“You know that ringing in your ears? That ‘eeeeeeeeee’? That’s the sound of the ear cells dying, like their swan song. Once it’s gone you’ll never hear that frequency again. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
“Tell me what I’m thinking.”
Trying to explain to her–again–that I couldn’t actually read her mind was pointless; she refused to believe me. Instead, I cleared my thoughts and tuned out all of the white noise, until nothing was left except for the energy vibrating between us.
“Ice cream,” I said. “You want ice cream.”
She scrunched her face, trying hard (but ineffectually) to conceal the pleasure of her discomfort.“How do you do that?” she asked.
I nestled my fingers in the nape of her neck as I stood, took a naturally ruby bottom lip between both of mine, and sucked, gently. “Let’s not explain away the mystery. I know you,” I said, as I sliced strawberries, “because you want to be known by me.”
An eye blink or a heart beat later and we’ve enveloped each other. Her kitchen has been transformed into a circus and we’re trapeze artists. She’s weightless, suspended in mid air, flying. Her ankles are locked around my waist; I’m throwing her up into the air and allowing gravity to impale her on me. Pink sluice drizzled over her brown nipples spatters everywhere as her breasts bounce against my chest. Sticky sounds compete with her gasps as strawberry-vanilla mixes with my sweat and her juices, trickling down the inside of my thighs and forming an unholy puddle at my feet. I’m barely aware that her nails have broken through the skin on my back, having been thoroughly overcome by the softness of her warm tears on my shoulder. The single brain cell not completely short-circuited by waves of pleasure makes a mental note: do remember to disinfect the countertop before resuming food preparation.
When Theresa, a close confidant of a decade-plus, introduced me to Lola and Sophia, the bond was potent, and instantaneous. In a city where outdoor space is a premium, my roof deck was quickly established as a prime location for summer congregation. On any given sun-drenched Sunday, The Wenches Three would take up the open invitation, and descend on my domicile on a with a case of wine, a gigantic salad and the assurance that I could grill a half-dozen rib-eye steaks to tender pink-centered perfection. We’d consume copious quantities of bovine drenched in Worstechire, imbibe fermented grapes and Fresca, fall asleep in a pile, wake up hungry as Hobbits, prepare and devour Second Dinner, and then enjoy a good group cry over any remaining libations.
Better friends I’ve never had. So when Sophia and Lola informed me The Cult had reunited, it was like the DeLorean hitting eighty-eight miles per hour. 1.2 gigavolts of electricity shot through me, transporting me back to the first time I snuck out of my parents house in the middle of the night, my cornrows perfectly coifed into a silver mohawk.
This was not a show to be missed.
Irving Plaza is ancient. The floorboards in this standing-room only venue creak of a century and-a-half of formal balls, political rallies and live performances. Bastard step-sister of that other (now defunct) rock n’ roll shrine, CBGB’s, during the 1980s it was a place where true believers went to worship Brit punk. Not having hair left to cornrow or paint silver, I prepared for the show in the ways available to me. I updated my iTunes playlist. I filled a flask with Bourbon. Despite having sufficient notice for adequate preparation, I still managed to neglect the singular essential requirement to enjoy a live punk concert:
A normal conversation takes place at 70 decibels. At 85 decibels, human hearing loss begins. At 100 decibels, the hair on your forearms will vibrate. 115 decibels is like standing on the tarmac as an airplane takes off. Fifth row center at Irving Plaza as The Cult reamed “She Sells Sanctuary” down my ear canals was like having forced aural intercourse with Ron Jeremy.
For weeks after the concert all I heard was ringing in my ears. I could see people’s lips moving but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I was convinced I’d suffered permanent hearing loss. Fortunately, human regenerative capacity is astounding; most damage sustained will repair or reverse itself, given time and proper care. Eventually my hearing (mostly) returned, but to this day, if I’m alone and it’s quiet, I can still hear the ringing in my ears; my brain sending out a phantom signal of frequency I’ll never actually hear again.
“You’re lucky I’m not in love with you,” she said.
“You’re lucky I am in love with you,” I responded.
“You’re everything, everything, everything I’ve ever wanted in a man,” she claimed, her voice cracking. “I don’t know if I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.”
“Then let’s hope,” I replied, “for both of our sakes that you’re doing the right thing.”
For eons after the affair ended, the only thing I could feel was a hollow ringing in my heart. The sheer intensity of emotion made everything else seem dialed back in comparison. I wasn’t sure if my ability to love had been permanently impaired. In time I was forced to come to terms with intractable reality: that frequency is dead to me, for all time.
I know I’ll never love like that again. To this day, if I’m alone and it’s quiet, my heart still sends out a phantom signal; I can still feel the energy that vibrated between us.
In humans scope of audible frequencies ranges between 20 Hz (cycles per second) to 20 kHz (20,000 Hz). Despite the irreversible damage sustained at the merciless guitar onslaught of The Cult, there is an enormous range of sound left for me to enjoy.
The range of love the human heart is capable of is beyond measure, and (given time) it’s recuperative ability, able to overcome even catastrophic causality.
Originally posted on www.jackfrombkln.com.
The Men and Dating section of The Good Men Project is proud to announce a partnership with Chemistry.com. At Chemistry.com, you “get to know the person behind the profile”, in part through their exclusive and much talked about personality test.