Larry's last date was in November 2006; he named the woman Gravy With Lumps. The relationship was bumpy. He'd dated Gravy in the past; they met in a social group he attended for adults with learning disabilities. She had a developmental disability. She has two kids already; one also suffers from her disability. Larry and Gravy had a hiatus, and then last October, she showed up at his door uninvited. When they reunited, Larry had sex with her. Feeling unfulfilled, Larry asked for morehe wanted to go out to dinner, to have a conversationbut she was already out the door. She came over again and asked him to buy her diapers and baby food. He gave her a few bucks; he couldn't say no to a hungry child or to someone who sought his company, even if it was just for money. Now she stops by every once in a while, asking for stuff.
Larry's 33 years old and his situation hasn't changed. He doesn't want the same old thing anymore. He wants love. No, he doesn't want love; he needs love. Love is a need; it's not a want. The frustration is starting to seep in again and he needs a distraction. If he had an extra fifty right now, he'd break it into ones. He'd go to a place where no one's paying attention, stick dollar bills into some anonymous woman's panties, and have a cold beer to forget what he's feeling. That will heal nothing, he knows, but he's alone, trying to forget his problems, to forget the way the world sees him, to forget that all those promises and dreams have a chance of not happening. He pleases himself now in an unemotional suspension, waiting for the right woman to give him the self-esteem he lost upon the first years of primary-school rejection. All the girls in his past were a lot of flavor with no satisfaction; now he's empty, empty with used tissues before him, he's the last product on his grocery list, he's Knox Gelatine, the flavorless version.