The other night, a friend from D.C. was in town. Now this friend “takes his BlackBerry into the shitter every day at (insert massive media company owned by the mayor of the largest city in America here) and reads it in the john.” After chastising me for not writing nearly enough, he then says, “Fourteen, really?”
“Fourteen what?” I say.
“Fourteen guys? Is that really your number?”
“That’s really low. I would’ve expected more from you.”
Well, goddammit, I thought, I expect more from myself, too.
Never expect more from yourself when you’re drinking with a bunch of journalists who have use of a major news organization’s credit card.
So, what do I do in my genius-state? What’s my flash of brilliance? Oh, I decide to text someone who doesn’t even live in the same city and proposition them. The series of texts is dumb, i.e., I tell him I’m drunk, ask him what he’s doing on the Fourth, then text this gem: “Will shoot u in the face.” Then I profess my crush-like state of mind.
Only I would threaten to shoot someone in the face, then tell them I like them. Clearly, I was exercising the judgment of an 11-year-old boy on the playground. Of course, he’d have to be an 11-year-old who’d undergone an afternoon of World Cup day drinking, no supper, a few Guinnesses. And vodkas.
In response, I was calmly told to go to bed.
“Ouch,” was pretty much the response I got the next day when I related my failure.
Anyway, no one likes getting shot down—and what I’m about to relate here is a doozy. Like shot down in a ball of flames. I think everyone has had their little John Cusack moment, with the ghetto blaster and the sappy Peter Gabriel, when you suck it up and put it on the line. I usually don’t like going to the dark side, but since I no longer have my therapist, it’s you guys. So suck it up and listen to my sob story.
I sorta went out on a few dates with this dude. It was in Vegas, and right after I kicked the Crazy Redhead out of the apartment. In no way, shape or form, was I in the right mind-set to start dating anyone, but fuck it, I met this guy and for some reason—i.e. feeling incredibly lonely, nearly friendless and depressed in that shallow hellhole of a city—I liked him. A lot.
Anyway, somewhere down the line, he lost interest, but he was sending these weird mixed signals all the time. I was fucking confused and couldn’t get a read on him one way or the other—does he like me as a friend only? Or more? I’d been warned by mutual friends that this was his game, i.e. coming on really strong at first, only to lose interest once he got his prey hooked, then ditching them. It drove me crazy—and not the Beyonce/Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” good kind of crazy. I was losing it.
After a few months of this, around the time the Palms Casino was opening, I got invited to the big club night with Macy Gray performing at Rain. It was like Media and Celebs only—I believe Paris Hilton was there, which is a pretty good sign that your night is going to go to shit pretty fucking fast. Anyway, all day, I was like, “This is it. This is it. I’m gonna confront him about it. I have to find out what the hell is going on.”
So, we go to this club, which is like walking through a huge, horrible red neon vagina into a cavernous womb that pumps with house music, filled with fake tans and titties and blonde weaves (I told you Paris Hilton was there) as far as the eyeballs can see. My so-called friend/date(?) is hitting on my other friend’s date, the situation is getting uglier and uglier, and I’m nervous as hell and getting drunker and drunker, until finally I confront him about it. “Oh, I don’t really feel that way about you.” Or something or other was pretty much his response. I was pretty much devastated. The next morning I woke up, hoped it was a bad dream, remembered that it wasn’t, promptly chain-smoked a pack of Marlboro Lights and called every out-of-state friend I could and cried my ass off. Then vowed to get out of Vegas within six months, no fucking matter what. My poor friend who witnessed this night and I still refer to it as “The Macy Gray Incident.”
This all promptly led to a downward spiral that would’ve made Trent Reznor hammer nine-inch-nails up his arteries. Oh, was I self-destructive, and man, did I make some really fucking horrible choices with everything, and hey, I’m a grown-ass woman and I can admit that. I did get out of Vegas, but not without paying for that night for years. And years. There’s another line in a Neko Case song, “Leave me the check, I’ll pay with the rest of my life.” Yeah, that bad.
It took years to dig out of that hole. Like seriously. My own apartment, grad school, a nice boyfriend—i.e. someone who wasn’t selfish, immature, abusive, or a drunk dick—therapy, quitting a lot of bad shit (i.e. smoking, drugs, drinking so much), yoga, traveling by myself, etc., all helping to get it into place. It doesn’t mean I don’t still fall from time to time.
There’s this scene in a real cute movie, “Before Sunset,” when Julie Delpy breaks down and tells Ethan Hawke that he ruined love for her, “like it is not meant for me.” I pretty much feel like it’s nearly impossible to meet guys to date in New York City—in fact, it’s a huge factor in my nearly constant mental battle in whether to stay put here, where life is actually getting kind of good otherwise, and getting the fuck out so I can actually have a cool boyfriend again, because it’s been a really, really long time.
I feel like it’s not for a lack of trying—oh, Lord, I try. I try. And I try. And I still can’t get no satisfaction. At this rate, I’ll have to resort to fucking biracial couples from the Bronx off Craigslist. And I can’t take another five years here like the last five. And that’s enough of my pity party for one night. I swear, I will be funny again real fucking soon.