I had no interest in the trite telling of a VW bug's life. Bored and bitter, I peered through the rear view window to discover an angel of an image. When I saw Christopher Atkins frolicking on the beach of the Blue Lagoon, I felt a dreamy warm chill flash through my gut. Doing a 180, I read his gorgeous, full lips word for word through the back window since I couldn't hear the spoken dialogue. From the front seat, my dad growled at me to turn around and focus on the film we had bought tickets for. I was only able to catch brief glimpses of the tan, toned physique of what appeared to be a blond sun god before I was relegated to Disney doldrums.
Forbidden and banished from my evening in the twilight of the Blue Lagoon, I wept in angry tears.
"You're not old enough for Brooke Shields." my father scolded. I neglected to tell him that it wasn't her I was interested in although I had loved her work in Pretty Baby.
Later that night at home in the dark, I fantasized about the flash of Christopher's bare flesh that I had glimpsed through the back of the station wagon, if only for a beautiful albeit brief moment. Hollywood's image was forever in my head. The bleached, athletic prowess of a California beach boy stayed in my subconscious and served as the ultimate prototype of perfection.
As I shed the poundage of a barely tolerable childhood, puberty led to adulthood and a modicum of self-acceptance. Still, no matter what I looked like in the mirror, an uncomely nerd stared back. This dreadful image followed me through high school into college and a young adulthood spent in a microcosm of looksism: aka Hollywood.
Slim and suddenly able to compete in a model's market, I maintained the destructive behavioral pattern fueled by an inaccurate self perception. Christopher Atkins moved on to yesterday's news but his masculine ideal remained the golden-haired standard. I became bewitched by the beefcake icon imagery set by American Model Guild. The tantalizing unattainable bulge in the photos haunted me.
Upon a recent evening set in my current habitat of ennui, I met my childhood wet dream incarnate. A friend showed up at my door with what I perceived to be was some random street trade he had dragged in until he revealed a sense of familiarity with the sexy stranger.
I was introduced to a blond beauhunk named Bjorn who laid it on pretty thick with complimenting me the first moment we met. "Why didn't you tell me he was so fine?" he asked my friend in reference to me.
I dried the dish soap on my ragged jeans and considered it a welcome substitute for the laundry I was too broke to do. Luckily, the faded frumpy cornflower blue sweatshirt I wore was baggy enough to hide evidence of my neglected abdominals.
Since I had been wearing the same drab dress for over a depressive week, I cursed myself and hurried to the loo to implement damage control. I remembered reading that Bette Davis was dubbed the "little brown wren" upon her Hollywood arrival and I flashed to that image. A split second later, I heard Piper Laurie's cacophonous curse in taunting tones lecturing in my ears. Just like she did as Carrie's mother in the Stephen King film about the telekinetic teen, she screeched "They're all gonna laugh at you," which I translated to mean "He's never going to f**k you." Over and over, the sirens taunted me. The blond Venus in my living room must have mistaken me for someone else.
When I finally rejoined my company I flashed on the scene from Terms of Endearment when Shirley Maclaine does a fast-switch with her hairpiece in the ladies room before she lunched with Jack Nicholson. If she could dance the entire Nutcracker ballet suite with a broken ankle like she did for the Washington ballet in the 1950s, then I could fake my through social niceties with my childhood lover fantasy.
But then Bjorn took off his shirt and off before I could say Paris Hilton I had already uttered the obvious with a quip that I must have channeled from the heiress with an airhead image. You're hot, so hot," I salivated.
My friend guffawed in glee as I shot a grim glare his direction.
I accepted Bjorn's lavished attention much less gracefully than Shirley did in her dance of the lost cupcake.
Since I had seemingly silenced my friend in one stone like stare, he busied himself perusing the craigslist m4m postings as I sat beholden by Bjorn. He layered the saccharine on tri-fold and lambasted me with butterfly kisses.
"I dreamed of you last week." he said. As we had just barely met, I questioned the validity of this statement.
He seemed very eager to seek my approval as he implored me to read his journal. As he thrust a tattered, careworn steno pad into my lap, I was transfixed and read his enthursiasm as endearing. Scrawled in a handwriting script that was psycho Palmer method, the words "treatment journal" were scribbled in magic marker. After flipping the cover, I was still able to eke out a semblance of translation from his prose. I guessed it was something to the effect of song lyrics or a dream sequence but I could not be sure. I don't know which of his boyish attributes appealed to me most, but I sat back to interview him with the professional journalistic focus I had learned in college. I was anxious for a chance to practice my Anderson Cooper impression and jumped right into what appeared to be a brewing story.
Bjorn seemed a bit off balance. Yet, it was a quality I could relate to as evidenced by the number 5150 tattooed on my arm. Branding myself with such a cuckoo's scarlet letter of sorts instantly identified me as someone who was no stranger to the inside of a psych ward which seemed to score me some points with Bjorn. He lapsed into a deep, throaty rendition of a Kurt Cobain tune as he revealed a revelation that he had once attempted to overdose. I brought up the obvious parallel between the wispy singer's suicide and Bjorn's own tragic trajectory.
As I probed him for sketches of a biographical narrative, it began to take shape. He made references to a broken home, a neglectful mother and tyrant father. I pictured the young, blond, curly-haired innocent Dickensian character. It was Hawthorne's tragedy of the marble faun.
Then he told me I looked like a rock star. Leaning into within an inch of my ear he confessed that he only watched straight porn as if the prospect of homo porn was entirely inappropriate to view during gay sex.
By the end of the interview, I had discovered even more parallels that seemed monumental no matter how trivial.
As I stared into eyes that reminded me of the deep blue sea, my private longings had unintentionally surfaced. I imagined being sucked affectionately and repeatedly followed by a bath in warm bubbly tap water
By this time, I was living an out-of-body experience or did I only want to because he said he did? No stranger to attempted suicide, he parroted other accounts I had heard about near-death as he described tales of ominous light coupled with a feeling of peace that led to the spirit levitating above the body ad infinitum.
My mind was overrun with themes of suicide, pills, teen-age delinquency, sex, psych-meds and pornography packaged in the bulging briefs of a blue eyed, blond haired walking hard on. I was beside myself in complete disbelief. I pictured a paperback novel with Fabio on the dog-eared cover. It would be a hallowed story of this lusty squire.
Suddenly he was overcome with passion and we were two babes in the woods with a determined dynamism. My sexual half-life up to the present had been primarily dominated by the hurried hushes and carnal urgings uttered by straight-as-identified men. I was totally disconnected from the 'wow' factor for years. Having humored the homophobic hostility of MSM (men who have sex with men)along for so long, I could barely remember the sparkle kiss of contentedness shared with another man.
Bjorn's tranquil caress brought me to Xanadu. I flashed on Olivia Newton-John and a memory of Let's Get Physical reverberated through my physique. The Nirvana-like euphoria I experienced made me question the association Bjorn made between himself and the wispy shadow of an icon: aka Kurt Cobain.
"(aside, spoken to myself as if the fourth wall was revealed)I wanted to bask in the promising pillow talk and dream of my future ex-husband. I tried to picture myself as the second half of two dads to his children. But then he lapsed into baby-talk and for a while looked and sounded like an eight year-old. He sat on the floor and surrounded himself with a Mr. Wizard-like set of drug paraphernalia. He seemed to be playing patty-cake with a witch doctor's unction. I knew Bjorn had a drug-induced past which was another trait he shared with me. The unguent combination he prepared in the spoon looked unlike any injectable substance I had ever seen. "It's synthetic cocaine," he offered. "Want a hit?"
Good Lord!! Being an advocate for junkie's rights had never exposed me to this sideshow. I soon learned that Bjorn's synthetic coke was actually a crushed-up and watered down smattering of Welbutrin mixed with another undetermined psych med, "dipped in Ecstasy" that was actually heated by flame and drawn up in clumps through a used syringe.
I knew better than to look this "hung like a (gift)-horse" in the mouth and my optimistic dreams of coupledom gave way to self chastisement.The familiar lashings of self-doubt and hatred caustically attacked me from the eaves of my id. Bjorn was gone. Way gone. As he left upon Aurora's awakening at the break of dawn he blew me (and then a kiss) vowing to return for the nascence of our relationship, it turned out to be the nadir since I have not seen him since. I bid farewell to him and adieu to the hateful imps wreaking havoc on my self image. I realized I could never imagine that I would somehow be worthy of the attention he lavished on me. And by the rate things are going, I'm not sure I ever will. God save me from myself.