Monday, February 1, 2010

Judgement Day

How will I ever truly understand my motives? Was I curious about what my ten years of sexual experience would bring to this young virgin's education? And was that driven by ego? Was I, rather, yearning for a clean slate, one who wouldn't judge me because she didn't know any better? Or is there just something sickeningly fundamental about wanting to fuck an eighteen-year-old virgin?

It's harder for me to admit that I might have actually liked Chloe. A couple weeks in, after her mom started to suspect that Chloe and Hailey weren't as inseparable as Chloe's lies made them out to be, I even fantasized about a future together down the line. I imagined that I could shape her into a well-rounded, literate, free-thinking woman. That I would help lay her foundation, and Chloe would find me again a couple years out of college, after earning her own life experience, and turn out perfect for me.

It felt both romantic and disgusting at the time, but now it just feels disgusting.

The faults I consistently attributed to Chloe's youth finally ended up proving to be less callowness and more personality flaws. It took three strikes for me to understand this:

1. One thing I made clear before anything happened was that her teachers could not find out about our affair. I knew her high school English teacher because he used to be mine, and he hustled to get me my old teaching position. Well, the precocious auteur that she is, she couldn't resist making such hints in her creative writing assignments, and he overheard my name during class once when she was chatting with a friend. That wasn't a fun email correspondence with Mr. Derry. But I let it go.

2. She got my friend fired. Not on purpose. My friend Jeff works for a company that does focus testing. He hired Chloe as part of a group to test a product whose brand name was being kept under wraps. Afterward, while the three of us were having dinner, he spilled the beans in confidence. Granted, he never used the word secret, but he never thought she would pass his cell phone number to her New York Times reporter family friend over dinner the following week. Well, it got traced back to him and he got canned. I gave her the benefit of the doubt. So did my friend. (This is big-hearted Jeff who never thought less of me for infusing the stitch of his duvee with vomit.)

3. Figuring it only proper to show Chloe my manuscript after she let me judge so many of her essays, this time I explicitly stated not to show it to anyone. She claims she didn't recall me saying that while she proudly read it aloud to her friends to "try and get feedback on it" for me. That finally crossed the line.

In some ways, I chalk all of these mistakes up to her age, but, at the same time, I doubt every eighteen-year-old would commit these same follies. Chloe called me the day after I yelled at her for showing off my manuscript and told me that she couldn't be with someone who made her feel as bad about herself as I did. She told me that I was wrong to blame these mistakes on her age, and, in doing so, I wasn't letting her be her own person, but rather, that I was turning her into "an eighteen year old" and not Chloe.

I was surprised to hear her break up with me, mostly because I thought that I had already done that on the phone the previous day. I also thought it a mistake for her to try and take responsibility for her actions, as I was giving her an excuse that she apparently didn't want. I wasn't sure whether or not to respect that attitude.

I can't say that I regret anything that happened with Chloe, though I probably wouldn't have done it if I had envisioned this outcome. While I may repent it now, I do know that if I hadn't have fucked the girl, I would have always wondered what it would have been like. And now I know. So there's that.