The Vampire Penis
March 24, 2001
Everybody loves my baby. Even Rachel, who is a harsh judge in these matters, says Dave is sexy. But she could never be his woman, she says, due to his inability to look anyone in the eye and his habit of wandering away. My friend Matt Jasper was never attracted to a man until Dave came along.
What is it that’s so attractive about him anyway? I know he’s pretty handsome and has a taut yet lazy quality to his body, like a house-cat. At some angles his half-Arab-ness makes his face look like a moon. His terrible posture makes him look like a snake. These things are all witch’s familiars, all fluid: the cat, the snake and the moon can be seen as either cunning or unselfconscious, depending on the perceiver. Dave lets perceptions, and everything else, happen on him. Once or twice he was semi-molested while asleep at a party. He was a little ashamed when he told me mostly ashamed that he was excited by it. He’s bendy. He doesn’t argue about the concept of “tyranny” he’s too squirmy for debate. He understands thighs.
Since the Liz-Thigh-and-Food incident, Dave and I haven’t been sleeping in the same bed. Whenever he gets sexual now, I think of how he described his puppy dog ways with Liz: “It’s not real, Leese it’s just to trick myself.” And then I don’t believe anything about him, not even his erection. I thought maybe we should end all the extramarital activity. But I don’t want to make any choices where the main word is “can’t”: “We can’t do this anymore, there’s too much danger of pain.” And I don’t want to turn into a shy and jealous wife and then stop, with no way to play my way out. I still feel sexual it’s just gotten furtive and maybe even creepy. I’m shy and jealous and creepy. There’s a balding hairy man in New York who describes himself as a “struggling writer.” (I think he’s kidding.) “Struggling with whom?” I asked myself and pictured oily agents, publishers, bookstore owners, economists . . . it was a never-ending wrestling match he could not win. Naked! I was thinking these things and I adjourned to the bed I no longer sleep in, and then I lost my underwear. Now Dave is going to find them and know I was there while he was away at work.
We finally had sex last night, but I couldn’t do it until Dave had petted me for a long time. Which Dave is incapable of. “Crack an egg on my head,” I said that thing where you put your fist on top of someone’s head and “crack it” with the other hand, and your fingers are yolk running all through the hair. Dave’s version is a volcano and lava. He’s like the Three Stooges in bed, poking me in the eyes, hitting me. I always liked that because it’s a nice change from his downcast attitude out of bed. But now that I’ve gotten insecure, my whole body is fragile. Things hurt more. And then there’s his fascination with his own member. I used to find this endearing (“Oh, look at the secret chauvinist”), but in my current state my own genitals feel eclipsed by his, by his love for his. When my hand finally brushed his cock last night, he said: “Is that what you wanted? Say it.” It’s true, I do want it. I like to squeeze it and feel its length with the thousands of little hands lining my canal. But why doesn’t he say anything about wanting mine? I’ve asked him to, and he says, “Well, there’s nothing to say . . . I mean it’s just the way we’re made that the cock does things to the . . . to your part.” All the men before Dave perceived my genitals as active, as if they had their own secret life and they arrived in the bed at the same time as the penis, capable of attack. Dave has sucked out both my confidence and my genital activeness, and inflated himself with both. No wonder all my friends want him.
So I have a date. With the hairy balding man. I’m scared! I feel that maybe it’s disgusting of me, to be capable only of petting-sex with my husband and yet want to be standing up against the bathroom door of some dive with another man. But Dave won’t even go to a dive bar with me. And that’s my natural habitat. Mushrooms need moist darkness, bears need a good cave in the winter and I need places with torn pool tables. “You can do anything you want,” Dave said, but maybe he doesn’t mean it now any more than he didn’t mean it in the past.
I told my date whose name is also Dave of my “wrestling writer” daydream and he said that in fact he had done it to an agent twice his age on her desk overlooking the top of Manhattan, and still she wouldn’t represent him. I suppose there is something wrong with my biology that I am so turned on by defeat. Perhaps it’s that the defeated have dived more deeply into life (how else would they have found such bad luck?) than the unruined have. And that’s why I have to risk causing trouble with Dave (my Dave, I mean).
As he got ready for work today, he kept doing half-cute, half-aggravating things, like messing up my hair and taking things out of my hand. In my deflated state, that kind of behavior makes me cry it’s horrifying sometimes to think about being with this weird, almost-mean man for the rest of my life. But this morning, fortified with dreams of the approaching illicit Friday, after one hair-pull too many, I took the tape I was using and quickly sealed Dave’s mouth and taped his fingers together. “See Leese,” he said when he got his mouth free again, “I like it when you fight back. I like it when you win.”
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.