Codependent Some More
by Fernando Meisenhalter
She’s from Cleveland, where rivers catch on fire and the American dream almost always runs dry. She’s unemployed with thirty thousand dollars in student debt, unplayable, dischargeable only by death. She’s going deaf, has no friends, and I think she hates me. I’m immediately smitten and in love. I mean, she has it all: rustbelt decadence, angry tattoos, and a borderline personality disorder; just my type.
During sex she tells me exactly what to do, which is convenient since I’m Catholic and have a very poor imagination.
“Now I’m going to penetrate you with my finger,” she says.
“Oh, no,” I say. “I don’t want that.”
“Oh, come on. I have small fingers.”
“It’s not the size, it’s the principle.”
“But it’ll be good for you. It’ll help you break away from your capitalist, phallocratic constraints.”
“I’d rather stay a virgin,” I say.
“I used to do this every day to my former boyfriend.”
“No wonder he left.”
“He loved it, you moron.”
“Is that why he always had that surprised expression on his face?”
“He was more a man than you’ll ever be.”
“Then why don’t you go back to him?” I ask.
Now she’s really mad.
Our relationship is fast becoming like the first fifteen minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Still I don’t want to leave her. For me, finding a woman is hard. I’m shy, low income, tend to isolate, so when any lady shows up, no matter how incompatible, I put up with her for as long as I can.
One must be cautious.
At last she speaks.
“I need a new tattoo,” she says.
Translation: we’ll fix this the old fashioned way, with hate sex, the only thing keeping us together.
“Another tattoo sounds great,” I say. Translation: I’ll do as I’m told, I promise.
“I want a tat that says Gaia, the primal Greek mother goddess. She created the whole universe, you know? Titans, giants, and all the gods.”
Translation: I’m still in charge here.
How crazy is she? I don’t know. But at this point I don’t think I care. Anything is better than being alone in my studio, trapped inside my ongoing nihilistic despair.
“Wanna watch some TV?” I say.
Translation: let’s hate other people instead.
“Okay,” she says, turning on the TV set.
We hold hands, relax a bit while images appear in front of us like little ghosts on the screen. It feels alright, feels good, and I take a nice, deep breath, slow and easy, grateful for the blue glow that fills the room slowly illuminating every corner of my soul.
Fernando Meisenhalter is of German ancestry, but was raised in Mexico City, therefore, he grew up up under great stress. He still loves both sauerkraut and guacamole. He’s MFA-free, and a full time immigrant living in Northern California since 1995. He became a US citizen in 2002, and his only regret is that his naturalization certificate was signed by then president George W. Bush.