Good Girl Chronicles

Lolo’s Love Life: The New Age Beauty & The Beast

Can You Really Love A Beast?

One my best guy friends lovingly calls himself a beast. It is his way of asserting his ability to conquer some of life’s toughest adversities. And, I can’t say I disagree. The Beast can juggle multiple jobs at a time, and somehow still have the energy to party. The Beast was homeless as a teenager, and felt the sting of family abandonment. He still managed to graduate college, and pay his bills. The man has beast mode down.

I love how The Beast seemingly never cares what anyone thinks of him, how he lives life on his own terms, and his speaks his mind no matter who is listening. He makes me laugh, and we bond over our mutual experiences of homelessness. But, as much as I like The Beast, I could never date him. I like a confident man, but The Beast is borderline cocky. Many times at work he brags about being the sexiest man on the staff, having a big dick, and his sexual exploits.

For a year The Beast and I are fair weather best friends. He’s the kind of friend you don’t hang with weeks at time, but when you do the connection is strong. He picks on me at work, and calls me uptight. But, then there are moments when I see a glimpse of a real prince in him.
Like the time he took over at work when three rich time share owners yelled at me over soiled hotel sheets. The hotel cleaning staff had walked off the job. I am overwhelmed, and not sure what to do. The Beast rolled up the sleeves on his collared shirt, took off his tie, and personally changed the sheets himself. 

Photography by: Sarah Eliza Bell

Then, there are moments when he comes through when no one else does. Like the time he listens to me cry on my 33rd birthday about my fucked up relationship, my loneliness, and feelings of worthless. Or the time he drives me home even though it’s almost an half hour out of his way. Or the night he invites me out for my first ever orange crush, and even though I feel like shit, he calls me beautiful. And, I believe he means it.

I remember how angry he got when I told him about my mom. “She’s missing out on a beautiful spirit. Fuck her Lolo. She doesn’t deserve you,” he said.

I remember the deep shit he shared about his childhood, information I know he didn’t willing share with everyone.

While I vowed to never give the Beast my heart something about him feels like home. Then it happened…..

The Day It Changed
Something tells me I shouldn’t. I should not cross this line. I know who you are, the women you have slept with, the false promises you have made. I’ve spent a year knowing you, keeping you at arm’s length, being your emotional pillow when you see fit, comforting you in crisis.

I want to kiss you, but I know I shouldn’t.

And, now I am driving your car, we’re going to the movies like you always promised we’d do. You are drunk and vomiting words I can’t believe I am hearing.

“I think you’re amazing. I wish you saw me as someone you could be with. I’ve always wanted you. You’re the most special woman I have never met.”

I laugh nervously, shove your arm, and tell you to stop.

“That alcohol got you tripping bro.”

We never make it to the movies. We’re sitting on your couch, lights dim. You want to kiss me. Everything in me says I shouldn’t. But a part of me wants to believe what you are saying. That you feel built to love a woman like me. You saw my beauty in the lowest parts of my life. You saw that and still find that desirable enough to love.

So I lean in. Our lips meet and it’s better than I imagined. Softer than I could have thought. And, I think that maybe just for tonight I’ll let myself believe you can be the man for me.

We drink. We laugh. We share all the moments we thought something was happening between us then played it off. I am drunk in the surrealism of it all. You, kissing me. Me, kissing you. This is wild.

The next day, I swear it was all a fluke. I drive home. You call, and say, “This is for real.”

And for a while — this thing, you and me is good. You give me a key to your place and I feel safe. You say you can try celibacy and I let my walls down. You affirm me and I feel like maybe I could just love you. You open your heart to me, and I think maybe I didn’t really know the depth of your pain. And when you see the God in me I think for a moment it sparks something in you that you can do life differently. You let me read the word to you, and I see the wheels in your head turning. I think maybe you know life can be better than doing it in your own strength. I think maybe you can be the man worthy of loving a woman like me.

Then you fall back into the familiar – the man who calls when he pleases never when he says. The man who makes promises but has no intentions of keeping them. You become The Beast again. The Beast who is so wrapped up in himself that he doesn’t see I’m drowning again. I tell you what I need and you still don’t come through. You hide behind alcohol, male bravado, and your ego. And, I need you to be a friend, to hear me, to see me, to be there when you say. I try to be the bigger person, remain friends, let you lay your burdens on me, while never trying to help carry mine. I use a calm voice, I listen even though my emotional well is dry.

I am disappointed. You know the abandonment and rejection issues I fight to conquer daily so I can trust people.

Maybe not every Beast turns to a prince.

This is the new age Beauty & The Beast story. The story Walt Disney’s wouldn’t dare write for fear of jading girls too young. The Belles of the modern age are beautiful in spite of a life of heartache, brokenness, and despair. Her beauty is how she learns to love herself, put herself back together, and somehow still be willing to love again.

The modern Beast, more often than not doesn’t transform. He doesn’t leave his childish ways behind. He doesn’t soften. He doesn’t come through. Instead he uses his Beastly charm to keep bedding, keep wooing beautiful Belles, leaving broken hearts when he leaves.

But,we all keep trying… because we know that someday we will experience the thing or meet that person who makes us want to be better for the loves in front of us, makes us want to step up to the plate, makes us want to be the person our love desires.

Because—- no matter how many heart breaks we experience the mere chance of meeting a prince maybe it’s worth encountering a few more Beasts to get there.

Maybe ….

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