Other Writing Index

Found a Peanut

Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut last night,
Last night I found a peanut, found a peanut last night...

That's right, go ahead, eat the peanut. What the hell, it looked alright when you cracked it open. It didn't taste that bad when you first bit into it. Maybe the element of risk excited you. The forbidden peanut. The blowfish peanut. How are you supposed to know ahead of time that it is rotten? Besides, who are you to be so picky? It's hard to just find a peanut in the first place. The proof of that being why would anyone write a song about a ubiquitous peanut? They wouldn't. And wouldn't you rather eat a peanut with a song about it? It's so romantic.

I had a boyfriend once who yelled at me for mopping his bathroom floor because I couldn't stand to walk barefoot in there. He wrote a terrible play about boarding school jocks sodomizing the sensitive freshman and didn't give me a part in it. He thought art for money was crass so he lived in an apartment his parents bought for him and eventually ended up in TV. He went to sleep listening to sports radio, like my grandfather listened to the stock quotes. He broke up with me by disappearing for two months without a word.

Before that, I had a boyfriend who routinely abandoned me at his friends' parties, parties where I knew no one. Unless someone interesting was paying attention to me and then he would slither over me, like a creeping vine, to share the light. He would seduce me and as soon as I was seduced he would complain that he felt boxed in. He forgot to bring his credit card to the restaurant on Valentine's day and then never paid me back. He took an eternity to come. The day I figured out that sticking my finger in his anus did the trick I bought myself a new hat. I tortured myself with him for a year, on and off. The off was when I intuited that he was sleeping with his co-star in a Broadway play, not a remarkable feat, the intuition, that is, since I heard him talking to a friend about her on the phone, sorry, my phone, while he thought I was still in the shower, sly dog. The woman was waif (wafer?) thin and had long brown curlicue hair. Every man I know was in love with her at some point or another. So, of course, we became friends. I gave the guy a second chance but it ended anyway when I came to the realization that his frequent grammatical errors would eventually drive me out of my skull.

I was always friends with the girl all the men wanted. I think it was by accident. My first college roommate, randomly assigned to me, turned out to be a siren, beckoning men to their destruction with her arching eyebrows and c-cups. She made out in the stairwell of our dorm with a guy I liked. She had walked him out with the intention of telling him how great I was and then, she said, he jumped her! Imagine that!? Drunk, she went home from a party with another guy I liked and after they dry humped he threw up on her. Sure, I had to laugh, it was funny. Ha ha ha. We were inseparable! My best friend at Andover summer school was a tall blond Texas girl who looked amazing in tennis shorts and was lusted after like she was a big doll made of crack. I was her first Jewish friend. She'd never even eaten a bagel. We were like Candy Bergen and, I don't know, some short Jewish girl.

There was a guy I slept with for five months. Gorgeous but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. We couldn't have a conversation but he could come to orgasm twice without ever pulling out. Why is it always like that? I was both sad and relieved when he ended it. I just wasn't the girl he was going to fall in love with, he said. No shit. What was that Doors lyric? Oh, yeah: “Love me two times...I'm goin' away”. Besides, the acid test for me was whether or not the guy had read Ethan Frome. He failed. Once, he had fallen asleep on the bench in his entryway with a piece of toast in his hand.

And there were other guys (and the girls they preferred to me but were also my friends, too!) all during the black hole that was my twenties. Like the one who stood me up at my birthday dinner. And the one who wanted to caress my breasts until I thought my head would explode. (Note: Head explode is not a euphemism for something good.) And there was the handsome lawyer from Baltimore. He had a big truck. No, really, a truck.

Then, then, there were a few smart guys, the ones who got me, who understood my references and knew things I didn't and made me laugh, sometimes until I cried. Phone conversations would last for hours. Jokes would stretch out over weeks, even months. I would get so buzzed when I was with them I would start to sweat. There was one in college, which was before I was ready for him (read virgin), one who was married (maybe he'll get a divorce!) and one to whom I just wasn't physically attracted. I tried to be, which is always a lot of fun, and then he stopped being my friend for a long time. As my father once told me, no man wants to be just your friend. They have enough friends.

So what the hell, are you supposed to sit around all weekend watching three hour long Valerie Bertinelli movies on Lifetime? Naaah. Eat the peanut. Eat the peanut you found on the dirty floor. Even though you know better. Even though it will end with the peanut blowing you off on your birthday, or stealing your boyfriend. Or falling asleep before you've come.