I met Lady Gaga at the farmer's market two months ago. We reached for the same onion, our hands touched, we had coffee, dinner, drinks, and, almost, each other. I left her house and its million-color interior with a large grin.
My girlfriend was instantly suspicious. Who did you meet, she asked. I said Lady Gaga, and she laughed because I always joked about meeting Lady Gaga and touching her the way I prepared meatloaf. The joke spawned from the time I was wrist-deep kneading dough and I told my girlfriend: Tonight, this is you! She responded with something dirty and the conversation lead invariably to meat. Meatloaf, now, is a euphemism, and it is how I wished to utilize Lady Gaga.
I met her again the following night under the guise of "Hey, boo, yeah, I'm going to hang out with Lady Gaga tonight."
"Oh, yeah? Give her your all for me, and by all I mean your entire arm."
"Duh," I said and hung up, but so it is with meatloaf, which, surprisingly, is what Lady Gaga and I talked about for a good portion of the night. Meatloaf, actually, with a capital M, the one who would do anything for love, but not that. What's that exactly, I'm not sure. Maybe it had to do with his euphemistic namesake, which I would do happily for love.
"His name is Robert Paulson," she said upon hearing the song in question. We were at a bar where the song's intention was irony. The tables at the booths were sheeted in bottled caps, the restrooms' stalls were protected by sheets, and the patrons enjoyed the song with paradoxical irony. Some sang and danced with seizing contortions, enjoying themselves in a genuinely deceptive manner. We left when Born This Way played and ended up at a bar filled with Mexicans who gave us a similar reception.
I was home by midnight and my girlfriend asked how it was. I told her Lady Gaga and I went to a couple bars, that we had a great time, and that I may be falling in like with her, that she should be careful if she didn't want me to leave her for Lady Gaga.
"Seriously, what did you do," she asked.
"Seriously, I went out with Lady Gaga."
"We talked about Meatloaf."
I went to sleep thinking of Lady Gaga.
I hung out with Lady Gaga for two weeks after that. She dressed like a boy to avoid press and our dates consisted of taco trucks, pho, and cheap sushi. Each time she took me to her house, I told her I was tired and needed to go home. The last time she did it, I told her I had a girlfriend and that I loved her. She stopped texting.
I acted as though it never happened. My girlfriend found our texts one drunken night I spent reminiscing and she woke me the next day with an I love you, breakfast, and she asked if I'd like to meatloaf her.
She made breakfast and asked for meatloaf daily. I accommodated her most of the time and halfway into her diminishing weeks-long pleasure stint I said His name is Robert Paulson. She tensed immediately, nearly trapping me inside her. I grimmaced, but I was mostly relieved because my forearm was cramping even with the lack of circulation numbing my hand. She shimmied back, releasing me with a suctiony pop.
"Are you okay? This is how the internet taught me to touch women!" I said hoping to elicit laughter, but she showered, dressed, and left. Without making breakfast.
She called to apologize later that day and explained that citing a large man with large breasts during meatloaf wasn't the best idea. Afterward, her eyes stopped squinting when she smiled, her nails chipped with disrepair and nervous teeth, and, when she held my hand, it felt like I was pulling a tired five year old. I never asked what was wrong.
I woke one morning to us separate on the bed. She grasped my hand when I turned to spoon her and we watched TV together like two dogs watching a documentary on pets. E! was recapping the Grammys and I was suddenly scared. She clenched my hand over her stomach almost imperceptively tighter. It was a squeeze her body tried to belay and it reminded me of meatloaf. I wanted to coat her with security, press her into a sheet and fold her into my pocket like a misguided love letter to a virgin.