Private Magazine

Tag: sex

Waking up on Wednesday

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It’s a schitzo kind of morning in a hotel room on the outskirts of town. Despite how thick the blinds are, the sun manages to shoot across the unmade bed. Beside me lies a snoozing male companion. Um, what’s his name? No, seriously…what was his name?

I jump out of bed and tiptoe across the carpet, following an adult-Hansel and Gretel trail of various items: a leather slip-on loafer in mens size nine; crushed pack of Kools; plumping lip gloss in the shade “Inflamed Desire”; a clear green lighter; hotel-sized Neutrogena lotion, squeezed; a pink, lace thong by Jessica Simpson brand; one 50 ml bottle of Acqua di Gio; and a Trojan, still wrapped.  I open the door to the bathroom, examine my face in the mirror then splash water on it, leaning over the sink.

What’s-His-Name walks in the bathroom. He’s 5’ 9’’ and has a Matt Damon in Rounders vibe, or maybe it’s Christian Slater in Heathers. Either way, he’s got chest hair and clear blue eyes, and something tells me he’s not totally innocent. Something about What’s-His-Name and I sparked last night. It wasn’t just those Kools we smoked in front of the hotel at 5 a.m. If only I could remember…

When What’s-His-Name gets out of the shower, I’m face down on the couch.

“I’m a mess,” he says, buttoning a wrinkled dress shirt.

“So?” I sob, gasping for air. “What’s the point? I can’t believe I slept with a total stranger.” I blow my nose dramatically in a paper towel, and take a good look at What’s-His-Name. He’s cute.

“No offense,” I say.

“None taken,” he says. “I need to stop drinking. I need to take a break.”

We check out of the hotel and call a taxi. What’s-His-Name’s company paid for the room. He’s the boss and sells mortgages, from what I recall. But right now, we need to get back to our cars, back to his Cadillac and my Pontiac, abandoned last night outside the Batavia casino.

“Hey, how do you spell your name?” I say in the backseat of the cab. “So I can put it in my phone.”

“You already have it,” he says.

“Oh,”  I say, noticing a missed call from a (585) area code. It’s saved under the name Lawrence Jacobi.

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The cab grinds to a stop in front of the downtown bus station. Three skinny smokers are congealed in the threshold. Our driver is an old Italian guy in a leather newsboy cap. “$16.85,” he says.

“Thanks,” says Lawrence, handing him a twenty.

I push through a revolving glass door into the white noise of the bus station. Lawrence follows me, overflowing gym bag on his arm. A big group of Amish people are waiting at one of the gates. I scurry into the stainless steel bathroom to douse myself with Strawberries & Champagne body spray and pop a couple Excedrins.

“Gold chains, gold chains,” says a hyper black man outside the bathroom door in a camo print bucket hat with chains draped elegantly over his forearm.

I walk past him, towards Lawrence, who’s easy to spot since we’re the only non-Amish patrons in the bus station. We walk side-by-side up to the Greyhound counter with our sunglasses on.

“Two tickets to Batavia,” Lawrence says. He removes his Polo shades, squinting in the fluorescent light.  The woman at the counter is wearing dangly earrings with big gold triangles on them.

“The next bus leaves at 2:04,” she says. “$18.”

Lawrence pays for the tickets. We walk outside into the hot sun. It’s only 11:45.

“I guess we have some time to waste,” I say.

We sit on a bench on North Division. I drape my legs across Lawrence’s lap. He lights a cigarette.

“Change, change,” chants a woman with a shopping cart who looks like Whitney Houston.

“Let’s get out of here,” I say, giving Lawrence a seductive glance.

We walk down Ellicott Street towards a daytime watering hole. I hear Seabar is open this time of day. When we get there, we sit at the bar. Businessmen on lunch breaks eye my attire: black shorts, huge Rage Against the Machine tee, snakeskin strappy heels. Lawrence seems to be in the same boat: wrinkled dress shirt, leather slip-on loafers, and sunglasses totally askew. I have a dirty thong and half-smoked joint in my overpacked tote, and Lawrence reeks of Tanguaray. This is what an extended walk of shame looks like. This is what it looks like to be approaching age 30. Or in Lawrence’s case, age 35, from what I recall.

“So, Lawrence,” I take a dainty sip of Bloody Mary. ”You live in Batavia?”

“Yes,” he says, drawing a straight line in the condensation of his Corona. “That’s where I’m  from.”

“You don’t look like any country boy I’ve ever met.”

He grabs my hand under the bar, and gives it a squeeze. The businessmen are watching us, since we’re obviously more interesting than the news on TV.

“To the couple at the end of the bar,” slurs a drunken white collar-type, raising his tumbler of scotch in the air. His tie is loosened, and it’s just past noon.

“Thanks, guy,” says Lawrence, with a twinkle in his eye.

“A shot!” says the white collar-type. “Let me buy you two a shot. What are we having?”

“How about Patron,” I say.

The unfazed bartender pours three Patrons, with limes on the side.

“Cheers!” we all say.

Before I know it, my cell phone says it’s 1:45 and we need to go back to the bus station.

“Ciao,” I say to the white collar-type, taking Lawrence’s hand as we make our tipsy exit from Seabar, which I’m sure won’t be our last.

Outside, the sun is hot, hotter than before. Lawrence lights two Kools. We reach the bus station, dripping with sweat. The bus to Batavia is boarding. The Amish are nowhere to be found. We sit in the back of the bus. Lawrence gives me the window seat. We lean against each other, and take a nap.

Memories of Last Weekend

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I’m a nymphomaniac courtesan at Motel 6 on Niagara Falls Boulevard making predictions about love. There’s no better place to write about romance than a seedy motel. It’s where you can spark up some pcp, listen to the night’s heavy breathing, dip into the ink and sink into your thoughts. My adventures in the name of love are hot, but extinguish rapidly. It’s a tough gig, being a romance columnist, but I’m opening my diary to you.

My weekend began with a call from Mick, my jealous friend/sugar daddy. We went to Mickey Rats, the watering hole for the overtan and over-50.  I picked him up, since his car’s AC is broken, but I didn’t mind. I spread my NY Times and Lacoste towels on the sand. Mick returned with a pinot grigio in one hand and what turned out to be his fourth scotch in the other.

“I can’t listen to you go on about Jerome,” Mick said. “You have been talking about him all day.”

“We went out for drinks,” I said. “What’s the ordeal?”

Mick’s face turned red. He said he was moving on with another woman. Ok fine, I said. What did I care? I’ve told him numerous times that this wasn’t going anywhere.

“I need someone who is serious,” he said.

I started crying, then whacked Mick over the head with an empty Styrofoam container from Hot Mama’s Canteen. He charged at me like the tragic lead in a Shakespearean play.  I splashed my entire pinot grigio across his face and power-walked away.

“Leave me alone,” I said. “Leave me alone!”

“I can get home on my own,” Mick’s voice echoed behind me. “I don’t need you. Go blow Jerome!”

I left Mick on the beach. He had to pay $200 for a cab back to Lancaster. When I got home, I sought refuge in the form of an older man’s sympathetic ear. Call it what you will, daddy issues maybe, but I called “Esquire” – a married, way-too-old for me man. I was baked from the beach, in more ways than one.

“Meet me at Bennigan’s in 30 minutes,” he said. “I’m not in driving form.”

Even though Esquire is by most accounts a professional man, whenever I hang with him he’s drunk and kind of smelly. I can’t really explain my desire. Is there ever an explanation for matters of the heart? I found Esquire lurking outside Bennigan’s in a deteriorating flannel.

“Bennigan’’s is closed. It’s closed, man,” he said.

“Hmm. I know a place.”

We drove a half mile to a dive on my side of the tracks, which means patrons knock each other over the head with pool cues and play “Stan”-era Eminem. We had one drink then got cozy in my car.

“My dick doesn’t work,” Esquire said dismally.

“Can’t you score Viagra at Chophouse?”

“That’s not the point. I’m married. And old. How old are you, anyway?”

“28.”

“And I’m married,” Esquire continued. “But I…love you. I do.”

What happens in my Pontiac stays in my Pontiac, where Esquire and I are concerned.  I dropped him off at the corner of his street.

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The next day I found NY Times and Lacoste towels folded neatly on my porch. I had all these emails from Mick, since I blocked his number.  But I had zero time to deal with him. That day, I was to have a “normal” date with a hopefully “normal” man. Actually, JJ was probably just my thirtysomething flavor of the week. Even though all he talked about was baby mama drama and the diamonds he’s got on layaway, I thought maybe – just maybe – he was worth a shot.

I met him last summer, when I was office assistant at an auto garage. My job was to literally buy Busch Light at the gas station on Military. JJ does body work. I liked his glasses.

The plan was to hit the beach – a different beach. I drove, since JJ’s license was revoked. Fist pumping techno boomed from the beach club.

“If we go in there, I’d come out in handcuffs,” JJ said as we walked by. “I hate guido fucking douchebags.”

“We can, um, avoid that,” I said.

We settled beneath an umbrella at Cabana Jims. I slurped a marg on the rocks. JJ threw back ten shots of “Jamo”.  After this booze smorgasbord, our food arrived. The waitress placed my cobb salad and JJ’s dinner of choice – a $15 girlie drink served in a giant coconut – on the table.

“Damn,” I said, eyeing the coconut, which bore some kind of tiki smile face expression.

After the beach, as the sun went down, we walked around the Japanese Garden. I decided I’d make out with JJ, then call it quits. We weren’t a match. He seemed like a hot mess.

“Why don’t we make out on this log?” I said, taking JJ’s hand.

“Make out?” JJ drawled in a drunken stupor. “That reminds me of fourth grade.”

I stared at JJ through the leaves. He was wearing patriotic shorts. Ugh.

“Look, look, I’ll just walk home,” JJ said, wandering away. “There’s like, moms and kids over there.”

“What?” I said. “So?” I guess JJ wasn’t an exhibitionist like me.

“I’m going to go blow some lines,” he said. “Peace out.”

I went back to the Pontiac, cackling like a witch, relieved to be rid of JJ. The truth is that a writer sleeps alone.

Working the Corner in Niagara Falls

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It’s 11:40 a.m. and four old men are collected, like a clump of fungus, in the parking lot of the corner 7-11. They hold 40 oz. Ballentine’s Ales in dirty, gloved grips and discuss an impending “disability check.” When I walk by, coughs and groans bubble from their raspy throats. It’s been a long time since these men have uttered sounds of passion – for life or for anything which life has to offer. Theirs is the blissed-out fog of the forgotten.

It’s 12:01 p.m. and Jennifer and I are opening the Niagara Falls watering hole to the morning crowd. Come to find out, there is a “morning crowd” and by all appearances, they are ready to get their groove on. A flanneled gentleman known as “Skip” drags his body through the entrance in clunky, steel-toe boots. Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. His lips open slightly into a preposterous grin. I notice one of his front teeth is missing. Gone. This is my third day working here, at this landfill of a bar known only as “The Third Hole.” Skip’s been here every single time. I’m sure all the times that I haven’t been here, Skip has been here, and he will be here in the days after I’m gone.

It’s 12:30 p.m  and every bar stool is occupied by a member of the male gender. Coolers are stocked with domestic bottles plus cans of Schmidt’s and Stroh’s. First in line down the L-shaped bar is Ricky, a walking type-2 diabetes, high-blood pressure situation. Despite being a ticking time bomb, Ricky requires three ever-present beverages in front of him – double well vodka and water; tumbler of Mohawk blackberry brandy; and a plastic cup of ice. If any of these get low, you will endure wails of exasperation. Next to him sits Canadian Stu in a half-unbuttoned dress shirt. The level of his Molson doesn’t currently require attention. Then there’s Chester, the most elderly of the bunch, slurpin’ a Schmidt’s along with what’s apparently known as a “Polish Bloody Mary” – a shot of vodka with tomato juice on the side.

“Does anyone want a shot of Patron?” I ask. “Does anyone want to try something new?”

Nothing new is ever on the menu inside “The Third Hole.” Everyone here sticks to a daily routine. Ricky grunts, scratches his stomach. This city, and many of its inhabitants, appear to be lost in the sauce.  An angry-looking fortysomething in a baseball hat glares at me from the end of the bar.

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“Can I get you another?” I say, removing his empty bottle. “Bud Light?”

I bring a fresh beer to this bozo but he’s still glaring and not saying a word.

“$2.25,” I say. His eyes pierce through mine. “I said, $2.25!” An utterly-futile staring contest continues for a few seconds, until I’ve had enough.

“The dude at the end of the bar is giving me a hard time,” I say to Jennifer. “He won’t give me the damn $2.25!”

“Oh, he has a tab,” she says. “He didn’t tell you?”

I run to the side of the bar featuring Canadian Stu, who is pretty chill. He’s been knocking back shots of Old Grandad. A biker with glasses declares he wants to buy everyone a round. I place plastic shot cups in front of every man – currency for their next libation. All the drunks are stacked up with shot cups, guaranteeing many rounds to come.

Sometime around 1 p.m., two younger guys walk in. They are probably around 30 and look tired. Sliding onto bar stools, they casually look around and wave to Jennifer. She already knows what they want – a couple Heinekens.

“I haven’t seen you before,” I say to the one with brown, spiky hair who looks like a cross between Shia LeBoeuf and John Belushi. “What do you guys do?”

“We work at the casino,” he says.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Scotty.”

“What do you guys do at the casino?”

“We’re pit bosses,” Scotty says. “We sit at the card games and make sure nobody cheats.”

“That’s hot,” I say. “Really hot. Like Rounders starring Matt Damon. You are Edward Norton.”

He doesn’t seem amused. Scotty and his homeboy take their beers to a corner table and start dealing out cards.

“I thought we’d have a shot of Patron?” I say as they’re walking away. Ricky, et. al. start hollering for beer while I’m staring into space.

“Hey, we’re waiting here,” he bellows. A rough-looking Falls chick in a Luke Bryan tee is also vowing for my attention.

“God, thank you,” she says sarcastically. I hand her a basic bottle of Budweiser.

A handsome professional is in the seat where Scotty was. His hair is black with a few grays. He’s mellowing out and doesn’t seem in a rush.

“How about that shot of Patron?” he says.

“I thought you’d never ask,” I say.

The mysterious professional and I stare into one another’s eyes. We sip Patron until he gives me $5 and continues on his way. Ricky, et. al. start hollering for beer again.

“Hey!” Scotty shouts. “Over here!”

“I’m almost done with my shift,” I say. “I’ll come hang with you in a bit, Scotty.”

“No, we need beer,” he says.

The afternoon drags on….

“Barmaid, barmaid,” shouts Chester while rattling his empty Schmidt’s.

Around 6 p.m, Scotty’s girlfriend shows up. Great, I’m thinking. Just what I need. She starts giving me the stink eye. I didn’t realize this place would bring more enemies than friends. It can be hostile when you’re not a Falls chick. If I’m ever found in a barrel at the foot of the Falls, now you know why.

I pop open bottles with a flick of the wrist. I’m not talking as much, lest the drunks get annoyed I take too long delivering their fix. Led Zeppelin drifts around the smelly bar like a missing cat. A sliver of sun manages to cut through the grimy windows. It’s a depressing scene.

These are the men who have washed ashore. The ones society forgot.  Sweat-soaked alcoholics and veterans and lonely widowers, the incapacitated and disabled, the racists and homophobes and misogynists, all paying for beer with plastic cups and loose change. An empty beer with a shot cup over it signifies that person wants another. It’s a secret language spoken by the braindead and the downtrodden. I decide to ride the wave back home, back to Erie County, forever.

Tragic Mike

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

The Silver Fox

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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.

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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.”

Giving & Receiving

Celebrating with those you can’t publicly acknowledge

Book

I’m at work early in the a.m, when a handsome late-thirties yuppie rushes up to me. “Please tell me this is part of the sweater sale?” he implores, holding up a gray French Connection fuzzball.  It’s a former state Assemblyman and DA, whom I immediately recognize. Hello, he’s Kennedy status, in Erie County anyway – strapping, privileged, and just a little naughty.

“Oh, don’t worry,” I reply, running a hand down the front of the sweater, “It’s included.”

My eyes trail the outline of his moisturized jaw. “If you open a charge, you’ll save another 15 percent.”

“Oh, I have way too many store accounts,” he says with that mischievous political smile. “I’m sure you can understand?”

“All too well,” I say, sashaying away to the register. “Let me just wrap this up for you.”

The brief affair that I had with this politician (in my mind) ended way too soon. Is he married?  I wonder who he was buying that women’s sweater for.  The encounter got me thinking about the salacious sex scandals of politicians’ past. How their hot steamy nights turned into blinding media-frenzied mornings. Politicians enjoy more than their fair share of extracurricular boink fests, as those with money power and respect are prone to do. Much has been written after the undercover lovers got busted. I’m more interested in the hotel room highs – the mini bar fueled confessions of a Senator blindfolded with his own necktie, before the National Enquirer comes to take the piss out of the whole thing.

So, I’m going to shamelessly glamorize some famous yet fleeting Politician/Other Woman couples. I also included cocktail and music recommendations to party in style. This should break up any winter monotony at home.  Let’s examine some scandals, shall we?

Eliot Spitzer/Ashley Dupre

After his bank activity drew suspicion and he was wiretapped by the feds, Eliot Spitzer got busted. Busted for what, you say? Old Spitzy (as he liked to be called between the sheets, but you didn’t hear it from me) dropped $80,000 on call girls, most prominently on a bae named Ashley Dupre.

In 2008, Dupre – who worked for escort service Emperors Club VIP – took a train to DC to meet Spitzer at the Mayflower Hotel. This transaction eventually led to the arrest of four Emperors Club employees for prostitution and money laundering. Eventually, it was deduced that “Client 9” – who by all accounts was considered “difficult” – was in fact New York Governor Spitzer. “Kristen,” her escort alias, was identified as Dupre- a girl trying to make it as a singer. Listen to her song “What We Want,” where she sings “Can you ride with me boy, Bonnie and Clyde, die with me boy?” Considering Spitzer and his wife are still a thing, I guess the answer’s no.

It all ended happily for Dupre. She wasn’t prosecuted for prostitution. She got a sex advice column in the New York Post, “Ask Ashley.” She’s featured in the May 2010 issue of Playboy. Last year she got married in Paris to a “construction magnate beau” and had a baby girl! Follow her on Twitter @AshleyDupre.

Drink: The Spitz on Your D**K Ciderhouse Bourbon

2 oz bourbon

1 oz boiled cider

Strip of lemon zest

Combine bourbon and boiled cider over ice and gently stir. Twist lemon zest, drop into drink, and stir some more.

Listen: Black Sheep “The Choice is Yours”; “Bad [remix],” Wale feat. Rihanna.

Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky

Maybe it was Clinton saying he “didn’t inhale.” Maybe it was the semen stain held in tact. Any way you slice it, the Monica and Bill scandal had television audiences hypnotized. “I never had sexual relations with that woman,” Clinton insisted.

While I usually root for the underdog, I never really bought Lewinsky’s schtick. Oh, she just so happened to have the notorious blue dress with presidential jizz all over it ready to use as evidence? I was eight years old at the time, but I still thought Lewinsky was being a traitor.  When two consenting adults engage in oral sex, it’s with the unspoken agreement that one will not save bodily fluids to be used against the other in court.

As president, Clinton was a  jovial, saxaphone-playing charmer everyone liked. Maybe he inhaled that day and allowed Lewinsky to fellate him. Maybe she was just  a young girl who couldn’t resist blowing his saxophone. Perhaps Lewinsky never had the desire to capitalize on notoriety. They both went on to publish memoirs, and Lewinsky started a handbag business. On an episode of The Tom Green Show from 2000, Lewinsky and Green searched for new handbag fabrics. It’s a killer episode.

Follow Lewinsky on Twitter, @MonicaLewinsky.

Drink: The Backstabber in Blue

Fill shot glass halfway with peach schnapps, then some Baileys, then blue curacao, then top with grenadine.

Listen: “Peaches,” Presidents of the United States of America; “Loyal,” Chris Brown.

cal

John Edwards/Rielle Hunter

When Southern fried presidential hopeful Edwards was splattered on the cover of the National Enquirer with headlines about an affair, he denied it. He let his aide take the blame. His family-friendly stance was a major playing card with voters. But when the Enquirer ran another story about Edwards’ soon to be born love child and the mistress hidden away in a Beverly Hills hotel, there was no denying it.

After meeting and beginning an affair with Hunter, Edwards hired her to create videos for his website. She was to help with his political campaign – what a joke! After the media scandal, Edwards dropped out of the race. His aide shuttled pregnant Hunter to hotels all over the place. Rumors of a sex tape featuring Hunter and Edwards surfaced (she was his videographer, after all).

What’s totally fucked up about Edwards is that he was supposedly SO ABOUT “family values,” while not only cheating on his wife, but denying his own daughter for TWO YEARS. Hunter seems like a total hot mess, too. She posed for racy photos in GQ  (she said images the media used weren’t flattering and came off like a desperate old person) and even claimed the two were still a couple after Edwards went to trial for alleged misuse of campaign funds. (He was found not guilty).

Drink: The Love Child Iced Tea

1 oz rum;1 oz vodka; 1 oz gin; 4 oz lemonade; 1-2 oz simple syrup; 3 oz unsweetened iced tea; mint sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish. Mix into a mason jar.

Listen: “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya,” Dropkick Murphys; “Big Poppa,” Notorious BIG.

This short list does not include political sex ending in murder (Gary Condit/Chandra Levy), closet homosexual solicitations (Larry Craig, Mark Foley) and inappropriate sexts gone viral (Chris Lee). I tried to stick with the most romantic ones (except John Edwards- I fucking hate that guy, and his hair). Never trust a man with  a schellacked ‘do.

If you think having an affair with a politician will make you go from 0 to 100 real quick – it will. You will have to write a memoir, do interviews with Barbara Walters, maybe even Playboy. But, it will hopefully recoup all the money you’ll have to spend on legal fees.  Trouble will no doubt come your way. Your politician flame will probably just deny the whole thing and fall back to his wife. Who wants to be second fiddle?

You don’t see Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg out chasing tail like some liquored-up tomcat. Or, do you? At least not yet. Clearly, male politicians are a horny bunch.

Moral of the story – there should be more women in politics.

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.

Asshole in Sheep’s Clothing

catbook

Fresh pieces of a mutilated cat lay along Delaware Avenue.  Its body has been crushed beneath bicycle tires. What was once a cat is now a torn-apart, unrecognizable mess. Stray cats slink up and lick the delicious cat-aver.  Dripping ooze falls from their whiskered lips, as they devour their feline friend. Cat-ibalism.

There’s one glittering blue eyeball here, a pile of white goop there.  Blood red body parts decorate the asphalt. There are other rainbow hues – bright yellow, green, purple – melting in the humidity. There’s a blue jellybean face and white frosting flesh.

The cat cake had been my idea. It seemed like a stroke of genius for Neil’s birthday. He has cats – and it’s no secret that men love cake and pussy.

catcake2.jpg

——————————–

WHEN IT ALL BEGAN

Neil and I have been going out and talking on the regs for a few weeks now.

We went to the movies and shared popcorn (Neil ate most of it). He held my hand at the Bisons game, while he took an Instagram of the fireworks. When we went to the Taste of Buffalo and it started to pour, Neil gave me his hat.  Neil’s a nice guy, an interesting guy, and I really like him a lot.

Sure, at times he can be condescending and egotistical. Like that time he said – “What you should know about our friendship, our relationship, is that you can’t get defensive, you just have to listen.” I had poked fun of a drunk college girl who fell in her heels. Her friends stood up in Founding Fathers and shouted, “Melinda!” I’m usually that girl, so it was nice not to be Melinda. I stood up and said “Whoa!” and staggered at Neil. He found it a cold-hearted move…I  was wrong, I should just admit it, I was an asshole for making fun of her. Neil always has to be right. But I really like his beard.

Neil’s birthday is today. For the past few days, Neil’s texts have been spotty/ borderline nonexistent. But, according to my friend Julie – who has known Neil many years – that’s not unusual. “He just gets really into his work,” she texted. “Definitely make the cake. No girl has done anything for him like that before. He’ll love it.”

I have all the cake supplies set up on my kitchen table. It’s noon. I call Neil to wish him a Happy Birthday, and tell him I’m making a gift.  He doesn’t answer. I get a quick text back. “Sorry, can’t talk, I’m picking up produce for a photoshoot.” Neil’s a photographer. “Shit’s hectic.”

“Ok,” I say, “I have something to deliver to you at some point. It’s not done yet.”

“I”ll text you when I’m back in Buffalo,” Neil writes.

So I go about concocting my creation. I separate the cake batter into six bowls. Then I make each one a different color, with those food coloring drops. I pour the colors one on top of the other, in layers, and make two round cakes.  The insides will come out tie-dye. One cake is the cat’s body. The other I cut into the head, ears, and tail. I frost the thing white, and put Funfetti sprinkles on the tail.  I put in sour Jelly Bellys for the eyes, red ones for the nose, and paint on whiskers. Then, in the final step, I write in icing “Happy B Day Neil.”

catcake

I run out on some errands, then go for a walk. Before I know it, it’s 8 p.m. and still no word from Neil. Hmm. My friend Jerome and I are supposed to go to Blue Monk later.  I’m anxious for Neil to be impressed by my culinary artistry. I’m one step away from pastry school in France!

So I text Neil. “Are you done with your tomatoes or nah?”

“Yup,” comes Neil’s reply. “I’m at dinner with friends from out of town.” My eyes narrow – did he not say he would text me? Then Neil says, “I’ l be free in a few.”

An hour passes by. Annoyed, irritated, and dumbfounded, I text Jerome. The cat stares at me mercilessly.

“Come over to my place before Blue Monk,” I say, looking the cat in the eyes. “Looks like we’ll be having cake.”

By eleven, Neil still hasn’t texted me. Jerome just showed up.

“This cake was supposed to be for Neil,” I say pitifully, exhaling marijuana smoke. I wipe the word “Neil” off the cake with a sigh.

“This is one badass cake!” Jerome says. “I’m going to take a photo of it with my camera.” And he does.

“Yeah, thanks Jerome.” I plan on getting drunk on wine ASAP.

I send Neil a photo of the cake with the message “I ate the cake with friends. Happy B Day.”

—————————————————

We go to Blue Monk and sit in the DJ area. Jerome is taking photos. I plant myself on a stool. My phone dings; it’s Neil.

“I don’t know what you want me to say?” Neil is responding to the cake photo. “We didn’t have plans to hangout today. Thanks for making a cake.”

The ungrateful, selfish, rude things that I’ve heard from people are nothing compared to this moment. As soon as I look at my phone, I want to run away from this scene. Don’t know what you want me to say?

I have some transient promoter from the West Coast jabbering away and repeating everything I say back to me in the form of a question…Dudes staring at their own reflections in their pint glasses of ale….Everyone guy here seems completely enveloped in raging narcissism. It’s like that scene at the end of “American Psycho.” The only emotion I feel is disgust. When “Sue Sue Suidio” comes on, it’s too much to bear. I run out of Blue Monk, and go to the left so no one can see me disappear through the front window.

I trot across the garden path in front of the Unitarian Universalist church, down West Ferry and around the corner, past Canisius High School. This is where it all started with the men in my life, at the Canisius dances. The Canisius men, drunk on Daddy’s scotch, would walk around with raging hormonal boners and come up behind you, as Usher came on. How little they change.

I’m intoxicated and decide to pee in the Canisius flower bed. The sprinklers mist around me, concealing me. Educating men for and with others since 1870.

I pass Brylyn medical facility, and consider going in for the night. We are crazier out here, I think to myself. It could be a fun overnight stay. Maybe I’ll wind up with some meds.  But I venture on and arrive at my apartment. I run upstairs in my platform shoes. There’s one more thing I have to do.

I dig my hand into the cake in one fell swoop and take a giant bite.  It’s delicious. Then, I run down three flights of stairs, carrying the cake pan in front of me. I run to the end of my driveway, grab the cake with my bare hands, and fling it down on the Delaware Avenue pavement. I throw the pan on top of it all and run inside.

My final reply to Neil’s remarks – “Fuck the cake. It’s gone. Was trying to do something nice, and you completely did not care. Just leave me alone.”

catsign

———————————————————

The next morning I wake up, and see that Neil defriended me on Facebook and Instagram. Well that’s mature, I’m thinking, You make someone a cake, and they delete you on Instagram. Only in America.

Facebook Fucks

scum

 

 

In the early light of dawn, vampires return to their coffins after a night of lecherous bloodsucking.

I scroll through the Facebook feed in a bleary-eyed stupor, in the space between waking and sleep.   An ex-fling from last year – one that barely registered on the FWB Richter Scale – has become engaged. To someone who looks like Miley Cyrus – The Hannah Montana version.  I vomit everywhere.  C’est la vie. A werewolf howls at the moon.

———————————

greenfaces

The February chill whips around my coupe as I speed across the bridge. Fluorescent lights glow in the distance, on a hill, like the Great and Powerful Oz.  I somehow got invited to a “press opening” at the casino, for their nightclub.  I’m psyched!  I plan on schmoozing with whatever “industry insiders” are there.

I get lost and park my car in an extremely far location by accident. Row 578 Section 46, something like that, in the parking garage. I hop into the descending elevator.

“Are you here for the press party, too?” I ask an elderly couple in patriotic sweatshirts.

The elevator dings! and I’m released into the wild. I follow the fist-pumping beats to the nightclub area. A judgemental-looking woman with a clipboard makes sure I’m on the list, hands me a gift bag, and I go into the party. The crowd appears to me an intimidating hoard of old guys in suits. Some middle-aged couples sit around the periphery. Where’s all the writers? I know a writer when I see one. A skinny, bespeckled chap is sitting at the bar. I reach over him and grab a chocolate-covered strawberry.

“Hello!” I say, “So you’re here for the press party? Who do you write for?”

His girlfriend appears.

“Oh, we both write for Lacrosse Monthly,” she says.

A short, awkward conversation begins, until I get the hint and leave. That’s when I spot a devastatingly handsome guy smack in the middle of the room. He seems about my age, with thick brown hair, medium height, wearing a dress shirt and tie. He has the sullen, brooding romantic expression that I adore. The furrowed eyebrows…. definitely the sexiest person here.

I walk up to him in my Professional/Erotic Stilettos and introduce myself.

“Hey, I’m AJ,” he says. “And this is my dad Francis.” An older guy with a goatee and a Nikon comes out of the shadows. “He’s a photographer.”

We chit-chat; AJ tells me that he sells ads for a newspaper. A cocktail waitress appears brandishing a tray of glowing, technicolor shots.

“All right, ok!” AJ takes two shots from the tray. I am trying to sip the same glass of wine the entire duration of this open bar event and be on my best behavior… but my willpower is slipping. I pluck a shot off the tray and take a sip.

“Bleh, I don’t like it,” and set it back down. I must maintain control.

AJ runs off to the bar after asking what I want to drink. He returns with an armful of beverages.

“We have to make this open bar count, we only have two hours,” he says.

AJ and I grow increasingly inebriated together. Between trips to the open bar, cocktail waitresses revolve through the crowd, offering “samples.” Then, AJ points out a towering ice sculpture. Behind it, martinis are being shaken.

“Martini sculpture!”

We drunkenly navigate our way to the shimmering sculpture, staring at one another, drunk and drooling. This AJ fellow is a serious casanova. Selecting a martini glass,  he holds it beneath the ice-cold stream of booze and extends it my way. With a raised eyebrow, he says – “Let’s go to the slot machines.” He makes it sound like a romantic invitation.

We stagger out of the sanctioned soiree. AJ sits down and whips out a pack of Seneca Menthols.

“This machine isn’t taking my money,” I slur, trying to shove a limp one-dollar bill in the slot.

“Here, I got it,” AJ valiantly says, putting a five in.

We puff away on a few Senecas and talk. AJ asks me about my life, my ambitions, and seems interested in everything I tell him.  His green-blue eyes are large and expectant.

“I just can’t believe you don’t have a boyfriend,” AJ says. “Here’s my number.” He hands me his business card. “Let me put it in your phone!” He puts his number in my phone.

I stub out the Seneca in an ashtray and lean over to AJ, who is leaning over at me, and we smooch. Sparks fly; an orchestra of slot machines create the soundtrack. Beneath the white dress shirt, his body is bangin, I can tell.  AJ pulls back, and loosens his tie.

We saunter back to the party. Francis is dancing front row center with a martini in each hand. He grabs me by the arms and starts gyrating to the floor. I am 50 Shades of Blitzed.

The open bar has been over for an hour and a half. AJ continues buying liquor for all of us. Towards midnight, he squints at a receipt in horror. “My God.” He looks at the floor in befuddled silence.

Francis, AJ, and I all put on our coats and head to the entrance.

“Well, bye!” AJ waves and leaves suddenly.

“Goodbye!” Francis, with a wobbly zigzagging strut,  exits after him.

TAbloid

I’m standing in the lobby alone. Great, I’m up a creek, drank a creek, without a paddle…now what am I gonna do? The prominent Hotel Check-In desk is to my right. Maybe I can score a sweet room for the night, with a bathtub and mini bar…Could be posh. I picture some hangover room service in my drunken mind. My God maybe there’s a continental breakfast.

One should never make the assumption that just because a lad gets you wasted,  that he’ll also take care of your drunk ass and make sure you get home. That’s a common misconception.

“Hello, hi…” I mumble to the poker-face desk girl. “How much for a room? I think I’ll just crash.”

“The last room we have available is $475 dollars.”

“WHAT?!” I’m shocked. That’s more than my rent.  “It can’t be!  One night? There’s not a closet or anything?” I’m backing away, back up right into a sitting area and plop down upon an ottoman.

I call my FWB D.D.

“Daniel….Dan, please…I’ve had too many martinonis and I’m stranded at the casino and there’s no room for me…Was falling in love, but he left…Hello?! Hello!”

But Danny-Boy doesn’t answer. I get a large, black coffee and wander the barracks of the hotel until dawn. This place is open 24 hours, after all.

————————————————-

“If a guy totally ignores your Facebook Friend Request and doesn’t call you, ever, does it mean he never wants to see you again?” I ask a  random co-worker.  She doesn’t know what to say.

“But you don’t understand,” I bite into a carrot stick. “It was magical.”

I get home from work as pissed as ever. It’s been two weeks, and  AJ was clearly Wild for the Night Fuck Being Polite. What the fuck! No one does that!

In a fit of curiosity, I find AJ’s Facebook profile, with my request sitting there stagnant, suspended in time. Clearly there is SOMETHING that I am not intended to see.

I see a recent status of his posted on the side. “Feeling Blessed – At Molly’s Tavern.” Why would you be feeling blessed at Molly’s Tavern? There’s nine people tagged, all family given the last name, except one girl. I click on her name. A giant picture of her and AJ is her main photo, with captions like “beautiful couple!” and “congratulations!”

Wow, that was way too easy,” I think to myself. “He’s lucky I’m not a psycho bitch.”

I close my laptop and go outside,  with a renewed sense of clarity.

truckers