Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent
A fire burns inside of #54. It’s a soft, welcoming cocoon of holiday cheer. Outside, snowflakes ferociously converge like bumblebees, and I hope Dan will get here soon. He’s my date for the night, to the Pearl Street Grill Christmas Party. I’m hoping that he gets here soon, because I’m ever-so-steadily sipping bourbon from a pint glass with my downstairs neighbor, Michael. If Dan doesn’t get here soon, I’m going to be drunk. Very drunk.
It is mandatory that a true lady remain sober and in control for an entire date. I already fucked it up. Bah! My phone rattles and dings like a goddamn slot machine. Dan has arrived!
I’m clomping down three flights of stairs in precarious and uncomfortable Forever 21 platforms and some outlandish beaded top. Must go and meet Dan in the parking lot with dignity.
Now, I met Dan last month, when I was on a date with his friend John at the casino. Dan was there, too, with some girl named Jamie. It was a double date. But after John won $3,000 and was determined to spend it all, we went to Wine on Third to wet our whistles. And there, amid hazy drunken revelations, Dan and I developed a crush on one another.
So I invited him as my date to the Pearl Street Grill Christmas Party. Everyone who lives at our apartment, # 54, is attending – myself, my downstairs neighbor Michael, Jack (a 31-year old dubstep burnout who wears sunglasses backwards on his head), and Kurt. I went to college with both Kurt and Michael. Kurt moved away to California but he’s back now. I hooked up with Kurt on Election Day after he drank a box of merlot and couldn’t ride his bike back to Kenmore. He’s gotten many DUI’s, so he doesn’t drive. Kurt is a hot mess.
Just as I’m settling in with Dan on Michael’s couch, with a background symphony of cacophonous jam-band melodies, Kurt struts through the living room, clad in a dress shirt, tie, and vest. A cigar is sticking straight out of his mouth. My back stiffens. Ugh! Could he get more cocky and conceited?
Kurt continues to walk through the living room and onto the balcony. I turn to Dan.
“Ugh, that’s just Kurt,” I tell him. I really like Dan. He is extremely laid back, with a good head of hair. He’s even put on a dress shirt for this party. Kurt isn’t going to tarnish my mojo. So I toss back some champagne, re apply my lip stain, and pile into a cab with the entire group.
The scene at Pearl Street is intense – wall to wall people, and for some strange reason, I cannot get my footing in these fucking Forever 21 pain in the ass platforms! I can’t control my wobbly, bobbing to and fro body! I feel like the room is circling around me. I need to get some air and have an intimate, passionate moment with Dan.
“What…what is it?”
“I just…I just…wanted to share a passionate moment and get away from it all!”
“Oh, uh..huh? Ok.”
I grab Dan’s fuzzy beard and pull his face into mine.
“Let’s get out of here.”
“But we just got here, oh, uh, ok!”
In my mind’s eye, the two of us are rushing out into the cold, dark night to have passionate sex in my bungalow. What really happens, well…
Dan and I arrive at the foot of the ladder that leads up to my twin size loft bed. I say,
“Go ahead – it’s easy! It’s only nine steps.”
“Don’t you worry that you’ll fall out of there?”
And the two of us go up to the bungalow.
My dry, bloodshot eyes snap open to the shrill beeping of my phone. Time to go to work! Put me out of my misery. It’s going to be one of those days.
I walk Dan down to his car, and shower away the sinfulness and inebriety of the previous night. I’m combing my hair in front of the bathroom mirror. Suddenly, my apartment door opens with a chilly gust of wind. I’m only wearing a pair of Victoria’s Secret leopard print underwear. My hands snap up to conceal my boobs. What the fuck!
Kurt struts in, still clad in last night’s apparel.
“What the fuck, Kurt, leave Kurt! Don’t you know how to knock, Kurt? Can’t you see I’m trying to get ready, Kurt? I have to go to work, asshole! Hey! I’m talking here! WHOAAAA!”
I work myself up into such a frenzy in my tiny bathroom, I fly backwards – arms flailing- into my little cabinet and tall stack of magazines. A container of cosmetics crashes on top of me, with a cascade of lipsticks falling around me. I’m lying in a heap, on my back, practically in the nude.
“HELP!!!! Somebody! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Seriously! HELLO????”
Finally, I muster the strength, wrap myself in a towel, and charge out into my apartment.
Kurt is standing naked in my kitchen.
“Kurt, get out, you are still drunk from yesterday…BLAHAAHGHHHAH!!”
He decides to pick me up straight off the ground and spin me around pseudo-romantically. It’s not exactly the most chivalrous deed, to barge into someone’s home and strip down naked. But whatever.
“I just thought we could spend some time together.”
“Your timing is off, and I have to go to work. Now get out!”
He pecks me on the lips suddenly. I ever-so-politely push him out the door.
When it rains, it pours…I think to myself, leaning against my door with a sigh. Still have to put some damn clothes on. I wonder if things will work out with Kurt.