Crash in the Hot Seat

Hello, this is Carolyn Brinkman reporting for JCP News. I'm told my previous interview scored high enough -- whatever that means -- that Management's invited me to do another segment. So, without further ado, I'll bring you Crash. If he's even home. I'll bet he forgot and went out drinking ag--

Crash: Hey, babycakes, what's shakin'?

Carolyn: I thought you forgot.

Crash: Nah, just making sure I'm all squeaky clean for you.

Carolyn: So, were you going to put some clothes on, or...?

Crash: What, you don't trust this towel to cover the magnificence?

Carolyn: I don't trust that towel to keep from disintegrating.

Crash: True, it's hard to hide my light under a bushel basket.

Carolyn: Your Episcopalian upbringing is showing through again.

Crash: Perish the thought. So what'll it be? Is it too late for coffee or are you working a night shift?

Carolyn: No, I'm off. Do you have any wine?

Crash: I'm pretty sure I finished it. How 'bout a beer?

Carolyn: You know beer makes me feel bloated.

Crash: Fine, fine. Peppermint tea it is. (You're so predictable.) Go sit in the computer room. I cleared off the couch for us.

Carolyn: Do you have any idea how I should describe you without sounding like a cop?

Crash: Let's see. Rakish good looks, scathing wit, a bod to die for and some sweet, sweet ink?

Carolyn: Full name, Curtis Ash. Thirty-two years old, about six feet tall with an athletic build...what are you into lately? Yoga?

Crash: Pilates. Can't you tell? Look at this six-pack -- you don't just wake up one day with abs like this. And yeah, yoga, but that's more for my mental health.

Carolyn: Numerous tattoos, bleached hair, and a pierced nose.

Crash: And tongue.

Carolyn: Keep it in your mouth, thanks. Are you ready to get started?

Crash: I was born ready.

Carolyn: First question. Oh, I remember this whole...meltdown. Why did you stop working as a hair stylist?

Crash: That was pretty sucktastic, wasn't it? Well, Gaspar owned the salon, and I was fucking him, but he had this supposed lover of twenty years who was always traveling for business -- though I never met the guy -- and then this hotshot colorist from Florida came on board. Red. Whew, he was one sweet piece of ass--

Carolyn: I thought you said he was shy.

Crash: Yeah, I mean at first. When he first moved here. Before he knew anybody. So anyways, I start sticking it to Red and Gaspar catches us doing each other in the bathroom this one time and goes ballistic.

Carolyn: Wasn't someone crying when this happened? You told me someone actually cried.

Crash: Right, yeah, Gaspar was all worked up.

Carolyn: What would compel you to have sex at work -- in the bathroom. Were you trying to get caught?

Crash: Of course not. Red just looked...I dunno. He had these eyes that you could sink into. You looked at 'em and if you let yourself go deep enough, it felt like you were drowning. I didn't plan it or anything. It just happened. Ah, you know what it's like -- sometimes the big head shuts off and the little head's left running the show. Don't tell me it's any different for girls.

Carolyn: I have no idea. It's impossible for me to empathize with the way normal people formrelationships.

Crash: Really? I dunno about that...but if you say so, it must be true. You sure you don't want a beer? You can burp 'til the paint peels -- I won't tell anyone.

Carolyn: Maybe later. Most of these questions are about your love life, you know. Are you okay with that?

Crash: Why wouldn't I be? I've got nothing to hide.

Carolyn: So who is this Andrew person?

Crash: Andrew? Oh yeah, that kid. He was a very naughty boy.

Carolyn: I don't like the sound of that. I'll presume that's why you never mentioned him to me.

Crash: Well, you're always telling me you can live without certain details. So, seriously, these questions are that personal? Maybe you're the one who's not comfortable with that.

Carolyn: I don't care what you do in bed...I guess what I mean is, as long as you're not hurting anyone.

Crash: Some people get off on that.

Carolyn: Emotionally.

Crash: I'm kidding. Lighten up.

Carolyn: Well, if personal questions don't bother you, they don't bother me. It says here you seemed to have some chemistry with Andrew. Will you try to find him again?

Striking Sparks - a Crash EbookCrash: He knows where I live. If he wants to hook up, the door's open.

Carolyn: You call that chemistry?

Crash: Look, my sex life isn't hearts and flowers and I-married-my-high-school-sweetheart, okay? Andrew had these eyes -- a lot like Red -- where you could tell there was a whole lot going on in there -- good, bad, and definitely juicy. But deep, really deep. There's nothing more tedious than someone with no inner life. I get bored with those guys before I even shoot my load.

Carolyn: So it's the melodrama you're attracted to.

Crash: Well, no I.... That's not how I would put it, no. But I guess I could see how it would seem that way.

Carolyn: You and Jacob -- what was the final straw?

Crash: I got bored and I fucked some guy in my yoga class. It was freaky. Every time I bent over I could feel him looking at my ass. He was so hot for me, I thought my sphincter was gonna burst into flames.

Carolyn: And how did Jacob find out about this? Were you in his bathroom at the time?

Crash: For your information, I told him. My impulse control might not be stellar, but I'm no liar.

Carolyn: So it was a whim. You crossed paths with someone who was attracted to you, and it never occurred to you to say, "Well, I'm in a relationship at the moment and I don't think this action is very respectful towards my partner."

Crash: No. Evidently, I did not say that to myself. I thought you said it didn't bother you to talk about this.

Carolyn: I hadn't realized it would. But don't dodge my question -- it was a sudden, fleeting urge, and that's it? You threw away what you had with Jacob for "some guy" whose name you don't even remember?

Crash: It was Randall, if you must know. And he was very sweet. He just happened to be moving to Amsterdam, otherwise I would've looked him up again. See, Randall was into me. Really, really into me. "Your eyes are like springtime" into me. Know what I mean?

Carolyn: ...And Jacob wasn't.

Crash: Not always, no. The first couple of months, probably. And on weekends, maybe, by the end of the second day. His job eats him alive -- he doesn't walk away from it once he clocks out, not like you do.

Carolyn: It's not easy. I have to make an effort to be really present with Doug and the girls, and even so, sometimes thoughts creep through.

Crash: But see, I think that's your Mommy-hormones kicking in. Jacob can't set something aside. He's never off. Never.

Carolyn: And maybe Victor has that in common with him.

Crash: Right, it would make sense. That guy only turns off when his eyes roll back in his head.

Carolyn: So is it uncomfortable for you to have a friendship with both of them, Jacob and Victor?

Crash: Uncomfortable? I dunno, it has its ups and downs. This week we're good. Next week one of us'll probably be pissed off about something.

Mind Reader Psycop short ebookCarolyn: But you do consider them your friends.

Crash: Yeah. Of course. Why would you even question that?

Carolyn: That's my job, asking questions. How do you feel about them living together?

Crash: I don't feel anything about them living together.

Carolyn: Try again.

Crash: Son of a bitch. All right, lemme think. How do I feel about my ex living with that train wreck -- and moving in with him after they dated for like, what, a week? I don't know. Maybe I'd like to live in a cool loft like that. Maybe I'd get into shacking up with someone. But when I try to imagine it, I just can't picture myself waiting with slippers in one hand and a martini in the other for hubby to come home. What? What're you staring at?

Carolyn: These questions seem to suggest the jeaolusy's about something else entirely.

Crash: Like what?

Carolyn: Not that Victor's taken your place -- but that you wish you'd had a shot with him yourself.

Crash: In his dreams.

Carolyn: Don't make me say it.

Crash: Say what?

Carolyn: You're lying and you know it. So it is true. You're attracted to him.

Crash: That's not saying much. I like anyone with a dick.

Carolyn: That's not tr--

Crash: Okay, okay. He might be my type, kinda. If I were to have a type.

Carolyn: Oh, then this question is perfect! Describe your ideal mate.

Crash: My perfect guy ? I haven't the slightest idea. You know how some guys can only get off if they're with a midget amputee or something? Not me -- I like all kinds of guys. I've gone older, younger, Latino, black, white. As much as I dig a ripped bod and good hair, I've had just as much fun with balding fat guys. Because the body's really just a shell, you know? And getting back to the eyes -- that's where you peer in and see if anyone interesting is home.

Carolyn: You're right, someone's appearance has a certain shelf life, and after that, you stop noticing. What about the personality, then? Maybe you have an ideal personality type.

Crash: They've got to HAVE one. That's the main thing. Other than that, I dunno.

Carolyn: Well, take a look at the pattern. Gaspar had this other lover, who you never met, who possibly didn't even exist, so he wasn't able to commit to you fully. So you cheated on him somewhere you'd get caught, with someone you've described as shy and sensitive. Jacob put his job before you, so you slept with someone from yoga class -- someone who was giddy about you.

Crash: Nice try, Dr. Phil, but they were two entirely different situations.

Carolyn: You believe that. But I think you need someone who's very present, and you're dating men who aren't.

Crash: Yeah, okay, I dig present. Present is good.

Carolyn: You've gotten pretty quiet. What are you thinking about?

Crash: Vic -- he's the opposite of present. Huh. I'll mull this thing over. You might've saved me about a dozen bad breakups and ten years of therapy.

Carolyn: Then I can skip all the variations on the question of whether or not you'd sleep with him.

Crash: Oh, sure. I'd bump nuts with him in a heartbeat. His personality might make me want to strangle him, but at least he's got one.

Carolyn: What about a threesome?

Crash: Doug's too white bread for me. Sorry.

Carolyn: You know what I meant.

Crash: But you set yourself up and I can't resist. Yeah, a three-way would totally rock.

Carolyn: Really.

Crash: Sure. The more dick, the better. It's heady to have hands and mouths all over you.

Carolyn: And afterward, no emotional consequences.

Crash: I'm not saying it wouldn't get weird afterward. Jacob and Vic are both a couple of freaks, I'm sure they'd be totally weird. But that'd be their problem, not mine.

Carolyn: Where does emotion fit into all of this?

Crash: The L word? No one does a threesome 'cos they're looking for a pair of soulmates -- it's all about the sex. Which isn't to say I'd avoid fucking someone just because I liked him. It's like playing Russian roulette. Every time you hook up with someone there's the potential to fall hard.

Carolyn: It's not a bad thing, you know.

Crash: Don't worry, I'm not a love-phobic tough guy. I wouldn't say no to romance if it came knocking on my door.

Carolyn: Good. I'm glad. I'd love to see you happy.

Crash: I am happy -- I'm a very happy person. I don't have to conform to society's cookie-cutter idea of what love is, or what a relationship is, to be happy.

Carolyn: Is that a Buddhist attitude, or do you think that once upon a time you saw yourself settling down with someone?

Crash: It is a form of non-attachment, I guess. It's not that you can't get attached to people, it's the outcome you shouldn't get hung up on. But westerners aren't raised to think that way, so it's always a challenge to wrap your head around concepts like that.

Criss Cross ebookCarolyn: Where does astrology fit into your belief system?

Crash: It doesn't.

Carolyn: Don't you think that chart interpretation is subjective enough that it could be a good tool in the hands of a precog?

Crash: Lydia downstairs tried to cast my chart, and there was this whole thing. My birth certificate has one time of birth, and my mom swears up and down that I was born an hour and a half later. Evidently that's critical, because it affects something called the rising sign, which affects all the houses. So Lydia did it up both ways, but it seemed to me that both descriptions fit. Or neither. Yeah, I could see a psych using a chart as a tool, that makes sense. But by itself? Nah, I don't put any stock in it.

Carolyn: So what sign are you?

Crash: My sun sign? You figure it out. My birthday was last week.

Carolyn: It was? So you're thirty-three now.

Crash: Are you gonna spring numerology on me next?

Carolyn: Why didn't you say something? I would've bought you a drink.

Crash: I spent it with my mom and dad. They like going to those restaurants where the whole staff comes out in big sombreros and sings happy birthday.

Carolyn: I'm sorry.

Crash: It's fine. I humor them -- they give me a fat check.

Carolyn: So you're...a Taurus?

Crash: Gemini. If you believe in that stuff. Which I don't.

Carolyn: If the statute of limitations hasn't run out on your birthday, we can get that drink right now.

Crash: You just want an excuse to have real margaritas at Del Ray.

Carolyn: Ooh. I wasn't thinking that specifically, but now that you mention it....

Crash: Fine, twist my arm.

Carolyn: Any closing thoughts?

Crash: Heck, I dunno. I don't think you can sum up the experience of being human in a pithy little one-liner, you know? That "box of chocolates" line from Forrest Gump was pretty good, though.

Carolyn: I haven't seen that.

Crash: Girlfriend, you need to get out more.

Carolyn: Then put some clothes on, and we'll get going. So there we have it. Curtis Ash: Gemini. Skeptic. Perennially single. And...naked. If you moved those shoes, you'd be able to close that door and spare me the sight of your naked behind!

(Great, I've just encouraged him. Now he's doing a little dance.)

This has been Carolyn Brinkman reporting for JCP News.


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