The Friend Zone
(Twilight Zone music: Di-di-di-di-di-di-di-di, di-di-di-di-di-di-di) You’re travelling through a dating dimension, a dimension not only of desire and rejection but of a sad need to be with a woman who will NEVER want you, a journey into a pathetic land whose boundaries are that of man’s inability to have a grip on reality, your next stop: The Friend Zone (buhd-oo-bud-up!)
Written by: Michael Hempen on 10/28/10
Brought to you by: Cous’n Hemp’n Entertainment
Featuring: The Ghost of Rod Serling
Episode 7: The Stripper – Part 1: Mouth Stuff
Ghost of Rod Serling: In the parlance of the 21st Century, this is an asshole. Should it not be obvious by now, Michael Hempen is a fixture in his own private, optimistic hopeful little world. A world which has long ceased being surprised by him. Michael Hempen, on whom dame fortune will shortly turn her back, but not before she gives him a sock on the jaw. Mr. Michael Hempen, just one block away from…The Friend Zone
I got my bell rung on Sweetest Day, and I gotta tell ya, it was a great date. I typically don’t like writing about a ‘great’ date because there’s no fun in a story with no controversy. However, as it usually happens, the controversy soon ensued and herein unfolds our story.
Now, the Sweetest day date wasn’t great JUST because I got my crotch pillow fluffed, although that definitely had something to do with the swagger in my step that I’d rocked all week, but more because of the overall good time we both shared. Although most of my exploits with the fairer sex had been the romantic equivalent of 9-11, this one left me with a new found hope and a desire that I hadn’t felt since before I found out that Tiffany was a fat-T-Rex back in the first episode of The Friend Zone. However, because of my neurosis and Sherlock Holmes like ability to deduce a situations outcome, I had a feeling that I would soon be taking a svitz in another vaginal deprivation chamber; and on that note, let’s start with some exposition, shall we?
Most of my family has worked in law enforcement in some capacity over the years, but let’s focus on my mother, or ‘Ma Hemp’n as she’s NEVER been called. Later in her life, mother earned her Master’s Degree in some sort of social work, and took off her police badge to became a drug counselor. She became the head of several Chicago drug outreach programs and helped a lot of people in the process.
For years, I would visit Ma Hemp’n at work, and sometimes she would have addicts from her treatment programs over to our house once they passed through the program. I got to know quite a few of them and I loved hearing their stories and warnings about what they did in furtherance of their habits. I don’t care what it’s about…I love a good fucking story. After Ma Hemp’n passed, I decided that perhaps I would take up her cause of helping people help themselves, so I read every book she had on drugs, drug laws, the psychology of users, and drug counseling. My own selfish needs ended up getting in the way of my helping ANYBODY in life, including the simple task of helping my customers at work, but hell…I like to read anyway.
My point is that I know the stories. I know all the angles. I can tell when someone is high, and I can usually tell what they’re on by looking at them. My mother taught me two important lessons that I’ve tried to live by for a long time…never judge someone who takes drugs, and you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. Being an alcoholic herself during my entire youth, she was familiar with both of these lessons all too well. In fact, it was her time spent with AA that became the impetus for her getting a degree so late in life.
So because of my non educated walks down habitual user lane, people who use drugs have never bothered me much. Sure, when some pot addled asshole starts telling me how if you put a hat and glasses on a dog and taught him to drive a truck, it would look really cool…THAT mother fucker needs to die. But overall I understand the human need to feel as little as possible. Life can be a mother fucker, and sometimes suicide just isn’t an option, at least that’s what that Jesus dude said. So, when I met a woman on the internet who told me that she used to be an addict, I didn’t flinch. Seriously, who am I to judge anybody?
After the chick with those fucking teeth, I was kind of ‘put off’ of the whole ‘Craig’s List’ thing. Let’s be honest here, Craig’s list is to internet dating, what ‘carnies’ are to the entertainment industry. So, I updated my profile on a dating service that I hadn’t used in several years…Plenty of Fish.
As I was perusing the profile pictures on POF, like a WWII vet at the buffet table of a VFW, I came across a very interesting one attached to an even more interesting profile. This girl was beautiful in a way that I hadn’t even thought about yet. Y’know how you’ll see a chick and you’ll be like: “she looks like this girl” or “She looks like that girl”? There’s a beauty comparison flow chart out there, and this chick had no equals on it.
When she finally responded to my initial contact email, I was (almost) stunned at how forthcoming she was about herself. She reminded me a great deal of me. She pulled no punches, she took every joke I had, and gave some right back to me. She told me that she was from Pittsburgh, that she was a stripper, and that she used to be a junkie…used to be. FINALLY, a woman not good enough for ME!
But seriously, these are ALL things that I can live with. I’ve talked, ad nausea about the women that I’ve dated who had things that I COULDN’T live with, but this girls list of flaws only made her seem more interesting to me. Like I said before, drug addicts are NO turn off to me. It’s like Dennis Miller said: “you could take away ALL the drugs in the world, and people will spin around on their front lawn until they fall down and see god. You can’t take away the human need for release through chemical euphoria.” Personally, I’ve never dated a current drug addict simply because I can’t get behind a woman who wants the drugs more than she wants the dick. I need a woman who wants the dick. So the fact that she said ‘ex’ was in the plus column.
The Stripper told me about a life full of heartache that I won’t reveal, tragedy that I wouldn’t wish on anybody, and sadness that I would never patronize by saying some jag off thing like “I understand”. Yet, at 29 she still had that smart ass, fun loving, why hide it, playful spirit with JUST enough vulnerability thrown in to make me want to know way more. However, I’m not stupid, I know when a person is THAT forthcoming about the horrible shit that life has thrown at them, and in a way that’s humorous…they’re hiding a deep pain. I know this because I know myself.
After getting to know her better through IM, I told her how horribly unattractive I was and asked her to ‘friend’ me on the face book for a photo exchange. I figured that because she was a stripper? Once she saw my photo’s she’d head for ZE hills, but to my surprise again, she wasn’t as superficial as I am. Her POF profile only had one photo of her standing in front of a bar, but when I saw what was doin’ on her Facebook page? Like Glenn Fry said: The H is fucking O!
She told me that she was Sicilian, Greek, Irish, and Columbian…that’s FOUR nationalities people…FOUR! Chicks with four nationalities are ALWAYS hot. Two? Not so much, but FOUR? If I HAD to, and I mean HAD to compare her to ANYONE…it would be Pat Benatar or Joan Jett circa 1982 when they were hot. This girl was a fucking rock star stripper and because she wasn’t from Chicago? Her attitude was actually as attractive as her looks. Let me fucking find OUT.
The next thing I learned about her was her living arrangement. It seems that she moved here FROM Pittsburgh several months ago, and is now living in an apartment in the city with her friend and her friend’s boyfriend who is the junkie son of a millionaire fashion designer. What am I gonna do? NOT believe her? She doesn’t drive, and she told me that she rolls her own cigarettes…obviously this means that she doesn’t have a job. So, let’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this shit.
She doesn’t have a job, BUT she told me that she just paid her share of a 1600 dollar rent. She also told me that she sometimes sings on the sidewalk for money. Well, unless you can hypnotize people with your voice, I’m pretty sure that you ain’t coming up with 533 bucks from flexin’ yer pipes on Damon. Frankly, I don’t know enough about her at this point to speculate where her funds come from, and even I have enough tact not to ask how she gets money. But, regardless of her income situation, she agreed to go on a date with me and run that shit. You go out with me? You better NOT bring any cash. I GOT this shit.
Ok, Let’s get to the good stuff. As she was blowing me in my…wait…did I skip too far ahead? Let’s back up.
So, I get to this bar which is called ‘Rainbo’. Yeah, I know. My buddy Mike said the same thing. “If she’s this hot stripper, why is she having you meet her at a gay bar? I think you’re gonna get rolled by a pimp or something”. Thanks for your concern Mike, but it wasn’t a gay bar at all. In fact, it was something of a hipster bar for good looking white kids in their late 20’s and early 30’s who had nothing better to do in life than be the punch line to MANY of my societal jibes. These people were fucking extras in a play about disenfranchised youth and unfulfilled goals. It was like seeing a sculpture of James Dean made out of dog shit.
But none of that really mattered…because sitting across from me in the booth we snatched up when we walked in, was this gorgeous woman. She wore a black outfit with a black leather coat; I found it hard to stop looking at her lips. She mentioned them, and told me that they were ‘uneven’ or some crap, but all I could think was how they would feel lightly brushing against mine with a hint of moisture followed by a passionate exhale. Great, first date and I’m already imagining a zurburt.
Ok. Let’s dive into my neurosis at this point. I like strippers. I do. I’ve been known to frequent quite a few strip clubs in my time. Usually, I go with Cous’n Hemp’n because HE pays for everything. He doesn’t have a lot of friends, so when he wants to see some titties? He gives me a call and as long as he pays, I don’t mind going. My PROBLEM with strip clubs is that I don’t have the ability to envelope the fantasy. This has NOTHING to do with the strippers. BUT, I KNOW that these chicks aren’t going to fuck me, and I know that they have scripts that help them say the right thing to get my money. Because I KNOW that I have a better chance of getting laid in a morgue, whenever Cous’n Hemp’n pays a lady to take me back for a private dance? I end up feeling like an asshole because I can’t get a hard on. It’s like watching a porno from the SET as it’s being filmed…how can I jack off while the porn star is staring back at me? Frankly I find the whole experience unnerving.
So, when THIS stripper compliments me, I had to assume that I was getting the stripper hustle. BUT, on the other side of that assumption: what’s she hustling me for? It ain’t like my money is long. So maybe her compliments were genuine, and if that was the case? I wanted more. Round one to her.
(I gotta tell ya…I’m SO fucked in the head.)
After we had a few drinks, she told me that she wanted to get something out of the way so that it wasn’t hanging over our heads all night…and she came over to my side of the booth and kissed me. Round fucking TWO to her. And might I add…well played.
After a few hours, I drove us to another bar on Milwaukee Avenue. More like a street FULL of bars. After searching for a parking spot for 30 minutes, my bladder decided that it was time to catch a fucking valet. I nearly ran over a guy in a red jacket, tossed him my keys and made my way into the basement bathroom of the bar closest to me. I must have pissed the length of the Golden Gate Bridge down there. I checked out my cash arrangement after I washed my hands, and headed back upstairs to the bar.
This place was a bit more swank than Rainbo, and apparently my date ALSO had to use the restroom. The ladies room door stood open in an angled hallway, and from where I was standing near the dance floor, I could see her from behind in the mirror just inside the door. She was lightly dancing to the beat of the music while fixing her hair and makeup. I could see why she was a stripper. She had an amazing body on a small frame, and she knew how to move it like a samurai knows how to wield a sword. This completely innocuous gesture was hypnotizing. And I don’t hypnotize easily.
She was in the bathroom for a good 20 minutes (Foreshadowing) which made me feel like I was on a date with a real woman. When she came out, she confessed that she was putting on eyeliner…something she doesn’t usually do for her dates. She brushed the long bangs from in front of them and revealed…those fucking eyes. Even with the deep, relaxing buzz I was feeling, those eyes froze me like a deer in headlights. I mean, I’d SEEN them throughout the night, but never outlined and with the hair brushed away from them.
The night progressed and through HER flirtations and MY awesome ‘Sons of Anarchy’ t-shirt, we didn’t pay a cover at ANY bar we haunted. I’m tellin’ ya, this ‘SOA’ t-shirt I bought for 8 bucks at the fucking flea market, has opened more doors for me than a Harvard education. We bullshitted with bouncers, we talked to college kids about concerts they had been to earlier in the night, we were let into exclusive parts of clubs while others had to stand in a line or were turned away, and we even tried convincing a guy with a guitar to play while the stripper sang on the sidewalk. She was impulsive and had no fear of P.D.A.’s. We made out at various bars, and at one point I even dragged her into the men’s room with me. She was just as outrageous as I like to be, and also like me, she easily approached random people that she didn’t know. It was seriously like being on a date with a WAY hot she-Mike.
However, as it always does…the evening had to come to an end. We stopped at one of those hookah tobacco joints and she asked me to buy her roommate a pack of cigarettes. She told me that she was hungry so on the way back to her place I stopped and got her McDonalds. While waiting for her order, she called her roommate and then asked me if I would mind getting her and her bf some food too. What am I gonna say? No?
I drove her home and parked at the curb outside of her building. We talked about what a great time we had and agreed that we’d like to see each other again. When I went in to kiss her, she was more than receptive. The awkward ‘side kiss’ of a driver side/passenger side make out session, soon turned into her climbing on my lap with her back against the steering wheel. It was amazing. THIS was the spark I’ve been looking for. It didn’t feel like I was just kissing some girl, it felt like a beginning. This was the undeniable passion that I wanted and I memorized every second of that embrace. Her long hair surrounded our heads like a curtain drawn on a photo booth, offering that fake feeling of privacy. Occasionally she’d shift her position on my lap, and when she moved her head back to do so, our eyes would lock. I’d never wanted to fuck someone more in my life.
But because of the stories she told me earlier in the evening of the assholes she’d been involved with and the unexplainable things that men had done to her, I told her that we shouldn’t take it any farther. I wanted to see this woman again…and again. I didn’t want her to feel like I was just another asshole out for the booty juice. PLUS, I had just spent like 40 bucks on her friends and I didn’t want her to feel like she needed to ‘pay me back’.
She told me that her ‘friend’ was in town anyway, but continued to ignore my resistance by rubbing her ass against my Rogers and Hammerstein. Look, I TRY to be a nice guy, I really do, but in the end? I’m just a man. She pulled up her shirt to reveal her perfect breasts, and then put my hand on them as she continued to take it off completely. Oh, I was DYING! I HAD to have her. I don’t remember what she said, but she was whispering to me in that sexy voice while she unbuckled my belt. I pulled my pants down, and then she did the MOST amazing thing a woman has EVER done…
While looking me in the eyes, The Stripper licked her palm and put it on my double oh seven. Yeah, I call my dick James fucking Bond because he likes his pussy shaken…not stirred. AND he looks amazing in a tuxedo. As she gently stroked it she leaned in and whispered in my ear: “oooooh, it’s perfect”. OH MAN! That’s the hottest thing any woman has ever fucking said to me…EVER. Made me wanna git this stripper PRENNANT.
Finally, I reached down and lay the seat all the way back; I’m WAY into this whole scene. There’s kissing, there’s groping, there’s wonderful breasts, and I can feel the cool night breeze blowing into my car. Then it gets even better. She climbs off of me and gets back into the passenger seat where she proceeds to lean over and take care a the kid. My god people, I know I say this EVERY time…but this was the best blow job I’ve ever gotten (2nd ‘blow job in a car’ occurrence in a ‘The Friend Zone’ blog, if you’re keeping track.)
As she’s blowing me and doing JUST amazing things to my dork with her tongue, people are walking by on the street. Aaaaaand I’m pretty sure EVERY one of them could see that I was getting blown. I felt like Harvey Keitel in ‘The Bad Lieutenant’. I’m drunk, getting a blowjob from a stripper in my car at 3 o’clock in the morning in my car on Milwaukee Avenue, after buying hamburgers for the junkie son of a millionaire fashion designer. By the way? I have to say that that is the most AWSOME sentence that I’ve ever written, maybe the most awesome sentance ever uttered by a lowly retail employee.
Now that she was not on top of me, I had a clear view of the street and sidewalk though my windshield. I could SEE people walking by and turning their heads to look in my car as they passed. She stopped blowing me long enough to tell me that she thought it was kind of hot that other people were watching…apparently my dick didn’t mind either.
After (Spit or swallow? Let your imagination decide!), she told me that she DEFINATLY wanted to see me the next day and we made tentative plans to hit a zoo or something on Sunday. I was feeling REALLY good about this one. And then, as is ALWAYS the case…the possibility bubble burst.
I stared at my phone all day on Sunday waiting for a call that wouldn’t come. Not out of desperation, but out of anticipation. I was eager to foster our mutual adoration. I didn’t want to call HER because I’m NOBODIES stalker. That evening, I went and had a nice steak with Cous’n Hemp’n, after which we went to see ‘Wall Street 2’. After the movie, I went to my car and checked my phone. Yes, I’m the ONLY asshole on the planet that doesn’t bring his phone into the theatre. Still nothing. Strike one.
I went to bed that night making up excuses FOR her. “Ah, something probably came up”, or “Maybe a family member passed away”. But the next day when I woke up, my fears were put to rest. She had sent me a text late in the night saying that her roommate had brought someone home, and she just felt like staying in. But MONDAY night, she totally wanted to go out. Cool, I went to work that morning with that joy in my step that everyone could see. My employees kept saying “you MET someone, I can tell because you’re not a complete asshole today”.
After work, I called her with the intention of taking her out to a fine restaurant, and then maybe a movie back at my place. She said that she had just woken up, and wanted to get ready. She’d call me when she was done. Like I had done on Sunday, I got home and went overboard on the grooming. I was thinking about taking a nap, but I didn’t want to fuck up my hair, so I sat up on my bed watching TV and waited…and waited…and waited. Nothing. Finally, at eleven I got undressed and went to bed, not frustrated so much…but disappointed. Strike 2.
While I slept…she once again sent me a text late in the night…”My roommates junkie boyfriends asshole was bleeding, lot of drama at home today. I PROMICE we’ll go out tomorrow”. I called her on Tuesday afternoon and again, she had just woken up. She apologized for the previous evenings and told me that she would get ready and call me in a bit. “Are you SURE?” I asked her. “If you want, we can just make plans for later in the week…I’m off on Friday, so we can go out on Thursday night if you want.” Then she dropped the bomb.
“I’m going back to Pittsburgh on Thursday for a doctor’s appointment”.
Well, I didn’t quite know what to say to that, but as it turned out, I didn’t have to come up with anything because that night? She stood me up again.
Ok, I’ve ignored the fact that she’s apparently up ALL night EVERY night. I’ve ignored the fact she stood me up for her roommate’s boyfriends bleeding asshole. I’ve even ignored the fact that she told me her roommate brought someone home and then SHE stayed up all night. Her roommate has a boyfriend who lives there…so, WHO the fuck did she bring home? But now, with no job, no car, and NO money…she’s going to a doctor’s appointment in Pittsburgh? What am I? Wearing an ‘I’m an asshole’ t-shirt?
Strike fucking three, YOU’RE OUTTA HERE! I was starting to think that maybe ‘ex’ junkie wasn’t quite the correct version of junkie that she was. But look, it was one fucking date, an awesome date to be sure, but I’m not going to speculate as to her reasons for bullshitting me, IF she was bullshitting me at all. The fact is that my ego is way too fragile to be stood up THREE nights in a row.
Her stories have been filled with more holes than fucking Pinhead from ‘Hellraiser’s pillow. But, in her defense, she COULD very well be telling me the truth. My past relationships with women have been filled with more secrets and lies than my Uncle Jim’s dairy farm, and my failure to believe some things is purely an act of MY mistrust. NOT necessarily HER version of the truth. After all, trust isn’t born, it’s raised. I didn’t know her long enough to foster a trust with her.
In the end though, it really doesn’t matter does it? She’s either lied to me about moving away, OR she really did. Either way, it’s over. Another road not taken. I guess it’s for the best, because even if everything she said was true, she seems like the kind of woman who would always be JUST out of reach. Like that cookie jar that your mom kept on top of the fridge when you were a kid.
Whatever the truth though, I have to thank her because she put gas into the tank of a car that was running seriously low on fuel. I was really on the verge of giving up my search for a decent woman after Those Fucking Teeth, because every girl I’ve met over the past year has been like a fucked up talky version of Jodie Foster in ‘Nell’. But now I know that there are STILL women out there who can make me feel. No analogy…the stripper just made me ‘feel’ and for that I thank her from the bottom of my heart.
So even though I was never really gone, I’m back. I’m not looking for a perfect girl, quite the opposite. Perfection breeds intimidation. But I don’t want you to think that I’m ONLY into girls that are fucked up strippers either. I try to take women as they come. We ALL have problems and if we were to have a ‘who has the WORST problem’ contest with everyone in the world? The LAST mother fucker would win because each person’s issues are a bit more fucked than the last. So, I’ll put up with your shit, if you’re willing to put up with mine. I’ve realized recently that I’m not only looking for a meaningful and passionate relationship, but a responsible one as well. We have to be respectful of the shit we’ve BOTH been through, and if you’re out there…you can tell me anything. I won’t say that ‘I understand’ and I won’t make you feel like your problems don’t matter, what I will do is listen.
Wow, that made me sound really old. You’ve all just been witness to a major story arc in a bio movie of self-discovery, and I gotta tell ya…I don’t like the actors; I’m disappointed in the editing, and I HATE the fucking director. This movie sucks.