“All I wanna do is booma-boom-boom-boom and a zoom-ZOOOOM!! Just shake your rump! Awww, yeah! I smotha your motha and make your sister think I love her—oh, hey, neighbor!”
That’s Rory. He’s my neighbor.
Retired Air Force, retired UPS. Divorced. Mixed ethnicity: West African, Native American, Colombian and general Western European. In that order. Says he’s 46. Looks at least a dozen years older. Belly. Limp. Shaved head. Few missing teeth.
His friends call him “Uncle Huggy.”
No, I haven’t ever bothered to ask him why. Never could muster a straight face to do it.
About three nights a week, he has a different girl over to his place. Over 60% of them are under 25. (He says.) Most are strippers. (He says.) They all come by after midnight (he says), so I’ve never actually seen any of them.
But he’s shown me their pictures on his phone. Which means absolutely nothing, of course. ‘Oh, my girlfriend’s a 25 year old fashion model getting her Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering at Columbia who only comes over in her Tesla after I know everyone on the block has gone to bed so they can’t meet or see her? She’s totally real, though. Wanna see several nude photos of her I have on my phone that has the internet –net –net –net?’
I didn’t think the guy was a liar, honestly, I just never even bothered to pass judgment on it.
He’s got the gift of gab, no doubt about it, but since he really didn’t have much else, except the ability to cook well and keep a clean house, I figured the 14th Circuit Court of Bro-to-Bro Veracity could rule any way on his possible violation of Bro Code statute, and, in time, would bro-judge him appropriately for it.
And wouldn’t need to bro-poena me as a witness.
It wasn’t until I got home close to 8:00 pm one summer evening and saw some youngish girl in his driveway leaning into the backseat of her car, in fishnet stockings and almost non-existent skirt, that I began to think his stories might be true. And the more I began to think they were, the more the whole thing didn’t make any sense. He was basically boasting of living a Rick James lifestyle with the domestic clout of any number of Rick Moranis characters from popular, family films of the 1980s.
And that might’ve given me a clue right there, had I not been so wrapped up in my own relationship issues at the time.
See, I was dating this New Age girl. Capital NEW, capital AGE. Evergreen State University. Drama major who had switched over to study molecular biology and was now working in the field of dense array EEG while having become a certified Rolfer on the side, etc., etc. And, being no S.N.A.G.* myself, it was presenting itself with some challenging issues. Like acro-yoga, Essalen Immersions, a weekend retreat at a contact improv dance jam or lessons about effective personal growth from something called the Process Work Institute. Which I’d have all kinds of hilarious stories about, I’m sure, if I’d actually had the courage to go and do any of that stuff myself.
Which is, needless to say, why we were having problems.
Rory danced the Harlem Shuffle over to me as I was getting some stuff out of my trunk. “That’s a—shiiit, what kind of trunk—damn that’s a three-body trunk right there,” he said. “Get you, hey, next time you do a run back to Philly, get you to fill that thing up with a few kilos for me, do a drop-off. What? Nooooooo, come on. Hey, we bros, right? We bros…”
I told him I wasn’t planning on heading back home anytime soon, that my girlfriend and I were planning a camping trip to try and salvage what was left of our claimed New Age planet of happiness we’d once collaboratively carved out for ourselves during a holding of space in the conversational and platonically polyamorous, magnanimous and metaphorical universe of unfettered partnerships.
God, now that I say it out loud…
“I don’t know why you let that b—,” Rory censored himself, “—girl play you like that, talking about wanting to fuck other people. If that were me, I’d tell her, ‘Honey, you can go do whatever you want to do, and I will go and do whatever I want to do. If you want to start fucking other people, that’s fine. I am going to fuck other people, too. Starting tonight. I got two girls coming over and we’re gonna put the pole up in the front yard and get the Slip ‘N’ Slide out and I’m a do them both right after they do each other, right on the front lawn. I’m serious. And honey, you can come over if you want and watch the whole thing. I believe in bringing an openness to my relationship. A transparency. That way no one gets hurt.’”
Thanks, Uncle Huggy. That’s great advice.
But after I got inside and put my stuff down, it finally struck me—like a coked-out getaway driver into a crosswalk full of guys dressed like Santa Claus—why Rory had so many girls still “riding his jock,” to quote a phrase he loved to use. And why it was all very likely the truth.
My uncle told me a story once—to digress for a moment—about the time he (my uncle) and a friend, who happened to be a part-time mover of cocaine, went over to some female grad student’s apartment in the city, age about 25, brought her some powder, and proceeded to, both, have sex with her.
Anyway, I remember thinking how on Earth does a university graduate student have nothing better to do than invite two middle aged men (and no one better to do it with) into her apartment on a school night, get high and proceed to have sex with them? Both? Simultaneously?! It seemed unfathomable.
But now, over time, as the complicated, personal nuances and burdens of agency that constitute the human decision-making process in others have become less and less clear to me, conversely, more and more of the things I never could figure out about other people start to make absolutely perfect sense.
“Cocaine is a hell of a drug,” as the man once famously said.
And this, too, was Rory’s claim to retaining a locker-room-type fame all the way into his late forties (probably more).
That, and a bedside cache of Viagra pills.
Three hours later, his pimpified speech further slurred, Rory rang my front door bell. “Hey, hey, come on,” he waved me over and started walking away. “I’m gonna show you, ‘ey, I got some of the juiciest prime rib you have ever seen simmerin’ over at my place,” he said. “Come on. Got a little surprise for you, too,” he then smiled over his shoulder.
We got over by his door and that’s when I saw a car I didn’t recognize. He had company.
I walked in, and the first thing I see is two girls in red bikinis—one sitting on a black leather chair in his living room, legs crossed, watching TV, the other standing over the stove in the kitchen.
“’Ey,” he said to the stove girl, “don’t you be—’ey, get away from there! What do you think you’re doin’?”
“I was just having some of the mushrooms!” she said back.
“If you don’ get away from there I’m gonna tie your bikini strap to Madison’s so that if you guys get more’n a foot apart from each other your tops are gonna come off.”
“Huggy,” the chair girl giggled, “you’re so nasty.”
“What I am is honest. Not that you would know anything about that,” he pointed to stove girl.
“Who, me?” she said.
“Yes, you. Take a look at this,” he said to me, walking into the kitchen. “Oh, Lester, this is Madison,” he motioned to the girl in the chair.
She smiled and said, “Hi.”
“And this tall, lanky ass bitch right here is Darien,” and she just turned and smirked, popping a few mushrooms into her mouth, and then went and sat back down in the living room.
It must’ve taken him fifteen minutes to merely cut me two slices of meat and put it on a plate, he was talking so much, but right as he finishes his cellphone rings. He looks at it and goes, “Ah shit. I gotta…. Hello? I…I know. I know, I kn—look…listen, honey, you had your chance, and I’m sorry you didn’t want to come over last night, but I got some friends over right now, and—say ‘Hi’, ladies…,” he held the phone out in front of him.
“Hiiii,” the girls said back.
“…and we gon’ have some dinner, watch the game, do a few lines, and then I’m gonna have them get naked and feather dust my place top to bottom, and after that we’re gonna get the Twister mat out and we’ll see which of them took gymnastics when they was little, and how much of it they still remember.”
And, as I finally stood there, plate in hand, the two girls fighting over which one had the better form as they transitioned competitively from sexy yoga pose to sexy yoga pose (in their bikinis, mind you) to finally doing the splits, bouncing their crotches on the living room floor as they did, for once I actually started to believe the guy. Because in Uncle Huggy’s magical world of bros, blow and hoes who blow bros, anything and everything, apparently, was within the realm of possibility.
*- Sensitive New-Age Guy