Girls like cocky; do you?
I’m sitting in the most homoerotic Starbucks in the world (otherwise known as West Hollywood Central), working – like almost everybody else – on my laptop (although, unlike everybody else, not writing a screenplay), and my attention was just interrupted by the swaggering entrance of a very hunky guy. This is not an unusual occurrence, here, of course. This man’s eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, but his self-regard was visible to the world nonetheless: he knew he was hot and his feelers were out for his due respect.
Now, I don’t like this sort of cocky self-entitlement. I find it a complete turn-off, lickable biceps notwithstanding. It’s true this man would not have looked out of place in Michelangelo’s waiting-room, but the overall impression was one of portentous seriousness. I have, in fact, seen him before, at the White Party in Palm Springs, embedded in a circle of equally buff buddies. I recall how his eyes sort of glided smoothly past me, as he detected my perusal of his muscular assets; as if he’d sooner die rather than give the impression, to somebody outside of his retinue, that he was a human being.
I’ve harbored, for a long time, the fantasy of quizzing such guys, seeing if I could pull out an admission of vulnerability from the off-putting apparent self-involvement. Perhaps he’d tell me just how darned difficult it is to be so god-like; that his tunnel gaze is protective against all those who greedily take him in. I’d try to tell him, in turn, the bit about being human.
I hear the yells: I must be a bitter old party queen, jealous that I don’t get generate that sort of heat. But I’ve had a long run of which I can’t complain. I’m tall, broad-shouldered, and, until recently at least, had blond highlights mandated by my boyfriend who’s yet to get over his frat-guy obsession. How can I say this without sounding vain: people seemed to find me hot. And I loved the attention, I make no bones about it. I drank it up. Yet I don’t think I was ever so full of myself that I couldn’t exchange a smile with a plainer Jane.
Recently, in Sydney of all places, I fulfilled another fantasy. At a club, I told a preening guy to get over himself. I just couldn’t resist trying to puncture his bubble. To my surprise, he looked hurt, and, after some hesitation, grabbed me by the arm, dragged me to a quieter area, and unburdened himself to me. He knew he was projecting this enormous self-fascination, but didn’t know how to break down the barrier. He felt self-conscious with all the attention, and had chosen the route of avoidance. What could he do to break this cycle, he asked me?
Didn’t happen, unfortunately. I mean, I did tell him to get over himself, but he just looked right through me, and carried right on, steaming through the dance floor, the little people scattering in his wake. Nice to imagine, though, that it could happen.