I have been in love before.
Its true, and I still am. I am in love with a woman who may as well not exist. Her name even fades now, Alexa...I think.
Interlaken, Switzerland. I was 22-ish and I had just spent an entire semester studying abroad. I stayed after a few weeks to travel around. By the end I felt jealous of myself, too privileged and impressed to exist anymore. I didn't think it was possible to have that much fun. Switzerland would be the beginning of the end of my trip.
Interlaken is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It sits in a valley surrounded by white-tipped mountains, it is blindingly green in the spring and sits at a perfect temperature minute by minute day by day. From what I could tell, 90 percent of the women in Switzerland are 9's, so it was very easy to keep my eyes open.
You would be walking with a big dumb grin and sunglasses on your face, fuzzy at 1 pm from some sweet beer with a name you couldn't begin to pronounce, and a blonde Lamorghini would hum past you doing 90, as an impossibly gorgeous blonde would cruise by on a glinting Schwinn, politely excusing herself in German. Just at that split second, a tandem hang glider would fly over your head carrying two nude lesbian knockouts, one blonde one brunette, pleasuring each other in mid air. You would look up, watch the sun flare off the glider, take a breath of impossibly fresh air, and tuck your boner into your belt. It was an area of complete and thorough beauty, everywhere you look, even the sidewalk was sexy.
Anyway, it was my travel buddy Jerod and I. Jerod was a hell of a guy from LaCrosse Wisconsin, but we both knew we wouldn't be hanging out once this trip was over. That is an unspoken rule about study abroad friends. They weren't necessarily permanent.
We spent our first night in a bar populated solely by people our age. It felt like a college bar, but the vibe was friendly, literally everyone in the bar loved each other. It was intoxicating watching them high five each other, kiss the girls and talk excitedly as if they hadn't seen each other in years. Jerod and I drank quietly and felt out of place.
Eventually we got to talking to one of the locals. It turned out that this bar was something like the VFW for a local gang. We never figured out what the gang was called, but it was pointed out that nearly everyone in the bar had on thumb rings, comprised of three narrow silver rings coiled on top of one another.
Apparently, they had a problem with the Yugoslavians, a big problem. It was a pretty typical "they took our jobs" type of dispute, from what I could understand. But apparently the Yugoslavians were major assholes. Our new friend showed us the stab wound in his buddy's back, an offense that a Yugoslav caught a bullet for. From a "9", as they called it.
They were all kids our age, and looked like completely typical college kids, not gangsters and killers. So, we just drank beer with them, played the jukebox, and got our asses whipped in foosball.
The next day I fell in love.
We had been out all day, and went out at night, just Jerod and I, with no real destination. We ended up in some weird ass Southwestern themed lounge that was too well lit. I felt lame standing there, looking like just some dude from Wisconsin, so I got into, "Hey I'm never going to see these people again" mode.
There was a table of three girls, one was a 6, the other was unbelievably attractive in a black outfit, blonde with destructive blue eyes, and the third was a goblin.
I left Jerod, walked up and said hello, and probably said something stupid. They were receptive, and spoke better English than me with amazing accents. We naturally started talking about where I was from...although I think they were being nice, they could probably smell the 'American' on me from a mile away. The blonde, her name was Alexa, piped in, it went something like this;
Blonde "You are from America?"
Blonde "Do you know, Florida?"
Me "Yes, I have been there a few times"
Blonde "Do you know this band, De...De-side?"
Me "Decide? I don't understand"
Blonde "Um, Decide...um, Cann-e-ball corpse?"
Me "CANNIBAL CORPSE??!!! DEICIDE??!!"
Blonde "YES! You like them?"
At that point I was in love. The Goblin, the 6, Jerod, the whole of Switzerland, the rest of the world may as well have disappeared. It was just me and her.
It came to pass that she was very into brutal death metal, Manowar, Evil Dead, and disgustingly graphic Lucio Fulci horror movies.
It was on, I was in love and I wasn't going to leave this girl for the rest of my life. We celebrated with a tequila shot (which I never do) and decided that we all need to hang out. They invited us to a club, but insisted that we first head back to Alexa's house so she could change.
I got into her room, which was a library of amazing metal and brutal things on tape. She put on a Lordi record, (a band that just now is gaining fame in the American metal community) and as she changed into a skirt and knee high boots (which was amazing to see) she demanded that I watch highlights from the Lucio Fulci film, 'City of the Living Dead' or, 'Paura', namely the part where a girl throws up her own organs, and then the painstakingly slow depiction of a man getting a drill to the head.
This may seem shocking, it was, but remember this girl was a beautiful girl, and as the film of the same name states, you should do anything for a beautiful girl. She could have told me that she hosted toddler fights in an abandoned concentration camp and I still would have loved her.
I was thoroughly aroused and bewildered, and she seemed to feel the same way. I should have suggested that we stay there all night and drink wine and make love listening to Manowar records, but I didn't. Saying "should have" sucks. Eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary.
So we headed out to a club, the only way to get there was to take bikes, so I jumped on the handlebars of the 6's bike, Jerod got on with the Goblin, and my girl rode solo. It was hilarious, riding through the streets of Interlaken, in love on some girl's handlebars.
We got stopped by a Swiss cop, (which is basically a glorified hall monitor) who checked our IDs and told us not to ride the bikes anymore.
We got to the club, and I found it to be populated by metalheads in Army of Darkness T-Shirts. They would play typical club rap and shit, but they would also throw in tracks like Manowar's 'Warriors of the World Unite'.
Yes, this is club music in Switzerland.
I was having an amazing time, but this is where it went south...
I lost sight of Alexa while listening to two douchebags from California about how sweet it is to work for Hurley. She came up, told me she was heading out, gave me the Rock Lock and walked away, tentatively. She didn't seem like she wanted to leave, and I did NOT grasp at all what she was saying to me. She wanted me to come with her, it was so early, and so apparent, but I was not thinking. I didn't use my time wisely, and she walked out of that place, and out of my life forever.
One beer later, i realized that the woman of my dreams just walked out of my life. Night over.
The next morning as we left for Zurich, I would not shut up about how sad/pissed off I was at myself. It was really sad, I was so fucking angry and full of regret. I bitched Jerod's ear off the whole two hour train ride back to Zurich, poor kid.
Right when we got into Zurich, I pulled a move that I have only seen in romantic comedies. I got off the train from Interlaken, bought a ticket for Jerod and I, and got right back on...
I told him I forgot to buy my Dad a hat from Interlaken. HA, what a bunch of bullshit. My plan was to try and remember where her apartment was, find her, profess my love (I hoped it would rain for dramatics sake) and start my life with her.
We wandered blindly around the city, not knowing where the fuck we were, only to give up and mope around the train station. Man, I was depressed, you should read my journal from that day, its ridiculous, reads like the lyrics to a fucking Cure song.
It is really funny looking back, that the only time I've experienced something resembling love was for one night, in one city, and it was built upon a stack of dead bodies and death metal CDs. It might be just that it never happened. If it worked out the way I had planned it in my head, we would have ended up in her apartment, tangling ourselves up, listening to Gwar naked until the birds started chirping. I would have walked away satisfied, with an email address and a good story to tell. But it didn't go that way, and thats why I am in "love", because nothing really happened. Love is the pursuit of the carrot on the stick, you will probably never get there, but damned if you are going to stop bucking for it.
I left Zurich to attempt to fall in love again in Spain, and then Iceland, and then home. Ha, wow, I still feel a little pang of regret when I think about that girl.
I never did get my Dad that hat though. Sorry Jerod.