Years ago, before I had a blog, I wrote for an online magazine called Intrepid Media. It had a small but dedicated following, and my style was much the same as it is now: bitter, sarcastic, something of a put-on, just less-developed and almost completely non-child related. I didn’t have a kid yet, so the topics were more varied, if you think writing about being irrationally angry about many different things qualifies as variety.
I thought I’d occasionally re-post an article from the now defunct magazine. Why? I’m not sure. They are old – I wrote a column a month for about 10 years, before stopping in early 2011 (give-or-take one or two more) – and dated and re-reading them makes me cringe, but whatever, sometimes you need to re-post old stuff just fill out a week.
This one seems appropriate for several reasons, which may or may not become apparent when you finish reading it. Enjoy! Or don’t enjoy, because either way, without Intrepid Media and the posts that will be featured in this new “series,” I would never have met Mom and Buried. And Detective Munch would not exist. The writing is just gravy.
And so, the first Pre-Natal post.
Getting a Blown Job
(Originally published 2.08.2008)
You thought the system was flawless.
You walk in and tell her exactly what you want, nothing more, nothing less, no funny stuff. She knows the rules by now. She’s neither to talk to you nor look you in the eye. She’s only to do what you say and keep her mouth shut while she does it. Twenty minutes later you leave satisfied and she has a few extra bucks in her pocket. No one ever has to know. Fool-proof.
All you ask is that when you leave, you leave with your dignity and your health intact. You’re discreet, you don’t overdo it, and you’re all set.
The first time you went you were dragged by your father. You cried. You didn’t want to go. But he was adamant. It was something a man has to do, he said. He took you to his place, the facilities were spotless, the employees courteous, efficient, expert. They knew what they were doing. You were so sure it was going to hurt, especially that first time. But they had the right tools. Your dad didn’t half-ass it. Some lotion, maybe some powder, not even a little sting.
You had a hard time relaxing there, it was so workmanlike: get in, get out, get it over with. You didn’t really see the appeal. You preferred to experiment at home. But that wasn’t the same. It never turned out quite as well as you hoped, and you often finished ashamed and with raw skin. But it was through your dad’s place that you learned about yourself. Eventually, when you were asked how you liked it, you could say, without hesitation, because of your lessons there. You even grew to enjoy it; in the right hands, it was relaxing.
Years later, you see your father’s wisdom. You know now how important such visits were, and still are, to your sense of self-worth, to your status as a man. It gives you confidence. You still need it about once a month, sometimes a little more often, sometimes a little less, but you need it. And the most important thing your father taught you was that there is no substitute for a professional.
If only you’d remembered that.
When you recently moved to a new city, you were lost. You no longer had your go-to, no longer had the connections you needed to find a safe, competent replacement for the professionals your dad had taught you to cherish. So, desperate, you took a gamble. And maybe it was the low cost, maybe it was the thrill of doing something so seedy, but you kept going back.
And now you’ve finally paid the price for your recklessness.
All it takes is once. Something goes awry. Maybe she’s a new girl. Maybe you take a chance you shouldn’t take. Maybe she veers from the program, whips out some device you’ve never seen before, gets creative, goes too far, pushes too hard, gets a bit violent and all of a sudden, things have changed. Something doesn’t feel right anymore. You itch. There’s pain. It might take a little while for all of it to sink in, the shame, the hurt you’ve caused, the damage to your reputation, but eventually you’ll be exposed. You can’t avoid the consequences.
After all, you can’t stop living your life, as much as you’d like to. People don’t respect you anymore. They laugh at you. You’re a joke. Your wife can’t even look at you. And every time you look in the mirror you can see it on your face. All it takes is once.
But you made your bed. You knew the chance you were taking. And for fifteen bucks, what did you expect? You’re not gonna get top-of-the-line service for fifteen bucks, not around here. Things went well a few times, you see now that those were just flukes, happy accidents. The fact is you decided not to pony up for something you could get for free at home and now you’re in trouble.
This is what happens when you put yourself in the unsure hands of a stranger. You walk in looking like a perfectly respectable gentleman, you walk out looking like K.D. Lang.
You need to stop going to Supercuts.