You figured it out: the whole debacle with Spaso. First a little back story…
After brainstorming whether his behavior was Zen & The Art of Carpentry, or The Precious Male Ego, you went to bed feeling quite satisfied, as though you had made peace with what had become a tense and awkward situation. But then your situation turned very sour.
In the morning, you climbed out of bed feeling ready for the day. You had been awake for less than a minute when you shuffled downstairs and offered a soft, gravelly “good morning” with vocal chords that had not yet been tested.
Spaso went into an attack. “That’s another thing that isn’t nice about you!”
The way you say, “Good morning?!”
Spaso spread his arms and projected, “Good morning!” He proceeded to criticize your way of being—again.
You cringed inwardly. Too loud. Far too loud. Too much.
You offered some kind of good-natured response with a soft smile and said in a low tone, “I don’t like to break the silence of the morning too soon.”
Whatever. You chose not to engage, began fixing your breakfast.
“You make a lot of noise. I can hear everything you do. When you walk—everything. See what you are doing? Making noise. Bullshit about breaking the silence of the morning!”
Before you realized what was happening, you felt tears of frustration threatening your outward calm. Frustration–because of an attack, a criticism, a comment about you and your noise . Too early. Too soon. And you were frustrated because your emotions were broadcasting, “Liar, liar! You’re so full of shit, Maria. You didn’t make peace last night at all.”
You started to cry, knowing you were unable to even defend yourself. Spaso felt like being an asshole, and you were going to have to take it.
Or maybe not…
“I don’t like this,” you said. “I don’t have to put up with this.” You explained how he was making you feel—what he was doing, how he was speaking to you; regardless of his intentions, it was stressing you out needlessly. “I think I’m going to leave. I don’t want to interact with you anymore.”
Fast forward…. Fast forward through some more talking, some mediation performed by Spaso’s brother, Cheda. Fast forward through the day you spent by yourself at the house, rather than going into town to work.
What a fucking crock of shit! Who does this prick think he is? What the fuck is he on about? Etc. Etc. Etc.
Seriously. Why would any decent human being be so antagonistic towards another person—another person whom he claims to really like!? Who treats their new friends like that?
Was he an angry Master Yoda, or the kind of man who likes to mentally abuse younger women?
Even though you had been intent on leaving that morning, you conceded and stayed the day at the house to have some alone time, and to sort out your head. You also sorted out your things, in order to be 100% prepared to take off if you and Spaso were unable to find common ground.
You waited nervously for his return. You were not interested in confronting him, this prick who hadn’t even offered an apology for making you cry. You didn’t see how things were going to improve.
Spaso returned, and you wound up alone in the house with him. He called you down to talk. You tried to explain why you had become so upset, but he continued picking apart your statements. You asked him, then, to tell you why he thought you had become upset. He dodged the task completely.
“I want you to speak the truth,” he said. “Always. Every time you speak, you must think.”
You explained to him his self-defeating semantic philosophy. Finally, that he had to stop taking every statement so strictly—that language didn’t work that way.
Even though the issue was nowhere near resolved, the tension eased as the two of you exchanged more and more words—battling it out over the meaning of statements. You sighed, bored, more apathetic at that point than irritated. At least he was less abrasive than usual; you’d noted his softer approach with you, as though he regretted (even though he never apologized) making you cry.
You finally said, “Listen. I understand that you value the truth of statements. I know very well how important it is for the people with whom you have relationships to understand, perhaps even share and demonstrate your values. You have stated clearly that you like me, that I’m a good worker. I assume that you find me stimulating, and that you enjoy my company, which is why you wanted to me stay longer–”
“I find you very stimulating,” he said abruptly. “I find your intelligence stimulating. Your work stimulating. I am inspired by how you live, what you eat. I find you sexually stimulating.” He paused. “You know, it happens, from time to time.”
You could have laughed out loud at his admission. Suddenly it all made sense. The antagonism, the cry for attention… He wanted to fuck you. You remembered suddenly another older man whose sexual feelings for you had once taken the form of antagonism…
Jesus, it was so simple: a lesson people learn in elementary school; when a boy is mean to a girl, more often than not it is because he likes her!
Suddenly, Spaso’s bristling mode of communication lost it’s prickle. You no longer saw Master Yoda. You no longer saw the Precious Male Ego trying to talk down to the “little lady.” You saw a sick, skinny, toothless older man unable to cope with his sexual angst. It was hilarious.
Spaso smiled and said, “No more arguing. Let’s play a game.”
You lifted an eyebrow. Sure. Why the hell not?
“I ask you a question, and you ask me a question. We take turns asking each other questions—any questions—anything you want to know. And we have to be completely truthful.”
“Alright,” you said. “Let’s do it.” After all, you had nothing to hide. That kind of exercise didn’t daunt you in the slightest.
He started with you name… what was your full name?
You asked him about his worst trauma.
The game continued. He wanted to know when you left home, what make you happy, why you had tattoos and piercings.
You wanted to know about his fears, the cruelest thing he’d ever done to another person, his economic situation, his injuries.
He asked, “What do you think about sex?”
Great, here we go. First he’d admitted he found you sexually stimulating; he’d put it on the table. Later, he’d asked you to sit on the couch with him a moment, so he could remove your beanie and gently push the hair off your face. Now, because you had offered no reaction to his touch and had returned to your chair, he wanted to explore the possibility—to feel you out.
Not that he hadn’t already been doing that! You were keenly aware that during the entire conversation, he had been curled up on the sofa with a blanket over his legs and lap—because he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. You were aware that as the conversation continued, as he shifted this way and that, the blanket had been falling, exposing more and more of his legs, his ass, his pubic area.
He had even dropped the blanket outright and had stood up to head to the toilet; you’d averted your eyes, thinking that is was out of sync with his earlier modesty, not to mention rude. Then again, it’s his house. He can do whatever the fuck he wants in it, and if you have a problem with his bottomlessness, you can leave. But he doesn’t want you to leave. No. He wants you to see his naked lower half, to make you think about sex with him. At least he emerged from the toilet wearing trousers.
So, what did you think about sex?
“It think sex is interesting,” is all you said. You applauded yourself for your answer, as he was clearly disappointed by it.
“That’s it? It’s interesting?”
“Yes.” You were going to make him ask for the answers he wanted, and thus make him demonstrate his position as the supplicant.
When he did ask, you explained. “It is interesting because of all the reasons why people have sex—their motivations, their emotional connections, or lack thereof.”
“I asked you why you think sex is interesting. I didn’t ask what other people do. You always talk about others. You never talk about yourself.”
“How do you know I’m not included in these ‘people?’” you asked. “I am alluding to myself. People—I—have sex when I’m in love, when I’m bored, when I’m drunk, when I’m being self-destructive, when I am curious, when I simply want another notch on the bedpost. There are a lot of reasons I have sex; I find my motivations interesting, and I’m always trying to understand them.”
He liked your answer. He tried to look cavalier and said, “Will you have sex with me?”
Your narrowed your eyes as you appraised him—even though there was nothing to mull over. “No.” One word. Flat.
“Why not?” he pressed.
“I don’t want to.”
Again, “Why not?”
“Isn’t that reason enough?” You knew, from experience with him, that he wouldn’t debate the answer.
You could see a glimmer of embarrassment, the mark of rejection. “I think it would be nice.”
Of course you do! “I don’t,” you said.
“First of all, I am a lesbian. Second, I don’t particularly enjoy sex with men.”
He accepted both statements without a hint of surprise. Cheda had probably already told him that you were gay. Spaso didn’t seem to be backing down.
So you tried a new approach: to intimidate him away from the idea of fucking you.
“I’m not a nice person to have sex with,” you began. “Nice sex involves a level of reciprocity. I don’t particularly enjoy sex with men, and I think it is abundantly clear to many of them that there is absolutely nothing they can do to stimulate or arouse me. And, when a man is fully aware of how ineffective he is for the person he’s fucking, his ego gets crushed.” Ahh, the Precious Male Ego.
It worked. Spaso backed off. The conversation turned away from sex. When, at one o’clock in the morning, you announced that you were going to sleep, he made one last feeble attempt…
“Come here,” he said, offering his hand as though he wanted to shake it and say, ‘Good talk.’ You took his hand, and he gave it a squeeze. Before you could release, he pulled you closer to him. “Come on, just one kiss.”
You thought of the Nipple Pincher, the way he pursed his lips. Gross.
“No,” you said firmly. “And if you’re confused, ask your brother how much unwanted male attention I’ve had in the past week.”
And that was that.