With Thanks to Prince & Sheila E
 
In the center of a very small room is a small handmade

table, atop which sits a bell of the kind one holds between thumb and

forefinger and gives a little jangle to set the angels alight. There is also a

placard. "Only ring this bell," it says, "if you want to

die." Beside this table is a chair. I sit in this chair. Someone will

enter, smile, and ring the bell. Inside this brief paragraph lies the

definition of why some of us should never fall in love.


SIDE EFFECT


Time for brutal honesty, and brutal honesty requires a lexicon out of the norm, so here it is: I've bollocksed-up every relationship I've ever been in. How? By being me. Me the arrogant prick of a high schooler bollocksing up his first shot at romance (with a flooping beautiful genius I might add; nice, asshole); me the clueless collegiate who somehow inexplicably and totally unknowingly bollocksed up a fling with said genius' best friend (bestie didn't go to our high school, totally random entanglement. Go figure); me bollocksing up with adult women who somehow managed to tolerate me for more than the length of the average Hollywood blockbuster. Hell, one of them even married me. Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks. Me, me, me. Not that I'm bad. Not that I'm evil. I can be charming. I genuinely care. I may not be Ryan Gosling 'Hey Girl' quality but I could probably manage one of Taye Diggs' romantic roles. For a few minutes.


I am analytical. I am not hyper emotional. Even though I'm the most honest person in the world I lie. A lot. Not like a politician or that one kid who you can't stand coming around to see your kids. My lies are to protect the continuity of the time line. See, like that. I'm critical, curious, and a bit of a pain in the precious ass. And I can't stand the notion of "people." Yes. You guessed it. A writer. Not that other people aren't pains in the ass. Certainly not that all writers--or to extend, creative minded people--bollocks things as a matter of course. Myself, though, being a practicing Noble Moron (to pilfer Harlan Ellison's excellent wordage), am steadfastly an infallible engine of romantic self-immolation. I will find that one worrying quality (or 3 or 35--I may bollocks but I'm not the sole dancer in those Burning Man festivals) about someone and douse us both in gasoline whilst striking up a rhythmic cadence using flint rocks. Burning Man is not all it's cracked up to be.


It could be that, as with lactose intolerance, some of us should simply avoid behaviors that might lead to others falling in love with us. We should perhaps come with those friendly, even-toned announcers who tell us all the mortal side effects of our giant pharmaceutical companies' cocaine-fueled sadist fantasies, i.e. whatever latest product they've lobbied through.


Warning. Do not love this person if seeking long term feelings of security and bliss. Should undue emotional attachment occur seek help immediately. In case of heartbreak know that this person was sincere but happens to be an idiot. Yes. A writer.


You get the idea.


But know what? I'm actually kind of cool with the idea of being (and this sounds harsh but it isn't) unlovable. I have run, crawled, and walked some odd roads to lead to a pounding epiphany--one nearly sacrilegious in our couples-crazed world--that I, me, this idiot who, despite not having scores of supple book groupies and Joyce Carol Oates' number on speed dial, really has nothing to complain about that he didn't create his own bloody self, I need peace more than I need love. Everybody's definition of peace is different. As far as creativity is concerned, mine requires a nearly hermit-like state of being. Detachment and silence as mental aphrodisiac.


Soft, shaven, delicate bollocks.


In other words, useless.


Yes. A writer. This one, at any rate. One whom, having seen his own ass so many times, you'd think would enjoy hindsight as fore, but no. No, he falls in love. Always does. The trick though is don't you fall in love with him. 


A love bizarre.