Picking Up Chicks, With a Six-Year-Old

Sometimes you say something to an adult off the cuff, and when it doesn’t happen, no one really is disappointed.  However, when you casually tell your friend’s six year old son that at some point you’ll take him out to “pick up chicks” at a bar, you better back up those words with actions.

I was at home in New Jersey for the holidays and I stayed a few nights at my friend Robert and Sienna’s house in Haddonfield.  They have two sons, one of whom is a 2 year old who just started to talk, the other is a six year old named Kai who doesn’t know when to stop talking.   I had been spending some time hanging around the house with Robert and Kai watching TV, and in addition to the joking around and the tom foolery we would get into, I told Kai that at some point we would go out to the bar one night for happy hour and to see if there were any single ladies we could meet.

I was half serious with that statement, however a few days before I left, Robert approached me with some informative news.

“Kai would be devastated if he doesn’t get a chance to go out to the bar and pick up chicks with you before you leave.”

Throughout the week, Kai proceeded to do uncharacteristically nice things like offering me a Q-tip when he found out my ear was hurting. Also, he didn’t want his parents to come out with us to the bar.  I totally understood what I had to do next.  I had to go out and try to pick up chicks, with a six year old.

I never had a big brother or a father growing up, so in the back of my mind I knew I had to figure out a way to make this an educational experience as well as a social experiment.  I wish someone had told me when I was younger that sometimes when you meet girls, it doesn’t work out the way you thought, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be friends. Therein lied the goal that I set out to accomplish.

I invited my friend Chrissy out with me that afternoon.  I told her ahead of time that my friend’s six year old son would be joining us for an hour at the Pour House in Collingswood, and that I was trying to teach him a life lesson at the same time that I was hoping to not disappoint him. I figured, if he showed up and saw me already having a drink with a girl, it would make it seem as if picking up chicks at a bar was definitely possible. We all know that having confidence is a key factor when picking up girls, although I’d be lying if I said I felt that way every time I attempted to do such a thing.

Chrissy and I were sitting on the same side of a bar table when Robert and Kai entered the restaurant.  As Kai came around the corner and saw us, his eyes lit up as if he just opened a Kylo Ren lightsaber on Christmas day.  He sat down at our table and his dad gave him $20 for dinner, and told him he’d be back in hour.  All of a sudden, there I was with my friend, a vodka and diet coke, and a six year old who started asking all these questions.

“Are you guys on a date?  Can I have a ginger ale?  Did you guys ever make out?”  He asked.

A long time ago, Chrissy and I did make out, but we never formally dated so I tried to explain to him that even though we were never an item, we are still good friends who have kept up with each other the last 15 years, and it’s totally ok to do that.  I tried to change the subject a little bit and I ask Kai what kind of girl he likes, as I pointed out a cute 4 year old in the booth across from us.  Kai took one look at her, and then responded to me in a totally deadpan tone.

“She’s too young for me.”  Kai said.

I was shocked.  Even at my age, 2 years younger is NOT too young for me, but then again perhaps there are some limitations that arise when one of you is six, and the other is only four and isn’t tall enough to ride the ferris wheel.  It was at this point that I started to ask Kai if he would prefer an older woman and suggested he talk to the waitress when she comes back around.

“What do you think of the waitress?”  I asked

“Well, I like her body, but I don’t really like her head.” he said.

Now, I’m not this kid’s father, but I knew there was some sort of way for me to explain to him that there is a nicer way of saying that.  I told him that perhaps a less offensive way to exclaim that he was not attracted to her would be to just say, “She’s not my type.”   After all, I had gotten myself into this situation, and for some reason I felt like it was my responsibility to teach him NOT to be a douchebag when he grows up.  Hopefully, this was a step in the right direction.

We talked for a little bit more about the type of girls he likes, and then I decided to put him on the spot when the waitress came back.  

“Kai, don’t you have anything to say to her?”  I asked

“I’m trying to teach him how to pick up chicks.” I said.

The waitress smiled, and looked over at Kai, and I thought he would have appreciated the set-up, but then something unexpected happened.  Kai started to fill up with tears and almost cry at the table during happy hour.

After the waitress left, I asked him what was the matter, and in between him hiding in his hood, and trying to spit ginger ale at me, he told me that what I said embarrassed him and that he was upset.  I never thought of it from his six year old perspective, because if I were to say the same thing to any of my adult guy friends out at the bar, it would just be a classic case of busting balls.  However, six year olds don’t laugh off embarrassment.  Instead, they get mad and agitated and try to throw a plastic cup of soda at you.

I immediately tried to get him to stop being upset by doing the one thing I know people want to hear when they’re feelings are hurt.

“I’m sorry buddy.  I didn’t mean to embarrass you, and I apologize.”

That’s pretty much all it took.  He eventually calmed down a little bit and ate the other half of his cheeseburger and within fifteen minutes his Mom showed up to get him.  When she came to pick him up, he didn’t immediately want to leave, but I told him I would see him back at his place later on that day and then I told him that this little story might become an article I write so I asked if he would pose with me for a few pictures.

Later that night I was sitting and talking with Robert and I told him what had happened at the bar.  He was astonished that when Kai got upset and embarrassed at the waitress comment, he didn’t throw a tantrum and start crying and freaking out.  Apparently, Kai has a reputation for being a little bit cranky and throwing a fit when things don’t work out the way he wants them too.  Hmmmm, sounds a lot like me when I was a kid.

I’ll always remember the time when I said something off the cuff to a six year old, unaware of the fact that he remembered what I said, and then expected it to happen. I couldn’t disappoint him, so I had to follow through with taking him to the bar, even though in reality I knew we weren’t really going to meet any girls.  That’s not the point.  

The point is, although I tried to teach him a lesson in life, it turns out he taught me one too.  In a childlike and innocent way, he held me accountable for the words I said out loud to him.  I think I needed to be reminded of that.

Being a person who follows through with what they say is a quality I possess and I look for in other people.  It’s a shame that some people in this world lack that standard. I feel we as adults could all benefit from saying what we mean, and meaning what we say.  Perhaps we should call each other out on our bullshit, make each other follow through with our words, and try to act a bit more like a six year old.

 

 

Maybe Love Will Come Around If….

I haven’t had a girlfriend since 2009. That equates to six years of being single and six years of Holidays and Valentines that have been spent either drunk, alone, or with other friends who also share the same relationship status as me. I have to say, as much as I’ve appreciated saving a little extra money by not having to buy someone a gift around these times, those 8 to 9 days a year are some of the loneliest and depressing nights I have to endure and one of the major reasons why I don’t look forward to the holiday season which in a few short weeks will be upon us in full swing.

In the past few months I have come to the realization that I may be flawed, but I know I’m a good person and I know I would make a good boyfriend. The problem is finding that girl who can compliment me and at the same time who doesn’t take away too much focus from my work and my writing. I like the idea of love. Ok, I love the idea of love, but I also know just saying that out loud doesn’t create an opportunity for love to come around. So what does?

I’m picky. I prefer a certain type of girl and I prefer a certain look to that certain type. It’s never been easy for me to find someone to love. It’s not like anything else in life that I desire and I could just go out and get. I don’t even know where to start.

I tried the online dating sites and what I have ascertained from them is that computer dating takes the fun and soul out of the idea of dating. There may be a connection, but that connection fades when I’m not online.  I already have the odds stacked against me because I live in Los Angeles and there are about 1000 better looking guys than me out here.

Ok maybe that’s too harsh…maybe there are less than 1000 better looking guys, but the point is my personality isn’t going to shine through via a two dimensional screen with pictures of myself and some witty words that girls rarely seem to even care to read. I’ll admit it. I look at the pictures and then I decide if I want to read her profile, if she even took the time to make one. I know that finding love on the internet has been done before, and done before by me, but I got to be honest, there is something unromantic about swiping left or hitting the “fave” button and paying $45.00 for three months to get rejected and flaked on by some girl in some town who thinks there is someone better coming around the corner.

Maybe love will come around if I had the perfect online profile? Probably not.

Timing is the one factor that I can’t control. Perhaps the girl I really enjoy talking to and would like to start dating, just started dating someone SHE really enjoys talking to and has now put on her horse blinders and can see me only as a guy to put in her bullpen. If you don’t know what I mean by that reference, then I suggest you watch a baseball game.  

If you still don’t get it, you probably haven’t been single in a long time, so I suggest you go back to your husband or boyfriend or girlfriend and figure out where you two are going to go on date night this week.

Regardless, “I wish I had met you a few weeks earlier” has been said to me a couple times. “I’m not looking for anything serious right now” has also been said to me. So in essence, I could have found the girl I wanted back in June, the last time I got laid, and it could have been the perfect time for me, but NOT the perfect time for her.

So, what do I do then? Oh right, I stop seeing her completely and I go on a four month span of depression, not dating, and feeling like nothing is worth my time, and then I end up writing about her in a blog titled “The Flight Attendant.”

I started thinking maybe love will come around, but she never gave me the chance. Maybe love will come around if the timing is right? Well that just sucks. The timing is never right for love, is it?

The other day I was hanging out with my best friend who recently started dating someone and is now in a full blown relationship. I mentioned to her that I would like to have a girlfriend and the first seven words out of her mouth were “I didn’t know you wanted a girlfriend.” Sure I do. I’ve always wanted someone to love, but I want the right girlfriend, or the right someone to love. Do I need to declare that fact and make it known to the world by putting out a status update on Facebook stating that I am now accepting applications for the role of “Girlfriend.”

GIRLFRIEND: (27-35 Caucasian/Latin/Ethnically Ambiguous) 5’3’’-5’7’’ dark hair, light eyes, big features, not too much drama, but preferably a hot mess that doesn’t really have it all together, but strives to want to get it all together at some point and between the two of us maybe we can figure out a way to compliment each other’s messiness.

I’ll admit it, I’m a hot mess right now. I probably will be one for the remainder of my life, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to try and hide the fact that I don’t have it all together in a town full of women and men who are in the same position as me. Enough of my life is in sync now that I feel like I have something to give to that special someone who hopefully feels the same way about me. I don’t mind if it happens really fast, but I don’t want it to take over my life and deter me from my goals. I want her to be cool, and quirky, but not Kristen Wiig quirky, more like sexy quirky as in Angelina Jolie in the movie “Hackers.”

I want her to be crazy enough to get on a flight to Vegas with me on a Monday, but down to Earth enough to know that we have to be back by Wednesday cause I have work. I want her to be so many things, but part of the thrill of being in a new relationship (as I remember it) is finding out what makes the other person tick, so I still want an element of surprise to go along with these other desires.

I want her to be able to deal with what goes on inside my brain, and be attracted to me on the inside as well as on the outside. How do I manifest all these things? How do I draw love to me in a way that once it’s here it won’t make me step back and go “Whoa, I’m not ready for this”  because that’s the opposite of what I am putting out into the world, and I’m NOT going to be one those people who gets what they want, then changes their mind about what they want and how it came about.

Truth is, I do want love in my life and I do want there to be someone special for me to have adventures with but how do I know if it’s the right time and the right place for the right girl to come into my life? When I say that I’m a true believer in love because it’s the most powerful emotion on the planet, I mean that. It scares me, but deep down inside I know….

Maybe Love will come around if… I want it enough.

I think I can live with that logic

Rainchecker

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This one was about my ex-girlfriend who had broken up with me in a crowded restaurant in November of 2004.  I contacted her a few months later to try and be friends.  She was kind of a bitch on the phone and made me feel like an idiot.  I wrote this blog right after we hung up.

(Originally posted February 5th, 2005)

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Imagine that you had taken 2 months to finally forgive someone, and that within that time you had little or no contact with them at all.  Now imagine that you start to feel like you want to reconnect with them and you feel this in your soul and in your heart of hearts. You feel this way because you know you are happy with your station in life and you know because you’ve never felt better than right now. You know because life has been good to you lately and has brought you special people and wonderful things that you couldn’t have imagined were possible to show up at the right time.

Imagine that it had taken you so long to finally feel free enough to open up the door and let someone familiar into your soul again. Now imagine that you call them and tell them all of this and they think it’s too soon to reconnect. Imagine that they think you feel like you haven’t healed and that you’re still pining for them in your little apartment in Hollywood. Imagine that they condescend you and treat you “as if” you’re a lost soul with so much tremendous heartache still left in your chest that they think it’s best to take a raincheck on your genuine offer to reconnect as friends.

Imagine you truly know without a doubt that everything they think isn’t true because you know yourself so well….and in reality you’re very much over them and insulted that they would try and protect you from yourself.

I don’t take rain checks on feelings. I don’t push away and pull people towards me only to end up pushing them away again through a parade of e-mails where I say “I love you, and I probably always will.” Probably? What kind of person writes something like that after saying I think it’s too soon for you to see me. It sounds like nonsense. It sounds like bullshit, and it sounds like there won’t be another opportunity for this to ever see the light of day.

This was my closure. This is the way i chose to finally end it.

I know I’ll see her again someday…..probably

The Roommate

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I met Racquel in the summer of 2000. She was hired as a server at the Olive Garden in Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle Washington when she was 17, then in August she turned 18. Three weeks earlier, I had been hired as a server at the same Olive Garden after I turned down a job at Claim Jumper in Redmond. I knew Claim Jumper was a better restaurant, but the OG was closer to the place I was living, and I kind of felt like I needed to be there at that time in my life because A. I didn’t have a car, and B. I knew nothing about a la carte restaurants.  Was it fate that I was meant to meet her? Yeah, I think it was. I remember the first time I saw her like it was yesterday.

There was a group of new servers in training that week, and Racquel was one of them. She had shoulder length black hair, striking green eyes, and she walked with a gait that commanded your immediate interest and  attention. I opened the two-way door to the kitchen and I watched her pick up a tray of food and carry it out past me into the dining room. I don’t know if anyone else took notice of her as quickly as I did, but hey, 15 years have gone by since the night I watched her wait tables in high heels and couldn’t wrap my head around that fact.  It seemed so odd to torture yourself while you’re constantly walking at work, but maybe she didn’t care. Maybe they made her more comfortable. It was her style and I liked that about her immediately.  She had grace and easily glided through the dining room while wearing  stilettos and serving soup, salad and breadsticks. Thought it was kind of cool.

I didn’t immediately talk to Racquel, but over the next few months we became  friends and I would see her from time to time during my shifts. It was right around  Christmas of 2000 when our paths would finally cross in a way that I think was a bit serendipitous. I was sleeping on a couch in the living room of a friend’s house in Edmonds, but obviously, I was looking for a way out. One night at work, Racquel must have overheard me complaining about my living situation and came up to me with an idea.

“You need a place to live?” She asked.

“Yeah, actually I do. You know of one?” I replied.

“I have a two bedroom and my roommate just moved out. She was crazy.” Racquel said with a laugh.

Now, I knew what the next thing she was going to say was, so I gave it a full four seconds of thought  before I decided that I’d love to move in with her. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think in that moment that a part of me wants to fall in love with her too.  I kept that latter part a secret for a little bit.   Eventually, both of those things DID happen, but let’s take it easy for now and just move in with her.

“You can come live with me if you want.” She said.

“Yeah?” I asked.

Yeah.” She said. “We’d be roommates.”

And that’s how the relationship, or “un” relationship began. First off, nothing about my friendship with Racquel was traditional in any way, shape or form. I had no idea what to expect as I had never roomed with a very attractive 18 year old girl before. I mean aside from the obvious, the two of us living together would make for a funny sitcom idea.  I knew that this was the right move because the way it worked out was effortless. When things are meant to be in my life, they happen very easily for me.  I slipped into this new fangled living situation with Racquel like putting on one of my favorite well fitting soft cotton t-shirts I’ve had for five years. It was there when I needed it, and I felt comfortable around her from the start. A few days after New Years I moved into N301 at Tamaron Ranch Apartments, Lynnwood Washington, 98087

Things were relatively normal when I moved in.  We got along fine and yeah, at times I walked in on her in the shower, and she would exercise in the living room and I swore there were some situations that might have created a little sexual tension, but Racquel was dating  someone else we worked with, and I was pining after a blonde haired server named Jill that week. Yet at the same time, I really couldn’t ignore that I was kind of catching feelings for her. She was really sweet, and we got along great plus, she was funny and understood me and did I mention that she is fucking gorgeous?

I remember the night I knew I had fallen in love with her. Our co-worker’s were having a party.  Not a real party, just one of those “let’s go back to our place to drink and smoke pot after work like they do in the movie “Waiting” type of parties.  Racquel noticed this bracelet I had been wearing on my wrist for the past year. She looked at it, asked what it meant to me, and I told her. I told her about my ex from Jersey, and I told her I felt like it needed to be on my wrist to remind me of the past and what I had gone through the last year which included my heart being broken by my ex-girlfriend AND my ex-guy friend, and uprooting myself to move to a city which I had never been to before in my entire life.  Speaking of that Jersey girl, I had to change people’s names to put them in the blog, but the truth is, in reality, I did find it kind of strange that the one girl I meet and fall in love with in Seattle would have had almost the exact same name as my ex girlfriend if you changed the first letter. Plus, she was also born a Leo like my ex, and like less than a week apart.  To answer you question, apparently I have a type,  but NO, I never called Racquel by ANY OTHER name than Racquel.

Regardless, before I even finished my story, and without giving it a second thought, Racquel reached down, and in the most carefee way, took off my bracelet for the first time in over a year.

“I’m breaking you of your past, or what’s left of it.”  She said in a very omnipotent tone.

Wow, I hadn’t taken that bracelet off in a long time. I don’t remember if my ex gave it to me, or if I bought it when I was with her, but  I kind I felt like a divorced man who didn’t want to admit his marriage is over and still wears his wedding ring, only instead of a ring I had a leather thing around my wrist.  Come to think of it, it might not even had been leather. Whatever it was made of, I chose Racquel to be the reason why what happened in the past didn’t really matter anymore. She just sat on my lap, said some encouraging words, and unclasped the bracelet like it was no big deal. In a way it wasn’t, but in another way, it was symbolic. I had a new life now and I needed to start living in the present and not think about who or what had happened in the past.

Racquel and I had a lot of fun the first few weeks we lived together. We bonded over coffee and Denny’s, I made fun of her for still having her baby blanket in the house, and she poked fun at my Jersey accent by butchering what most people think a New Jersey accent sounds like.  To Racquel, she thought it sounded like Barbara Walters saying the phrase “purple turkeys”  but pronouncing it like “poyple toik-ees, or a real thick Jewish/New York accent. Of course I had to inform her  that no one from Jersey talks like that. She made me sushi for the first time ever and she introduced me to Thai food. I tried to sell her on my new founded positive attitude and how someone getting me a journal for my 24th birthday last year really helped me to get in touch with my feelings and I haven’t stopped writing since.  We smoked pot together which was cool because my ex hated that I did it. We went to Target on multiple occasions to buy things for the apartment that we both knew we didn’t need, she read my journal even though I had never let anyone read it before her, and we talked about our past, our present, and how bright we wanted our future to be. We were like best friends. It was a perfect union of a male and a female coming together to live and work in a non-realtionship friendship where we shared some common interests and the  right amount of sexual tension.  It all made perfect sense,  until the night we drank a bottle of wine together.

I wasn’t a big drinker at all, meaning I had the lowest tolerance for alcohol that a 25 year old could have. So one night after work, Racquel brought home a bottle of Riunite Lambrusco. You remember that stuff, right? It was like carbonated grape juice, but with a high alcohol content. Of course, in my case ANY alcohol content was a high alcohol content. Regardless, that night we drank, we made out, and then we ended up in my bed where something happened that complicated everything else.

I remember waking up in the morning and putting my arms around her, falling back asleep, then waking up an hour later, alone in my bed. I didn’t know where she went. Did she leave town? Did she freak out? I mean she just had sex with her 25 year old roommate who she also works with almost every day so there was probably a lot of thoughts running around in her head right? I remembered wanting her to be there when I woke up because it had been so long since I slept in the same bed as a girl.

Now I definitely was falling for her, and I kept thinking to myself, how am I going to play this cool? How am I going to live, work and be with someone I think I’m in love with without scaring her away or sacrificing the obvious fact that I am her roommate How do I come on not too strong at this point?  I mean, we might have been a little tipsy that night, but do people really sleep with their roommates if they aren’t the least bit interested in them? Like, how the fuck do I “take it slow” from this point?

I knew what I wanted after that night. I wanted her. I wanted to be in a relationship with Racquel.  It just made sense to me. I didn’t know how it was going to happen and I didn’t know if it was meant to happen, but I wanted it to happen. Thing is though, her actions  the next few days were making me believe it was NOT something she wanted, at least, not right now.

Over the next few days I tried to get back to doing what I did best at that time in my life, which was working 5 to 10:30pm, then dropping ecstasy and going to raves at NAF Studios with my friends in downtown Seattle to dance and drink water until 4 in the morning. I would see Racquel almost every day, at least every day that she was at the apartment, but she was kind of a part time roommate at this point. I know on some level, that kind of upset me. Thing is, I didn’t have any reason to be upset. It’s not like we were boyfriend and girlfriend, and it wasn’t like we were even dating. We were roommates who slept together one time, and even though I know she cared about me, she was 18 years old, emancipated herself from her parents a few years back, had gotten out of a three year relationship where she was engaged less than a year ago, and I think it might have freaked her out that she was now living with a guy who she had sex with after less than one month of living together. I don’t think she wanted to be in a committed relationship.

Thing is, I had gotten out of a one that ended quite traumatically less than a year ago, as did she, and I guess  the whole time I just followed my heart (which was probably located on my sleeve) and I thought it would  be nice to be with somebody again and not feel shitty  and lonely.  But if you know me, you know I can count the relationships I’ve had since 2000 on one finger, maybe two.  We talked about all of this one night and she told me, we can’t live together, work together and be together. She made a good point, and I agreed with her.  So I quit the Olive Garden, the next week. Thing is though, before my two weeks were up, I got fired for using a $5.00 coupon, and pocketing the cash.

Now here I was 25 years old without a job and living in an apartment with a girl who I was in love with, but who I wasn’t in a relationship with, who may have loved me back, but not in the way that I wanted her to. It was a tough situation to be in.  I went back and forth in my own mind thinking that I was a failure because this is so close to the same thing that happened less than two years ago when I dated “Melissa.” I wanted things to be different this time. I wanted to make a comeback and not let life drag me down like it did before. I had to do something bigger than wait tables at an American Italian restaurant.

I remembered couple I waited on at the OG a few days before I got fired. They had been sitting at a table for about five minutes and no one had come up to them to take their order. So in a totally uncharacteristic move, I offered to pick them up.  It’s not like I didn’t like them or anything, it’s just when a guest waits 10 minutes without even a  drink order being taken, they are obviously not happy to begin with, and may turn into a problem table, but I said fuck it, I’m charm them and make them forget about what happened, and probably buy them a dessert for being patient.

Turns out, they owned a bar Mountlake Terrace about a mile down the road called Sharkey’s  Pub. I had just put my two weeks in, so I asked if they were looking for a bartender, and their response was, we might be. As it also turns out, I wanted to be a bartender more than a server but aside from a two week class in Jersey back in 1999 and two nights working at the Olde City Tavern in Philly before I got let go, I had no experience. Of course, when I went to Sharkey’s Pub a couple weeks after I waited on Wayne and Dawn, I didn’t tell them that. I bullshitted them…told them I have been tending bar for three years in Philly. They hired me on the spot and I went from living in financial purgatory  to living in a small, yet upscale room in the  lap of luxury.

That job was a God send. It was everything I ever wanted from a bar job, if that could be a thing to live for. I started working a couple nights a week, and I was balancing it out with a part time job at the Red Lobster, which ironically was located directly across the street from the Olive Garden where I was now an ex-employee..  It only took about a month before I was working only at Sharkey’s and no days at the Red Lobster. I didn’t need to. I was making a shit ton of money, and I was able  pay for things like I had never done before, and buy a car which I hadn’t had since I moved there. I would make my rent in two nights. The bar had these things called pull-tab games and I would get tipped every time the regulars won cash prizes.  There was something about me that was lucky because the bar never gave away so much money before I started there. One night I made over $400, which at the time was the single most amount of money I had ever made in one day.

Racquel used to come in and sit at the end of the bar and watch me work as she sipped a Sex on the Beach I made for her. Yeah, I know she wasn’t 21, but who the fuck was going to say anything about it? I ran that place and they loved me there.  All the regulars knew me by name and one of them nicknamed me “Hollywood” because one night I came in wearing a hundred dollar pair of shiny grey pants and a button down shirt that looked like I just got out of the club. . Life was looking really good for awhile, and then something tragic happened, followed by something euphoric.

Back at home, things between Racquel and I were just ok. She was the first person I had slept with since my ex that I truly cared for.  Don’t get wrong, I had plenty of opportunities in Seattle, and I was vocal about the idea that I wanted things to work between us, but she kept her emotional distance.  I couldn’t blame her. She had a lot of things going on in her life at that time and I didn’t want to make it more dramatic or difficult for her. Even now, 14 years later as I re-read some of my journal entries from April of 2001, they’re very cryptic, but I could tell that something just wasn’t vibing between us. Maybe it was the drama of her life, maybe it was the drama at home? I didn’t know what was holding this up because I thought that if she could just let go of the pain that was dragging her down maybe something better was in store for her. I thought maybe I was put in her life to help her remember the good times, the times when nothing else mattered but the moment we were living in.  I did for her, what I thought was the best thing to move us past this awkward phase and help her forget about her problems for a little bit, and maybe even put a smile on her face. On a damp night in early April of 2001, I introduced Racquel to a little pill called ecstasy.

Now look, before you go ahead and judge me, remember that this was 14 years ago, and that’s what kids did back then to chill out. A lot of people where taking X, but it was still relatively new on the scene.  I mean ephedra was totally legal at the time and I could get it as a shot in my coffee at Java Jitters. Me and my friends took pills, talked about our lives, smoked pot and mellowed out. That’s just what we did. I will never feel bad for taking ecstasy. It’s not like blowing a line of coke up your nose, and it’s not like jamming a needle full of heroin into your veins. It’s like taking a breath, and realizing how great it is to breathe. It’s like taking a sip of water and being amazed at how you’ve taken liquids for granted your whole life.   It’s like listening to a song you’ve heard 99 times before, but hearing something new in it the 100th time you listen to it.

For me and Racquel, doing X wasn’t necessarily about getting high and escaping life, it was about a different perspective and it was about looking at the world in a new way, and it was about seeing things for what they are, by seeing them for what they are not. It was about being happy and me putting on sunglasses and my favorite pants, and her putting on a feather boa and a red dinner dress and the two of us dancing around the apartment to EDM back when it was still called “Techno.” It was about healing ourselves from the past by breaking down the barriers in the present that kept us from knowing who we really could be in the future. We had a great time. We would babble on and on to each other about our beliefs and about life, and we would take tons of pictures with a film camera and then wait two weeks to see how totally awful they were when the film actually got developed. Some of them turned out really well, but for the most part, we just let go of our inhibitions and we opened ourselves up to the possibilities that maybe life wasn’t so bad after all.

I’ll never feel guilty or ashamed for taking ecstasy in my life. EVER. It’s not for everyone. It actually helped me a year and half before when my ex and my best friend got together, so I thought maybe it would help Racquel to work through some of her issues. I thought maybe it would help us become closer as friends and possibly as a couple, even though deep down inside I knew that wanting something like that out of this situation was selfish, irrational and maybe setting myself up for disappointment, but I didn’t care. I had only really taken X with my friends when we went out to clubs. Rolling at home felt comfortable with her.  I actually started to enjoy it more than going out.

However , it wasn’t all happy pills and dress-up sessions during that time. Sure, we were having some chemically induced fun, but in between the nights we’d chill out, there would be days that would go by when I wouldn’t see her, and there would be nights when I came home and she would have a boy over. I didn’t know how to feel about that. I mean yeah, some times I was out gallivanting myself with other birds, but I never found anyone who I cared about more than her, and I never took any of them seriously. I just thought I was killing time until something better came along. To be honest, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought all I needed to do was convince her she would be happy with me, show her the way and she would walk next to me, hand in hand forever. But as I would find out that summer, the more doors I tried to open up for her, the less likely it became that she was going to walk through them.

I tried to help Racquel with her issues as much as she tried to help me with mine. Nobody talked to me and made me understand and feel better about things after the fact then the way she did.  I liked that about her, and I hoped I did the same for her. I guess I wasn’t prepared for a lost soul to enter the picture that summer, and rely on Racquel in a way that I just didn’t have to.  She had met this guy who was a little bit older than her but didn’t have it all figure out. I think she took him under her wing, so to speak.  I guess she tried to help him figure out his life problems, while I was trying to help her figure out hers.  I’ll admit, I was a little bit jealous of him.  I was jealous because he took her away from me. I was jealous because I knew the potential her and I had as a couple and when we stopped hanging out as much that summer, I felt like maybe she didn’t need me in her life anymore.

It was an up and down battle the next two months. One day I would wake up to her climbing into bed with me, then the next night I would come home to read an angry letter she wrote in my journal after we fought and I slammed the door to my bedroom in her face. The great thing about us, was that even if we got into an argument, we would talk about it the next day and we would apologize to each other and then we would agree that nothing else mattered except for the fact that we were “homies” who had slept together twice, and knew we were friends, but there was always some level of that push-pull thing going on between us.

It had been like that for awhile now. She’d pull me in, then push me away. I’d do something nice, then judge her for something ridiculous. It wasn’t a very healthy situation, and it started to take it’s toll on the both of us. My cushy job at the bar was the first casualty.

I don’t remember how it happened, but one night six days after Racquel turned 19, I was accused of letting another customer play in a reserved pull-tab bowl of another regular. I know this doesn’t make much sense if you’ve never heard of pull-tabs, but some of the games had prizes in the thousands of dollars, and when people put more than $100 worth of cash into a bowl, they are allowed to reserve it for only themselves. I might have let one of my best regulars play in a bowl that was reserved by a guy who was NOT my best regular, and my guy hit for $500. He tipped me $100 that night, and it would turn out to be the last time I pulled a winner at Sharkey’s Pub.  The regular complained, and my boss didn’t like that. I denied it, but he had it on video, and I was fired. I was fired from my $1000 a week bartending gig that I had talked my way into without any prior experience, and Racquel had quit her shitty job serving in Mukilteo a few days prior to that. Before we knew it, we were both broke, unemployed, and pretty soon thereafter everything else in my life started to fall apart.

The news made Racquel upset, and she wondered how I was going to pay my rent and the bills that were do. I freaked out at her because how could she quit HER job and then get mad at me for being fired. I wasn’t very good at saving the money I made back then, but I sure knew how to spend it. I mean, in addition to the fact that the past month had been a trying time for the two of us, what was going on or NOT going on with her and that guy coupled with me getting fired AGAIN was the icing on the proverbial shit cake that became my life at the time. I remember her not coming home for about four days in row, then one night, I was in Capitol Hill getting my tarot cards read. I got the Devil and the Tower card. Basically that meant something bad, and something tumultuous on the horizon. I was advised that something was about to happen and that it was going to get worse before it got better. Naturally, I came home to an empty apartment that afternoon, but I noticed it was slightly more empty than before. The towels in the bathroom were gone. Fuck me… that was it. Racquel was on her way out of that apartment, and out of my life.

I moved about 50 yards away into a one bedroom apartment in the same complex. I was reminded of her every day I lived there, mainly because I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and I was taking care of her cat, Wonkie who lived with me, PLUS I literally could see the apartment where Racquel and I used to live from my new bachelor pad balcony. I would notice boxes being taken out of that apartment as I sat and smoked my cigarette one afternoon. It sucked, but we made sure our friendship didn’t have to suffer. For me, it was lonely those next few weeks, but Racquel and I knew it was for the best… at least that’s what we kept telling ourselves.

The truth of the matter is that I had no job, I had never lived alone before, and I didn’t even have enough stuff to furnish the place. The living room remained empty for months. All I had was a bed, a table, and a TV with no cable hook-up. Racquel was living in Everett with that guy, and I would hear from her from time to time and we would talk on the phone about how maybe we both acted a little irrationally and how we missed each other and maybe we should have tried to work things out, but then again, wasn’t that what we had been trying to do the whole summer?

It was a dark time in my life. I wasn’t taking x because it started to react differently in my body and make me sick, plus I couldn’t fucking afford it. I had my first “heart attack” which actually just turned  out to be a panic attack because when I got to the Emergency Room and the nurse told me I would have to pay $500 just to be seen by a doctor, suddenly I wasn’t feeling like I was dying anymore.  Anxiety was getting the best of me and as I pounded the proverbial pavement for a job, I kept noticing how distraught and confused I felt when I would come home with no leads, no plan to make things better, and another empty apartment, with no one to talk to.

With the exception of a year and a half ago when Melissa broke up with me, this was perhaps the saddest time in my life, and in some strange way I felt like I had put myself in that position to make myself stronger. I wrote a lot during these four months and at times, I could tell I was slightly out of my element, started questioning everything, was totally unprepared for the day to day, and yeah, maybe I was bit delusional.  I took a job at a Blockbuster Video store, (remember those?), then I quit two weeks later for a job at a bar called the Getaway Tavern. It wasn’t anything like Sharkey’s, but it was something. I wrote, I worked, and I smoked a lot of pot as I tried to understand why the hell life kept repeating itself. Two years earlier I had been fired, lost the girl, and then started doing drugs to kill the pain. It’s like life was on replay, but this time I was 3000 miles away from home, and even if I wanted to go crawling back to Jersey to center myself, I couldn’t even afford to do that last part.

There were times when I doubted myself and couldn’t comprehend how I fucked it all up by not being able to appreciate how much I had accomplished the last year. There were times when i wouldn’t get out of bed until 11am because I had no where to be.  And of course, there  were times when my undiagnosed depression used to get the best of me as I broke down into tears one day thinking of my ex girlfriend from New Jersey and my ex roommate from Seattle while listening to track 6 off the new Jimmy Eat World album, Bleed American.

The winter was coming, and between the two of us, our situations weren’t getting much better. I was working, but I hated it. Racquel was living, but not the way she wanted to. Then one night, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Racquel, me, and a group of our friends attended “Freak Night” which is a Halloween themed rave in downtown Seattle. God I had a great fucking time that night. We were kind of broke, but somehow still able to make it memorable. Even though it was a last minute decision on her part, and I was already at the event, but then decided to drive all the way back to Everett to get her and bring her there, it was the right decision to make. I pinned leaves on my pants and wife beater and went as the season of “Fall.” Racquel dressed as a butterfly and somehow, even though we didn’t coordinate our color scheme or our outfits, we matched. That night was legendary. We danced, we had some extra curricular activities going on, we ran into some people we hadn’t seen in months, and our friend Vanessa was able to capture the night in one click of the shutter on her camera. I still look at this one picture every now and then, and all I can do is smile.

After that night, things started to feel a little bit more like we were headed in the right direction. Racquel would come over to my empty place and listen to new music that reminded us of each other and we would talk about how maybe we should give this living situation another shot. I know what you’re thinking…we had our issues in the past, but doesn’t time heal all wounds? The last three months were some of the most depressing and unfamiliar days of my life, so when I left Seattle for a week to go back to Jersey for the holidays I put an offer on the table. Her and I again, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath.

Jersey was quite an interesting experience. I looked like absolute shit since the last time my friends and family had seen me, but I’m sure it had everything to do with the depression, the anxiety, and the drugs I did leading up to the day I left. I recouped for a few days and found myself in a Tower Records store when my ex- girlfriend Melissa called me to come have dinner with her and her Mom. Now, I hadn’t seen or spoken to Melissa since I left New Jersey 7 months ago. I didn’t know what to expect, but I went to dinner anyway and then we kind of caught up with each other over the next few days and maybe SHE put something on the table I hadn’t heard in awhile. An apology.

She was sorry. She was sorry for what had happened, she was sorry for making me move all the way across the country, and she was sorry for breaking my heart. I appreciated all of that, and I still cared about her,  but in the back of my mind and on the Motorola Star-Tac phone in my ear, I was hearing from Racquel that she was ready to accept my offer.

“Two bedroom one bath, right?” She said.

“Yeah. Two bedroom, just like before.” I replied.

“Ok, but I want to be on the ground floor this time. I’m sick of the stairs.” She said.

“You got it.” I said.

With a new take on an old idea, I headed back to Seattle in January of 2002, and Racquel and I moved into an apartment right across the street from the first place I lived with her one year before. I had quit working at the Getaway Tavern before I left because I didn’t like it there, and I was working part-time at the Eddie Bauer call center, but that job suddenly disappeared when I got back to Seattle. Fuck, I was jobless again, but at least this time I had my girl back with me. At least, so I thought….

I guess in my mind I figured this move was something she wanted and it would be like old times again, except this time she would actually be there in the apartment instead of somewhere else. Within a week us moving in together, I started seeing things for how they really were, which was me coming home to a vacant apartment, yet again. I didn’t understand what the fuck was going on. I didn’t know why on earth things seemed to be going so well for us when we were apart, then the week we move back in with each other, everything was chaotic and dysfunctional. At least, that’s how I saw it in my mind. Life was stagnant and I felt destitute and it was not how I wanted to live.

One of the reasons I wanted to move back in with her was so that we’d have something stable during a time when everything else was an unknown. It seemed like nothing had changed since the last time we were together except for our address, and the fact that all of our stuff was in one place. Well, my stuff anyway. At this point, I knew that even though I cared about her and loved her, there was never going to be relationship in the traditional sense for us. Something happened in her life to make her bear the cross of the emotional weight of so many people, and I think it was too much for her to handle.

She was still dealing with that boy from Everett, and I guess that situation was more involved than I knew, or cared to hear about. I tried to help her as much as I could, but I felt like with every word I spoke I was walking on eggshells because I didn’t want to say anything that would push her away. In the past, I had been guilty of appearing  very prophetic and maybe even holier than thou, and I acted as if I knew everything and I think that bothered her. This time, I tried to let her know that I was there for her, but I wasn’t going to force my beliefs onto her anymore or make her feel judged for being who she was. I accepted her as my friend and mentor because the one thing I realized when we weren’t living together was that I truly missed her, and I had learned from her as much as she had learned from me.

I decided to go my own way. I went out and tried to make new friends and find things to do that didn’t involve smoking pot and getting into trouble. I looked to find any bartending or serving job, but nothing seemed to come my way. January is the worst month for finding jobs in the food service industry, so I guess I was climbing the proverbial uphill battle. I was still relatively unemployed with the exception of a call-center job I got setting up appointments for people who owned homes and wanted to have new windows installed. Yeah, tons of fun. When I worked there, they used to call me “Jersey.” Perhaps that was a bit of foreshadowing.

I would occasionally see Racquel in the apartment, and we would chat every now and then, but there was something off between us. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and it made me kind of sad. I didn’t know what I was doing there anymore. I knew what I wanted, but I also knew she wasn’t going to be able to give it to me. I stayed in contact with Melissa who was living in Philly, and she would write me letters and we would talk on the phone and sometime around the month of March when I had exhausted every single avenue in Seattle, and I had admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy anymore, and when I had woken up to realize that perhaps Racquel wasn’t the girl I made her out to be in my mind, I had no choice but to face the uncomfortable truth that maybe it was time to leave the Pacific Northwest.

On a Sunday in early March of 2002, I packed up my white Mitsubishi Eclipse and I drove East, heading back to the place I had left not two years ago. I made the trip back in about four days and the whole time I kept saying to my friends and family and kept thinking to myself “This is the right move.” Everyone was convinced of that idea, except for me. I moved in with Melissa and her roommate and I think it took about ten days before I regretted what I had done, wrote a fuck you entry to myself for uprooting what I had in Washington, but by then it was too late to go back.

I thought to myself…. I wish I had tried just a little harder, or I wish I had put up with it just a little bit longer.  Maybe I would have found the key to the castle in the sky. I don’t say this about any other time in my life, but in that instance, I couldn’t help but wonder… what if?  Were things as bad as I made them out to be, or was I just being heavily manipulated by my own desire for something more and a broken heart? It’s probably the latter, I know myself pretty well.

I saw Racquel one more time after I left Seattle. I drove up from Vegas which was where I was living and we spent the next few days together. It was great to see her, but it’s been almost 13 years since then. I do text and talk to her from time to time.  She tends bar in Seattle near Everett, just had a huge birthday party for her 33rd with a deejay last week, is looking to buy a house, and she had a son back in 2005 or 2006.  I think it’s great. All I ever wanted was for her to be happy and I’m really proud of her and who she has become. I could probably take a few lessons from her now. Maybe I’d have my shit figured out too.

Lately, I’ve seriously been debating on whether or not I should stay living here in L.A. I haven’t been happy here in awhile. Things haven’t worked out quite the way I have been working for them to work out.  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about “peacing out” of this shallow place and heading north for deeper waters and a little more rain. I mean honestly, all I do is write, tend bar, and I occasionally get a phone call from a  friend who wants to put me in one of their web series.  I mean, that last part is fun, but it don’t pay the bills.  I can write and I can tend bar anywhere in the country. Why do I still do it here?

This was one of the hardest blogs for me to write because my time in Seattle is so near to my heart that I wanted these words to be perfect. I loved it there, and I loved my time with Racquel, and I feel like this is a story that needed to be told the right way.

In my opinion, Racquel and I were soulmates. Not like the single soulmate philosophy idea, the multiple one. I believe I have a handful of people I was meant to meet in my life, or will meet for some reason or other, and for my time in the Emerald City, Racquel was one of them. I knew it from the beginning, but I didn’t know what that meant, or where it was going to take us, or how to understand or react to what I was feeling in all the moments that led me to and away from her. I know I might have been irrational during that time. I know I could have acted more like a friend, and less like a scorned lover, but I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m sometimes dramatic, plus, I was 25 and she was 7 years younger than me.

We were two kids with broken hearts who found a way to mend them back together through an unpredictable rendezvous with each other. She helped me understand the simple act of being a good listener to someone because maybe that’s all they want you to do. I’d like to think I helped her to have a little more fun and maybe think of things in a different and spiritual way and perhaps that gave her some level of enlightenment.  And I know now exactly why she came into my life at that moment.  We were there to give to each other the power to be able to love again.

Was it perfect? Sure.  It’s all perfect in some way.    I know we didn’t end up together, but maybe that’s not what was meant for us.  Or maybe that WAS our time together. It doesn’t matter because what I learned from my time in Seattle was that “perfect” doesn’t always mean it works out the way you want it to. Sometimes perfect means we made such an impact on someone else’s life in a short amount of time, that even 14 years later, I eat Sushi or Thai food every week, or I smile when I hear songs that remind me of her, whether it’s the song I posted below, or if it’s that Tim McGraw hit “Just To See You Smile” which was the first  country song I grew to appreciate.  Sometimes perfect means there is still a possibility of the fact that I might actually see her again soon, and wouldn’t it be great to catch up on everything we missed over the past decade and a half?

But sometimes, perfect is looking at a picture from one night in the summer of 2001, when the only things that mattered in that moment, was the music, the sunglasses, the feather boa, and the one thing you both believed in….each other.

ecstasyseattle

The Artist

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I met the Artist in the Spring of 1997 when I was 21, and she was 16. Her name was Melissa, and her and boyfriend at the time used to come into my work at TLA Video in Marlton and rent indie films and discuss music and pop culture. I took an immediate liking to her and I think her boyfriend took an immediate liking to me, and invited me with them to go see the Violent Femmes concert somewhere at a small club in north Jersey.

Now, I loved the Violent Femmes, but I also had a an attraction to Melissa that I knew from the start was taboo. First of all, she had a boyfriend, second of all, she was really young, extremely beautiful and had these big stunning blue eyes, big lips, and maybe it was some spell she put over me but I was immediately attracted to her for some cosmic reason. She kind of resembled Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” minus the stitching and the fact that Sally was a puppet. In fact, her nickname in high school was “Nightmare” for this reason specifically. I knew that there was an odd attraction to her, and that maybe her boyfriend didn’t see it, so I decided to go to the show with her, her boyfriend, and a few other high school kids. I mean, I was either the cool older guy, or the lame weird guy for hanging out with high school kids who couldn’t vote or legally order an alcoholic beverage yet.

I remember the club had a cage around the bar that you could only access if you were over 21. So there I was, inside the cage not drinking anything alcoholic because I didn’t start drinking for another 5 years, looking out at the Violent Femmes singing one of my favorite tunes, “Add it Up.” I looked over at Melissa and smiled, and she looked back at me and laughed because I must have looked like fool being on the other side of the fence, literally. Melissa’s boyfriend had a station wagon, and at the end of the show we all piled into it and started driving back to South Jersey. Somehow, I ended up sitting in the way back of the car in the extra seat that faced the opposite direction of the driver with Melissa sitting next to me.

As it got dark, it took all of my will power not to touch this gorgeous girl sitting practically on top of me in the way way back seat of a station wagon as her boyfriend drove us back to Marlton. Thing is though, I did kind of touch her, and she did kind of touch me. No kissing, just grabbing of things and intense eye contact, but believe me, it was enough for me to realize I was doing something I shouldn’t have been doing and that even though I may not have know it then, this event would eventually come back to haunt me 3 and a half years later when I would find out exactly what was meant by the phrase “you get what you deserve.”

For the next few weeks, I hung out a little more with Melissa and the gang, but eventually that all stopped when I guess the guilt got to her and she told her boyfriend about what had happened in the back of his car that night. He was pretty mad, and rightfully so. I mean I hooked up with his girlfriend 8 feet away from where he was. He hated me, and I deserved to be hated, and that was pretty much the last time I saw her for awhile.

It was mid August of 1998, and I was working at T.G.I. Friday’s as a server. One night the hostess came up to me and told me there were two girls at the front who wanted to see me. Here I am thinking what girls would come to see me at Friday’s? I wasn’t dating anyone, and my mom and sister definitely wouldn’t just pop in out of nowhere. As I made my way down the stairs to the first floor of the restaurant, I saw Melissa and her friend staring straight at me. What the hell was she doing here? I started to wonder if this was a set-up and was her boyfriend was going to pop out of the phone booth and hit me across the head with a lead pipe because of what happened last year? Also, I was not prepared for such a rendezvous as I was wearing my goofy Friday’s uniform which at the time was a red and white striped shirt, suspenders, and a stupid hat that COULD NOT be a baseball hat as those hats were a violation of the uniform code.

“Hi. What are you doing here?” I asked Melissa.

“I wanted to see you.” She replied.

“I broke up with Brandon…well, I’m going to break up with him.”

What the fuck? Is she for real? Is she setting up her next boyfriend before breaking up with her current one? I guess she planned this out pretty well. I mean, I appreciate that she is coming here to tell me this, but what does that mean for me?

Truth is, I still thought about her a lot. I know it had been almost two years since that night at the Violent Femmes show, but I had run into her a couple times at shows, & the AMC movie theater. Sadly, we never talked. God forbid Brandon saw us talking, he’d probably freak the fuck out.

“Ok.” I said. “Well, let me know when you do break up with him. In the meantime here’s my pager number.” (PAGERS!!!)

I gave Melissa my beeper number, and with that I went back to work, confused and slightly interested. I think a day went by and I was at a house party when she beeped me and I knew it was her because we all had codes back then that we would leave on each other’s beepers. Mine was 11, and Melissa’s was 108 which had something to do with a song, or a band, or the album title for a band whose name escapes me now. Anyway, I called her back, she told me she broke up with Brandon, she was single now, apparently had an agenda, and this is how I started to date Melissa for the next year or so.

Melissa and I lived in the same neighborhood in Marlton called Kings Grant. It was really convenient when I drove home at 3 in the morning from her place and only had to travel a half mile. We spent every single day with each other for the first few months, and like any couple who got together when we were young, my social status and hanging out with my guy friends took a backseat to hanging out with Melissa. She was Italian, gorgeous, and she had a really close relationship with her Mom who liked me from the start and who would allow me to stay over at her place until the wee hours of the morning.

Melissa was an artist and she had this amazing quality to be able to immerse herself in the process of creating something out of nothing. I respected that, and it kind of made me want to do something artistic myself. At the time, my friends and I were running an underground fanzine called Jr. Skeptic which reported the ongoings of the punk rock scene in South Jersey. We would interview bands that came to Philly or Jersey to play shows, write articles about life, review some really good and some really terrible music, and we were slightly known in the town as being the older kids who knew what was cool, even though the whole idea behind punk rock was to avoid the mainstream vision of what was actually popular and cool. Basically, we ended up being cool though no fault of our own.

Melissa and I never fought with each other. Almost every night after working at Fridays, I would make my way over to her house and her and her mom and I would smoke cigarettes, eat food, and talk shit on people. Those two loved to gossip, and to be honest, so did I. Her mom used to take us out to dinner at the Medport diner after her shift and she would always pay for me to eat. She even helped me get a job working with her at her textile plant in Berlin organizing documents and filing away invoices. It was totally boring work, but I appreciated it, even though I eventually quit working there and started at another restaurant.

I was definitely in love with Melissa. She was the first girl I truly fell for that didn’t hinge upon the fact that I realized I loved her after I had lost her, or when it was too late. She introduced me to a way of thinking and a credo that I still believe in today even though at the time I might have scoffed at the notion she presented that “Everything happens for a reason.” She checked her horoscope daily and did my astrological chart for me and I was astonished at how accurate it was. I spent Christmas and Thanksgiving with her and her family in Philly, I was friends with her Dad whom none of her ex boyfriends could make a claim to because he didn’t like them and he was a menacing six foot three Italian ex bodyguard for Mike Tyson with a distrustful attitude and an impending look on his face that made you never want to hurt his daughter for fear of getting your legs broken.

Things were sailing along quite smoothly for the two of us. I had dated her for over four months straight which at the time was the longest relationship I had ever been in. I normally wasn’t the relationship type, but Melissa changed all of that and turned me into a long haired, beard wearing softy who cuddled with his girlfriend on the couch and held her hand everywhere we went. She loved me, hated the fact that I smoked pot, and I guess at some level I knew this but chose to ignore it from time to time and perhaps that ignorance would eventually piss her off, but it wasn’t THAT big of a deal, was it?

Yep, we were happy and in a great relationship, but when it came to our sex life, the truth is it was pretty much non-existent. That’s not true, it existed, but on some what of an adolescent level. Why? Because only one of us had had actual sex at this point in our lives, and it wasn’t her. Melissa was a virgin and I knew this from the start. I had dated virgins before, but I was 23 going on 24 at the time and I had had sex with a handful or two of girls before I dated her and I really enjoyed sex.

Don’t get me wrong, Melissa was a great kisser and she gave killer hand jobs…. probably because of all the practice she got over the last 5 years or so while she was jerking guys off instead of having sex with them. What about getting some head you might ask? Well, thing is, she wasn’t really big on blow jobs either. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times she blew me over the course of our relationship. Come to think of it, I can count on one finger how many times she blew me, and even then it was only an attempt to blow me and not a full on BJ where the end result was an orgasmic experience on my end. Did this bother me? Not really, but it was definitely a hot topic so to speak in our relationship for a good solid 9 months.

Look, I’ll be totally honest here. I did at one point tell Melissa that my intention was to eventually consummate our relationship and if that was never going to happen, I needed to know so I could figure out if I wanted to continue being with her without the ability to have sex. A guy can only receive so many hand jobs in a years time without eventually wanting to know what it’s like to actually be inside of his girlfriend, instead of just being gripped like the handlebars on a bicycle on a regular basis. It’s not like I gave her an ultimatum and said, “fuck me or else I’ll break up with you,” but I guarantee you that’s probably how she remembers it.

There were a few other things about us that made me realize that perhaps we were a mis-matched couple and starting to grow apart. At a New Year’s Eve party in 1998, I got stoned fifteen minutes before midnight and came back to the party high as a kite because I didn’t really drink alcohol at the time. Melissa took one look at me and my bloodshot eyes and utterly gave me the cold shoulder all the way into 1999. I never could understand her hatred for smoking pot. I mean, I had just turned 23, I had a good job, I loved her, and at the end of the night I didn’t puke up all the Captain Morgan I drank and made her drive me home with a splitting headache like most kids my age.  In fact, I could still drive us home while I was stoned because at the very least I’d be cruising under the 35 mile an hour speed limit on Main street.

In the spring of 1999, things started to come undone. I had moved into a two bedroom apartment in Maple Shade with a guy I worked with at Friday’s, and literally two weeks after I signed the lease, I got fired from my cushy $450 a week serving job, which in today’s world is the equivalent to being paid $715 a week. I know it wasn’t a lot of money, but my rent was cheap, and having “no income” a week doesn’t pay the bills. It was at this time that I started working with Melissa’s mom in that shitty textile plant which only lasted a month or so. I did some odd jobs here and there and eventually found myself working as a server at Carrabba’s Italian Grill a few miles down the road from my place. Crisis was kind of adverted, but a new challenging situation would then arise.

One night in June of 1999, the time finally came when Melissa had decided she would say goodbye to her V-Card. Now, I had talked with her about this for awhile, and even though she told me it’s what she wanted to do, I still felt that on some level she was doing it more to keep me around than because she actually wanted to do it. Regardless, her Mom was out of town, I came over to her apartment where Melissa had candles and incense burning and we started to do the deed. This is where things got weird…..

Not a minute into it her eyes grew large and she stared at me with a shocked and upsetting look on her face like a deer in headlights. Now, I know the first time is painful, but the next thing that happened totally threw me for a loop. She suddenly started crying in the middle of it. Like hysterically crying. Did I do something wrong? Was she in a lot of pain? I know it’s very possible that it hurts, but my dick isn’t THAT big, is it? I didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless and I felt strange and I didn’t know how to react to this situation and it started to make me angry.

I wasn’t angry at her or anything like that, I just was angry at the situation because I wanted it to be perfect and now I felt helpless and confused. I felt like all of a sudden all of her past issues were coming to a head and being spewed out all over the bed on a night that was supposed to be a sexy and romantic moment in our relationship. I hated my life at that moment. I hated the fact that this was happening, I hated myself for pressuring her, and I hated the fact that this was not going the way I had planned and I didn’t know why. I don’t even think she knew why, or if she did, she never was going to tell me the truth. This was a bad idea, and after about fifteen minutes, she calmed down we put our clothes back on and we just sat there with almost nothing to say to each other.

Melissa and I didn’t attempt to have sex again for awhile, but she did attempt to smoke pot with me one night at my apartment, probably in a effort to see what it was all about and unfortunately that led to fifteen minutes of hysterical laughter interspersed with fifteen minutes of hysterical crying. This went on for what seemed like two hours.

“Are you ok?” I asked her as she blankly stared at my wall without saying a word.

She never answered, and she didn’t speak for a hundred and twenty minutes while I tried to get her to sober up by feeding her cheese and crackers with a side of diet coke. The reaction she had was so weird. I felt like I had a sick puppy on my hands and I was afraid to leave her for a minute and I just didn’t understand what the hell was going on. Needless to say, a few days later we broke up. I don’t know if it had to do with the last few weeks of experimental sex and drug use, or if it had to do with the fact that perhaps our thing had run it’s course. Just to be clear, I didn’t want to break up with her, but it’s something she felt she needed to do and she cut off communication with me for the next few weeks. That’s the one thing I did not appreciate about the way it ended. I had no idea how to fix this.

Look, I knew I wasn’t the best boyfriend in the world the last few months, and I’m sure the stress of me losing my job maybe put a strain on our relationship and perhaps there was some stigma that she couldn’t ignore when it came to the failed attempts at sex and weed smoking. Maybe she was pissed that when she went to college earlier that spring and had her own apartment in Philly I didn’t come by as much as I should have come by. Maybe she was pissed that instead of hanging out with her I was hanging out with my friends from work playing poker and getting stoned til 3am? Maybe she just had the foresight to see that this thing wasn’t going to get any better.  I was really upset about it for awhile and I used to hang with my best friend, telling him how depressed I was and how I was lucky to have him there for me while I whined and complained about how much I missed Melissa…..or so I thought.

One night in early October of 1999 I drove over to my best friend’s house to watch a movie. As I pulled up, I took a look at the cars that were parked outside as that was the way to find out who was all over there. I didn’t see many, but the one car I saw that didn’t normally belong there belonged to Melissa.

Wait…. what the fuck was she doing hanging out at my best friend’s house watching a movie? It was as if I didn’t even need to go inside to get that answer, but I guess I felt like seeing it for myself because I went inside anyway. I walked in the back door into the downstairs den of my best friend’s parents house where I had spent the last six or seven years hanging out eating food, horsing around, and watching the Phillies, Flyers and Eagles. I looked on the couch and saw him sitting there, a few feet away from Melissa. I said hello, and he said hello back, but neither one of them made eye contact with me, and that’s when I knew exactly what was going on.

Wow. Karma is a bitch, and apparently I had been dating karma for the last year and a half. I only stayed a few minutes because the tension in that room was unbearable for me. I left that night knowing that my ex girlfriend and my best friend were about to start dating each other and there was nothing I could do about it. Now it was all out in the open and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t devastate me, but to be honest, it didn’t surprise me at all. I guess that’s what you get when you hook up with a girl three years earlier in the backseat of a car driven by her current boyfriend. In a way, life had come full circle and I was reaping what I sowed. I didn’t like it, but in hindsight I got what I deserved.

I dyed my hair black the next day and I took a shitty job at a restaurant called Prospector’s on 38 in Mt. Laurel and I tried to busy myself with work, and get the situation off my mind but it wasn’t helping me. Then one night in November of 1999, after I had spent the last few weeks crying myself to sleep writing sad bastard entries in my journal and wondering why it all happened, I got a call from my friend who told me he had something he wanted to show me, and for me to come over after work. When I got to his cousins house he handed me a white pill with a little Tweety bird on it.

“Here, take this. You’ll thank me for it later.” He said.

That was the first hit of ecstasy I ever did, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last. There was something about doing X that night that changed my life forever. I let go of the anger and resentment I had towards my best friend and Melissa, and I started to envision a world where I wouldn’t let it bother me anymore. For the next few months my friends and I got caught up in the club scene and believe me, we did MORE than our share of tweety birds, mitsubishis, rolex, and double stacked ferraris during that time. I didn’t think about Melissa anymore and all I could do was create a place in my mind where I was able to live my life without her and my best friend in it.

Looking back now, that place in time had been filled with drugs, parties and late night trips to Atlantic City at 3 in the morning, but it still left me feeling empty. When I got arrested outside of Studio 6 in A.C. on April 1st 2000, everything in my life changed. I hadn’t talked to Melissa in awhile but she came over to see me the next day and her and her Mom and I went out to Applebee’s for dinner. I was cracked the fuck out. I probably looked like one of those kids you see on the MDMA episode of Drugs Inc., deshelved from spending the night in jail with his pupils dilated and a cold sweat dripping down my face. I was in a bad place, and even though this was the first time I had seen her in awhile, I knew that Melissa wasn’t going to save me. I had to do things on my own.

A few months later I sold my car and all of my belongings and I moved 3000 miles away to Seattle Washington, a city I had NEVER been to before, and I started a new life there where no one knew me. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I was so far enough away from New Jersey that I didn’t feel the pain every time I drove past a place that reminded me of her. I didn’t have the possessions that used to trigger a memory that no longer served me for good, and I made new friends and told them to call me Christian so at least in my mind I could think of myself as a healed soul living in the Pacific Northwest.

I lived there for two years, and it was probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’ll probably write a blog about that later. As for Melissa, we kept in contact for a bit and when I moved back to the east coast in 2002 I lived with her and her roommate in Philly for a few months, but it never went back to the way it was. We were just two different people. She was experimenting with pot and ecstasy at the time (how ironic) and I was trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. I eventually wound up here in L.A. and it was about a year later when Melissa and her roommate moved out to Hollywood as well. Why? I’ll never know.

You might be wondering if we ever got back together…but that never happened. She had a new agenda and that ended up being dating one of my friends I met out here, naturally. I can’t say I was surprised. I guess that just ended up being her thing in life….dating friends of the boyfriends she used date. She was a really good artist too, but that’s not how I remember her. I really wish it was.

I don’t talk to Melissa anymore. I think it’s been almost 7 years since the last time we spoke and to be honest, I wouldn’t even know what to say to her if I did see her. I hear she had an arts and crafts store in Haddonfield that closed down, and she is getting married to a guy I used to be in a band with back in the late 1990s. As for my best friend who she dated for years? We’re still good friends. I made up with him a couple years later and to be honest I don’t hold any ill will towards him at all. We joke about both dating her now and we even have a bet every year at the Super Bowl coin toss and the loser of the bet has to accept the fact that Melissa is their proverbial “girl” for the next year. Trust me, it’s not an honor. I was just at his wedding last year when he married the love of his life and we still text each other almost every day. I guess there is some truth to the phrase “Bros before Hos”

The time when I lost my ex girlfriend and my best friend within a month of each other really did suck, and it hurt….but instead of letting it define me in a negative way and making it the reason I hate women and don’t trust people ever again, I used it to be the catalyst to make a huge change in my life that may have had to happen to me to force me to get to where I’m at today. I’m extremely happy with what the future might bring in the next few months, even though I still haven’t figured out the relationship aspect of my life. I know it will come in time. Melissa really did affect me in a way that I will always remember and hold true to myself. I still check my horoscope every morning when I have my coffee, I still appreciate fine works of art and the sounds of indie rock when the moment strikes me, and the day after she broke up with me I started writing in a journal and I haven’t stopped writing for the last fifteen years. I just think to myself sometimes that maybe I needed to get my heart broken so that I could heal my mind. Everything happens for a reason, right? At least that’s the way I choose to look at it.

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Her: 18  Me: 23

The Flight Attendant: Part 2

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I watched a few episodes of OITNB while Robyn and I went on to text each other back and forth for the rest of the day after I spent the night. Like I said before, I don’t really like spending the night at a girls place. Why? Well, first of all, I normally don’t have a change of clothes in the morning so not only is my hair all messed up from sleeping on it, I’m also still wearing the same wrinkled shirt and jeans from the night before. Second, I don’t know whether or not she has a drip coffee machine or one of those weird K-cup ones which I swear is slowly poisoning us as a race. What if she only has half and half instead of non dairy creamer, or sweet and low instead of equal? What if she doesn’t drink coffee at all? I can’t take those chances that early in the morning.

Truth is, with her I probably wouldn’t have cared and I would have stayed all morning over there if I didn’t have to feed my cat at 7am and I’m not just using that as an excuse to leave, it was just what I had to do. Having pets are like having children, but with less crying and no diaper changing. Besides, she was headed to the Gay Pride Parade that afternoon, and even though she kept begging me to meet up with her, I had absolutely no intention of going there. Not because I’m homophobic, but because the company I sometimes tend bar for was working the event and they had scheduled me, but I got out of it because I felt like there was something more important I had to do that day which ended up being going on a date the night before, and laying around the apartment watching Netflix with Robyn even though I didn’t know either of those things were an option a week before when I requested the days off. See, sometimes as a highly creative person like myself, I just go with my gut feeling, and my gut was telling me to stop at McDonald’s for a sausage egg and cheese McMuffin and hang around the apartment that Sunday with the A/C on.

Around 11am, Robyn sent me a selfie of her having a drink in the Hollywood Hills. Even though she pointed out how tired she thought her eyes looked, I still thought she was beautiful and I let her know that as well as the fact that there were a few other things I liked about her. I listed them in a text, and I even rhymed them like a Dr. Seuss poem. I got skills. I was feeling pretty good. I had just gotten laid unexpectedly, I felt like there was something new and cool happening, and I felt lucky for having met her being as though I wasn’t even supposed to be off the night I did. We went back and forth texting each other all afternoon, until I convincingly made her decide to come over around 5:30 to hang out with me before her red-eye flight back home to Florida at 9pm.

Can we eat something when I get there?

I have a cheese pizza waiting for us in the freezer.

You’re the best.

(Sent 5:01 6-14-15)

I know I am, and I don’t mean that in an egotistical, cocky kind of way, I mean that because I know I’m a good guy and I treat the girls I like with respect and honor. See, if I don’t like you, I just don’t make an effort at all. But if I do like you, I remember that you’re a vegetarian and I know to buy a pizza for us without any meat on it. Pretty simple really. I got her a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and ginger ale and she came over and we hung out, ate some food, had a drink, and lougned around and watched the NBA Finals until she had to leave around 7pm. I so didn’t want her to go, but I know she has her own life and this whole thing was new to us both and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going, but I knew I’d see her again, so I walked her down to the car like I did a few days earlier, kissed her and sent her on her way. She text me 20 minutes after she left.

Do you miss me yet?

Nope. And I’m definitely not making you a mix CD right now.

🙂 🙂 🙂

(Sent 7:55pm 6-14-15)

I’m not going to tell her I miss her, because that would be too soon to admit that….. but I am going to indirectly tell her that I miss her by saying I don’t miss her and then adding the part where I mention that I’m thinking about her by making a playlist/mix CD. I feel like nowadays you got to do stuff like that. I know it sounds weird, but I think both girls and guys appreciate slightly sarcastic and somewhat non offensive backhanded compliments when made at the right time in the right tone.

The beginning of dating someone is the best. Discovering who they are, their idiosyncracies and just basically getting to know each other are the times I cherish the most. She had been gone less than a day but we had text each other a lot and she called me the next night on her way home from shooting pool when she was pissed because the Blackhawks had just beaten her Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals and no one in south Florida seemed to care. Another selfie and a few random pictures of lunch with her parents later, we would continue to communicate with each other every day until she returned to L.A. on Thursday. I knew I had only known her for less than a week, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t falling for her a little.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was in love with her or anything like that, but I was thinking about her a lot and I was trying to plan out things for us to do when she got back into town so she would know that it wasn’t just a random act of sex and alcohol we had experienced but that I was really into her. On Thursday morning, the day she was meant to come back, I let her know I wanted to see her when she landed. She told me her schedule that day and we agreed to meet later that night at Jones in Hollywood for a drink. That night would change everything I had going for me with the Flight Attendant up to that point and it wouldn’t necessarily turn out way I wanted it to. Even to this day, I still don’t know why or how it happened.

I had been at Pink Taco with my friend Scott getting hit on by gold digging drunk girls who just came back from Vegas and who told us they had sex with guys for airplane tickets. Now, Scott and I were in no position to entertain these birds, and I so wanted no part of the conversation they were trying to have with us but I got to be honest, sometimes it’s amusing listening to and watching a trainwreck in action. After a few drinks and as it was getting closer to when I was going to meet Robyn, I started feeling happy, mainly because I was going to see her, but also because it was a way out of the situation with the party girls sitting next to us, otherwise known as  Dumb and Dumber.

I got to Jones around 9:30, and went outside to answer her call.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m walking up behind you.” she replied.

I turned around and there she was, dressed in a black leather jacket, jeans and boots. It certainly didn’t look like she just came from ballet class at all. She looked really good, but there was something off about her. Was she a little apprehensive? Maybe. I couldn’t really tell what was going on yet, but I would soon find out. Albeit I was a little tipsy and in hindsight, maybe drinking since 6pm wasn’t such a great idea but regardless, I got us a round of whiskey and we took a seat across from the bar and stared at this guy who was apparently oblivious to the fact that his ass crack was hanging out.

“There it is.” She said as the guy leaned forward just enough to give us a birds-eye view of his butt.

She was being funny and sarcastic, but the overall tone of the night seemed kind of weird. Not weird in a good way like the night I met her and we both spent three hours cuddling which is something you obviously don’t do the night you meet someone, weird in a bad way like she was casting off and fishing for information that said to me I’m going to not like what is about to happen. She told me about how in the past she always screws up relationships and how she wanted to go to therapy and that she wanted to take things slow, and she wasn’t too keen on getting involved really quickly. Wait, what? Was she talking about me? Is this an extension of the convo we had for a second from last weekend where she told me that she didn’t want to talk about herself? Was she referring to another guy she recently met at a bar? Also, therapy? Would I have to go to with her or was she mentioning it as an option for her own self improvement? It seems a little too soon for us to meet with a mediator, and besides I had no health insurance. I couldn’t really comprehend what she was saying because yes, I was a little drunk and I couldn’t be sure, but all I kept hearing was things that sounded like that she didn’t want to see me anymore.

Backing tracking a bit…earlier in the night I had asked if she wanted to come by my place instead of going out. I only said this because I was already at home at 8:30pm, and maybe it was easier for her to come by my place but maybe, and I think possibly she might have misinterpreted that offer as me just wanting to have sex with her again.

If we go to your place, we’re going to go upstairs for a drink and then the bedroom, and then you know what’s going to happen next….

A part of me was baffled by what she was saying, that I didn’t know how to react. Did I want to sleep with her again? Of course I did, but it wasn’t the reason why I wanted her to come over. I mean if anything, I really liked her and wanted to be with her in a private setting to get to know her better and maybe we could play some darts or listen to some more music and maybe she would stay over and we would NOT have sex. Up until this point, I hadn’t seen her for like a week and every time I heard a text notification go off on my phone I got a little excited because within a few days we had sent something like 500 texts to each other and 250 times when I heard that sound go off, it was her texting me and my brain would release a little more dopamine. It’s true. Your mind enjoys the sound of a text or e-mail notification. Look it up.

Getting back to the night at hand, I feel like I’ve heard this song and dance before. When a girl starts pulling away and says to me “I’m not where you’re at,” I immediately turn on the defensive and I try my hardest to protect myself so I don’t get hurt. Look, I’m a highly creative person and I recently read an article that put things into perspective for me when dating a highly creative person like myself. (see article here)

What may not seem like a big deal to her, i.e. telling me she thinks we should take it slow, etc. etc. was kind of coming off to me as her pushing me away. It may not have been her aim to do this, but in my head it was kind of devastating. I might have been stand off-ish or asshole-ish, but that was really never my intention. To be honest, I don’t know what I said that rubbed her the wrong way and made things awkward between us. I don’t know how I acted that made her think twice about being there with me, and I can’t remember for the life of me why I didn’t just say “Yeah, that’s cool. Let’s take it slow.”

The one thing I do remember is how much of a blunder the last 15 minutes put us in. It wasn’t like an argument, and it was never even that dramatic, but all I remember was this horrible feeling in my stomach, walking her to her car and barely saying goodbye. I would take an Uber home where I would spend the next 48 hours physically and mentally destroying myself for acting like such a jerk and I didn’t even have to live out the next few days to know that whatever happened that night, fucked up whatever good thing I had going with her. It was a mess right now, and I hate mess so of course, I tried to fix it.

I would find myself looking at my phone, trying to replay the night over in my drunken head by trying to match the texts we sent each other with what events my brain could remember actually transpiring. She said she was sorry that night because it made me sad, & I apologized for acting like a drunk jerk the next day because I thought she didn’t want to see me again. She said that wasn’t the case at all, but the next day she also said that it caused her to take a step back and that she just felt weird about the whole situation. Great. Now I’m just a weirdo she slept with on the first date. Miscommunication is the death of me and the last relationship I had back in 2009. It is the worst, and I wanted so dearly to un-miscommunicate and explain myself, so I asked her if we could talk about what happened. This is the response I got back:

I’m working this weekend, but maybe next week we can chat. Although you know where I stand so I don’t know what there is to talk about.

Sent 8:55pm 6-20-15

Ouch. That hurt. I let it go for a few days. During that time I thought about her a lot, but moreover I thought about how I totally screwed myself by being drunk and disorderly that night, and the misconception of how I felt and what had happened vs. how she felt and what she was saying. I mean, was it just a big misunderstanding, or was there something else going on? Did she have five guys she was talking to on the side like a sailor has a girl at every port? She does fly around the country for a living, and I don’t pretend to know everything about her, but a part of me thinks that maybe she got a little freaked out. Maybe she doesn’t sleep with guys she meets three days earlier, or maybe she felt something for me and just wasn’t ready to admit it to herself. Maybe she just didn’t care. I knew I had to make an effort to talk to her, NOT text her anymore so I called her on a Tuesday morning, left a message and then she called me back twenty minutes later and I played it cool. I was all like, “Hey, I have this problem and I think you can help me.”

“Ok, what is it?” she asked

“I have this wedding coming up next month, and I could really use a smart, pretty girl like yourself with good fashion sense to help me pick out a matching shirt and tie.” I replied.

“Yeah, I’m pretty good at that.” She said. “I’m working all this week though.” (starting to wonder if this was an automatic response)

“Well, whenever you have time. I know it’s a lot of pressure” I said sarcastically.

I could tell she was smiling when she was talking to me by the tone of her voice, and I thought to myself… “alright cool, we’re never going to talk about what happened that night, but maybe we’ll go to Macy’s together and shop for dress clothes.” Ok, she called me back, so I’m not a total freak and there is still a chance, right? The thing about being in this predicament was that I didn’t want too much time to go by without seeing her again. I wanted to make another impression that wasn’t some uncomfortable 45 minutes at a bar where things were stranger than fiction.

I spent the next few days giving her space, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t in my head trying to figure out what went wrong. It was a mess, and like I said before, I fucking hate mess. I either want it to be cleaned up so we can start over, or I want to know it’s done so I can move on with my life. I don’t feel this way about everyone, in fact I don’t even know how I was feeling, but I can’t remember the last time I spent so much time thinking about someone I had only known for a week and a half. Obsessive compulsive disorder much you might be saying? No, that’s not really it. I just hate being left in the dark. I’m from the “Why” generation that asks questions and expresses themselves and sometimes doesn’t relate to the quirks of this Millennial generation who seem to lack the ability to actually feel a feeling, then turn those feelings into words that they will then use to create sentences to communicate to people what they really think and how they really feel.  Maybe try it some time.

Four days went by and I hadn’t heard from her at all. I was watching old episodes of The Office and I spotted that Indian actor Frank who was hitting on her the night we met and I sent her a pic, but I never got a reply back. Having no idea where I stood was driving me crazy. I talked with a few friends of mine that week, and got advice about what to do, and the only thing that made sense to me was just putting it all on the line and telling Robyn how I really felt. I mean, she’s either going to reply, or she’s not…but either way….. what did I really have to lose?

On Sunday the 28th, I shot a scene for a web series where I played the head of an talent agency. It was like my Ari Gold role, and I relished in it and I did a good fucking job and was complimented by the director and the writers. I had deleted all of Robyn’s texts the night before at work and I had written a text of my own that I was planning on sending that afternoon. I thought to myself, she’s a Capricorn like me, we have a lot of traits in common, and playing it cool and trying to be funny just wasn’t working. Maybe she wanted to hear exactly the way I felt because to be honest, that’s what I would want. Let’s cut the bullshit, and get to the heart of the matter. I got home from my shoot, and before I changed out of my Calvin Klein suit I sent her these words….

Ok, here’s the deal. I have not stopped thinking about you for the last week. You’re always on my mind and it’s driving me crazy the way we left things. I freaked out that night at the bar because the exact same thing happened to me a year and a half ago when this girl told me she wanted to take it slow, but then I never heard from her again. I panicked. I thought the same thing was going to happen. Look, I’m far from perfect and I know I have my own issues to work out, but you are really special to me, and I respect you and I felt a real connection which I haven’t felt in awhile and I wanted to take our time getting to know each other, but I realize that’s not up to me anymore. For what it’s worth, I just needed you to know.

Sent 11:11am, 6-28-15

I changed out of my suit, into some relaxing clothes, did a few shots of Don Julio, grabbed a beer and went down to the pool to relax and get some sun. An hour later I got a text back from her.

These texts are a bit excessive.

12:21 6-28-15

Ok, NOT what I was hoping for so I had to ask what she meant, even though I kind of already knew the answer. Was she referring to the content or the amount of texts?  This was her response:

Both. I appreciate what you’re saying, but that’s a bit much. And the exact reason I don’t want to get into anything.

12:26pm 6-28-15

Wow…how insensitive. You know, there is a nice way of saying what she said, but that wasn’t it. I get it, she’s not into me anymore, but I’m pretty sure she definitely was a week ago. How does somebody just turn on a dime like that?  Sure, it was a relatively new situation and things happened quickly, but I didn’t do it all on my own. I admit, I may be guilty of being a bit impassioned and romanticizing things in my head, but come on now….I didn’t make it all up. I know when someone feels a certain way about me, then changes their stance because they’re afraid of getting close. I know when someone likes me, then acts like they don’t to make me go away. Maybe it was never meant to be, maybe I dodged a bullet, or maybe she should renew that prescription for her bi-polar medication.

I know I’m a good guy, I just sometimes make stupid mistakes when I get drunk like that night. Sometimes your mind understands something exactly the way it was intended, while at the same time all your heart hears is “blah, blah, blah.” It was true, a similar thing happened to me a year and half ago when I met a girl and after two weeks I guess I made the mistake of telling her how I felt because she broke it off the next day. I wrote a blog about her too. It’s under Ok Stupid because that’s how I felt at the time and in some way, I guess history really does repeat itself.

What’s so wrong with telling someone how you feel about them? When did “I really care about you” turn into the scariest phrase a guy could say to a girl? I’m a big boy, I can handle taking it slow, as long as I know that you’re communicating with me and being honest and candid. I don’t really understand how I meet women who are attracted to me, laugh at my jokes, hold my hand and kiss me back, but then the second I say “I like you” it makes them run for the back door like an illegal working in a restaurant that was just raided by the INS. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it, and that doesn’t mean I condone it.

It’s been almost a month since I received that text, but I never wrote her back. Why would I at that point? I mean, who was I even talking to? That’s not the girl who admitted to me that she had her friend strike up a conversation with us that day at the bar so she could meet me. That wasn’t the girl who used to kiss me with her eyes open, and that definitely wasn’t the girl who tried to convince me that her dragon emoji looked more like a dinosaur than my camel emoji. That girl is gone, and I’ll probably never see her again…. unless of course I happen to be on a flight on her airline to Vegas and she is working, but what are the chances of that happening? It’s not entirely my fault, I know that. I tried to fix it, I really did, but I guess this was the way it was supposed to play out. I got to admit I ignored some of the red flags she raised in the beginning, but eventually they all show their true colors. I can’t be mad, and I’m not upset by what happened, just disappointed because I don’t want to be thought of as this guy she was into for a week that eventually made her feel weird and then wrote a blog about it. That would totally fucking suck. On the other hand, her thinking of me in that way is taking the easy way out, and maybe that’s what she wants to do.

When you listen to your heart, you sometimes get caught up in what you’re hearing.

I live life with no regrets, but if Doc Brown showed up outside my place in the DeLorean I probably would choose to take a ride back to Birds ten minutes before I met her and tell myself to take it slow and get to know this one, unless of course that would have caused a paradox in the space-time continuum. On the other hand, maybe I wouldn’t change anything. I may be out a pair of underwear and an extra set of T-Rex socks, but I took a shot and I do have a great song and a killer playlist I made that I never got a chance to give to her.

Look, it may not have worked out, but I was true to who I am, and I put myself out there even if it was only to come back with a few fleeting memories and a lesson learned. It’s not like I lost any sleep over it, and to this day I still love that one song even though every lyric reminds me of her. I can’t get it out of my head. Maybe that’s a good thing.

The Flight Attendant: Part 1

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I met the flight attendant at Birds in Hollywood. I was there to have a few happy hour drinks with my friend, and I had been taken off the schedule from work that night, due to a totally unrelated issue with a liquor license at the club.

Birds is a local neighborhood bar on Franklin in Hollywood. I’ve been drunk, embarrassed myself, been kicked out of, sobered up, done blow in the bathroom, and felt right at home at this local watering hole. It’s my go to bar for when I feel like I want to be home drinking, but not at home. I’ve had a couple first or second dates there, but this night in particular was not a planned date. I got there early and took the last two seats at the back bar.

As soon as I got there, I noticed her. She had on white pants, a baby blue tank top, and these amazing eyes that caught my gaze immediately. I ordered a Stella from the bartender, sat down three seats away from her and stared….at my new smart phone while I waited for my friend to join me. About five minutes later, John arrived and we ordered another round of drinks and some food. It was great to catch up with John as I hadn’t seen the kid for three months, but in between conversations about work and what we’ve been up to, I kept looking over at this girl, and she kept looking over at me. At one point, I left to go to the bathroom and when I came back I saw John engaged in a conversation with her and her friend. Things progressed from there without a lot of effort, and I eventually bought her and her friend a round of shots, sat down next to her and got to know her name, her job, and the instantaneous attraction we had that neither of us could ignore.

What immediately freaked me out about her was this sudden sense of familiarity, followed by how she kind of looked like two of my ex girlfriends, peppered with a dash of Christen Press from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team. I know I have a type, and Robyn had shoulder length dark hair, big features, hazel eyes, a great body, and her birthday was 18 days after mine. Capricorn on Capricorn could be good. Could also be disastrous, but I was willing to find out.

She loved dinosaurs, told me about her T-Rex tattoo that she couldn’t show me in public, and I told her how I wanted to take her to see Jurassic World and how I would even wear a button down shirt. Classy huh? Guess it worked because she agreed to our first date, and then right before John left for the night, I kissed her in the middle of the bar. Look, I normally hate public displays of affection, unless of course I’m involved in the PDA. Is it a double standard? Yeah, maybe it is, so feel free to call me a hypocrite because at this point in the night, I didn’t care and it was time for us, minus John to go to another bar.

At the end of the block lies the French wine bar La Poubelle. This is another cool hip hot spot in small town Hollywood. The two flight attendants and I walk in, and again I grab the last two seats at the bar. I order three glasses of wine from the bartender who I recently saw in that Jack In The Box “Sriracha” commercial. We chat for a bit more, then I excuse myself to the bathroom where I proceed to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself to play it cool, just like Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

“You’re gonna go out there, finish your drink, go home, jerk off, and that’s all you’re gonna do.”

Except when I returned from the bathroom, there were two guys talking to the flight attendants. One of them I recognized from TV. His name was Frank something, and he’s the token Indian guy in every sitcom or procedural drama on television that didn’t cast Kal Penn. His friend is some goofy Asian kid who was wearing sandals and probably just feeds off of Indian Frank’s leftovers, if there are any. After about thirty seconds of wanting to get rid of them without any luck, I pull out the big guns.

I know you. You’re that dude on TV, right? You were on Entourage!  Agent Raj!” I say in a sarcastic “now it’s time to leave” tone.

“Yeah man, I’m Frank.” He replies

“Hey Frank, I’m Christian. How do you know my girlfriend?” I say as I put my arm around the flight attendant who I had met literally four hours ago.

And that’s really all it took. Frank and his Asian flip-flop friend disappeared into the night and the flight attendants and I finished our drinks and I walked them home. One of the girls lived right across the street from the bar, and it wasn’t the one that I was interested in. However, when we reached her apartment building, she turned to me and said…

“Can you take care of her?”

“Yeah, she’s in good hands.” I replied.

And with that, I got into Robyn’s car, and we headed back to my apartment a few blocks down the road. She parked her two door Honda coupe with tinted windows in front of my two door Honda coupe with tinted windows and we went upstairs. I turned on some EDM which she made fun of me for, we played some darts, and we made out for the rest of the night while she tried unsuccessfully to befriend my cat. My cat is kind of a bitch and she makes you work for her affection. It doesn’t come easy, but Robyn was willing to try for a bit.

“I have to be up at 4am for work” She tells me at midnight.

“We should probably go to sleep then.” I replied.

It has never been easier to get a hot 27 year old flight attendant into my bed before that night. However, I had never really met a hot late twenties flight attendant at a bar before that night either. I know what you’re thinking….but the thing is, we didn’t have sex and I didn’t even try to. Don’t get me wrong, she was beautiful, and I was VERY attracted to her and I wanted to sex her up, but there was something about her that made me so fucking comfortable that all we did that night was cuddle. I know, what a fucking loser right? Well, fuck you! I don’t cuddle AT ALL!  I NEVER do it. In fact, the last time I cuddled someone was 2008, and the last time I had gotten laid was 2014 so you can OBVIOUSLY tell that I take one much more seriously than the other. It was one of those moments where I knew what I was happening was unnatural because I had just met her, but it just felt instinctive.

“This is weird, huh?” I asked her.

“Yeah, this is kind of weird, but I’m ok with it.” She replied.

With me laying on my back, and Robyn laying on my chest, we dozed off into the night. At 4am, the jarring alarm went off on my brand new smartphone I had gotten the day before. I didn’t know how to adjust the tune it plays, so we awoke to some strange and random female voice singing “Good Moooorning.” It was still dark out, but Robyn had to leave for work, so she took off my Flyers pants that she was reluctant to wear the night before because she is a Lightning fan, put her clothes back on and I walked her down to the parking garage and sent her on her way.

I immediately liked her, even though there were a few things about her that I chose to ignore. She was vegetarian, and I have NEVER dated a vegetarian before, but we had just met and I wasn’t really thinking about long term things, so I didn’t care. Now if she were vegan, THAT would be a deal breaker. Over the next couple days we texted each other and made plans to go see Jurassic World on Saturday for which I bought tickets ahead of time, in her neighborhood, on a Saturday night. She was really excited to see this movie, and I was really excited to see her, and a little bit excited for the movie. When she asked if I wanted to come over her place for a drink before the flick, I absolutely said yes.

She lived close to Venice, but far enough away that I didn’t see any pot shops or homeless people on my way to her place. I was wearing a pair of T-Rex socks I had bought a couple years ago. They’re blue, and have an orange Tyrannosaurs on them which matched the Tyrannosaurus tattoo she had on her upper left thigh which she showed me the night I met her when we weren’t in public. Truth is, it was an awful tattoo, but then again I can’t say anything because I have an awful tattoo of a cat getting electrocuted on my left leg. Come to think of it, we had that in common too.

I arrived at her place and she came out to meet me. She looked hot. Like cheerleader hot. She was wearing a black skirt, a fitted grey top, and white Keds on her feet. Literally, like what teenagers wear, but she pulled it off because

A. She had a good fashion sense and style, and

B. It made her just short enough that I looked kind of tall walking next to her.

Of course she tells me she deliberately made that choice so she didn’t tower over me, but in reality I’m 5’10 and she’s 5’7, and I totally appreciated her sarcastic sense of humor. She asked me what I wanted a drink, so I asked her what she had and she opened a cabinet in the kitchen and revealed to me exactly what I thought the liquor cabinet of a flight attendant would look like. It was filled with tiny airplane bottles of booze that she had probably stolen from work.

“I’ll have vodka….no…. whiskey” I said.

I don’t know why I said that because up until that evening, I didn’t drink whiskey, at all. Occasionally I’ll have a shot of Jameson but I feel like a new experience with someone is the perfect opportunity to start drinking something I hadn’t before?  Maybe.

We chatted for a bit, watched her weird neighbor do push-ups on the lawn in front of her place  and then caught an Uber to the movie theater. We sat through a pretty awful movie that night. I know some people really liked Jurassic World, but we both kind of felt a little disappointed. Like, how the hell is that chick running in high heels throughout the whole movie, and why did they have to show so many Brontosaurus deaths, and don’t you think the Velociraptor trainer should know that the huge dinosaur they created in a lab that is terrorizing the park was mixed with Velociraptor DNA???

Luckily, that would be the only disappointment in the night.  After the movie, we took another Uber to a bar on Venice Blvd. called Bigfoot West. Our driver had mentioned there was a warehouse party down the street, and creepily almost dropped us off in some alley until we both stated we did NOT want to go to some shady warehouse party. He kept making uncomfortable statements which made us more eager to get out of the car and into the bar where I got us two shots of Bulleit Rye, her favorite, and two Bulleit and gingers because after that piece of shit movie, we both needed a stiff drink or two.

We talked, watched people at the bar and after our first drink, started getting a little more comfortable with each other in the booth. I noticed how after a drink, Robyn became a lot more sociable and let her guard down. It seemed like she was really into me. I mean, I thought she was anyway, and I noticed a difference in the way she presented herself to me after a shot of whiskey.

An ex of mine told me that when a woman points her knees towards you while she sits, she’s into you. If she’s NOT into you, her knees will point away. Well, Robyn’s body language was telling me everything I needed to know about how she felt. They were pointed in my direction, therefore…into me.  We started talking about our past relationships, and I could tell after a few questions I asked, she didn’t seem to want to talk about it anymore.

“I don’t like talking about me, let’s talk about you.” She said.

Now look, I’m no psychologist, but I could tell right then and there that there was something in her past that she didn’t want to divulge to me, which was totally fine. We had really just met.  I will tell you anything when we just met so I went on to tell her how I had gotten arrested in April of 2000, and how a few months ago I had to go back to Jersey for a court case that I thought was taken care of until I tried to renew my passport and it got denied. I told her stories about my drug days when I sold ecstasy in Philly for a week, and sold pot in Vegas to make my rent one month. Even though I was coming off as a bad-ass, I assured her that I wasn’t into that lifestyle anymore. I mean, that was like 15 years ago and I had gotten past that time in my life, but it still makes for good conversation.

She told me how she hates Vegas but has to fly there a lot for work, and how she doesn’t really like Los Angeles but just like me has a love/hate relationship with it. We had a lot in common. We were both born under the same star sign, the same Chinese zodiac sign, we looked really good together and we both drove almost the exact same kind of car. As I kissed her in the booth that night and we made a spectacle of ourselves in front of a bar packed with hipsters I felt like this was really starting out well.

“Wanna get out of here?” She asked.

“Yeah. Let’s do that.” I replied

We stood outside and she told me she had a great ass, so I had to see for myself. She was right. She had a great everything. I gotta say, I would have been sick to my stomach watching her and I with our arms around each other making out on the sidewalk of the bar that night with my hand occasionally checking in on her butt while we were waiting for our third Uber of the night, but luckily, I wasn’t an onlooker.

When we got back to her apartment, she led me into her bedroom, I took everything out of my pockets and got into bed with her where we continued to be that annoying couple who can’t take their hands off each other, but the thing is, I really COULDN’T keep my hands off of her. There was this innate sexual attraction between us that instantly needed no introduction. We were on auto-pilot and there wasn’t anything weird about it for me at all, until a few minutes later when I could tell what was about to happen, was going to happen.

“Umm, I didn’t bring a…”

Now, truth is, I did have one, but how presumptuous of me would it be to admit that I brought it?  Would she think less of me?  Would it be something like “Oh this scumbag thought I was easy and figured he was going to get laid tonight?”  By the way, I don’t like the word condom so I was having difficulty even writing this part of the blog, but in reality, the dome was in my car and I wasn’t about to break the mood and get up out of bed to go get it. Without another word, she reached over and took one out of the drawer and handed it to me. How presumptuous of her!  (kidding) Even though I was nervous and kind of excited and in total disbelief that this was happening, it happened. I didn’t expect any of this three days earlier when I met this girl at a bar in Hollywood and then spent the next 11 hours with her NOT having sex but tonight, things were a little different. A full ten to fifteen minutes later, it was time to go to sleep.

“You should probably throw that out.” She said.

“I think I’m gonna frame it.” I replied as we both laughed.

But of course, I didn’t. What kind of weirdo freak would even consider something like that? I got out of bed, threw it away, and then I fell asleep with my arms around her. I think I woke up at 4 in the morning, it was still dark out, but I couldn’t really tell what time it was. I laid there for a few minutes and I looked at Robyn as she slept next to me. She was stunning even when she was asleep. Then, she rolled over onto her back, and she started to…snuffle a bit. I remember thinking to myself  “Please don’t snore, please don’t snore.” There is nothing less attractive than a hot girl that saws wood when she sleeps.

But then, it stopped, and I breathed a snuffle of relief. I couldn’t get over how crazy this was. For one thing I had just met her, but everything about her seemed so familiar. Even though I hadn’t slept with anyone in 6 months, and even though I hadn’t slept over a girl’s place in 4 years, none of it really seemed to be awkward. I’m very cautious when it comes to dating someone I really like, and I know I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, which is quite obvious by the name of this blog. Normally, it takes me years to find someone I care to see more than twice, and rarely do I find someone who I knowingly allow to deliberately pull me out of my comfort zone. I don’t stay over girl’s houses, I don’t refrain from cigarettes if she doesn’t smoke, (yeah yeah yeah, I’m quitting soon) and I don’t sleep with someone on the first date, unless of course that’s what naturally happens. I did all of those things that night, and even though I know right from the beginning if I’m into someone or not, it still made me feel a little uncomfortable to admit it to myself. However, the way I look at it, I’d rather feel something than nothing at all.

I dozed off for another hour or so, and right around dusk I woke up, and I started getting my things together. I couldn’t find my underwear. I’m sure it was somewhere in the bed, but I wasn’t going to make her get up for a pair of Calvin Klein’s that are easily replaceable. I grabbed my phone, wallet, keys and clothes, kissed her on the lips and told her I’d talk to her later that day. I quietly left her apartment, walked out to my car commando style, and played “The Heart That I’m Hearing” by Galantis.

It’s funny how music comes into your life at a time when it perfectly describes the situation you are in, almost like it was meant to find you. Ever feel like that? Well, that happens to me a lot, and that’s how I felt that morning. I had just downloaded it the day before I met her, and when I listened to the lyrics that morning, I heard that track in a whole new way.

“I’m gonna let my heart decide if this is real. A thousand pictures can’t describe how I feel. It’s like the world doesn’t exist, but I can still see it. And when I focus on your eyes, it’s your heart that I’m hearing.”

I got back to my apartment around 6:30am, fed the cat and put on the third season of Orange Is The New Black. I wasn’t tired, and even if I was, I don’t think I could sleep. About an hour later I get a text message from Robyn.

When I woke up and you weren’t here this morning, it made me kind of sad.

sent 7:17 am

That is kind of a great text to receive. I don’t know if she really meant that, or if she was still drunk, but regardless I appreciated it. Come to think of it, we only had two drinks the night before, so no way she was still inebriated. I liked her. I knew that, and I was pretty sure she liked me. At that point things were at an all time high with the flight attendant and we were crusing at 30,000 feet. But as I would come to find out, it wasn’t all clear skies. We were in for a little turbulence in the week ahead….

Part 2: Next Thursday July 23rd

Part 8: Ok Alize & Ok Stupid

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Wednesday January 15th, 2014

I woke up the next morning from the debacle of OkJordana, but it didn’t really bother me anymore because I decided to turn it around. I decided to make light of a bad situation, and not let one horrendous sushi experience ruin one of my favorite forms of food. I had this idea and I put it to work that afternoon while I was at the gym. I picked up my phone and I text Alize:

“Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out. I need some suggestions for a good sushi place in the Sherman Oaks/Studio City area.”

She texts me back a few minutes later saying…

“Well that depends….do you mean for taste & price, or for environment?”

“Taste and environment are key.” I say.

I never address the issue of price because at this point I don’t really care. I just want to go out and have a good time with her, which I know I’ll have regardless of where we go. She comes back at me with a handful of places and restaurants so diverse that I suspect she actually did some googling on the matter. It takes another few texts for me to find out that her favorite place is Teru Sushi in Studio City on Ventura boulevard.

“Ok thanks. You’ve been really helpful.” I write

“No problem.” She responds.

“One more thing…” I say “Would you also know of a cute Korean girl with freckles and tattoos that would want to join me for dinner at Teru Sushi in Studio City? I hear it’s really good.”

Obviously, I’m referring to her, so I put the phone down and await her response which should be coming any second now because she has already responded to like five other texts of mine, and this was a cute and original way to ask her out, right? I thought so. I had been looking forward to this all day. Then….nothing. Nothing for like ten minutes. Ok, so I do a few more reps on the machine, then I check my phone again….still nothing. No response after fifteen minutes now. Strange I thought. Weren’t we just texting back and forth not twenty minutes ago? Did she not appreciate my roundabout way of asking her out? Didn’t she have a good time with me last weekend when we went to see a cool movie and danced at a cool club and then she woke up in my cool bed, or did she come to her cool senses and realize it is pointless to date a guy who is 13 years older who also currently, but not permanently lives with his ex girlfriend? No response just didn’t make any sense to me. I finished my workout early, and I went home to bitch and complain to my roommate, but not after I sent her another text half an hour after I got no response from my last one.

“I guess you don’t know anyone who fits that description. Thanks anyway.” I say begrudgingly.

Was that too dramatic? Probably, but come on..almost an hour went by and she hasn’t responded? What the fuck? Did she decide to take an impromptu road trip and can’t answer her phone? Not even at a red light? Was there an earthquake or a natural disaster that ONLY affected people who live in the valley like in the summer when it’s ten to fifteen degrees warmer in Burbank than it is in Hollywood? Am I being a little too overdramatic in this case?

“I think you’re being a little too overdramatic” My roommate says.

She’s right, and of course….forty-five minutes later I get a text from OkAlize.

“R you annoyed I didn’t text you back right away?”

Oops. Now I have to find a way to cover up the fact that I was being a little pisser and shrug it off as if it didn’t bother me at all.

“Not annoyed, but a little bummed. In fact, I was so upset that I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see the road with all these tears in my eyes.” I say.

She finds that funny because her “LOL” told me so. We end up making plans to go out to sushi this weekend. Crisis averted.

Saturday January 18th, 2014

I swear the waiter at the restaurant was hired by some special needs or equal rights work related program. He was kind of green and dopey… but not dopey because he meant to be, dopey because he laughed at his own bad jokes and he couldn’t find his wine opener all night because he had left it on our table. He also had impeccable timing and came up to take our order at the same time I was telling Alize about how the Trader Joe’s near me doesn’t give out free samples anymore.

“What’s that? You work at Trader Joe’s?” The waiter asks.

Bad timing dude, cause that’s not AT ALL was I was saying, and besides, I wasn’t even saying it to you.

“Ummm, no.” I respond.

“Oh, cause I thought you said something about working at Trader Joe’s.” He said. “I like that place.”

“Yeah it’s great” I say. “By the way, here’s your wine opener back.”

What was this guy talking about and why was he eavesdropping on our conversation in the first place? Alize and I got a good laugh out of that and we went on to drink a bottle and half of wine and eat a good amount of sushi which was a thousand times better than the shit I was served in Venice the other night. After I paid the check, we went to the Firefly and she played me some of her original music off of Soundcloud. It was pretty good. She bought me a couple drinks at the next bar we went to and we danced a little bit before we both decided we had had enough of the nightlife and we went back to her place for a night cap.

I walked into her bedroom and I looked around. She had the typical twenty something year old set-up. A closet of clothes bursting open at the seams, framed pictures of her and her friends in Halloween costumes on the night stand and a large set of stackable plastic drawers in the corner that you get around the “Back to School” sales at Target. Then there was the bed….a Queen sized mattress that was covered in pillows and stuffed animals which also was a mere two inches from the floor. I had a bed on the floor when I was her age. Oh my God, did I just say that? I did, and on that mattress which was so low to the ground that you have to push yourself up with your arms to even attempt to get off of it is where the next few hours played out. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but after a half hour or so of making out and rolling around on her sheets I decided to pop the question.

“When was the last time you had sex?” I said. (but what I really was asking was “When do you think you’re going to let ME have sex with YOU?”)

Now, I know that this may seem direct and possibly a bit out of line, but it’s not really considering we are in her bedroom on her bed, we’ve gone out about four times, we are a little drunk, a lot turned on, and everything that has happened up until now leads me to believe that she actually likes me. Sex is the next evolutionary step in dating. I mean, you don’t bring a guy back to your place and invite him into your room unless there is a part of you that wants to eventually sleep with him at some point, right? I had to know. I had to put it out there. After a few more questions, she responds like this.

“I just feel like sex complicates things” she said.

No shit it complicates things. You know what else complicates things? Bringing an older guy into your bedroom and making out with him on your bed on a Saturday night after you finished a bottle and a half of wine and four vodka cocktails between you. I mean, I can understand sex complicates things, but doesn’t the aforementioned scenario do the EXACT same thing? Look, I totally get where she is coming from and to some extent I agree that sex complicates things. There is a part of me that is totally willing to just go along with whatever type of relationship this is becoming because I have a good time with her, she’s pretty to look at, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that for any reason including my instinctual desire to see her naked. I could easily never bring up the idea of having sex with her again, and maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up to begin with, but I have to at least let her know where I stand on the matter before anything else happens.

“You’re right. I totally understand and respect that logic.” I say. Then I add… “But at some point, I’m going to want to complicate things.”

We talk for a little more and she tells me there is “other stuff” we can do instead of have sex. Ok, I’m cool with that. I’ve always said my favorite page in any book is the one right after sixty eight, and right before page seventy. We CAN do other stuff, but it’s not going to happen tonight because it’s sometime around 3:30 in the morning and we both are tired and fall asleep….with our pants on. The next morning I got up and drove home. I was really late for my shift in the stock room at Trader Joe’s.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014

I had been in contact with Alize all week. We actually were texting each other pretty much everyday at this point and I had already made plans to see her again Saturday. It was free museum weekend in Los Angeles on January 25th, which means they didn’t charge admission to go places like LACMA, or The Getty. They also didn’t charge for the National Geographic exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography which is where I suggested Alize and I go before dinner at Outback Steakhouse, for which I had a $20 gift card. What? You can’t use gift cards on dates? Look, dating has been getting expensive and I realized I either had to start cutting back on these dates with her, or I had to find cheaper things for us to do. This next date accomplishes two things. We get to see visually stunning images of life and culture from a another world, AND experience the indulgent decadence of going out to eat in suburban America at a cheesy chain restaurant with our beers and “Bloomin’ Onion” already paid for thanks to a Christmas gift I got from my mom. Cultured genius.

It was about 7pm when Alize texted me on Thursday. She wants to do something and invited me to come over for a couple glasses of wine and maybe watch a movie. An impromptu movie? On a weeknight? Hmmmmm, I know what this means. We’ll probably have a glass of wine and a cigarette on her porch, maybe she’ll show me the bistro set she bought at Ikea earlier today on her back patio. We’ll go into her bedroom around 10pm to start watching the first fifteen minutes of a movie on her computer who’s ending, plot and storyline we won’t remember the next morning. We will probably have it playing in the background while we do “other stuff” on the bed until they roll the credits. I know I won’t have sex with her because of what we discussed the other night, so there’s that. Irregardless, I would love to come over for a “movie.”

I head over there when she gets back from work. I pull up a few minutes after 9pm and sure enough, she’s sitting on the front porch with her roommate and she offers me a glass of wine. We chat for a little bit, and then she brings me to her back patio where we smoke a cigarette while sitting on her new bistro set from Ikea. She lures me back into her bedroom and she plays me some music she likes from an artist named LP and I immediately recognize the song from a bank commercial they used to play all the time. I never really digged the song then, but sitting there on Alize’s bed watching this live performance video on You Tube really changed my mind. I loved the song. It’s really good and after we watch a few more music videos, she tells me she downloaded “The World’s End” on her computer and she puts it on as we kick off our shoes and lay back on her bed against the wall. She has this one unicorn pillow she loves named Charlie. It’s shaped like a unicorn, but it’s rectangular and the arms and legs are popping out from the corners. It’s cute and it looks like something a six year old would have.

“Aww, have you had this since you were a kid?” I asked.

“No.” She says with a smile. “I just got it off of Ebay last week.”

A 25 year old buys a stuffed unicorn pillow? I mean, it’s odd, but it’s also kind of cute. See, I liked that about her. I liked that I chose to find her antics interesting and some of her choices funny. I like that she called me out the other day with the whole text back debacle. I liked that she is a little bit off and slightly eccentric like me. I like that we started making out seven minutes into the movie and I like that for the first time since we’ve gone out she has allowed me to steal second AND third base in the same night. Something is definitely different right now. I think our clothes are coming off, and there is a part of me that is really thinking something could happen that shouldn’t really happen, but there is another part of me that knows that it kind of feels like she WANTS it to happen. I have all these thoughts racing around in my head at the same time. I feel like I should just continue doing what I’m doing to her. You know the “other stuff” that she said we could do to each other because I know what she said the last time we were in this situation. But wait, were we ever really in this situation before? And then she surprises me with these five little words she says through her bated breath.

“Do you have a condom?”

What? Do I have a condom? No, I didn’t bring a condom. Know why I didn’t bring a condom, because the LAST time I was over here we established that you think “sex complicates things.” Remember saying that? You only said it four days ago and we haven’t talked about it since then so I didn’t plan on anything changing in that short amount of time so no, I did not bring a condom. Why would I bring a condom when I know that I won’t ever get a chance to use it? I mean, they say to always be “prepared” but when the person I am attempting to sleep with tells me that it’s not going to happen due to certain “complications” I completely think I am safe to come over to watch a movie WITHOUT bringing a condom.

“I have one in my car.” I say. And I do too. I’m prepared, kind of.

“It’s ok.” she says. “I think I have one.”

She starts rummaging through her drawers and I am secretly wishing that she won’t be able to find what she’s looking for. I am so not prepared for this I think to myself. I don’t want to fuck anything up with her because I like this girl and I don’t know if she is testing me, or if the sex thing is really happening now. Then, she hands me this bright colored condom and I immediately realize that this is really happening right now. The condom is small and yellow and wrapped up in a non descriptive plastic jacket. A no frills condom? Weird. Did she get this from a clinic? Is this a leftover from when they handed them out in her high school health class? How long has that condom been in there? It’s not inviting, but then again, no condom is. Let me just be totally honest here. I hate condoms. I absolutely despise wearing them and I would bet that a good portion of the rest of the men in the world would agree with me. Women don’t seem to understand how uncomfortable and awkward they are to put on and once they are on, how seemingly desensitized sex becomes for a man. Yeah I know to practice safe sex and all, but I can barely feel anything other than the fact that I am aware there is a thin layer of some sheepskin material in between me and the girl I am trying to have sex with. That’s right, I said “trying” because sometimes it takes me one or two tries to get it right. Plus there’s always the “loss factor” that could come into play. That’s when you put on a condom and within seconds your shit goes from straight up midnight back to 6pm in a matter of seconds. Condoms are a hard dick’s kryptonite.

I have all these thoughts going on inside my head and I am having a hard time putting this stupid piece of rubber in it’s place, and I realize that saying I’m having a “hard time” is kind of a play on words right now. I’m not that drunk, so why is this happening? Am I nervous? Fuck yes I’m nervous. I like this girl a lot and based on what she said the other night I don’t want to fuck this up. However, after a few minutes of stalling and trying to make it fit, I think my dick just fucked it up for me. I can see by the look on Alize’s face she is now aware of the same truth as I am. That truth being if I had to choose a particular brand of ice cream to sum up the events of this night, that brand would be “Mr. Softee.”
softee

I blew my chance. I fumbled the ball at the one yard line. I tried to explain to her that I just got in my head and that I really like her and that this has nothing to do with her and it’s only happened one other time many many years ago. I tell her I don’t want to fuck things up and she smiles and says she understands, and it doesn’t really seem to bother her anyway but it bothers me. And you know what else bothers me looking back on it now? Why didn’t she do anything to help out, you know? You can’t play with it a little bit or give it a little lip service to get it going again? Nothing? You have hands, right? Isn’t this a precise time to put your “other stuff” rule into a effect? Can I call her out on this matter, no. I probably shouldn’t. All I can do is lay back down and try to relax and eventually, fall asleep while the credits start to roll in the movie that we haven’t payed attention to for over an hour and a half.

Friday January 24th, 2014

I didn’t sleep very well that night. I never slept well at her place, but I did appreciate the fact that Alize made us coffee and breakfast the next morning. It was really sweet. She put some coconut spread on a piece of gluten free toast and to be honest it tasted exactly the same as butter on toasted bread. We talk for a little bit and everything seemed to be ok. I mean, maybe it’s just not meant to happen to right now I think. Maybe things will be different the next time and maybe I shouldn’t worry so much. I definitely need to get out of my head, that’s for sure. Then at around 10am she goes back into the bedroom to take a nap, and I say goodbye and head home to meet up with a friend of mine who asked me to edit a video for him for indiegogo. I have an uneasy feeling driving home. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something is different. Something just doesn’t feel right.

8:00pm

I’m at The Well having a drink with my friend at late-night happy hour. I tell him about what’s been going on in my world of dating and he is bitching about his current girlfriend and in a roundabout way he suggests that I have it better than he does. Sure, I’m free and I’m single, but I share an apartment with my ex girlfriend, and my dick doesn’t work in clutch situations. Wanna trade? He laughs when I tell him the story of last night and I try to laugh with while I’m a few drinks in and I’ve almost totally forgotten about what happened (or in my case, what “didn’t happen”) the night before when my phone rings. It’s Alize. I go outside to smoke a cigarette and I take the call.

This is one of those calls that comes out of nowhere, but I knew it was coming. At least she called me, right?

“This is totally not about last night” is how she starts the conversation. And when I hear her say that, all I can think is that this phone call is TOTALLY ABOUT LAST NIGHT. She goes on to say how she really likes me and she has a lot of fun with me and I’m a really “nice guy” (I almost puked when I heard THAT line) and how she feels like things are headed in a bf/gf type direction and how that just isn’t what she wants right now. I don’t want a girlfriend either I think, but what I would like is to go out again and have another chance to finish what I started but those words never get a chance to see the light of day I just add a few “Uh-huhs” and the occasional “I get it,” because I really do get it. I kind of sensed this was going to happen. There is a part of me that knew that I would have gotten this phone call even if we DID have sex last night. I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t. I appreciate her honesty but I can tell that she’s either protecting herself from her own feelings, she doesn’t want to get too close to me, or she is completely mortified by what happened last night and could never look me in the eye again without breaking out in laughter. Either way it really doesn’t matter.

“I just don’t want anyone to get hurt” She says.

“Yeah I understand.” I respond.

And I really do. I don’t want to understand, and I’m really depressed about it right now, but I get it. If this had gone on for a few more dates, maybe it would have gotten too serious for the both of us. Maybe it already has. Maybe we’ll go out again in the not too distant future? Maybe we won’t.

“Maybe we can get coffee sometime as friends?” She asks.

There’s the “F” word again.

“Yeah, maybe.” I say.

But I know that is never going to happen. What else is there to do? I say goodbye, hang up the phone, and go back in and finish my drink. I ask my friend if he wants my $20 gift card to Outback Steakhouse.

“That’s not happening anymore?” He asks.

“Nope. Not with this one.” I say.

“My girlfriend hates chain restaurants.” He says.

Wow, who hates chain restaurants? Maybe he should break up with her.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

It’s been over a month since my last date, and in case you are wondering, no I haven’t heard from OkAlize, and I haven’t tried to contact her either. Nor have I heard from OkKimberly, OkMaddie, OkJessica or any of the other OkWomen I went out with. I didn’t really “accomplish” what I set out to do, but in the end, I think that’s ok. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will. In the beginning, I kind of thought it was going to be easy to go out with these women, and I was right. It was kind of easy to “go out” with them, but everything else that followed was more difficult than I had imagined. I was annoyed at OkJordana’s stubborness, I was enraged at OkKimberly’s devotion to praising the band Imagine Dragons, and I was enamoured by OkAlize’s ability to make me laugh harder than I had in a long time. I learned a lot about dating. What to say, what not to say, and when to say it. It was entertaining, and maybe I had been looking at this whole situation the wrong way. Maybe I shouldn’t take it so seriously.

Here’s OkCupid, this dating website set up with all these profiles of women. There are pictures, information and a narrative to follow. It’s kind of like watching a trailer for a movie. If you like what you see, then you try and get tickets for the show by asking her out. If it’s sold out, that’s a bummer. It’s too bad, but there’s always another movie to see. And if you really like the movie you’re seeing now and want to see it again, you go to the sequel. That’s pretty much online dating in a nut shell. Am I ever going to buy one of these movies? Maybe. Maybe not, but I’m always going to be amused by the situation and interested in what happens next. Plus, according to my credit card statement I just became eligible for the 30,000 reward points bonus, and they raised my credit limit! How about that? Ok Stupid….you didn’t get laid, but your FICO score went up. In addition to that, I now know of at least half a dozen cool, hip bars and restaurants that I can bring someone else to on a date.

Thing was out of all of them, I really liked Alize. I could have actually seen myself dating her if things were different and I didn’t live with my ex,or lie about my age or if she actually WANTED a boyfriend. I mean, I would have bought her movie in heartbeat.

I sit at my computer staring at the screen in front of me. I got to say, since I left OkCupid, I kind of miss getting e-mails saying I have a message from some random girl. I miss getting those notifications saying that “someone likes me” and I kind of miss trying to find someone who I can go out with once a week and enjoy a few cocktails with while trying, but failing to keep our hands to ourselves in public. I miss the game, and now I know how to play it better. I’m a romantic at heart, but what I have to realize and accept now is that if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it still feels good sometimes to know that people find you attractive and want to flirt with you, and possibly are thinking about sleeping with you. Who doesn’t like that kind of attention? Who doesn’t want to be wanted? This experience gave me a lot of confidence. I was able to write this whole blog because of what happened and maybe I should do something with my stories while not letting this new found confidence go to waste. I’m definitely going to do something with these stories. Now about that confidence….

I open Safari on my computer and I click the tab I labeled “OkC.” I log back into OkCupid and reactivate my account for the first time in two months. I guess I kind of want to see what else is playing at the movies.

Part 6: Ok Alize

okstupidlogo
January 3rd, 2014

It’s been a couple weeks since I had a date. My last encounter with OkJessica left me feeling a bit perturbed and slightly slighted. The week after was Christmas, and then New Years followed almost immediately, like it always does. I called OkLipgloss on Christmas Eve. I kind of forgot it was a holiday and not just some random Tuesday. Maybe that was a mistake, but the one thing I did appreciate was the fact that she text me back saying “I know it’s rude to text back a callback but I’ve been sick and bedridden all day.” I think she’s telling the truth, and I’m surprisingly impressed by her text-side manner. There were a few other possibilities for dates in hand but unfortunately both OkLipgloss, and OkManda got sick the same week. I never met OkManda, but OkLipgloss called me back two days after Christmas and I got to know her for about half an hour on the phone before we hung up. We talked about music, food, and doing ecstasy which I told her I hadn’t done in about 7 years. She hates molly and so did I. She mentions her favorite pills were the “crowns” And I tell her, that’s actually a Rolex symbol, not a crown. She’s impressed with my drug-related knowledge, and she tells me a project of her is wanting to give ecstasy to senior citizens and watch their behavior and make a documentary movie about it. That’s a great idea I say to her. We make plans to go out the next week when she is feeling better and meet at the French bistro on Franklin Ave in Hollywood called La Poubelle. Christmas was over and the New Year was upon us and I had been texting with her a lot the last week and she had this really fun and silly sense of humor that I immediately bonded with. She sent me a picture of her squeezing a rubber chicken and in the picture the eggs were coming out of it’s butt.

chickenballs

“How does this make you feel?” She asks.

I responded with “It makes me hungry for an omlette.” So weird and random, but I like that style of humor. We had an instant rapport. Her name is Alize, and that name is very close to her real name. I almost decided to change her name completely like some of the others, but I feel like I would be doing her a disservice if I decided to change it because it’s such a cool name and it’s really unique. I practiced saying it at least 25 times before we spoke on the phone. It’s like saying “Ah-LEE-zay.” On the morning of our date I wake up with a funky ass scratch on my forehead so I inform OkAlize and I ask her not to stare too obviously at the center of my head tonight because I have this obnoxious scratch in the middle of it.

“Ok.” She says. “I’ll just stare at the spot to the left of it.”

I get to La Poubelle a full fifteen minutes early on January 3rd, but beforehand, I stop at the Gelson’s to pick up a pack of gum. I need fresh breath. I’ve also had this weird tradition of chewing a piece a gum before every date, and then putting it in a bar napkin when I get to the bar. I don’t know why I do this, but the most obvious reason is it’s a nervous habit. I’m kind of nervous and completely confident at the same time. The Gelson’s doesn’t have my brand of gum so I grab a pack of something peppermint and walk over to the bar. It’s filled with all sorts of people as it should be on a Friday night in Hollywood. There are no seats at 9 o’clock unless we are ordering food and there nothing at the bar except for a big douchey hipster with a beard, who is being loud and obnoxious while he drinks beer and sips what I assume is some sort of cheap whiskey like Evan Williams. His slurred words are echoing throughout the bar and I’m hoping that Alize makes an appearance soon cause I somehow managed to save one seat. I get a text from her telling me she is running little late. Traffic. Of course. Thanks L.A.

With nowhere to sit, and a low tolerance for loudmouth bearded craft beer drinking toolbags, I decide to stand outside and wait for her. This isn’t going exactly how I planned, but that wouldn’t really factor into the rest of my night. About five minutes later I see her pull up to the valet in an early 2000’s black Mustang GT. I am instantaneously impressed. She’s gorgeous, dressed in heels and wearing some skin tight black jeans and leather jacket. It looks like she stepped out of a music video. She reminds me of and Asian Joan Jett, and she would later tell me she sings and writes music so I wasn’t that far off. Her looks are anything but deceiving. I have this feeling she is exactly who she says she is fromt he start. We hug each other, and it’s nothing short of familiar to me. I tell her about the overcrowded La Poubelle and the douchey hipster, so we decide to go to the somehow less crowded Birds further down the block. We walk in, and two seats immediately open up for us at the bar. That’s some impeccable timing might I add.

The next two hours go by so much faster than I remember. I order vodka and tonic, she retaliates with vodka and water with slices of lemon and lime. I make fun of her for her “Bella” tattoo on her wrist which she absolutely got because of the Twilight books, and she gives me shit for having a tattoo of a cat getting electrocuted on my leg which I got for no real good reason other than I had a friend who tattooed people out of my kitchen back in 1995. She likes Entourage, but hates Vinny Chase just like me. She has big features, and huge lips and I catch myself staring at them for a few seconds every time she says something interesting, which is every other word. I’m interested in her, and I forget for a minute that Alize is 25, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, and right around the same time that I was getting ready to graduate high school in New Jersey, she was in Van Nuys getting ready to graduate…to the 1st grade. She is mainly Korean, but mixed with some sort of European decent because I also notice the freckles on her face. She tells me her roots but it’s kind of a mixed ethnicity and I think the last thing she says is that she is part Welsh. I would later tell my friends that she is Korean and British, and she thought that was actually really funny. I can’t help but notice that we both have tattoos on opposite arms. I have one on my left wrist and right forearm, she has one on her right wrist and left forearm. I immediately think to myself that she is some female mirror image of me… give or take 13 years. Wow, look how self indulgent this date is making me look. I don’t really care.

It starts to get loud in Birds and at some point, we decide to leave the bar because they are blasting Led Zeppelin at such a enormously high decibel level that I feel like both my ears are going to fall off. We make our way back to La Poubelle which has cleared out a bit, although the hipster douchebag is now barking some story to his friends out on the patio.

“Good…stay there.” I say out loud as we walk in. She smiles and laughs and we take a seat at the bar inside and order some food.

Here is one major revelation I can make from going out on all these dates. Chicks love brussel sprouts. They are the coolest most hip vegetable in the coolest and most hip cities in America right now. You tell some girl you know a place with really good brussels, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a response, maybe even a date from it. It’s the latest pick-up line. Works every time for me. Seriously. So of course we order the brussels and some frittes, and I have one more drink because I want to be coherent for the remainder of the date and the three block drive home. She has four drinks, and I have three. She drinks me under the table the first night I meet her. She thinks she sees someone from a CW Vampire TV show at the bar, and I do not recognize who it is, and I have no idea who she is talking about. This is the only time I felt like remembering our age difference is 13 years. It never bothered me again. But what bothers me is the fact that I have to eventually tell her that I’m really 13 years older, not 8 years older like she thinks now. Things are going pretty good and I’m having a great time and I know it’s not going to be tonight. Definitely not tonight. I’ll tell her on our next date. I swear to God.

I pay the check so enthusiastically, that you would think I actually enjoyed it. Oh wait…what’s this feeling? It feels like I a spark with her and that I had fun on the date, and I’m attracted to her both two AND three dimensionally now. This is like… I want to see her again and I don’t mind paying because I actually WANT to pay for her because I enjoyed her company, instead of paying out of the idea that it’s part of a man’s basic dating protocol to pay. I haven’t felt like this since I met my last girlfriend 7 years ago.

We share a cigarette as we wait for the valet to get her car, and I want to kiss her, so I stare at her lips to tell her so, but I don’t see an opening yet and then neither one of us see her car pulling up in front of us until it’s already there. We do the whole verbal “I had a good time, maybe let’s do this again” dance, and I know we both mean it. She hugs me goodbye and then smells me and says….

“What is that?”

“You mean my cologne?” I ask.

“Wow, you smell like whiskey and vanilla.”

“Thanks?” I say

She laughs and asks me for a piece of gum. I pull out the pack I bought earlier and she sees it and freaks out.

“Oh my GOD!” She exclaims like a valley girl, “I have the SAME kind of gum! “Sweet Peppermint!

I’ve never bought this gum, but before I have a chance to say that, she pulls out her pack and I am staring at two identical light blue pocket packs of Stride: Sweet Peppermint flavor gum. I NEVER buy stride. This is so weird that I think it’s cool. I immediately think this girl is the one…. for right now.

She texts me the next morning thanking me for last night and thanking me for the drinks and the food and reiterates that she had a really good time and hinting to the fact that she would like to do it again. So would I.

January 8th, 2014

I’m hiking with a buddy of mine, and we’re talking about and comparing OkCupid date stories. I tell him about the crazy girl, the frumpy girl, the invisible girl, and the typical asian girl I went out with, and then I wrap it up with OkAlize. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

“We have another date tonight.” I say proudly.

“Have you gotten laid yet?” He asks?

“Nope, not even anywhere close.” I say.

And I really don’t care either. He tells me about his stage five clinger and some crazy psycho bitchy blonde west side girl he banged on New Year’s Eve. I’m not jealous or envious at all. Ok, maybe I’m a little envious that he is getting some and all I’ve managed to do was make out with one girl whose tongue reminded me of kissing wet pasta, but I have another date tonight and we’re doing something I love doing. Drinking beer, and eating burgers. For the record, that is the sexiest and most intriguing date a woman can ever suggest to me. I’m sure there’s something sexier, but throw in watching some hockey or football, and add some chicken wings to the tab and it would be hands down the best date ever.

That night, I pick up Alize and we head to the Blue Dog Beer tavern in Sherman Oaks near where she lives. It is ironically crowded for a Wednesday but we put our name in and we go to the bar to get a beer. She already has her debit card out in her hand when she asks me what I want. That was sweet, I think to myself. She’s not totally expecting anything, and she is making an effort to be equals. She must like me because this is not typical girl date protocol. Or is it? I’m not a girl, so I wouldn’t know. But this seems like this is “I like this guy and want to buy him a round” type of stuff. It’s rare on the first or second date, but it’s always appreciated.

We get our table and look through the menu and we settle on some burgers and fries and more beer. Eating a hamburger with someone on the second date means you throw all your inhibitions about etiquette out the window. I’m a messy eater first of all, but it doesn’t seem to bother Alize one bit. She works for a family as a nanny most of the time watching their kids so she is used to being around mess. She writes and sings and works on her music with a producer at night and on her days off. She’s a huge lover of all different types of music and I can tell she has passion for her craft. It’s sexy. She has confidence that is beyond her years and she knows of these cool and obscure bands that I’ve been wanting to listen to. I tell her about this group called HAIM and how they are all sisters and it’s off kilter modern new age indie rock and I just got their album and she gets excited cause they’re playing Coachella and she’s going and I promise her I’ll burn a copy of the cd. She has three more episodes of Breaking Bad to watch before it’s over. I ask her how why on earth is she out with me when she should be home watching the last three episodes of the best television show ever. (in my opinion) I can’t believe I have so much in common with her, especially since she was born in 1988, the same year I was getting my first cd player and watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the movie theaters. I don’t want the check to come because I don’t want the date to end, but when the waitress drops it off, I pick it up like it’s no big deal and I pay for the food. She thanks me and suggests we go outside for a smoke.

OkAlize and I are sitting in my car smoking when I notice there are apartments right above the burger place and I comment on how convenient and difficult it must be to live within a stones throw of a burger bar.

“So do you have a roommate?” She asks.

Hmmm…ok. What do I say here? The “I have a straggler” line? The “I’m roommates with a hot girl” one? We share an apartment and used to sleep together five years ago but don’t anymore, and BY THE WAY there are two beds in the same room that we have to share because all our money is tied up in paying for this TV pilot we’re about to shoot? Maybe I can go with something in the middle, but I settle on something so close to the truth that you’d think I have an honesty policy in my glove box next to my insurance card.

I start with “It’s a weird situation” and somehow through the fumbling of my words and the natural selection of the phrases I used, it all comes off so eloquently and she isn’t even the least bit turned off or weirded out by it. Do I tell her that my roommate used to be my ex? No. Definitely too much information for tonight has been offered up, and if this date continues and we get a little drunker, I feel like a lot more will be on the table too.

“Do you want to go to this dive bar I know of.” She asks. “It’s called the Chimney Sweep.”

There’s really only one way to answer this question. Do I want to continue to hang out with an attractive Korean-British hybrid girl with freckles and good taste in music who I met on OkCupid who is a lot of years younger than me, but who also hates Vinny Chase and loves Breaking Bad as much as I do?

“Absolutely I do.”

We arrive at the bar, park, walk in, and head to…the bar. It’s divey and dark and there’s barely anyone here except for a few locals and the deejay that is setting up for karaoke. She starts a tab and orders me a beer and we sit back and chat about her singing and her family life and her parents and her little brother. She grabs the book of songs at the end of the bar and asks me if I’m going to sing. Hahaha….There Is NO way I’m doing that tonight. She teases me a bit, and I take it and then I tell her I used to sing in a band and play guitar regularly but I’d have to be kind of drunk to sing karaoke in front of a girl I just met less than a week ago who I’m out with on a second date. She doesn’t call me a pussy to my face, but I know she’s thinking it. She smiles and then she orders us two shots. She goes with Fireball, I go with Jameson. I tell her about my mental allergy to cinnamon and she gets it. I’m going to end up drunk with her doing something I shouldn’t be doing later tonight, and by “something I shouldn’t be doing,” I mean she’s somehow going to convince me to get up in front of everyone in the bar and sing a song.

There is a free shot to the first person who signs up for karaoke. OkAlize puts her name down first, takes the free house shot, and walks over to the deejay corner and tells them which song she wants to sing. The music starts playing, and I know this one already. It’s “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morisette. I fucking love it. She is a real good singer, and an even better performer. She is making out with the microphone as she exudes a captivating sense of sensual sexiness, and somehow when she sings the line “And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back” I sure do feel it. I wonder if she is the type of girl who really would go down on me in a theater, just like Alanis says she does. Maybe I’ll find out if I’m lucky.

She finishes her set, the audience claps and she makes her way back over to me at the bar. Then I say the dumbest thing ever.

“You were really good, babe!” “BABE?” What the fuck am I saying?!! I never use that terminology, especially not with someone I just met kind of. I actually despise the word “babe” but somehow I hear it coming out of my mouth as the most natural and instinctual first thing to say to her as she returns to take a swing of her blue moon. Babe. It will always remind me of that talking pig movie, but I guess it didn’t for one split second. I never called her babe again, but it doesn’t seem to phase her either way. The next thing that happens is her kissing me….hard. It’s our first of many public displays of affection at the bar that night, and another shot of Jameson for me and Fireball for Alize later, it’s time for me to get up and sing. They didn’t have any Counting Crows in the book and it’s a bummer because it’s my go to for the ONE other time I did karaoke in Southern California. And if you don’t like Counting Crows or think they are douche rock, that’s fine with me. You are entitled to your opinion. I also share that same opinion about Dave Matthews Band which to me, is like the epitome of douche rock, on steroids. I settle for another song that has been given a bad reputation, but I know is in my vocal range. “Iris”, by The Goo Goo Dolls.

I’m a little buzzed, and I’m taking this song WAAAY too seriously but from five feet away Alize and some random couple she just made friends with all seem really into it. They’re sway dancing as my voice almost cracks slightly on the high note and I reach the end where the people on the smoking patio can hear me belting out “I just want you to know who I am.” I feel like such an idiot, but somehow it doesn’t even bother me one bit.

If you looked around the bar after my performance, you could find me and Alize making out sitting in a leather chair next to the fireplace in the bar. You could also find her sitting on my lap in that same chair doing the same thing near the same fireplace five minutes later. It’s then that I realized how much I hate public displays of affection…. unless I’m a part of them. We played some pool, had another drink, and then we went out on the patio for a smoke. It’s there that I tell her I’m really 38 years old, and it’s there that I come clean about my living situation and tell her it is in fact a one bedroom apartment that I share with this girl, but she is my business partner and my friend and we’re doing this because we’re helping each other out and all of our money is tied up in shooting this pilot which we’ve been working on for the last six months. She asks me if I hook up with my roommate and I tell the truth when I say no, but I don’t remember if the question she asked was “have I ever” or “do you ever.” I just shake my head and say no, because that’s the best answer for now. Who needs to know that I once dated my roommate way back in 2007, but we broke up for good in 2009? I know she isn’t a threat or an issue…ok maybe an issue but Alize already knows I’m 38, I live with a girl, and I share a room with two queen sizes beds in it, and she is still making out with me and putting her head on my shoulder…albeit because she might have been a little drunk, but still. We’re way too comfortable for me to take a chance of ruining this night with the truth. I’ll tell her on the next date. I swear to God I will.

We leave the bar, and we drive back to her house. She lives a few blocks from the 405 and Sepulveda and I make my way through the back streets using my GPS because Alize is a little confused as to where we are. Ok, she’s really drunk. I got to just be a good guy here and drop her off, kiss her good night, and make sure she gets in ok. I eventually pull up to her house and I keep the car running.

“I had a great time tonight. Thanks for making me get up there and sing.”

“You’re welcome.” she says with a smile. “You want to come sit on my porch?” She asks.

After about three seconds of deliberation, I decide to turn the car off and hang out for awhile. I spend the next two hours sitting on a futon outside of the house she rents with two other girls that luckily has a fence built around the outside so no one can see us while we make out and run our fingers through each other’s hair. We’re kissing each other and prodding each other, and I go to make a move that I think might be a bit premature, and of course she agrees by pushing my hand away from her jeans in a playful manner. I’m not even the least bit disappointed. I had to try, I tell myself. I had to. It’s chilly outside and there is a blanket over her and I’m dying of thirst and need water, but I don’t want to break up this session by asking her if she has anything to drink, so I put up with it for a few minutes more before I realize it’s after 4am and I should probably get going. Reluctantly, I somehow pull away from her lips and from her embrace which is actually comforting me and it is unlike anything I have felt in awhile. I like it. I really like this girl I think to myself, but I got to keep one eye open, much like I have to do on the ride home because I’m starting to think I’m a little too drunk to be driving. I make it home safe thanks to my prayers and the emptiness of the 101 at 4am and I promise myself NEVER to drive that intoxicated again. But was it the alcohol, the night with Alize, or a combination of both that made me this way? I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m home, and I’m happy, and I’m alive.

I text her the next morning that I had a blast last night and she responds a few minutes later expressing she had fun, but is a little hung over and paying for it at work today.

“Yeah, we were a little crazy last night.” I say. It’s ok to get a little crazy sometimes I think. Everything went great on that date and we text each other back and forth the next day and already are making plans for the weekend which is only two days from now. It’s my cat’s birthday I tell her, and I send her a picture of her, (the cat) that I posted on Facebook, and she tells me to tell my cat she said Happy 13th birthday. Aww, that’s cute….it’s also kind of gay that I’m sending her pictures of my cat but it doesn’t seem to matter because she asks me if I want to go see the movie “Her” with her this weekend. I haven’t had a third date with anyone yet because I haven’t liked anyone enough, but when she asks me if I want to see the new Spike Jonze film, I almost text her “yes” as I simultaneously go online to the Arclight website and purchase tickets for the movie in advance. She then goes on to tell me how much she liked the HAIM song I sent her and then that gives me the idea to do something I haven’t done for a girl I like in a long, long, long time. I make her a mix CD. Oh God….it’s over. I’m done. I must really like this one. I know because I have now chosen to use the words from someone else’s music to try and express to her how I really feel about her in this moment. It’s a big step for me. I’m channeling my inner John Cusack from the film “High Fidelity.” The 80s & 90s would be proud.

My roommate has been out of town all week. OkAlize knows the truth now, so I should definitely take advantage of having the place to myself for the night, right? Right. I make these plans for her to come over here tomorrow night for the date and I tell her she can park her car “underground” in my extra spot (like from the movie Singles) and then we can Uber to the Arclight so neither one of us has to drive. We can be responsible adults, and most importantly, she has to come back to my place to get her car. Hahaha…it’s a set up, and she goes for it because I knew she would.

Friday Night, January 10th 2014

I’m putting the finishing touches on a playlist I’m going to burn for Alize called “Songs To Make Out To.” I also burn her a copy of the HAIM album and I wonder if it’s too much to give her BOTH cds tomorrow night. Isn’t that like overkill? Maybe. Maybe I’ll hold off on one of them, but then something happens that completely takes me out of my creative mood and changes my focus for the night. I get a text from her that says…..

“Hey. I wanted to bring something up….I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. But I looked up your FB when you sent me that cat pic, and I saw some things that lead me to believe that your “roommate” is in fact an ex. Are there some things you were withholding? Or am I completely wrong?

FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKK! FUCK FUCK FUCK!!! FUCK ME! This fucking SUCKS!!!! Oh man, this is the fucking worst. This is absolutely the fucking worst thing that could have happened. FUCK YOU FACEBOOK! Why do you have to even exist! Why the fuck am I even on Facebook? I thought my privacy settings were up to date! Why does facebook keep changing them, and what did she see on my profile that made her believe my roommate is an ex? Oh right, the 124 mutual friends my roommate and I have in common, the status updates where I tag her and I at dinners at cheesy chain restaurants, and the four dozen or so photos of us at numerous sporting events, vacation spots, bars, restaurants and other friend’s weddings. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s true Alize was snooping, but I would have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. I can’t blame her….and A part of me is a little bit mad at myself for leaving such a firewall like that open and unprotected. But another part of me knew that this would eventually have to come to light. I just wished it could have been me who told her the truth like I was planning on doing tomorrow night.

I text back and forth with her that night, and I try to explain to her that I really like her and it’s tricky because I don’t want to push her away by giving her that much information all at once. I know I should have just told her the other night, but against my better judgement, I didn’t. All I can do is apologize and listen to what she is saying when she tells me it’s a heavy subject, and when she tells me there are a lot of red flags, and when she tells me she’s “absorbing” after I ask her “Is that it then?” I have no idea how this is going to go. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I bet if I consulted the magic eight ball it would definitelty say “not very likely.” My heart sinks deep into my chest like the anchor of a boat thrown overboard to the bottom of the ocean floor. This is the worst feeling ever. I know myself and I know the truth and I know that I deserve to be happy at some point in my life. Maybe this is my chance, and this ONE fucking living situation in my waking life is blowing it for me. What a cockblock.

I’m angry. I’m angry that it isn’t five months from now that I met Alize when I won’t be living with my ex. I’m angry because what’s the fucking point of all this? Every time from here on out, as long as I still live with my “best friend/business partner/roommate-ex” of mine from 2009 and try to date other girls, I’m going to have to eventually tell them about this part of my life and they will most likely run away, laugh at me, or not take me seriously at all. What is the point of meeting anyone new? I can’t find the point anymore.

I make the decision to end it once and for all. I choose to break it off before anything else happens. It HAS to be done, so the very next thing I do is log on to OkCupid, and I deactivate my account. It’s over. Say goodbye to NJSS777.

Sometime after midnight, after a lot of going back and forth with “how would you feel if it happened to you” questions and “I understand how you might be a bit apprehensive” responses, Alize comes to a conclusion, and sends me this text:

“Ok, thank you for apologizing. I’m just going to give it some thought. I’ll text you tomorrow. Have a good night.”

Have a good night? How the fuck can I have a good night now?

Part 5: Ok Jessica

okstupidlogo

December 18th, 2013

I’m standing outside of the gastropub they call Plan Check somewhere in West L.A. I don’t recognize the streets here, but I recognize the names. I recognize them because I do all I can to avoid them. Sawtelle. The 405. Sepulveda. (pronounced seh POLE vid-a) for you people who aren’t aware. And I bet if your area code isn’t 213, 323, or 310, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh and 818, you don’t count cause you live in the valley.

I should have avoided going out with OkJessica, just like I avoid West Los Angeles…..AND the valley, but we’ll get to that later.

I click the box and read this message

“Hey…I don’t smoke crack! Not on the weekends at least
Message from something_about_lip_gloss”

Ha! She’s the first one to reply to the fact that I put “you don’t smoke crack” in my profile under the “you should message me if” box. And since she said the only time she DOESN’T smoke crack is the weekends I already know her intentions. Very witty. I like that. I like her too, immediately. I gotta come up with a good response back. What does it say on HER “message me if” box.

You should message me if….

You aren’t a big fat weirdo.

Ok. This is almost too easy for me. She also listed “honesty” three times on her profile as a lie deterrent. This is going to be effortless at first to go out with her, but then get real complicated after the second or third date when I eventually have to talk about my living sitch. But wait a second….I have never met this girl, but she comes off as funny, witty, pretty, and somehow I’m already physically attracted to her…well at least as much as I can be two dimensionally. I’m already thinking about the third date with OkLipgloss, and I maybe if one and two go well I would eventually get there, but right now I have to write her back something good, and get ready for my date with OkJessica that I’m ironically not looking forward to.

“So you just smoke it on the weekdays?” I write “Hmmmm, I suppose that could be acceptable. It is Christmas time after all. And since we’re being honest, I’m only a big fat weirdo on Mondays, but I’m fine the rest of the week.”

I would have to wait to get a response from OkLipgloss, because right now I am driving to west L.A. to meet the OTHER asian girl, OkJessica.

I had been texting with OkJessica the last few days. She has a strange sense of humor. One that does not directly translate well to a visual conversation. She kept saying that she wanted to go out somewhere, but every time I suggested a place or asked her if she knew of a place to meet, she would change the subject. She would never give me a straight answer, and since I don’t know the west side that well, I left the location of the date up to her. She couldn’t decide. We went back and forth for a few hours. I felt like maybe she was a little apprehensive to meeting me, so at one point I texted her that it’s ok if she feels a little weird about meeting someone from online because I felt like with all the misdirection she was giving me, she wasn’t fully committed to it yet. I send her a text, and the response I got was this.

“Maybe it is a little weird for YOU, but I’m totally fine with it. How about Plan Check on Sawtelle at 7:30pm?”

Ok, finally she actually sets a time and place, but notice the capitalization of the “YOU” Pretty passive aggressive huh? Wait, was I being PA first? I don’t know. But that only took three hours to accomplish. I wasn’t too keen on her tone and there is a part of me that wanted to cancel the date immediately. But another part of me just checked out the restaurant on Yelp and really wanted to go eat there. Plus, she’s Asian! I’ve never dated a asian girl….yet.

I get to the restaurant early and find suitable parking. I walk up to the place which is completely packed with west side hipsters and dolled up persian and asian girls. There is no place for me to sit inside, and no place for me to observe the room. Is that Jessica over there? No, she’s just Japanese. Or Chinese. I look at her pictures online and she seems like she could be ANY of these girls. All I know about her is she is about five foot four and she’s asian. She likes to go to warehouse parties downtown, and she works in some software office doing something with computers, and her pictures are extremely non-descriptive. She looks hot in them, and she wears sunglasses and other ones are filtered and she told me she just got back from a trip to Japan. This may come off as being a little racist, but I’ve always had a fear of dating an asian girl and then going out with them again but not being able to correctly identify them from every other asian girl. It’s not like I’m saying they all look alike, but sometimes, they do. I’m having a difficult time already and I feel like I see her drive by the restaurant a few times, but at this point, that could have been anyone.

I get a call from OkJessica and then I immediately remember I broke a cardinal rule by not talking to her on the phone before we went out.

“Where are you?” She says.

“Standing outside in front of the restaurant.” I respond.

“Oh, I see you.”

OkJessica walks up wearing a bland and boring black sweater and grey pants. She carries a messenger bag, and is not wearing sunglasses. She is cute and petite, but I already can feel her energy and it’s extremely awkward and completely… asexual. I am starting to wonder if she would notice if I just ran off and got back into my car and drove away. She says hello and goes in for the hug, and I say hi and counter with the extended handshake. Neither a hug nor a handshake happens. We just bump into each other and both let out a nervous cackle. There are no tables available for immediate seating, so she puts her name on the list and we resign to standing outside for a few minutes while hopefully someone inside is getting our table ready.

“So, you work around here?” I ask.

“Yeah I work at (insert software company name here) down the street.” She responds. “Where do you work?”

“I don’t really have an office. It’s more like freelance work.” I say.

Great. There goes that. There are the inevitable questions that will always get asked on the first date, and with both of our answers going absolutely nowhere, I am now shadowed in a handful of moments of silence which are luckily broken up by the hostess letting us know our table is ready. “Thank God” I think to myself. Can I pre-order my second drink now, cause I KNOW I’m going to have at least two.

We are sitting outside on the busy out door patio of Plan Check. It’s a nice place and a nice table. I compliment her choice of place to meet, and it’s then that she explains how terrible she is at making decisions. I guess that’s why she was so undecided the last few hours about when and where to meet. She goes on to tell me that she has been on OkCupid for the last six years and she meets all sorts of people, mainly for friends. I know this is never going to turn into a dating scenario, but I feel at least a bit more comfortable because now I know that she is an “old pro” at meeting people online, but possesses horrendous planning skills to actually make plans to meet them anywhere. She has nice skin. It’s amazing skin actually. It’s shimmers like porcelain, and it’s perfect. I notice it right away when I’m talking to her. But then I can’t help but also notice the excessive and distinct outline of eye liner she has decided to apply to her face. Maybe this is an asian thing, but it appears that she has drawn on more eyeliner than needed to almost make her eyes look slightly larger than they really are. Again, not being racist, just uninformed. Is this is a “cultural thing?” I decide it’s a vodka night, double please. A few minutes later my drink is delivered and I couldn’t have sucked it down any sooner than if it was delivered to me intravenously.

We decide to order a few appetizers and she goes through the menu and we each pick two from their “create your own app plate” mix. We ordered some meats, cheeses, and olives that come with some sort of bread and a tapanade spread type thing. I start asking her about her job and I immediately zone out and start to wonder about the other asian girl and what she thought of my message. Was I witty enough? Is she going to find it funny? Does she also wear too much eyeliner to accentuate her eyes when she is out on a date as well? Is this just a normal for their culture? I guess I should stop day dreaming about one girl that isn’t here, and pay more attention to Jessica who is actually sitting right in front of me, so I check in with her every now and again. I start fumbling over my words for some reason and the only thing that saves me is the waitress coming back to check on us.

“Would you like another drink?” She asks me.

“Yes!” I say before she can even finish asking her question.

I am so adamant about ordering another drink, I don’t even notice that OkJessica still has half a glass of wine to finish before she can catch up with me. Is that rude? Do I even care at this point? No. Jessica tells me about her trip to Japan and then she asks me if I like twinkies. Twinkies? Is this a trick question? Does she mean the dessert or is “twinkie” code for something she can do to me under the table to help me forget how awkwardly uncomfortable the last 15 minutes have been. I take the safe route, and I tell her I in fact do like twinkies, and she hands me a Japanese dessert that closely resembles one wrapped in cellophane with a bunch of foregin writing on it. Apparently, she says instead of cream, it has some sort of Japanese gelatin inside of it.

“I got this on my trip. You can have it.”

“Wow, thanks.” I said.

I reluctantly take the twinkie and I put in my jacket pocket, immediately wondering if she somehow laced it with cyanide before she handed it off. We start talking about music and she rattles off the names of hundreds of groups I have never heard of, and five that I mention I like. The waitress returns with my drink and then she asks me for my I.D. She says she’s sorry but she forgot to ID me before the first round of drinks. I guess that has happened before, but it’s kind of too late already right? Regardless, I oblige and hand her my ID. After the waitress returns it to me, OkJessica snatches it out of my hand and looks at it surprisingly.

“You’re 37 years old?” She asks in a manner that leads me to believe she is NOT happy with that information.

“Yeah.” I say “I probably should tell you I’m not 32 like it says on my profile.”

She looks at me like a deer in headlights…..

“You’re a liar.” She says accusingly.

What? Is it really that big a deal? Come on, everyone lies about something having to do with their age, weight or height. Get over it. She wants to talk about lying?? Well, how is this any different from her lying about the shape of her eyes by using all that make-up to make them look bigger??!? It’s the same fucking thing, right? She looks at me as if I’m the lowest form of douchebag west of the 405. What’s the big deal? It’s just a little white lie and by the way, we just met…..I DON”T EVEN FUCKING KNOW YOU! Calling me “liar.” How rude. I try to explain to her that it’s just kind of normal for people over the age of 30 in Hollywood to lie about their age. She doesn’t get it. She is kind of being a little bitch right now. I’m sweating, because I’m somewhat embarrassed. I try to make it up to her and show her a picture of Rocco, the bunny. She isn’t amused. She doesn’t like bunnies. Who doesn’t like bunnies? This is not going well, and I haven’t even told her that I live with my ex-girlfriend. I’d probably get a chardonnay to the face if I gave up THAT information. She is repulsed by me and my lie, and now I’m REALLY starting to wonder if that jap-twink she gave me has poison in it. At this point, all I know about OkJessica is that she’s 26 years old, hates rabbits, and works at some computer software company off of Pico. She thinks I’m a liar, and she’s been meeting a bunch of guys online for six years and then becomes friends with them. I have a distinct feeling I will not be one of them by the end of the night. Oh yeah, and she also deceives people with all the liberties she takes from using too much Cover Girl.

Eventually, the moment passes and Jessica has moved on from berating me about my age, to some forgettable conversation. She is less peeved now, I think. All I want is for the check to come. Again, I will take one for the team and pay because I get the points, and I’m the idiot who decided to go against my better judgement, and go out with this girl in the first place. The check gets dropped off and then OkJessica says the nicest and most appealing six words.

“Do you want to split it?

Really? Ok. So this is the saving grace here? I’m only paying for half. I guess she’s not that bad after all, I think. I would never go out with her again, but she’s not that bad cause she suggested we split the check. It doesn’t take a lot to impress me sometimes.

“Absolutely I do.” I respond.

She asks for a ride back to her place, and I oblige. I won’t bore you with the details of the three minute car ride home where she hijacked my car stereo and plugged in her i-pod to play me some weird space-rock. By the way, I HATE when girls try to change the music in my car. HATE it. No one really likes people who do that sort of thing, so just stop.

We say goodbye. Maybe a meaningless “talk to you later” was mumbled to each other, and she left. She closed my car door and I immediately pulled a u-turn and drove back to home, to where I belong…. the east side.

On the ride home, I was still a little pissed that she called me a liar. I didn’t really have a “bad” time. It was comical and weird but it was still kind of entertaining. I mean, at this point, I am seriously doubting that I’m going to meet anyone off OkCupid that I like enough to actually want to sleep with them. I know what I said when I started this thing about getting laid, but that’s not entirely true anymore and to be totally honest, I’m kind of picky. I also know that I’m not for everyone. I also don’t like being called a liar and made to feel like I’m being dishonest. Maybe I was a little, but it’s not like I showed up looking nothing like my pictures, bald and like fifty pounds overweight. That would have been really dishonest.

I park my car and turn off the engine. I reach into the glove box to get the case for my driving glasses, and I see that japanese junk food staring back at me. I grab it and I get out of the car. I throw the cake up in the air, I tell it to “fuck off”, and I proceed to kick it over the fence into the vacant lot behind my apartment building. That felt good. Then I text OkJessica:

“I had good time tonight. Let’s do it again. By the way I just had that twinkie. It’s delicious. Thanks!

How’s that for a big fat lie?

As expected, I never hear from her again. I’m not even remotely upset. I think to myself… that night sucked, but I gotta go back and eat at Plan Check again. That place was fucking good.

What’s the point of all this again? Oh right….to try and get laid? Jesus Christ, what a stupid idea. It seems so trivial at this point. I’m not even getting laid, and I’m not really having any fun. I think about deleting my OkCupid account for the fiftieth time….until I see I have a new message from OkLipgloss. Maybe I’ll make one more effort. They can’t all be bad dates, right?

I click the box to read the message…

“Who isn’t a big fat weirdo on Monday? People drive like crap, tell themselves they are starting a diet, and are depressed it’s 5 days from the weekend. I’m happy because I get back to the pipe.

In all seriousness, I can’t stand addicts. Anyways, Are you excited for the holidays?!”

I am now….