At times some of us are so convinced that the man or woman we’re in love with is “the” one. Even when they treat us bad or take us for granted and put us through hell and we have to walk our way back through the fire in order to realize, what is it that we see in them? Love should not hurt, love should not make us second guess ourselves. Ideally love should be two people putting in the same amount of effort, the same give and take not one giving more than the other. In 2007 I was working at UTEP in the department of Engineering and I wasn’t making nearly enough to cover having to support three boys, while going to school full time as well. In spite of this I had finally moved out of my parents’ house and rented a home on the far eastside of El Paso. At the time I was juggling paying bills, a car payment and rent. I found myself deciding which bill could wait and which one needed to be paid right away.
Then one Thursday afternoon, as luck would have it, my electricity got turned off because I hadn’t paid the bill (that was overdue). I barely had enough money to make ends meet, cover rent, utilities, food, clothes for two boys (my oldest had graduated and was working and living on his own) and my car and insurance payment. That day he came over and instead of listening to me about what had happened with the electricity, he got angry at me for being so financially irresponsible. He asked me how much my bill was so they could turn it back on, I told him it was $72 dollars and then he said had to go home and he left.
Yes the motherfucker left and me and my thirteen year old son slept on an inflatable mattress outside that night under the back porch because it was too hot inside, after all it WAS THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST IN HELL PASO, that night it hit a cool 97 degrees! This was one of those times that I thought it was obvious that I might need a little help, you know because I was his girlfriend of fifteen years (the one that didn’t demand any financial support whatsoever). I didn’t go to work that Friday because someone had to be there when the utility company went to go turn on the power. The first thing that morning he called to ask how I was doing (which was a stupid thing to ask, really). I said I was fine, and he told me he was on his way to give me the money to pay my electric bill. That’s when I told him I didn’t need it because I had borrowed the money from one of my friends the night before (who offered to put me in a hotel for the night but I politely declined) but the electric company couldn’t come by until the next day to turn the power back on. That’s when Lestat mentioned that he couldn’t sleep the night before because he was “worried about me” being at my house without any electricity. I thought to myself, exactly how much did you really worry about me that night? How much could you worry about me while in your 2200 square foot, refrigerated home, comfortably asleep?
The motherfucker could have given me the $72 dollars that day, it wasn’t going to break him, but yet he left me and went home and supposedly couldn’t sleep that night. He spent more on eating out every single day in one week but he couldn’t help out his girlfriend who he claimed to love? And who knows, maybe it was the guilt that didn’t allow him to sleep, the guilt of not being a kind human being to the woman he’d been in a relationship for fifteen years. Or then again, maybe he was lying because we know now he’s a fucking liar. It wasn’t until years later that he mentioned that he was trying to teach me a lesson and we proceeded to have a huge fight about that particular day.
Helping me should have been second nature to him because he said he loved me (something he kept saying over the course of fifteen years). I do know one thing, I would have helped him had he needed it, unconditionally no questions asked, no lessons that needed teaching, no trying to make my point, only helping the man I loved. But he had to make his point, he felt the overwhelming need to teach me that lesson that he believed I needed to learn at one of the very worsts times in my life. Then I thought to myself, why the fuck should I be the one needing to learn this particular lesson? Why in the hell doesn’t he teach these so-called “lessons” to the woman that actually NEEDS them?
I’m talking about his wife of course because after all she’s probably the one woman who can’t handle any kind of fiscal responsibilities whatsoever but since he got her use to him doing everything for her, she doesn’t have to learn these types of moral or financial lessons. The bitch doesn’t know how much a gallon of gas or milk costs. She also doesn’t need to calculate the exact amount of money in order to buy groceries or budget each month to pay every utility bill. I suppose when you’re married to an obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive emotional vampire, one doesn’t need to do anything but let the control freak do everything for you. That’s why he goes out and buys cars and shit without her input, because she can’t think for herself and never will because he does it for her and a stupid woman is okay with that I suppose.
As I had mentioned before we broke up and got back together many, many times. And once again I had had enough of his issues and indecisive nature, so I left him (yes again). I began to date someone who, come to think about he mirrored my ex-husband in many ways (what was I thinking?). This man, whom I’ll call Jeff for the purposes of this story was actually once married to my ex-husbands first cousin. We use to hang out together and our kids played with each other, I mean after all we were family. We ran into each other one day at the Walmart and we talked for over an hour in the frozen food section, he told me his wife left him and I told him I was divorced as well, so he asked me out and I said yes. We began to date and I thought to myself that this guy might be a serious relationship, not that I knew what that was after dealing with Lestat. And he was still there in the shadows, whispering to me every so often but this time I had a distraction that allowed me to ignore him and he sure as hell didn’t like that. Emotional vampires need to be the center of attention, especially the center of “your” life for them to keep going. Jeff and I dated for four months, and since my boys knew him they were okay with it I suppose, they never voiced their discontent with Jeff, not like they did with Waldo, they hated him.
I was happy for a short time (a very short time) that is of course until Jeff’s overbearing attempts at our relationship began to get on my nerves. Jeff wasn’t from El Paso he was actually from Indiana, born and raised (yes he’s white, I mean if you couldn’t have guessed by his name) and he came to El Paso because he was stationed at Fort Bliss while in the Army. That’s when he met his future ex-wife, my ex-husbands first cousin (stay with me here) and they got married and had two kids. Jeff began to display signs of insecurity and neediness and that was something I tried to ignore because I actively would tell myself that I had to forget about Lestat and move on. I came to realize that Jeff had issues of his own, I mean who doesn’t right? But some issues are stronger than others. For instance, neediness and clinginess that shit is annoying as fuck. That’s probably because I began to find my independence and I couldn’t take those horrible traits in anyone, let alone a man I was dating.
I had enough of that shit with Waldo and I HATE being suffocated in those ways, okay I hate being suffocated in every way. Sure I could have tried to deal with that but when a man wants to follow you like a shadow on the ground (thanks Trisha Yearwood for that line) it can and will get annoying. He spent every waking hour with me, I mean when he didn’t have to work of course, I would turn around and *bam* there he’d be just looking at me. One day I got out of the shower because we were going to go to the movies, and *bam* there he was sitting on the toilet waiting for me to get out of the shower, and he wasn’t even at my house when I got in the shower! This was very unsettling and I made sure he knew it, but did that stop him? Nope, if I spent the night at his house, I’d wake up and find him just staring at me. One night I actually got up at 1:43am to find him intently staring at me, I got my overnight bag together and drove home in pure frustration. But not before the mofo said “Great idea hun, I’ll go with you” to which I had to say “Oh hell no, I need to sleep so you’re staying here and DON’T FOLLOW ME!” Yes it sounds cruel and uncaring but I was like what the fuck is wrong with this guy?
I also realize that every man is different and I had to learn to accept them for whom they were, NOT compare them to the gauge that was Lestat. I really did, I use to stand in front of my bathroom mirror and say to myself “He’s a nice guy, he’s a nice guy. It doesn’t matter that he’s here all the time and that his idea of a dinner is frozen deer from meat from last hunting season on the grill. Or that when he calls to wake me up at 5:45am on a Sunday morning and ask if I’d like some coffee when the fucker is already at my front door with a thermos of coffee he brought from home, he’s a good guy, he’s a good guy.”
During this time with Jeff, Lestat began to realize he was losing his emotional and physical grip on me and his attempts at relationship recovery became more and more desperate. Which I had ignored until one day he called me out of the blue, we began to talk because he said to me that being able to just talk to me was enough for him. I made the mistake of allowing him backing with just a “talking” type of friendship (big mistake). That day he asked me what I was doing and I said I hadn’t felt very good that morning and decided to stay home from work. He said “You’re at home? Really? Do you need anything? I can take you medicine or something to eat if you’re not feeling well.” I laughed because I knew he was trying really hard, and I said that I was okay and that I had to go because I was going to go back to sleep. He said okay and then we hung up, I got up from my couch and as I walked to my bedroom my doorbell rang. For those of you who guessed, it was him, Lestat the Emotional Vampire.
I went to the door and looked through the peephole and reluctantly opened the door. He stood there with two cups of coffee from McDonalds (sound familiar?) and I said to him “what are you doing here? You know you can’t be here and I didn’t invite you.” I have to say that’s when I noticed that he didn’t particularly look all that well. He looked disheveled, he had a t-shirt with white paint on it and he looked like hadn’t shaved in days. He looked at me with what looked like tears welling up in his eyes and he begged me to let him in. So stupidly I did, and we sat in my living room in silence for the first ten minutes, just drinking our coffee. I finally asked him what he wanted, and he put his cup of coffee on the end table. He walked to the chair I was sitting in and knelt beside me, took my hand in his and put it to his chest as he looked at me and said “I need you, I miss you so much please don’t cut me out of your life. I love you so much and knowing you’re with another man is killing me. I want you back, I promise I’ll change, please give me a chance, please I’m begging you. I will never take you for granted again.”
At that very moment, the inner me was jumping up and down for joy, I mean what woman doesn’t want to hear that from any man? Or for that matter what man doesn’t want to hear that from a woman? We all do, we all want to know that we’re wanted and loved and that the person we want, wants us in return. As the inner me rejoiced, the outer me struggled to stay stone faced and emotionless all the while Lestat was bearing his heart to me. He took my hand and kissed it as tears fell down his cheeks. He quickly got up and hurried out the back door of my house. I rushed after him (because I was like what the fuck just happened?) and saw him pacing back and forth frantically looking like he was gasping for air. He came up to me and said he felt claustrophobic and felt like he couldn’t breathe and took my face in his rough hands and asked me again to take him back.
I hesitated of course because after all I had already had a boyfriend and it wasn’t fair to him to just drop Jeff and go back to Lestat. I told him I couldn’t, and he knelt down on the back porch concrete and asked me again (a mock wedding proposal? No just arrogance on his part at what he thought I wanted to see and hear). And again I told him no, he got up and said he understood but I suspect he didn’t. After another hour of him being there he left and I still felt sick and went to bed. That afternoon Jeff showed up with dinner from some hole in the wall restaurant off of Montana somewhere, just as I was falling into a deep sleep. I was to say the least annoyed, but I didn’t say or show it, so tired, sick and sleepy I sat at the table with my boyfriend from Indiana and ate dinner, listening to him talk and talk. Did I mention Jeff spoke with a faux southern accent which somehow seemed to annoy me under the skin, because the mofo was from Indiana, how the fuck did he wind up talking like Scarlett O’Hara?!?!
I could see this relationship was doomed, it was already on the horizon right before the supernova of disastrous relationships implosions happen. It was just a matter of when and where. During my relationship with Jeff I kept in contact with Lestat (yes I know this was bad and probably contributed to the demise of my relationship with Jeff) and we talked and even met a couple of times for lunch. It was innocent, I mean except all the times he tried to kiss or feel me up. Which I resisted and that was no small feat because I was still very, very attracted to him. One day our after work ice cream turned into sex at his office, again it was the strong attraction I felt, stupid yes, very, very stupid. But none the less I felt bad because I had a boyfriend, but my fading feelings for Jeff changed one day when we went out to look for a bottle of wine for one of my friend’s housewarming party.
That night I had made him dinner, beef bourgeon and it was DELICIOUS if I do say so myself. Afterwards we went to World Market to go find that bottle of wine, and we, for the most part, were having a good time. My youngest son was with us and we made our way oohing and aahing through the store and taking our time. During all of this I could see Jeff becoming antsy, nervous almost as he would walk away from us and then walk back and begin talking to us and picking up snacks and stuff to put in our basket. While in the wine section I was looking at all of the different brands and trying to pick out a bottle as unique as my friend. When all of a sudden Jeff walked up to me and said, in his annoying false southern accent, “we need to leave, I have gas” I stepped back looking at him and trying to process this request and that’s when I realized what he was doing when he was walking away from us and back again. It was because he was going far from us to fart!
Yes, you heard that right, this Indiana wannabe hillbilly was farting in the fucking World Market, and around other people no less! Then he looked at me and walked towards the doors that go to the back of the store where only employees are allowed and this time I heard it. I heard the nasty noise coming out of this idiot’s ass. He walked back towards me all the while I’m standing there with a bottle of Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon in my hand watching him come back toward me and wondering what the FUCK am I doing with this guy?!?!? I tried not to drop the bottle because all I felt was sheer rage and disgust at this man’s actions in public. As he got closer I finally noticed it, he wasn’t anyone I should be dating. The last remnants of relationship newness was gone *poof* disappeared in a cloud of his gastronomical antics! As if a veil was lifted from my eyes I noticed he was dressed in tattered khaki cargo shorts that were stained in the front. A dark green t-shirt that had an old beer logo on it with a torn collar and stained from the dinner that we had had a few hours before and a backwards baseball cap on his balding head. And to top it all off he was burping out loud. BURPING OUT LOUD FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!
All the while moving a toothpick through his mouth, back and forth from one side to another, sucking on it like it still had remnants from dinner. Then one of the workers came out from that back and as he stood there at the swinging doors, where this idiot had farted, probably trying to figure out what the fuck that rank smell was. I put the wine back on the shelf, left my cart, called to my son and told him we were leaving and proceeded to walk out of the store. Jeff followed me and kept saying in his annoying southern accent “honey, you not gon’ git the wine for yur frien?” As I made my way thought the parking lot toward his truck holding my son’s hand and tugging him hard, I turned to say “just take me home, I don’t want to talk to you right now, take me home, NOW!” He said “K, k what’s got yur panties in a twist?” I thought I should stay quiet because my son was with me and I tried, believe me I fucking tried. But he kept talking even after I told him to be quiet because I had a headache and I didn’t feel well.
Did the fucker listen? No, the motherfucker kept going on and on about why I was “actin’” like that and “he was gonna git the switch on my bottom” and finally at the stop light at George Dieter and Vista Del Sol I yelled out at him to shut the fuck up and that I thought he was a disgusting person. That his sucking on a fucking toothpick for more than two hours was horribly immature and a dirty habit not to mention farting in public, but he wouldn’t know that since he had no regard for other people in public for him to do it so blatantly. My son who was only thirteen and began to laugh and it seemed to add to the embarrassment it seemed he felt at my description of his shortcomings. As we drove up to my house he began to get out of his truck and I stopped him to say that I didn’t want him to come in. I told my son to get out of the truck and go inside while I told Jeff that I wasn’t interested in seeing him anymore.
I didn’t let him answer me and closed the door to his truck, which by the way was covered top to bottom with fucking dog hair which was gross, and walked into my house. As I turned to close the front door I saw him sitting in his truck staring at me and then my phone rang, it was him! I was like what the fuck?!?! I didn’t answer it, just sent it to voicemail and I went to my bedroom and stripped naked and got into the shower as if it was going to cleanse me from the four month experience with Jeff the Indiana hillbilly and his incredible rectal percussion. He kept calling me after that but I never answered, the following week Lestat was back in my life and on a Sunday morning as we were having coffee together, Jeff came by. That’s right he came by with a trailer hitched to his truck to pick up the patio set and grill he bought me for Mother’s Day. Many would say he had the right to do so but in my mind it was a fucking gift and I should have told him to get the fuck out of my yard. But I didn’t, I let him take my “gift” back all the while Lestat’s Corvette sat in the drive way which I’m sure was like rubbing salt in the wound in Jeff’s heart (okay that’s just an assumption, I don’t know how he felt about me but oh well). I never talked to him again and I found myself reconciled with Lestat and so resumed our dysfunctional relationship. Stay tuned for part eleven…..