Dirty Blonde Ink: Love, Fear & Scary Monsters Under the Bed. ~ Anne Clendening
What is it about love that’s so scary?
You know the story. You’re supposed to be sleeping, and all you can think about is the impish little gargoyle under the bed, lying in wait, dying to eat your face and chomp your ankles. To this day I never put both of my feet down when I get out of bed. You never know.
Relationships can be risky business. They have a way of bringing up our worst insecurities, those ugly, toothless trolls that reside deep down in the ghastly muck and under the bed. And those fuckers just love to crap all over your happy merry-go-round of a love life. Maybe this sounds familiar:
Him: “Hi, I can’t make our date tonight. I’m really sorry, something came up, but I would really like to reschedule. Can I call you tomorrow?”
What you hear: “Hey, I’m not coming because you are too fat and boring. You suck at everything. Obviously I’m with another chick. She’s a Victoria’s Secret model and way better in bed than you. Loser. Be seeing you, unless I completely forget you, which will probably take less than five minutes.”
I thought love was supposed to be funner.
This kind of nonsense has nothing to do with love, really… it’s just a bump on the road of life and relationships, a rocky pathway paved with self-doubt, uncertainty, intimacy phobias, etc. It ain’t easy sometimes to look inside ourselves and admit what’s really going on, how we really got to where we are along that road. I’d almost rather be sitting in a room full of a hundred creepy clown dolls thrashing around and swinging at each other in some kind of weird, disturbing mosh pit than talk about my feelings. Yeah, I might have regret and some stupid tattoos. I’m not blameless, and sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything. I’m trying. I have my own problems and I can be reluctant to go forward, but I know love isn’t the same or as great when you don’t know who you the hell are.
I was tougher when I was younger. My black hair was teased, like, a lot and my black leather jacket was painted with the words “Do Unto Others, Then Split” on the back in red nail polish. I’ve hitchhiked back to L.A. from Tijuana, and taken drugs from strangers and done all that stupid shit you do when you’re still young enough to do it. Honestly, I never thought I’d actually grow up, or have a permanent address, or be a wife who makes coffee for her husband in the morning, or even own an alarm. It all happened anyway, even though I had to go through a pretty whopping amount of angst and soul-searching and frightful, rancid garbage first.
Was it all worth it? Hell, yeah, baby. Always.
Here’s a pickle: if you’re lucky in love and things are going well, I’m guessing you’re pretty much naked half the time. Vulnerable. Open to attack. Isn’t it always the sexy, half-clothed ones in horror movies that get slashed to ribbons? Ask promiscuous little Marion Crane how well that shower worked out in “Psycho,” the mother of all mind-fuckery. And here is the invention of the prototype we call “The Hot Slutty Victim.”
(I’m no hussy on the loose… But neither was the Black Dahlia, and look how she ended up—spending eternity with a Chelsea Smile.)
Or maybe you’ve been wronged somehow, lied to, cheated on, take your pick. Let me guess—you torched his shit and told everyone about his mommy issues, because the you’ve now become “The Vindictive Psycho Chick.” Maybe you should go to therapy and deal before someone drops a bucket of pig’s blood all over your head. Think before you act, prom queen, ‘cuz they’re all gonna laugh at you.
F.E.A.R.: Fuck Everything And Run.
If we were clever, that’s what we would all do, straight down to the corner pub, where no one gives a shit about your name. You’re just “The Crying Girl Who Never Learns.”
“You look so pretty today.”
“Just today? Don’t you think I’m always pretty? Do you not love me anymore? If you think I’m fat, just say it. Asshole. Fuck off.”
I’m afraid of heights, spiders, never being fully loved, getting stabbed, all the normal things. But that’s not all. Sometimes I don’t know where I belong. Sometimes I think I hear those minions under the bed at night, actually laughing at me. Life can be pretty fucking vexing. It’s hard to get a grip.
You know when you make a wish and throw a penny down a well, it’s there forever, decaying in the dark? Those miserable pennies just sit there, in the blackness. Why do we throw wishes away into the murk?
I look to the writers I love, who were unafraid to spill their imperfect guts in the coffee houses and opium dens in New York and San Francisco. They took acid and got high, and men slept with men, and they wrote about dirty things in dirty places. Some called it obscene. Others called it art. They wrote with abandon, and bled and suffered and wrote and lusted and howled together, and I’m nothing but humbled by the reckless guts of these beatniks who swallowed scads of opium and booze in an effort to regurgitate the one exquisite thing that none of us should fear: the truth.
Be brave. Be honest. Get out there and live your life. You don’t want to be crying in your cocktail about how he didn’t call you when the zombies rise and eat your face, do you?
♥ ♥ ♥
The truth is, for me at least, love ain’t so scary after all.
I married a man three weeks ago, a rare and priceless vintage Cartier watch kind of man, a man who came from an exotic land down under where the deadliest spiders in the world live and a dingo might eat your baby. A man who drives a black 1968 Porsche 912 and lets the grey grow out in his beard because he knows I think it’s hot… A man who giggles like a kid, hungers like a man and has no problem telling me how much he loves me 100 times a day. I don’t think he’s afraid of anything. His very essence is brilliant as a roaring bonfire, fantastically sustained by sweet, passionate, raging love. We were meant to be together, like lips and kissing, staying up all night with Pink Floyd and Rickie Lee Jones in that Hollywood bungalow in times between whiskey and water, under the spell of each other and crazy, consuming, fiery love.
Don’t ever forget, it’s you and me against the world, baby. Always evers, and never nevers.
“Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.”
- Hubert Selby, Jr
It’s barely six in the morning on a Thursday while I’m writing this. My husband is asleep. I should put coffee on for him.