I have a thing for blue roses. I have a bunch of fake ones in a Pierrot vase in my room; I have an antique blue rose pin that I wear on my overcoat; I have a blue rose hair pin that I stole from one of my romantic interests. I like blue roses. I always have.
It started out because I thought roses were aesthetic and my favorite color was blue. I had no idea that they represented unattainable love or, more specifically, staying hopeful in the face of unattainable love.
Without even knowing it, I was projecting what was an immutable reality for me: love was unattainable. I didn’t know what love was, Dionysus. I passed off inflated ego and sexual satiation as love, and whenever those were taken away from me, well that was heartbreak.
It didn’t have anything to do with my heart though: it was all about my pride and what was in my pants, dig?
But that didn’t stop me from falling in love over and over and over again. The first time with Isadora was the most intense perhaps, because I had no idea that the things I was feeling likely resulted from horny hormones and egocentric emotions; no, this was a love that was pure and true and perfect. It was the stuff of storybooks and stars aligning. It was meant to be, even if I wasn’t quite sure what that meant for me.
We were going to be married some day, of course. Just like I was to marry every girl that came after her. I’ve been married zero times, Dionysus, so you do the math. But Isadora was different because she was first and sacred and the only girl I had fully given myself to (physically anyways) and besides that, we had already picked out the names of our children. We were to have two kids who, regardless of gender, would be named Raccoon Mario and Bowser Koopa. Isadora was a pretty rad chick.
But, clearly, things didn’t play out that way because here I am, twenty-seven years old and unwed and childless (as far as I know at least). Love was by default unattainable because I couldn’t figure out how to attain something I didn’t know the meaning of. In the early stages of my romantic existence, my conception of love was having a cute girl by my side who had a decent record collection and told me that I was cool no matter what kind of shenanigans I engaged in and could be cajoled into aiding and abetting me in said shenanigans. I was still pretty smalltime back then, so the extent of my shenanigans was mostly getting really drunk and raising minuscule amounts of hell, which I would drag Isadora into whenever possible because I loved her.
I was naive, Dionysus. I was young and dumb and full of–come on, I’m not that vulgar. But I was definitely young and dumb and drunk most of the time and, because she was such a sport, Isadora typically was too. I was chasing this fatalistic fantasy of inebriated intimacy: I was F. Scott and she was my Zelda, except we drank Sparks instead of martinis and we didn’t dress as well.
I discovered pretty quickly, much to my surprise, that parents of fifteen year old girls don’t particularly appreciate it when slightly older boys bring them home at all hours of the night drunk. But god damn it if I didn’t think that there was nothing more adorable in the entire universe than a drunk teenaged Isadora. The entire affair wasn’t anything beyond what many teenagers likely do at that age, but for me, it was all danger and excitement and intrigue.
I loved things like parking my truck in shadowy streets all over town so that we could get romantic, or sneaking into her house when nobody but the maid and her three year old brother were home and making the most of her bunk beds (top and bottom, Dionysus).
We even had our own special name for what we were doing. We didn’t call it sex or necking or fooling around or anything vulgar like that. It was “The Bad Children Movement.” It was a rather accurate moniker, as we were bad and we were children and there was indeed a lot of movement going on.
It was all very innocent, really: Just fun and games and experimentation and being madly and ravenously in love (so we thought). There were no worries or consequences for what we were doing. In fact, when her mother figured out what we were up to, she merely administered a mild reprimand and cautioned us to be careful. I seem to recall that she even got Isadora birth control. God bless that woman, Dionysus.
So it wasn’t serious at all until it was.
You know what’s a traumatizing thing to go through, love? One’s
first pregnancy scare. I’ve been through a log of heavy firsts: jail, fist fights, commitment to asylums (more later), but this was just about the heaviest first I’ve had.
I was so immersed and possessed by this newfound feeling I was getting off on from, well, getting off, that I forgot all about freshman biology class: sometimes girls can get pregnant, especially young girls, and most especially when you don’t wear rubbers because they give you rashes and you’re too small for the Magnums but you don’t want to admit it and you’ve only been with one person and neither of you have diseases so who cares, right?
Isadora was already a few days late on her period when she told me. I was petrified. That descending sickness is one I will never, ever forget. I know that Isadora and I were going to get married eventually and have at least two kids but I was only eighteen and I had stuff I wanted to do before Raccoon Mario and Bowser Koopa could come. The second she told me she was late, I felt the sudden urge to renounce both sex and Super Mario Bros. 3 forevermore, Dionysus.
I even went as far as uttering a silent prayer to a god I didn’t even believe in pleading that if he could just make it so she wasn’t knocked up, then I would never knock boots again. I would immediately take a vow of complete celibacy and go to live in a cave like a hermit, spending the majority of my days in prayer and meditation instead of fornication and masturbation. I would trade one missionary position for another and never look back. I swore it.
Of course she wasn’t pregnant, Dionysus. As it turns out, that birth control her mother got for her messed up her biological clock for a bit and that’s why she was late.
Thus, I immediately recanted on my hermitic vow because god didn’t exist anyways and a week was a long time to be celibate for teenagers in heat.
Because that’s how I am, Dionysus: I don’t learn from my lessons. At least not the first time, and certainly not right away. That scare should have prompted me to take more precautions, to be more responsible about what I was doing, but it didn’t. I didn’t understand love and I didn’t comprehend responsibility, although I thought I had both down pat.
But they were just blue roses, Dionysus. And as I would soon discover, unplanned pregnancy isn’t the only possible dire outcome of teenaged sex, Dionysus.
</3 Sir Rateval Hurtlinge
P.S. Isadore actually did have two kids, although not with me and not named Raccoon Mario and Bowser Koopa.