The Perfect Woman

Her mouth tastes like tar and nicotine. My lip is already starting to swell from her bites. Every kiss is a risk, she threatens to break the skin when she pinches my lower lip in between her teeth. I am too stubborn to make a noise when it hurts and her mandible is capable of piercing straight through the skin with minimal effort.

I hope she might consider quitting one day. The cigarettes, that is. Cigarettes are pointless and gross. I couldn’t see myself with a smoker long-term but right now I don’t mind it.

I think this is probably how relationships begin to unravel; after the honeymoon period. We keep these desires quiet until we are comfortable enough to complain. We don’t want to shake shit up right now. Why would we? It’s so perfect at the start. It always is.

She proclaims to be lazy but I think she is more ambitious than she knows. She’s very proud of the work she does at her job and I find that sexy. Maybe one day she’ll even want to work out with me. She doesn’t have to be as intense as I am but maybe she might go a couple of times and some part of her will want to share in that part of me. That would be neat. I won’t bring any of that up right now, either.

If I told you about the last girl I was truly interested in you would laugh at me. Not because she wasn’t a great girl, but mainly because we saw each other about once a week and rarely talked in between. That’s not much of a relationship but I liked her. She was driven. She wanted to be an actress. She was into fitness, like me. She was in great shape. She was sexy, spontaneous, and fun.

But she had a shady past. One she was still working through, I felt. So I kept her at arm’s length.

Some people would raise a brow at the type of woman I’m attracted to, given my resume. College grad. Master’s degree. Passed all four parts of the CPA. You can find all this shit on my LinkedIn. I worked so hard to build a pretty life.

I saw a Peruvian pretty steady once. She had a pixie cut and a big rose tattoo on her back. My first bad girl. She was tiny with a huge rack. She excited me, but was a complete and total stoner. Always the goddamned high.

I didn’t smoke. I refused. She said she wanted to share that with me. She made it out like we had a giant chasm between us until we shared a joint. She couldn’t understand my refusal but at the time I’d never revealed anything about my history with anyone.

She had big parties. Sometimes I’d stay over. Sometimes I’d show up and she’d already be making out with someone else. I’d leave angry. I’d stay over the next night.

I’m trapped. The very traits that I don’t want in a long-term relationship are handcuffed to the other traits that draw me in.

What you won’t find on my LinkedIn is my muddy pedigree. You won’t see the street I grew up on. The people that hung around my house. The prevalence of addiction. The odd devices I discovered before I could understand the burn marks on them. The itchy sores on everyone’s arms but mine.

When I did figure it out, I decided I wanted better for myself and my future kids. I got thick pieces of paper with old English type announcing I’m smart. I’m a winner. I got a sweet job making more money than my parents and friends. I casually wear $150 dress shoes and slacks instead of jeans. I’m refined.

But it’s too late for me to change my path. My script was already written in my youth. The magnet was planted before I learned how to dress well. I can look the part but I don’t speak the language.

I hate small talk. People who have never known hardship are chock full of small talk. That’s how you can tell someone is soft as a marshmallow. Boring fucking small talk.

I can’t talk about fucking family vacations. I can’t answer more than “good,” to the question, “how are your folks?”

People with more abrasive upbringings have to share themselves with others because it’s all they have. They overshare. And this perturbs the small talkers. They sense something is different and they book it to another circle sharing safe, bullshit small talk.

That leaves us to confide in each other. That leaves me connecting with another beautiful disaster and keeping her at arm’s length because she’s not good for the long-term. Her bad habits and health won’t make a good mother and example for my kids. I won’t give my kids my life. But our experiences and dysfunction relegate us to each other. What’s a guy to do?

Me and her can’t speak the language of the small talkers. We can’t talk about our goddamned cabin in the mountains. Our magical fucking trip to Europe. Someone pops off about their amazing time at the Kentucky Derby with their big hats and tiny shorts. They go on about the sweet hotel room their parents paid for and me and her recognize each other’s sneers from a mile away.

And then there’s another tattooed girl with piercings under my arm. She reeks of cigarettes and pot. She’s beautiful. Delicate. Fragile. Her’s is the only language I know. Though I’ve tried to learn others, they repulse me.

“How are you still single? Where is your wedding ring at?”
The sweetest intentions with a foul aftertaste, like the tobacco flavored kisses from my sweetheart. I tell them it isn’t that I’m not trying. Or uninterested in a real relationship. A lot of times I am frustrated, spinning my wheels in pointless relationships going nowhere until they fizzle out. I am a magnet for toxicity.

I explained this to my friend and he said, “Lemme tell you something, man. There is no perfect woman. There is no perfect relationship. Relationships, man. Relationships are hard. Marriage even harder. A woman is going to be a woman. She’s going to have her own shit. She’s going to get crazy sometimes. Look at my wife. But your job as the man is to work through that shit and be steady.”

I don’t think epiphanies work out of the blue all at once. I believe the universe is continually dropping signs. Hints. “Hey dumbass, look at me.” And then someone says it to your face: “There is no perfect woman,” and all the signs once overlooked glow and present themselves like something in A Beautiful Mind.

We are living in a time of unreasonable expectation and entitlement. There is no perfect woman- but who the fuck am I to demand perfection? I consider my life. My poor decisions and moments of weakness. My own sins and strings of one night stands. My worst experiences have taught me lessons that separate me from the small talkers and have made me who I am.

I draw back from her smoky tasting kisses and she takes another nip at my lip. I stroke her arm and trace the lines of her tattoos. When I met her I told her I never wanted to know her flaws. I know how I am. If I detect a red flag I’ll be gone and I enjoy her too much.

I look into her eyes. They glow like blue painted on glass with sunlight shining through, hints of teal near the center. They aren’t brown, my favorite eye color. Her skin is fair; pinkish. I prefer tan. It makes her giddy if I look at her for too long. She smiles in embarrassment, ducks her chin, and giggles. Oh shit.

She’s perfect.

If you enjoy my musings on life and relationships make sure you check out my novel, Hang-Ups and Hangovers. Buy now.

About the Author Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan, I write New Adult Books that don't suck. i.e. The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series. I like to write about the challenges of being a single twenty-something in today's hookup culture. My blog offers Dating Advice For Men.

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