"I could play with you all night..."
"Your eyes are beautiful..."
"Why don't you have a boyfriend..."
I need to hear more. Soon.
I intended on publishing a few more diary entries from 1982, but I can't concentrate right now. It's funny that I am sitting here at work trying to look productive, but if you could hear the noise in my head at this moment, you'd be amazed. Whispers from lovers past are literally echoing in my mind, and I don't know how to shut them out.
Maybe it is the fact that I'm moving this week. I'm sorting through tons of crap. Papers, notes, cards, letters and photos are crammed into boxes and drawers in my room. I finally threw out the empty ketchup bottle from this one time a special guy bought me some Heinz (I know - sick and wrong), but there are so many things I've collected from the men who have moved me that I can't part with. Yet.
I don't know why I cling so fiercely to mementoes of love (or sometimes just sex). This practice of collecting tangible reminders of passion may have started in high school. I saved my best friend Barry's underwear after we had sex one night. They smelled like vaseline (I'd never even heard of lube yet) and they had the Playboy Bunny logo embroidered into them. I'm not sure why Barry didn't notice he was leaving the next morning without his underwear, unless, maybe, he left them for me on purpose. Since he was "straight", we never talked about what happened between us, but I found the underwear crumpled into a ball between my bed and the wall. So that underwear became the only proof I had that the whole thing really happened. I kept that souvenir in my dresser drawer until I went away to college and threw them out.
After that first experience, I developed a crush on Richard, the high school quarterback. We became great friends, and I think he may have had a little crush on me too. We slept together at his house a few times, but it remained pretty innocent (a bit of petting) and never went as far as I wanted it to go. Richard gave me his football jersey when he went away to college. I could smell his scent on it and would sometimes sniff it while I looked at the picture of him working out (barbell curls) that was published in the yearbook our senior year. I never saw him again, and I no longer have the jersey.
Once I kept a washcloth from the bathroom of a particularly hot trick I spent one night with in Dallas. I sprayed some of his cologne on it and shoved it into my pocket. I think that's the last time I ever stole a souvenir from a lover. But I haven't broken the habit of hanging onto items that remind me of a time I felt deeply for someone.
I save voice mail messages for months. I keep ticket stubs, cards and e-mails long after I've forgotten the last names of some of my lovers. I've even found restaurant receipts from a time I grabbed a pizza or burger with someone I liked. I realize the objects themselves are of no value, but the memories that come rushing back when I glance at a paper menu from a restaurant in New Mexico or a receipt from an Irish pub in Ohio are worth so much to me.
Yesterday I found an old check register and....
YOU: WAIT!!! No, Toddy, NO!! You're not going to tell us you save check registers for sentimental reasons!? Please don't say it. Nobody is that crazy!!!
ME: Shut up, Toaster Oven Reader. You are a reader, not a speaker. If you have something to say, put it in the comments. Don't interrupt me again.
YOU: Sorry, my lord.
ME: That's better.
Anyway, I found the check register and glanced at the dates. March of 1996. What was I doing in March of 1996? Oh, right. Dream Cafe in Dallas. Obzeet in Plano. ATM machines on Cedar Springs. All the old places I hung out with CT. We were in the early days of our relationship and spent a lot of time hiding out from CT's ex, who still lived with CT. Barnes & Noble was one of our favorite spots to meet. We would read astrology books in the store aisle to see if Libra and Taurus was a good match. Or we would go to Whole Foods and wander around smelling candles and soap. Then we would go make out in my truck parked behind the store.
And then this one time....
YOU: ENOUGH! I'm leaving. This blog is too sappy. I'm going to go read about heavy drinking or check out the blog wars between deaf and hearing bloggers.
ME: WAIT!! No, I'm sorry, you're right. I am crazy. I'll throw out the check register. It's just a painful reminder of a time that is long gone and will never return.
YOU: Finally, you're talking sense.
ME: Yeah. How realistic of me. I feel so grounded. What a great feeling.
YOU: I knew you'd come around.
ME: Great, thanks! I'm off to the bar. I need a stiff drink.
YOU: Be sure to save a cocktail napkin if you talk to a cute boy!! Ha ha ha ha!!!
ME: I hate you, Sarcastic Toaster Oven Reader.