you what a handsome boy you are.

What you should absolutely NOT do? Use another person for a quick emotional fuckfest fix.

Self awareness, folks. The rule applies to all: don’t be a fucking asshole. #ashrants

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Harry #2

“I miss my monkey.”

Clearly all the Puka Puka’s had gone to my head because I’m sure I had just heard Harry #2 say that he missed HIS monkey. I refrained from blurting the first thing that entered my mind (WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK) and tried to contain the incredulous emotions from my face.

I failed.

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I was not subtle it seemed. I do struggle to contain my utter bafflement, disdain, ‘WTF’ expressions from my countenance even though I will do my best not to actively voice just how confounded a person can make me. Harry #2 caught my expression immediately though and promptly whipped out his phone and brandished a rather recent picture of a small grey monkey on his shoulder… equipped with a little diaper as well.

Well, fuck. “I had to give him up,” Harry #2 explained. “I miss him. I could not travel and leave him behind, it would be cruel.”

Wasn’t it cruel to have him in the first place? I’m sure the poor creature would prefer not to be contained to a small house by a lead and a fucking diaper. I didn’t say anything, I knew it was quite customary over here for people to have wild and exotic animals as pets. Besides, I was very attracted to Harry #2 and up till that moment he had seemed possibly like the most normal person I had ever dated.

I was struggling to find any fault. He was an IT technician… I think. It was something technical, something difficult to remember… like whatever Chandler’s job was in ‘Friends’. Anyway, he was also very intelligent and well-read with a great sense of humour. Sitting at the cocktail lounge I had chosen for us to meet, I felt decidedly sophisticated and mature. He was dressed superbly in a crisp white business shirt and formal trousers, he smelled Godly (there is just something about a man who smells like you could ravish him on the spot), and his shoes were freshly polished. He looked dark and weirdly handsome and rugged, unshaven (which is normal considering where I live now) and very tall. He bordered on skinny which I did not mind. Despite what my previous blog posts have expounded on, I do not particularly care about height or body type or any of that, but somehow my most intense experiences have revolved around men who frequented the gym. Ok well not that many- just two or three.

I was attracted more to his personality than anything else. I said weirdly handsome before because I don’t think he fit into the conventional standards of handsome. I found him pleasing but he did look a bit odd at times. Nevertheless, as we sat together in the cosy bar sipping cocktails and talking books and philosophy and life, I felt supremely sophisticated and the classy lady.

Until my cover was blown.

“It’s good to see you again, Miss Ashleigh,” the young bartender said amicably as he brought me my regular cocktail (a blasted thing called a Potted Parrot adorned with a garish bird to boot). He looked at the man sitting next to me. “I am sad to see that it did not work out with the other guy.”

This particular establishment had become my go-to when I wanted to meet someone for the first time. I hadn’t met many men here though, I believe there was one other who introduced me to the place before Harry #2. Anyway, I liked it so much I kept coming back. Guess I would have to shake things up a little bit now…

Luckily, Harry #2 didn’t seem to catch on or he chose not to comment on it.

We spoke for what seemed like hours and I didn’t let the fact that he had evidently kept a monkey as a pet get to me too much. When our drinks dwindled away, I honestly didn’t want the evening to end. He invited me over, I accepted, and we shared a cab to the hotel apartments where he was staying.

Sex wasn’t supposed to happen, it wasn’t the goal of my evening, but it did and it was good and I do not regret it though at the time I acted like I did. After the deed was done I collected my clothes and bag, feeling ashamed of myself, and got in the next cab back to my apartment. Harry #2 wanted me to stay… he asked several times if I would, but I brushed it off casually, attempting to keep cool and calm and collected.

I suppose I am unused to one night stands that extend beyond the “one night” but Harry #2 asked to see me again and I complied. He brought dinner and drinks to my apartment and after eating and fucking I asked him to leave. Who was this person, asking sophisticated lovers to exit her bed?? Damned if I know.

Maybe the universe was building up to a terrifying climax that makes me cringe even to this day.

The next week I did spend the night at Harry #2’s hotel apartment. It was a week night and I had to arise an entire hour earlier than him (cursed profession, that of an educator), which didn’t seem to be a problem. Naked as the day I was born under the covers, I pulled them back to get out of bed as something caught my eye.

My heart stopped beating in my chest.

It was small, but there nonetheless, and if Harry #2 chose to throw himself out of bed and mess the covers, he would have seen it too.

A small, obvious spot of blood was on the white sheets, a clear indication that my uterus was laughing at me and boycotting any attempts at a normal relationship with a nice man.

I was horrified. And I got back into bed and pulled the covers tightly above me so that the offending spot was invisible.

I grew up in a family that just did not discuss these sort of things openly, anything to do with sex, monthly cycles and bodily fluids was hush hush and almost scandalous. I am more open about them now but it has taken some time to navigate around the feelings of discomfort each time they are mentioned.

So when this unspeakable ordeal occurred in the fancy hotel apartment on the first night we spent together, I wanted to die.

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I lay there, mortified to my very core, until Harry #2 woke up for work and asked why I wasn’t up yet. “Oh, I er… decided not to go to work today,” I responded quickly. “Feeling a bit sick.” Lies, lies, lies!

How pathetic was I that I let a tiny drop of blood on a white sheet stop me from going to work? OK, well I hated my job at the time so it was an easy enough decision but c’mon… Well, I doubt Harry #2 ever found out about it because as soon as he left I stripped the bed and disposed of the evidence before housekeeping entered to finish the rest.

We saw each other on and off for about 2 months. I did like him but I figure there was no real connection between us, just some good sex and conversation. Harry #2 was very laid back throughout our brief courtship and maybe if I had adopted a similar approach we would have developed into something more serious. I struggled with the fact that we did not have a label, that there was no sense of commitment and it was implied that I was free to do whatever I wanted. It left me edgy and when I spoke to him about it, he asked me what I wanted.

“A relationship,” I told him directly.

“Then let’s have a relationship,” he replied as he packed his suitcase on the other side of the room for a two week business trip to Lebanon.

“It’s that simple?”

“Yes, why not?”

I shrugged, feeling uneasy. His phone went off from beside me on the bed and he asked me to pass it to him. As I did, I caught sight of the message on screen. I’m not a snoop, I have never found the need to search through another person’s phone before, but that message quickly eradicated any notion of a relationship with Harry #2.

Someone named Amy had written: “I really want to see you again.”

Instead of letting the issue fester and gnaw away at my thoughts, I asked him directly about it and received an indirect response.

“Sometimes it is possible to misinterpret what we read,” Harry #2 said when I asked him about Amy and whether he was going to see her again.

Very inconclusive.

For some reason I wasn’t hurt. I shrugged it off and contemplated absentmindedly what I should do about the matter, but the thought came and went like a pesky fly that I had to keep swatting away. Eventually I did end the relationship with an obscure and cowardly Whatsapp message that read something along the lines of: “I don’t feel very relationshippy. Sorry.”

I never heard from Harry #2 again. I did however provide him with a very loquacious drunken Whatsapp essay after one too many bottles (yes, bottles) of Prosecco in which I regaled him of all the deep dark musings of my broke and twisted mind. How I wish I had kept that bit of prose but, perhaps wisely, I deleted the evidence off my phone and Harry #2 blocked my drunk ass on Whatsapp.

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Dillon

I believe Dillon is very much gay.

It didn’t stop me from taking him home and sleeping with him though.

But more on that later.

Firstly, by the time Dillon had initiated the first message on Okcupid, I had come to a few revealing conclusions about myself.

a)      The type of boy I was finding myself attracted to has to be damaged or broken in some irreparable way.

b)      I have “Daddy” issues

c)       I am miserable alone, but when I do have company I want nothing more to do with him and then paradoxically become even more miserable when I don’t receive a message or phone call from said stranger the next day.

d)      That I needed anti-depressants (not for the lack of male potential in my life, but generally just because I’m a monumental emotional fuck up who probably shouldn’t be encroaching on the normalness of anything that would have me).

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have indulged the waves of misery by dating random boys and taking them home afterwards but hey… anything to keep my mind away from even more disturbing matters.

So when Dillon messaged me I was only marginally intrigued- he seemed far too normal and to boot, he had a distinct “good boy” look about him. Flyaway, blonde Patrick Swayze hair, clean shaven…  and he didn’t seem to have an unfixable past to do with drugs, broken families, joblessness and so on. In fact, he owned a wedding venue on the outskirts of Pretoria and had recently acquired property on the coast of Kwazulu Natal. Gosh, I should snatch this lad up, shouldn’t I?

Dillon sounded almost too perfect on paper, which is why I wasn’t very attracted to him, but against this incessant desire to see myself invariably hurt, I agreed to meet him for drinks.

Dillon was shorter than his specified height… and on top of that I came to realise that all his photos were taken from an advantageous angle so as to make him appear taller than he really was. Hence, I have altered my checklist somewhat to include that if these photos exist, then he is certainly shorter than what he wants to be.

I have no issue with height though and didn’t make anything of it. Dillon was nice enough in person, friendly and loquacious, but most definitely gay. There was just something about him- the subtle gestures of his wrists that he used while he conversed with me, the feminine chain around his neck, the glossy mane of blonde hair that had been styled to thick perfection… Afterwards, he danced unashamedly at a club and even my cousin did not fail to remark while we watched this spectacle from the side lines, “Isn’t he gay?”

I knew that Dillon and I weren’t meant to be as I’m sure some handsome stud will lay claim to him in the near future, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy his suppression for what it was worth. I took him home that night to my mother’s where I was housesitting as she was attending an all-night cancer marathon at a nearby highschool and would only be home the following afternoon.

I was immediately disappointed at the size of his penis- short but thickish-but surprisingly Dillon was not bad in bed. He had stamina and control, the combination appealing and pleasurable, but when the moment arrived for him to “finish”, he pulled out despite the fact that he wore a condom.

“Wha-?” I gasped, surprised.

Shame-faced, he said, “You can never be too careful.”

I did not make further comment and he spent the night. The following morning at 5:30am I escorted him to his car parked in our driveway.

What cruel sense of punishment the universe has instilled for my crimes can surely not be as sadistic as what happened next. Timing has never been on my side but that morning Fate and God (if I believed such a thing) were surely having a right guffaw at my misfortune, for as Dillon and I exited the house, so my mother and several of her companions drove in.

She failed to note the look of horror on my face and my mother, a more stoically proper woman there never was, made a beeline for Dillon with predatory intent. “Hello!” she trilled energetically while I endeavoured to ignore the pounding of my temples, a combination of too much gin and the horror-inducing nausea of my predicament. “I’m so glad I caught you! Now you can help me offload!”

No, it didn’t get any worse, and once Dillon had unprotestingly unloaded a van full of chairs and tables, he took his leave. My mother turned to me with a glint in her eye (I am the only child of hers that is not yet married and while my brother happily popped out two grandsons for her, I am under severe parental pressure to procure the granddaughter- not that I take any heed to this incentive at all), and asked with feigned lightness, “And who was he?”

“Just a friend, mom,” I grumbled disparagingly.

“Oh.” She shook her head slightly. “You must be careful, my girl.”

It was sage advice that I still find difficult to swallow. How can one be careful when all they feel is a ravaging desire towards recklessness and self-abuse?

I heard from Dillon briefly after that and when I enquired as to why he did not contact me, he informed me that I acted quite cold towards him. Interesting… had I been “cold” all along? Had I inadvertently treated all the boys I took home with the same, unthinking callousness that I can only think is caused by my need for self-preservation?

Ah, whatever. It’s not like I had met any strapping lad worthy of keeping around… yet.