Just a gigolo
everywhere I go
people know the part
‘Cause I aint got nobody
nobody nobody cares for me
I’m so sad and lonely
sad and lonely sad and lonely
Won’t some sweet mama
come and take a chance with me
cause I aint so bad
David Lee Roth Just a Gigolo
I had a disturbing dream the other night.
Several months ago, I heard from an old friend from high school. A friend and lover, I guess I should say. A few emails, then a phone call, followed by more emails and another call. Over the course of six weeks, he managed to turn my entire life upside down.
One of the reasons I always felt so close to him was his unerring ability to understand where I was at. With a glance or a few casual words he would force me to look at myself honestly, to think about what I was saying or doing and question whether I was being true to myself. I couldn’t get away with any bullshit posturing that is so common, especially in high school. Very quickly, I came to look at myself preemptively, to always make certain that he would be unable to ‘catch’ me playing games. It was a useful thing for me, and I think it helped me to grow as a person.
Unfortunately, over the years I lost track of that. Life happens, and for me it got in the way of both self expression and self analysis. It wasn’t until he reached out to me once more that I finally saw what I had become.
Well, that isn’t entirely true. I had already been trying to figure out where my life had gone wrong. I already knew that I had taken a wrong turn. But it was his call that helped me to identify the when and where of that wrong turn accurately, and finally come to terms with both the person I had once been and the person I had become. My own pride was then sufficient to force me to reconcile the two.
The consequences of this self analysis have been profound. My honey saw the change in me and responded to it with an intensity that left me awestruck. At the same time, my own sense of being has been transformed into something much more powerful and resilient than I have ever felt before. I understand my own thinking in a much more comprehensive way than ever before. For all this, I thank him.
But back to the dream.
The phone rings. On picking it up, I hear a voice I have known so well over the years.
I respond: “Hi, Doll, what’s up?”
We chat, but I feel something isn’t right, and then he says something that upsets me. He responds to my annoyance with typical, self depreciating dismissal. And then I get it. I’m not actually talking to him. I’m hearing a recording that he made in advance.
I can’t decide if I am more upset that he would do such a thing, or if it is the fact that the timing and responses are so perfect. Not only is he playing a game, but he is also too damn good at it.
I stand there, phone to me ear, listening to the pattern of silence and response. Recognizing what he thinks I would be saying at each pause, recognizing the awful accuracy of it all, and feeling betrayed on every level simultaneously.
On waking, I knew the reason for the dream. My honey and I had many discussions about him: my honey “knowing him for the player he is”, for all that they barely knew one another at all, while I defended him as being a player on a very superficial level, but knowing that his heart and soul were much more complex.
But now, I have not heard from him for quite some time. So I am left to wonder. Could it be that I have misjudged him all these years? Is he proving to me that he is as shallow and self serving as many have suggested? Was it really all games, despite the assurances to the contrary? I may never know. But I am certain the dream was my mind railing at the possibility that I could have so seriously misjudged him. That I could’ve been so wrong for so long.
(Originally Posted September 4, 2006)