This node is about someone very special to me, although I haven't seen her in almost ten years, and only two years ago managed to resume contact with her. Lauren.

We met at City Club in 1998 though a somewhat circuitous route. I placed an ad in the personals section of the Metro Times, Detroit's free alternative newspaper, which read:

Goth boy looking for the right goth girl.
Can you make my mind and body burn with your spirit? Am I in your mind?

The ad referenced the lyrics to a couple of songs relevant to me. "Make my mind and body burn" comes from "Tomorrow's Tears" by Cranes and "Am I in your mind?" is from "In Mind" by Slowdive. I received one response to this ad, from a girl calling herself Gisele.

Gisele, as it turned out, was a City Club regular, as was her best friend, Lauren. Both of them had seen me at the club and had immediately guessed that it was I who had posted that ad. Both of them respected the other's wishes, and Lauren had put a "claim" on me with Gisele, whose real name turned out to be Marisa. I found this out one night at the club when we met, during which time I spent no time with Marisa, despite her answering my ad, due to her respect for Lauren's claim, and I spent the entire evening with Lauren, just talking (and smoking and drinking, but that's neither here nor there). Lauren was eighteen at the time, about three weeks shy of her nineteenth birthday. I was twenty-one.

Despite my age, I was still a virgin. I was, nevertheless, very popular at the club, and everyone assumed I was a complete slut, which was so far from the truth that if those spreading the rumours actually knew, they'd probably blush. Anyway, Lauren and I got on famously, and we immediately started dating. This was January 1998. Our first date was seeing C-Tec (a Front 242 side project) at the Magic Stick late that month. We dated for four months, mostly sitting in her 1996 Chrysler LeBaron convertible in the middle of the night, drinking forties, smoking clove cigarettes, and driving around the ghetto of downtown Detroit. It was pure bliss for me and as far as I could tell, for her too. Except for one thing.

As I previously mentioned, I was at that time still a virgin. I was a timid virgin; I had no idea where to begin, sexually. Lauren was eager to get me out of my shell, but the furthest we ever got was necking, leaving hickeys in obvious places, some breast play, being naked together but not having sex, and sleeping together without sex. She'd pierced her clitoral hood herself, and the jewelry she wore in it, a captive hoop with a little skully for the bead, was so cute.

My biggest regret in life is not making love to Lauren. Honestly, it's my biggest regret, despite all my failings (of which there are many). I can trace them all back to that. It's not that I didn't want her—quite the contrary—it's just that I didn't know where to start. And she wanted me. She continually told me so. I told her I loved her, and despite the people I've told that to since then, she's the only person I've told I loved and really meant it. I'm of the opinion that if we had actually had sex, our lives would be completely different now. I can't say if they'd be better or more interesting, but they'd definitely be different. But now, that's something neither of us can know.

You always were the one to show me how
Back then I couldn't do the things that I can do now
This thing is slowly taking me apart
Grey would be the color if I had a heart

My life has been a steady stream of ruin since the day she broke up with me, which she did because, despite all her efforts, I wouldn't put out. Not for lack of desire, you understand. I was just clueless. Totally clueless. We clicked completely except for that one thing—sex. But only because I didn't know what to do. I mean, I knew what sex was, I just didn't know how to initiate it, even with a partner who wanted it. And she was so perfect—beautiful, sweet, funny, possessed of a quick wit, excellent fashion sense (we were goths), and wonderful in every way I wanted.

I just wanted something I can never have.

In this place it seems like such a shame
Though it all looks different now
I know it's still the same
Everywhere I look you're all I see
Just a fading fucking reminder of who I used to be

I just want something I can never have

Despite the failure of my relationship with Lauren, the time I spent with her is by far my most prized possession. If I could go back in time, and redo my relationship with her, I know it'd turn out perfect. That time is the one bright spot in my life that's otherwise full of badness and tragedy.

I just want something I can never have

Lyrical interludes by Nine Inch Nails. CST Approved.

More on Lauren and me can be read in my City Club writeup.