Right now is as good a time as any to make the following statement: I don’t read car blogs or magazines any more. I gave up on all of them about five years ago. Don’t ask me for my opinion of something on Jalopnik or Motor Trend or Hemmings or any of those places. I don’t have an opinion, because I didn’t read it. With very few exceptions, almost all of them due to personal relationships, I don’t read what other people write about cars.
Two reasons for that. Number one: everybody in this business is an almost unimaginably poor writer. Not that I think I’m great. But I won’t get better by reading other people who are even worse than I am. The time I’d waste leafing through Motor Trend I could put to better use reading Moby-Dick for the eleventh time and trying to put some of that craftsmanship into what I’m doing. Number two: I don’t want to pollute my impressions of the cars I drive by reading other impressions first. I assume you are reading me because you want honest, firsthand opinions, not an aggregation of what other people think.
So what do I read? Well, I read the classics that I missed in my youth, and I read things that I admired in the past to see if I still admire them. I read Laphams and the New York Review Of Books and, of course, I read Vintage Guitar for pure guilty pleasure. About once a day I’ll follow a Twitter link about some current event, but I generally avoid Buzzfeed and Upworthy and HuffPo and Salon all the other prole-troughs like they have communicable cancer of the medulla oblongata.
There is, however, one site that I check on every day of the week, even though it’s a single-writer blog that sometimes goes two or three weeks without updates. It’s called Delicious Tacos and it is the apparently-mostly-true diary of a late-thirties male fitness enthusiast, service-industry worker, and sex addict in Los Angeles. I read his site every day because he is living my dream life, and I’m living his. Isn’t that odd?
“DT” and I don’t have much in common — except for all the important things. We’re both white, late-middle-aged, hopelessly obsessed with women. We’ve both lost hope about a lot of things but we primarily use our detachment as a sort of ironic inoculation against losing faith in what’s left. We both believe that truth is best delivered in short, pitiless sentences. Although we are on somewhat different ends of the economic spectrum, we have both given up on the idea of finding any raison d’etre in daily office work. We do not believe in corporations or in the integrity of any organization large enough to send out a newsletter.
As with the McDonald’s restaurants in Amsterdam, however, it’s the little differences that make us who we are. DT works out and starves himself until he is physically perfect, then despises the result: “It’s a fine body but it feels like a costume, or a parade float that I drive. It’s not me.” I swing between 215 and 250 pounds, eat whatever I want, rely on Ermenegildo Zegna to dress up the result. I used to run four miles a day and weigh 193 pounds. I was no happier then and I had trouble talking to women because I was so hungry it made me frown. In every photo from those years I look faintly haunted by despair. I know why Brando got fat.
DT can’t afford to take women on dates, so he walks them around a local duck pond then has unprotected sex with them in his dirty apartment. I set up lovely, romantic, cross-country adventures with ladies of particular distinction then force them to listen to songs I’ve written about them before falling drunkenly asleep on the couch. He’s obsessed with Asian and Mexican women from broken homes and nightmare family histories; I typically date white girls who are five-six or taller, frequently with six-figure salaries. He shoots up in alleyways with other people’s needles; I stop drinking alcohol 21 days before a race because I think it sharpens my countersteering reflexes to do so.
All of this is fine and good but where it becomes tragic is this: DT wants to be loved, but all woman want to do is fuck him. They fly across the country at their own expense to have sex with him because they are excited by the degrading things he writes about having sex with other desperate women. He’s notched up hundreds of partners that approximately fit his requirements for age and personal appearance. Almost none of them will call him back. He has a problem with premature ejaculation and another problem with low self-esteem so although he gets first dates like nobody’s business, the second date is notable by its absence.
This past week, he had a high-end “seeking-arrangement” style hooker extend her flight to LA by a day so she could sleep with him for free in the middle of pay-for-play opportunities with other men. Think about that. She sought him out so she could do for free with him what she’s being paid strong money to do with other men. This depresses him.
Then, his girl goes on a date with some motorcycle-riding bartender and sleeps with the guy. DT tells her, “It’s just that everything I felt for you got shut off like a light switch.” Then he complains that he doesn’t have a motorcycle. I suppose I could let him borrow one of mine, since I’m not riding them right now. But what I really want to do is say, “Dude! This broad flew across the country at her own expense to hook it up with you! And now she’s going to leave! What else could you possibly want from a woman? For her to leave you an envelope of cash on your nightstand?”
No, what DT wants is to be loved and cherished by a woman who will bear his children and form a conventional family arrangement with him. Who will make him breakfast and tie his tie before work and fall asleep with him in front of a movie in the evening. He says he wants this because he’s never had any of it. Also, because he’s crazy.
The real truth is this: Women will enter into a relationship with anybody for almost any reason. Money, security, loneliness, boredom, access to good schools for their existing children. Women are creatures of relationships. Women will enter a depressing relationship simply in order to have something and then they will stay in that relationship because it’s too much effort to leave. When a woman tells you that you are “relationship material” or tells you that she can “really see this happening” or “could really fall in love with you,” all that means is that you meet some basic minimum requirements that could be met by just about anyone.
In other words, the female criteria to entering a relationship with someone are striking similar to the male criteria for sleeping with a woman. You have to be present and, optionally, conscious. All the rest of it — the “deepening commitment”, the “sense of respect” — it’s all meaningless tripe generated by the greeting-card industry. The lies women tell men to have relationships with them are the same kind of lies men tell women to get them into bed.
It follows therefore that the reverse is also true. After all, the highest compliment a man can pay a woman is to ask her to marry him. To esteem a woman so highly and want her so badly that you are willing to restrict your choices and freedoms from now until death do you part — that’s as good as it gets. So when a woman sleeps with a guy on the first date, or on no date at all, that’s the female equivalent of a man asking a woman for her hand in marriage. She wants you so badly that she is willing to have you with no commitment, no future, no nothing. She just wants you on top of her immediately. And she might want it a few times in the future, who knows, but the critical thing is that she have you right there and then.
This is, dear readers, a pinnacle that I have never been able to reach. Women have suffered in unimaginable ways for me. They have bought me humbling gifts, they have done whatever I’ve asked no matter how difficult or painful, they have injured themselves to get my attention, and they have willingly suffered the censure of their friends and even families to be with me. But it’s always been in the service of the relationship. Always with the idea of putting me, your humble servant and oft-broken ox, behind the plow of the so-called future. I literally have to leave the country to avoid a call for a second date, a third, a trip, moving in together, in vitro fertilization. I’ve known women who can’t remember the names of every bartender they’ve fucked but who after going somewhere with me immediately started talking about meeting my father. I’ve dated women who were actual working prostitutes and had pimps and everything but who could burst into tears if I arrived at their door wearing a shirt that was a gift from another woman.
What the fuck is wrong with me? Do I need to be more self-destructive? Am I not crashing enough cars, motorcycles, marriages, careers? Have I not engaged in enough public displays of temper and bad judgment? Have I not been sufficiently abusive and hateful and incisively cutting to every woman I’ve ever dated? What about me says relationship material? What if I shot up with a dirty needle and then BASE-jumped off the Freedom Tower? Would that be enough to scare all of you women off and/or excite you enough that you didn’t need to envision yourself as the future archivist of my records, vinyl or otherwise, before letting me close the deal?
Let this DT guy wake up in my reality tomorrow, with a mortgage and a Honda Accord and his name on every newsstand in America. Let his latest 19-year-old Mexi-Asian conquest roll over and, instead of recoiling in disgust and/or barely-suppressed urge to run, tell him that “I could cook breakfast and come back tonight for dinner.” Would that really satisfy him? Or would he at that point realize that he’d been living the dream without being self-aware enough to see it?
But it’s not all bad. A while ago, I was talking to a woman who, under the influence of both alcohol and prescription narcotics, said to me, “You know, when we first slept together I thought I’d never hear from you again.”
“And you were okay with this?” I asked, somewhat incredulously.
“I was. I just wanted you. I didn’t think there was any future in it. You seemed like the kind of person who didn’t call women back.”
My God! This was what I wanted to hear! That I’d exhibited every sign of depravity known to man and closed the deal anyway! I, like Chuck Yaeger, rode the rocket-powered F-104 Starfighter of pure female desire to the troposphere of self-esteem…
“…and then, you know, I met you on that trip, and I started to really like you, and that was about the time I could really see us in a relationship.”
…before flipping the bird on its back and riding a burning parachute wrapped around my face all the way to a hard impact on the floor of the Mojave Desert!
“I didn’t know who you really were,” she continued, “but once I knew that person, I loved him.” Stop making it worse! Don’t tell me you love me! Don’t tell me you love me! Don’t tell me — I don’t want to know!