Friday, the 13th was Abe’s birthday. In my mind, I promised myself not to contact him so he would know what its like to be forgotten and ignored. It hurts, and sadly, it probably hurt me more than him.
I told Em, I don’t think he has a soul. She took it very seriously, and said, “Interesting.” I wasn’t totally serious. I can say the person I dated no longer exists in the shell of a person who sporadically texts me. In my mind, I have resolved that he is dead. He no longer exists.
There is no one to go back to, or wish a Happy Birthday or have break-up maybe get-back-together sex with. He is gone forever. It is easier.
Strangely, I don’t feel that way about the Prophet. Though he hurt me more in many ways, he still has more heart.
I have a friend who asks to remain anonymous in my blogs, but we had an interesting email exchange.
He wrote, “I may be out of line with this next statement, please forgive me if it is none of my business.
You are WAY beyond Abe. I really feel right about that statement. I wonder sometimes after reading your blog why you seem to diminish yourself. It is as if you don’t see the person I am looking at every time we meet. It makes me realize just how great an actress you truly are. In the blog, I get to read about this small girl that keeps kissing frogs hoping one is a prince, and then I see you and just know that you are SO close to breaking through.
Here's a question for you. Do you keep giving yourself away to all these boys because you want their attention, or what? Everything that has value in my life, I had to work for? That is especially true for each woman that means anything to me. The challenge provides so much intrigue and makes me WORK at holding their attention. I am not talking about silly things to keep running me around, I mean the types of things that are held safely in your core being. The stuff YOU don't talk about.
You are HUGE. Your personality, needs, and what piques you, requires a lot. In a normal person, this would be demanding at best. In a CELEBRITY, it is a pre-requisite that drives them to succeed. It just goes with the turf. You are talented in an area that draws attention, requires attention and responds to attention. It is the fuel that feeds you. This is what separates the "wanna-be" actresses from the success stories and will be the impetus that pushes you over the finish line when you seemingly have no more energy for it all.
This will wear down the average suitor, and it SHOULD. You need extra energy just to meet your minimum requirements. Don't change. Make them up their game. You're the real deal.”
I have been rolling his words around in my mind a lot.
People like to say I should be with older men. Men at my “level.” Or men who have an acceptable path and future, worded by many in various ways. Or men who can elevate my career.
I am really not sure that is right. Have you ever spoken to those men? They are bored with their wives or are happy playing the field; they don’t have to be monogamous. Women don’t force monogamy with men who have money, fame or both. If they do, they are lucky to get out with a pre-nup.
I am just looking for a simple love story. Nothing about levels or money or age . . . just a simple connection and maybe a story. Is that really too obscure of a concept? Perhaps too naive?
Maybe my idea of a simple love story will die with my parents, who met in their early twenties and married in 3 months before my Dad was sent to Vietnam. There connection is so strong, I feel like my sister and I were never really allowed in. We are a family but they are a unit.
I do think my friend is right, I need someone who can handle my propensity to perform, on and off stage. I can say with confidence, I have frustrated all of my significant o’s with public performances in shared company. I engage strangers and the “off” button doesn’t work until I realized I’ve upset him. Even then . . . I still keep going until I am removed from house, restaurant, party, bar . . . stage.
It annoys not only my male suitors, but also some ex-female friends. Now, I only surround myself with women who perform with me or truly enjoy being in the audience. No in-betweeners; the girls that wanted to perform but gave up before even trying. They stay my friends on Facebook but never contact me.
Maybe a performer, someone like me, would understand if he wasn't competitive.
Sunday night, I had a date with an East Indian comic named Kushal. I rescheduled a date with him about 4 or 5 times on OkCupid. I guess I was pushing him back because I thought I might really like him and was still dating for just the distraction.
We were supposed to meet at Gordon Biersch. I arrived early and asked the bartender to serve me his favorite beer. He gave me a sample of the most popular beer and then his favorite. I tasted both and went for his favorite- it had a clear, sweet bite.
I saw a bald, small, brown man walk in and look around. I waved. He went to another table. Another girl.
I sighed in relief.
Kushal walked in. He was tall and handsome with a full head of hair. He approached me and I thought, “He is an acceptable genetic match.”
Now, I thought all girls calculate a man’s sexual potential by how his genetic features would work with offspring. Em told me other girls don’t think that way. So maybe it’s just me . . . but my first thought when seeing a suitor is “Would our kids work? Handsome? Cute?”
If not, I never really take them seriously as a suitor. I might still have some kind of relationship with them, but lets be honest. . . I would have doubts about a child, i.e. The future. If the genetic features are not desirable, the child will have a considerably more challenging time with life as a girl. There are those people out there who thrive without the physical advantage, but why worry about it when we are already half way there with my genes? You know?
I honestly don’t think I would have a chance working as an actress now, in the middle of my life, or being courted if I was genetically undesirable. Men buy me clothes and food when I need it. Men I don’t know very well. How would I pursue what I love without financial seed money if I was overweight, or my eyes were far apart, or if I had to live with my bad teeth because my mom didn’t work at a Dentist school.
I was ugly for the first 19 years of my life, I know what its like. And I can tell you with confidence, how difficult life is now, it would be a hell of a lot more difficult if I wasn’t good looking.
Kashul found me and sat down. His eyes were large and hung lower in the corners away from his nose, like heavy teardrops. His skin was that marvelous mocha color you would see in a post-apocalyptic Tina Turner music video. Not to mention, he was tall.
He was a comic so . . . I was worried.
He said, “You are a lot prettier in person.”
I said, “Oh. Great. Thanks.”
He said, “Great. Thanks?”
I said, “Well my first thought is maybe that’s why I am not booking work off my photographs.”
He said, “Ohhhh.” Then he suggested we move seats, I am not sure why. Maybe because of the slightly overweight guy three seats away, eating alone. He would eavesdrop.
We moved closer to the entrance but stayed seated at the bar.
There were some superficial questions to start, but it wasn’t long before he told me most of his comedy act revolves around his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I said, “Are you afraid of germs?”
He said, “That’s one of them. I carry my purell around with me. Germs are part of it. I also see catastrophes.”
I repeated, “You see catastrophes.”
He moved my beer to the edge of the bar and said, “For instance, if your glass was all the way to the edge of the bar, I would see it falling. I would see the glass shattering, someone tripping over it, all of that. It would put me on edge. I would have a hard time concentrating.”
I said, “Sometimes I have visions of car accidents.” I do, when I am falling asleep or driving. Its manageable but also puts me on edge.
Kashul, “See? I also count.”
I repeated again, “You count.”
He said, “Yes, I don't like the number Four. It makes me uncomfortable. I like Three and Five. Three and Eleven are my favorite numbers.”
I said, “They are prime numbers. You can't divide them.”
Him, “That's right.”
I said, “I spoke to my ex about that when I was reading a book. He was also into numbers. He said the reason why someone wouldn't trust even numbers is because they’re divisible.”
Him, “That's right.”
I said, “Interesting.”
Mentally ill. SO my type. Damn it. He was cute.
I said, “I am afraid of STDs. Phobic, really.”
He said, “Oh?”
Then I told him about genital herpes, and my encounter with Ron Jeremy.
He said, “You lead an interesting life.”
I said, “Well . . . sometimes.”
He asked, “Have you been tested?”
I said, “Oh, I get tested every 6 months after a new partner. And sometimes more.”
He said, “That’s good.”
I said, “Yeah, but the gynecologists talk to me like I am insane, since I press them all the time.”
He said, “I believe disease can be passed on mentally.” Then he used our two pints of beer and his blackberry as an example and said, “Say these two glasses are married and one glass decides to have sex with this phone. The guilt in their minds of doing something wrong can create the disease. They know they are wrong and they get infected.
When this glass goes back to that glass, he gives her the virus.
I know women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and all of them had unfaithful husbands and didn’t do anything about it. They didn't say anything or make a stand. I think somehow that gave them cancer.”
I said, “Ron Jeremy said men can’t be sexually monogamous.”
Kashul said, “That’s bullshit. That’s such bullshit. Its an excuse.”
I said, “I think Internet porn confuses people, and now its an educational tool with men on how to have sex. As a result, I think they are less intuitive lovers. I see the difference with lovers I had in the 90s to men now.”
Him, “I stopped looking at porn when my girlfriend said I fucked like a porn star. It worked. I don’t look at it anymore.”
I said, “Hm.” Fucking like a porn star sounds like a weird self-compliment. But ok. I continued, “Something else I noticed is men who moan during kissing. Its so . . . theatrical.”
Him, “Its bad acting is what it is.”
I laughed. Damn it. I liked him.
He said, “Do you not like people who smoke?”
I said, “No, I did smoke. I just quit. I like everyone.”
He said, “The only thing I can’t stand is people that smoke pot.”
I said, “I smoke pot. A lot.”
He said, “Do you really? You don’t seem like the type?”
I said, “I know.”
He said, “Are you stoned right now?”
I said, “No, but I got stoned two hours ago. It helps me, but I don’t get stupid. I just need a little magic.”
Silence. Did he still like me?
He said, “I have just seen it steal ambition. I don’t like that.”
I said, “I also don’t lie. I have a problem with it. It makes me very uncomfortable.”
He straightened up and looked me square in the eye, as if to challenge me.
I said, “Do you smoke cigarettes?”
He said, “Yes. Why? Do you want one?”
I said, “Kinda.”
We stepped out. The cigarettes are 50/50 for me now.; sometimes satisfying, or sometimes they just make me feel grimy.
We spoke over one and he brought up why I waited so long to give my full, real name to him. I told him about Steve and others. Men think they know if you are the right one for them and try to make you believe it, or submit to it. Women let the men decide. Both are wrong.
We don’t need each other so desperately. It doesn’t work unless the other one feels it. I cry about it, but I would rather be alone than with someone who has an eye out over my shoulder.
We returned to finish our beers, and somehow we were still on the subject of what I felt undesirable in men. Why was I so tipsy after 1 pint? I could feel myself control the subtle slur and tip a little on the bar stool.
I said, “You are tall. I am really tall. How tall are you?”
He said, “5’10.”
I said, “Taller than me. I don’t wear heels because I feel like a monster, I can see over the stall in a public restroom.”
I said, “I don’t like dating shorter men. It makes me feel awkward. I don’t like bending down for a kiss, I don’t lean in for kisses.”
He said, “You don’t lean in for kisses.”
I slurred, “No. I don’t.” Why was I telling him this? Now, no matter what, he would lean in for the kiss tonight. I guess I was ok with that.
I continued, “Also, I don’t ask men out for dates. I tried in college; they accepted but never followed through. I guess men always need to feel like the conquerors.”
He said, “Nahhhh. I find it hard to believe they didn’t follow through. Maybe because they were confronted with a confident woman and that brought out their own insecurity.”
We reviewed our relationship history in Reader's Digest form. He asked me about three times if I was still getting over Abe. I said, "Its been two months, I don't want to give him anymore of my time. I wasted enough on him."
He said again, "You are still getting over him." Arg. Damn it.
He paid the bill and I shyly thanked him. Then he asked me to go to a comedy club, where he “produced” the stand-up shows. He is a year younger than Abe, so factored in some posturing.
I said, “I know it’s a rude question, so just let me know, but how do you make money to live?”
He said, “I write scripts for Indian movies.”
I said, “Really?”
He smiled and nodded. I am not sure if I buy that.
I was freezing even though it was a mild night.
He ushered me into a new comedy club I heard good things about. I walked in and was immediately introduced to three people. I knew I was being brought to his home base not to get to know him better, but to impress his friends.
He brought me to Biersch to screen me. Then, if I was cute and we hit it off, bring me over to meet his pool of fish. I often say men in Los Angeles care more about being seen with you than sleeping with you. It’s strange.
I went along with it. I liked this one.
He was very attentive, opened doors, got me a drink, found me a seat in the club and asked me if I needed anything. He was on.
As I sat down, I listened to a 4-minute set by one of his friends, Sam, who had tourettes and an awesome set put together. It made me want to do stand-up again. This guy was 10 years my junior and a hit on stage.
Afterward, Kushal took me to the bar backstage and got me a Stella. His friends came up and spoke business. They were sweet, as Kushal says, “They are all socially awkward 19-yr-olds inside.” Not they, we. Some of us just hide it a little better.
I liked them, and they tried to tease me with a proposition for a Battle of the Sexes show in 2 months. So tempting . . .they jumped in and out of our conversation.
When we were alone, I said, “I do impressions of dogs at Doggie Daycare but they are only funny to my co-workers.”
He said, “There is a comic who starts off his bit with ‘Here is an impression of my friend Dan-’”
He said, “See, it works. So I think your dog impressions could too.”
I said, “Ok, here is an impression of Winston-“ Here was my impression of walking happily with arthritic legs using my forearms . . . “Not to be mistaken for Wasabi-“ He has shaky, arthritic legs.
I continued, Gawd knows why, “And then there is Zoe-“ Fake pony-tails for ears, wide eyes and shaking like only a miniature Italian greyhound can. I laughed ALOUD- “Yeah . . . Its funny to us.”
He said, “That’s your punch line.”
Later, I rehearsed the date for my co-workers and heard the supervising manager laughing at my impressions, so I know they are funny . . . to us.
I sipped my Stella while he made his rounds.I wished we had more time to get to know each other before the parade of friends.
We stepped out for a smoke through the kitchen, since, I guess, smoking is not allowed most places in Burbank.
When we came back, his friends asked what I thought. I told them he already invested two beers and two cigarettes in me, so I felt things were going well.
Around 1am, his friends left for Barney’s Beanery. I still didn’t get to really know him, but I had to go home to the girls.
He walked me to my car and told me it was National Make-Out day. One of my favorite come-on lines to date. I smiled, he was young.
I drove him back to the club. He said, “Yeah, its National Make-Out day so . . .” then he reached in to kiss me.
His hand dropped heavily on my breast. He wasn’t pawing at me, it was nice, actually. I can’t feel too much through my padded bra, but I imagine it was nice.
His kisses were impatient but fervid. Tingle. A genetic match.
We said goodnight, and as I drove away, I said to myself, “Don’t make the same mistakes . . . poor, young, inexperienced . . . I like him.”