Jon Boy by Niya Cristine


His name was Jon. And he looked like John Boy from the Walton’s. Our first date was a walk in my neighborhood in Mill Valley Ca. It was a beautiful day, everything smelled alive and his stringy blonde hair looked like that of a 7 year old. I was jealous because my hair was pool worn and straight iron worn. I also didn’t know if Jon could win me over with his masculinity, he looked so…well, John Boyish.
I decided as we walked, why not test him out a bit? It was the late 90’s, I was in the most confident time of my life as a woman. lots of flirting, lots of floundering and not caring.

So, I said to him, “It’s sad really…” he looked at me curiously.
“Well, how boys are taught the 1, 2, 3 method of seduction with a girl. When they grow into men they usually keep it up.”
“Oh, pleez…tell me more, this ought to be good” he chortled at me.

“1. Get close enough to the girl to hold her hand.
2. If you get that close, take it a step further and put your arm around her. If you’re lucky she won’t notice, but you still accomplished something.
3. Go for the kiss. Get your tongue in there or she’ll think you’re gay.”

He laughed and did exactly what I wanted I him to do… he kissed me. “3.” He said while pulling me to him in such a forceful, sexy way that even John Boy Walton would’ve taken note.
It was a good kiss. Good enough for me to accept a date with him two nights later.

He took me to a raw foods restaurant in San Francisco. The waiter seated us on cushions on the floor near the window. Everything was cold. The food, the floor, even the waiter looked skinny and cold. And his skin Vampire-ish pale, marble sheen to it. It gave raw food new meaning to think of the waiter as a Vampire. But Jon was a major vegan. He couldn’t even smell meat without wanting to puke. I didn’t know this previously. But as it turned out, I didn’t know Jack about Jon. In fact, if Jon’s name were Jack I wouldn’t have been surprised by the end of this night.
By the time the Licorice tea came I was craving a Martini in a big way. Jon was talking pridefully about the mother of his child, his ex-wife. How he left her when she was pregnant with his son because he realized her body type was never something he liked. He scratched his crotch a lot as he told this story. To this day I don’t know why–guilty crotch syndrome maybe. Anyway, he moved to another state and got a skinny girlfriend. I asked him to describe his ex-wife’s body type. “Voluptuous, athletic.” He said as he slurped the seaweed into his mouth. “But that’s me, that’s my body type.” I said incredulous. “Yeah, you aren’t my body type either.” “Are you whacked?” I said, eyeing the skinny waiter because he was starting to look really good to me.
Jon laughed and kept eating. He was pleased with himself for some reason. We were quiet for what seemed like an hour, as we ate. The sounds of cars passing got louder. I felt colder. I wanted to go home. But Jon had more to say. The night morphed into something more like a circus act of the soul—something darkly amusing and creepy at the same time.
He smiled and pulled his stringy hair to the side. He eyed my cleavage. “My current girlfriend runs a whorehouse in Mill Valley.” He said casually. I stared blankly at the floor and realized we were the only ones in this restaurant. He wanted to eat at 6 p.m., which I thought was pretty early. He probably had plans after this with the whorehouse mistress.
“You may know her…” I put my hand up in his face to stop. “You know, I have this essay to write on hobo language, a design paper for…”
I trailed off. The waiter came by. “Check please.” I said a little too enthusiastically. And he looked at me pitifully. I wondered how many women Jon had brought here. Not that I cared in the way I should have with someone I was attracted to until now. I wished a cab home didn’t cost a hundred dollars; that I was rich enough not to care. But this wasn’t the case.

As I closed the passenger’s side of his funky white van, he said “I’m sorry, I’m so ashamed of the male conditioning I carry in my being. I try to cleanse. I eat…”
“Raw food” I interjected. “Well. I eat well. I try to learn and grow…”
“I was just wondering if you could start the van. I really need to go home.” I said anxiously. But he didn’t. He talked for 10 minutes straight about this issue and that issue and all the issues with him and his whorehouse 1099 woman. What a consulting gig, I thought sullenly. Finally, I said, “I’m just not into you, I’m not interested. Please take me home.” He laughed. He looked at me stunned. He said, “Now that! I just don’t believe. When I look in the mirror, I want to DO me.”
I went to my happy place at this point. I needed to calm down before I gave opened my mouth again. I needed to be effective. I thought about my bed, my own bed, how good it would be to get in it ALONE. I gave him a long, thorough look and said: “Then, THAT’S all you need! All you need is YOU! Now take me home.” I demanded. This time I glared at him until he relented. I hoped he got the message I would kick his skinny little ass if he didn’t step on it. He did.

In the morning I cuddled with my white coyote dog. I opened my bedroom window to hear the sounds of the creek going by I called my best girlfriend and told her the story over morning coffee. We laughed really hard.

What was I thinking? Clearly I wasn’t thinking at all. I would like to say that the next time I did. That I did think. But no, charm over seeing was a theme for a few more years.

Submitted December 27th 2008 : Come to your senses day stories.

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5 Responses to “Jon Boy by Niya Cristine”

  1. BG says:

    Now that is truly a Mill Valley story. Doesn’t know Jack about Jon, Jon doesn’t know Jack about Jon; the vortex of insanity just southwest of Mt. Tam is delicously mixed with the insights of a woman. Love it.

  2. Niya says:

    YUP, them’s were crazy times. If I’d been wearing hiking boots instead of heels I probably wouldn’t tried to walk from SF to Mill Valley that night. Now there’s a good idea for a line of shoe wear for women. Bad Date shoes (just in case).

  3. Verna Wilder says:

    I love this line:
    But as it turned out, I didn’t know Jack about Jon.
    And this one: “I went to my happy place.” And then the narrator has to scream to get his “skinny ass” moving.
    I love the voice in this one, Niya. Really fun.

  4. hal says:

    Cool story. I think a key word was mistakenly omitted. “I’m just (not?) into you/

  5. Niya says:

    Thank you Hal. Big save! : )

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