by David Pescowitz

All's fair when it comes to love and war. The ends justify the means, right? The following tales are true. Names have been changed to protect the guilty. Remember, there are lies, damn lies, and then there are relationships.

For two months, my indie-rocker college pal Mick wooed Jayne—a fashion design student with blonde hair, leopard fur, and lots of eyeliner framing her peepers. "Her eyes, David. Look at those acid blue eyes!" he used to whisper to me. Finally, at a party he presented her with a poem all about her vision things. I can't remember it now, but I'm sure the word "cerulean" was in there somewhere. Mick and Jayne moved in together. His pet name for her? "Blue-eyed angel." Only thing is, Jayne's eyes were secretly brown. The magic of colored contacts! Eight months later, she still hadn't revealed her true retinal shade. "My eyes are darker in the morning," she sometimes claimed. Finally, on a vacation, Mick discovered the secret saline solution. Tears were shed, or perhaps Jayne's contacts were just dirty, and he reassured her that he still loved her. Eventually they split due to "artistic differences." But guess what color eyes Mick's next girlfriend had?

One afternoon, I listened to a talk show tale of a young man who had lost his virginity to a pretty, and quite tall, woman named Erica. They married and romped in the sheets for six months before Erica revealed that she was born...(drumroll, please) Eric! The young buck didn't just take the news with stride, he seemed rather pleased with his unwitting deviance and patted Erica's doctor on the back.

At 17, I was the only virgin I knew. (Or so I thought.) But as they say, don't ask don't tell. So I didn't. One night I was home alone with my new, and more-experienced, girlfriend. The time was right. We began slowly, but the excitement of finally doing the dirty deed got the best of me. The moment (and I) came and went in a flash. "I haven't been with anyone in a long time," I whispered. My sweetie didn't seem to care. She just reached for another condom.

The summer I turned 18, my new pal Seth was digging this cute goth girl named Starla. She always dated the older guys though—the ones whose bands had moved from playing the basement of their crash-houses to the basements of seedy clubs. One night though, Seth and I were going to see Siouxsie play and somehow he convinced Starla to be his date. When Seth was in the bathroom applying his eyeliner, Starla and I got on the subject of Jane's Addiction. She was a big Jane's fan, even before Nothing's Shocking came out. Starla got really excited when she told me that she had recently acquired a Jane's bootleg that included the band covering a Bauhaus song.

Me: "I have that tape too! Isn't it awesome?"
Starla: "So rare. Perry at his finest. Did Seth dub it for you?"
Me: "No, Seth and I were at a cheesy record convention last week and we each chipped in $5 to buy the tape from some guy."
Starla: "Really? Seth told me he recorded the tape directly from the mixing board when he was on tour with Jane's last year!"
Me: "Oh that tape. I was thinking of a different one."
Starla left the Siouxsie show with a roadie. Seth and I grew apart. Quickly.

In college, I crushed on a cute girl who was a serious activist type. Julie sported anti-apartheid and "Visualize World Peace" buttons on her backpack. She had amnesty fliers in her hands at all times, ready to be thrust into anyone's open hands. I may not be Abbie Hoffman, I thought, but I once wrote an article on Amnesty International for the college paper! I could talk the talk! And so I did. She ranted about political injustices. I listened, nodded, and flipped through her books looking for explicit descriptions of torture devices. She invited me to an Amnesty meeting. "I have to study tonight, but I'd love to get involved. Why don't we meet for coffee tomorrow and talk about it?" Two weeks and dozens of pots of coffee later, nothing was progressing except for her politics. Even though I supported Julie's causes, I was forced to admit to myself that rather than protest outside the co-op on a cold afternoon, I'd rather be home watching Mystery Science Theater and eating pizza. "Let's just be friends?" I offered. She snorted and said "You don't mean that. I've invited you to every Amnesty event since we met and you never came to any. David, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." I think she joined the Peace Corps.

I don't lie to the current love of my life. I've tried, but Kelly can always tell because I invariably giggle when I'm fibbing. I'm a bad actor. But I'm a good boyfriend.

Mensa member David Pescovitz (pesco@well.com) is a very wealthy man with a washboard stomach and a PhD in astrophysics. He is also co-author of the book Reality Check (www.hardwired.com), based on his monthly column in Wired magazine.