Iguana Guy

 

While reading this I know you're going to think, "Why in the world did she go out with this guy more than once?" In my own defense, I'll say it was because I found his offbeat personality to be intriguing. "Intriguing personality" -- that's good. An infatuation with iguanas? Not so much

Iguana Guy and I had a fun first date. He wasn't gorgeous, but he was attractive enough, and I thought he was interesting. We made a plan to meet again on a Friday night a few days later. We ended up spending the entire weekend together.

The first sign of strange behavior occurred during that weekend. Back at my apartment, we were doing some mild fooling around. He wanted to go further than I did and I stopped him, explaining that I didn't know him well enough. He said that was understandable.

A few minutes later he seemed very distressed. I sat up and turned on a light. I asked why he was upset? He sobbed, "I... I... touched your flower." I said that was okay. "No, it's not okay. You don't understand me... nobody does... I have to leave...."

"Right now? But it's 2:30 in the morning!"

I tried to reason with him but it was to no avail -- he insisted he had to leave my apartment. On his way out he said, "I have to feel the wind blow through my hair." (He had long hair.)

"Alright, if you must. You can come back when you feel better."

My doorbell rang an hour or so later. When I opened the door and let him in, he acted as if nothing had happened. We went to sleep, and when we woke up his behavior wasn't discussed, although I certainly hadn't forgotten.

As we spent more time together other bizarre things began to surface, but I was enjoying his company so I didn't focus on them too much. For example, one evening before going out to dinner, he had to stop by a friend's house to pick up his chef's knives that had been stored there temporarily. Afterward, we were sitting at the bar of a restaurant waiting for our table when he asked, "Do you want to see my knives?"

Before I had a chance to answer, he opened his pouch of knives and began to remove this extremely large one, right out in the open. "Um, I don't think this is a good time!" I exclaimed, quickly making him put them away.

And then there was his infatuation with iguanas. When we first met he had four small ones, each about six inches long, housed in an aquarium tank in his bedroom. I'm not the reptile type -- more the soft, fuzzy cat type -- so I didn't get terribly enthused when introduced to his "pets."

One day I arrived at his apartment and he was so excited he could barely contain himself. He told me he had recently seen a pair of iguanas in a nearby pet store that he just had to have. Telling me about these fantabulous iguanas got him even more excited, so much that suddenly he decided he couldn't live without them a moment longer. He grabbed his four small iguanas (they were to be a partial trade -- whatever happened to love and commitment?), and rushed out to the store. I waited in his apartment.

Soon he returned, proudly carrying his two new iguanas. My jaw dropped when I saw them: both were OVER FOUR FEET LONG. I could handle the idea of the little ones, but the four-foot ones were too much for me. I wasn't into them at all.

He, on the other hand, was completely enthralled. He thought it was funny to name the female iguana "Puffy" (the name of my beloved 18-year old cat). I was not amused by this choice of name, and told him he couldn't call it "Puffy" around me. He then called it "Fluffy" which didn't remedy the situation. The male iguana was called "Juan" (the name the pet store owner gave it). Fluffy and Juan. Great.

That night I stayed over and went to sleep first. I woke up around three. He hadn't come to bed yet -- where could he be? Half asleep, I stumbled out of his bedroom and into the living room. The lights were still on, revealing a sight I could hardly believe: he was fast asleep on the couch with the two huge iguanas draped across his shoulders like a living shawl.

I had never seen anything like it. And I didn't want to ever see anything like it again.

I walked over to the couch and gently tried to rouse him. "Don't you want to come to bed?"

"No, that's okay," he mumbled, "I'm fine here."

Hello! Let's assess this situation: you're dating a new girl -- she's pretty cute if I may say so, and she's sleeping over your apartment for God sakes -- yet you'd rather sleep on the couch with the iguanas? Forget about my being jealous of other girls. Imagine being second fiddle to a couple of reptiles!

Things were on the downslide at this point, but they hadn't hit bottom yet. Within a few short days, however, the following two events took place, thereby pushing me over the edge:

#1: He told me he turned his bedroom into a home for the new iguanas. He was letting them roam all around the room and sleep in his bed -- with him -- at night. Gross. He even went so far as to refer to the iguanas as "cuddly."

#2: When we met he told me he had been taking Prozac for the past two years, and was currently down to a very low, maintenance-level dose. But after a recent visit to his doctor back home he decided to return to large doses, simply because the doctor had prescribed a hefty new supply. I asked, "Don't you want to try to be happy without drugs?"

"No," he replied, "I think Prozac is great. I don't care if I'm on it forever. I think they should put it in the water supply. When I was back home I gave some to my dog -- she loved it." Very nice.

I waited until the next time we saw each other to break it off. I tried to be as kind as possible because I knew he wasn't going to take it well. I was right. Sobbing, tissues, the works. Sorry, but I had to do it. At least I knew he wouldn't be alone -- he still had his two "cuddly" friends to keep him warm at night.