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My Homeless Boyfriend
By Jen Sincero

Back in my glory days I dated this homeless guy for a while. To his credit and mine, he wasn't homeless when I met him, he was living in his car, but then his car broke down so we decided we were at that point in our relationship where we should move in together. He brought his bucket of clothes and some jumper cables over to my place and for a couple of months everything was great: I had hot sex on a regular basis from a guy that fulfilled my weird, adolescent, bad-boy fantasy and he had an address. My friends at the time were incredibly supportive. They weren't exactly squealing with joy, but they weren't asking me what the fuck I was thinking either. They just quietly watched on with an air that suggested, "If Jen's happy with the homeless guy, we're happy with the homeless guy."

I couldn't explain it to them, but my attraction to Jack was very clear to me. I have two brothers, both of whom hung out with kind of a rough crowd when we were in high school. They'd bring home these guys who had huge, dirty hands and things like naked women and beer logos tattooed on their arms. These were the guys of Molly Hatchet t-shirts with the sleeves cut off, filthy work boots, and bandanna headbands. They chain-smoked and pushed around skinny underclassmen for laughs. Basically they all had that certain, irresistible townie quality that rocked my spindly little pre-pubescent libido to its core.

I'd spend my afternoons lurking around the garage while they drank beers and worked on their cars in my mother's driveway, and I was invisible to them. I was a six foot tall bookworm with enough metal on my teeth to stop a bullet. Menstruation was a good three years in my future which meant there wasn't a breast in sight - I had the sexual prowess of a table saw and we all knew it. To them I was more like a thing than a girl, and to me they were repulsive morons, but for some reason incredibly sexy repulsive morons. I hated that I was hot for them, but none of it mattered anyway since there was no way in hell anything would have happened. It was as unlikely for any one of them to ask me out as it was for them to ask me what I was reading.

When I met Jack at a party ten years later it was like I'd been given a second chance. He instantly pushed my Unfulfilled Desire button and although one might hope I'd have moved on to bigger and better things by then, I was clearly still fifteen, still in the garage, still waiting. And Jack was the real deal: big, tall, tight jeans, crazy hair, face like a mug shot. He had everything those other guys had except he didn't drink and he spoke to me. I won't even go into the fact that the guy could burp the entire alphabet. So even though it turned out that we had nothing in common other than a love of shelter and a frightening knack for denial, I decided I had to have him.

I realize now that this relationship loudly illustrates a fact that holds true for most stupid relationships. Whatever the stupid thing is that you love about someone stupid when you first get together is usually the same stupid thing that breaks you up. For example, if you date a young guy because he fulfills some maternal instinct in you, he may eventually leave you for someone who isn't his mommy (or you'll leave him for someone who's ready to have a baby). If you date someone you're not really interested in who happens to have a buttload of money, you'll eventually dump him because all he has is money. If you date a homeless guy because you're suffering from severe arrested development and a need to be needed, you'll eventually kick him out because you'll grow up and want someone who can bring home some groceries every once in a while.

I was so far gone that I remained unfazed when it was revealed to me that Jack's address was 1983 Chevy Camaro Drive. The only part about it that upset me was realizing how hard it would be to track him down and snag him. It became my quest to sniff out his favorite places to park and I spent weeks driving around Albuquerque in search of his Camaro, but all my efforts were fruitless. I drove under bridges, around K Mart parking lots, through alleys, parks, and truck stops, but no luck. Where does a guy who lives in his car…live?

Finally, a few weeks later, a friend of mine stopped by on her way home from work. "I saw that freak you have the hots for today," she said. "His car was broken down on Central so I gave him a ride to the gas station. Does he realize he's wearing a bandana on his head?" I tore down to the gas station and there he was, leaning against the wall smoking a cigarette, even hotter than I remembered him. His face lit up when he finally remembered who I was, which I took to mean he felt the same way I did. He explained that his car wouldn't be ready until tomorrow, maybe the day after, maybe never, and then he looked at me with big round eyes.

On our way back to my house the conversation was a little choppy. I blamed our lack of fluidity on my giddy excitement and my unquenchable lust for him. Any alarming thoughts about the fact that I really had no idea who the hell this guy was were quickly replaced by thoughts of him naked in my bed. He was cracking jokes and imitating various cartoon characters while I giggled and marveled at the fact that oh my god he is in my car! I tried a couple times to get to know him, to ask him questions about his life and his situation, and was met with answers like, "What's wrong with my car?! I'll tell you what's wrong with my car - it's the worst darn heap of scrap metal this side of tarnation!" said in the voice of Yosemite Sam. It was a rapport better suited for a kindergarten class, and one that didn't evolve the entire time I was with him, but due to my extraordinary shallowness I pretended it was adorable.

I made him something to eat and sat us down at the kitchen table so I could watch while he chewed. The guy wasn't exactly a conversational genius, and having me salivate over his every swallow clearly did nothing for his comfort level. He said in the voice of Butthead "uh, grilled cheese, uh huh, yum, cheese" and smiled at me appreciatively. I smiled back and ignored him, deciding instead to focus on more important things like what he'd look like after I cut the back of his mullet off and how I was going to get him to take a shower.

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