The Drools

There’s a scene in “Say Anything” where John Cusack holds up a huge boom box beneath the window of the woman he loves and blasts “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. That’s how he tells her he wants her to take him back. And of course, she eventually does.

I remember watching that movie for the first time as a teenager. I stared into John Cusack’s hangdog eyes, and gazed lovingly at his long shabby coat and high tops. I thought how tired his arms must have been from holding that stereo up for so long, but how beautiful it was that he could show such romantic persistence. I thought to myself, “Gee, what I’d give for a guy like that. A slightly crazed devoted lover who would come to my window and play me a song. Who’d wake up the whole neighborhood just because he loved me.”

Lately, however, I’ve been accepting the fact that the reason I’ll never have John Cusack is because I am John Cusack.

I’m the stereo-blasting obsessed lover. I’m the romantic lunatic, who calls in the middle of the night to leave music on an answering machine. The dopey love-letter writer. The one who stops by the house when the new girl is over, just to say hello.

But the guys I harass never see me like John Cusack. To them, I’m more like Glenn Close.

When my college boyfriend, Will, decided he never wanted to speak to me again, I would call him several times a day to beg him to change his mind. He’d answer the phone, I’d say hi, and he’d hang up. I’d call back and it would ring and ring. I’d sit there letting it ring in my ear until I had to get up to pee or eat something.

Other times his roommates would answer. They’d tell me he wasn’t home. I’d know he was home because I had just passed his dorm room and could see his silhouette in the window, so I’d tell them, “Will’s asking you to lie for him, isn’t he? Put him on. Now.” Eventually they’d cave in and he’d come to the phone.

I’d say, “Why won’t you speak to me?”

He’d sigh and say he was tired of talking, there was nothing more to say, it was over, I had to stop calling. So I’d hang up and cry and drink and cry and call up his mother. His mother and I had always been friendly, and I thought she could give me some insight into why he was ripping me apart. So I’d wake her up at one in the morning and say, “Why doesn’t your son love me any more?”

She’d explain politely that she had to get up it 4 am for yoga and that maybe I should seek psychological help. I’d hang up, call Will back, and tell him I had just called his mother. He would curse and hang up.

When I look back on that time, I get really befuddled. I mean, Will was my Ione Skye. He was supposed to think my harassment was sweet, even cute.

Every time I reached for the phone, fully aware I was doing something sick and misguided, I’d get this Fake Will image in my head. He’d appear in a little bubble smiling down at me from his window, and mouth, “When you harass me it makes me love you even more.”

This Fake Will was so clear in my mind, it made me to call him with a pure sense of hope, over and over again. As his phone rang and my heart beat faster, the expectation of him someday waking up to the beauty of my obsession got more potent. By the time he answered, I’d actually be expecting him to tell me he was glad to hear my voice. Each time he hung up on me instead, I’d feel a tad surprised.

When I look back on those times, I realize the problem wasn’t my obsessive behavior, but rather that Will just didn’t dig stalker chicks. I know now that I need to find a guy who digs romantic obsessives. A guy who digs a Drools girl.

I didn’t know what a Drools girl was myself until quite recently, when I came across a copy of The Drools: Time-tested Secrets for Stalking Your Mr. Right nestled next to Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars on a shelf at my local Waldenbooks. I was intrigued, so I opened it. Some telling excerpts follow:

Drool #1: Approach strange men in cafes in bars. Walk right up to the guy and tell him you find him attractive. Very attractive. Explain that you have not been fucked in a very long time. Tell him you had a boyfriend once, but that he left you because you mailed him a lock of your pubic hair for Valentine’s Day.

When he blushes or looks the other way, grab his face hard and say, “I’m talking to you, dick.” If he says he’s taken, snort and say, “Ha. You haven’t been taken till you’ve been taken by me.” Wink and gesture toward the bathroom. When he tries to make a run for the street, get to the door first. Block his exit. If he tries to plow through you, throw yourself on his shoulder, holding fast to his waist. Beat his back and wail, “I’m no quitter!” until he brings you back to his house.

Drool #2: Stare at men all the time. When riding public transportation, smile suggestively at each man you find attractive. Lick your lips, look down at his crotch, and wink. Stroke yourself. Don’t be ashamed. Grab yourself. Yes, right there on the M104. Remember, openness is key. Your Mr. Right needs to get to know the real you . . . so why not show it to him right from the start? If he smiles at your suggestive grabbing, pipe up and say, “Come sit on my face, cowboy.”

Drool #3: Spill your guts to him as soon as possible. On the first date, try to bring up your hopes for the future right away. Explain to him that he can start living with you whenever he feels comfortable, that there’s no need to hesitate at all. Tell him you’re lonely and looking for love, that every man you’ve ever cared for has left you, and you just can’t seem to figure out why. Tell him you feel like you might be falling in love with him already, even though you hardly know him. Outline how important it is to you to have children, and suggest that the two of you get started immediately.

Drool #4: Pay for him at all times. Remember, you need a man. You’ve got to be willing to invest. Even if he offers to treat you or go dutch once in a while, insist on treating him. If treating him gets to the point where it’s breaking you, get a new job.

Drool #5: Call him at least four times a night, just to say hello. While you’re at work, leave messages every hour or so on his answering machine or voice mail. For example, “Hi. Can’t get you out of my mind. Being with you makes me feel like a pig in shit.”

Whenever you have a phone conversation with him, tell him he’s the answer to all your unanswered questions. The period at the end of the sentence of your life. Your redeemer, your savior, your very own personal Jesus. Say that, come to think of it, you’ve given up religion now that you’ve found him.

Drool #6: Try to see him at least three times a day. If he’s not sure he wants to see you that often, tell him he has no choice. If he tries to leave you or break up with you, keep tabs on his life. Leave him menacing answering machine messages. Barge in on him at work. Send him black balloons that say, “Hell knoweth no wrath.”

Find out what new girls he’s dating and hire somebody to off them. Lurk in the back rows at their funerals.

Don’t give in to getting over. Fight and fight until he’s yours. Wallow in your desperation. Love it. Touch it. Fondle it. Stalker chicks can’t lie to themselves. Whenever you consider reforming your ways, do a little right-fisted solute and shout, “I’m a stalker chick! I’ll do anything for dick!” Shout this several hundred times until you feel better.

If he leaves the state, follow him. Never let him get more than half a mile away. Change your identity. Wear a wig. Get a face lift. Move in right next door to his new house. Approach him in a bar the exact same way you did the first time you laid eyes on him, explaining how you have not been fucked in a very long time.

When he says, “You remind me of my old girlfriend,” throw your head back and laugh.

Heh heh heh.