“Sometimes pain stains your clothing in such a way that you can wash it as much as you want but it’s going to take several washes to get it out, or you have to patch over it.”
Fiction. Based on a True Patch Up.
Written by Mingjie Zhai
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
I dated a guy named Collin for a month. I was desperately in love with him. I wanted him to love me back, but he thought that I was too crazy for him, which made him like me more.
I used to hang around the warehouse where he and his buddy had built a music studio that they would later rent out for events and filming. He would keep me out when they would be renting it out to porn production companies where they also filmed. Those times, he would take me on joy rides in his red 1993 Shelby Cobra Cadillac across Downtown. He taught me the difference between emo and goth music. He introduced me to The Cure and Pictures of You became my favorite song. The sex was good, the food was good, and the talks were even good, but it was knowing that he was dating other girls that got me. I started dating other men just so I can forget how much it hurts that he’s dating other girls while dating me when I loved him so.
We both thought we were not good enough for the other. He was intimidated by where I taught and I was intimidated by his greaser lifestyle. He took amazing pictures and hung naked ones of other girls on his wall. He dealt with depression and though the topic was never brought up, I saw it by the way he left his clothes on the floor, the way the half-eaten burgers and pizza napkins would pile up next to his music and sound equipment. He worked as an engineer and marketer for a major clothing line in the heart of the fashion industry in Los Angeles.
I don’t remember how it faded away but, like an old photograph, I only remember the negatives.
I do know that I was dating multiple men at the time. He was the guy from DTLA. There was the guy from Manhattan Beach and the man from Beverly Hills. I wanted to keep them different in location, culture, style, and eccentricities. I thought I could experience it like an international buffet, living like Samantha in Sex in the City, where you get to explore cultures through tasting their food, sleeping in their bed, and I thought this would be fun, except I wasn’t happy.
I wanted him to be a certain way that he would never be–which was something no man could obtain–I wanted him to fight me every step of the way while I was making him wrong for everything that happened in my life.
Because nothing he would ever do for me would ever be good enough. I wanted him to be okay with that. I wanted him to bend over to my will, and if he didn’t, I would just run to the other guy(s).
Don’t want to take me out to the movies? Fine, I’ll go with guy 3.
What? Are you under the weather? That’s okay boo, I’ll go out with guy 2.
Dating three guys at once almost made one complete guy.
I was dating Frankenstein.
He had randomly texted me one day to come and meet him after months of moving on with our lives. While at Universal Studios City Walk, he had admitted that he was attracted to women who are complicated like myself.
He identified me as one of those women that would love him and then later get bored. That’s why he didn’t want to get committed to me.
He was 100% right.
He told me that I was that type of woman who would leave a man who is content with just staying home.
He read me like an open book.
I don’t like men staying home.
I liked him working on stuff, moving like a hustler, wheeling, and dealing, while staying faithful to me.
Then, I realized in that moment that I dated him not because I loved him.
I dated him because I loved the idea of him.
I wanted him to take all the responsibilities that I didn’t want to have—make food, grow money out of nothing, and do my self-awareness work for me.
I wanted him to become responsible for my happiness.
I wanted him to play a rigged game where there would be no winners.
That’s why he was right.
His instincts were right.
I was becoming a femme fatale at a time I had no clue I was already becoming one.