· I’m 32 years old, but on a good day I could pass for a doughy 29 year old with a receding hair line.
· I’ve been told that my undefined jaw, semi-characterless chin and kind eyes make me look like the love child of Dustin Hoffman and Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials
· I’m a data analyst for a financial service company. It’s about as sexy as it sounds
· I’ve had exactly two full-fledged relationships in my life - both with real, live women and both of which ended painfully in scorching adultery (them, not me), several weeks spent under a coffee table eating spray cheese and Nutella (me only) and a greatly increased chance of developing a chronic STD (them and me). The first one started in high school and lasted six years; the last one started shortly thereafter and ended earlier this year. Genital warts have yet to mound.
· My family – mother, father, sister and brother - is terribly Jewish…and by “terribly”, I mean “not good at it”. They’re at their most Jew-esque during Hanukkah, Passover, and on occasions that call for gross displays of guilt and unqualified suffering. Funerals and family reunions are always a treat. The rest of the time they’re vaguely principled people descended from actual Jews, but with no inclination toward any real spirituality at all. I’m closest to my sister; my brother is something of a douchebag.
· I'm more of a homebody than an out-and-about body...less and less by my own choosing
· I’ve been a vampire for a little less than three months
I wouldn’t say everything in my life up to the vampire part was spectacular, especially after the second break-up, so it’s not like there was much to be ruined. The two relationships were nice, but obviously for me only. My career doesn’t make any dreams come true, though I get by pretty comfortably on what I make and I like most of the people I work with. I’m a pretty shit bass player, but I make up for it with my enthusiasm, and by talking my landlord into letting the band use the basement as a rehearsal space, and by having a van big enough to haul our set-up to gigs. I also print all our flyers, make our snacks and pick up everyone’s leather pants from the dry cleaners because I live closest. I guess that sort of makes me the band bitch…
Where was I going with this?
Anyway, it was a good life, if uneventful and not particularly noteworthy. I was happy with it, at least. Maybe a little less so since the current womanless phase began, but you can’t be into someone else all the time, right? Sometimes, it's enough just to be into porn.
I'll admit that from the outside I might've looked a little like a shut-in…I might've looked like that from the inside, too, come to think of it. But what is a shut-in if not a person who truly appreciates the comforts of home? I appreciated the shit out of those comforts, things like sweatpants and laying down and the cream-filled narcotic effects of processed snack foods. Just because my style of interaction with others is slightly more removed than most would think is healthy, does that diminish my ability to interact face to face without making a total ass of myself? No. Not mostly, anyway. At this point, with my romantic history I’m way more comfortable getting to know people from a distance. And who really cares if I let my gym membership lapse because it was easier to sit on the couch streaming all eight seasons of “Full House” than it was to schlep three blocks just so I could walk to nowhere on a freaking treadmill? Without a sense of history for where the Olsen twins began, one can never truly appreciate how far those sweet little moguls have come. And what difference does it make that I turned down every happy hour invitation, every guys night opportunity, every blind date set-up arranged by my many well-meaning co-workers? I’m not an idiot; I’ve watched Dr. Phil. I know it’s completely possible to be alone without being lonely…though judging by what I’ve just written it seems far less possible to be alone without seeming like a borderline sociopath. But you can definitely give lonely a solid kick in the balls. Having the Tanner family in your TV for moral support doesn’t hurt.
And, as I have discovered over these past few months, there can be more than one definition of alone. It all depends on how willing you are to delude yourself about the level of loserhood you’ve descended to. For instance, it’s much different to be alone because you’ve had a bad run of luck with women who’ve turned out to be lying, psychotic whores than it is to be alone because you’ve been turned into a bloodsucking freak. See how that is? It even looks different in print. One kind of alone is self-imposed, a sort of refuge you create out of fear that your presence among others will only cause repulsion and heartache. Even in the most casual of social situations, people can sense the changes you’ve gone through no matter how much you work to conceal them. Some will be kind enough to put up a good front, trying to sympathize with your condition, but you know they’re just pretending they aren’t thoroughly terrified of you. You know it’s not how you chose to be; it’s just something that happened, something beyond your control and now your stuck with it, unsettling as it is for you or anyone else. But it doesn’t matter how you rationalize it - you’re not who you used to be; they know it, and you know it. And so, you keep your distance to spare everyone the horror of interacting with the sub-human ghoul you’ve turned into.
The other kind of alone happens when you become a vampire.
Actually, I take it back. There's only one definition: alone means alone. It doesn’t matter what kind of antisocial loser you become. It may not be so much fun staying at arm's length from practically everyone but it hurts a hell of a lot less than the alternative. And who knows? Maybe you’d be open to being a little more social, if all the right elements were to fall into place. But it would really take something special to make that happen. Meanwhile you have your laptop to keep your crotch warm and a box of Little Debbie's Star Crunches that isn’t going to eat itself. And that’s fine, too.
It's sort of difficult to explain without sounding pitiful, but I can’t help feeling that the Olsen twins would understand.
Mary Kate? Ashley? If you happen to be reading this, hit me back.