Strange... as I talked to a friend the other day, the subject of women came up. I guess that part's not strange, since I talk about women often, but this particular conversation went specifically to women whom I've been "enamored" with. Now, as a blatant hopeless romantic and serial-luster who "falls in love" at least once per day, even I figured this number to be relatively high. Much to my surprise, though, it's not (please do not interpret anything you read here as boasting or bragging that I'm some sort of "ladies man," for I am anything but).
In attempting to determining my "enamors" (using subjective standards, of course), I considered women that I've 1) fantasized over for significant periods of time - excluding celebrities - 2) pursued, regardless of success rate, or 3) legitimately dated or otherwise spent significant amounts of time with. This number was, I'll admit, a bit high. But while trying to figure out how to eliminate those who obviously didn't qualify as enamors, it dawned on me... I've always written about what Chazz Palmintieri's character in A Bronx Tale refers to as "the great ones." And I'm not talking little puberty-induced pornographic tales in high school, or amalgamating a real woman into a fictional character...
I've written about these women. Quite in-depth and quite often. And, in counting them, there are only five. That's it. Five. Five women I've ever seriously considered spending the rest of my life with. No more; no less.
The first was "A," and I met her at my first college. For three-and-a-half years, I had a bit of an arbitrary rule I adhered to: no relationships while I'm active duty. And I didn't. There were plenty of almosts, should Is, I want tos, and shits-she's-gorgeous, but I never gave in. Call it a misplaced sense of discipline (well, yeah... that's what it was), but somehow I never gave in. Until I did.
After my first tour I, reenlisted and attended a semester of college as a reward for staying in the Army. And there she was. "A." She was (and is, to this day) extraordinarily beautiful. A dark-haired, pale-skinned wonder from Ecuador. At the time, were I to close my eyes and imagine my perfect woman, "A" would've have been extremely close. And, as a young hopeless romantic, there were poems written of her. Nothing any good, of course, since I didn't yet understand poetry (probably still don't, to be honest), but it was written.
"M" followed "A" rather quickly, almost to the point of overlap. Putting it simply, "A" lost interest before the dust had even settled, and I went on my merry way. Just after that semester ended, a friend of mine introduced me to "M" who, as luck would have it, lived a mere 500 miles away. Still, we hit it off and maintained the relationship across the distance. Poetry was written for this one, too. Better than the stuff for "A," but still pretty bad.
"M" called the relationship off after I did something extremely stupid (no, I didn't cheat on her, nor did anything that could've gotten me arrested) and it fucked me up emotionally for about the next year-and-a-half. I almost even got myself thrown out of the Army during the fallout. All ended well, though, and we were even civil to each other at a wedding we both went to (that of the friend who introduced us, actually).
Granted, with both "A" and "M," I was still very young (that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it).
A couple of years after "M," there was "L," a local girl whom I broke another arbitrary rule for (no local girls). "L" would become, to this day, my longest relationship. And, probably by no accident, my worst. It lasted about 7 years longer than it should have, but there were money and assets involved, and so things devolved into a bit of a twisted chess match. She sucks at chess, but she won anyhow (if anyone could be called a winner). I wear no scars from women save from "L."
"L" is, frankly, the subject of at least 75% of the poetry I've written (though not here). She's also the subject of several woe-is-me rants and is even the basis for many villainous characters in stories I've written. Yes, there's a bad taste in mouth from "L," but I honestly don't hold any ill-will towards her (anymore, that is). And, in point of fact, given that so much has been written of her by myself, she is undeniably one of my enamors.
In the midst of "L" (in-between, actually... we had several break-ups and I never cheated on her... or anybody, for that matter), there was "C." The result of breaking yet another arbitrary rule (no one under 24), "C" was extremely young and a bit naive, but oh, such a thing to look at. And she was deceptively sweet. Though feelings weren't exchanged between us until after I left the East Coast, we reunited for a time upon my return. Most know how shitty 2006 was to me, emotionally-speaking, and "C" helped me through it. Her 2006 was pretty bad, itself, and we took advantage of that old cliché: misery loves company. She wound up in several poems, a couple of short stories, and even inspired a character (along with Natalie Portman... heh) in an early script.
Unfortunately (or fortunately... yeah, likely fortunately), we were both surrounded by other relationships that kept getting in the way. That, and she revealed herself to be dishearteningly materialistic and a tad crazy (whoa, the temper on that one). Needless to say, that one faded into history.
Two years later, during the tail end of purging "L" from my life, there was "S," the most pragmatic woman I know. A bit serendipitous, and never what I would call a real relationship, I had actually met "S" 14 years before I ran into her again. By simple providence, we had wound up living in the same part of the country, some 2800 miles away from where we first met.
As implied, "S" - unlike the others - was only peripherally an object of desire. There was too much going on in our individual lives, anyway... I was leaving the East Coast again and trying to avoid the military. She was staying and trying to join the military. But she did something for me that no one else did... the right person at the right time, in essence... she kicked me in the ass and helped get my life back in gear (she was, actually, the person who finally convinced me to completely let "L" go). She's also the primary muse behind my proliferation in writing this past year or so (there is an entire week's worth of writing dedicated to her). For that, she's enamored.
And that makes five.
Except... I haven't been completely honest. There's a sixth. I'm trying very hard for there not to be; I've got shit to take care of, after all... and I need there to be no distractions until I can afford distractions. Especially not one so young, beautiful, and on her way. Thankfully, this sixth is more an idea and an image and less a real person, allowing me to maintain some semblance of practicality.
Problem is... I'm writing about her. And there's no chance of her ever leaving the page.
Somebody shoot me.