Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Return of the One-Armed Love Bandit!

(Click to enlarge)

As regular readers know, I wrote an article for Instinct's March issue about an intimate encounter I'd had with a guy with an amputated arm. Despite my seemingly filterless life on the World Wide Web, I actually struggled enormously with the One-Armed Love Bandit piece. Not because of the intimate details it revealed about me, but because I was concerned about the feelings of my "partner." I actually tried to contact him with what limited information I could recall to give him a "heads up," but to no avail. In the end it was a fleeting conversation I had with Kevin Sessums ("Mississippi Sissy") at a Starbucks we frequent in Chelsea that convinced me to sign the contract to let it be published. "Writers write about their lives," Kevin reminded me. "That's what we do." The story was indeed about my life -- and if anything was unflattering it was of me, not "Mark." Still, for weeks after it came out I half-expected to be clubbed on the head with a prosthetic arm one night on a dark street after work. Weeks went by and nothing, then suddenly -- on a morning when I had this weird feeling that I would hear from him -- Mark did indeed e-mail me -- some six years after our one-night stand. A friend of his came across the story and showed it to him. Much to my relief, he didn't seem upset about it at all. I let him know that I had anguished about it and that I was sorry if it had caused him any discomfort. He thanked me for the apology and told me that it didn't really bother him: "After my life experiences, I have learned to try not to sweat the little stuff. I'm glad you got something out of our meeting. Good luck with your writing."

A week or two later he stunned me further with this disturbing video clip, with the following note attached:

hey, i thought you might find this humorous. you're lucky i didn't have my handcuffs on me... lol. cheers!

As I said in the Instinct piece, I knew there was something about this guy I really liked ...

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