Private Magazine

Category: Porn

Splitting the Bill in a Post-Feminist World

BDs

First dates are like fire drills – sometimes they are real, but most of the time they are false alarms, but we are still lucky to get out of them alive. I’m moving up from not introducing my boyfriends to my parents to completely not telling anyone I’m going on a date at all. I don’t even tell my mom when I’m going on a first date. If I did, she would likely ask, “How did it go?” And I don’t always want to recount whatever sick, twisted ordeal I’ve been through this time.

I’m not choosing men based on how “wild” or, God forbid, “crazy” they are. I did that when I was 19 years old. But just the other day, I had a date within the confines of my old, eerily-small college town. It was a revisitation to my 19-year-old stomping grounds, so perhaps the craziness which ensued should come as no surprise.

The “datee” in question was a man whose age I didn’t really know.  He used to teach entry-level photography at school and take pictures at shows. If I remember correctly, I think he had been “hanging out” with one of my suitemates. Who knows, who cares. I’m older now, wiser now, and something was telling me this chap and I might get along. I did what any Millennial, post-collegiate gal would do. We chatted on social media. That Saturday, I drove down to the infamous town. The plan was to go to the Salvation Army then eat at DeJohn’s – an Italian joint with $1.99 margaritas.

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The first thing I notice about “Juan” is his spotlessly-clean apartment. It is very clean, and VERY quiet in there. (Eerily enough, one of my college frenemies lived in the exact same apartment).  Juan is an artist. He has paintings, photographs, and illustrated skateboard decks on the walls. All of his tee shirts are hanging in the closet, color organized, along with a shelf of thousands of CDs, alphabetized. I spot a lovingly-framed photo of Juan and his parents, just the three of them. There’s a desk with a landline phone. Juan picks up the receiver, dials a number, and says “Dad, my friend is here and we are going out, so I won’t be home the rest of the day.”

We set off for Salvation in Juan’s car.  He is a quiet man with the body of a telephone pole. The shy, hyper-organized nerd hasn’t yet, up until this point, been on my dating repertoire – but I love trying new things. Juan buys a green tee shirt that says “Camp MooShu” and a belt (he is really skinny, and practical too, I guess – you have to keep those pants from falling down somehow).  I buy some practically impractical clip-on earrings left over from a wedding in 1988.

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After the shopping trip, we stroll through town. I’m growing nostalgic with these familiar streets and the old “Party Houses”: 25 Central, 7 Forest, 140 Temple, etc. It’s bringing me back – way back.

“We have to go to BJ’s,” I say. “We just have to.”

BJ’s, where do I begin? BJ’s feels like being inside of a Dinosaur Jr. album on infinite replay. It’s a place where you can get blackout drunk with laundry quarters. It’s a music venue with plenty of shows, where my friends’ bands always played. It’s the top spot for every artsy person in town, at a college where “artsy” people are the A-list and the miniscule“bro” and/or “jock” population gets ostracized to shitty bars on Water St.

“Ok,” Juan says. “They open at five.”

We go to DeJohn’s first. I’m hungry. We are the only ones in the restaurant. A mid-30s guy with glasses and a shaved head shows us to a booth. The booth is red vinyl and has string lights around it, plus there’s “Gilligan’s Island” playing from a television right on the table. He hands us menus and a remote.

“Can I get you some drinks?” the waiter says.

“Yes, I’ll have a margarita on the rocks with salt,” I say.

“I’ll just have a Blue,” Juan says.

Our waiter leaves so Juan and I peruse the menu. Juan decides on lasagna and I order the chicken parm. We begin a pleasant conversation about this and that. Juan is very hard to read.

“Do you have anything else to, like, do today?” I say.

“No, this is it,” he says.

“What else do you do around here?” I say. “It seems like it could get lonely.”

“When I’m not working, I’ll read the paper,” he says.

“Do you have Netflix?”

“No,” he says. “ I don’t have Internet in my apartment.”

“Oh, wow,”  I say. “What’s your astrological sign?”

“I’m a Taurus,” Juan says.

“I’m a Virgo,” I say. “I think we’re supposed to get along…”

We finish eating and our waiter drops off the check.  It sits there, upside down, collecting dust almost, so I poke at it. Juan hasn’t noticed. I pick up the damn check and it’s $37.00. Juan doesn’t say anything.

“Um, ok…mine was, what…like, $17?” I say.

Juan pulls a few 20’s out of his pocket and puts one of them with the check.

“Um, uh, ok… here’s 20?” I hand him a $20 bill.

“I’ll give this to him and you can keep the change,” he says, leaving.

“Gee, thanks,” I say.

After a minute, Juan comes back. He hands me $3. I look at him somewhat oddly, but not obnoxiously so. “Gilligan’s Island” was the only “old school” thing about this meal, I guess. Juan leaves the tip, we exit DeJohn’s, and go across the street to BJ’s.

blackOut

The two of us are alone in the bar, save for a long-haired bearded dude sipping a pint. Our bartender comes – a college girl in a knit hat. Juan orders another fucking “Blue”. I go with vodka, pay for my own shit, again, and give the bartender a look that says “keep them coming.” The sky has darkened significantly.

“Can I sleep on your couch?” I ask. “It’s sort of, like, a far drive.”

“Yeah, sure,” he says.

Just then, tons of young, really hot and athletically-built guys start filtering into BJ’s. They are accompanied by older men – their dads presumably – who all fall into the Silver Fox and D.I.L.F. category.

“The hockey team is here,” the bartender says. “There was a tournament today.”

In no time at all, BJ’s is packed full of the hockey team, their dads, and a few moms, too.

“We need to go to the strip club after this,” I say to Juan. “I’m going to invite the hockey team, and the dads too!”

Juan doesn’t flinch at this, but says, “I don’t know….”

“I just thought, when in Rome,” I say. “Are you uncomfortable with nudity?”

“No, I, uh…” he says.

“Can we play it by ear?” I say.

“Yeah, sure, play it by ear,” Juan says, with some trepidation.

Maybe I was misguided into thinking this was, indeed, a date. It could’ve been a date, but it ain’t. Not anymore. At least the hockey team is here. I turn to the hot dad next to me wearing a cashmere sweater.

“We’re going to the strip club after this,” I say. “If you all want to come.”

“There’s one of those around here?” he says, drinking a tumbler of vodka. “I had no idea. Ha ha.”

I look around BJs, at the black wall festooned with lewd scribbles, and the collection of rock band paraphernalia behind the bar. It is the same as it was so many years ago. My ”date” with Juan turned out to be a marvelous flop. Sure, I’m a spoiled bitch when it comes to going out to dinner. It’s too late to change that. Who would I be if I make out with a guy who won’t pay for dinner? Not myself, that’s who.

This story ends with me kissing a stripper at the nudie bar instead of Juan. Will Juan ever find love? Who knows. Who cares. But it’s not going to be with me.

All Dogs Go to Heaven, All Cats Go to Hell

catvictim

Be my victim

 

Monogamy bores me. I prefer to keep it casual. My “official relationships” last anywhere from three to five months. After that, I can’t take it anymore. I resort to the quick n’ easy break up – via phone, text, or just out of nowhere one day. This doesn’t make me a bad person –  I just don’t have time for broken down bozos.

A few weeks ago, I broke up with Drew through text message. I figured we could be friends or something. We’d only dated three months. I couldn’t deal with his erratic behavior. I have my whole life to live. Something told me, “run away.”

Turns out, Drew is prone to psycho behavior more than I even knew. I heard my story Dick Fuzz got back to him, so he dressed up as a cat and posted a “Revenge Selfie.” Yes, we are talking about a full-length cat suit and fuzzy hat- that I didn’t know he even owned.  Is that not disturbing or what?

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s about trust issues, jealousy, and the time Drew looked through my phone.

Predator

My friend Maurice, a total social butterfly, and I are inside Just Vino. We are sampling some pinots and cabs, nothing major.  It’s just one of those kinds of nights when the world seems at your fingertips – late September, crisp and stimulating. The kind of night where anything could happen, especially on the corner of Main and Virginia.

“It’s Gypsy Parlor karaoke tonight,” says Maurice.

“No way,” I say. It’s been my short-term goal to perform “Whiskey in a Jar.”

“Yeah, it’s Thursday,” he says.

“Well let’s go,” I say.

I get into Maurice’s petite Toyota, and we jet off in the direction of Gypsy. I’m buzzed, and just now beginning to realize it.

“I’m going to have to sleep at Drew’s,” I say, “if I continue drinking wine like I’ve been drinking it.”

“Yeah, ok, why not invite Drew?” Maurice says.

“He is at some arts and crafts party,” I say. “I think. It’s at his friend’s house, this guy who’s randomly a millionaire.”

“Really?” says Maurice.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s right over here actually, on Linwood,” I say.  Maurice does a U-turn on West Ferry, so that we’re heading towards Linwood. “Should we just pick his ass up? We can go get Drew, and maybe have a drink there.”

Maurice and I pull behind Drew’s friend’s stately mansion. I mean, how sketchy is that, some random mansion? Anyway, Maurice and I knock on the back door. The middle-aged guests are all exiting through it, even though it’s barely ten. I peek into the kitchen. It appears all the booze is gone.

“Drew?” I say, walking through the kitchen. “Drew?”

Drew emerges, rosy-cheeked and presumably, two beers deep. He has a low alcohol threshold.

“Is there any vodka here?” I say.

“Actually, we should go to Gypsy,” Maurice says. “It looks as though the party is over.”

“Damn,” I say. “Oh well, want to go to karaoke with us?” I say.

“Yeah, sure,” says Drew.

Drew jams himself in the back seat of the petite Toyota, and once again, we jet off to Gypsy. He pulls out a brown paper gift bag packed with green tissue paper.

“Here you go,” Drew says.

I reach down into the bag, wondering what the fuck this could be. I pull out a crown, one that someone has made.

“It’s from the party,” Drew says.  “I had to buy something from Desiree.”

I look at Maurice, my fashion consultant, after putting the crown on my head. His mouth becomes a toad-esque frown of disapproval. The crown has three glittery white stalagmites jutting out, with a plastic lion’s head in the middle.

“Thanks Drew,” I say. “I’ll wear it to a Christmas party.”

Maurice, Drew, and I pour into Gypsy. A man is onstage singing “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Celine Dion. There were things we’d never do again, but then they’d always seemed right. Drew sits in the corner. Maurice and I stand next to him.

“You got this?” Drew says, slouching against the wall.

“No, I don’t,” I say. I look at him like he’s crazy.

“I’ll get you a drink,” says Maurice.

Drew sits there, unflinched.

“Thanks Maurice,” I say.

I leave to put my name on the list to perform “Whiskey in a Jar”. Once I’m back at the bar, I end up talking mainly with Maurice. Drew hasn’t said much. Some metalhead-looking dude is staring me down from four feet away.  Maurice and I are having fun, like we were at Just Vino. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought Drew along.

Forty minutes later, I check with the emcee about my position on the karaoke list. He tells me that I’m next.

“Wow! Thanks,” I say.

I rush over to Maurice and Drew.

“i’m next!” I say, “Let’s do whiskey shots! Maker’s Mark!”

“I don’t want a shot,” Drew says.

“Ok fine, two then,” Maurice says.

“Why is he being a buzz kill?” I whisper to Maurice.

The emcee in a bowler hat calls out that it’s my turn. I rush up to the stage and seize the microphone. The resounding intro of “Whiskey in a Jar” begins.

“I took all of his money, and it was a pretty penny,”  I sing in my most deep-throated voice.  I kneel on the ground and fall back. “Yeah, and I brought it home to Molly.”

During the instrumental interlude, I walk down to floor-level.

“How are you doing tonight, sir?” i say, raising my microphone towards a middle-aged chubby guy. Before he says anything, I turn and strut away.

Before I know it, the song is over. There’s a brief smatter of applause.

“Thank you dear, what a beautiful mess you are, that was really something,”  the emcee says.

I take that as a compliment, as I was channeling Courtney Love.

Glover

Back at Drew’s apartment, he puts on Aliens (his choice again, obviously) and I pass out on the couch. I don’t know how much time has passed when I’m woken up, the living room light still on, and my heels and vintage Dooney shoulder bag being thrown in my direction.

“Get out,” Drew’s at the end of the hallway. “I looked through your phone.”

“You what?” I say, in a sobered-up, half asleep slur. “That’s an invasion of privacy.”

“Ok, so who’s Jared Newton?”

Drew looks stricken, overemotional, and vengeful.

“A guy I was texting, obviously,” I say. “What the fuck is your problem?”

“Who is he then?”

“None your business, but someone I met last year,” I say. “He texted me first. What’s the big deal?”

“What about that metalhead guy at Gypsy Parlor, huh?” Drew shrieks like a banshee.  “You were all flirting with him, buying him drinks -”

Drew starts stuttering and stammering.

“You are not making any sense,” I say. “I didn’t buy drinks for anybody, not even myself.”

“You were talking to everyone there but me,” Drew says. “And now I find you’re texting with this Jared Newton, and other men -”

“Hey!” I yell. “I don’t believe you had a search warrant for my phone, or my purse, you dick.”

Drew continues to stutter and stammer.

“The next time you touch my stuff, and if you throw anything at me again,” I say, leaning into Drew’s face. “I’ll smack the shit out of you.”

I collect every one of my belongings from his room, and go back to the couch.

CocaineBook

That’s just one of the reasons I broke up with Drew. He has issues – more issues than a newsstand, yo. More baggage than Charles de Gaulle. There’s not much that can be done for him this late in his life. I’d categorize him as a lost cause.

Like every horror movie come to life, his considerable baggage is a ticking time bomb waiting to detonate and destroy the entire female population. He’s single now and already casting shadows upon the Buffalo dating scene. Be careful out there. This confession is a cautionary tale.

Great Expectations

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This weekend, my maniacally reclusive BFF/fellow writer/ex-boyfriend, Eddie, is setting me up on a blind date.

Eddie gets me. We’ve shared many treasured moments. We used to have this thing where we’d get drunk at Hutch’s. We consumed their entire Fall/Winter 2013 cocktail menu. One time Eddie wore overalls there. Not really sure why, but I’m going to let him set me up on a date.

The man Eddie’s setting me up with is Kevin. Kevin’s the brother of a married man I know – one that I would have a scandalous affair with, given the opportunity.  In lieu of that, I guess his brother could suffice. The married guy never sealed the deal.

Eddie told me that Kevin is in desperate need of a woman. He’s allegedly “handsome” and a “talented musician.” Kevin is ten years younger than his married brother, aka in his forties.

Eddie arranged it so I’m supposed to show up at Kevin’s house this Friday night. I just got out of a strenuous three month relationship – it’s time to let my wild side back out.

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Friday rears it’s head, like the Lockness Monster ready to party. I scroll through Kevin’s Facebook photos again. He seems fuckable. I apply scandalous perfume, Elizabeth & James Black, which has a similar effect on men as Calvin Klein Euphoria did in 2009. Men love that shit.

Then I realize something. I can’t show up at Kevin’s empty handed. I mean, I wasn’t planning to get tipsy at a stranger’s house. But bringing a bottle of wine is the polite thing to do. Luckily my favorite store, Liquors, is on the way.

It’s seven on the dot when I pull up to Kevin’s crib. He lives on Englewood. I think this is his house, anyway, or near it at least. It’s hard to see numbers this time of night. A tall, lean-bordering-on-skeletal figure is walking towards me. He’s coming from the driveway next door. Whoever it is, they’re concealed by shadows.

“Hey!” I say. “Kevin? I brought this, um, wine.”

The presence gets closer, until he’s standing next to me. Kevin has skinny legs clad in black denim. Thin, straight locks of hair brush against his sharp jaw. I zoom in on the outline of his lips parting through the night air.

“That’s great,” he says. “Well, let’s go inside”.

Kevin leads the way towards a house that’s kind of Frank-Lloyd-Wright at below-sea-level. He pushes the screen door wide. There are two lit stairways. One is ascending towards light, and the second is basement-bound.

We descend the basement steps. A thin veil of light slowly envelops us. I was told (warned?) by Eddie that Kevin lives in a basement.  It’s ok, though, because he owns the house and rents it out.

The basement is bare, not the cozy Man Cave I was expecting. There’s no couch. It doesn’t smell like weed. There’s not even a poster of Chris Cornell on the wall. My fantasy totally implodes. Kevin awkwardly pats at his midsection, like he’s broken out in a rash. Maybe female DNA hasn’t yet been introduced to this domicile.

There’s a mattress on the floor, computer desk, and tiny makeshift kitchen. Kevin heads towards an open bottle of Barefoot Refresh, sitting on the counter. I hear something…. the flaccid, jingling sounds of a song I haven’t heard since college. It can’t be. Is that the fucking Shins on the stereo?

I’m confused. Eddie told me that Kevin is “aggressive.” But Barefoot Refresh and The Shins are telling me otherwise. I pour myself a glass of the real shit I brought.

“So!” I say, “What did you want to do tonight?”

“Stay here I guess,” Kevin says. He sits at the computer desk. There is a guitar on the floor.

“Hey, play me a song! What kind of music do you like? Wait – is this Elliott Smith?” I pause. “A Fond Farewell” is on.

“Yes, yes it is,” he says.

“I’m a fan,” I say, “Do you think he was murdered?”

“I’m actually very into that idea,” Kevin says. “Yes, yes I do.”

I sit across from him in a shabby chic armchair with a hand-dyed tapestry flung across it. I have to say, Kevin could be sexy. He just needs self confidence. There could be a makeout session on tonight’s horizon. Especially since, let’s be honest, I’ll probably drink all of this wine.

My phone rings. It’s my friend Maurice. He’s a total social butterfly. I’m sure he knows what’s going on tonight.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Maurice says.

“I’m not sure. I’m on this date,” I say, sitting on Kevin’s lap. This surprises him.

“Ya, I’m not sure where I’m going, but I know I will be doing some dancing,” Maurice says, “There is a show at Dreamland, maybe Nietzsche’s.”

I put my hand over the receiver and ask Kevin, “Do you want to go out? To Dreamland?”

“Uh, I’ve never been there. Been wanting to, but haven’t,” he says.

I get back on the line with Maurice, stand up, pace around the basement in my black velour peep-toe pumps with metallic silver heel.

“I’m not sure what we are going to do, but if we venture out, I’ll call you,” I say to Maurice. “Ta-ta.”

Ciao,” says Maurice.

Spinning around, I see Kevin making himself cozy in the chair. I have a feeling we won’t be going out.

“I mean, we don’t have to go out,” I say. “We can watch a movie.”

“Yeah, uh, sure,” Kevin says.

Suddenly, he stands up and just kisses me out of nowhere. With his teeth. It lasts approximately seven seconds. His kissing style could be described as “Iguana-esque.”

“Oh, wow, ok,” I say.

He puts a movie on, “The Machinist” starring Christian Bale. We are watching on his laptop. The last time I watched a movie on a laptop with a guy was in my room at Hendrix Dorm. Who knew I could get nostalgic for my college days while hanging with a middle-aged dude?

Watching the movie is awkward because we are sitting in two different chairs. It’s not cozy. No couch, remember? The credits begin streaming down the laptop screen. I’ve had like four glasses of wine, and decide to teach this guy how to make out. Eddie’s words flash in my mind – “I think you could bring out his aggressive side.”

After forty minutes of intense, one-on-one makeout coaching, I consider him a lost cause, and pass out in his bed.

Sex40

The next day, I send Eddie a Facebook message depicting my date. I’ll have to wait another day for his reply, since he’s not back from Portland yet. He was there hanging with one of his Craigslist sugar mommas.

“I really don’t know, I’m confused,” Eddie says.

I tell Eddie about taking my shirt off and passing out in Kevin’s bed. I tell him how Saturday and Sunday have passed, but Kevin hasn’t called me. I tell Eddie that I feel like I’ve made a lackluster impression. But why?

“I was tipsy,” I say, “I couldn’t drive home. But I’m proud of myself for only being mildly-drunk-in-high school slutty. Not full-blown, hit-it-and quit it-on a-first date-slutty. I left him wanting more.”

“Well ok, dear,” Eddie says. “I’m sure you did. I’ll email Kevin and find out what he thought.”

I just have the gut feeling that I scared Kevin away. But how?

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“Kevin told me that he doesn’t want ANY type of relationship at all,” Eddie says. “Not sure what that means. He said you’re pretty and cool, but thought you were going to have sex with him. That’s why he thought you went over there, and why he can’t talk to you anymore.”

“He doesn’t want to talk to me…because I didn’t have sex with him the day I met him?” I say.

“Yeah, I guess so, dear,” Eddie says. “He is a lost cause.”

“Yeah, I’ll say.”

I learned a valuable lesson from my date with Kevin – the answer to the age-old question of “Is there such a thing as hittin’ it too soon”? The answer is yes, obviously, but the conundrum doesn’t end there.

Whatever energy I project to the male species, I yield the equal and opposite reaction.  I wanted a noncommittal makeout session. Kevin seemed like a good possibility for someone I could go out with casually from time to time. Who knew a socially-awkward, romantically-inept basement dweller would diss me? For not having sex with him two hours after meeting him? Maybe humanity really is fucked.

It was silly of me to try and make Kevin a stand-in for his married brother, anyway. Now the married brother probably found out an exaggerated version of the story, and is all jealous and annoyed. But maybe he has no clue. I think I’ll just stick to that pursuit for now.

new new new!

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Dick Fuzz

hottub

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she must break a man’s heart. What the fuck is the point of monogamy? I mean, every time I find myself in a “Monogamous Situation,” I have to deal with some pigsty of an apartment. I’m starting to think some guys go out of their way to make their dwellings completely disgusting. How else can one explain the sinks, the tubs, the diseased sheets that I’ve seen? Ugh!  I once saw an episode of Hoarders where a family of possums were discovered in a man’s home. There was also an actual tree growing in his living room. Despite this glamorization in the media, men’s apartments IRL can be like that. The discoveries are endless…and they can be rather gruesome. At least, I’ve endured some gnarly experiences AND I KNOW I CAN’T BE ALONE!

All the men I dated with clean, well-appointed residences didn’t venture into Monogamous Situations. The sloppy niggas got monogamous right away- probably because all they wanted was a maid!

This is my list of the Signs Your Man Lives in Filth. (Note: all characteristics described do not refer to specific people ).

The only bowl in bed should be one full of weed.

The only bowl in bed should be one full of weed.

Pets You Smell Before You See

“Baby, you lack focus when it comes to BJ’s” he said, with cat hair stuck to his dick. “I don’t know why you can’t pay more attention to me.” Wah wah wah.

“It’s because your dick is fuzzy – that’s why!” I said.

Yes, the dick fuzz was the beginning of the end for one relationship. It came from hair left not by one, not by two, not three , but four -yes, four – cats. One of them was literally plucked off the street like a prostitute with Catmydia. It’s pupils were always dilated. The thing would jump out in front of me so I tripped down the stairs, almost to my death.  Another one of the cats barfed right next to me, right when I was starting to let down my guard. Plus they were so damn hairy.  It got everywhere. All surfaces were covered with cat fuzz balls. Faux fur IS in this season, but whatthefuck.

This dude’s apartment smelled like a zoo, so I bid him adieu.

He Doesn’t Own a Trash Can

If there’s no trash can, his place will become a trash can. One’s home reflects one’s sense of self. When his place is literally overflowing with trash, it could mean he has no self-respect. It doesn’t bode well for success in relationships, or in fact, anything.

Used Dishes Where They Don’t Belong

With one ex, I’d have to pick up and move empty food containers if I wanted to sit on the couch. If you are sitting on the couch, eating out of containers, why do you lack the energy to throw out the remains? (Oh, wait, you don’t own a trash can). Don’t act surprised when I tell you that you’ll never be my Baby Daddy. I had to be careful at one man’s house. Lounging around in the nude is all well and  good. That is, until  you discover a wrapper stuck to your ass. If there’s wrappers in bed (instead of rappers; that would be OK), your sex life will suffer. Trust me.

American Horror Story Bathtub

Pulling back the shower curtain in my former lover’s toilette revealed a tub so caked with grime, it probably caused Billy Mays’ heart attack. No amount of fucking Kaboom! would ever cut through the filth. How long it took to get that way must’ve been significant. The only thing in there was a bar of soap.

My personal stash of 90s Playboys

He Owns a Bitchin Porn Stash – But Not a Single Book

This is more common than you want to believe, and is an AUTOMATIC DEAL BREAKER in my world.

Conclusion

I love men, their smells, and the way they make me feel inside. There are great guys out there who are intellectual, generous, and handsome. There are some men strutting around with pierced ding a lings, and  I love that. Many have suffered heartbreak just like us. Many are in touch with themselves and are comfortable with their emotions. I’ve met gentlemen with style, manners, and elegance. Most men are lovely – yeah, I’m just feeling that type of way tonight!

There’s a percentage of men, however, who are serial monogamists. I’m talking about the ones jumping into relationships in order to be “fixed” or “validated.” These are usually the ones whose homes should be condemned by the City. My theory – some go looking for love in order to heal from other things they never dealt with. The men who inspired the aforementioned examples didn’t have their shit together, despite their pseudo-readiness to jump into a Monogamous Situation. Relationships are work – a lot more work than doing dishes or cleaning a bathroom. If those areas are in disrepair, well, it’s only a matter of time before your romance goes to shit.

Tragic Mike

Men

I’ve taken a new number at the meat market of life. The edges of my soul have hardened, like cheese left in the sun. With that salty taste always deep in my throat, I’m forever thirsting for more.

That’s what I should have expected, after going out with someone I met at The Bend.

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When I came back from Austin, I met some guy at the place formerly known as The Bend. It’s now called “The Exchange.” Honestly, we only went in there to see if it still carried the same seedy ambiance.  Sure enough, my friend Maurice and I found ourselves seated besides two guys in their early thirties. Something in the air between us whispered “I’ve got issues.”

It was early evening – cocktail hour. We’d gone to some old crusty hippie gathering at Nietzsche’s, featuring a crock pot of slop. I met DBGB’s handsome new bartender. Ladies, he has a man bun. Maurice and I were topping off my homecoming with the rest of The Exchange’s wine when I began a questionable flirtation with one of the weirdos there. He had narrow droopy eyes and muscles, which I never really care for. Honestly, I prefer hairy torsos and bellies that double as a comfy pillow when I drink too much. His stance seemed apropos for hanging at Bottom’s Up. His friend’s glasses were clear plastic frames with tinted lenses, which might insinuate he sells coke. But despite all these oddities and incongruities, we exchanged phone numbers, because well, I haven’t written a blog in a while.

Sure enough, my date with Justin proved to be very bloggable indeed.

————————–

Gin

Go figure, Justin’s house is near mine. We meet up at the neighborhood tavern. I’m not super aroused by the sight of Justin, and literally exhale a poignant sigh of despair while getting ready. I just need some writing material. A writer’s life is filled with sacrifice.

Justin’s puffing on a cigarette like it’s 2006 when I drag my lazy ass feet to the door. We sit at a lopsided table with a bucket of ale. Justin’s all about the baseball game on the TV – and is that a tribal tattoo peeking from under his tee shirt? I begin drinking. Justin’s got a serious look on his face. Sure enough, he begins an elaborate story.

“Century Grill never gives me many hours bartending,” he begins. “I used to work way more at Templeton Landing, but after the summer they always get rid of people. So I’m kind of strapped for cash.”

“You just need a side hustle,” I reply. “I’m going to make candles!”

“Well, I used to be a dancer,” Justin continues. “My friend Mike and I, we were strippers. His name’s Mike so we called it Magic Mike’s, showed the movie, and after did our dance performance. We sold tickets and had it at this hotel in Corfu, and later ended up doing a bunch of bachelorette parties.”

“Ok. How innovative.”

“My girlfriend at the time, she didn’t care for it. She was a lawyer and 10 years older than me. She bought me this Cadillac and I was making payments on it and everything, but when she broke up with me she took away the car and now I don’t have one. I had saved up $10,000 but I wasn’t working so that went pretty fast. So I have a rental car, which is expensive.”

“Why not just get a hoopdy for $700?”

“I have credit issues, financial issues. My dad, he’s paralyzed after an accident. I have to go up to the Adirondacks and see him. It’s stressful and hard, but I’m dealing with it.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And also, my other ex girlfriend, I asked her to move in with me, because after a month of seeing her I realized she was living in a grimy basement on the Lower West Side and I felt bad. So she moved in, and one day she got all dolled up for a ‘job interview’ at nighttime, and didn’t return for six hours. She was all glassy eyed when she came back, and turns out she sold her phone for heroin. I forgave her, and a few weeks later she disappeared again and I never saw her since.”

“Since when?”

“January.”

“Ok…”

I feel like Justin just dropped a whole JFK terminal of baggage on my shoulders. So me being a pretty empathetic person, I agree to accompany him to Hardware for his “friend’s birthday celebration.” It’s Monday after all –  it should be a chill, drama-free evening…

————————

Chandelier

I’m texting with my mom while Justin’s outside smoking. She’s asking me all about Justin’s last name, which I’m going to find out asap, since the last guy I met in Allentown turned out to have been in prison for holding his girlfriend hostage at gunpoint.

“Justin what? I’m sure he’s a nice man.”

“No he is BORING *yawn*.”

Justin suddenly shows up and starts reading over my shoulder.

“Justin…?” he says.

“Oh yeah, sorry, my mom, she just likes to find out who I go out with and stuff.”

“My name’s Jason.”

The shards of strength it’s taken to maintain my stoic expression disappear. My mouth slackens; my eyes become a blank stare.

“No, I know, I just told her the other day when I first met you, I must’ve said Justin.”

Jason rolls his eyes but buys me another drink so it seems he’s gotten over the error.

——————————-

Jason is driving me home in the  rental car. I rejoice in the night finally coming to its conclusion. He lives in the hood, not gonna lie, but I agree to check out Jason’s paintings. They’re landscapes and actually pretty good, if the photos of them on his iPhone are any indication. Besides, Jason’s friend, the one with the glasses, has given him some “epic pot” that he says I can try.

We enter Jason’s clean, well-lit dwelling off Genesee. Sure enough, his landscapes glow from the walls in blue and green hues.

“Wow, neato! Loving the colors. They make me happy!”

Jason’s dug out the marijuana, a couple hundred dollars worth in a large Ziploc – quite a bit for someone who by their own admission “rarely smokes.” We sit on the couch. I’m moderately buzzed, not in a bad way, and when Jason begins making out with me I go with it for five minutes or so. A make out session never killed anybody.

I turn away and start puffing away on the weed. When I look back at Jason, he has removed all of his clothes. He stands up and moves toward  me in true male stripper fashion.

“No, wait -” I say. Overwhelmed, I burst into tears. “I don’t want to do anything,” I choke out between sobs.

Jason looks confused and sad, then his expression shifts to annoyance.

“Are you on something?”

“No!”

“Do you have issues, were you raped as a child?”

“What? No!”

“Are you worried I’ll never speak to you again?”

“Definitely not.”

I continue bawling and dry my face on a couch pillow.

“I don’t want to sleep with you. You look like my cousin.”

The cousin thing – which hit me about halfway through the night, a cousin I don’t really like on my mom’s side – pisses Jason right off. He starts pacing around, still naked.

“Your cousin? That’s the most goddamn stupid thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Just take me home!” I shriek, cry some more.

Jason drops me off down the street from my house. I run across the muddy lawn, breathing a sigh of sweet surrender at being home.

 

 

Update: One week later, I was in Rafferty’s (the local tavern that Jason and I went to) with Maurice. A random biker approached us and told me, “The guy you were here with last week is a convicted sex offender.” He found his profile  for me on the U.S. Dept. of Justice Sex Offender Web site. Sure enough, it was really Jason. He date-raped a 19 year old ten years back, when he was 22.

Pleading Guilty To Love

City

With a mouthful of quesadilla I get an eyeful of a tall, handsome man. He has the tattoos, the haircut, and the glasses I adore. I’m eating a late dinner with my girl Gina, inside an otherwise-empty DBGBs. It’s a freezing Sunday evening. The wind whispers sweet nothings outside, telling us the lie that everything is going to be okay.

“Where are you going now?”

This tattooed homeboy has injected himself into our conversation. His voice is deep, and his hands are large.

“It doesn’t matter,” I down my wine. “You can’t come.”

His blue eyes look hurt, or maybe that’s just the beer. Either way, he follows us down the street, rambling about how much he loves his grandma, his daughter, and his job at UPS. Somewhere along the line, I decide to give this one a chance. He seems really honest.

Librarians

Rufus – the tattooed homeboy – and I are going to a hip-hop show at The Waiting Room. He’s  27 and 6’ 5’’ and rides around bumping 93.7 WBLK. Where’s he been all my life?  We get to the spot and everyone is there – Eugene, Bagel Jesus, everybody. Rufus and I go into a dark corner, where we drink hard cider and Rufus shows me something I’ve never seen before – Mobile Patrol.

“It’s an app for your phone,” Rufus says, passing his iPhone down to me. “You see everyone who’s been arrested, up to the second.”

I scroll through mugshots of locals who got arrested today and read what they got arrested for. It’s pretty fun. You can even look back weeks, months. I’m wondering if Rufus saw me on Mobile Patrol. I reassure myself with a probably not.

I introduce Rufus to some girls I know, who all comment on his large hands and tall stature.

“I also have size 13 feet,” Rufus says. I’m growing increasingly interested in Rufus.

After he replaces my empty cider can with a full one several times, I (once again) toss any first date repression to the dogs. Rufus is a hottie, what can I say.

Motorcycle

Rufus just canceled our date to the North Park Theatre. He has to bring his grandma food at the nursing home.

“Don’t worry,” I text. “Some other time! :)”

Two days go by and Rufus doesn’t reschedule our date. He’s either an altruistic grandma’s boy or a douche, I can’t tell. I consult his Facebook status.

To all the girls out there,” it says, “If you’ve got no job, no car, no goals for the future – keep it moving that way! I’m on some new shit.”

What kind of hoes is Rufus fucking with? I will not be lumped into a blanket statement – which doesn’t even apply. He had his chance to date a girl with “goals for the future” – and tossed it away! I delete him as a friend. A week passes with no word from Rufus.

 

It’s Saturday, again. I’m at DBGBs with Gina, again. My life is like that infinity symbol. It’s that time of night when no good decisions are made. The correct decision would be to remove your eye makeup and go to bed.

“It’s that guy you’re talking to,” Gina says.

Whom?!” I narrow my eyes. “I’m not talking to any man.”

“Over there,” she says. “Isn’t it?”

I can’t see who she sees, but I stomp to the opposite side of the room. Sure enough, I’m right in front of Rufus. He gives off a surprised shout, kind of smiles.

“You deleted me as a friend,” Rufus waves his arms in the air.  “Why?”

“I didn’t feel like being your friend anymore,” I say. “Your status,” I poke him in the chest. “was dumb.”

“But it wasn’t about you,” Rufus says.

Rufus is hot, what can I say. I give him a big old hug. Not long from now, I’ll be in the passenger seat of Rufus’s black Impala, with one of his sketchy Riverside friends passed out in the back.

“You, um, are definitely the most together out of your friends,” I say. Rufus seems to roll with a tattered, thug-esque clique.

Rufus shouts in his friend’s face until he wakes up and drags himself into his house. The two of us drive to Rufus’s apartment on Tonawanda St. My over-accessorized, leopard pants outfit is going to make for one hell of a morning-after look.

—————

A vintage chain necklace given to me a decade ago, headband from Saks 5th Avenue and ring were left at Rufus’s crib.

“We will do something this weekend, and I’ll give everything to you,” texts Rufus.

Of course, that never happens. Rufus, despite his many charms, just wants to fuck bitches. Nothing wrong with that, but if he is going to disappear, it won’t be with my stuff.

For two weeks, I text Rufus incessantly about meeting up to grab my things, and he always replies. The time never comes, though. Am I overreacting, or is Rufus brushing me off? And why?

“Look, if you lost my jewelry you can tell me,” I say.

“I didn’t, I have it. It’s safe.”

“Can you just mail it to me then?”

“Ya.”

A week passes and I’m feeling unadorned. A text asking him to bring my accessories to Spot is ignored.

“Look, if you gave my stuff away…”

“You are acting crazy!” Rufus says.

Am I a demanding, materialistic bitch? Is Rufus a lazy dumbass? This relationship was doomed from the start. I don’t see how he can even still have my stuff at this point. Why does he want me to keep blowing up his phone?

I’m confused. I feel played and robbed. Something just doesn’t seem right. I get stern with Rufus.

“Look, I don’t know who you think you are, but you are definitely an asshole. I’m not a pushover and have no intention of giving up on my shit. Either you mail them, or I’m coming to your place and collecting my things. I can always send someone to get them from you.”

“Oh nooo,” Rufus texts. “Is that a threat? Google my name and see if I’m the one to threaten.”

I Google Rufus. “US Department of Justice – Rufus Press Release” is the first result. It’s from May 2012. “Rufus Dicklebaum, 25, of Amherst, NY, who was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, was sentenced to 51 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara,” it reads.

“Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who handled the case, stated that in February 2011, the defendant physically assaulted his girlfriend at his Amherst residence and held her captive for several hours before letting her leave. During that time, [Dicklebaum] threatened to kill his girlfriend with a gun. The girlfriend reported the incident to police and the defendant was arrested a few days later….

One can only imagine how terrifying it is to be held at gunpoint,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Where federal statutes provide an effective means by which to punish this sort of despicable behavior, our Office will not hesitate to act.’”

Right, so, why is Rufus out and about? If his prison mug shot didn’t come up too, I’d find it all hard to believe.

——————-

The following afternoon, I realize that Rufus is using my jewelry as a pawn to manipulate and control me. Like I am supposed to beg for my own belongings. Right.

And then some jailbird – out early on parole – is going to threaten me?

“This is the last time I’ll be polite,” I text. “If you plan on keeping my stuff, I’m sure stealing girls’ things is a violation of your parole and I’ll ask my lawyer what I should do. I don’t want to talk to you ever again.”

Immediate reply from Rufus. “I’m mailing your stuff right now. Text me your address again. Like now, so I never have to hopefully see you again. It’ll be in the mail today. You are the most difficult woman I’ve ever dealt with.”

Coming from Rufus Dicklebaum, I will take that as a compliment.

The Silver Fox

ricks
I have a silver-haired suitor named Mick. He’s a fortysomething banker who proudly goes commando.

As Sunday morning turns into afternoon, light fog permeates the air. A misty gray sky hangs above downtown. It’s calm after last night’s drinking crowd. Mick is driving me around in his ‘01 Beamer, six-foot-two frame squished behind the wheel. He stickshifts around the Harbor Center, taking a meandering route to nowhere in particular.

We check out construction on the new ice rink, killing time before an afternoon Christmas party. This mysterious soiree – hosted by a priest – will contain local politicians. Or so I’m told by Mick. My hunger for adventure made me accept his invitation, which came along at just the right time. I’m going through a Jon Stewart phase.

“Thanks for the wine,” I say. Beringer Estates white zinfandel sits in a little wicker basket.

“I need that basket back though,” Mick says. He lets out a chuckle, peering at me sideways with crystal blue eyes.

This is the first time I’ve gone anywhere with Mick. I definitely didn’t expect a gift. We relax at the Main and Chippewa intersection. All is still. The street, vacant. As the light changes from red to green, Mick shifts the car into gear.

Instead of moving, the turn-of-the-century BMW just absently rolls forward and stalls out.

“There’s something wrong with my car,” Mick says, turning off the ignition and turning it back on again. The car does the exact same thing – nothing.

“This has never happened before,” he says. “Oh my God why is this happening?”

“Maybe you should take the keys out and let it rest,” I say, putting my hand on his thigh.

Mick swiftly exits the car and starts pushing.

“Do you want me to help? I really don’t mind.”

“No, absolutely not. It’s fine!”

Mick steers the car towards a parking lot 30 feet away. A random pedestrian in prison orange appears out of nowhere, and helps him push. I feel like Cleopatra being carried by two male attendants. We make it to the parking lot and I get out of the car.

The random pedestrian asks Mick for money.

“What? No! Get out of here!”

I’m shocked Mick doesn’t toss him a couple bucks, but then again, I don’t either.

“Whenever someone’s car dies, there’s always that random helper nearby, and they always ask for money. It’s a known hustle,” I say.

“That was the same guy?! I was too shaken up to notice.”

We are in a parking lot right by The Lodge. We go there to figure shit out. I left my car on Elmwood and Auburn. The party is around Nottingham Terrace/Parkside, at Father John’s crib.

We take a seat at the bar.

“Look, I have AAA,” I say. Mick orders a martini, straight up. He’s visibly frazzled.

“It’s going to be ok,” I reassure. “The party doesn’t start for like, two hours.”

Mick emits a deep exhale. “You’re sweet.”

The two of us hang out for a while, eventually abandoning the car. AAA would only tow it five miles with the policy I have, and what good would that do? We take a taxi to my car and head to the party.

uncork
At the party, the cozy kitchen is stuffed with middle-aged couples. A long table is lavishly spread with various canapes and hors d’oeuvres. The host, Father John, emerges from the crowd in a nubby Christmas tree sweater.

“Hello, very good to see you Mick,” Father John says, giving Mick a long, hard embrace.

Mick introduces me to Father John, who extends a polite handshake. The two of us head to the open bar. A couple older bartenders are mixing drinks in Father John’s cleared-out living room.

Mick and I stand against the wall, close together.

“Father John is in love with me,” Mick says.

“Oh come on,” I say, “In love?” I look over my shoulder. Father John is staring at us from across the room, with a twinkle in his eye.

Guests gradually fill up the kitchen, living and dining rooms. A state Senator who I spot around town all the time shows up. Mick points out another Senator rocking a hideous royal blue fleece in the kitchen. I force my tipsy self to not ask him questions about his latest controversy. They aren’t as attractive as Mick, anyway, and not just because they’re both Republican.

Mick and I make a few more trips to the bar. The martinis and wine are flowing. A carving station opens up, offering turkey and succulent roast beef sandwiches.

After we chow down, I lead Mick down a random carpeted hallway. We find an empty den with bowls of chips everywhere.

“Ugh, finally – we’re alone,” I lean into Mick.

“You are gorgeous and young,” Mick says. “Everyone here is looking at you.”

“No they’re not. I haven’t noticed, anyway.”

We sit down on the futon.

“How could you not have noticed?”

I want to make out with Mick badly, but go figure – the damn door is clear glass. Not exactly the privacy I had in mind. Suddenly, a goofy-looking short guy with a crooked tie enters the room. He slumps in an armchair with a beer.

“Hey, I’m Jack. Sorry – mind if I sit in here? You weren’t trying to have a private moment – were you?”

Mick and I look at each other.

“Uh, it’s fine,” I say.

Jack starts carrying on about his public speaking job with the county.

“Oh you know, I give tours. Looking to retire soon. It’s been very rewarding….”

He carries on and on and neither Mick nor I say much in response. I’m waiting for this Jack creature to vamoose but then…a fiftysomething woman in one inch heels and candy cane socks comes in!

“Oh, this is my wife,” Jack says, rolling his eyes. Jack’s wife sits on the other side of the room. She looks tired and bored. Jack keeps talking about his job while his wife just sits there looking miserable.

After 25 minutes or so, Jack and his wife leave. Mick and I emerge, going back into the soiree. Father John rushes towards us.

“We’re gonna get going,” Mick tells him.

“Oh, Mick, so good seeing you. Merry Christmas.”
We go off into the night, stopping to make out in the Historical Society parking lot.

Later, I fall asleep while reading a text from Mick.

“See – listen to this. I told you Father John has a crush on me. He sent me an email saying he wishes I slept over and that he loves me! And that asshole Jack. I should have told him to give us some fucking privacy! They are so fucking nosy! And then his wife walks in. I should have told them to go away. You are beautiful and amazing. Let’s go to Rick’s on Main next weekend. Good night.”

Beat the Winter Blahs- Craigslist Style!

Combos

It’s a subdued night in the city, eerily silent and still. Everybody I know is asleep. I’m pacing around my room, twisting a strand of holiday tinsel, breaking in a new pair of heels. What can I say? There’s no saying no at a holiday shoe sale. I’m manic, medicated, and merry!

The Holiday Season – yes, the disingenuously jolly Holiday Season – has its pedal to the metal. I spend more than 40 hours a week under florescent light bulbs, and this has turned my eyes into narrow slits. I peer suspiciously, cautiously, at each overzealous shopper in my section.

“What? You don’t carry Louis Vuitton?”

“No, but they do in Toronto. Why are you asking me this?”

“Oh, SOOOURY, I’m Canadian.”

Later, I start my car with narrow slit eyes. I find my boxed Franzia and give it a loving stroke.

Whether you are a Mass Market Manipulated Retail Worker, Lonely Living Room Drunk, or Impoverished Individual Who Wishes They Could Give Really Dope Gifts, the holidays can be depressing. So what? Stop making excuses. This is your year to shine. You’re only as good as your last New Year’s resolution. I’m here to make all your holiday fantasies come true – The Ghost of Christmas Perversion.

If you like instant gratification and good fun, you simply must read Craigslist. Like Christmas, Craigslist is all about excess, momentary joy, and losing track of how everything began. I’m here to alleviate some holiday stress through a natural remedy known as Craigslist. I’ve done all the hard work, so hopefully you won’t have to – at least not as much.

Make Extra Holiday Cash

There are plenty of impressive entrepreneurs on Craigslist. As a journalist, I once investigated the Black Market Panty Trade. Some men out there are willing to pay top dollar for panties, I guess. Worn ones, obviously. Plenty has been written on the subject; it’s really not anything that unheard of.

Earlier in the year, I posted an ad in the Personals under Misc. Romance, Casual Encounters, and even the Clothing for Sale section. It was eventually flagged for removal on all of them (probably by competitors).

My ad read “Hot Woman Selling Panties – Do you crave the soft touch of women’s panties? I have hundreds of pairs waiting for you,” etc. I set up a new email account and waited for the stream of thirsty hounds to come.

And come they did. Well, virtually. After an incident which occurred in the parking lot of the Niagara Falls Blvd. Wegmans (the details of which I’ll save for another time), I refused to meet anyone for an in-person trade. Only one customer was okay with me shipping the items – a crossdresser in Oregon. And he didn’t even want panties. He bought an old pair of heels for 50 bucks.

For those thinking someone’s skivvies would make an apropos gift for Grandpa, there’s one current poster whose entrepreneurship impresses me. Just search “Panties.” She is offering each pair mailed with a handwritten note and perfume-sprayed Polaroid for $35. But something tells me the chick from Cheektowaga, with her $5 pairs and phone number readily available, is getting all the action.

Become the Hostess with the Most-est

Now that you’ve banked a cool $5,000 (or, um, $5) slingin’ your dirty laundry, you can host an epic soiree. Unplug that Crock Pot – what do you think this is?! The only pot you need is, well…

For $425, you can buy a light up stripper pole/stage on Craigslist. Please Santa – I’ve been a good girl this year!  This Craigslist purchase would definitely get any soiree off to a rockin’-around-the-Christmas tree start. If you launch your own subterranean basement club, it can be a tax write-off, too.

For the whipped cream on top, there’s the Toronto guys who need “practice” before they become “actual strippers,” and are looking for ladies. Like this post from November 16, “Hot str8 corporate white guy will strip for beer Weekdays – I have always had a fantasy of being a male stripper and am available weekdays. I am good looking 37, white, (bi-curious), athletic, slim, clean shaven and a total exhibitionist. You will take me to a gay bar, buy me a beer or two, and in return I’ll strip and get fully naked for you and give you several lap dances.” What a lush!

Now that you’ve got a tipsy Canadian on a hand-me-down stripper stage, you too can host the soiree of your dreams. Bonus points if you invite a bunch of couples you meet via Casual Encounters. This brings me to…

Find A Mistletoe Makeout

I never found love on Craigslist. Never made out with or held hands with anyone from Craigslist. I never met anyone on Craigslist, period (except Niagara Falls Blvd. panty guy) so I really wouldn’t know the success rate.

But from my research, it seems like those who cannot find love in real life, on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, OKCupid, Christian Mingle, Our Time, FetLife, or eHarmony, can maybe meet their match on Craigslist. I am here to be the Craigslist Cupid’s arrow, and connect two lonely hearts who tragically have not yet met.

Pantyboy for Mistress is a 26-year-old waiting for his Cinderella in North Buffalo. Any takers? “I just bought some new panties and stockings, and I’m looking for a woman that is into this. I’m white, thin…we can Skype.”

If I can do any good deeds with this column, it would be with this post!  “Daddy/Daughter reunion – m4w. Searching for my daughter and hoping to find you soon! Still looking for you, submissive, obedient always trying your best to please and always a perfect little girl! If we meet and all goes well I know your uncle misses you too! I’d love to finally hear from you and hoping we could talk and meet as soon as possible! Wouldn’t that work for you too?”

Wait – do you think he’s really looking for his daughter?

Finally, “Lonely Man Seeks Lonely Lady, 45, Medina/Gasport,” is potentially the saddest post I’ve seen. He’s basically begging for a “warm body.” Don’t let him get ahold of your holiday turkey!

“Lonely, safe, sane white guy mid 40’s, looking for an attractive lonely lady to come and spend some time or a night with me. Struggling through some rough times, and tired of sleeping alone night after night. Would love to have someone to talk to, watch a movie, do some snuggling, and just having a warm body next to mine.”

His first mistake was using “attractive” and “lonely” to describe the same hypothetical lady. No attractive woman is ever lonely!

That is because if you are confident and fun, you can be your own best company. You can be alone, without being lonely.  In lieu of company, when the winter chill is just too strong, there is always Craigslist. The people out there, searching for their Missed Connection or a Casual Encounter? We’re all in this together. We walk the same streets, ride the same buses. Perhaps one was behind you in line at the Wegman’s on Niagara Falls Blvd., buying a quart of eggnog.

Happy Holidays everyone! Remember – stay cheerful, stay warm, and never think you are the craziest person on the planet. If you do, just log on to Craigslist. It will put everything in perspective.

Inside the Boulevard Motel

A couple years ago, a Motel 6 on the outskirts of town – or maybe it was a Super 8 – found itself under investigation. The shabby motel housed an intricate prostitution ring, and plenty of drugs.

The week of the bust, a girl’s dead body was found in one of the rooms. It appeared to be a drug overdose.

This is a peek between the scratchy sheets of one Buffalo motel…one that we decided to investigate on a cold, snowy night.

Boulevard

It’s just after midnight. Maurice and I are driving in search of a seedy motel. We will be conducting undercover research. I’m holding onto a paper bag of take-out tacos, unable to wait much longer before consuming them.

“Look, there! That place looks sketch,” I say, pointing my finger at a bright red, trailer park-esque building on the left.  We pull into the lot, with a single red Camaro parked in it.  There’s a room at the forefront, illuminated against the darkness – the check-in desk. It is outlined with window boxes full of dead flowers, and faces the outside, enclosed behind glass.

Maurice approaches. A man is scuttling around the motel office like a hamster, clad in wrinkled chinos. He asks Maurice to surrender his ID.

“Why do you need to keep my ID?” asks Maurice.

“Oh you know, just in case you end up murdering me in the motel room. Standard practice,” I say, wandering off, swinging the tacos to and fro.

Maurice turns the key in the doorknob of room 103. We are jet-lagged from our journey down Niagara Falls Blvd.  An offer of “Jacuzzi hot tubs” glowed in phosphorescent yellow, but when we enter room 103 it’s clear we’ll enjoy no such luxury.

Narcotics

The room is freezing and dark. Maurice turns on the heater, which rests in the window frame behind wispy curtains. Dust particles stream out of the vent, but the room is toasty in no time. I discard the hideous pumpkin orange and yellow floral comforter that I had wrapped myself in. There’s burn holes in it, leftovers of a former inhabitant’s nocturnal nicotine lust.

Maurice and I are on the run from the law. Earlier this evening, we were making out inside Maurice’s car, which was parked behind the art gallery. Suddenly, bright headlights came streaming into the driver’s side door.

“Police…” Maurice whispered.

“Dammit!” My hands flew up towards my face, pressed against my cheeks. “No!”

“Roll down your window for me, bud?” I could hear the voice of a young cop, coming from inside his police car. “Park’s closed, bud. You can go down the street.”

So we went on an expedition. First, we got tacos. Then, we were on a quest for the motel in which the prostitute was found dead. We didn’t quite make it there, but rather washed up on the shore of this Boulevard Inn. This is step one of our review of Buffalo motels – an undercover inquiry into what could become a tidal wave of sketchy scenes and socially aberrant behavior, if we should be so lucky.

I hang my jacket up on a hanger which can’t be removed from the rod.

“You can’t take the hangers off,” I say. “Probably so we can’t murder each other with them.”

It’s time to inspect the bathroom. I turn on the light. The bathroom is terrifying. Not grimy or dirty, per se, just…stuck in a 1970’s puke green time warp. There’s definitely no Jacuzzi tub…no bathtub at all. The shower is one of the stand alone locker room varieties, with a circular bar of soap lying on the shower floor. It’s so creepy; the showerhead looks like it will emit poison gas. The walls are lined in tiles the color of split pea soup/stomach acid. The bathroom as a whole is narrow and it feels like the walls are closing in. Toilet paper hangs sideways from its holder. Cue Psycho music! Wait…somebody stole the shower curtain.

nude

I emerge from the bathroom, and throw myself on the bed next to Maurice.  I wrap myself in the charred comforter, the horrendous floral pattern like something you’d find in the basement of That 70’s Show. We tear into the tacos, and soon the bed is littered with paper wrappers from Elmwood Taco & Subs. I lean over Maurice to grab our giant fountain beverage. “I’m a filthy whore,” I say. “Filthy!”

The stars are glimmering in the Boulevard sky. I peek between the blinds, and see that a few other cars have parked at the motel. Oh, the horny love birds. The illicit affairs. The closet homosexuals. The girls turning tricks on Backpage.com.  We fall asleep.  Everything is silent at the Hotel Motel Boulevard Inn.

The next morning, I search the internet for reviews of the Boulevard Inn. Besides the horrible bathroom design scheme and weird recluse of a night manager, I don’t really know what else can be said about it.

After a perusal of Trip Advisor.com, I realize that Maurice and I have been very, very lucky. “Cigarette burns in bed linen, moth eaten curtains,” wrote one reviewer. Ok, no surprise there. It grows worse as I scroll down. “Cob webs and bugs on the floor,” “Room reeked of cat urine,” “RUN AWAY,” wrote others. “Dirty, worn sheets,” said somebody who previously stayed, “The kind of place where you sleep with your clothes on.” I take another shower, then resume my internet search. The best one came last, accompanied by gruesome photographic evidence. “There was a crude smell in our overpriced room,” quoth a former guest from a year ago. “There was a blood stain on the comforter and splattered on the doorknob.”

Purse

Blood stains and crude smells? It looks as though our motel room investigations are just heating up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dicks, Diners, and Drives

Diag

Part One

My phone is ringing. It’s 2 a.m. and no surprise – it’s Dan.

I hear static…drunken shouting… and then…. Dan’s voice breaks through, but sounds like it’s coming from miles away.

“HELLO YES -” Dan yells, “HELLO.”

I’m laying in bed, picturing Dan.  He’s holding his phone out in front of him like a walkie-talkie, outside the 33 Speakeasy. His polar fleece is bunched up around his hairy stomach, and his pants? They are no doubt falling down, due to his open fly. He trots away to catch a taxi. I see him, in my mind, trying to light a bowl of weed while running, which undoubtedly leads to him setting his beard on fire…

“YES HELLO -” he continues. “HELLO.”

Now, I don’t always answer the phone at 2 a.m. But when I do, I just so happen to be in a good mood.

DISCLAIMER:  Dan previously assured me that when he calls in the middle of the night, it’s not a booty call. It’s because his workday is from 8 p.m to 5 a.m. To him, calling at 2 a.m is his equivalent of my 2 p.m. So, if he calls and asks to hang at 5 a.m? It’s not a booty call!

“I AM IN A CAB,” Dan shouts, “ I AM ALMOST TO YOUR HOUSE NOW.”

Dan barges through my front door, and the stench of alcohol slaps me awake like a frozen seabass. The room becomes encapsulated in an alcohol-sweat cloud.

He collapses into my armchair, holding a practically-empty bottle of Labatt Blue.

“HELLO,” he says, with a bag of weed balancing on his chest. “WHAT’S NEW.”

The two of us stay up for an hour talking and drinking tea. Suddenly, Dan decides to climb the ladder to my loft bed and pass out with his clothes on. I didn’t want to sleep up there next to him, anyway. The putrid, alcoholic-sweat scent was a major turnoff.

I end up sleeping on the floor.

——————

In the a.m, I put on dance music.

“Come on, wake up, we gotta get coffee before work!”  I say.

Dan raises his body slowly, and opens his eyes as fast as a sloth on ketamine. He stares out  blankly and distantly into the abyss.

“…All right,” Dan says.

We get breakfast at Spot. Dan pays, so I consider this a date. (The actual “dates” in this world are few and far between). Then, Dan needs to get back to his car, which he abandoned at Gordy’s Tavern. I make Dan drive us to Gordy’s, on the outskirts of the Cheektowaga/Amherst line,  in my car.

While cruising down the 33, I ask Dan if he has ever engaged in road-head. (I’m not sure why).

“Why, ah, no.”  Dan furrows his eyebrows.

“Oh, yeah, I did that before,” I say, absently. “Back in the day when I was in a monogamous relationship.”

After a minute of staring out the window, I look over. Dan has his penis completely exposed.

“You moron! I didn’t mean today,” I shout. “I’m already on thin ice with the B.P.D, I do not need a ticket for performing fellatio on a highway.”

I grab a bed sheet from my backseat (from the beach), and toss it over his lap.

We arrive at Gordy’s Tavern. I give Dan a half-hearted smooch in front, like the ridiculous Cheektowaga person that I am.

Is it weird that I consider Dan one of my best friends?

————-

Dad

Part Two

Nothing quickens a man’s pulse like being ignored. At least, that was the case with Eugene.

Back in the spring, it seemed as though our passionate fling would go on forever. It seemed as though the drunken, hedonistic evenings would never end. Actually, we only went out two, maybe three, times. But what can I say? Eugene has that je ne sais quoi.

However, that je ne sais quoi is also pourquoi I decided to cut him loose. Months ago, I grabbed Eugene by his tatted-up arms and placed him in the friend zone. Despite haphazard texts from Eugene, my desire to be more-than-friends with him is suppressed. I just don’t pay him that much attention.

Imagine my surprise to get a text from Eugene while I was gone for the weekend. He was all worried that I moved to NYC. We made plans to meet for coffee upon my return. Apparently Eugene wanted to discuss a “humorous situation” which happened to him “earlier in the week.”

I get to Romeo & Juliet’s as the clock strikes three. The place is closed. “Will re-open Wednesday,” declares a note on the door. I look at my phone, and read a text from Eugene. “R&J’s is closed,” it says. “Meet me at my house.” I drive a very short distance to Eugene’s home.

It’s always really welcoming, going to Eugene’s. I unlatch  the chain link gate and walk right in. Romulus starts barking at me. Eugene rushes downstairs in navy sweatpants, applying citrus-infused wax to the tips of his mustache.

“I was planting garlic, then went for a jog,” he says. “Had to take a shower.”

He follows me into the kitchen and turns on the espresso machine. I turn around. We’re sandwiched in the breakfast nook, facing each other awkwardly.

“So, hi,” Eugene leans in, and inches towards my face with his lips. I back away with a quizzical expression and go sit in a chair.

“So, what’s new?” He asks, sitting across from me.

We catch up. Eugene talks about the kayak expedition he just took down the Mississippi River. I feel kind of awkward. What the heck is up with Eugene,  anyway?

“Let’s go upstairs, listen to some music,” I say.

We go up to the den. Since the last time I was here, the leather lounge chair moved from the room on the right to the room on the left. It’s those subtle changes that remind you time has passed. We go to the room on the left, and I recline on the chair.

Eugene decides to perform a series of yoga stretches.

“I’ve just – become – so – flexible lately,” Eugenes says with a leg behind his head.

“Uh, yeah…” I pick a book from his shelf. It’s called “Sexual Styles” and I start to flip through it very intently.

“I love this book!” I say, focused upon the Table of Contents. “According to this, I’m a Histrionic Lover.”

“Me too.”

I look up after a few seconds. Eugene has both of his hands down the front of his sweatpants. He tugs out the elastic band and pulls them down completely. I look down at “Sexual Styles” unaffected. What the heck is up with Eugene anyway?

“Let’s go for a walk,” I say. “To the bodega or something.”

It’s during the walk that I realize – I am totally desensitized to dicks.

What this all proves is that A) Eugene invented the Pre-Planned, Stone-Cold Sober-in the-Middle of the Day-Booty Call, and B) When men can’t expose what’s really on their minds, they expose their dicks.