last night, i died a hundred deaths and none of them were la petite morts and all of them were metaphorical suicides.
(this is an extremely lengthy and detailed story about a period of 48 hours that can be boiled down to one sentence. cliffs notes: i have raging aspergers. but if you are interested:)
sunday night, i met a guy at the bowery hotel (henceforth referred to as the bowery) and he took my number and the next night he vaguely booty called me in a strangely intriguing way, by referring to my ass as cake, asking where it was, and then saying he was “hungry.”
idk. i guess that is what a booty call is. i told him my ass was in bed and it was too late for cake and that was the end of that.
the next night (tuesday), he texted me that he was having a birthday drinks thing and gave the address and time.
(my friend nicole aptly pointed out that this was strange, because he lives in LA and how did he have enough friends to have a birthday thing in a city across the country…?)
45 minutes after the time he wrote in the text message, i showed up with two girlfriends to an empty bar. except, it wasn’t empty at all! there were three people in it: one was the bartender, one was the guy (let’s call him Dan, because he sucks and so does that name. his name is really Alex) and one was a girl the guy was with.
there we were, just two groups of three people, in a bar on houston, systematically ignoring each other.
it seemed rather uncivilized to let a tiny thing like finding out the person you thought was going to kiss your lips and touch your butt and compliment you for a few hours (before you divulged that they were wasting their time if they expected to get any personal pleasure out of the evening)had someone else to do that with get in the way of having a drink… in front of them, in an empty bar in a despicable neighborhood on the day of the aforementioned human’s birth.
so, we attempted to order a drink. but ayla didn’t have her ID and by some divine miracle, the bartender gave us a beautiful opportunity to take our leave, by declining to serve her.
we uttered zero words to anyone - save for the incessant hushed diatribe against Dan and the situation under our breath from the moment of entry to exit - left and went to the bowery.
about forty minutes later, Dan and a large group of people, ostensibly celebrating his birthday, walk in. *first instance of figurative suicide*
i had a very concentrated series of snorts come from my body and i nearly passed out from the exhaustion of trying to repress both my uncontrollable snorting and my excruciating desire to turn into lava.
then everything was mildly bearable and i ceased feeling like the universe was trying to destroy me and i drank my tequila on the rocks and ordered another one even though ayla said i shouldn’t, because she is my guardian angel and also is embarrassed when i do things like, for example, everything i am about to write about having done… but i didn’t listen to her because i have agency and an insatiable thirst for tequila and because she was drinking three drinks at once and my ex boyfriend paul once said that anyone who drinks that many drinks at once is not to be trusted. (swear to god. but he also said that he was six feet tall and i only recently learned of this wild deception, so who knows what is true and what isn’t!)
maybe twenty minutes after my initial mental death, my second small death occurred when ayla, who was facing the door, sent a lethal injection my way by whispering to me, “i think Eli [fake name, but v close and similar to real name; i want to help you crack these codes] just walked in” and i turned around just in time to see his slight frame float through the room and onto the patio.
(eli is a person i’ve never humiliated via this blog, but who i continually humiliated for a period of three months, by withholding sex - oral and otherwise - from him without reason, while he freely engaged me in the former.
he is also a person who, after three months of this, i presume, got tired of being played in a game called “is it tonight?” and decided to play me in a game called “bye felicia” and just stopped texting me.
to be fair, after our last encounter, i sent him a picture of me holding a sign that said “get well soon” with the message “this is for your attitude,” so we were all kind of over it at that point. also to be fair, i have zero reason to hold anything against this person and let the record show that i am simultaenously aware of this AND holding much against him!)
i immediately sent eli a text that said “did you just walk past me at the bowery” and then i sent another one that said “and by walk, i mean RUN crazily” (because i did not want to stroke his very large ego - that i had been working meticulously to decimate - by referring to his gait in an ethereal way, though it was extremely ethereal; he is a fey male.) and then peered out onto the patio, like a lunatic, to watch him read this text, chuckle to himself, and put his phone away, at which point i got up, pulled my denim cutoffs out of my ass and stomped all the way out to the patio to speak to him about what i had just witnessed.
"were you really going to ignore me?"
"i didn’t see you!!"
"i JUST saw you read your phone…"
"no, when i walked in-"
"yeah, but i just texted you and you read it and you knew i was here"
then he laughed and said i was crazy or something but i couldn’t hear because i was so drunk from tequila and riding the high of a psychotic episode and i turned around and walked back inside in the middle of whatever it was that he was telling me.
(I do also want to mention, in the spirit of full disclosure, that i was drenched in a unisex fragrance that this person used to wear/presumably still wears that i learned about from him. and we hugged. and it’s an extremely specific and rare fragrance. i died another death when i put all these pieces together.)
things returned to calm when i got back inside and i slowly died over the next hour to hour and a half before Dan came over and knelt down (he’s so tall, he needs to kneel. that’s how tall he is. it’s so cool. he’s so tall.) to talk to me about things that did not include:
we also didn’t talk about how cute he was, which was difficult but also appropriate.
what we DID talk about was that this was his 37th birthday, and that was so chill and i fell back in love with him because he is so tall and old (compared to me, i mean. i am 17) and i fetishize both of these things and they were so important in that moment that i forgave him his past indiscretions and had a funeral for everything that happened on this night pre-this moment
and a wedding.
(also letting the record show that i have no reason or right to hold anything against this person either for the events of this evening but that, simultaneously, i had a duffel bag full of things i was holding against him.)
Dan disappeared at some point after he flimsily suggested we join his table and i staunchly declined (by saying, “yeah sure”!).
in one final humiliation, in a night of events that were exclusively small humiliations, eli came over and convinced me that a person we both know, named Mara, pronounces her name “Meer-uh” as opposed to how every person in the world named Mara and any person in the world who pronounces the name Mara pronounces the name Mara, which is “Mah-ruh.”*
…because nothing tops a classic evening of mania and hysteria off better than having rudimentary knowledge challenged by a man you’ve effectively turned into a eunuch!
our antagonist, dan, was nowhere to be found at the end of the evening - and believe me, we (*i*) looked for him. discreetly… under the guise of not looking for him - and upon waking up in a fit of depression at 9am, i dyed my hair green on a whim. and now i am in bellevue.
but just for the wifi.
*in a colossal victory, that i have obtained an obscene amount of pleasure from, i confirmed that he was wrong about the pronunciation by asking a mutual friend… and yet, he remains convinced of his authority. RENDERING HIM A PSYCHO.
also, in a silent victory, dan texted me this today and i responded in a way that i meant to be sarcastic but that he will never understand.
Next Friday, I leave for the Amalfi Coast (and then Turkey, for the information of those interested. In killing me or in surprising me with a PJ back home… open to any and all versions of these possibilities.) and in a startling departure from my typical, frenetic last minute planning / throwing together of information gathered from various mouths and scraps of paper i’ve had people pencil shit down on*, I actually booked a flight and hotel weeks in advance!
*(like, how i drove cross country alone two years ago without planning a single thing and ended up: renting a car for $3000, nearly getting carjacked in memphis, getting called two racial slurs on stark ends of the derogatory epithet spectrum and running out of gas on a stretch of route 66 at 11pm somewhere in the deep southwest… after driving four miles on a stretch of route 66 that ceased being route 66 somewhere between mile zero and one and turned into the longest private driveway, at the end of which I was greeted, rather aggressively by an angry farmer and his very large, similarly expressioned, dog.)
Then, two days ago, I discovered a much nicer hotel and decided to call the original hotel to ask them, very politely, if I could please cancel my reservation, assuming this would of course be acceptable, since I’m not booked to stay there for another one and a half weeks.
Phone calls give me
the creeps crippling anxiety, as does the idea of communicating with someone who speaks a different language, from whom you need information and answers - especially considering the only Italian I know is limited to words needed to express the desperation of wanting to get out of my late night Tuesday/Thursday college Italian class in order to see my decade+ older boyfriend at the time. (lol… you guys. do u wanna tlk about that pic? lmk). “Pausa,” meaning “break” was my personal favorite. During these breaks, I’d alternatively not come back to class, feign illness or begin an hour long text conversation with Michael, the boyfriend, about how I was trying to get our professor to end class “presto”. “Finito”, obviously, another classic breakaway hit - so this was troublesome for me, but I did it.
I spoke to someone in grossly broken Italian - so broken, I’d dare call it smashed Italian, smashed to smithereens - and I requested I not be charged for the room because I was canceling with ample notice. The guy seemed pleasant (though, difficult to confirm pleasantries with the language barrier, I am now understanding) and asked that I email him the request and he would respond properly later, via “e-MA(y)IL”.
I did; then this email came to me this morning.
Among other things, like the very low cost of the room…
this email says, “non può disdire - sarebbe in penale,” which translates to “you cannot cancel. it would be a crime.”
A CRIME. I would be committing a crime by canceling this reservation 12 days in advance of my check-in, this guy says. A crime. Criminal activity.
I am casually scared because there’s no way I’m staying at this hotel now that I know it’s run by puritanical lunatics, but less so because I guess they can’t process american express cards and that’s what I gave them and when I don’t show up, I guess they’ll just be sitting there with a bunch of numbers that mean nothing to them. And that serves them right, because they don’t even allow credit cards to pay for the room, you have to pay in cash. And not since I was dating a drug dealer have I ever been traveling internationally with upwards of $700 on me. (part of this is a joke. hehe)
Whatever, I’m no criminal.
However, I did kill a person yesterday.
Not a person, but a fish with a person’s name. Anne Boleyn. She was a beta fish I bought when I was in the deepest throes of personal depression over a breakup with my most recent boyfriend… and the unrelenting winter temps. The pairing of these two things nearly brought my downfall!
I bought her and two other fish - Messalina and Rasputin. Messalina died at the hands of a friend who was meant to be watching the three of them. God knows what happened; upon my return, the body was nowhere to be found. Rasputin died shortly after, of reasons I associate with an inability to maintain homeostasis within the tank because of shock, which left him feeling emasculated and caused him great turmoil and eventually led him to commit suicide. I could be wrong, but that is my professional opinion.
Anne made it through the winter and through a harrowing journey from the west village to more south in the west village, wherein, I carried her to our new home for 6 blocks, splashing water all over myself and the streets of New York, nearly killing her at the hands of her micro SpongeBob-ian abode, when it collapsed on top of her, leaving her miraculously unscathed.
Last night, I was changing her fish water, as I’ve done every week for over half a year. I put her in an empty pico de gallo container while I cleaned her cage and when I went to pour her back into her clean tank, she fell into the sink. The drain was there of course, so there was only minimal terror.
I kept trying to grab her and put her into the tank, but she was flipping and flailing her little body and I couldn’t get a hold of her and when I did she would flip right back into the sink. So, I began pouring water over her to get her to float so i could grab her that way. No luck.
Finally, I got her in my hand and I was about to plop her back into the pdg container, but just then, she flipped out of my palm and got lodged in between the drain and the little space between the drain. I was grief stricken, shaking, no idea what to do, so i lifted the drain so i could put my hand in the hole and get her.
I didn’t know what else to do. So, I did that.
And then she fell into the pipes.
And now she is dead.
I killed Anne Boleyn and cried myself to sleep about it and I’m devastated and a criminal of many sorts.
Also, now i understand why people get so sad when dogs die. Compassione: Sono nuovo qui.
"So, you have your GED?" I asked, practically fawning over a man I’d met two hours earlier, before I, thankfully, stopped myself from revealing a newly realized alternative education fetish by cooing, "that’s so cool."
What I thought was “so cool” about not having completed high-school, I am currently unable to articulate - especially since I have an obsession with intelligence that vastly outweighs my obscene desire for “experiences,” irony, and moments of hilarity obtained only through engaging men whose favorite books are pop ups - but I was fervently aware of the “sexiness” of it at that moment.
In as ardently a way as I had been ready to open my
legs arms to this rube, he was ready to correct me and let me know that, no, he did not have his GED, but a real high-school diploma, and also a degree from a university.
"Oh. good for you," I answered, like I didn’t have a degree from Columbia and was somehow feeling defeated and maligned because of a projection of a falsified reality in which insecurities based on lack of education were surfacing.
The whole night was cloaked in similar, bizarre, fetish based exchanges. When my girlfriend and I saw this guy and his seven male friends at the place we were before we ended up at Aforementioned Guy’s house, (We ended up at aforementioned guy’s house… did I forget to aforemention that?) he stood up to go to the bathroom and Nicole and I remarked that he was cute but definitely short. “Maybe 5’11” but he definitely says he’s 6’,” I said, because my intellectual acuity and social acumen told me this.
Later, when he came over to court us, I asked him how tall he was, because height is extremely important to me, and he answered, “six four,” and then we realized we are dumb dumbs and should not be allowed to speak or make observations or have thoughts.
(I’m naming this guy) Brad convinced us to leave where we were to go somewhere else with him because I think he thought one or both of us were into him and, objectively, the odds were stacked in his favor, though in reality they couldn’t have been worse for him, because we’re practically two virgins.
We agreed because we thought he would be funny to hang around because he was enormous and because he didn’t make us feel like our lives were in danger. However, a brief exchange with a new stranger, during which old stranger / new friend Brad came and stood silently over us while we conversed made us momentarily doubt that we were entirely out of harm’s way. New stranger asking, “Is this your friend or is this something scary?” and Brad choosing not to immediately acknowledge him made us consider that we all might be right in danger’s arms.
Indeterminably scary Brad opening his mouth to elucidate that he was a “friend” put everyone at ease, despite his response being a bold faced lie and having come about 10 beats too late, but we gave him a pass… sound travelled slowly to his ears.
Brad left, ostensibly, to go to the party he wanted us to join him at, but, in retrospect, I surmise he probably went back to his lair to prep for the American Psycho style lust murder he would later try to commit.
We finally made it to the party Brad invited us to and within minutes had admonished the party’s host - who, unbeknownst to us, we were addressing - for not having tequila and between the two of us, knocked over a half full bottle of vodka into the sink and trashed a plate of hors d’oeuvres under the guise of drunkenness, but really just because we are terrors.
The party was boring and after Brad and Nicole smoked a joint, and I watched this happen and pretended to not feel like a loser because I don’t smoke, he convinced us (second instance of convincing this evening!) to go to his apartment which he claimed was nearby and promised had champagne.
When we got to his enormous apartment (which was not nearby, because on our walk over I ran through almost all my times tables (something I do as a test of my lucidity when I am unsure about a decision I’ve made) and he had enough time to tell us in detail about the line of dog clothing his mother designs (she doesn’t actually design dog clothing, but it is something as weird, I promise)) that housed him and a weird 40 something Spanish roommate, who graced us with his half naked, half boxered presence almost immediately to “grab a computer,” as if he could sense we would indubitably go through it or throw it out, Brad delivered on the promise of champagne and offered us each a glass.
"Yes yes, champagne, please" we said to this guy.
"Why are we in this weird guy’s apartment? Why does he have a roommate? How did we get here?" we said to each other in muffled whispers.
No time for answers, only champagne.
The next thing I know we are on his couch, platonically sandwiching this man at three in the morning with no intention of doing anything other than giving him our fake names and numbers and blocking him as soon as he makes contact… and guzzling a bottle of champagne.
At some point, the GED chatter took place and then he got up to get berries for our champagne (his idea) and when he came back he told us he wanted to go down on us both.
He literally said that. Well, he prophesied, “I’m going to go down on both of you” and after allowing us our reactions of shock, added, “to show you what it’s supposed to feel like.” And thus began yet another interaction with a man who wanted to bestow cunnilingus upon me with nothing in return.
Nicole and I laughed and laughed and looked at each other and I snorted a dozen times and our friend Brad sat there unfazed, rubbing our backs with a smirk on his face, waiting for us to take our jeans and skirt off.
"…Um, I… vaguely have my period" I said, hesitant for a number of reasons and not just because I didn’t want a stranger putting his mouth on my kitty in a living room in an apartment in tribeca in front of my best girlfriend, but because I wasn’t certain that feigning menstruation would be an effective way to refuse this service and because I wasn’t sure if refusing this service was the right move.
So, we decided on a raincheck. In this situation, in which a man proposed unreciprocated, no strings attached (though, i do love a string… or a knot) oral sex, a raincheck was decided upon, because this was a privilege we were allowing this guy and it was not to be rushed or careless.
"Another time. We’ll come back. Nicole’s out of town next week, so… June 9th?"
"We’ll come back June 9th," Nicole said, getting up, making sure it was clear this was not going to happen at this juncture… and maybe never.
Brad sincerely looked disappointed, to an extent that made us uncomfortable and feel in danger again, but in a remotely sexy way, so we grabbed our stuff, called the elevator and quickly talked logistics, while Brad did god knows what.
"Oh," we added, as we stepped into the elevator, "…you have to take us out to dinner beforehand."
"Tell me where," he said as the elevator door closed.
My life’s joy and incense: recollection of those hours
when I found and captured sensual pleasure as I wanted it.
My life’s joy and incense: that I refused
all indulgence in routine love affairs.
"Rules of Civility," Amor Towles
Gary (gary!) is a person I met shortly before I tricked my now ex boyfriend and then casual make out friend into being my full time boyfriend, part time legal guardian.
We met while hanging out on the street in LA, which I feel is the only place to meet someone of any quality. Hanging out on the street, in your car, with other people who are cool and also hanging out on the street. Amidst honking from people you’re intentionally holding up in favor of a few extra minutes of very ostentatious flirting.
Leaning and yelling out windows, leaning and yelling across laps, over loud music and intersections and whatever other obstacles can be yelled over. This is the modern romance I dream about.
I met him on the street. A few nights later, he took me out on a date. The first date I’d ever been on willingly and intentionally. In an admirable display of courtship and civility, he also made a point of letting me know he knew it was a date. He referred to our outing as “a date” multiple times throughout the evening.
We made out on two occasions in close proximity to each other and I let him touch my butt because I love getting my butt touched and I’d literally let anyone touch it if they showed any desire and paid me at least one unique compliment. Also, I was in love with him. (I do not kiss people I’m not in love with.)
When I got back to New York, my valiant efforts to bamboozle the guy I’d been in love with for a few months into being my boyfriend fully materialized.
When Gary found out, he sent a series of texts vaguely expressing regret that he’d not been tricked first, but I was so exhausted from withholding sexual contact for so long and from months of calculating my plan of attack that I was in no position to go right back to square one because this guy was too slow to swoop me when he had the chance.
Two years later, present day.
I ran into Gary at a bar. Among other slightly - but, ultimately, not intentionally - insulting things, he asked, “Should I take you to dinner tomorrow,” as if it was a chore to do such a thing and he was exhausted even at the thought. This annoyed me because, of course you should take me to dinner, I am excellent company and almost always too nervous publicly to eat and I also don’t particularly care for dinner, so… fun and cheap!
So, I said “no” or rolled my eyes to express my annoyance, but then added that he could formally invite me over text the next day when he would figure out how to come correct when inviting a princess out on a date.
Later that night, he made other suggestions about things we could do: a couples massage, for instance! like we were on an episode of The Bachelor. (To clarify, for candor, I was very interested in this, despite my shade throwing.)
He did a version of formally inviting me out later the next day (later than really should have been acceptable, but I made an exception because it was my last night in LA and I hadn’t had my butt touched in a while) and asked me when we should have dinner. I’d been falling into a deep unshakable sleep around 9:30pm every night without fail since I’d arrived six days earlier, but despite this, I suggested 9pm, because I’m a daredevil!
For, surely, an equally arbitrary reason, as well as a powerful attempt for the upper hand, he asked if we could do 10pm.
I said yes because it would have been weird not to have and because I could not figure out how to regain the upper hand fast enough.
At 10pm, it came to me: BE LATE! Duh. Show up whenever you want. Make him wait. That is cool!
I’m a terrible person, with no consideration for anyone else’s time, so this wasn’t even a calculated move initially, it was fact. I’d been so busy packing and had lost track of time… because I hadn’t had the foresight or care to remember to be aware of it.
I texted him that I’d be late and he responded not to rush, that he was just chilling… which reminded me about his need to move our date to 10pm and confirmed that there had been zero need for this.
I got to his house and we spent an hour or so talking about things that people talk about when they are people who have made out before years ago but know nothing about each other: like, for instance, what one would do if a knife or gun yielding murderer came barreling down the hill he lived on and tried to murder us. We talked about that. He seemed not to be scared at the prospect of this, and also detailed a plan in which he ends up “grabbing” me in order to protect me and then I forget what else because “grabbing” was important for me.
He has a dog; It was there. I hate dogs and told him this, which is not a nice thing to tell someone who has a dog and loves it. If we were operating on a point based ranking system, so far, I had no points and he had a few for having a nice house, not being scared about potentially being murdered, knowing what verb to use to express how he would stop me from being murdered and for not killing me. But then he lost all of them because he had a dog.
We are both at zero on the point based ranking system.
When we left his house to go to dinner, he had to flip my car in his driveway and then drive down it to a normal sized street because I am a woman and do not know how to drive or flip and he lives up a very scary and steep street that turns into a driveway.
I did a nice impression of driving on our way to dinner, and with the exception of a really demented thing that happened involving a plastic bag that I thought was a dead cat (real.) and two flips in order to prove that it was actually a plastic bag (it was actually a plastic bag. smh), I was the picture of mental health!
He asked me if I did any drugs and when I said no, he asked if i’d ever and when i said no again, he asked what the craziest thing i’d ever done was and when i didn’t respond, (because the craziest thing i’ve ever done does not involve substance abuse, it involves psychotic, jealousy fueled, mental quantum mechanics that would make stephen hawking’s head spin) he asked if i’d ever had sex without a condom on, because i think he thought that was funny, and he probably thought I hadn’t. also, i guess he wanted to have sex with me.
I said, “That’s so funny you should ask that! I ran into [a friend of ours] and she told me not to have sex without a condom tonight! And I said… ‘oh my god. i would never. i’m not having sex tonight… i don’t have sex until i’ve been going out with someone for three months! It’s a rule.’” (because I live my life like the fantasy expressed in this poem.)
And he said, “What?”
And I asked what part he needed repeated and then figured it out, but he managed to get out, “You waited three months to have sex with everyone you’ve had sex with?” and I said, “‘Everyone’ seems like kind of a lot of people. I’ve had sex with my three boyfriends and someone who wasn’t and… yes.”
And he thought that was insane but I wasn’t sure if “insane” in that “super hot, very turned on” kind of way or “very crazy, not chill, that seems extremely frustrating” kind of way. But we moved on and continued driving to the restaurant and when we got there, there was valet. Thank god.
I was on the verge of throwing up from anxiety as soon as we stepped inside but I managed to control myself and my nausea and ate a piece of salmon and smiled and then we spoke about this three month rule ad nauseam. He asked me how much longer I thought I could continue doing this. In other words, would it still be a rule when I was 40. I answered quickly and matter-of-factly that I am getting engaged this year and if by some horrible twist of fate I am single at 40, I will kill myself!
I think he understood. If he didn’t, he was polite enough to pretend like he did, so I didn’t have to explain either of those points. I was in love with him.
Then he told me that if a girl told him she waited three weeks to have sex he’d be kind of annoyed, so I was kind of shocked we were still having dinner, and also kind of impressed with myself, like I was winning something.
I drove him back to his house and he flipped my car around so I could leave and we went inside.
There were a few excruciating minutes during which we both sat kind of silently, texting, very close to each other because, i guess, when presented with such a classically juvenile trope, one begins to assimilate. So, we sat there, like teenagers, for a few minutes before, finally, he kissed me. And then we kissed for a while and he tried to spread my legs so he could get in between them for comfort, but I had eaten almost everything in sight as soon as i touched down in LA and my enormous body had begun to cause a humongous rip in the ass and crotch of my jeans, so I couldn’t open my legs any wider without completely exposing myself via this hole.
I suppose I very easily could have explained this to him, verbally, but I had a better idea and grabbed his hand and placed one of his fingers on the thread of fabric that remained and said, “i can’t open my legs any further” and he touched his finger to the skin underneath the hole, which happened, kind of, to be my vagina. so, that was racy. and sexually aggressive, which i like.
Then he mentioned something about “blue balls,” which honestly I’m not entirely familiar with, but I got the gist and laughed a lot and lightly yelled, “not my problem!” because it isn’t, at all. Though, I did let him touch my boobs under my bra because he kept talking about how I’ve known him for two years and I thought, “ugh. ok. have something, then.”
Then he told me I had to leave his house. He said, “Leave my house. You have to get out of my house” and I laughed until I realized he was serious because he was frustrated and the blue balls thing and then I laughed harder and then I began to truly understand how humiliating it is to be an attractive, able bodied man in your thirties and to be denied sex by some stupid ho who cannot stop snorting from laughing so hard at how much of a tease she is. So I began to make my exit.
As I was walking over to put on my shoes, I fell over them and onto the couch, bent at the waist and caught a glimpse of myself in the window I was now staring at. I looked like I was (sorry, this is crass) getting fucked from behind. So, naturally, I told Gary to come over and asked if he’d like a mental image for later and he did and that was fun and PG sexy for a minute.
AND THEN HE ASKED IF HE COULD COME ON MY BACK.
And then I said, absolutely fucking not.
Then i told him about my blog and he read a story about that other fucking guy who touched my boobs under my bra and he wanted his own. And he said it was ok to tell the internet that he wanted to come on my back.
Philip Roth, The Dying Animal
Here is part two of a two part saga about a human being I allowed to take me on a date two months ago (and then again a month ago). This is the part about the date a month ago.
I had a dentist appointment the following morning after my date with Lenny which, in his mind, is why I didn’t stay over at his apartment. In my mind (the logical and realistic one), that was never going to happen because I’m not a hooch and, secondarily, because I simply was not willing to venture to his east village apartment to begin the “Is it tonight?” game that I play for the first four months I’m going out with a guy I’ve decided will be my future boyfriend, because I wasn’t sure I’d decided he was going to be my boyfriend.
He also hadn’t decided if he was going to be my boyfriend - or rather, had definitively decided he was NOT going to be my boyfriend - because, aside for an adieu text message telling me he was going to LA for the next few days and some feeble quippy, idle, check in texts, I didn’t hear from him for a month.
When I did hear from him, I ignored him, mainly because it was too painful and downright sad to come up with something to match the inanity of his correspondence. (How does one respond to being referred to consecutively as “boo bear” and “my cuban friend”?) But when faced, pointedly, with direct questioning about if if I was indeed ignoring him, I felt compelled to lighten up. “Give him another chance,” I thought. “Maybe he’s been trying to text you from his microwave for the past 25 days.” “Maybe he couldn’t figure out how to take his gloves off and has been unable to operate his phone.” GIVE THE GUY A BREAK, I thought. He’s only human.
YOU HAVE NO ONE
Another date was scheduled.
Around 7:30, Lenny sends me a text detailing a plan he has come up with, containing - considering the brevity of the communication - an excruciating amount of improperly used and outdated slang. His plan also involves sending a driver to pick me up, so I look past this.
At 8:30, he sends me a text saying the driver is outside. It takes me just a minute to get downstairs and into the car, but by the time I slam the door, I have a new text from This Fucking Guy and it is a picture of the driver with accompanying words, directing me NOT to sleep with him.
I delete this text immediately so I never have to remember that I received this communication and still carried through with this evening.
I manage to make it to Lenny’s apartment without engaging in any sexual activity with the driver. His apartment building is an old printing house - something I heard way too much about during our first mind numbing tryst - but from the lobby it looks like Bellevue, though maybe I’m projecting…
It is unfortunate that once I get out of the carpeted elevator, through the carpeted hallway and into his apartment, it is beautiful, because
nothing makes me drop my panties faster than a sick crib (jk) I was really looking forward to ripping it apart.
His door is open, so I knock twice and walk in. He immediately begins to make a very corny joke about how I just walked in, which I could see coming from a mile away, so I close my ears to receiving information for the duration of that.
His television is on and playing something but I do not care so I don’t acknowledge it. He definitely thinks it is important because, twice, he makes a point to describe whatever it is as “nerdy.”
(He paused it when we left. He was watching a documentary on Mark Cuban - a person he found it necessary to give me a short biography of - and it had been playing for three minutes. Approximately how long it would have taken me to get out of the car, be buzzed up by his doorman and enter his apartment.)
“So, this is your place! It smells—“ I stop myself because I realize why it smells so nice (and, more importantly, why it smells so nice to ME). He is burning one hundred Diptyque candles. Five. He is burning FIVE, sixty five dollar Diptyque candles. I find this extremely odd, despite the fact that in my 150 sq ft apartment I am routinely burning between two and four at a time. I find it odd. It is odd to me to find these candles burning at This Fucking Guy’s apartment. He tells me he likes the candles and seems to want to elaborate, but I start giving myself a tour of his place.
He does a strange and very unnecessary rearrange of two pillows on his bed, which I cannot help but think is something he meticulously planned as a way to draw my attention to the fact that he has a bed. Though, who knows! It could have been to remind himself that he had a bed or because he thought they needed a change of scenery or to remind himself to go to sleep. It could have been anything, he is a real dumb dumb. But it certainly was not because his two private line IKEA pillows needed to be rotated. They aren’t tires. (Maybe he thought they were tires…)
Finally he suggests we “get out of here,” and I agree and we leave to go to a Japanese place I have never been to but already know will be a place he thinks will impress me because it is a hole in the wall type place but like the sushi is really great and celebrities sometimes pop in and all of that nonsense that goes along with being asked on a date to a sushi restaurant with a reasonably attractive, much older man who is dumb but trying to make up for it by being “cool.” (And that is exactly what this was for him).
We are walking to the restaurant and he is talking about how cold it is and I am praying he will stop and he doesn’t and all I am thinking is ugh I cannot wait for my California roll (don’t take me to a sushi place) and to go to sleep, alone, in my own bed, not his awful be-jerseyed waterbed. (jk, i wish.)
So, we just walk these four blocks talking about the weather. I am saying I haven’t found it as cold as it has been made out to be. He is saying he has. And so on.
And so forth.
We get to the restaurant and sit at the sushi bar and his crazy ass asks if we can sit at two seats we had not been escorted to. I don’t know why, he is not a difficult person and the seats are identical to what we’ve been offered, except, “if you sit there, you’ll be cold. The door. Too much air,” says the hostess, which, to any normal human with a hint of common sense and at least one functioning eye would have been an obvious realization, especially considering we had just WALKED IN from said door, and this clown had spent our journey discussing how cold he was.
Cue yet another comment about the weather.
As I take off four layers of clothing (which would eventually reveal a crop top, of course), I say, “I have found that if you dress properly, you’re not cold.” Meanwhile, over in candy land, he takes off his coat, and I swear, a linen beanie, and is now sitting with a button down shirt on.
I ask him how LA was, which he answers before I can even finish asking and says, “I didn’t go!” To this I respond, “oh. You sent me a text from the Sunset Tower…” which confuses (and maybe frightens) him, visibly.
“I did?!” he says, and now I just feel like I am about to catch him in some weird, demented lie that is going to make him uncomfortable and for nothing. I do not care. He could have told me he just got back from North Korea and I wouldn’t have blinked. I was just trying to fill the void before he brought up some neanderthal topic like sports or anything else in his brain.
So, I back off and pretend like I’ve mistaken a text that read, “I’m at the Sunset Tower, everyone says hi and thinks your [sic] hot” accompanied by a picture of room service in the Sunset Tower Hotel, to mean that he was in LA. At the Sunset Tower Hotel. Silly me!
After some visual thinking, he says I’m right, he was in LA. He does not elaborate or answer my question about how it was.
We talk about other things, like how he just wrote a check for $2,000 for his friend - who he calls “a kid,” though he is either 35 or 36 - so this kid could pay his rent because, for some blurry reasons, he couldn’t do it himself. He told the story like this:
“My friend calls me up, saying he needs to borrow some money, like $300, because he’s late on the rent and if he doesn’t pay, the next day a Marshall is going to come and evict him. And I am like “ok””
And *I* am like ?????????? “uh? no one is physically escorted out of their apartment for missing a check, bro. Also no one’s rent is $300. And if it is, it’s not a marshall that will be coming, it’s Tony from upstairs…” and he does not really see the humor in this, but I do and I am laughing at my jokes and he continues, over my giggles:
“Well, then I called the landlord and am like “This kid is [something very dumb, can’t remember. Definitely not a ringing endorsement of his character, though. Maybe, like, “This kid is great at checkers,” but again, I cannot remember.]” and the landlord is like “He’s not a kid” [which I found an interesting part of the anecdote to share, but nonetheless he continues] and so I end up writing a check for $2000 to his landlord.”
How $300 turned into $2000 or how he thought his retelling of the events in this manner made any logical sense is unfathomable. But also, a hundred Diptyque candles light up in my little brain like the world’s chicest lightbulb and I tell him my landlord is selling my apartment and I need to move but I really don’t want to move and I wish someone would buy it and let me live in it… He doesn’t bite.
I ask him about his family and his holiday. He got his mom an iPad and his dad money for Christmas. His chronological accuracy about events in his life continues to be shoddy at best, but he tells me that at a point in the recent past, after he and his half siblings had been paying for an apartment for his dad, his dad moved out and bought a double wide (trailer) and now lives in a trailer park in Georgia. What a colorful life!! Again… This person. Could have married him.
He continues the story and his dad sounds like a legendary psycho (potential socio-) path. He says when he went home for “Christmas or Thanksgiving” (This is a quote. Sidenote: at the time of this rendezvous, Christmas was a mere fourteen days ago.) he asked his dad where his truck was because when he arrived, instead of a truck parked outside of his dad’s trailer in the trailer park where he lives, there was a “two door Mercedes.”
I receive no explanation for this incredible finding. According to him, he had not received one either.
“He just has nothing to do,” This Fucking Guy says, like his days are really filled meaningfully. “I want to set him up with some kind of business in Atlanta that he can sort of be in charge of. Even if it’s two hours of work a day… It’ll take him six… So, I think what I’m going to do is do a coffee truck for him down there.”
First things first: Do not forget that his father is eighty years of age. Next, his subtle shade throwing at his geriatric father was not lost on me and I did admonish him for acting like one should expect a man near death to be able to perform tasks in the same amount of time as literally any human more than five years younger than him. But, I immediately realized the extra allotment of time was probably because he is This Fucking Guy Senior and I momentarily felt very depressed.
Oscar Wilde (but also, hopefully, a rapper. asap)
I joined a private gym in the summer because I needed to work out but don’t like to be bothered and my assumption had been that people who can afford to go to a one on one exercise facility that is only open for 12 hours - beginning at 5am - don’t tend to interact with each other because they have better places to meet mates, like at polo matches or sotheby’s auctions. You know? Not in a sweatbox disguised as a lululemon runway show.
This proved not to be the case, as I found out one day while I was doing intervals (I have no idea if this is the correct terminology for running at differing speeds on a treadmill, but I wouldn’t know where or how to begin to google this. So, there is the explanation - in case “intervals” doesn’t immediately render an image of me on the verge of tears, panting, near death and dripping in sweat… or if you have aphasia!) and a man came over to me to have a chat.
The conversation was boring and involved a lot of weird, out of touch, old guy compliments about how I didn’t have to work out (Duh. I am REALLY skinny) and how my body looks great (Also, duh; I’ve been coming to the gym everyday, twice a day, for 75 days), so in an effort to stop him from speaking I said something I thought would insult him, but, because it was true, only ended up impressing and flattering him.
"What do you, own a restaurant in the meatpacking or something?" I said, while doing a cool 7.5mph.
"Wow. How’d you know that?" He asked, with a huge grin on his face that, on a younger man, would have been straight out of the "How to: Show Her You’re Interested" chapter of a dating handbook, but on him, a man pushing 50, cavalierly trying to pick up a girl half his age in a gym in SoHo, (and, ostensibly, SUCCEEDING!) was just earnest.
"Just a guess!"
Then he asked me if I liked his beard and I answered “I like a man with a beard” (I do, kind of. Not that guy, but kind of) and he walked away, pleased with himself. A few days later, he appeared again while I was having a training session and interrupted my squats (very important) to talk to me about his facial hair. He walked over stroking his chin and smirking, and through the mirror it just seemed like he was staring at my ass, but when I turned around he spoke. “I shaved.”
If you know me, you know I don’t recognize things like this - ask me if my dad wears glasses, what color my best friend’s eyes are, if there’s a car coming at me full speed… I honestly cannot tell you - so the fact that a stranger I had had a brief, forced interaction with days earlier was expecting me to put all the pieces of BeardGate2013 together in a matter of seconds and to acknowledge its significance was unconscionable.
He tried his very darnedest to get me to understand why he was telling me this and when I realized it was because he’d asked me if I liked his beard, I remembered that I’d said “yes” and was doubly annoyed that he’d not respected my preference, so I said “Beard was better!” flippantly and went back to doing the squats I was paying someone $250 to oversee.
He came over again later and speaking over my recumbent body, he asked, “Do you like food?” Assuming there was a follow up question and anticipating wanting to hear it, I answered, “yes,” instead of “not really,” which is the answer to that question. There was a follow up; It was, “do you like wine?” Assuming now that the follow up would be an invitation to have food and drink with him, and NOT wanting to hear that, I paused and hesitatingly answered “…yea”
It was! It was an invitation to a dinner party he was having in two nights at his apartment in battery park city. I accepted - because that is what I do for reasons unknown - and two days later I made up an excuse and backed out apologetically two hours before I was supposed to be there. As I also do… with comparable frequency.
I received a very weird email from him the next day, detailing the events of the night, which, apparently, included “a lot of laughter and singing.” Following this bizarre summary, he added, “as always.” Singing. As always. What is this, 1944 Warsaw? Are you celebrating a ceasefire? What are you singing for? Is there a baby grand piano involved with a slew of middle aged people leaning around it drinking sherry? Who the fuck is singing at a party?
Could not have been more grateful to myself for my natural inclination to pull out of an invitation to any event that in any way I suspect will not be focused around me nor could I honestly call to mind a more miserable way to have spent an evening.
Shortly after this correspondence, I began to realize he was scheduling his feeble workouts around my training sessions and because I avoid confrontation with greater fervor than I avoid dinner parties with middle aged strangers, I stopped going to the gym. It’s been four months.
And now i’m single and my body is morphing back into its natural state, which is somewhere between Kim pre pregnancy, Khloe post breakup and “heap of trash.” See you all around!
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness
Tender is the Night