Love is Beautiful

She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Inasmuch as I have a type, she was it — auburn hair, blue eyes, thin and high breasted with a curvaceous bottom. She had a wicked, playful smile that promised more was hidden behind it.

I met her in a pool hall. She wearing an artfully deconstructed Ramones t-shirt and shooting pool with one of my friends; it was a date, but I didn’t notice that, only her.

Kevin wasn’t pleased when I slipped into their conversation and introduced myself to Michelle. He knew me well enough to know that my flirtation wasn’t innocent.

We left together that night, went back to her dorm room and played music for a few hours. She had been playing the piano and organ since she was five years old; wanted nothing more than to be a professional musician; ran away from home at sixteen to live in New York City and hang out at CBGB; tested directly into university when she ran out of money and came home.

When she gave me her phone number it was written out as “392-SLUM.” My hoodlum’s heart went pitter-pat — a new feeling for which I was completely unprepared.

When word got around that I was spending time with her I received news from various gossips: she had a reputation as a cold, asexual girl. No one had made any progress with her and they attributed this fact to some flaw of hers.

She was, bizarrely, a twenty year old virgin; not because she didn’t want to have sex, but because she didn’t want to have sex with any of the clumsy schoolboys who had been chasing her since the eighth grade.

She moved in with me when she was ejected from campus housing for setting fire to her dorm room. We lived in romantic squalor in a fifty dollar a month trailer situated on some swampland near the university campus and subsisted on surplus donuts recovered from the dumpster of the nearby Krispy Kreme.

I pierced her nose with a sewing needle, her hymen with my cock. She took naked pictures of me and held them in ransom. We read William S. Burroughs novels and went to horror movies after consuming heroic doses of LSD.

We were together for two years, by far my record at the time. When we parted there were tears and recriminations. It was a slow goodbye: she moved a few blocks away and we sometimes met at her apartment to make love on lonely nights; recidivist junkies taking an occasional fix.

She told me she couldn’t go on like that with me but that she also couldn’t imagine being with another man. She took to wearing a wedding ring to fend off admirers and dancing at a local gay bar where she wouldn’t have to deal with the inevitable come-ons.

The come-ons did come, of course, though from women rather than men. She eventually succumbed to a blond surfer girl for whom she fell hard. It ended badly, but it made things clearer for her. It only took a few more relationships before she found the woman with whom she still lives.

The sad prologue is that I spent years afterward seducing lesbians in a twisted effort to prove to myself that it wasn’t her relationship with me that drove her into the arms of another woman.

I couldn’t help but think of her when I heard they were rechristening the corner of Bowery and E. 2nd Street “Joey Ramone Place”.

This entry is part of my journal, published December 3, 2003, in New York.