Five Men: A Brief Survey with Anecdotes

Names changed to protect my sanity. Facts changed for music.


I’m a sophomore in college and I’m sitting in the middle of the living room with my sister, playing go. Were sitting on bedroom pillows and the go board is on a milk crate, because that’s about the level of interior decorating I had reached. I asked her what she would think of Neil as a brother in law. She said she though he was terrific. Later that summer, Neil and I were laying on my mattress on the floor of my room, and I told him that I thought I was pregnant. He told me that was impossible because he hadn’t been coming into me in months. He had had medical problems and he almost never came. He had actually been faking orgasm. Imagine. I got my period the next day; I was so relieved.

Length of relationship: Six months.

Admission of love: Yes

Brought flowers: Yes

Worked on car: No

Oral sex: Nope

Shared dream: He’d work at his computer job and support me while I painted and raised our kids.


I was living in Brighton in the south of England and we used to go to clubs four to six nights a week. After we would go to his place and get stoned, and eventually make love for hours. We would wake up the next morning in agony, and we would make love again anyway, kissing through thick mouths, touching with weighted limbs. Once I was lying with my head on his chest and I noticed a scar on his stomach. I asked, and he said that usually when he’s lying on the floor, he has an ashtray on his stomach. One time he was so drunk he missed. He made cheese sandwiches a lot.

Length of relation ship: Four months

Admission of love: No

Brought flowers: No

Worked on car: His only (didn’t own one at the time)

Oral sex: No

Shared dream: We would buy an old car and drive across America in it.


I was traveling to Greece on a ferry, this was a different trip abroad, a year later. I met this guy from California who was a philosophy major. He played guitar, also. We spent a week on an island where we were the only non-Greeks. Mostly it was sex, and reading books, and eating and swimming. He’d sit on the beach and play his guitar. We were at a wine festival in Athens, on a little bridge over a creek, under a full moon and he said that he loved me. We had a fight on a street car in Vienna. Once he asked if he could pick my nose. I told him I was saving it for marriage. He disappeared and never answered any of my calls or letters.

Length of relationship: Two months

Admission of love: Unfortunately

Brought flowers: No

Worked on car: Not relevant

Oral sex: Yes

Shared dream: Invited me to live with him when I moved to California.


I met him in a bar, where he approached me because I was wearing a vintage dress. He told me his best friend was my favorite author, which I though was a line, but it wasn’t. His house was crowded with a thousand collectibles, old lunch boxes, some old guitars, basses, amps, a Vox organ, and a million books and records. He broke up with me every four months or so, saying that his heart was permanently broken by some chick who used to bite him and throw things at him when she got mad, and he’d never love again. When finally I broke up with him, he came back with a dozen roses and an admission of undying love. I fell for it, after two years of swallowing those three little words, I finally said them. We moved in together. Two months later, I moved out.

Length of relationship: Two and a half years.

Admission of love: Yes.

Brought flowers: Yes, usually carnations

Worked on car: No

Oral sex: Yes, for hours

Shared dream: Wanted to drive to Tahoe to get married. Didn’t have many shared dreams.


I met him at work. One night – we’d been going out, two months or so – it was Saint Patrick’s day and we got terribly ripped in an Irish sports bar. We crawled behind one of those hoop throw basketball games and admitted our love to each other. Later that night, or early the next morning, he had to pee; and he went out on the balcony, stark naked, instead of in the bathroom, and peed off the edge. He waved to a little old lady walking her dog. We lived together for three years. Then he got religion and I didn’t.

Length of relationship: Three and a half years

Admission of love: Often.

Brought flowers: Irises

Worked on car: Yes

Oral sex: Rarely

Shared dreams: None.

Separator image Posted in writing.