When I was a junior in college, I lived near a girl who was a senior. She was smart, organized, and had a certain flair for fashion and decorating. I looked up to her until she, my best male friend, and I had a conversation about a mutual acquaintance during a study break. She told us the guy said weird things to her, that he made her uncomfortable.
My friend and I were like, "Oh, gosh. We're sorry. What weird things did he say?"
And she came back with, "He said, 'Can you feel that deep inside you?'"
We were like, "Whoa!" when we realized what she was talking about. It was difficult to keep a straight face for the duration of the conversation, to not blurt out, "Well, yeah, that's pretty standard fare when you're having sex."
We didn't want to tip an already rocky boat and have her turn on us. After that, I perceived her as having some strange sort of disconnect, as if she didn't have a firm grip on reality.
It makes you wonder about belonging to the softer side of the species. If you move the furniture upstairs around a little, clean out the cobwebs in your brain, what brand of lunacy might a woman uncover in herself?
Cue the circus music, 'cause the list of daffy dames in literature, movies, and life is long. Medea kills her children to punish her husband for taking a new bride; in Virgil's Aeneid, Dido impales herself on a sword just 'cause her boyfriend had other shit to do, like found Rome; don't forget Ophelia's curious habit of classifying and passing out imaginary flowers; then there's the ever-popular Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre whose hobbies included skulking around the attic and burning her husband's house to the ground, maiming him; Zelda Fitzgerald cracked under the pressure of her own excesses; Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction schools Michael Douglas' character in the depth of a woman's passion; and, of course, Courtney Love is pretty interesting.
That's just scratching the surface. For a local angle on the topic, I went to Ye Olde Falcon Pub's weekly Sunday late-night karaoke. I approached a table of three men, handsome, in their late 20s, and asked, "Are women crazy?"
"One of my ex-girlfriends, her father was a member of the Thai mafia," said Miguel, a tall, thin man with a light-brown goatee. "When I first started dating her, she lived with a friend of her father's in the Mafia. The guy would stare at me the whole time I was there. She wanted to move with me to get away from her father. Instead, I left and changed my phone number. She said if I ever left her that she'd kill me. This was three years ago."
His friend, a blue-eyed guy who was all round cheeks and dimples beneath his baseball cap, added, "She made Lorraine Bobbit look like a princess."
Miguel continued, "She went by five different names. Everyone I ever met who saw me with her called her by a different name."
A feisty girl with a little mystery or nutty as a pecan log? My money's on the sorry excuse for a candy bar.
On to 26-year-old Andrew, another looker with a blond crew cut, who was talking to a friend while presiding over an Amstel Light.
"Are women crazy?"
"Yes," he answered definitively.
"Because you can't please 'em, sorry." He proceeded to converse with his friend and ignore my presence.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Women tuck everything away. Guys tell it like it is. Ask a woman what's wrong and she's like, 'Nothing, Nothing. '"
"Well," I asked, "what do you think they're pissed about?"
"Nothing," he replied.
Pushing Andrew for a little elaboration, I asked if he had proof in the form of tales of outright female lunacy, so he told me about a stalker-type chick he dated.
"I told her I'm not looking for a relationship. I had just gotten out of one. I asked, 'Are you fine with that?' One week later, she was beeping me 'I love you.' I told her I was going by my friend's house one night. She calls me and says, 'You're not there.' I asked, 'How do you know that?' She was outside."
"Were you there?"
"I was there," he answered. "My friend gave me a ride."
But the little conspiracy theorist of a psycho female just wasn't buying it.
I asked, "When was this?"
"Six months ago," he said.
Andrew reported that his little stalker friend was one for property damage. "My car has some pretty interesting scratches on it," he reported.
The next night, I took my question to Dicey Riley's to get a slightly more urban perspective.
According to Joe, a Dicey's regular whom I encountered while he was drinking beer at the bar at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, there's a whole 'nother kind of crazy woman: the good kind of crazy.
Interestingly, Joe relayed the tale of his encounter with one such female in the third person. "So Joe usually works on Tuesday nights. He lives three blocks from downtown. As he was riding his bike west on Las Olas toward downtown, a woman in a Mercedes came to a semi-complete stop. She came over to Joe and said, 'Don't you think you should be on the sidewalk?' And Joe said, 'Don't you think you should come to a complete stop?'"
Women drivers. Enough said.
"As Joe rode toward downtown, she kept riding along with him. She slowed down and said, 'Well, I'm just concerned about your safety.' So I noticed she was checking me out.
"I said, 'Come to Dicey's.' She follows me into the parking lot. All I see is blond hair. I pay. She gets out of the car, and she's six-foot-two, blond, all legs. I look at her and say, 'You're beautiful.'
"She says, 'I'm not dressed to go out tonight.' She had on a wife beater and nice pants. I said, 'You look perfect.'
"She comes in, and she's smokin'. It's like flies on shit. I offer her a drink. She's sipping on my beer. Even better. She doesn't even want a beer. She goes to Smitty and gets on his lap," he says of a friend. "Straddling him. Smitty's in heaven.
"She says, 'I was on my way to Solid Gold. My friends work there. Do you want to go?'
"I said, 'I don't like to look. I like to touch. After sipping my beer, she asks, 'Do you have any cocaine?' We go to a different place, and it's like flies on shit. She's all coked up and horny. Five guys are all over her. After ten minutes, I say, 'I'm going back to Dicey's.'
"She said, 'I'm with you tonight.' I said, 'Sounds good to me.'
"We go to her house, and after a couple sips of tequila, she takes her shirt off. She has one nipple pierced. She says, 'Hold on -- I'll be right back,' and she comes back in a naughty nurse outfit. She's gone again and back in a schoolgirl outfit. It's a fashion show. Then she comes out in lingerie. I don't make the move, and she says, 'Come into the bedroom.'
"She hands me two rubbers and gets under the covers. We had sex, and it was porno sex, the kind a guy only gets five times in his life. Six days later, she called me and said, 'Do you want to go see a movie?' She was raggin', and she had nothing to do."
It was 4 a.m. and the lights were coming on at Dicey Riley's. Time to go.
"I'm gonna ride my bike by her house to see what's going on there," Joe said, looking for another night of porno sex. "If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it every night of my life."
Joe, a bicyclist with a tall tale about a tall dame.
True? For Joe's sake, we can only hope.
But you know what that means for everybody else?
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Another bat brain on the loose.
Dicey Riley's: 217 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-522-1908.
Ye Olde Falcon Pub: 2867 S. University Dr., Davie, 954-424-0300.