DATE FROM HELL II: I've been strongly encouraged by a number of fellow bloggers to do a follow up to my JEmmy Award-winning (thanks, Jenni!) blog post on my Date From Hell. Full confession: I am a freak magnet. Guys with all kinds of mental instabilities find their way to me. And while the crazy salad freak from the first post was a total nut, you could at least find sympathy for his eating disorder. The date from hell story I'm about to tell here has no room for sympathy. This guy was just full on cuckoo for cocoa puffs crazy.

In 1991, I went with BFF Tina and her woman of the month, Heather, to a gay student mixer being jointly held by Georgia State and Emory University. It was at some recreation-center-lodge-type place. Tina thought this would be a good way for me to meet some new meat, since I had just recently broken up with a boyfriend. Once we arrived, Tina was immediately involved in lesbian drama because the girl she was shtuping on the side was there and Heather was enraged. There were a few cute guys, but no one really lit my fire.

While Tina was off diddling the other girl, Heather and I started dancing and flirting with this bi-sexual guy. At some point in the evening, after too many glasses of wine, we had blindfolded the guy and were taking turns making out with him. C + C Music Factory, Black Box and Deee-Lite were playing and we were young and carefree. Then, like something out of a movie, the doors to the rec center opened and there was this guy. Haloed in glowing light, blond, model-beautiful, his shirt already open exposing a sculpted, smooth chest. Everyone in the room -- boys and girls -- held their breath. The music stopped. Angels sang and trumpets sounded.

The guy came into the room and headed right for the dance floor and started to dance. He was immediately surrounded by a gaggle of faggles, eager to grind up against him and fetch him drinks. While I was skinny and looking pretty good back in the day, I thought this boy was totally out of my league, so I didn't even bother. Plus, I also had my pride and didn't see the point of competing for, what I had already surmised, was an arrogant little pretty boy. Besides, I had the drunk, blindfolded bi-sexual to toy with, but then he took off the blindfold, saw the new boy and I was left standing there with Heather. I retreated to the side of the dance floor with my drink while Heather went off to find out what (or who) Tina was doing.

The mob around the new guy eventually thinned out as they saw he wasn't going to give them the time of day. At some point, the pretty boy was dancing almost right in front of me. He wasn't really dancing with anyone, but there were still two or three barflies hovering in his vicinity pretending like they were his partner. The boy eventually turned and saw me watching him. He started dancing toward me until he was way into my personal space and was kind of gyrating against me. "I'm Paul," he said. I told him my name and he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me onto the dance floor. All the other fags were watching now, silently pissed off that he hadn't chosen them. Paul peeled off his shirt and tucked it into the back of his jeans and pressed himself closely against me. We danced together the rest of the night and eventually progressed to making out and inappropriate public petting.

About 1 a.m., Paul had to leave. Someone had dropped him off there and was picking him up, which was sorta weird, but I was in crazy, hot lust for him and didn't care if he was on a day pass from the state hospital (there's some foreshadowing for you). We stood in front of the rec center and exchanged phone numbers. He had just moved from Tennessee, was a freshman at Oglethorpe and majoring in English. I was positively vibrating. An ancient Toyota pulled up and I could see it was being driven by an overweight girl and there was some nerdy looking guy in the passenger seat. Paul kissed me goodbye and said, "I knew we were going to be together from the moment I walked into the room. You're not like those other guys." He climbed into the backseat of the Toyota and it zoomed away. I, of course, was giddy as a school girl. I was special, goddamn it.

Fast-forward to the next Friday and my first date with Paul. We had talked on the phone all week and I thought he was a genuinely nice guy. I couldn't wait to see him again. For whatever reason, it turned into a double date with Tina and Heather. We drove up to Oglethorpe to pick Paul up. He was waiting outside the gate of the university, leaning against the wall in this model- like pose. Even Tina, who is strictly vajayjay, was gobsmacked by how beautiful he was. "Goddamn, Coll, you have totally scored with this one," she said. "I bet he fucks like a demon." Paul and I canoodled (I hate that word, but that's really what we were doing) in the backseat, held hands under the table at dinner, couldn't keep our hand off each other at the bookstore. Obviously, there was going to be no sex that night, and although we were hot to trot, we agreed it was a good thing so we could get to know each other better.

Fast-forward through several dates where the relationship started to progress into the physical. And while I was thrilled to be getting a little action, I also noticed that Paul was more cagey about his life. He would side-step questions about his family, friends and wouldn't even tell me where he worked part-time. One night after we climbed over the fence to get into the Oglethorpe pool (has the statute of limitations run out on illegal trespassing?), I used my journalism skills and Jedi mind tricks to get him to cough up where he worked. I had guessed he was probably a stripper, but then he said he worked at The Poster Hut. For those non-ATLiens, The Poster Hut was (and I guess still is) a sex shop, selling dildos, pocket pussies, handcuffs, and "smoking" paraphernalia (wink, wink). I wasn't too thrilled about it, but was relieved he was behind the counter and keeping his clothes on.

About three weeks into dating, Paul called me one afternoon at work and said he was sick in bed. He hadn't been to class all day and didn't go to work. He wanted to know if I would come up and sit with him. Like he had to ask twice. I arrived with food and a movie to watch. He did look pale and run down and seemed to have a low grade fever. We cuddled for a bit and then he said he wanted me look at his modeling portfolio. Although he was definitely model material, he had never indicated that he was actually pursuing it. I picked up the cheap looking photo album and began to flip through the pages. There were shots of him nicely dressed in various outfits. They didn't look professional. As I flipped through, he was wearing less and less clothing. At the end of the book, there were suggestive photos of him naked in the shower at his dorm room. "Ummm....what kind of modeling are you hoping to do?" I asked tentatively. He said that all models eventually had to do nude photos, so he was just showing he wasn't afraid to strip down. "Oookay," I said. Paul had only picked at the sandwich I had brought him and he kept saying, "I need something else to eat." I offered to go out and get him whatever he wanted, but he said, "It's not anything you can get for me, I have to get it myself."

The next week, I only talked to Paul a few times because he said he was overwhelmed with term papers and working. He said he was feeling much better though. We made a date for Saturday night for dinner and to see that Sally Field/Whoopi Goldberg movie Soapdish. It was a great date. We held hands in the movie theatre and made a straight couple sitting behind us very nervous. We had gone to a late screening, so it was nearly 1 a.m. by the time we got back to Oglethorpe. We parked and walked out to the quad. It was beautiful night, lots of stars, and I was falling for Paul in a serious way. There used to be (and maybe its still there) this part of the quad that had ornamental shrubs in a pattern. At the center were several benches and well manicured lawn. Paul took off the long coat he was wearing and spread it on the ground. We made out for awhile and then were just cuddling and fooling around a bit, which was fun and naughty. Then Paul went quiet.

He was on his back looking up at the stars and I was lying next to him on my side, head propped on my elbow looking down at him. "What are you thinking?" I asked. Without looking at me, he said, "I really like you. I feel as if I can trust you and tell you everything." I was both excited and alarmed, my mind wandering to all the possibilities of what he might tell me: he was a prostitute, he had AIDS, he was flunking out, he was dropping out and leaving, he was rich and in love with me and going to take me away to his villa in France. I professed my affections and said he could tell me anything in confidence. He was silent for a long moment and then he said, "I'm a vampire."

He started telling me this story about having been born in Europe, turned into a vampire by somebody hundreds of years ago, escaping to Tennessee because he and his real parents -- who were also vampires -- were being tracked by some secret organization out to destroy them. He's telling me this and now I'm lying on my back looking up at the stars asking the gods why I always got stuck with crazy freaks, motherfuckers, whackjobs and losers. I had stopped listening to his Anne Rice wet dream, but then I tuned back in as he was telling me why he had been sick the week before. He was low on blood and needed to "feed." He had gone to a bar, picked up two guys, had sex with them and then...ahem... drained them both. "Wait...did you just say you fucked them and then drank their blood?" I asked incredulously. "It's my nature," he said nonchalantly.

It was in my nature to get up and get the fuck out of there. I marched off toward my car and he was chasing after me babbling about how he knew we were meant to be together because he had known me in a previous life and that Tina (my BFF Tina) was his sister. "Are you on dope? You are outta your fucking mind," I said. Paul was nearly in tears (do vampires cry?), so I called his bluff. I leaned back against my car, pulled my collar down to reveal my neck and said, "go for it." He told me it didn't work that way. "Sure it does," I said, "you drink my blood, turn me into a vampire and then I become an immortal rock star." I'd read Interview with the Vampire. He blubbered on about he couldn't do it because he also thought I was a witch. Say which? "Get some counseling," I screamed and was in my car and gone. I was furious, but also really sad. I had actually liked him. Over the next few days, Paul called trying to convince me he was a vampire. He said Paul wasn't his real name -- it was David or something -- and that he had documents to prove who he was, and that the fat girl and nerd who had picked him up that night at the club were his human "watchers." I told him never to call me again.

A few weeks later, I was with Heather going somewhere and we drove past the Poster Hut. Heather suddenly turned the car around. "There's something I've been wanting to do," she said. We went into the Poster Hut and Paul was there behind the counter wearing nothing but a pair of tight pink shorts and go-go boots. He looked stunned to see us. Heather walked up, called him a "crazy fuck" and bitch-slapped him across the face. We never saw or heard from him again.


Well,the vampire-story is now completely "fleshed-out" for me...It IS funny and strange and scary.That penny-for-your-thoughts moment just before he says "I'm a vampire", is just tooo rich!
Again, what crazies you can attract, Coll! Whew!
Anne Haines said…
Oh. My. God.
Anonymous said…
Christ hanging off the cross. This is hilarious and a little scary too. There is a book in this. Compile all your crazy first dates. Oprah would eat this up or maybe Ellen.

DeadMule said…
Collin, You really know how to tell a story. This is funny and scary and sort of sad. Helen
Collin Kelley said…
Yes, kinda sad is generally how I feel about it.
Jennifer said…
This is a wonderful story! I love that you caught him at Poster Hut in pink shorts and gogo boots!!!
Jeannine said…
Oh my God. It's almost enough to scare a person off of Buffy. Almost ;)

On a related note, I was in New Orleans a few years before the flood, and there was a rash of "vampire" murders in the neighborhood we were staying in. Turned out it was a bunch of young teenagers.
Justin Evans said…
You get all the crazies!

I dig that about you!!!!
Anonymous said…
OMG, Collin, I swear to god I never thought my crazy ex could be topped, but you just did it. Amazing. So glad you didn't get et.
michi said…
OH. MY. GOD. yes, in capital letters. but really, in a way it left me feeling sad. ever wonder what became of him?

the word verifier, btw, suggests he be put on amufhril. ;)


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