Our age is determined by how many times we’ve revolved around the sun. At no point should this number be taken into consideration when making judgments about maturity, ability, or wisdom. I can totally understand why there is an age where we’re considered “legal” and why it’s morally fucked to sleep with someone significantly (legally) younger than you, but as an adult, age should just cease to exist as a reference point for another person’s emotional development.
I say this all to explain why I stand behind my title, I dated a child. Sure he was 40 and a professor at a very prestigious University, but for all intents and purposes he had the depth of a 13 year old boy who has never seen a woman naked.
It started innocently enough, we had drinks with his colleague at a hip bar in Bushwick followed by more drinks at a dive. His friend slipped out between whiskey gingers somewhere and suddenly I was acutely aware of how many times he was mentioning that he had just received Moneyball on DVD from Netflix.
“I can’t wait for the Tony’s” - me.
“I just got Moneyball on DVD from Netflix.” -him.
“I think I might go home sometime this summer, I miss Miami.” -me.
“Cool. I just got Moneyball on DVD from Netflix.” -him
“I think I’m going to call it a night, I’m pretty knackered.” -me.
“Are you sure? I just got Moneyball on DVD from Netflix.” -him
That should’ve been enough of a hint. I should have left that divey bar in a blur, running full speed for the hills. But like any self respecting 20-something, I stayed. You know, for the experience.
This is where it starts to get a little complicated. I lived in a building where we all knew each other. We were all young, recent college grads who had flocked to Bushwick for it’s “artist aesthetic”. Professor happened to be one of the inhabitants of this six unit apartment building, so going home from the bar alone that night proved to be more of a fight than I had in me, and as I found myself climbing awkwardly up the three flights of stairs to his two-bedroom I worried that maybe I was too old for this.
As I walked into the similarly designed space, I felt … weird? He headed straight for the bedroom. It was only big enough to fit a queen sized bed, a dresser, and a monstrous television. He immediately suggested that we cuddle and watch Moneyball… that he had just received on DVD from Netflix. I agreed, thinking I might be able to fake sudden alcohol poisoning and safely escape to my oasis on the first floor once I got him settled in his own space. He rummaged in his drawers for something I couldn’t figure out and as I instinctively threw my arms up to catch whatever it was he was throwing at me, I realized that he had been looking for pajamas. Pajamas for me. Pajamas to wear while watching Moneyball.
Not ten minutes into the movie, he awkwardly kissed me in the hot, sticky room. He tasted of cheap whiskey and American Spirits and it wasn’t entirely a bad thing. I felt the familiar stirrings you get when you’re even vaguely interested in sleeping with someone new, and I sort of went with it.
Since this blurb really isn’t about the sex, I’ll tell you that when we were cuddled in a post-coital heap, he said he’d like me to stay and spoon him. He’s a 6’5” man, I’m roughly 5’3”, it’s 102 degrees in New York, and the thought of relaxing beside this man I barely know seems incredibly daunting. I excuse myself after five minutes and crawl back into my cave on the first floor.
I felt nothing but a mild sense of shame, followed by the sharp taste of those damn cigarettes.
Just another day of me plugging my youtube videos ;)—
—“The Pale King” was Wallace’s final book, the one he kept at for ten years and that defeated him, and everyone looking in these six boxes should prepare herself for Wallace’s pain.Click-through for more from D. T. Max on the recently opened archives of David Foster Wallace’s “Pale King,” and for enlarged images: http://nyr.kr/TMWQiH
It’s one of those New York mornings. My stomach hurts,
my head hurts,
hell my fucking heart hurts.
I’m barely coming to and what do I see I my mind’s eye but you?
I see the bar last night, the way you made me laugh.
I stretch my ankles and remember the way we danced to gangster rap.
And for some reason my mind feels like its on loop.
I’ve been here before.
I’ve felt this before.
As much as I try to make each one of you special,
It’s all the same deep down.
You want and want want
Until you don’t
And you’re gone.
This time wasn’t the worst
It won’t be the last.
Shame is I liked the way we laughed.
And I know you have a heavy heart; I can feel it when we kiss So many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it But me I’m not a gamble you can count on me to split The love I sell you in the evening, by the morning won’t exist.