August 20, 2001
I. The Biographer
He currently resides in Italy and interviews war criminals for a living when he’s not working on his book about me. With a biographer, you talk about yourself for three hours, then he goes and talks to other people about you for three more, then you lie in bed thinking about what you said to him and feel dumb and the next day you do it all over again. It’s just like love! One day he described his Romanian prostitute friend: bright blue eyes and shiny black hair. That’s what I look like in the video he’s seen of me, and I thought, “He’s imagining it’s me when he’s with her.” I often confuse work and seduction.
II. The Lawyer
He answered this personal ad I put up two years ago and forgot about. He doesn’t know “who I am” that makes me feel full of secrets. “You seem to be a novice to BDSM,” he writes, and I let him think that about me and then I start feeling like I am a BDSM novice. We have a date on Thursday, and he refers to it in quotation marks a “date.” I guess we’re supposed to leap straight into sex and not make any pretense of liking each other.
III. The Husband
My date with the lawyer will take place while Dave sets up for his show in Boston. It takes hours to unload equipment and get the sound levels right and tape the cords down and clubs are always so clammy and smoky. No one can expect me to wait around four hours. I said all this to Dave in bed and we did it three times in one night, which is twice more than we’ve done in a night since back when we lived in different states and only saw each other once a week. “You’re so lucky I let you do these things,” Dave said, but he’s lucky too he likes cruel women, and a lot more effort and thought go into being cruel than into saying okay to cruelty.
IV. The Gopher
Thinking about sex suddenly, with no warning, lost its interest for me. I think it’s because of the gopher. She is unbeatable; she holds my attention. Her holes have destroyed my yard and now she’s burrowing under the foundation of the house. She has stolen my entire garden by night. My bombs and poison only made her stronger. Sometimes I come out with a flashlight and catch her in the act. She rises up on her hind legs and stares in my face. Two days ago I bought the Have-a-Heart trap and baited it with the recommended broccoli and bacon “so fragrant she can’t resist.” But instead of finding her in it the next day, I caught a skunk.
I want to make my mistakes unseen. I want to be small and sneaky again. I want to write about things that happen outdoors, things I have no investment in. Funny little things. I don’t want anyone to see me covered in tomato paste (apparently the only thing that gets skunk smell out) on the toilet peeing into a cup hoping I’m pregnant and finding out I’m not so I drink about six Screwdrivers and think and think and think and think. I don’t want anyone watching me think. I don’t want anyone knowing what’s in my pee cup.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to turn on you.