Have you ever been confronted with one of those pivotal moments in time where you sincerely did not know if telling the truth was the right thing to do?
I loved Lisa.
We had met at Arizona State University, where I was taking the last in my General Education requirements as I was being approved for an undergraduate degree program in Computer Science Engineering.
Usually, when I walked into a new situation or class, I had a tendency to scope out the situation and find the most attractive women and find a seat within chatting distance.
But on the first day of my Humanities class at ASU, I arrived about five minutes late, and with 140 people in this large class that I had poorly planned the jog across campus to get to, it was all I could do to find the single seat remaining in this large class.
I had not missed anything, the professor took my late arrival in stride, and after about 20 minutes of lecturing what Humanities was and was not, we were tasked with introducing ourselves to our surrounding classmates.
It was one of those weird rare instances I didn’t notice a woman right away.
But right off the bat, in the five minutes we had been given to introduce ourselves, Lisa and I hit it off.
It was funny, really, as another younger ‘kid’ was interested in her as well, but I had had a couple years to rebuild my confidence after my last divorce and Lisa and I naturally fit effortlessly conversationally.
To describe Lisa – she’s 5’7″ tall, longer blonde hair, blue eyes, and at the time was about 125 pounds – and in very good shape.
And the energy between us – it was refreshing.
And this was one of those rare times a woman asked me out.
As we walked out of class, another extremely attractive woman I had seen in the corner of my eye walked up to Lisa – a woman by the name of JJ – and introduced herself to both of us.
Lisa and JJ were both in a sorority, the Gamma Phi Betas, and Lisa later told me that JJ had been her roommate for a brief period of time.
“Oh yeah?,” I said, “I’m in the Pi Kappa Alpha house,” I said proudly.
The tension was palatable between the two of them, at this point, as JJ openly flirted with me as she left.
Lisa simmered a little.
But it inspired Lisa to ask me out, a small sorority gathering that Friday.
I kept my cool on the exterior but it was everything I could to do contain my enthusiasm inside as I said yes.
“Bring a friend,” she said, “I’ll set him up”
“JJ,” I asked.
“No, JJ’s not an active anymore, she’s cute too though, don’t worry,” she said.
That evening, I went back to the fraternity, where I invited my new roommate – Stephen Lishnoff – to the gathering. Steve was a dog by any definition of the word and would jump on anything with a vagina, so it was like giving candy to a baby as he didn’t even think twice about joining.
The week dragged on. Humanities met on Monday and Wednesday, where Lisa again sat behind me, and the flirtation continued, where she tapped me on the shoulder and said “I love your legs”.
It was nice.
Not having to be the one indicating interest for a change, and not having to deal with the latent fear of rejection that those indications might carry with them.
Friday came, and the sorority gathering was at a local club, Senor Frogs, and turned out to be a bust. Sorority parties pale in comparison to Fraternity parties, and as I quickly learned are usually poorly organized for too many reasons to list, and this was no exception.
So Me, Steve, Lisa, and the girl Lisa had brought along – a cute and petite redhead – took off from the nightclub, and went back to the fraternity and kicked back and drank all night.
The girls left – without anything really happening – at around midnight despite Steve and I’s best efforts.
The next week, Lisa was a little cold for some reason.
I’d thought the night went well and we’d really hit it off, but Lisa’s standoffish attitude suggested my impression was altogether different. So Monday comes and goes, and Lisa is avoiding me and disappears after class.
Wednesday comes along. And the same thing starts to happen.
She’s barely making eye contact as I walk in the door, when I spot a fellow pledge sitting next to her and briefly explain why he needs to move – to which he begrudgingly does saying “You owe me”.
Lisa is stand offish and we communicate little in the class at first.
And then. On the way out. She stops in front of me, leans up – kisses me, and says “Can you meet me in the North Parking lot across the street from your house when you get done with class today?”
“About 12:30,” I said.
Something was up, I didn’t know what it could be, but my curiosity was raging.
As I walked up, Lisa’s sitting on the hood of her car. It’s a 1962 Corvair, easily the most unusual cars I had ever seen a woman drive.
“Are you going to explain to me what’s goin on with you?,” I demanded.
It was too early in any relationship for drama.
“I like you,” she said.
“I like you too,” I responded.
“The other night, at your place, I wanted to stay the night, but I just want you to know what I do for a living,” she said.
I was perfectly clueless and indicated so.
“I’m a nude dancer, that’s the only way I can afford ASU,” she said.
She was clearly expecting the worst from me.
But I laughed.
And she responded poorly to my laugh not understanding it at first.
“Look, Lisa, you’re a cool girl and my last relationship was with a sexually uptight woman. This. You. Are refreshing. Why would I have a problem with it?,” she said.
She breathed a sigh of relief, and hugged me and gave me a huge kiss I remember to this day.
“Well. I have to leave, I am off to work,” she said.
As it turned out, Lisa was making in between $500 to $1000 a day doing what she was doing. Our relationship was physically and sexually liberating to me, and as our relationship moved forward she got tired of the abusive management where she worked and went to go work at an upscale topless club where she didn’t make quite as much as she was dancing nude, but still a highly respectable $300 to $500 a day for 4 to 6 hours of dancing.
JJ, her sorority sister, wound up asking me out through my roommate – Steve Lishnoff – not long after Lisa and I were officially boyfriend/girlfriend. Steve was interested in JJ’s roommate, and begged me to say yes to inviting the girls over when I did – and made an excuse with Lisa to disappear for an evening.
It was difficult for me at first – lying. But for me – rationally – while JJ was highly attractive, she lacked substance, which Lisa had. But I was also there to support my new friends aka my fraternity brothers, so I figured what can the harm be in this?
So while the four of us watched a movie in my room at the fraternity, Steve started mackin on JJ’s roommate, and JJ kissed me, but it felt like I was kissing a dead fish. That was the first and last kiss I had with her.
We all drank, heavily, and when JJ tried getting on top of me and unbuckling my pants, I pushed her off.
It was weird. I just flat out wasn’t interested. So she got up and dismissed herself to the restroom.
Ten minutes went by. Twenty. Thirty when JJ’s roommate gets up for air from whatever they were doing under the covers – where she says “Where’s JJ?”
“I thought she left,” I said.
“She wouldn’t leave without me,” she said, and walked outside with Steve in tow.
About 5 minutes later, Steve returns, laughing, and says “JJ’s fucking your big brother”
In a fraternity, when you rush it – you’re called a pledge for a semester, and you typically select a ‘big brother” who is supposed to act like a mentor and friend. I was a little older than most of the other pledges – at 23 – when I rushed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and made the mistake of choosing Mike Rossi – one of the older house members who was a tad taller than me. One of the rare guys in the house I thought I could look up to.
But the guy turned out to be a prick.
But in this case. He saved me from a really poor date I didn’t really want to be on to begin with.
The next day, Mike is pounding on my door yelling “Your girl pissed my fucking bed!”
Steve and I bolted up, and I was in tears laughing.
“Not my girl, Mike, she’s all yours buddy,” I said, laughing.
“Sure it’s not a wet spot,” Steve said as we walked into his room.
It wasn’t a wet spot.
And it wasn’t a light drizzle either.
She’d unleashed a good pitcher of piss on his bed, and his room stunk to high heaven.
JJ meanwhile was LONG gone.
Lisa learned about JJ through Steve, and was hurt at first, but it had become clear by the time it came out that Steve had been doing his best to try to break Lisa and I up. And when I say tried. He had thrown the kitchen sink at her and me, subversively, but none of it worked.
Over the years, Lisa and I grew closer and got married.
But I will be the first to admit I had little if any self control when an attractive woman approached me. But being sincere, Lisa instigated most of it as I struggled emotionally with my own values.
One time, Lisa asked me to come into her work, a topless cabaret by the name of Tiffany’s – when she had Chrissy, her really wild and attractive coworker dance for me, to which Chrissy brings me in a corner, informs me that her and her husband would like to have a four way with Lisa and I, and then licks my thumb and slides her panties to the side and shoves my thumb inside her pussy and proceeds to slide up and down on it.
I look over, and Lisa has a smile on her face.
Not long after we got married, Lisa had two of her attractive stripper friends move in with us in my four bedroom house.
One day Lisa told me to come home early for a surprise, when the three of them are relaxing by the pool without bathing suits on.
The girls had a predictable schedule, which usually had me walking around the house comfortably nude, when I was making lunch on a Saturday and out struts Elea, one of two roommates, without clothes as well.
Despite all this, I will full admit I was sexually frustrated and so focused on ‘one man for one woman’ relationships, that for every opportunity Lisa presented, I declined like a complete idiot.
One evening, on my birthday, Lisa was bound and intent on hooking me up in a foursome with Elea, Melissa, and herself – so we all went to a swinger’s club. I had EVERY intention of having sex with all of them.
Without getting into details, let me just say it didn’t happen.
A girl I knew who was a friend of mine – Christina Monde came over while I was swimming au natural in the backyard pool.
Lisa sent her back there.
To say I was in a self imposed way sexually frustrated would be an understatement. God knows I wanted to say yes, but something deep down inside of me resisted every opportunity Lisa presented.
This isn’t to say I didn’t pursue opportunities outside of my relationship with Lisa.
I did. On numerous occasions. And had made extended efforts for years to keep those to myself.
But ultimately, I finally did tell her.
I had been having internal pressure and guilt the likes of a Volcano about to erupt which solicited the confession…
And – in hindsight I recognize that I did the wrong thing by telling Lisa the truth.
I have since learned that sometimes, it’s better to tell people – and the ones I love – what they want to hear.
Whether it’s telling them everything’s going to be ok when you know damn well things aren’t ok. Or it’s knowing I should have kept quiet about my moment of humanity and selfishness in the affairs which ultimately resulted in a breakup of the marriage.
Whether it’s lying to everyone you know about who you are.
Or it’s lying to yourself.
The truth, as I have learned over the years, isn’t liberating.
Not even remotely.
And that’s where Hollywood comes in.
The stories Hollywood presents are all real.
Whether it’s a vicious and very real rape that’s presented as fiction in the movie “I Spit on your Grave”, where the woman who went through that rape had her mind reprogrammed to believe she was an actress and the movie was an act she’d participated in for the sake of filmmaking.
It’s lies like this that this wonderful and often times weird nation from some truly heinous shit that goes on.
Would the truth of knowing you’d killed three men after you were violently raped by them set you free?
This isn’t to say Hollywood functions well all the time, when you learn that Galaxy Quest was based on Star Trek and the discovery of something called photonic lifeforms which believed every fictional story and simulation Hollywood presented was true. For them it was and has been.
But going back to Lisa.
Lisa had tried – for years – tried to develop an open relationship with me which I was mentally too immature to handle, and from day one I regretted hurting her but didn’t regret the event.
I was torn. Absolutely torn. But I had to learn how lies.
Protect you. And everyone. From the truth.
Now to be clear – lying to Lisa hurt me. Mortally.
And among the reasons I am so interested in traveling back in time is there’s one moment.
In a hotel room in Kingman.
Where I told Lisa “The truth”.
A moment which destroyed our marriage.
I want to revisit the moment in time where Lisa tempted me with her girlfriend.
Change that moment.
Making it so that hotel room event never happened.
And pursue an open relationship with her like I should have in the first place.
It’s not that I regret what happened.
I’ve learned from it. And learned what I – and this world – is capable of. And now I am curious what is going to happen if I don’t plan ‘the threads’ out of by deviating my own history directly.
Especially by doing things I absolutely absolutely regret.
Thank you, Hollywood, for the lesson in deceit.
What if the initial actions which caused who you are to become never happened to begin with
What I have since come to realize is this – my world – the entire world presented optimized interactions which diversified and expanded my world as much as possible on my path to becoming “Q” – all balancing this and preserving my personal choices as much as possible.
An exceedingly difficult proposition I’ve come to understand.
So interactions with Lisa – initially – may have benefited ‘the greater good’, somewhat at my expense, to maintain this expansion. The ‘Lisa’ I interacted with – was one of a finite potential number of different Lisa’s – and the Lisa, and other versions of characters I interact with – my first wife Donna, my roommates that Lisa tried hooking me up with – Elea and Melissa – all are not the ‘conscious’ choosing versions of themselves as I am not in their respective realities.
They – at least from my perspective – are much like robots. They choose from a finite pool of possibilities similar to me. But unlike me in my reality, they can and quite often won’t remember the choices they make here.
Now similarly. In ‘Their’ reality. I won’t remember choices I may make.
But the choices I make in other people’s reality I will feel through various means, such as instincts, and even feedback through alternate sources her in my perceptual reality.
So while I love ‘the idea’ and ‘concept’ of Lisa.
I didn’t do things right the first time with her.
And I consider it my right, my entitlement if you will, to understand life, the universe, and everything, to revisit that time period and make different and more fun choices.
Reality, at least from my odd perspective, enjoys diversity and possibilities.
And if I can revisit this time period.
And make new choices.
I am genuinely not curious about the results.
And more curious about experiencing the journey in the moments I wish to relive.
I forgive me.