“Shallow” is such a funny word. We write off people for being shallow, for not having more depth and dimensions, or for not digging for meaning and significant layers of character in others. Because a “shallow” person keeps everything on the surface, and is looking for everything on the surface. But when you really think about it, isn’t that just another way to describe… “Honest”?
Because honestly, I’m shallow. And I embrace my shallowness as an intrinsic part of me. I can use all the big words and read all the thick books I want, but at the end of the day I’m still googling and ogling “big tits” and “skinny waists” and not “character” and “personality”. Thank you Internet.
Because we can’t all be onions. Some of us are just skin deep. And that’s me.
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I met this girl through Tinder. And I knew right away she wasn’t like any other Tinder girls. She was smart and articulate; she had a clever comeback to just about everything I said. The written word flowed from her so quickly and spontaneously, I knew she wasn’t musing and mulling over her answers. No she was lighting quick, her thoughts manifesting as fire-from-the-hip quips. And we exchanged volley after volley of clever turn of phrase, like a game where something is volleyed back and forth and back and forth in rapid succession. Volley after Volley Like, with a ball… Like lacrosse.
I remember, I messaged her for the first time just as I lowered myself my hot bath to soak for the night. And I typed and she typed. I was still grinning and laughing as our conversation filling up the memory of my phone even after the water had long gone cold. And my pruned fingers stopped making my touch-screen work after awhile, but still I stayed not wanting to lose the glory of that evening.
She was amazing, and I had to meet her. So five days and a lifetime of glowing-screen finger-roaming hours later we agreed to see each other face to face.
She was ordinary and comely, so much so that I walked right past her the way to our first date. “Looks fade” my father always said, “find someone who you can have a good conversation with” And in the grand chromatic scale of vibrant colorful girls… she landed somewhere between khaki and beige. But once she opened her mouth, I was reminded of everything I was drawn to. She had a dry piercing wit and a near encyclopedic knowledge of all things movies, pop, culture, and TV. So we had a lot to talk about. Imagine an Asian Julia Stiles before she did that crappy escort series for Netflix. More like, Julia Stiles when she did that dance movie with where Hip-Hop meets Ballet… and Hip-Hop doesn’t steal Ballet’s purse. Damn, She would know exactly which movie I’m talking about.
So we dated. Somehow I squeezed myself into the ill-fitting facade of a gentleman, where I didn’t get us liquored up and laid out on the first night, instead I was opening doors and we were holding hands, and the prospect of kissing her was something I strategically planned’ on the third date instead of my usual, blitz-kiss-do-or-die-dive-bombing-strafe attack. And it worked.
So after several dates, weeks, and a healthy grownup investment of time later, she comes back to my place. And between the wine and the movie, and the hormones and the uncertainty, things get heavy and we begin a game of backgammon.
She was always wearing long pants and these flowing tops, like a cross between a poncho and maternity wear that seems to be so popular with girls these days. So most of her was mostly covered most of the time. But I felt like this always added to the allure, like a modern-day self-imposed body-burka of sorts. And because I had been doing my best impression’ of a gentleman this whole time, I never tried to grope, poke, or magically David-cop-a-feel. So I began to undress her, eager to explore the treasures beneath. But as I removed each subsequent layer (notice how I’m alluding to my first paragraph about depth and shallowness here, because I’m fuckin’ clever and shit) I became more confused.
It was as if her body was a stage and once the curtains were raised, her bra and panties were a series of pulleys and straps designed to keep the scenery in place. And once those came undone the sandbags and catwalks came tumbling to the ground. She was a work of art, assembled from a mix of parts by a blind schizophrenic reading Ikea instructions in Chinese. The worst was the hair. She had a unkempt hedge of black curly brambles so thick and so deep that David Bowie was wandering around in it twirling glass orbs while rocking a codpiece. Her tangled mass sprouted a long and winding misery-trail that traveled up and into the valley of her navel like a reverse Rapunzel… with Bran climbing his little unbroken-legs to the top to see incestuous siblings mid-coitus. There were oddities and novelties of her naked body too numerous and confusing to explain. Like, don’t you girls have meetings about these things?
She was always talking about “going to the gym” and “just leaving the gym” and “can’t hang out tonight because I’m at the gym” which only added to my confusion. How could she be at the gym so often, but have what seemed to be… the opposite of results? Was she battling gym leaders for badges while trying to Catch em’ All? Or did Gym stand for something else entirely, like Generous Yogurt Man? or Gravy, Yams, and Meat?
Fully clothed the next day’ we make plans for our next date. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was my lights I tell myself. Maybe I was nervous, maybe it was all in my mind… Oh I know! The beach! Under the harsh truth of the sun all shall be revealed. I pick her up a few days later, and the conversation in the car is great. We laugh and we share. And when we get there I’m elated and happy. And we sit on the sand and she begins to strip…
Her sprawling mass of curly black brambles spilled out. It peeked out of the corners of her bikini to greet me, with creeping tendrils climbing up her pale thighs eager to escape, no longer hidden in the shadows of my drunken bed but out in the open for the world to see. And she waded out into the shallows beckoning me to join her, and I noticed the water turned her fuzzy patch into a waterlogged sponge, that hung and clung in a thickening mass of damp hair between her legs. And I kept thinking, if she just went in a little deeper maybe I could forget it was there.
So I joined her in the water and she hugged me and our stomachs touched with hers meeting mine more than half way with just’ a little too much fuzz. And her hairy pubic-pseudo-penis tucked into her bikini brushed against me. And I… I couldn’t pretend to be a better man than I am.
She wasn’t polished or glossy. She didn’t tilt her chin and angle her chest for pictures. She didn’t wear makeup, or own any dresses. She didn’t wax, she didn’t shave. And all that plastic bubble gum pop, superficial surface that I profess to hate– I realized I secretly crave. More than scintillating, stimulating, intellectually-titillating conversation. More than an emotional fit. And didn’t want to change her. So things ended.
Because I’m shallow.
I am shallow.
But I embrace that.
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