The Lost Boys

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – August 11, 2006

Listen to the signs, to the sounds
Too many mansions coming down
My brown-eyed boy you can run
Take all I taught you. Take my gun.

~ El Hula, “Songs of Violent Love”

Love sucks.

It’s like a vampiric craving that clingwraps you to a nasty force, making you sick (and tired), obsessed and dependent. That power is your girlfriend-and she’s a bloodsucking leech who robs you of your energy and never helps pay for parking. In the end, she’ll kill you – emotionally and spiritually.

A few of my guy friends are going through this, and it makes me sad. And mad ’cause the girlfriend sounds like a right tool. But my mates stick it out for several reasons. I call these guys “The Lost Boys,” and their reasons are misguided but familiar.

By the way, I’m borrowing the Lost Boys title here from the 1980s blockbuster movie by the same name, starring Kiefer Sutherland as lead vampire of a hip rat pack preying on summer visitors at Santa Carla’s boardwalk. Jason Patric plays Michael who gets sucked in by Jamie Gertz as “Star,” a vampire-in-waiting character, after spotting her at an outdoor concert. Little does he know Star is trouble.

Most girls are, boys tell me.

I’m sorry, is all this chick-bashing bothering you? Am I offending you by using biting terms like “tool” up there? Do write in and tell me then how I should describe the shitface princess who called my male friend a pervert when he came home from his very first art class with a sketch of a nude. Or how about the twisted wench who got a kettle from her boyfriend’s parents as a house-warming present and bitched him out later because it wasn’t wrapped.

Oh, wait a sec, that last one was me. So, yes I’m calling the kettle black.

Tell me, what keeps certain dudes from spreading their wings and flying away from soul-sucking, mood-deflating TRAPS. Research from the Shotgun Institute of Relationship Issues shows our boys get lost in crap because they identify as one of the following four types:

* Mr. Nice Guy – he sticks with it because he adores the girl, she’s relatively sane and they’re working things out. He’s no magician, but he has a positive influence that inspires change – in those who want it. Known forever as “The One That Got Away” to the girl who didn’t.

* Mr. Hopeful – similar to NG, Hopeful stays on because he cares about his woman and believes there’s something worthy to be salvaged despite the constant fighting. But nothing ever works. H self-identifies as “Mr. Always Has a Good Point,” then to the later psychoanalyzed as “The Control Freak.”

* Mr. Knights of Crisis – this bastard is a warped underbelly of NG + H. He stays put because his worth is defined by saving damsels in distress. Also called “Never Dated an Adjusted Woman.”

* Mr. Damaged – D brings it on himself by settling with dodgy birds. He’s just as messed. Also, “Mr. I Have a Drinking Problem.”

Now, supposing a guy is relatively together and doing his best to compromise and cope, take it mucho seriously when he yelps for help from the wasteland known as relationship hell. Figure out what type he is and work with that. And give him a swift kick to the balls if he comes across like a pathetic sod looking to you for “an out,” or a prospect, during Mission Transition.

And now I’m talking to you, shit-for-brains.

If you have to shield your eyes from the glare off her fangs as she cracks what you think is a smile-don’t go back! If making love leaves you satisfied for a short hour then returns you to the shit state and spooky dynamic where every other aspect of communication sucks ass, well, maybe it’s time to shake more than your big cock, ya think?

Shake a leg, instead. Kick her out or relocate your cave. Relationships are like houses. Without the proper upkeep, they crumble and it’s time to get out.

To help out, you’ll find friends are usually good at lending you things like nails to seal the coffin shut. Garlic is cheap. So is holy water and praying. Shamans or psychologists charge the price you’ve already paid in gas alone hightailing it away from her on those violent days. So why not treat yourself? You’re worth it. Say, “I’m worth it.” You’re doing great!

But if friends, God and shrinks aren’t gonna help you leave the vampire-chick who’s driving you batty and causing your diarrhea, I think I have a few stakes lying around here you can use. I don’t care much for them as trophies anymore, for alas, how we carry the battle scars in our hearts forever…

Yes, it is difficult to finally leave the one you love. But what’s sadder is how we, too easily, leave ourselves behind to rot and get mucked in the mire and madness we think is love, but realistically is an unhealthy habit or a bad match.

To hell with all that! Keep the dramatic and oddly seductive violent love bullshit over there. I want my relationships to be life-giving, not life-stealing.

What about you, Lost Boy? Which will you choose?

– Sylvie Hill