PR Guy surprised me - he called me long distance from Ingersoll on Saturday night to talk for a bit, and has asked me out again for tomorrow night. Third date? Hardly anyone has made it beyond this point. Wish me luck.

And now, back to the story of my so-called dating life...

A few months before college ended, I met a guy we'll call "Popjunkie" (reminiscent of his MSN nickname back then), and Popjunkie lived in London. He was large and bald and arrived in my life at a vulnerable time, as I was still dealing with the shock of my breakup with Tom, and I was looking forward to a brand new relationship with amazing possibilities.

On my first trip back to London for a weekend, Popjunkie and I met at a coffee shop and talked for awhile, then he took me out to watch his band practise. I am a city girl, and was slightly put-off when he took me out to this rundown old house outside of London for the rehearsal. I sat in a chair in a corner, breathing through my mouth because the house smelled like wet dog, hunched over because the ceiling of the attic was slanted, petting a large, smelly rotweiler who would rub up against me if I didn't pay him any attention (did I mention that I'm not really a dog person?).

Their trio played a variety of cover songs, including Weezer (his favourite band) and the Smashing Pumpkins. I smiled and tapped my foot along, convincing myself that band girlfriends had to suffer through such experiences for the cause.

What an idiot I was.

The next night he picked me up and we went to hang out at his sister's place, where he was living temporarily until he moved into a bachelor apartment at his best friend's house. I met the sister, her boyfriend and the nephew. What did the voices in my head scream? WHITE TRASH! RUN!

When Angie picked me up at the end of the weekend on her way back from Windsor, I managed to convince her and myself that I'd had a great time with him and couldn't wait to see him again.

Popjunkie had JUST been hired at a call centre for a large bank in London and was too broke to afford long distance phone conversations with me, so we had to resort to communicating via the internet. We chatted endlessly while I worked diligently on my projects for school until all hours of the night. Fights broke out between us more often than not, as the internet does not allow one to hear tone of voice, and he tended to take things I said too seriously.

Popjunkie came with baggage. He had sold all his belongings and moved to Tennessee to be with his last girlfriend. Things hadn't worked out and he had come back to Canada, broken, dejected, and slightly bitter towards women. It was very strange to be the new girlfriend listening to all his angry songs about the ex-girlfriend.

Popjunkie and I made plans to see each other again, and he decided to drive to Toronto to pick me up. Tom was actually on his way over to help Angie with computer problems, and I was trying to usher Popjunkie out of our apartment as quickly as I could (Tom was still not taking our breakup very well). As we pulled out of the driveway, we passed Tom's K-Car, and I sunk down in my seat so he wouldn't see me. It was as close a call as you can get.

On the way to London, Popjunkie attempted to get some of my clothes off in the car. He was big into exhibitionism, telling me tales of how his ex-girlfriends would get naked on road trips, press their asses to glass and just go to town on themselves. It turned him on to know that other men would see and want the girl, but only Popjunkie could have her. I decided that keeping my clothes on and smoking a cigarette would be much more fun, as I was no exhibitionist.

I slept with Popjunkie that weekend, because I needed to experience sex with someone that wasn't Tom. It was new and different, but certainly nothing to write home about. The next morning I got up and went to the washroom, and suddenly he walked in on me. HE WALKED IN ON ME WHEN I WAS IN THE WASHROOM! I freaked and screamed at him to get out. He laughed and said it was no big deal, then shrugged and walked out. I was mortified! Who does that?! Guys - DON'T DO THAT!

Popjunkie began to talk of plans for our future, as I had been considering moving back to London and starting a new life there after college. He eagerly jumped on this notion, sending me clippings for graphic design jobs in London. However, the idea of leaving my friends that had been my family in Toronto since I was eighteen began to scare me, and I started to job hunt in Toronto, too. Popjunkie grew more and more possessive - if I didn't get home from work and sign on to messenger when he expected me to, I would be interrogated at length. If I mentioned one of my guy friends, he would accuse them of having feelings for me and trying to break us up. He suggested I start wearing brown cords, grow my hair out to its natural colour, not put on so much makeup, and wear my glasses and argyle sweaters (dude wanted a Weezer-loving-nerd-type girl). He constantly talked of how he loved me and needed to see me and couldn't wait to start our life together. He suggested that when I move back to London, I move in with him. A cold fear grew within me, and I knew that it was WAY too early in the relationship to agree to move in with him.

One night I told him that I was considering staying in Toronto for the summer, as I had some friends who could possibly get me a job, and in the meantime, I would apply for design jobs in London and move back as soon as I had a job waiting for me. Popjunkie flipped:

popjunkie: Redhead...i love you SO MUCH....
popjunkie: but unfortunately
popjunkie: i vowed to myself
popjunkie: that i will not do this again
popjunkie: i SOLD all my belongings last time
popjunkie: for 'the effort'
popjunkie: i can't do it
popjunkie: i can't do the long distance
popjunkie: i'll end up committing suicide
popjunkie: i spend the whole day missing you
popjunkie: and come home
popjunkie: dying for EVERY MINUTE TO PASS
popjunkie: till you get home from work
popjunkie: and you say
popjunkie: oh by the way
popjunkie: i'll probably be staying here till september
popjunkie: it breaks my heart to pieces for it to be even an option
popjunkie: i REFUSE to watch what we have die
popjunkie: in an internet relationship
Redhead: you are letting it die, not me
popjunkie: ok..if it makes you happy to transfer the blame to me
popjunkie: then so be it
popjunkie: it is MY fault
popjunkie: but that is the way it is
popjunkie: SO june 1st
popjunkie: if you are still there
popjunkie: then we are finished
Redhead: You're ultimatuming me?
popjunkie: yes
Redhead: You've GOT to be kidding me.
popjunkie: without the ultimatum
popjunkie: you will stay as long as you can

After that conversation, things became very strained between us. I'm aware that I should have ended things immediately, but the thought of being single and alone petrified me. I returned to London and stayed over at Popjunkie's place one last time. I sat in a chair and listened while he played "El Scorcho" by Weezer and then a song that he had written for me. I went back to Toronto knowing that him and I were finished, and a few angry internet conversations later, we parted ways.

...or so I thought.

You can imagine my shock when, a few weeks later, I signed on to messenger to discover that Popjunkie had added me to his list again. He immediately sent me a message to say that he loved me and missed me like crazy. I was wary and hesitant, asking him what was going on.

He said that he had seen his sister and she asked how things were going with us, and it really upset him and he wasn't able to stop thinking about me. That night he had been at the bar with a bunch of friends and suddenly jumped up from the table and left, feeling the need to talk to me. He was suddenly willing to work things out, to deal with my staying in Toronto for the summer, and wanted to drive down to see me. I couldn't help but be cold and distant with him as I tried to wrap my head around it all.

The next day I came online, and this conversation followed:

popjunkie: babe!
Redhead: Hi. How's it going?
popjunkie: i have great news!
Redhead: What's that?
popjunkie: you have awesome credit!
Redhead: Pardon?
popjunkie: we can TOTALLY get a townhouse in London with your credit!
Redhead: How do you know how good my credit is?
popjunkie: i kinda checked
Redhead: What do you mean you kinda checked?
popjunkie: at work i checked (he worked for the bank I was with)
Redhead: Without asking me? Are you legally allowed to do that?
popjunkie: No, but I didn't think you'd mind. We have to do random account and credit checks, so I ran your name like I didn't know who you were.
Redhead: So you checked my bank accounts too?
popjunkie: yes, and you're doing good, but you've been late on your visa payment a couple times. You CAN'T do that or it'll screw up your credit. please babe, just make sure you pay it on time so we can get a house. my credit is horrible, so we need you.

I quickly ended the conversation and sat there, numb. He had looked at my bank accounts and checked my credit. HE HAD LOOKED AT MY BANK ACCOUNTS AND CHECKED MY CREDIT. ILLEGALLY! I felt completely violated.

I told Angie and she was obviously concerned. I called my mom and we discussed the situation rationally. Yes, I could call the bank and report him, but could I live with destroying his life? It had taken him a long time to get this job with the bank, and had just gotten back on his feet and moved out on his own. If I reported him, he would lose his job and it would be unlikely he could ever work at a bank again. After a long discussion, mom and I decided it would be best to end things and keep an eye on my bank account, which is exactly what I did. He begged to come and see me every weekend, to work things out, but I was too busy with school and told him that I needed some time and space to sort my feelings out. He got angry, deleted me from his list and I've never seen or heard from him again...but to this day, I still keep an eye on my bank accounts.

I never did move back to London - as it turns out, I belong here.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous7:09 PM

    God, I had forgotten all about him. That was so funny when we had to get him out of the apartment before Tom saw him....ah memories. What a freakshow.