by Ani King

From Fall 2017

Melvin George wants to rock you like a hurricane. He wants to burn for you, and yes, he wants to let the good times roll. Melvin George is a professional 80’s Boyfriend, from his acid washed jeans to his Aquanet hair masterpiece, to his Very Cool Walk, which is pure and true. This isn’t just a job for Melvin George, no; this is his destiny, Club Paradise’s Best Boyfriend of the Month, twelve months running. His fate is you.

Watch him walk, the swish of denim and ratty knee bandana, but something else, you hear it don’t you? The rasp of kismet, and the yearning first notes of a ballad, a rocking hymn to you? That’s why Melvin George is your favorite: he doesn’t speak, instead he pours out fully formed songs, from wailing guitar to soulful, pleading lyrics. Babe, he begs, over the crescendo of instrumental agony, be mine! 

Melvin George is a fucking marvel. None of your friends truly appreciate that, not even when he drops to his knees and cries love is a battlefield, raspy and sincere.

It goes without saying, Melvin George is your favorite Boyfriend, he reminds you of smoking cigarettes in the movie theatre parking lot, throat and eyes stinging. You did that for Charlie, who had hair like Melvin George, fluffed up in the front, a bit too long and shaggy in the back. Charlie kissed you like he was eating you, literally devouring your mouth, sometimes biting your lip or your tongue too hard. 

Maybe Melvin George doesn’t think this is his raison d’etre, certainly you suspect that he can’t possibly be that into recreating the perfect first date with strangers over and over, somehow you doubt that, because you can’t imagine it, but he never lets on. Melvin George is exquisite in aviator shades. He’s eyeing you from behind those mirrored lenses. And you’re happy to pay his rates and let him lather you up; gloriously nervous while he pulls sighs from you like a magician’s endless knotted scarf. 

Sometimes when Melvin isn’t working, or someone else has booked his time, you go with Metalhead Boyfriend, who’s name you can never remember, even though he is past gorgeous, with a lion’s mane of blond hair. You just don’t like him as much as Melvin George; he alternates between furiously head banging or drumming on your arm, which you find a bit dizzying. Metalhead Boyfriend likes to hold your face by the chin and licks your lips while staring into your eyes– much too aggressively to be taken as gazing. Sometimes he growls and it takes a lot of effort not to laugh.

Once, after a date had ended, Metalhead Boyfriend confided in you that he and his boyfriend were saving up money to go on vacation, and he made so much more money as a Boyfriend than as a teacher. Can you believe that, he asked, and you nodded sympathetically, appropriately, even though talking about money made you uncomfortable. Didn’t he realize that ruined the experience?  

Melvin George never forces his life outside on you, never for moment does he suggest that this is anything more than the forces of the universe coming together, your time together is huge, Babe. And today Melvin is going to send you a message in a bottle, an SOS to your heart, and you are going to blush like crazy when he drops to his knees, throws his leather bomber jacket to the ground, and lets the guitar swell up inside of him like his love. He’s going to give you that crooked smile before he lets all pour out, Babe, because he loves you, only you and you love that you get this first date over and over again, the one you planned so carefully with Charlie. Charlie who promised to love you, and didn’t. 

Melvin George is going to take you to the movies nearly every Tuesday morning, where he’s going to hold your hand, gently, and when you say Baby, I love you, Melvin George is going to say, I love you too, Babe, but it’ll be that long ballad that’s been building up inside him, full of solos and slides, not a quickie in Charlie’s mom’s station wagon after a matinee viewing of Sixteen Candles, and a brush off the next day. Because Melvin George wants to bang your gong, he wants to love you all night long. Forever.