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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

January 25, 2009

love is chemical dependence

Oxytocin. Don’t let a gold digger get her hands on some. Or the guy who buys Spanish Fly through mail order companies in the back of Hustler. It’s the love drug. Along with vasopressin, oxytocin is the chemical your body releases during orgasm, (and childbirth, for women). It’s part of what makes you want to bond to another person.

Sometimes I don’t want to bond to my partner. There’s a whole world out there full of back alleys and bars where you can get into a lot of trouble. But my girlfriend and I are eating dinner and watching a movie, so the excitement passes me by. Instead of scoring some coke in the men’s room and getting in the cab with strangers to party in a loft down by the strip clubs, I’m offering to wash if she dries. Then we’re gonna watch Benjamin Button.

Who are these people that get married? I’ve seen my parents. Each still on their first marriage. It seems to involve television. Is there a study on how many marriages that appliance has saved? Let’s face it. You wake up, go to work, come home and eat, then it’s about time for bed. It can’t be too hard to stay married, you hardly see the other one. You see your work mates more than your spouse. You have a little sex, some natural drug washes through your system and you decide to stay married another night. Oxytocin. One day at a time.

As my parents both know, I was born on the fourth of July. That is one good reason I am so into independence. That, and I bought into the mystique of a lone cowboy, a wandering martial arts master, and a writer living high on a lonely mountain ridge in a fire tower. Archetypes of freedom.

To perfect a craft requires isolation, and I want to be the best. America asks no less of her citizens. The American dream is to leave your family and head west, alone across the prairies, killing wild game in the snowy mountains and wrapping your feet in their fur, then descending down the western slope of the Sierra Nevada’s and staking a claim in California gold country. Alone and young. Soon to be rich.

Meanwhile I’m also supposed to be married and working hard, too. That’s the other America. I threw in with the low oxytocin kids and took off west. I’m getting older and it still doesn’t seem important to get married. But breaking up is hard to do. You can read the 8 page New York Times article I did, and tell me if I got it wrong: men suffer from lust, and women love to be desired.

I got lust in my heart. Which is a real motivator for staying single. My girlfriend, she likes to be desired. Ladies, tell me if I’m wrong, but being desired doesn’t need a sex act to be fulfilled. Not like lust does.

I’m not a science writer for the New York Times, but look at it like this. It’s easy to stay in a relationship if guys are yelling “Nice ass” out the window at you. You know you’re desired, and you can go home to your mate and he’ll stroke your thighs and kiss your mouth. But that lust is a ball breaker. Yelling, “Nice ass” isn’t enough. I wanna know where that ass lives, where she works, I wanna buy her a drink, I want to have sex with her. My body is telling me to try. But I gotta go to my girlfriends place instead. I’m gonna do laundry.

People wonder why bad relationships last so long. Couples develop chemical dependencies, that’s why. Your girlfriend is your high. Jesus didn’t have the vocabulary for it, but he was warning people pre-marital sex was a recipe for disaster. Hearts get broken. God gets cursed. Jesus says “Don’t do it.” He’s trying to protect his fathers name.

My lady and I have been going through a few rounds of breaking up and making up, and we’re trying to figure it all out. She’s a beautiful woman, smart and fun. She cares about me, I care about her. I just think back to some words of wisdom from my old friend Rusty Sunshine.

“I don’t care who she is, after ten years, twenty years, you’re gonna get tired of fucking the same woman.”

God damn. Is there really ever an answer in science? I need an anti-lust drug so I can concentrate on one woman and start getting some housework done.


  1. brilliant, how bout an answer?

    Comment by poopies — January 25, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  2. why do you treat lust and desire as two mutually exclusive concepts? doesn’t one beget the other? maybe lust is purely sexual while desire entails more. i know i fantasize about driving a man so crazy with lust that he has to have me right then, wherever we are, with the intention of pleasing me to drive me as crazy. ultimately, i need the heat, the bare flesh, the tugs, the moans, gasps, grunts, sighs, along with the idea that he’s also considering how i feel. so, as you can see, getting “nice ass” hollered at me is flattering but just doesn’t cut it. i want to know what he will do to get my ass, how he will do it, and what it will feel like.

    and, by the way, the lifeless relationship you described that you have with your girlfriend will kill me and any other woman i know. we women are not as simple as you portrayed.

    Comment by p — January 25, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  3. p, would you accept, “I’d like to get intimate with that nice ass!!” ?

    Comment by donny laundry — January 25, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

  4. a man proposed to me on BART the other night. I had on jeans and high-heels and a warm coat. when he asked if i was married i said no. (he was trying to find out where my ass lived and such and i’ve found that if you talk to a man like you want him to fuck off because you really do then they tend to very loudly and verbally tell you to fuck-off whereas if you humor him a tad he’ll leave you the fuck alone.) He asked more questions like: are you engaged? why not? whose afraid? he told me he’s been there. he told me that i was marriage material, fresh-faced, wholesome and honest. he told me that any man who was with me and wouldn’t marry me was a fool and that i should let that man know that he was willing. the whole thing skated past creepy by a very narrow margin and almost slid into the persuasion that happens just before force. funny thing is, when i saw him i thought there is a man i shouldn’t turn my back to. now, if i hadn’t said the last part of that story, it reflects both of the things that Rolston is saying here. This was ‘shouting at me” because it’s in his nature(to demand attention like a baby) and i was starting to listen because his game was good (and because even women who don’t have kids usually will pay attention to them when they are in the room). now it was a 10 minute relationship ending with us both leaving the train. that brevity of all positive exchange was perfect. it was like a partners’ dance where the male leads and the woman follows. hhmmmm.

    about your situation with your woman:if you are so much of a wolf, accept it. or accept that you want to be with her. be okay with the possibility of dying alone or pick someone you will eventually put in the grave. until those moments of mortality, read, learn, be kind, hit walls, bleed, scar, love and make love like it’s the only way that you know to say how much you love her and fuck like it’s a competition that you have to win. women like a quickie but we also want you to recognize that we are complex and we like to hear that you love our beauty. we are all animals and function by instinct and we are intelligent. those things by nature are contradictory . why not just pick a path and enjoy it without worry of what you don’t have. worst case scenario, buy that girl some wigs or date someone with multiple personalities.

    Comment by figure 8 — January 25, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

  5. oxy what?
    would need to be a drug that strong to make a woman not be afraid to push something the size of a watermelon out of a gap not even the size of a bottle of nail polish.

    Comment by peek a boo — January 25, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  6. Jon, maybe you can find a way to bring these two sides together somehow and actually improve your relationship. If not, recognize the situation for what it is and, at the very least, don’t get yourself in too deep to where breaking it off becomes overly complicated.

    Or just be the guy who cheats on his woman. It’s a popular category, if you can live with the guilt or rationalize it away.

    Comment by Lyle_S — January 25, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  7. I’d just like to say, in regards to p and figure 8’s comments, word.

    You’ve come ’round to this subject from time to time, marriage and the fact that you aren’t keen on it. There is nothing wrong with not being married. You’re not suppose to be married, Mr. Rolston, you’re only suppose to live true to what and who you are. Any other way is never any good, my friend, not for you and not for her. Hence why nearly one in three marriages ends in d-i-v-o-r-c-e.

    Comment by jb — January 25, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  8. barty proposed?

    Comment by poopies — January 26, 2009 @ 3:11 am

  9. donny: you’ll probably get farther with “i’ll learn to make your favorite breakfast if you let me give that nice ass all the lovin’ it needs.” it’s more specific.

    Comment by p — January 26, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  10. If your favorite breakfast is cereal I’d be all over that.

    Comment by Lyle_S — January 26, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  11. while i have a lot of thoughts on this, jon, the most salient one is that our marriage really could have worked.

    Comment by mims — February 4, 2009 @ 7:36 am

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