My Heart Went . . .
April 29, 2000
I have fallen for a boom-mic man! I call him Boom. He is so handsome from the front, he looks
like a model a straight-nose kind of man. But from the side he looks like a Dover resident there’s a melancholy droop to his chin. What must I look like to him? When we met, I was wearing a peeling apricot face mask (to look like wrinkles) and a gray wig. (We’ve been making films together for iCast.com.) The second time he came to my house, I greeted him in a Def Leppard T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a fake orange mustache. When I’m not in costume, it’s even worse. I wear this awful green sweatsuit my stepmother gave me, and forget to shower for days. I’m not being modest I look terrible. But I think it’s kind of tough, too. I have fire in my eyes and circles under them because I’m not sleeping because I’m working. Fifteen-hour days! I think the exhaustion look is totally hot, actually. Now that I think of it, there’s nothing sexier than my stained green sweatshirt and dark-circled eyes. I want me!
Boom, on the other hand, naps. He goes away for a while and comes back rubbing his eyes with his fists, looking satisfied. I just read in Vogue that sleep is the new status symbol. All the top executives in Silicon Valley are building nap rooms in their offices. Eighties sleep deprivation is out. Boom
is so chic!
This is nothing like my other post-Dave crushes. Matt was a red and black crush. I wanted to bite him. My crush on Boom is yellow. It’s the yellow curtains and tablecloths of people who like their life. Boom likes religion and babies and the mentally disturbed, unlike Dave, who makes fun of all those things. I might bite Boom, if the thought occurred some time when my teeth happened to be near his arm. Or his calf. Or his finger or his neck. But I feel kind of embarrassed thinking about that and I stop myself. I used to spend entire afternoons thinking about hurting Matt. Boom is like a bunkbed in a yacht; I want to crawl in and listen to the lapping all night long.
I was talking about how much I hate my father, and Boom said, “What is the best thing he ever gave you?” I thought about it, and said, “He never told me I couldn’t do anything. He let me do any crazy idea I had, even if it was dangerous. I guess he gave me fearlessness.” I thought it was neat, how he turned my fury around like that. I was talking about Chinese films and he said, “You watch Chinese films?” like it was some fabulous, smart thing to do. Boom spent $9,000 to make a film about his biggest crush. I asked him what happened in it. He said, “Nothing. I never told her, and then it was the end of the film.”
I learned today that Boom writes poetry, and I thought, What a manly poetry-writer! Just like an ancient Greek! Then Boom’s friend said, “Well, they’re funny poems. Actually, they’re jokes. He’s a joke-writer.” And I thought, A comedian! The really deep ones who have suffered they’re the
ones who understand the need to joke. When you have a crush, whatever you hear about that person is wonderful, it makes sense. Then you find out that you heard wrong, that it’s the opposite, and then that makes perfect sense. This phase is delusional and lasts exactly six months. Were Boom and I to get together, everything he did in the seventh month would be wrong. That is . . . if he’d even take me! I mean, it’s not even a question anyway. But if I were single, what if Boom were to reject me? I had a fantasy of Boom waiting for me, never dating, thinking he wanted to be there in case (god forbid) some tragedy befell Dave. Then I’d be a widow, and we would begin discreetly . . . just getting together to talk about Dave, how great he was, how funny and cute and always somehow mysterious, even in death.
Boom writes in his sleep. His sleeping self writes messages to his waking self. This morning when he woke up, the message read: Tell Lisa she’s a good person, tell her she’s doing a good job. He told it to me urgently this afternoon, and I felt like something had opened up and
I’d fallen through. I realized that what I want from Boom is to hang around with him, do nothing, have a picnic, have sex in the middle of the day. Find out what he thinks about things. Like when I started going out with Dave a week would go by and I couldn’t remember doing a single thing. Oh my, I bet I want to marry Boom! This is a very inconvenient turn of events.
Last night we had a wrap party. Boom and I sat next to each other and talked low over the loud bar music about, you know, sadness, children, our favorite colors the things people discuss when they like each other and one of them is married. Dave was sitting opposite me. He smiled at me and didn’t scrutinize me. He had no idea what I was thinking. It felt horrible being so estranged from him but acting like I wasn’t. I’d never done this before. It was the first time Boom and I had been tipsy together, and our heads and shoulders accidentally touched. He asked how Dave and I met and what had attracted me to him. I said I thought Dave was cute, and also he wouldn’t give me a straight answer, and I figured if I just hounded him enough I could get one out of him. I still haven’t gotten one. Then our knees accidentally touched, then my hand accidentally touched some part of him (I’m not sure which one, it was dark), and I thought I’d really better stand up.
The DJ was playing country music for a regular’s birthday. The regular wore a jean jacket and still had six teeth. His unique style of dance showed a lot of spirit, and I was attracted to it. I danced with him for four songs. One song was about a horse and I pretended I was a horse. Or maybe it was a bull . . . I was pawing the ground in a semi-threatening manner at my dance partner, who seemed to like that. I was thinking about taking him home and giving him a birthday treat. I knew Dave knew I was thinking that. If I were to actually do it, he’d like to hide in the closet and spy while Jean Jacket Man fucked me up the ass! I will do it some day, when I’m not so busy.
One time I turned down cocaine in the back of a cab, and the offerer a very nice friend, normally hissed at me, “I thought you were supposed to be so bad.” Now I was turning myself down: “No more accidents with Boom, Lisa, no more calling and pretending it’s about scheduling, pressing the door closed with your back and letting your hair fall all around the phone.” And just a very small part of me was hissing at the rest of me for doing it. I mean, for not doing it. In my youth, I thought fearlessness meant never not traveling down some new path. But when I didn’t know how to say no, I also didn’t know how to say yes not a big, whole, everything yes. Sleeping with someone else is one thing, but it would be wrong to let someone else borrow Dave’s space in my heart, even for a minute.
I kissed Jean Jacket goodbye and went over to sit on Dave’s lap. “You’ve been so busy lately,” he yelled. “You don’t even have time to say hello or goodbye to me anymore.” I thought he was complaining, but then he added: “It makes you extra sexy, like you’re an important lady-executive.”
I unbuttoned the top of his shirt and Wow! Maybe Dave doesn’t do anything as fancy as writing messages in his sleep, but he does have his qualities. “Hey,” I said. “Will you call me sometime from work?” I want to let my hair fall all around a receiver with my husband in it and say
stuff that makes him uncomfortable in front of his coworkers. I looked up and Jean Jacket was winking at me. I winked back, and even in the dark I could see Dave blush. Then I looked over at Boom and thought about how I’ll never know where he puts his hands when he kisses, and
regret made me warm.
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.