@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
What I Can’t Teach You
Plenty of people have asked me, as I’m sure they’ve asked you, what my type is. Especially if you’re a single soon to be 30 year old female, your dating life is fascinating to other people.
The answer will come easily to me, and I would give you the same answer I did since I was teenager: Blue eyes, dark hair, tanned beach skin, and most important— a beaming smile that makes you too shy to look them in their glowing eyes.
But, if you were to do a line up of my lovers: the very, very short term, the friends with benefits, the flings where one of us wanted more, the fiery and passionate, or simply boring… there is no clear pattern. You would go… well, this doesn’t make sense at all. You don’t have a type unless your type is you don’t have a type.
Perhaps there’s a street joke here: An Irish drunk, a skateboard punk, a black guy, an underwear model, a former underwear model, an actor, a middle aged man, a woman, a comedian, a musician and a hopeless romantic walk into a bar… they all look around at each other and go… “wait… she fucked you?”
There’s a level of my catholic upbringing that has kept me quiet about writing some of my more intimate experiences, even though I’ve been pretty much an open book when it comes to adolescent stories, depression, drug use, dreams and dreads, moments of hope and hopelessness, etc, there are doors that are kept shut. Even more so, I’m not a kiss and teller. Never have been. In fact, it always bothered me when people revealed intimate details of their lovers. Having been best friends with guys my entire life and a tomboy, I’ve been privy to sex talk and passed around pictures of a naked girl they fucked, bragging like she was a conquest. I don’t really give a shit, because I care very little about people’s private lives, but because of this I never send a nude picture, not even once (much to some of my lovers chagrin).
Though it is relatively laughable to me now, part of the reason I didn’t have sex till I was 20 years old (true story, I started doing stand-up comedy as a virgin) was because I was both terribly shy and extremely insecure when it came to sex. (I recall my younger brother and his friends mocking me for being a 20 year old virgin.) No doubt there was penis envy when I did start having sex because it was so easy for them to orgasm and for me there would be a learning curve.
But you figure it out. Details need not revealing.
Though when mischief is on the mind, I get a certain level of under the surface thrill knowing that you don’t know me, but you think you do.
Like that moment when I first take the microphone out of the stand when I hit the stage, knowing the crowd has already pre-judged me as what my comedy will be like, and then I take them completely by surprise… well, that really gets me off. Underestimate the underdog and you have given us a tool to fight with. Not only is it a sword I’m quite skilled at utilizing, it’s my Excalibur: when I’m scared or anxious, I remember that this was not apparatus merely handed to me by the Lady of the Lake, I earned this. It belongs to me. I am good at this. I should not be afraid. It’s not necessarily a need to be a conqueror, but never cower. The world makes me anxious, but not the stage. It makes me smile to make you smile— to be proof that people can take you by surprise. Because I know what it’s like to live in a world where everyone is so predictable. The true heart of a cynic is someone who wants to be proven wrong. The sword from the stone is not meant for fighting, it’s meant for defending.
But I digress. Wasn’t I writing about sex? Sex, the ever desired, coveted, sell-able, corruptible, wonderful, sometimes soul binding basic natural instinct that, I’m sure, is far more fascinating to a reader than the forces of the psyche of a stand-up comedian. But it is delightful to me that an intimidate audience of one often has the same reaction as a crowd of hundreds who assassinate my character before reading the book… “I wasn’t expecting that.” It makes me grin.
My brother has professed that he doesn’t like kissing… at all. He has gone as far as saying that it repulses him, which, if you knew some of the other shit he did/does, you’d go… what? While I don’t quite hold the same level of aversion to kissing, I too was not especially a fan. It seemed like a relatively boring ingress to the good part. There has, on more than one occasion, times when I told a lover they could kiss me anywhere but the mouth which is a power play as cold as the sheath of a sword.
But I don’t think my brother has ever really loved his lovers. That’s the difference. Kissing is actually far more intimate than fucking. Perhaps, one day, he won’t learn that lesson as hard as I did.
Physically, I could teach someone how to touch, where to grab, when to slow down or speed up. But there can be something else that could easily disrupt what should be a perfectly good time… my stupid, daft brain. Whether it’s racing too fast to enjoy the moment, or the synapses are malfunctioning that day, it doesn’t matter what is done physically when mind reigns over matter. And so, at some point I learned that those chiseled guys who look like sculptured statues of folklore can’t fill the hole (go ahead, insert your own vagina joke here, you fucking hacks) if the vortex is in full spin.
So let’s return to the original question. What is your type? On paper, I could list you celebrities or athletes that from a carnal point of view are hot as fucking hell. And I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t shallow to a certain degree. But there is another level of attractiveness. In fact, my type is someone that when I look them in the eye the vortex stops. It just stops and I’m right there with you. I’m not processing thoughts or information, not daydreaming nor anticipating anxiety. I’m not in outer space or lowering myself into a well. I’m just here. With you.
If that was something I could teach, well fuck, I’d be teaching everyone. If I could teach people how to quell a maddening mess of mental chaos, I’d be teaching everyone! Friends, family, co-workers, homeless people. I would teach you all if I only knew how.
But I can’t teach that.
And to those lovers who fictionally walked into a bar at the same time… well, some of them would be quite distraught. To them, I was the Lady of the Lake. When they looked at me, their eyes shone so bright, perhaps they did or perhaps they didn’t love me, but either way, I glowed to them. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to loan out Excalibur, it’s just that if you don’t shine to me then the sword is stuck in solid stone.