The circumstances that led me to Robbie are inconsequential. They were careless, potentially dangerous, but accurately representative of where I was at the time; still, not one of my better ideas. I liked him instantly; it was visceral. I’m not sure why. I suspect it comes from a deep, dark place: not evil, necessarily, but certainly unexplored. A sane woman may have attributed his immediate appeal to a chiseled face and quick smile. I’d like to think that too, but I know myself better than that.
Truth is I didn’t notice his face, not at first. I was captivated and stunned by my reaction to him. My fear is that I have discovered sensitivity, an appetite, for profound damage. It fascinates me; at least it did in Robbie. Fixing him didn’t interest me, I was attracted to the way he was broken. It spoke to my own damage and he knew it. He recognized in me the same malady. Being in his company, privy to his instability, his intense desire, overwhelmed, and intoxicated me.
He told me I was beautiful the second we met. He may say that to every woman he meets, but it didn’t matter. He meant it in the moment. It was palpable. He touched my face, my hair, my skin, unabashed. He asked repeatedly, did I mind?
He slowly lulled me into reverie.
Robbie had a fetish, the first I’d ever come in contact with. He disclosed his obsession early. He had a confidence about it but not a comfort. His privation made him feel weak, exposed, but it was clearly beyond his ability to control. His vulnerability caused him to be defensive. I knew I would remain at an arms length for whatever the duration of our acquaintance, even though he didn’t have to. It is unfortunate. I hate to infer a man’s promise, as if I could somehow facilitate a change, as if I were in any position to judge; that said, Robbie had tremendous potential but was crippled in ways I can’t explain. His capacity was intriguing. I could easily see who he could be, or maybe was, when not in my company. He was smart, unpolished, unchallenged. He became a muse, inspiring me. He awakened something quiescent.
The premise of his fetish threw me but made perfect sense. Robbie wanted a mommy. He wanted me to tell him he was a good boy, which I did. He moved me. He needed nurturing, sustenance, domination; in return he tested me, taunted me, drew me in. Something in me wanted to nurture him, while feeding on him, using him to explore the darkness I felt in myself, murky corners, screaming for illumination. Robbie had a scent, a rawness that I had never experienced in a man before. He was lean, smarmy and distractingly sexy. He looked straight through me and had an intensity I wasn’t sure scared or exhilarated me, maybe a bit of both.
The sex was powerful.
The more available to him I became, the more he was overcome with lust, like no one I had ever encountered. He couldn’t control his constant commentary about how badly he wanted me, how he loved my body, and he did. It was hard to not want to meet his needs when he so clearly recognized mine and worked so hard to please me. He wanted me to be proud to have such an attentive lover. His inability to find comfort in his own skin made it difficult to fully enjoy him. He needed validation beyond the obvious rapture I was experiencing. I didn’t have words, my body spoke volumes, but he was deaf to it.
My voice had long since been silenced.
His veneer of chain male was sharp, unforgiving, impenetrable. He was compulsive in every way. He never drank caffeine or consumed sugar. He chewed tobacco. He told me he hadn’t had a good nights sleep since he was seven years old. I believed him. He looked it. He drank. I wasn’t sure if it was to quiet his demons, provide him the courage to visit said demons or to facilitate a night of restless sleep.
Robbie’s fetish, like Robbie himself, had an obscure melancholy. He needed to be mistreated, belittled emotionally. He insisted I take all my years of hurt, my disdain for men, out on him. When it became apparent that I didn’t harbor enough pent up rage or just found it impossible to tap into such pain for sport; Robbie would provoke me. When I reacted with a hint of anger he would have an immediate and involuntary reaction. Something would ignite deep in him.
He stole my breath.
I was shocked that I could find any compassion for another human being, let alone offer myself as I had with him. Affection, lust, want, compulsion, sex; those were easy with him, available to him. His darkness wouldn’t allow him to enjoy me unless I could also be cruel, he denied himself any joy, deeming himself unworthy. Being hurtful to him, a man already so damaged, was impossible. I doubted my ability to love him but was confident in my inability to injure him. It made him angry, frustrated, and ultimately, careless with my feelings.
Robbie claimed the need for a smart girl, a nice girl, but was clearly suspect of me, who had accepted him, who preferred him impaired. My tolerance is exactly what made me questionable, incapable of being the smart, nice girl he sought, a nice girl wouldn’t want a man like him. Maybe he was right.
My experience with him is not something that ended, because it never actually began, it just exists. Stifling, intense, vacant.