Old journals, bad boyfriends

Instead of writing yesterday on my day off, I reread these old yellow writing tablets circa 1996 when I lived in Chicago and worked at the law school. They are alternately funny and terrifying--have I learned nothing? Very little. One of my bestest friends from that time was a very funny and silly and adorable girl Annie McConnell--she was also an excellent writer. We met in a writing workshop at Northwestern and I wanted to be her friend right away because she always wore the best shoes. Anyway, she forced me to make a list of the reasons not to date this guy anymore. Here's the list:

1. He's an asshole.
2. He doesn't deserve me.
3. He will someday tie me to a bed and set me on fire.
4. It makes Annie sick to think of me being nice to him when he's treated me like shit.
5. She thinks we should spit in his fat, ugly, pasty face.
6. He's also a creep, a loser, a psychotic mania, a freak.

I remember he also met my neighbor boy--this painter who I shared a window with. He painted these gigantic self-portraits of himself naked. He was funny and too young and we never kissed though he did give me a can of soup for dinner once. I used to lay in bed at night, listening to him talk really loudly on his phone and I would smile whenever he said something funny as though I were in the room with him. Anyway, Painter Boy met this guy once. I ran into PG in the hallway after work one day and told him I had decided to break up with him.

He said, Good. That guy was hostile. He was definitely trying to get a reaction by what he was talking about.

I said, What was he that again?

He said, Remember? All the different kinds of poop?

I laugh every time I read that.

Another transcription from my journal. This was near the beginning of the relationship when I was still trying to decide if he was really funny or really scary.

He said, How did your eyes get so big? Your eyes are bigger than my head.

I said, That should sound like a compliment, but somehow, it doesn't.

He said, You're beautiful. I flashed on Mark who used to brush my hair out of my face and proclaim, You're pretty. Also, last night, when he had his arms wrapped tight around me, he said, You're so skinny. Don't you eat? He felt the individual bones along my spine. He also told me last night that Gretel has a great face. She does. She does have a great face.

Later, and not even much later, he turned into someone else completely. He enumerated for me the reasons I wasn't hot enough to appear in Playboy, one of which was that I wasn't thin enough. To my credit, I broke up with him after that. We also had a fight on the subway once wherein he announced to me (and the entire train car) that he had experimented with men. When I reacted with surprise, he accused me of being homophobic.

Didn't discover much in the way of old fiction that would be worthwhile, though there's one line I like in this story about a waitress. She's flirting with the bartender and he asks her to tell him a secret, something on one else knows about her. "I roll up the sleeve of my shirt. 'See that mole? It's really a birthmark.'"


Ben said…
wasn't he also a compulsive thief? he would take anything that wasn't nailed down, as i remember.
Aimee said…
Yes, he often stole law books from Borders. While I was with him--and he would tell me after we left the store. Look, I just got $300 worth of books for free!
Ben said…
yes, i remember that. didn't he also get in trouble with the school from bidding on a painting at a charity auction and not paying for it? i also remember a time when he got his ass kicked for hitting a guy's car with his umbrella and then got arrested too! good times.
Aimee said…
I could tell you even weirder stories, but my mom reads this blog so I better not...
jordynn said…
Your State College bfs sound pretty tame in comparison...