Anyone Can Find The Dirt On Someone. Be The One Who Finds The Gold.

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Anyone Can Find The Dirt On Someone

I could have seen the superficials, the tacos alone, his acne. But I didn't.

Bear had just moved down from graduate school in his hometown. He picked an apartment on the main street near campus and on one sweltering day in August, his brother helped him move in.

Then his brother left. He knew no one in the whole town, no one in the whole state or the one above it, an unbroken chain of loneliness stretching 400 miles back to his home.

Bear smoked some pot. Well, he smoked a lot of pot. He ordered taco delivery, which turned out to be as bad as one would expect taco delivery to be, and fell asleep in his armchair. He watched movies. He needed something from Best Buy and accidentally went to the one in the ghetto. He smoked more pot. Two weeks of this, all sleeping in a blue armchair.

Then teacher orientation started. Bear noticed me right away, he said, as the bright, hot girl in the room who seemed to know everyone. He made it his mission to get to know me.

So on the first break, a sweaty guy in a suit approached me. We started talking because I'd talk to a wall in those days, and he admitted his love of old school Nintendo.

"I love Nintendo!" I said. I was just back from a summer at my parents' house and video games had kept me sane. "My favorite is The Legend of Zelda. I can beat Ganon without using the blue potion."

"Do you think you could help me?" Bear asked.

He had floppy brown hair and a full beard. He lingered just on the far side of thick. "I have the whole Triforce and can get to level 9, but I can't beat Ganon. Could you come over and beat him for me?"

A big, hairy dude inviting me to his apartment. No sexual attraction whatsoever.

"Sure," I said, because he seemed nice, and I had, at the time, lots of male friends.

I showed up at his apartment. "You live on Main Street?" I asked. "Do you have a parking pass?"

"Sure," he said. "I have an extra one you can have if you want."

He didn't realize parking was a nightmare on campus, and a Main Street parking pass was probably worth $500 on the black market.

"Are you serious?" I asked. "I can't take that. OK, I can. But seriously, do you know what that's worth?"

Bear shrugged and handed me a plastic hang tag. I beat Ganon and saved the Princess Zelda. We went out to grab some dinner at the dive bar/kitchen down the street. The next day, he gave me an old Nintendo poster. It was impossible to find.

Thick, furry, with a speckling of acne and glasses. I'd never gone for big guys; all my boyfriends sported a tiny guy tummy. And while I dug the long hair, the fuzzy beard wasn't much my thing. And mild body acne? Ick. 

I found my thing in a thin, tall, black-haired guy who drove an old sedan. His name was Emerson and we snorted coke together. We were both submissives and had some of the most unfortunate sex of my life, but I resolved to persevere. He was a poet, too  not a critic like the other guy.

He also needed a lot of alone time. When he needed alone time, I called my pot-smoking, long-haired boy. We drove through town singing all the words to "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.

One night, we all went out to a party and starting drinking absinthe. I don't know how Emerson and I made it back to his house, but when I woke at 9 AM, I was still roaring drunk. I called Bear.

"I'm at Emerson's and I'm drunk and can you please, please, please teach for me?" I said as soon as he picked up. He agreed, though he said later he was pissed when I said I was presumably in Emerson's bed.

We went to the beach together, all of us, to hang out with some of Bear's friends. The tension between Bear and I had become unlivable. He wasn't my type; he was far from my type. But I could see he could be cute in a certain light, and he did have killer legs. He did so many nice things for me, like substitute teaching my class when I was drunk. Emerson just needed alone time and bad sex.

On the beach that afternoon, I made a choice. I knew who I wanted to go with. I could have seen the superficials, the tacos alone, acne. I could have decided he was too big and walked away. But I didn't.

I left Emerson for Bear and never looked back. Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one who finds the gold.