Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Crazy Girlfriend Story

This was provoked by one of my favorite bloggers. John Rogers who writes the wildly unpredictable, thought-provoking, and often hilarious Kung Fu Monkey. If you've never read him, now is the perfect time to start because he has his Index Fu that lists his finest work up right near the top of the screen.

In the post that got me this morning he likens the Republicans and George W. Bush to the questionable hook-up that all of us at one time or another fall into. It instantly took me to the time, while I was working in Las Vegas, that I had a straight up batshit crazy girlfriend.

Anika (of course this is not her real name, it's not even close) was a dancer in a big, huge Vegas show that I was playing the orchestra. She had a lot of the issues dancers who work Vegas shows have. You see there are a lot of young girls who spend years enduring the discipline and pain required to study dance with the dream of dancing "Swan Lake" in New York, or being the "Sugar Plum Fairy" at a production their entire family, including their own daughters attend one perfect Christmas Eve. For what ever reason, they grow too tall, their boobs become too big for ballet, they might even just not have that Je ne sais pas, quelque chose that the dance world is looking for. These girls do have talent. They can dance beautifully. The Sugar Plum Fairy ain't happening though. It's never going to happen. A lot of these women end up dancing in Vegas. The pay's great. They are professional dancers. Here's the rub though. I don't care if the producers are spending $25 million pre-production on the show. If the girls take off their shirts, it's a tittie show. That's all it will ever be. This means if you're dealing with one of these dancers on an emotional level, there's a great deal of cognitive dissonance at play already.

This doesn't mean that I was anybody's poster child for mental health. Far from it. I was in full-blown (only ten years removed from combat) PTSD, taking every drug imaginable (and some that weren't), drinking like a fish, and dealing with my own disillusionment with the state of my career. I was in creative hell. In an orchestra that spent most of the show in the basement, playing along with a tape of singers. I first dated Anika on a bet with my sax playing buddy Rico. He bet me $400 that I wouldn't be able to get a date with the new Ice Princess who had started in the tall nude line that night.

I snuck up right before the cocktail show to see what I was up against. She certainly fit the bill for casting in the tall nude line. At about 5'10" she would top me by two inches before she put on the heels. She also had beautiful, honey blonde hair, flawless skin and then she turned from the mirror to look me straight in the face. Her eyes were astonishing. They held several shades of blue, starting light at the pupil and darkening to almost black at the edges. Ice Princess? Hah! One look, one whiff of sulpher and I knew that this girl was nothing but fire.

I figured since I was caught looking I might as well make the move. I walked up to her and introduced myself. I told her that my friend Rico had just bet me $400 that I couldn't get a date with her. Then I hit her with my closing "You can pick where we go, what we do and keep any money out of the 400 we don't spend." She said "OK, I've just moved here and I want to go shopping. There's stuff I need for my apartment." I kissed her hand like a courtier and told her that I'd see her between shows and we'd make the arrangements.

Things started out pretty tame. We did the courting dance. There were early signs that I should have seen though. The first Sunday while we were dating we had to go to her church. That wasn't all that bad but on the way out as we went through the handshake line with the minister and stuff she volunteered me to play harp for free. I told her that I didn't do stuff like that and she said "The Lord gave you your talent, you need to give back to the Lord." She also did the crying after sex thing. We would have wild, semi-kinky, athletic sex and before my after cigarette was halfway smoked she'd start sobbing.

It only got weirder. There was the time I was coming out of a late session (in Vegas a late session can get out at around 6:30 a.m.) to find her parked in the studio lot. Then there was the time she just showed up at my place, and let herself in with a key I didn't know she had. Then there were the phone calls. Calls during rehearsals, calls during ball games, calls while I was visiting my mother and other family.

I tried to be diplomatic and reasonable. It didn't work. I didn't quit the show because of her, I quit because I was musically bored silly and had other offers. I started doing the Vegas Turn Around circuit where we would do two weeks in Vegas, two weeks in Tahoe followed by two weeks in Reno. I would leave the stage and see Anika in the wings, waiting for me. I told her things weren't working. That I needed "time to myself." She said "You kissed me in church before God." I kept trying to break it off and she kept refusing to listen to me.

I started acting like a total shit. I fucked around openly and shamelessly. I increased my already alarming levels of substance abuse. I was rude to her. I was mean. I changed the locks. I got a new phone. I bought a new car. Then I moved to Reno.

One night I woke up to find Anika sitting on top of me. Her once flaming eyes now flat and cold, her hands around my throat. She had broken into my house, the dogs knew her and didn't raise any alarm. She was crazed. My friends had tried to warn me about her craziness. My buddy Rico (whose fault this all was remember) had even had a T-Shirt made for my birthday which said "FOOL" on the front and "KICK ME" on the back. Part of my discounting all the warning signs and warnings from my friends was being in complete thrall to this beautiful woman. Part of it was my being ashamed of being in thrall so completely. Part of it was that I knew that the pool of gorgeous, sexually adventurous women who will date short, fat, hippies who walk with a cane is not all that big and I didn't think I would ever do all that much better. Part of it was that there was a lot to love about this girl. Now she's sitting on top of me trying to choke me in the middle of the night.

I got free and away without hurting her. I never called the cops. I told her that I never wanted to see her again. I did though. About a month after that she called me to tell me that she was in therapy and that she wanted me to come and talk with her counselor and her "for closure." I went like a chump. The therapist turned out to be the shithead preacher (who she was fucking by that time) and he was trying to line me up for an exorcism or some shit like that. I ran like a scalded dog.

I only told you that story so I could tell you this one. (hat tip to Arlo Guthrie)

I became a Republican much the same way. Instead of a bet it was tax cuts. Over the years there were signs though. I ignored them. Then the Christian Right came into the tent. Then the Racists felt it was safe to spout off all their venom in public. Then the Congress started spending like drunken sailors on shore leave in Bangkok. Then the scandals started piling up one after another. Then Iraq. The Patriot Act, the torture the secret prisons. Now they are wanting to classify the torture itself which means that if they pick you up without charges, whisk you away in the dead of night and torture your ass. They will not allow you ever to have a day in court. Because you might tell your lawyer that you were tortured you will not be allowed a lawyer for reasons of national security. Wake up you fools! She's sitting on your chest and her hands are around your fucking throat!

This is how you do it. Cut it off. Now. Move to a new town, or even a new country if you must. But get away from them. They're fucking nuts. Don't take anymore calls. Ever. Not even to say goodbye. Make your own closure. Above all, do not date any of her friends. Look, I know how hard this can be. It's the only way. You will have to hurt some feelings here to save your own stupid life. You'll thank me in the end though. If she calls, tell her "NO!" Then call me, we'll go to a Suns game or something. I'll help you through this. But take it from somebody who has been there.

Get. Away. Right. Now. Tell them on Tuesday that you are not going to run with the crazy anymore.

crossposted at Big Brass Blog

6 Comments:

Blogger Angelos said...

That's a hell of a story. The political metaphor works so well too.

I don't understand how that last 30% keeps hanging on.

They must feel that changing their minds now means admitting they've been wrong for all these years, and that just can't possibly be so.

11:27 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it's hard to see how the crazy is at work when you're right in the middle of it. there's the abusive spouse angle too. that whole "no one else will ever love me" thing. it has just got to stop. and stop now. thanks for stopping by angelos.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Bitty said...

Wonderfully written!

(The 30% is clearly codependent, or something.)

12:30 PM  
Blogger Bitty said...

Enabling. Enabling was the word I meant. Similar but rather different.

Don't vote for them. Don't enable them.

12:31 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we should get Rico to make them all T-Shirts to wear coming out of the voting booth.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Adi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:02 PM  

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