Meanhood Rogues Gallery: The Phantom (or 1 Day of Summer)

29 Jul

He was the Phantom. He towered over me several inches above the top of my head as most people I am attracted to have a tendency of doing. He had an athletic frame with a vulnerable and nerdy head. We sipped our drinks and our knees touched and then my hand touched his back as he told me about his job in the music industry, about the place he owned in the Bronx, and about his extensive education in music theory and then business.  I told him I loved David Bowie and he said I should go to his place to compare playlists.  I said I would love to and we should do it now.


The Phantom purchased a large bottle of wine, “any leftovers can be finished later,” he said. A man after my own heart.  I was in the Bronx in an apartment decorated with angular portraits, tables, and drapery color-coordinated with bed sheets.  “It’s too hot in the living room,” he sighed breathlessly from our make out session, “the bedroom is better air-conditioned.”  When we drink we fast forward in time and seem to pause and play for all the interesting bits; in this case it was a shower of  compliments, “you’re so cute/handsome/sexy.”

In the morning he woke me up when he found his iPad and started playing the Flight of the Concords episode where one of them plays the ghost of David Bowie.  He remembered how much I loved David Bowie from the night before!  We watched the episode and when it ended he showed me pictures of his daughter, “I only came out not too long ago, before that I was at Oberlin and loved this girl, she had my child.”  His child was a toddler, and adorable at that.

I slept again and when I woke up it was late morning and he called for me.  I droned to the bathroom and saw that the Phantom had drawn a bubble bath.  And like an awful French movie we dived into the tub and lounged entangled in legs, arms, backrubs, kisses.  “What music is this?” I asked. “My favorite new band, Passion Pit.”  He deftly summoned more water into the basin as the bubbles around us dissipated.  An hour later we were done, our skin wrinkled as if gnawed at by piranhas with dull teeth.

As our subways stretched in different directions we said our goodbyes “I will keep in touch” the Phantom said as we kissed.  The following days I told my friends about this event, the best date I’ve ever had!  The Phantom and I traded text messages for 3 days until finally I asked him what his plans for the weekend were.

I never heard from him again.

And with righteous indignation my friends said I should tell the Phantom off.  I thought I would do just that before I realized the futility from that course of action. Who would that benefit exactly?  Who would gain from it?  The Phantom has existed since the beginning of time and was never limited to the carnal preferences of modern man.

Shadows come from you and can cast doubt over you, but Phantoms are only spirits that were once alive but are not there anymore.

Besides, we’ll always have Passion Pit.

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