Just like the addiction of the first date rush, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of doing something wrong.
I’ve known Alex for about seven years, on the surface, he’s everything a girl wants – good looking, smart, caring, funny with a dry sense home humour and ‘look after me eyes’. I had a crush on him for years, but a mild flirtation (which only ever went as far as a drunken kiss) turned into friendship and eventually, he dropped the pretence and let me into the world of Alex – a place where serial dating and masochistic binges are taken to a whole new level.
“I’m about to try and get off with a girl in front of her boyfriend! Help! ” he texted me last Friday night. I was out with my flatmate at the Dragonbar in Shoreditch. The drinks are cheap there and the bartenders uniformly HOT.
“You’re f*cking twisted.” I replied.
A second later my phone beeped “I’ve left. Your text did the trick. Where are you?”
Alex came to meet us at the bar, and shuffled in on the sofa with me stuck as a wedge between him and my flatmate.
“So… you left,” I said, gulping my drink. I don’t know what it is about Alex that makes him so magnetic to be around, I didn’t fancy him, I’d stopped liking him years ago but he still made me giddy. “What’s your deal anyway? Who was she?”
“Just a friend. Her boyfriend’s a real dick.” He has this slow way of speaking that’s really hypnotic. “So I just wanted to see if I could kiss her with him standing right there.”
“Well, first I took her arm like this,” he demonstrated, “and then I pulled her closer like this.”
I unhooked myself and reached to grab my drink form the table. “So how’s your new girlfriend?”
I’d actually been joking. Alex had been seeing a girl for a while but he was a non- committal kind of guy. “Wow so you guys are serious!”
“Yeah.” He replied. “I love her.”
I snorted into my drink. This was so typical Alex, for him, it was wholly possible to exist in two realities, one where you are in love, and another where you try and kiss some guys girlfriend in a bar. The latter had nothing to do with love. It was about Ego.
As I stood outside the bar having a cigarette, I watched him swoop in on my flatmate, his arm sprawled across the back of the sofa, leaning in to fill the gap I’d left. I rolled my eyes, it’s not like I was worried, I’d already warned her about him, but there was still a small pang of irritation that made me smoke my cigarette faster and wedge my butt back on the sofa between them.
Alex left shortly after, whispering in my ear that he was about to ‘pull’ my flatmate and needed to take himself home.
I don’t think he even wanted to pull my flatmate, that’s not the way he operated, he did things to make himself feel powerful, and he’d obviously accomplished what he’d come for.
“It all stems from my innate need for attention.” I slurred at my friend last night, New Radicals were playing on the stereo and we shared a cigarette out the window. “My dad was never there so I’m, like constantly looking for a attention from guys to replace what I , like, missed out on…as a child”
“My issue is that I just can’t handle rejection.” She replied and looked painfully at her phone.
Perhaps the Massochism Mambo is less about the rush of doing something wrong and more about validation, an emotional poly-filler for parts of you that are missing.
………Jade texted me later that night to let me know she didn’t call her dead dog after all.