Oh Boy(s), Oh Online Dating

I know what it’s been like. For weeks you were on the edge of your seat, dying to find out what was going on between me and Cute Theatre Boy. After my last words on the subject, really, how could you not have been? After months of no updates, you gave up, accepted you would never find what happened between me and this new-york-cliche-defying non-asshole.  Perhaps you thought, it certainly fits a cliche, that I was so head over heals that I became one of those girls who abandons everything (including her blog?) for her beau.

No, let me assure you that is not the case. Our relationship happened to be one of those that peaks in an emergency room. The entire debacle- head injury, ER, fainting, and recovery- occurred when we’d been involved for just a little over a month. It brought the two of us together insanely fast, and then stood still. We never got closer to each other after it, and not for lack of trying.  I had a lot of fun with him but in his words (and I agree) it was “good not great.” “We weren’t a good fit” as a couple. He broke up with me when I was least expecting it, I cried, then got over it. Now he’s easily the best friend I have made since moving here. We’ve gotten close as friends, we’re a much better “fit” as friends, everything’s just worked out for the best (ha, cliche!)! My only disappointment in the whole thing is, alas, it’s not much of story!

Following Cute Theatre Boy I decided no more actors. Sure, it’s nice when he understands the stress of Hell Week, obscure references, and why the direction in a play we saw together sucked. However on the whole, the actor-on-actor thing adds an element of judgement and competition which I am point blank not fond of. Ok then…uh…where does one meet non-actors? In Central Park? Fail. On the Subway? No. On the street? Never. In bars? Hahaha yeah right. So what’s a girl living in NYC to do?

In the interest of pursuing the cliche, and sheer curiosity, I set up a profile on a (free) online dating website.

I know, I can’t really believe I did it either. With my biting wit and professional headshots that make me look, as one auditioner awesomely put it, “stunning” (as they’d better- I paid my awesome photographer a pretty penny so that would be the reaction), I had no shortage of responses. A few of them seemed possibly worth meeting. And why not? I don’t have many friends here, kidnapping someone in a public place seems extremely difficult; maybe I’d get a free meal, and a good story. Well, I didn’t really get any stories worth mentioning. Nothing Blog-worthy. Instead I did meet interesting people, even made a friend or two (and yeah, got a couple free meals- hey when  money’s tight, free food is not to be undervalued).

I learned most of these guys are pretty normal. Some a little shy, some hate the phone, some might be on the boring side, but they aren’t the creepy perverts stereotype suggests. (I don’t know why this comes as a surprise- I’m pretty normal at worst, super cool at best, and not desperate or socially retarded by any stretch.) They mostly look like their pictures (except the bald one, and your heart must go out to baldies under 30) and almost everyone I met was quite sweet, a few even had a lot going for them.

Despite all this, I’ve found I have a stigma against online dating that I just can’t shake. Something that just doesn’t feel right, that “this is not how it’s done” or at least not how I want to do it. The perfect guy for me (ha, what a statement) could easily be floating in some cyberspace profile somewhere, waiting for me to click the right link. I won’t deny that’s completely possible. But I know, at the very least, I would never get over our answer to the question inevitably asked of all couples, “So where did you guys meet?” “Online” is the absolute most unappealing answer I can think of. I don’t like it.

So I’ve decided to cease the virtual and focus solely on reality (she says, typing in her online, virtual medium…). And for starters, I have a crush! He works at Trader Joe’s. I haven’t had a real crush since Cute Theatre Boy, so it is a smidge exciting. I’ve decided the next time I need groceries I’m going to ask him out, face to face. How’s that for reality? Asking a boy out is something I have extremely limited (read: I’ve done it once!) experience in so this will be no small feat. I’ve mastered the first date, it’s time to become proactive in making them happen for myself.

The Time I Almost Died and Subsequent Deja Vu

One of my favorite stories to tell is that of “The Time I Almost Died”. As the title suggests, it’s full of drama, high stakes, death-defying stunts, gory bodily fluids, plot twists, and even has a crowd pleaser of a happy ending.

The story begins at the beginning of senior year with the decision to direct a play as my thesis for my Theater Arts degree. I was determined to do a full scale production of  Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia (my favorite play, my favorite playwright). Though not exactly appropriate for my college-aged actors it is extremely appropriate for my target audience of liberal art college students. I decide they need to see this play and I can make that happen.

I cast the play in May, thought about it all summer, and was all ready to go before classes even began. I had just over a month to produce and direct my little master piece before department productions took over. I worked my ass off, attending classes, being president of the drama club, holding daily rehearsals, filling out campus paper work, and generally trying to do  everything by myself. This was my baby, no one else was gonna touch her.

Two weeks in I was exhausted. Three weeks in my throat started to hurt. Strep throat kind of hurt. My days turned into nothing but going to health services during the day and rehearsal at night. I was negative for strep, a positive thing I thought. Wrong. The sore throat got worse and worse, the swelling so bad that every swallow was accompanied with a wince and my voice sounded strangled, entirely unrecognizable from my normal speech.

Health services put me on steroids to control the swelling and told me I probably had mono but the test for mono is only effective after a certain period of infection. I cursed my horrid luck, blamed a professor who had said “Macbeth” multiple times in the theater where my play was being produced, and continued going to rehearsal everyday whispering directions to my actors, thinking of nothing else but producing the best damn production no matter what my state. I felt so awful one day I had to missed the last rehearsal before tech and cried from frustration. I was fully present for tech and dress and proud as hell, the set looked great, my actors were awesome, publicity was out, I was still alive, and we were totally ready for opening night on Friday.

Friday morning I make my way over to health services, a daily activity at this point, the excitement of opening night eclipsing the excruciating pain I am feeling. And at health services my worst fears come true: the swelling of my throat has gotten so extreme that the doctor is afraid it will obstruct my ability to breathe. And demands I go to the ER. I try to talk her out of it “Can’t you just get me more steroids? I can breathe, it’s not that bad! I’ve lasted this long!” but the protests of someone who can barely whisper are easy to ignore. The next thing I know I’m stuck in the ER, trying to choke down Gatorade, waiting hours and hours to see a doctor. By late afternoon I’ve finally been seen, they’re repeating all sorts of tests (“Um, I was already tested for strep, ok? Can you just tell me I have mono so I can go attend to the opening my play, please?”), and not telling me shit.

My doctor is kind of an asshole with a shitty, mean, sense of humor. He makes fun of my voice. That doesn’t make me feel better buddy, shut the fuck up and fix it or let me GO TAKE CARE OF MY BABY! At 6pm, though I’m still convinced I will make the 8pm curtain, my friends (who have been amazing, holding my hand through all the awfulness of the ER) start giving each other looks of “oh man, she’s not going to take it well when she emerges from denial….”

This provides the perfect cue for Dr. Asshole to come in and finally tell me what’s wrong with me: “You have a peritonsilar abscess. Huge pockets of puss in the back of your throat. We’ve called in an ENT (EarNoseThroat)  specialist who is on his way. He’ll stick a huge needle into the back of your throat to drain the puss.” What? Um, what? I think I misunderstood you, you said You have mono, here’s a pill, you can go to your play now, right? Dr. Asshole laughs and says, “I’m afraid you won’t be going anywhere tonight. After the procedure you’re looking at a night or two in the hospital. You’re severely dehydrated, we need to set up an IV and monitor your progress.”

After many tears- a truly pathetic sight when the crier can barely breathe- I’m out of denial. I’m missing opening night, at the very least, and the whole opening weekend at the very worst. Thank GOD I planned a two weekend run.

In the end 10 mL of puss was drained from my throat (it was impressive/disgusting to look at) they told me that if I hadn’t come in when I did, chances are I would have died, my case was so advanced. I spent the next two nights (read: entire weekend) in the hospital. My assistant director took over my play, thank God, and from everything I heard-  including that the president of the college (who had never come to a student production in all my time at school) was in the audience and seemed to enjoy himself- my baby was very well received. Understandably this takeover caused a lot of  stress for my AD, unfortunately she didn’t handle it well and had a bad attitude toward me for the rest of production, really the rest of the time we were at school together. So uncool.

Now for a happy ending: The next weekend I was able to attend every performance, was on the way to full recovery, and received an insane number of flowers and complements on how good the show was. I sat in the audience and watched people in front of me, who I didn’t know at all, gasp and exclaim “Oh my God!” so affected were they by my play. Truly an awesome feeling. I got incredibly positive feedback from professors and months later heard freshmen talk about my play and how it got them interested in the theatre program. Another truly awesome feeling. My throat recovered 100% and a month or so later I was able to look back or the experience as something horrible that had happened in the past but a freak disease (my doctors told me it was rare) I would never experience again. And it made a good story.

Any time my throat has felt sore since a small part of me is terrified I have a peritonsillar abscess. Which I always deemed a rather paranoid fear. A few weeks ago my throat started to hurt severely and I cursed my roommate who works at a preschool thinking she had brought home strep throat. I went to the doctor. He didn’t even do a test said, “Yep, probably strep,” and gave me a prescription. I took my meds and my throat only got worse.

Realization that this was an eerie, horrid deja vu descended. I went back to the clinic three days later and tested negative for strep. Uncontrollable tears streamed down my face as a physician told me that from what they could tell I had an abscess and sent me to the ENT Infirmary. They confirmed the abscess, drained it (think: hacking up blood and puss, think: gross), and sent me home. Fortunately I avoided an overnight. I couldn’t talk at all for almost a week. I haven’t been to work in over two weeks. Yesterday was the first time in 15 days that my throat didn’t hurt every time I swallowed. It’s been a long, slow, awful recovery.

NYC is an awful place to be sick. At first, no one believes you. You tell them you’re sick and they think you’re doing something awesomely fun- playing hookie to escape to the beach. Fortunately my voice was as extremely effected as my first experience, so anyone I called would know I was not lying. Which inspired many of my friends to visit me with soup and to keep me company in spite of my mute-itude. Which was all very nice for a week. I have learned that after a week, it becomes extremely socially unacceptable to still be sick. To not be able to answer “How are you feeling?” with “Better!” is such a social faux pas. But to do so would have been a huge lie until the very tail end of the 2 weeks, depression started to engulf me well before then. Fortunately, it didn’t have time to settle. Now I can correctly answer the question. I am feeling so much better. I CAN TALK. I’m going to go to work tomorrow. I should be going out and functioning as normal by this weekend. I can start actually living life again.

When I got sick it was summer. Now it’s fall. That’s time I’ll never get back. When you don’t have your health, you realize how nothing else really matters. Now that I have it back (mostly) I am going to cherish it. Make taking care of myself a number one priority. It’s a good time for fresh starts. Do things that are fulfilling. Things I’ve neglected that I truly enjoy. Like writing here. Creating art in all the ways I love to. And making some money. Right now, if I’m healthy I feel like I can do anything. That’s a good place to be.

From Fun Times to Head Injuries In a Single Blow

…continued from the previous entry

Sunday. Fifth date. Cute Theatre Boy and I haven’t seen each other in almost a week- due to house guest presence- and at this early stage 6 days has been a looong time. The plan is all-American classic: dinner and a movie (not in that order).  I’m generally not a fan of the movie date. Not only is talking (good conversation being the key to a good date) completely inappropriate but I also get distracted by the reactions of my date. But after 8 hours at work on my feet regaling: “Hello. Welcome. To enter go next to the escalator around to the entrance in the back. There’s a free coat check in back of me, restrooms on your left.” sitting in comfy$12 seats sounds excellent.

Unfortunately (debatable assessment), as we sit down in our seats, lights dim, movie starts, I am indeed completely distracted by the person sitting next to me. We quickly become one of “those” couples (much to my chagrin on one level and enjoyment on another) except we are both trying very hard to not annoy those in back of us. We basically become like two eighth graders whose chaperons are sitting mere rows behind (by the way from here on Parental Discretion is Advised for this entry. Which really means I think my mom reads my blog. Mother, dear, if you are reading this…please stop!) ; trying to be discreet but probably failing miserably (although no dirty or knowing looks were cast our way, maybe just maybe 20 somethings have more mastery of subtlety than 13 year olds).  P.S. all that said, I did actually watch (most of) the movie (which was Vicky Christina Barcelona, some how still in an indie theater- only in NYC) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fine, don’t believe me.

Movie over. Out of theater. On the sidewalk. He pulls me aside. Close. Ok. If you’re really hungry we could figure out somewhere to get dinner but… I kinda have to have you right now. Screw subtlety! Sex vs. Food? No contest. The dinner part of dinner and a movie is on hold.  A short (debatable assessment. It did not feel short, but at least it was shorter than six days) subway ride later, we’re back at his apartment (on the cusp of Harlem and the Upper East Side, it’s nice…ah I’m a sucker for boys with Manhattan apartments).

Things are getting started. We’re on his bed. Smooches. States of undress. In the same way he told me he had to have me right now he purrs in my ear Lie Down. I comply with gusto. With enthusiasm. With fervor. With apparently all that (and more) and a mighty swift motion meant to send me back in the pillows but instead BAM! &(#*@!!! OUCH!!!!OW!!! The back of my head connects hard with a nightstand the boy has (STUPIDLY) placed in back of his bed. The pain is sharp but not overwhelming. I decide I can shake it off. Are you ok?? I’m tough. Yes. I am delusional and have a unnerving tolerance for pain.

Kisses later my head is still pounding. The “shaking it off” plan is not going as well as hoped. I put my hand up to the collision site to gauge what kind of mammoth bump to expect in the morning. I touch my head and feel wetness. WHY IS MY HEAD WET? Are you sure you’re ok? Fuck! No! Fuck! Lights come on.

FUCK! we exclaim in unison, looking at the blood spattered all over the head of his bed. BLOOD. From my HEAD. Shaking this off is clearly not an option.  Fuck! As the back of my head is not easily accessible to me, he checks out its situation.

Diagnosis: There is good new and bad news. The good news is it’s not deep and it’s small. The bad news is, I think we should go the the ER.

Cue me freaking out. Me trying convince him it really isn’t that bad, not hospital bad, come on! Him not agreeing. Me getting out of denial then freaking out about insurance. Him being totally calm. Me freaking out about calling my parents. Him holding my hand while I call them. Me: “Uh yeah Mom…I uh…hit my head..on…a desk! Yes! The corner of a desk!” (MOM, I told you to stop reading! Did you really want to know your daughter is a liar? Among other things?? Now you must just pretend it’s fiction. I mean, it is!) Him searching for the nearest hospital. Me some how not crying. Him finding a hospital that’s 4 blocks away. Me asking if I really, really have to go? Him getting me out of the apartment. Me walking down the street with a bloody head. Him actually keeping my freak out level pretty low, all things considered.

We walk to the ER. Where else would one ever do that but in New York? When we get there I’m faced with many forms and the unprecedented task of convincing hospital officials that Cute Theatre Boy is not, swear on my life, NOT domestically abusing me. Then about a three hour wait before I actually see a doctor. Followed by me freaking out when I am told they are going to put TWO STAPLES into my head. Then feeling bad ass. STAPLES.

The boy is amazing through the whole thing, stoic, couldn’t have been better. I can’t help but think of all the jerks who would have freaked out more than me, abandoned me at the hospital, or agreed with my denial “I don’t need the hospital!” diagnosis. That’s what the cliche New York man would do. Guess the boy’s not a New York cliche.

It’s after midnight by the time I’m all stapled up and ready to leave. He’s almost faint with hunger, I’m running off adrenalin but know my body needs food. We get burgers at a 24 hour diner, my head freshly stapled, blood still stuck in my hair. The next day he helps me wash my hair, a delicate process as sterilized water must be used. It’s something I don’t feel comfortable doing by myself and he agrees to help me wash my hair until the laceration (that’s not me being dramatic, that’s the word the doctors used!) has healed some what.

After sleeping most of the day (necessary recovery), I meet my house guest for dinner in Little Italy. She doesn’t believe my story, until I show her the staples. She doesn’t say this but I can see it in her eyes: Yeah, karma’s a bitch! Teach you for ditching me for a guy! Though staples?..that is pretty harsh. The next day her stand-by plan fails and she ends up staying with me the full ten days. For fucks sake karma, enough already! Nope, not quite.

Two days after the accident I’m back at Cute Theatre Boy’s place. He’s helping me wash my hair as arranged. Pouring the cold sterilized water on my head, making sure the wound is clean. I’m shivering from cold. Then seeing stars. The world is closing around me. Hearing myself say I don’t think I’m okay… From far away I hear, Lean on me. The next thing I know I am waking up on the floor of the bathtub. I fainted dead away in his arms.

I thought dating an actor would be dramatic, but nothing prepared me for all this.

Epilogue: My wound healed perfectly with no complications. I asked if I could keep the staples. They said no. We decided the fainting was due to the drastic temperature change of water on my head. My house guest finally left at the end of 10 days; unfortunately, she and I haven’t spoken since.

Rule: Houseguests Should Not Bar You From Getting Laid

Anyone who lives within any sort of proximity to NYC knows intimately the trials and tribulations of oh-so-inevitable house guests. The closer to the island your couch is, the more desirable a vacation destination it is. Now the majority of these guests have agendas- conferences, events- specific things that bring them to the city- as well as other New Yorkers they need to see. Their days are supposed to be crammed with activities which include treating you, the couch provider, to a meal and enabling you to spend your day off looking at New York through fresh eyes.

 

Being a good house guest is an art, a delicate balance, the mastery of which is essential to avoiding the riffs and ruined friendships which are easily the spoils of a miss calculated couch crash. It’s tough living with someone who’s in vacation mode, waking up early to spend the day sightseeing while you’re off to the daily grind where the only sight is your asshole of a boss.

So how long can I stay? she asks me via cross-coastal phone conversation. And so it begins. The delicate art of answering this question- I say too short and I’m a bitch, too long and I’ll start hating her. “Four Days.” I reply. That’s a direct quote.  Four days is a bit of a stretch, but I tell her as long as she realizes I can’t take off work, that I  will try to fit in time with her into my schedule, but I can’t make any promises.  As long as all that is clear, my aerobed is her aerobed.

And it’s fun. We go to restaurants I’ve wanted to try, see Avenue Q which I’ve wanted to see since 2003, do some good walking explorations, and complain about the East Coast Cold as only two California girls can. She’s on the needy side. She’s just visiting for no real reason, she doesn’t know anyone else in the city, but that’s alright for four days. Having a friend visit provides a great reminder of how awesome the city is, a fact which sometimes slips my mind now that it’s been my home for several months. Good times.

Then the bomb drops.

My mom actually booked my flight for ten days. But I’m going to try for stand by on Tuesday.

WHAT? Excuse me? TEN DAYS? When I said FOUR? How does that make sense? I can understand being economical or whatever, but not when it’s on my dime! My time dime! I already made plans for Sunday, the day you’re SUPPOSED to be leaving. I have a date with Cute Theatre Boy– our fifth date in fact, well past the cliché third.  If I have to come home and sleep in the same room as you when I’d rather be “sleeping” in the same room as him, I will come home a frustrated cranky-pants.

 

My decision: Sunday, the fourth day, I relinquish any “host duties”.  She can sleep on my floor, she has no where else to stay that doesn’t cost boat loads of money and if I asked her to go to a hotel I know the friendship would end right there, but I’m done entertaining her. She’s on her own. There’s guilt in this decision- am I being a shit friend? And perhaps I am because shortly following this decision, karma delivers me a sounding blow to the head (and I do mean that in the most literal way possible), the story of which you can read in my next post!

A New Leading Man Scene ii

So we see Gypsy and both more or less (him more, me less) hate it. “Not my kind of theatre,” I say and he agrees. Which is fortunate- can anything happen between two actors who have completely different theatrical tastes? (I’ll let you non-theatre types in on a little not-well-kept secret- the average actor is grotesquely obsessed with “their craft” and therefore )I’m thinking no. But who cares! Clearly with our mutual dislike I don’t have to worry about that now! Anyway the date can only get better as we walk away from the theater discussing our disappointment (too presentational, didn’t believe it, blahblahblah- we are both in full on snob mode and I like it) and find ourselves in the heart of Times Square. It’s Friday night and it’s in full shows letting out, swarming tourists, traffic jam form. “Want to go for a drink?” Heehee! look at me on a date that’s going well!The subtext of my “Yes.” response. “I don’t really know a good place to go around here.” ” Well we could always just go to Toys R Us and ride the Ferris Wheel.” I say, being cute, prompted by the iridescent seven-year-old’s paradise looming in front of us.

This is it. It's inside the store. It's ridiculous. I should hate it on principle, and do but part of me still wants to ride on it.
This is it. It’s inside the store. It’s ridiculous. I should hate it on principle, and do but part of me still wants to ride on it.

“Let’s do it.”  This plan absolutely adorable, even romantic, in theory. But as we make our way down the escalator of the store, actuality with its long lines of screaming spoiled brat children and insanely overpriced tickets make us decide the idea is better left in theory. Better left in lue of beverage.

“Have you been to the bar on the top of the Marriott? No? Okay, that’s where we’re going. It’s one of those revolving restaurants and the view’s amazing.” So goes Adorable Idea in Theory #2. Have I stumbled across the last hopeless romantic New York? Is that, contrary to popular belief, not an oximoron?

After a struggle with elevators and coat checks we discover that Theory #2 is also better left in theory- 45 minute waits and double digit cover charges (surprise- romance is easier achieved with a wad of bills) are not my style, nor his. O-m-g we just have so much in common! Third time’s the charm and we settle down at the bar on the third floor of the hotel at a window seat that is conveniently vacated just when we want it to be, overlooking uptown Broadway (it’s a great view here too), sipping wine (him red, me white…maybe we don’t have as much in common as I thought…), talking about same sex summer camp experiences, Maine, singing, being only children (haha! Nevermind yes we do!) and I am genuinely having a good time with Cute Theatre Boy and it’s really nice.

It’s almost one when we leave the bar and walk over to Grand Central (we both take the Lexington line, this was clearly ment to be). I’m searching the sky for the moon which I know is somewhere in the sky as I saw it rising on my way to meet him.

“Wow, look at the moon.”

I'm a total sucker for a full moon, any well-placed moon really.
I’m a total sucker for a full moon, any well-placed moon really.

I point straight up above our heads as we stand on the street waiting for the light to change. It’s a full moon, big and bright,  not obscured by building or cloud. The hopeless romantic in me- who has been stirred from her usual dormant state by the night’s proceedings- is looking up at the moon and looking at the boy next to her and wanting  a first kiss in the crosswalk of Madison Ave, surrounded by whizzing cabs and smoking manhole covers (what kind of cliche would I be if I didn’t want a kiss under the moon?) But I’m an old fashioned girl (what kind of cliche would I be if I wasn’t an old fashioned girl?) who waits for first kisses and so the light changes and we journey on sans lip action. We go inside Grand Central and again are staring up at the stars, this time the golden constellations of the painted art deco ceiling of the Grand Concourse.

ceilingcentral

“Did you know they restored this whole thing not all that long ago? It was a mess. If you look over there, they left a square of what the whole this looked like,” he says and points to a small black square in the north west corner. Wow I can not imagine this whole view blackened. He takes my hand and we star gaze, identifying constellations and zodiac signs (he’s a Scorpio which after thorough searching we discover is not represented in this sky though my sign Cancer is. Whatever that means.  Good thing I’m not into astrology.) A man aproaches us, he’s at some level of intoxication but not messy, “You guys from around here??” he slurs. “No, we’re just visiting for the weekend from Montreal,” responds Cute Theatre Boy. “Oh New York’s a great city,” says Drunky. “Yeah we went to the Statue of Liberty today, it was swell.” This continues on for several minutes. “Well you kids have a good night,” and lonely drunky stumbles off. I give my date a look that prompts “Don’t worry, I only lie about things that don’t matter. It’s fun to mess around with strangers.” I decide to believe him. After all he is an actor, an affliction I must sympathize with. He squeezes my hand and pulls me in and we’re kissing in the middle of the terminal, under the stars, total New York Cliche, and it’s lovely.

A New Leading Man

There’s a cute boy in my theatre company. Okay, there are a lot of cute boys in my theatre company. That goes with the territory. But there is one in particular.

It all started right before Christmas. I had one week left before flying back to San Francisco and even though I was only looking at two weeks away from NYC it felt very final, so much so that I was ticking things off in my head in the very collegiate way of “17 papers, 12 finals, 55 power point presentations left until FREEDOM”- that’s always how the last week before winter break felt. Post college it’s more “last weekend in NY of 2008, last late shift at work 2008, last theatre company meeting until 2009…”

This last meeting can be divided approximately in two: one part theater, one part flirting with Cute Theatre Boy. It wasn’t purposeful flirting (I hadn’t quite pronounced myself 100% recovered from being dumped) and I didn’t think much about it, though I did find myself pleasantly surprised when after the meeting we just so happened to be walking to the same subway station. We end up on the platform, me waiting for the express and him waiting for the local, which of course came first. I see it arriving and in those  30 seconds-doors opening/people getting off/getting on/”THE DOORS ARE CLOSING. PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE DOORS.”- my mind is fraught with Hmm how do I say this goodbye? Wave? Is a hug too much? I mean, I don’t know him that well, but-. Fortunately my buzzing brain is interrupted by his hug and “Bye! Have fun at home, see you next year!” and as he does this I am completely overwhelmed by a strange, weirdly severe urge to kiss him. If my buzzing, overactive brain didn’t crowd out my instincts, as it so often does, I would have kissed him. Instead I’m left alone on the platform buzzing Well, there goes a guy I’m not going to see for three weeks. Damn. Oh well!

The following day I’m back at the theater putting in work hours painting the dressing room. I had systematically removed all costumes knowing they must be returned to proper places and remain paint free and was getting kinda lonely kneeling on the floor, paint brush clutched in paint covered hands, having deja vues of summer when I had to paint my entire apartment before we could move in, when who shows up but Cute Theatre Boy. Who just so happens to be putting in work hours as well. I hand him a paint brush. We quickly discover we have quite a few things in common. A mutual love of Edward Albee, two musicals most theatre snobs hate, Maine,  used books (which he claims to have an addiction to, where as I’m just a bargain hunter/frugal/green/”Asian”), and that we’re both leaving NYC to go home for the holidays on the same day. We end up painting two coats which we deem “totally necessary” (total lie) and before I know it I’m done with my last theatre work hours of 2008! And faced with another good-bye situation. This time however my choice is clear, limited by the circumstance of the presence of other company members. So I just hug everyone “bye” (though perhaps him a little tighter).

Then I’m gone, down the stairs, out of the theater, walking to the subway in the drizzling rain thinking Shit. Totally have a crush on Cute Theatre Boy. Hmm…I’m almost a block away when I hear someone shout my name. I turn around and he’s running down the street toward me. In the 30 seconds before he catches up to me, romantic Hollywood cliches of passionate, 360 degree kisses in the rain flash through my head.

(Surprise, it  also made me think of a Sex and the City moment)

ARVE Error: no id set

Then he’s reached me and: “We forgot to put the clothes back in the dressing room.” All romantic thoughts flee from my mind and HI REALITY! PPBBT! I’m the only one who knows the proper place for the costumes. Great. I’m stuck going back to the theater. Great. great. great. (grumble). And we’re walking back. And then Cute Theatre says “Want to see a movie or something before we leave?” Yes!! Although I’m not a fan of movie dates…so “How about a play? Have you seen Gypsy?” “Sunday?” “No good, Friday?” “Ok!” “Great!” So this is what happens when two actors date- scenes like this and Friday nights spent on Broadway watching Patti LuPone do what she does best. As we walk down the rest of the block, some of the romantic thoughts begin to peak out from their place of hiding. I’m not a jaded New Yorker, I’m a New Yorker with a date!

Stories left from Summer

Sometimes when I’m surrounded by the silicone preserved bodies of the exhibition I now work at. Sometimes when it’s 22 degrees out and it’s been raining all day. Sometimes when I make some trivial mistake and my boss makes me feel like a five year old little girl. Times like these make me miss the warm, sunny days of standing among swarming tourists in humid as hell Times Square.  These days I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts and my cadaver pals. It gets boring, and I a girl who strives to avoid boredom at all costs. In Times Square, thousands of people past me everyday. It’s hard to be bored in that environment, even if only 1 in 1,000 interact with you. A few of my favorites who beat those odds:

The Woman Who Hated Mary Poppins

I’m standing outside the Times Square subway station, passing out fans par usual. Ok, let’s spill. They are Mary Poppins fans. I spent the summer working for Disney. Now you know the full truth. Anyway, this woman in full Obama regalia- buttons, hat, t-shirt- is walking past me. I offer her a fan a KABLAMO she explodes MARY POPPINS IS RACIST! YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST GIVE A WHITE LADY A UMBRELLA AND SHE’LL KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF KIDS! ALL THE PEOPLE I KNOW WHO TAKE CARE OF KIDS ARE BLACK! THAT SHOW IS RACIST AND FASCIST AND YOU’RE RACIST AND FASCIST! FUCK YOU! Before I can even open my mouth she disappears down the subway stairs. Lucky she did this to me and not some undecided or Republican voter, I know there are people who would have condemned Obama by association.

The Jesus Freak Searching for His Disney Princess Soul Mate

It’s late afternoon and approaching the end of my shift. I have a bunch of fans in my bag that I’m not going to finish passing out in the next five minutes and I’m a couple of blocks from the office so I decide to pack up and go back a little early. Cue me being a klutz and spilling dozens of fans all over the ground. Great. Few things feel tackier than hunching over to gather little blue fans of the sidewalk, knowing the dirty little secret that they are not going in the trash but will instead go back in the bag and later be passed out to the unsuspecting public. I’m picking up fans. Cue someone stopping to help me. What? I’m in New York. This must be some tourist from Say-hello-to-everyone-in-town-help-your-neighbor-with-his-gutters-ville. New Yorkers don’t stop on the street to help klutzes. That’s the opposite of the cliche. Unless they happen to think the klutz is a pretty girl…Shit.

He’s short, extremely Italian, and promptly introduces himself to me as Vinny. The street is clear and I thank him for helping me and damnit just as I feared, the guy does not continue on his way, but instead starts to make small talk. Aw damnit, I’m a pretty girl. Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? Cue small talk veering in an extremely atypical direction. Great, Jesus freak. Well at least that makes him more or less benign. In theory anyway. Nope Vinny, I’m what you call agnostic. Not into the organized religion thing.  Jesus loves you. He’s the way to eternal salvation….Yawn. I’m walking down the street trying to escape this as indirectly as possible, I’m representing Disney = I’m technically employed to be nice and cheerful and not a bitch, but Vinny’s walking along with me and yammering away with completely stereotypical Jesus Spiel until I want to get to know you, maybe we could do something together sometime? Ugh. Vinny, I have a boyfriend (total lie, but it often gets the job done). That’s okay. I don’t believe in boyfriends and girlfriends. I only believe in soul mates. Jesus has been showing me visions of my soul mate. In the vision she’s a Disney princess. And today when I saw you on the street, blonde hair, blue eyes, your Disney shirt- I think Jesus lead me to you. Well Vinny, you certainly win points for the most original, unlikely to be duplicated EVER pickup line. Wow. I managed to shake free fromVinny by promising I would friend him on myspace. I remembered the url long enough to look it up and have a laugh. http://www.myspace.com/vinnyao. Pretty much what you’d expect from a Jesus Freak I guess. Can you believe his name really is Vinny?