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Manic Pixie Gator Girl

Griffin Stadium

Griffin Stadium

Once upon a time, a boy thought he’d suck a movie scene out of my lips.

It was late at night after a film screening.

I don’t even remember the movie.

Coffy, maybe? Some exploitation thing.

Blame Tarantino.

We ended up on the football field, at the 50 yard line, even though he’d heard me complain at length about the false tribalism of sports fandom.

I didn’t matter.

He had a girl! In the right place! At the right time!

I’m sure that when he wrote it? The lights were all on.

Certainly, in the story in his head, he wasn’t a stupid boy with too-long hair in a fucking swamp.

He was sweaty. I’d bet anything the sweat didn’t end up in the re-telling.

So I didn’t swoon.

I failed him, twice, that same way.

The kisses on his home turf weren’t right.

Not at the airport when I’d gotten off the plane and he’d reeked of gin, and not in Griffin Stadium at midnight.

He was just so sweaty.

The script worked better in January, in Texas, when we’d met. Where his friends couldn’t judge. Where he’d lifted me off my feet, and I couldn’t actually physically confirm that he lived with his mom. Where I’d grabbed his hand in a dark club, all ripped black velvet and 20 Eye Docs, and dragged him down a spiral staircase to dance while Ministry played.

He had pictures.  He had a whole fairy tale to act out.  He had a note from his mom to wish him well on his journey of romance and self-discovery.

I saw that note.

I really did.

And, I disappointed his mom, too.

This is why that Manic Pixie Dream Girl doesn’t exist.

She always knows you sweat.  She doesn’t find your worrisome weed habit impressive, because she’s probably done narcotics that aren’t on the schedule, yet. She doesn’t know she belongs to you, so off-camera she’s making out with karaoke champions while you sit at home and memorize the Coen Brother’s scripts.

I didn’t know what I was supposed to be at the time, though.

The phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” didn’t exist.

He broke up with me. He dumped me.

At the time, I realized that it was because I didn’t fill in the details for the scene he’d had in his head.

It wasn’t a conscious choice on my part, which is what bothers me about Laurie Penny’s piece.

A few months after things didn’t work out, Sweaty Boy, the always-aspiring artist, the wannabe poet, blogged about me.

This was before 9-11.  It was still called an online journal then.

And, you know, I’d kept quiet. I’d let him alone.  I’d stalked the blog, sure. But I hadn’t commented.

But, he writes this entry–back when we were all figuring out how we actually navigated this sort of thing on the series of tubes–and I flipped my shit.

“This is what marginalized feels like. I’m a fucking anecdote. I’m just a footnote.”

He apologized.

That doesn’t change what those poetic boys do to you, though.

The only way around it is to be just as self-absorbed.

And to be a better writer.

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  1. John Carcosa
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh those days of spilling your emotions onto online journals. It was a rawer experience than a blog. Blogs pretend to be professional. Journals go up uncut.

    • Joan
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      I was had a account! It’s a freakish internet fossil now. I don’t think they’ve updated anything over there since 2003.

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