It’s Not My Party But I’ll Cry If I Want To, Part 1

July 26, 2011

I Hear It In My Head Real Low

“The only fright that’s caused my flight was love.” –Anonymous

It’s Thursday night, and I’m walking up The Writer’s steps. I watch as the sun sets into the hills. I’ve walked up these steps a hundred times and today is no different. I wonder if it ever will be. I pause at the door and take an exaggerated breath before pressing the bell. “Hiiii,” he says with his dumb grin, opening the door. Then he pauses and smiles snickering, “Why do you always look so depressed when you get here?” I ignore the question, sliding my arms around his sides for a hug. “What do you want for dinner?” He asks. “I’m indifferent,” I respond. “You’re always indifferent,” he says. I shrug and clear off my side of the bed…where I see a denim jacket. Not his denim jacket–he doesn’t have a denim jacket. I do his laundry, I know all of his clothes. “This is cute,” I say. “Yeah,” he says not really paying attention. “Is it new?” I ask holding it up. He looks up from his computer to take brief glance. “No, I think it’s Dalton’s.” “I love denim jackets,” is all I can muster. I place the jacket on the floor on top of a pair of jeans…also not belonging to The Writer, and get on the bed next to him.

“But really…what do you want for dinner?” He asks again. “Really…I’m indifferent,” I reply. He searches a couple websites for recommendations as if he doesn’t already know all of the options. “I kind of want pizza,” I finally say, getting hungry. “Pizza makes me puffy,” he says.

This is a new and probably short-lived “thing.” The Writer thinks he’s allergic to wheat (or more specifically pizza) causing his face to swell. When we go out, he refuses to order anything with wheat but insists on picking over my wheaty dishes. As a reactionary response, he’s become ridiculously obsessed with pizza when he’s drunk. It’s simultaneously adorable, endearingly irritating, and entertaining–much like The Writer.

“I’ve already had a carby meal today. Are you trying to make me fat?” He asks. “Don’t be dumb,” I say, pressing up against him to see what’s on his screen. “Maybe we should order from two places,” he says. “No, it’s fine. I’m really indifferent. I’ll order from wherever.” “I want a salad,” he says. “Now you’re really being dumb. You can get a salad from literally anywhere.” He agrees to order from the pizza place. “Can you call?” He asks. “Sure,” I say. He hands me his card. When the person at the pizza place picks up, they ask me for the address and cross street, which I have memorized. As I’m placing my order, The Writer stops me. “Actually…I want pizza too.” “Hold on,” I say to the person on the phone. After he provides some needlessly complicated explanation of what he wants and why he’s justified it to himself, I cancel the whole order and ask for a large cheese pizza. “And with those Parmesan packets,” he says. I nod holding up a “just a sec” finger, and he says it again, loud enough that the lady taking my order probably heard. “Can we get some of those Parmesan cheese packets?” I ask politely. “Yes sah. Twenty minute,” she says.

Thirty minutes later, we’re starving and the delivery guy has arrived. Only when the doorbell rings, he’s not at the front door. “He’s not here…” I yell to The Writer, who’s still in bed. “Huh? Oh.” Apparently there’s a secret doorbell by his garage…his house in kind of confusing. He gets up and walks barefoot down the sidewalk to meet the guy. The guy walks him back toward the front, and I hear The Writer say this “How much do you usually get tipped?” I don’t know why he says shit like that. Especially when he orders in several times a week. I just shake my head, and he walks back into his bedroom with the pizza box. Starving, I fling open the top and shove a slice in my mouth. “Oh my god. Where is the Parmesan?” It’s not there. They definitely forgot, but you’d think it was a fucking national state tragedy. “I don’t see them. Do you want me to call and have them…” “No,” he says disdained. The tantrum-level theatrics going on here force me to hold back a giggle. And then I don’t care. “I think they did it just to spite you,” I tell him. He doesn’t think it’s funny…then he does but only for a sec. “They’ve been plotting this against me for weeks!” “I bet they’re the ones who fucked up your back, too!” All to withhold The Writer’s Parmesan.

As we’re eating, a piece of tomato is about to fall off his pizza, but I catch it with a napkin. “You’re so much cleaner than Dalton,” The Writer says. He spilled everything all over our bed. “Yeah, and you didn’t?” The Writer pulls up the bedsheets and points to a couple stains. “Coffee, grape juice, more coffee, spaghetti sauce…” “Gross.”

When we’re done eating, The Writer takes the pizza box and puts it on the floor. “No,” I say, getting up. “Me civilized person. Me put pizza box in kitchen,” and I leave to do just that. When I return, he’s totally entranced in his email, so I start surfing the web. I find a website which takes screencaptures of people’s outraged Facebook statuses. Only, these statues are in response to satirical news stories. Pretty much all of the posts are dripping with a painful lack of education, cripplingly bad grammar, and religious fundamentalism–comedy gold. I show The Writer a post which is a response to a fictional multi-billion dollar, government funded abortionplex. How could that get funnier? People believing it’s real. Responses range from “ppl are litarally unbelievable” to falsely attributing quotes to Mother Theresa to blaming STDs on the use of condoms to calling it an “8 billion dollar baby Holocaust.” The camp and hyperbole is simply too much, and we nearly die laughing. After almost an hour of this, he tells me he’s going to post it to his Facebook. “But don’t comment on it,” he tells me. “I want people to think I’m the funny one.” “Oh, you’re positively hilarious,” I assure him with a certain amount of sarcasm. I feel so natural with him. He’s my best friend.

As we start to settle down for the night, we get a little chatty. “When are you going to get your nose surgery?” I ask. “Why?” He says worriedly. “Does it look messed up?” “Of course not!” I say. I honestly want to know so that I can plan on taking care of him–not that we’ve really discussed it.” “I’m not getting it anymore. Unless I absolutely have to.” “Why not? It’s broken.” “I don’t really need it and it’s like $5,000. I don’t know though. Maybe I’ll have some taken off.” He says in slightly smug way. The Writer’s nose is a little larger than average, but it’s neither unattractive nor distracting. It’s cute and suits his facial features. “Don’t.” “Really?” He asks. “I’d be upset if you did. It’s perfect the way it is.”

We decide to watch a movie, and he decides it’ll be The Rules of Attraction. “Have you seen it?” He asks, searching around the room for something. “No.” “Hey, have you seen my movie binder anywhere?” “No,” I say sleepily. He disappears out of the room, and I hear him shuffle around this house. A few minutes later he returns. “I swear to god, if Dalton stole my movie binder, I am never speaking to him again. He’s the most selfish…” “I can just download it,” I say. This calms him down a little bit. He texts Dalton to ask if he stole it. I’m not sure why–I mean, would you admit to stealing it? Dalton says he doesn’t know where it is.

We make it through most of the movie before I start dozing in and out. “Ian Somerhalder was so adorable back then, wasn’t he?” He says to me. “Mhmmm,” I reply. “Are you falling asleep?” He asks. “Mhmmm,” I answer.  He shuffles through the covers for a moment to find the remote and shuts off the movie. I’m facing toward him–not optimum spooning position. He slides his foot between my ankles, facing me and pulling me into his arms. He holds me like he’s going to hold me forever, like we’re never going to wake up tomorrow Read the rest of this entry »

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A Week In The Life of A New Yorker Come Home

July 7, 2011

Day 1: Ex

“I don’t have to exist outside this place.” -The xx

I’ve only seen The Writer once this week. I’m jet-setting to New York on the red eye tonight but before I go, we need to talk about this script that we’re allegedly writing together. True to form, he’s forgotten all of the above, so I call him and we decide to have lunch. I meet him at his house, where he’s writing in bed, wearing some silly white underwear. “I have a song I want to play for you before we go to lunch,” he says, pulling on some pants. I nod, sitting with my knees up on his bed. The opening chords are so lovely that I get goosebumps and pull my knees against my chest. “We can give it time, so much time…” the haunting voices chant, and I lie down, slowly turning on my stomach with my head facing the opposite wall. Then this line comes: “I can draw the line on the first date. I’ll let you cross it, let you take every line I’ve got,” and a fat refugee tear slides from my eye. I dry it with the pillow cover, careful to make sure he doesn’t notice. “You okay?” He asks when the song ends. I turn over, nod quietly, and we leave.

When we get back from lunch, I ask him if we can talk about our script ideas. “Let’s nap first,” he says kicking off his shoes. I climb in bed next to him and run my fingers through his hair. It feels right. “Hey, can you do me a favor?” He asks. “Sure,” I say softly. “I have this spasm in my back, would you mind massaging it? Pleeeeease.” I agree, and The Writer flips over so that I can straddle him. I go to work, knuckling about his lower spine. “Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh,” he groans exaggeratedly. “Down,” he directs me. “Down is your crack,” I inform him, but he shimmies his pants down, grabs my hand, and jams my finger into the meat of his left buttock. “Ow!” He complains. “You’re the one who did it,” I say guilt-free. “No, that’s where the spasm is. You have to jam into the knot. Hurt me.” So I do and continue to do so for another ten minutes. “My fingers hurt,” I tell him, climbing off. “K,” he responds, removed and drooling into his pillow. I wrap my hand around his side, pulling us together, and we lie together for a while until… “It’s so freaking bright in this room,” he says because it would actually kill him to not have something to complain about for more than ten minutes. Even if he’s supposed to be unconscious. “Come on,” he says getting up, and I follow him into his roommate’s room. Since his roommate travels internationally five days a week and usually spends weekends at his boyfriend’s, he’s almost never here; I live here more than he does. Perhaps this is what makes The Writer completely comfortable with climbing pants-less into his roommate’s bed with a boy. “My bed sucks. Do you think he’d switch rooms with me?” “Why would you want to do that? Your room is twice the size of his. Besides, there’s not enough space for your mountain range of crap.” He smacks my arm. “We’d leave all of the stuff where it is except like clothes…” “…and then after three seconds you’d find something that drives you crazy about this room.” “It would just be a trial for a few weeks. There’s so much less light that gets in here. I love that.” “You’re insane,” I tell him as his phone rings. He mutes it, letting it go to voicemail and tosses it next to us. Only it begins ringing again. I catch a glimpse of the screen–it’s his ex.

The Writer is clearly aggravated. “Hey,” he says failing in his attempt to cover up the irritation in his voice. I’ve been in this situation one too many times, but I do my best to politely pretend it doesn’t bother me or more accurately that I don’t find it incredibly rude. A few minutes later, I hear “I love you” come out of the receiver. “You too,” The Writer says almost begrudgingly.

“Sorry, it was Dalton,” he says. “I swear to god, he’s the most inconsiderate fucking person in the entire world. No, you know what? He doesn’t even live on this world.” “What happened?” I ask, although most of me doesn’t even want to hear about it. “So he moved in with this New York gay club owner, and he’s been living the hallway of this guy’s apartment. So this man invites boys over to fuck all night and day that he meets online, and they’ll just come in and think Dalton is the guy ’cause I guess they don’t even know what the guy looks like. Whatever. But now he’s moving out.” “That sounds awful,” I say putting all my feelings aside. “Is he still moving back to LA or staying in New York?” “He’s coming back to California supposedly. But right now he’s trying to find a friend to stay with,” The Writer answers. “How did he even get caught up in all of that?” I ask sincerely. “So after his whole modeling thing didn’t happen, my friend helped him get this job as a waiter at a nice restaurant where he was making good money. But he found out he could just get unemployment even though it was only half of what he was making, so he quit. Only, he can’t make rent.” “Why did he quit?” I ask, confused. “He did this same thing when he lived with me. When he was 19, I got him a job at my friend’s restaurant and three months later I came home when he was supposed to be at work. He told me that he was young, that he shouldn’t have to work, that he should just be enjoying life.” “Are you serious?” I ask. I’ve pretty consistently maintained two jobs at a time since I was 16 on top of a full time school load, so when people get into this kind of idiocy, it pisses me off. “The problem is,” The Writer continues, “he hasn’t been in New York long enough to qualify for unemployment, so he had to go through California and get all of this proof that he moved to New York in search of work that he couldn’t find here. Anyway, now his checks are being sent to my house because it’s his last permanent address, and he doesn’t know where he’s living, and I have to deposit them for him.”

“He sounds…” “He’s a mess,” The Writer says. “But I feel bad for him. He’s never had real parents.” “Oh,” I say. “Yeah, like his mom didn’t know who his father was, but she was dating this guy, and she left them when Dalton was two. How fucked up is that? Leaving your two year old son. But this guy raised him for a few years and I guess was good to him, was like his dad. I don’t know, then he lived with his grandmother…” “And then he lived with you,” I think to myself. Even though he’s not quite a decade older, it’s always seemed to me that The Writer was kind of like a parent to his ex. More that he took care of him, than cared for him. I wonder if that’s how he feels toward me. But the comparisons definitely aren’t equal. They had something more tangible. Dalton is exactly a week older than me, which makes the difference in our journeys that much more contrasted. Although I haven’t met him, in many ways, I feel older than him. Much older. He hasn’t even started college yet. But then again, he was basically on his own at eighteen. Or two, depending on how you look at it.

“When he was twenty, he had a lot of freetime…because he wasn’t working. So he was on this whole kick to find his mom, and I was like ‘why do you want to find the woman who abandoned you?’ I hate her.” I don’t know if he really doesn’t understand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was legitimately didn’t. “Have you met her?” I ask. “Yeah. He finally found her, and she has this new family–a husband and two kids. I guess I should kind of feel bad for her too. Like when Dalton went over one time, she made ‘spaghetti’ by which I mean she microwaved Ez-mac noodles and poured ketchup on them.” “How very Reagan.”

“But one time, she came to visit him here, and we went out to dinner. The check came and she just looked at me. Like she was waiting for me to take my wallet out. No intention of paying. So I sat there. We sat there for about twenty minutes before I finally just paid. How fucked up is that? You go to dinner with the son you abandoned, your 20 year old son. And you expect his 25 year old boyfriend to pay?” Wait! Those ages in no way add up. Yes, sadly, an age discrepancy is the only thing I’m taking away from this story. “I’m sorry, how old were you?” I laugh.  “Fine, maybe I was like 26,” he mumbles. “Uh huh. Maybe something like that,” I say rolling my eyes.

“I think you’d get along. Like each other. You and Dalton.” “Yeah? Why’s that?” I ask. “You’re both really smart, funny, sensitive.” “Yeah, I have a feeling he wouldn’t really like me too much,” I say in kind of a high, questiony voice.

When The Writer got back from Coachella, there was a Facebook interaction on his wall that went like this:

The Writer: Coachella was so awesome!

Bradley: jealous. i wanted to go.
Dalton: ^????

For those of you who don’t speak bitch, that last part translates to “Who is this little fucker, why is he talking to you, and why are you even Facebook friends with him?” Yes, I’m sure Dalton would just adore me.

“I need a vacation,” The Writer groans. “Then you should go,” I tell him. “My mom wants to go to Europe with me, but that’s not a vacation. That’s cruel and unusual. Being alone with her for more than a few hours would just be…ugh.” “What if your brother went with you?” “That’d be worse.” “Your dad?” I suggest. “Pure torture. The more of them, the greater the torture.” “So who would you go with?” “I don’t know.” He opens his laptop to start looking at destinations. “I want to go to Costa Rica. You should come,” he suggests. “Trust me, I would if I had the money.” “It’s only a few hundred dollars,” he says, which is nice except I’m about two weeks from being broke. “How about we work on this script, sell it, make some money, then we’ll talk.” So we do.

The Writer likes my ideas but likes his better, which is honestly fine by me. I take some notes, and he assigns me to write a mini outline. I tell him I’ll work on it in New York, and he emails me another of his scripts to read–this one a TV pilot. “When am I going to read something you’ve written?” He asks. “Soon,” I promise.

I go home and pack, then head to the airport–Bradley drives me this time. By 11:30 PM, I’m in the air.

Day 2: Empire State Fuckery

“Sometimes I feel like being gay is a full-time job. Do straight people ever feel straight? There are moments when I feel extra gay…and I’m not even sure what that means.” –Ryan O’Connell

I don’t actually land in New York until 7 AM. I love everything about being home. I love that New Yorkers get off the plane in half the time it takes normal people. I love that they’re not afraid to shove past the obliviously slow. I love the air, it’s infectious ambiance. New York has a morose, quiet dawn. It’s a tiny sliver in time just as the night’s party dust has settled, as though the city is taking a deep inhale before it’s rhythmic launch into a new day.

Yes, I’m cracked out against the calm, having only slept three hours. Luckily, that’s my default New York state of mind. There’s no way I’m taking the subway into Manhattan–I’ve been away too goddam long, and I want to watch her as I come in across the bridge. This is the longest I’ve been away since I was seventeen. When I moved to L.A. I was fine with my decision to leave New York, but I was missing something. It was as though I’d lost my second heartbeat. But sometimes we must leave behind what we know and love in order to grow. All we can do is try our best and hope the future will be worth what we give up.

I hail a cab and when the driver asks me where I’m going, all I can say is “home.” When I finally arrive at my friend’s apartment, I fork over the fifty dollar fair. That’s when Ann comes running at me, screaming. She’s still in her pajamas and yesterday’s make up, so you know this is a special occasion. She never leaves her apartment unless she’s all done up. Period. I drop my bags and run at her too, then she jumps and I hug-catch her, her magnificent boobs cushioning the collision. “I missed you!” She shrieks. “I missed you too! And New York. God, did I miss New York.” I’m almost in tears. I can’t believe I ever left.

We walk to our old little hangover diner where I order half the menu and stuff my face while we catch up. Ann was my best friend in college. We were next door neighbors freshman year, and I essentially moved into her apartment sophomore year. Then, we studied abroad in Italy together for a semester. We were also out-of-our-fucking-minds insane for about 80% of that time. A nice euphemism we use to describe our sophomore year of college is “excessive.” During that time, I shirked as much responsibility as I could manage while still keeping up appearances, and we’d stay up doing drugs, drinking, dancing–everything under the sun–until the sun literally came up. Or as normal people call it, chipping away at our insanity. Ann’s crazy ex boyfriend and I even exchanged blowjobs one time, but she doesn’t like to talk about that. Not that it’s even close to our craziest stories, (mostly because both parties were sober at the time). But when we were being more “excessive,” we were known to have multi-partner bisexual relations, black-out crying sessions in the bathroom, wild dancing sessions, break-out Broadway performances in inappropriate locales, find needlessly creative new ways to abuse substances, old-fashioned binge drink, and even had an interesting celebrity extension or two. Those were the days.

I finish my multi-course breakfast food, and we walk back to Ann’s apartment. These days, she’s a bartender at a nice Italian restaurant and has to go to work, so I take a nap. When I get up, I walk around the city just taking it in. The lights, the energy, the people, the crazy. Again: how did I ever leave?

Later on, I meet Ann at her restaurant and order myself my second grand meal of the day, along with a fancy drink that she shakes up and garnishes. “Thanks, sugar,” I say with a giggle and slide a couple dollar bills in her cleavage. At close, we head to another area of the restaurant where I meet the rest of her co-workers, and we throw back a couple of drinks. Someone offers me a cigarette. I don’t really want it, but I can hardly pass up the opportunity to smoke inside a restaurant in post-Giuliani New York…so I indulge. Ann introduces me to her gay co-worker, and we head across the street to a trendy bar where they buy some drugs from a cute bartender. We probably drink close to $100 worth between the three of us, but Cute Bartender (cuter by the drink, I might add), only charges thirty. To show their gratitude, they tip $30–apparently this is a regular thing. Ann’s co-worker Tim tries to get me to go to the bathroom with him and get high, but like I said, those were the days. I pass. Tim gets a little pissy, and when he leaves for the bathroom, Ann asks if I’m interested in him. “No, not really,” I tell her. Once upon a time, I would’ve probably gone along with it or at least teased the idea. But his insecurities are showing, and they’re rather unflattering. And although I officially ended my vow of celibacy upon touch down on the JFK runway, I’m still kind of messed up about The Writer.

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Just Friends? or Till The World Ends

May 3, 2011

“Nobody dies from lack of sex. It’s lack of love we die from.” -Margaret Atwood

I sleepover with The Writer again the next night–it’s getting to be an every-other night kind of thing. Thursday, he asks me to come over and write with him. “If we get a lot of work done, maybe we can go out for one drink,” he says, sounding unusually disciplined. I agree. Around eleven, he’s ready to go. “Where are we going?” I ask.  “Tigerheat…where else would we go out on Thursday?” Our mega-gay weekly dance party–not what I was expecting for tonight, but okay.

The Writer’s usual parking spot, a block from the club, is taken, so we go splitsies on a $10 parking lot charge. “How late are you here?” He asks the lot attendant. “All night,” the guy responds. We park, and The Writer locks his car. “Can you hold on to these?” He asks, handing me his keys. He has a tendency to lose stuff.

We cut the line and get our VIP wristbands, then make our way to the bar. Pretty much everyone I know is standing near the entrance, including my cousin Clark, his best friend Noah, Clark’s current boy, Chase (half of my friends the gay couple) and his best friend Cash, a decidedly free spirit.

I first met Cash, who you might guess was straight, despite his utter abandonment of social barriers, at a party a few months ago. After only a few minutes of talking, his sights wandered onto a handsome boy with a Huntington Beach shirt on. “I’m in love with Huntington. We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together,” he announced before proceeding to walk over to him, pull Huntington out of his conversation with two other LAGs, swoon him, and collect his digits, all in under two minutes. Granted, Cash had consumed several alcoholic beverages at this point, but that’s just how he is. He’s not afraid to talk to anyone.

Standing near the bar, a tall guy, who I remember from last week is eying me…just like last week. Apparently we know a lot of people in common, but I’m standoffish with him. We exchange a few words while standing in the same circle, but our group quickly breaks up. The Writer walks off, having a one-on-one conversation with some emotional-looking twink, and Clark moves his entourage elsewhere. I end up shifting back and forth between talking to Noah about his recent world travels (he just got back from a two week trip at the start of the week) and Cash, who is super high and already two or three drinks in. I get bored with this, ready to dance, but I also wonder where The Writer is. I text him and tell him I’ll drive home if he wants. I’m recovering from a cold and don’t want more than one drink…which is what the original plan was.

An hour later, I’m just off the dance floor chatting with Clark. “How is everything?” He asks me. “Great,” I say. “Seems like you’ve been making some friends.” “Yeah. I’ve been spending a lot of time with The Writer–he’s a really great guy,” I tell him. He says something back, but I can’t really hear anything that is coming out of his mouth, thanks to the blaring music. Clark proceeds to introduce me to a few nearby LAGs, all of them a few years older than me. They seem nice but are also a little cliquey, so I decide to go look for the Writer. I find him almost immediately. He’s talking to a guy he works with and introduces us. “Till The World Ends,” my favorite club anthem at them moment, comes on, so I ask the guy if I can borrow The Writer to dance. He agrees, and The Writer enthusiastically leads me into the crowd, the same dance floor that we shared some magic one week prior.

Then he stops and grabs my head to yell something in my ear. “Would it be okay if we were just friends?” My heart sinks below my stomach, but I catch myself just in time, flexing my brave face like never before. He said it as if he were actually asking me a question. I take just the right amount of time to respond: “Definitely,” my inflection fit for a Vegas poker table. “It’s just I’ve been having sex with the same person for three years, and I really want to fuck a lot of…” I stop him there because I really don’t want to hear anymore. “You can have sex with whoever you want to,” I interrupt. Because he’s certainly not fucking me. Someone might as well get some. He gives me what he thinks is a reassuring smile then takes the opportunity to walk past me, drunkenly stumbling toward the bar.

I’m OK, I tell myself. And I am for about 15 minutes, but holding myself together like that takes it out of me. Keep on dancing, I coach myself. But then I see him dancing with two girls, and I almost throw up. He would rather dance with some chubby underage hags than suffer through three minutes with me? The lights and blasting bass start to tear through me, and I go outside for some fresh air. Or rather, I’m bombed with second-hand smoke. I know I can’t face anyone I know, at least not for a few minutes. My first instinct is to come up with a reply, something melodramatic. “What are you afraid of?” or “What am I doing wrong?” but this just makes me sad, and I know I can’t really say those things. I have to play by the rules–this is after all, some kind of game, right? I go stand in the corner, alone, blowing out several scenarios per second. Anywhere but here, anywhere but here, I wish. And I decide I need to get out of here.

It’s already 1:30, when I decide I’m collected enough to return to the group. The Writer’s made a pit stop to the bar, where I inform him I’m ready to go, but I’m met with resistance. “I have work tomorrow,” I remind him. “You hate that job. Don’t go.” Wow, do I know how to pick ’em. “I am leaving in 30 minutes,” I inform him, “let me know if you’re coming.” He disappears back into crowd, and the tall guy, who was eying me earlier, walks up behind me. “Having fun?” He yells. “Oh, yeah,” I say although my sarcasm doesn’t translate through the interference. Tall Guy continues with the small talk, but a) clubs are not for talking and b) I don’t do small talk. There’s still a New Yorker inside me, don’t forget. As Tall Guy sheepishly tries to dance into me, I move to the bar, where I find Cash and Chase. “Shield me,” I beg them. And they do, but I make the mistake of dancing slutty, which attracts more attention–something I really do not want at this point. Tall Guy tries to get closer to the action, but I sandwich myself and move us away. When the song ends, Cash runs into the crowd, so I’m left defenseless. Fortunately, tall guy has backed off, and it’s almost time to go.

Just then Noah, who is wildly intoxicated stumble up to me. “Where’s Clark?” I ask him. “Oh, he just left,” he tells me. He strings the words “Want to dance?” together with a mild difficulty. “I’m actually about to leave,” I tell him politely. “Oh, you got a date?” “Nope, just going home,” I say. I promise to say bye before I leave, and I head into the crowd to find The Writer, which takes a few minutes. “Let’s go,” I say. “One more song,” he says. I roll my eyes and comply as he tries to flirt with a boy, who looks a little afraid of him. He is pretty drunk…and has been since our “talk.” The song ends, and I make a “sorry” face to the boy, nearly having to peel The Writer off him. “I’m not going,” he says. “Please. I am so tired,” I say, but mostly being here is breaking me. “Take my car home, and I’ll just take a cab,” he says with resolve. “I’m not doing that,” I reply. “Why not?” He asks. “Because I feel bad…it’s your car.” Also, I’m not entirely sure how to get back to his house, and I really want to rip him a new one while he’s strapped into his little car next to me for fifteen minutes. “I’m not ready to leave,” he says. Even though the understanding that this would be a one drink affair, I give in. “Fine, I’ll wait.” And I do—in misery. Noah walks up next to us; “Is he your date?” He asks me. “What?” Asks The Writer. I know how this looks and sounds—not good. “No Noah, I don’t have any date. You made that up.” Good grief. “He’s probably more drunk than you are,” I tell The Writer, who disappears again a moment later. “I wish you weren’t Clark’s cousin,” Noah says abruptly rubbing his hand up and down my side. If Noah weren’t Clark’s best friend and also a genuinely kind person, I probably would have lost it on him, especially after all of tonight’s events. Instead, I endure some uncomfortable grinding—after all, he’ll probably barely remember this in the morning anyway. Pretty much everyone I know has left at this point and after a few songs, I excuse myself to walk into the crowd.

I find The Writer, who grabs my shirt and leans on me for support, wrapping his arms around my neck. “You’re adorable,” he says. I can feel the blood vessels in my eyeballs constrict with frustration. “You are horrible,” I say with a calculated exactness. “Yeah, but it’s all right,” he says. I take a few deep breaths. “Want to have a threesome?” He asks. “Whatever,” I say. I wouldn’t, but I don’t feel like arguing with him. He approaches a boy out of earshot–about six inches–but quickly comes back to me, rejected. He points to another boy, “I tried talking to him earlier, but he didn’t seem interested. Maybe you should ask him.” I shake my head. “Come on!” He whines. He points to several more boys for my approval, and he even talks to some, but the lights come on, and his orgiastic aspirations disappear like the darkness. “That was the last song,” The D.J. announces, as a flood of boys pour out the doors.

We run into Noah outside the club, and The Writer starts chatting. “How was your night?” Noah asks. “It was fine. I found out my ex is moving back to L.A.” I’m completely floored for the second time tonight–I wasn’t ready for this bomb to be dropped. After making sure Noah gets a cab, I grab The Writer’s hand. “We are going. Now.” It’s 3:30. “But…” I yank his arm, and we cross the street. We’re not even to the car yet, but I can’t wait. I’m upset and hurt, and I want hurt him back. “If we’re going to be friends, at least have the decency to be sober when you want to talk to me about something important. And really? You’d rather dance with girls than me? What is wrong with you, you asshole?” I go on and one, but I realize that none of it escapes my mouth. When I go to say it, I turn and look at his face. I don’t want to hurt him, and I don’t even know if I really want him to know that he hurt me. What’s that going to solve? This is what it is.

And then his expression abruptly changes to alarmed as he looks ahead. I panic for half a second, wondering who or what might be there. It’s his car: it’s covered in bird shit, or at least that’s what I think it is. “Who the FUCK paintballed my car?” He yells, extremely upset. “And where the fuck is that guy? He said he’d be here all night!” “I don’t know,” I say, wanting to tell him he probably went home to sleep because it’s 3:30 AM. I’m still very emotional, and even enjoying the karmic irony of the situation, but I realize I need to be the strong and comforting one here. “I think it’s okay,” I say rubbing off the paint. “See there’s no denting.” The Writer stresses for another minute or so before he calms down.

When we get back to his house, he doesn’t get out of the car. “My life should be better than this,” he says. “Then make it better,” I tell him. He has a bit of a breakdown, and I ask him if we can continue inside since I have to be up for work in five hours. When we get in his bed, he lays on his back and says, “The First time I met you I was so attracted to you. I just wanted to take you in the bathroom of that house and blow you. I kept trying to hint, but you didn’t get it.” I laugh. “Well, I’m naive. And that wouldn’t have worked out well,” I say with a smirk. “Why’s that?” He asks with an attentive curiosity. “Because I was so nervous that I was about to shit my pants!” I’m super sleepy, and he says something bullshitty that I’m pretty sure was at least partially orchestrated to deal with me: “I don’t know, I separate emotions and sex. They’ve never really gone together for me.” “Can I ask you a personal question?” I ask. “Do you find me attractive?” “Yes,” he says. “Do you think you’ll ever want to be sexual with me?” “Yeah, probably.”

I turn to face him: “That being friends thing, you said tonight…am I doing something wrong? Is there something I’m doing that you want me to stop?” “No! No, I just don’t want you to get hurt.” “I can take care of myself,” I say with a certain boldness. Even in the darkness, he looks away for a longish moment before turning back to me. “I think you’re wanting something is all.” I fall asleep with his assertion echoing through my thoughts.


Meant For Each Other. Except…

April 13, 2011

“But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” -Catwoman

I wake up the next morning at a somewhat decent hour with my arm draped over The Writer. I smile and decide to leave him alone but inch a little closer. I love this. But by noon, I’m starving so I poke him. “I’m sooo hungry,” I bemoan. “Five more minutes,” his typical response. So I wrap my leg around his and squeeze his torso and we lie there for fifteen more minutes. “Get up! Get up! Get Up!” I demand playfully, but he just rolls over. “Fine!” I noisily exit my bed and head into the kitchen to brew some Java, hoping the steaming grinds will lure him out of bed like some 50s cartoon floating through the air incited by the scent of bacon. My attempts are once more met with utter failure, so I violently jump onto the bed and flip The unflinching Writer onto his stomach. Position myself on his lower back, I reach up to his shoulders and give them a tight squeeze, massaging him. “Mmmm,” he moans. Finally! I think to myself. I love The Writer’s body–he says he used to be more built, and he definitely has some muscle but with slightest bit of doughiness to him, so that he’s both firm and soft. Sometimes I fall asleep with my head on his chest, which, if positioned just right, is better than a pillow. And I can listen to his heartbeat. “You’re really good at massages,” he says. “Where did you learn how to do that?” “At the ‘Happy Endings Spa’ in Chinatown back in my New York days,” I retort. “They taught you well,” he laughs. “I do what I can,” I tell him. “Well don’t stop,” he says. “Alright, but when I’m done you have to get up. I’m starving!” “Okay, okay,” he complies, so I finish my work. Happy Ending-less.

The Writer and I head to a rather vacant diner for a would-be lunch (although I don’t think it qualifies as such at 4PM). The sky is apocalyptic grey today, clouds swirling. Looking out the diner window, I notice a small circular hole that penetrates the thick glass with a cauterized border. We debate on how the hole got there without shattering the pane, and The Writer decides it’s a bullet hole. “That’s why it’s so empty in here,” I joke. When the waitress comes to take our order, The Writer orders his coffee with milk, but she brings it black. “Oh, can I have some milk with this?” He asks. “Sure darlin’,” she says sweetly and returns a few minutes later with a tall glass milk. We snicker, and The Writer attempts to pour the milk into his coffee without spilling it, but he’s unsuccessful. We get some work done, and I help him brainstorm on some script ideas he’s been working on. I have a few good notes, and he gets really excited about the characters and situations, which does something to me although I’m not exactly sure what. I have an appointment with my new psychiatrist at 7, so I drive The Writer back to my place to retrieve his car.

The psychiatrist, who I’ve only seen once, asks me about my personal life–sex and friends. When I first met with him, I was concerned about not connecting to anyone in my new city. I didn’t have anyone I could confide in or truly relate to. I tell him that I’m sexually active, but I can’t find the words to tell him about The Writer. “I think I’ve made one friend,” I say. “That’s excellent,” the doc tells me. “He uh…is a writer–” “Something you have in common,” he chimes in as though he’s reassuring me of something very important. I tell him a few more details about The Writer, including his age, which garners a slightly suspicious response from the doc. He then asks, ever so delicately, about the nature of our relationship, and I am a little floored, not knowing how to answer. I do my best to stumble through the story of how we met (select details only) at a party and how The Writer knows my cousin, but I find myself slightly bewildered by my inability to piece together what the implications fr my relations with The Writer really mean, so I change the subject.

When I get home, I message The Writer: “I kind of want to get really fucked up Read the rest of this entry »


The Cheap Trick

April 3, 2011

“I wish that I could have this moment for life.” -Nicki Minaj

I wake up late Saturday. I’m starving, so I call The Writer to invite him to a strictly eating-only lunch (Saturday afternoons have become prime writing time, and I’m full-on anti-work today), but he is of course still asleep because he sleeps always. When he finally gets up, I drive over to his house, and we select The Waffle in Hollywood as our dining destination. On our way, he calls his creepy friend Warren and invites him to eat with us, which makes me cringe. “The thing about Warren is he’s insane when he’s drunk. Like mad scientist bat-shit crazy, but he’s normally a very sweet person.” I nod discouragingly, remembering our last encounter, which ended with him drunkenly yelling something about Wolf and I on the street in WeHo.

When we arrive, The Writer insists on sitting next to me in the booth because we’re by the door and it’s quite drafty. He then stands and wanders around the establishment for the next five minutes in search of a different table until finally someone leaves. His shamelessness both embarrasses me and amuses, but this is why I like The Writer—he’s weird and unapologetically so. Just as we settle at our new table, Warren joins us and turns out to be an enjoyable conversationalist, which makes up for a less-than-stellar brunch (because what I really want is a cheeseburger.) Conversation turns to boys, and they pull out their phones to check Grindr.

What is Grindr? According to its website, it’s a “Free Gay iPhone App [that] finds local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends for free on Grindr. Meet the men nearest you with GPS, location-based Grindr.” Basically, it’s an actual gaydar. Grindr locates the nearest hundred gays and displays their profiles, which contain, among other things, naked to semi-naked photos of the user, their sexual roles, and other excruciatingly personal details. Users can then message whoever is in the vicinity and potentially hook up. What’s more is pretty much every gay I’ve met in L.A. has Grindr and uses it with as much frequency as Facebook. Grindr grosses me out, but the concept is admittedly fascinating.

Warren leaves to meet his personal trainer—he’s making big strides to improve his life, including not drinking and working out six days a week. The Writer and I leave shortly after, and I let him in on my anti-work leanings, so we agree to see a movie. “We have an hour before it starts,” he informs me. “Let’s go back to my place and take a nap.” “I’m not tired,” I tell him with legitimate naivety. When we get back to his house, The Writer suggests I read Diablo Cody’s Candy Girl while he naps, and we climb into bed. He reaches his arm out. “Come snuggle,” he says in a cutesy voice before scooping me over to his side. I’m a little cold on this given our history, but I don’t resist. I make it through a page and a half of the stripping memoir before I drop the book and reciprocate his embrace.

Half an hour later, it’s time to leave for the theater, so I poke The Writer. “We have to go,” I whisper. “Five more minutes,” he begs. “Fine.” Five minutes later, I shake him. “We’re going to miss the movie!” I exclaim. “No we won’t.” He rolls over. Yes we will, but I’m not going to win this battle. I kind of don’t want to anyway. Four and a half hours later, it’s nine, and I decide we really should get up, if for no other reason than my hunger–despite consuming every crumb of my last meal, I am already starving again.

Turns out waking him up was only half the battle. The Writer missed about twenty phone calls and thus spends the next half hour playing catch up. While he is texting, chatting, whatevering, his ex calls. The Writer answers, and I’m silent Read the rest of this entry »


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