I first met Eddie Love on my way to a Grateful Dead show. Between swings on a swing (where else), we arranged for my transportation issues to be solved by means of an available seat behind him on his motorcycle. This seat is generally called “riding Bitch”, but it beats walking and in my opinion also beats the front seat of a motorcycle and its attendant liabilities of snagging bugs with one’s teeth.
Eddie was a postgraduate student of Business Administration at a college (THE college) in Madison, Wisconsin. He had graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Physics. He seduced me with his ramblings about how molecules under a microscope do the beautiful dance of the universe and other far-out platitudes which grooved very nicely with the overall pre-Dead concert vibe.
And I’ve found it to be true that motorcycles generally tend to add a point or two on a guy’s hotness scale ranking. I have many stories about motorcycles. Not all have ended well, but so what – they had a motorcycle, and I had them, which invariable makes for a great start. In fact, I could write a book about men and the art of relationship maintenance. But I digress. Which I generally do when encountered with a man and a motorcycle.
After Eddie’s Dead show motorcycle chauffeuring of my super-friendly, peace-loving white ass, he started visiting me in Chicago on the weekends. He’d ride his bike through sub-zero temperatures to my cute little studio apartment in Hyde Park (he could handle the cold – Eddie was a self-described “Bronx Baby” who explained to me that if you don’t resist the wind and the chill, it doesn’t stay inside you, it just kind of goes through you) and we’d have sex and sleep in and in the mornings, he’d walk over to the European-style deli and come back with orange juice, a fresh baguette, smoked Gouda and occasionally, when they were available, an avocado. Then, still camping out in bed, we’d pig out on these delicacies, always to the extreme delight of my taste buds.
Eddie and I didn’t talk about the future or the past. We didn’t make plans. We didn’t take steps to step up the relationship. I enjoyed the simplicity of the arrangement. He’d show up, we’d have a good time, he’d leave and chances are, we’d do the same thing the following weekend – but we never scheduled our time together and we never planned for it. Very basic, simple and free-lovey – a perfect recipe for a young nubile eighteen year-old college student who was more interested in the theoretical negative space of astrophysics than in boys. Boys were a dime a dozen back then. Call it “sex for retards” – literally a no-brainer. It was easy to follow, a convenient mutual pleasure, and we both enjoyed it for what it was and no more and no less.
The most memorable part of the whole thing was the smoked Gouda. That discovery kind of changed my life.
On one weekend, I made the mistake of releasing Eddie into the wilderness of my college partying network. We got drunk, as was generally called for by the social environment. Nothing unusual about that. This was, however, the first time that I was together with Eddie in a social setting with people other than myself present. I left Eddie to his own devices, and he left me to mine. He didn’t make it back to my place that night, but I did not consider this a cause for alarm.
The next morning, I got a phone call from my friend Chandra telling me to pick up Eddie from her place. Her tone of voice betrayed that there was a bit more to the scene. I got the distinct impression that if I didn’t get my ass over there posthaste, her next call was going to be to the Humane Society.
It turns out that Eddie had a proclivity, or penchant if you will, for pissing. He literally had pissed all over Chandra’s room. Everywhere. Every last corner. Eddie had pissed on her bed. He had pissed on her pillow. He had pissed on her floor, her curtains, her clothing, her furniture. From all appearances and from the results of my own amateur forensic investigation of the crime scene, he had spent quite a bit of time diligently hosing down, in excruciating detail, everything my friend Chandra owned. It was almost mystical. I mean, we are talking gallons of the stuff – everywhere. If he’d been around when the Chicago fire started, no one would have ever heard of the fire.
This was the thanks Eddie had given my friend, in his inebriated, dog-like state, for taking him in when he was too out of his head to know where he was supposed to go. According to Chandra, his manic micturations were also not enough to dampen his more debonair side, and at some point between whizzing all over her carpet and her bedding, had also offered to satisfy her every sexual whim, which, under the circumstances, failed to impress her or fill her with longing.
I played a very stern hand with Eddie at that point. Eddie was already well into the self-mortification ritual of a million “I’m sorry’s” before I arrived on the scene, but let’s face it, sometimes “I’m sorry” doesn’t quite cut it, and this happened to be one of those occasions when a little more action was called for before he had any chance at obtaining forgiveness. He was the embodiment of hangdog. He spent the entire day scuttling back and forth from the laundromat with mountains of urine-soaked clothing and bedding, like an apologetic and massively hung-over (Jewish) coolie. After he finally finished cleaning whatever could be cleaned, I sent Eddie away in true German “don’t fuck with me” style, with my finger pointing to the door. On the one hand, how was I supposed to know that the guy I was having a sexual liaison with peed everywhere the second he was released into public? I mean, this is one of those things you can only learn the hard way. It’s not as if he’s going to disclose such a fact to you, and it’s not as if it’s one of those questions one think s of to ask. Although my own father had surprised me in the past with the in-depth nature of the grilling interviews he subjected my romantic prospects to (before I learned to never bring them home, that is), asking pointed questions such as “What is your GPA? What’s your major? Here’s the remote: you have 3 seconds to find the sports channel; What do your parents do for a living? What is your estimated net worth?” not even once did he ever ask the burning question: “When you find yourself in a somewhat delicate social situation, do you consider saturating all available surfaces with your urine within a ten foot, 360 degree radius as a valid form of stress relief?”. I guess you just have to fuck with one eye open, and monitor your guy’s urination habits for a while, an eventuality I was simply not prepared for at the time.
My momma never told me that just because a guy's lovemaking skills are no guarantee that he is housebroken.
That was the last time I saw Eddie. For a few years, anyways. Until we moved in together, that is.