Price Breaks And Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Remaindered, Rejected And Irreconcilable
Making up and breaking up, that was the pattern that established itself in December. I knew something was going wrong but I didn’t know what to say to make things better.
So, I decided to try and turn things around by focusing my attention on the physical side of the relationship.
Making love in the back seat of a Monte Carlo during the frosty first week of December?
As you kids say nowadays ‘Challenge Accepted’.
We had seen a movie, a little cinematic foreplay, something to set the mood, something to show her my more sensitive side. In retrospect I think that choosing Hellraiser II was a bad move but hey, I cried when Pinhead died.
It was a short drive from Crossgates Mall to that little cul-de-sac out by the airport. I have no idea what the road had been built for but in the 80‘s it was a the parking spot for the horny teens and young adults of Albany.
Or at least it was until the funding came through and they built that off ramp.
We had to keep the engine running for the sake of the heater. Wasteful, I know but in those days gas was a little over a dollar a gallon so I could afford it and I couldn’t imagine the price ever going higher. We snuggled close and held hands as I waited for the ache in my loins to overshadow the ache in my heart over the death of my favorite Cenobite.
Tallulah asked, “You still want to get married?”
I nodded, “To you? Yes.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Aren’t you?”
She sighed heavily, “You know, when you marry someone you marry their family too.”
“Oh babe,” I hugged her close, “your family isn’t so bad.”
“Not me idiot. I’m talking about your family.”
“Oh... Er... they can be a little Gothic at times.”
“Yeah. Gothic- a kind of literature characterized by gloom and mystery and the grotesque.”
“Al...” she said pleadingly, “I’m being serious here.”
“Come on, what can I say? When we get our own place we don’t have to see them all that much if you don’t want to.”
“But they’re still your family,” she explained, “they’re part of who you are.”
“So doesn’t that mean you’re a little ‘Gothic’ too?”
I frowned, “I’m my own man. I’m self made and different.”
“You don’t understand how much they’ve effected you, do you?” her eyes glimmered in the half-light, “They’ve made you neurotic and hate yourself. You’re carrying so much anger around with you and you don’t even see it. Do you honestly think getting married to me and moving away will change all that?”
“Yes,” I nodded.
After that Tallulah gave up and we sat together in silence for a time. When my hands started roaming up and down her body she responded in kind. At twenty-one I was sure there wasn’t anything wrong with me and my girl that a little furtive lovemaking couldn’t fix.
We held each other close, buttons were undone, zippers were unzipped and socks were removed. The socks were very important because I can’t have sex if I’m wearing footwear of any sort- it’s just a thing with me.
The car windows began to steam over. This was the kind of thing I had dreamed about all through my long, lonely, profoundly horny adolescence. She was everything I had ever fantasized about; she was Raquel Welch, Stevie Nicks and Christine ‘Moose’ McGlade from ‘You Can’t Do That On Television’ all rolled into one.
Then Tallulah’s eyes flashed up at me and she said in a halting, breathless voice, “What the Hell are you doing down there?”
“I...” I tried to sound confident and masterful, “...I read it in a book.”
“Al, you only read horror novels,” she snapped.
“I work in a bookstore. I did research,” I tried to get things started again, “all for you baby.”
She pushed me off of her and zipped up her jeans, “Stop it, it feels weird.”
“I was just trying to keep things fresh.”
“We’ve barely been going out a year and a half, we don’t need to keep things fresh.”
Since she was getting dressed, I started getting dressed too. I was so flustered that I didn’t even take the condom off before I tucked my shriveling manhood away. I would wear it all the way home like a latex collar of shame.
“Look I didn’t mean to make you mad,” I said to her, “I love you.”
She looked at me thoughtfully for a moment and said, “Al, you’re wearing my socks.”
Then a car sped past and pelted my Monte Carlo with eggs.
When I was young I had always thought that disappointing sex was just for middle aged people. This incident and an earlier one that had involved and attempt to have sex outdoors that ended with me getting a mosquito bite on my scrotum, had taught me otherwise.
I got home around eleven o’clock looking to drown my sorrows with some ice cream and by ‘some’ I mean the whole goddamn container of chocolate ripple.
My Mom must have heard me because she walked into the kitchen by the time I was on my second box of ice cream, “Al? You’re home early. Is everything OK?”
“Yeah,” I said, “I wasn’t feeling Tallulah very well.”
She sat down beside me and lit a cigarette, “What?”
“I mean Tallulah wasn’t feeling very well.”
“Oh,” she said. “Hey since you’re up and still dressed would you go to the market for me? We’re out of eggs for breakfast tomorrow.”
“Sure, I can do that.”
She chuckled mirthlessly, “Your brother took all the ones I had in there. He wanted to go throw eggs at cars. Well, boys will be boys right?”
I swallowed my spoonful of raspberry swirl too quickly. “Isn’t that...” I said as the ice cream headache began, “...gothic.”