Thievery: How I Learned To Love A Real Man
Thievery is a series of blog posts about my story inspirations.
‘How I Learned To Love A Real Man’, first published online at BURST.
Reprinted in Eve’s Harvest (Odyssey Books).
Thirteen heralded my Goth phase. I had brief affairs with Heathcliff (too obsessive), Mr. Darcy (too pouty), and Jonathan Harker (too wussy). I went through a brief but decidedly creepy phase of swithering between Edgar Allen Poe and Humbert Humbert. I soon realised that a lust for thirteen year old girls is not necessarily a good thing in a prospective lover.
The short version is that I wrote this story because when I was a teenager I had a crush on Rasputin. Just process that for a moment before we continue.
I’ve always had unusual crushes. Some may say ‘odd’, but I think they all make perfect sense. Right now, for example, my secret boyfriend is Danny Trejo.
I think it goes without saying that if Danny Trejo was an actual, real, non-famous man who came up to me in a bar and was all “hey baby, wanna get dirty?” (because I imagine that is what he would say), then I would say “no thank-you” and move to another seat. Or perhaps throw my drink in his face and run away before he could wipe the vodka out of his eyes, depending on how scary he looked at the time.
The point is that while the face of Danny Trejo is not attractive, the general persona of Danny Trejo is very sexy indeed. I can’t really explain this, because if you’re not nodding in agreement as you read this then I can never convince you. And that brings me to Rasputin.
Similarly, Rasputin is not attractive. I mean, check this shit out:
He’s obviously a total creep. And yet, and yet! My teenage brain considered him to be the ideal boyfriend. Clearly, a beardy dead Russian mystic is the perfect partner for a queer bookish goth teenager in Glasgow. The rom-com script practically writes itself. Again, I can’t explain this, because if you’re not nodding then I’ve already lost you.
I should add that I had some slightly more normal crushes, like King Charles II and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (they’re normal guys for teenage girls to fancy, right?). Then again, I’m pretty sure I genuinely had a crush on Humbert Humbert and Edgar Allen Poe too. Maybe I just needed to get out more.
Obviously I’m not the only person who can see Rasputin’s appeal, because the illustration that goes along with my story in Eve’s Harvest makes him fit for the cover of a romance novel:
How about you? Who are your unusual crushes?