Phil George of Symbol Six
FROM BORN FRUSTRATED
Sometimes people tell me the craziest shit, and I store it in my head or on a piece of scratch paper to use in a future story.
Sometimes you hear something so wild that you doubt the truth of the story, then you meet someone else and they tell you a similar story, and you still wonder, but after hearing the story a third time from three different people you have to believe the story is not only true, but a common occurrence.
OK, it starts like this, back in the nineties before I was married, I met a girl named Melissa, we dated a few times then one day I turned on the TV and she was on The Newly Wed Game. Melissa was one of many women I met over the years that was a bit gun-shy and not overly trusting due to some crazy ex and a bad break-up. Here’s the thing: I don’t care about your ex nor do I need to know how he pushed the line by bringing a donkey in a mask home.
I’ve always tried to start relationships with a clean slate, in other words, whatever you’ve done prior to me (as long it isn’t going to interfere with my life) has nothing to do with me.
While most women would like the clean slate on their part, most couldn’t shake their own baggage. One night, Ms. Newly Wed Game wanted to hang out and I wasn’t feeling it, so I told her I was going to have some guys over to play dominoes, eat pizza and drink beer (one or two cigars might be involved). She said OK, but it was somewhat hesitantly. Anyway, I had four or five guys over and we did just what I said, dominoes, pizza, and beer. Hanging out with these guys was like watching an action movie, mind-numbing entertainment. And once it was over, you’d never remember exactly what happened. Talked shit, possibly a fight and plans for the next hang out.
So, at the end of the night, I walk out the last of the hoodlums, and out of the corner of my eye I see a familiar car. Yep, it was Melissa, parked a half a block down . . . . Watching my place.
I say goodbye to my friends I walk towards Melissa’s car; she quickly starts the car and turns on her headlights. I stand in front of the car and say, “Roll down your window.” I ask if she was done spying and wanted to get a drink or speed off.
She finally admits to not believing that I was really going to hang out with a bunch of guys.
So, I pressed it, “Why?”
“Well, because of the stuff with my ex.”
“Oh boy, another I got cheated on story.”
“Don’t be an asshole, it’s more than that.”
“A donkey in the bedroom story?”
“No, it’s beyond that.”
“Well, shit, spill it. It’s 1:00am in the morning, my house is under surveillance, spill it.”
“Fine! I lived with my son’s father for a few years and I went to his job to surprise him for lunch and he wasn’t there. His supervisor said he hadn’t been to work in a week. But he had been leaving everyday at the same time and coming home at the same time.”
“So, he got lost?”
“No, dammit, I’m being serious.”
“OK, go on.”
“So me and my girlfriend Jill followed him for three or four days . . . “
“I’m not the only one getting spied on?”
“Do you want me to finish?”
“Sure, why not.”
“Every morning he would go to Tampa and Parthenia, by the projects, and buy crack, wait for me and my son to leave. Go into the house and smoke crack and watch porn all day. On the fourth day, I came in and caught him. I told him to get his stuff and leave.”
“This doesn’t explain why you’re staking out my place?”
“When you said you were hanging out with friends, I figured you were lying.”
“Sorry, I don’t lie.”
“If I was smoking crack or had a woman here I’d tell you.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“Yes, I would, for two reasons: 1. I don’t lie and 2. I’ll treat you like I want to be treated.”
So, to wrap this up, we lasted a few more weeks. She had issues and ran off and married her ex’s best friend. I started seeing a girl named Karen. Karen was a nice girl. But she too had some issues.
I met Karen right as she was wrapping up a relationship with some guy. On the outside, she was calm, cool and collected, but inside she was a little quirky.
One day I came over to go swimming at her sister’s condo. Everything seemed cool; when I came back to the condo to change I found her going through my wallet. So, I said with all of my subtlety, “Trying to rob me?”
She dropped the wallet and let out a bit of a shriek.
“It’s not what you think.”
“OK, what is it then?”
She started with a story of a boyfriend that would up and disappear for days at a time. This led to her staking out his place. Then breaking in one night and finding him naked smoking crack with a hooker.
I shook my head and thought, “A lot of that going around.” But instead, I said, “What does that have to do with my wallet?” She said that I would go off radar sometimes and/or disappear.
I told her, “Look, me not being around has nothing to do with crack or hookers or donkeys (I didn’t really say Donkeys). Sometimes I just want to be left alone. I want to be somewhere where no one is watching my house; no one is rummaging through my wallet. Understand? What were you looking for anyway?”
“Phone numbers, drugs. Stuff like that.”
We stopped seeing each shortly after that.
Lastly, I dated a girl, I’ll call Ellen, back in the late eighties. Ellen was someone who believed she was rich but lived, somewhat, middle-class. She tended to look down on everyone and everything. But the first impression she gave was great.
Anyway, after a month of seeing each other I left the room to hit the can one night and at the time the room I slept in at my place had two doors, I walked out of one and came back in the other – surprising her. I found Ellen going through the drawers of my dresser.
I already knew where this was going so I said, “I don’t think any of my clothes will fit you.”
She yelped, dropped some clothes and started to make up some excuse about looking for something.
So I said, “Let’s speed this up, don’t lie. What did your boyfriend do that I have to pay for?”
She stammered for a bit, then said, “Well, he was supposed to meet me the morning of my cousin’s wedding, but he disappeared that week. After the reception, I went to his parent’s house where he lived. I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. No answer. So, I went around back and opened the sliding glass door, and I found him smoking crack and masturbating to porn.”
I shook my head and said, “Yep, don’t they all.”
Now, what are the chances of dating three different women and having the same scenario pop up three different times?
In one or two of the cases the girls went back to the crack smoking ex.
Born Frustrated is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb