A lot has happened, and I haven't diligently wrote it all down because of boys.
I have grown concerned about one boy in particular. I don't know that he has seen the blog, or even knows it exists, but I . . . worry.
Wednesday, I went to the comedy club where Kushal works the door and regularly performs. Em was with me and I was meeting a friend, (calling him Frank) so I could see Kushal's act. (Kushal's First Date: http://soibecameanactress.blogspot.com/2011/05/okcupid-date-6-new-comic.html)
Frank has a George Costanza look but makes it masculine. He was a cigar entrepreneur and stand-up comic, now he writes. My stand-up comic "friend" Jamar was also there to audition for the club. I came in from another entrance, sat in this large showroom and ordered the cheapest import beer on the menu. It was nice.
Frank came in from the other end and sat next to us, "I just came from Barney's Beanery. Its crazy over there. I was hanging out with a bunch of Armenian girls and trying to hit on one of them. They just started smoking dope right there on the patio. It was crazy ... they called me their little leprechaun." He is around 5'7 and was wearing a green, baseball hat. "The one girl I was trying to hit on told me her fiance just got out of prison after a few months and she already had someone new. I probably dodged a bullet.
Let me ask you a question. She asked to see my baseball hat. Was she trying to see if I was balding? Cause it seemed like she lost interest after I took it off."
Frank is balding. I looked at Em.
She nodded and said, "Yeah, probably."
Frank, "Damn it. I mean, she was very cute about it. Trying it on and everything. But damn . . . cause I'm balding . . ." He adjusted his hat and bit his lip, shaking it off.
We sat through some painful comedy auditions, some had lots of potential. Kushal didn't show, though.
After that set, I went out to other lobby to look around for Kushal and instead got caught up in some Jamar banter. The running joke is the one time he tried to be mature and ask me out for coffee on Facebook. I agreed, then he took it back. Hilarious.
So every time he sees me, he says, "So, when are we gonna get that cup of coffee?"
I said, "We will never get a coffee. We might get a glass of water, or a cup of tea . . . but we will never, EVER get coffee."
Jamar, "Come on. I really want to have coffee."
Me, "The only way it will happen is if I decide to drop by Yum Yum donuts and watch you serve it to me from behind the counter."
Then, I looked to my left and saw Kushal. God, he is handsome. I started to worry about how my hair was parted.
He was working the door and I waited a few awkward moments until our eyes met. He smiled and my stomach burned. Ooooh, I like him. God damn it!
We figured out I was in the wrong showroom and Em just ordered garlic fries, but after missing Kushal's past shows about four times before, I had to move everyone over to the other stage.
Em's husband showed up and I was working to keep Frank there, because . . . though I don't know Frank very well, I really enjoy his company. We had a Celebrity Apprentice date the Sunday before, and talked about the blog. He follows it and that Sunday became an evening of catch-up, that old game of "You Know Me, Who the Hell Are You?" . . . and I learned a lot about him, at 1am, wrapped in a blanket and drinking lemonade.
He said, "Never do one of those dating shows again, promise me! They eat you up and spit you out, that's what they are designed to do." He turned to Em, "And what do we think of Joel?"
I said, "She hasn't read the last one yet."
Its weird being discussed like a soap opera. My blog has become a monster.
We waited in the showroom and watched seasoned comics with real acts. Among them, Jamar . . . whose act the second time around was far beyond his audition. Maybe he was just trying out new material. He was really good. Momfucker.
Kushal came on stage and I pinched Em, who pinched her husband. His act was really sound; smooth, snappy, and clever. The nape of his neck, between the hair on the back of his head and the low collar on his very average, American, button-up shirt looked like the Coconut Chocolate Macchiato I tried last week. Our kids would be gorgeous. Then I was hit with the idea that I was thinking the exact same thing about someone else last year. I will never marry or build a family with anyone. With Abe, that fantasy died. I refuse to even consider it.
Its funny, I just remembered how somebody accused me of "milking" the break-up to justify my debauchery. "Milking it." What an asshole thing to say.
After the show, I used up time until Kushal was done working the door. This was easy since Em's Hubby was unbelievably excited to be out and about, or maybe it was his promotion. He was happy, that's all I know. I nursed a martini and tried not to look over at Kushal, and later worried that I was too loud or animated or dirty with my jokes. He stopped by my table with the register drawer in his arm and said, "I am going to buy you a drink."
I said, "No more for me . . . " I was woozy from the martini and my head was swimming. I've got to start paying for my own drinks, for my liver's sake.
Kushal came by with a pizza and offered it to all of us. We are all vegetarian, so he was stuck eating it in front of us. He nodded his head, asked and answered questions. My instinct was to hold his hand. I liked this kid, and feeling attached so quickly. Its stupid. And illogical.
After Em and her hubby left, we grabbed a beer at the bar alone.
He said, "You snort when you laugh."
I said, "I do, how did you know that?"
He said, "I heard you in the audience during someone else's set."
I said, "Oh. Really? Was I loud? I . . . uh . . . told someone I thought snorting while laughing was contrived, and was karmically bitch slapped with a snort laugh. Turns out, it isn't contrived at all."
He was looking over his shoulder, catching voices in the exits, stage and hallways. He said, "Maybe we can go somewhere else after this."
I said, "Yeah, somewhere you can relax. You are always looking over your shoulder here."
His large, brown eyes rolled over me and he said, "You are a smart cookie."
Another sip of Stella and he said, "I have a pool table back at my place. We could go there."
I said, "YOU . . . have a pool table at your place?"
He said, "Yeah."
I said, "Do you have a house?"
He said, "No, just a one bedroom. Come on, I will show you."
I followed him over to his apartment complex.
Then I looked over the place, through the living room . . . couch, TV, action heroes. The kitchen had a small breakfast table and a couple chairs.
I said, "Where is this pool table?"
He pointed to his end table, "Right there." The pool table was a tabletop, a foot and a half long. Clever.
I won the first game (of course) and then he asked if he passed the interview, with Em and her hubby. She texted me, "And yes, I do like him :)"
I said, "You did."
He said, "I know what that was."
We kissed, and it was fast and deep. A lot like a puppy who greets you at the door.
The text message exchange the day before was:
Him: "Migraines can be sexy. I think."
I wrote, "You know, I uh . . don't have intercourse with men I date. STD phobic, but I like you."
Him, "Hang on. What do you mean u don't have intercourse. And what gave u the idea intercourse was on the table?"
Then, he wrote, "So ure never gonna have sex till . . .?"
I wrote "Tricky. Monogamous relationship. I am bad at enforcing condoms so I don't let myself out easily."
He said, "I understand. Can I ask- do u have any stds? Is there a reason ure afraid of em?"
I wrote, "No other reason than Google Image search."
So back to his couch, him on me . . . he asked for oral and I told him I don't do that either.
I mean, this was moving pretty fast, right?
He said, "So what can we do? What's left?"
I said, "Mutual masturbation? . . . an Old-Fashioned? Are you still going to talk to me if I do?"
He laughed and said, "I am not an asshole."
During the next hour, we touched each other like teenagers. I gave direction then he snapped back direction and with his mouth hovering over mine, he said, "Are we both bad at mutual masturbation? Is that what's happening right now?"
We kept going and things got better, smoother, harder . . . as they often do.
I said, "This is going kinda fast. Can we talk a little? Like . . . um, my favorite color is purple."
What the fuck is wrong with me? My favorite color? Really!?!?
I continued, "What are your favorite movies?"
He leaned back, coolly combed his fingers through his hair and told me. I told him mine. I wish I could remember what his were. I was so high on pheromones and vodka, and the easy victory with tabletop pool, that I am trying to recollect something of that part . . . yeah. Nothing.
He leaned in to kiss me.
I stopped him and asked what his favorite bands were.
He leaned back, and answered. Yeah . . . again, I can't remember what they were. Man . . .
Things escalated and there was no way I was going to orgasm for him. Even with Abe, it took a bit. Its hard to explain, its just . . . a weird, mental obstruction with first times. He asked me to get a towel and I said, "You get a towel."
He said, "Please get a towel."
I said, "Just come on me."
He said, "Oh . . .you aren't OCD at all."
I said, "I know." You are.
He came. It was sexy. Super sexy.
I went to the bathroom, and when I came back he was fully dressed and leaning back on his couch with a cigarette.
I thought, maybe even said, "Oh!" And I sought out my clothing and put everything back on. I leaned back into him and said, "Is it weird that I want to cuddle after your orgasm?"
He smiled, and then yawned.
I said, "I know the tryptophan is bleeding into your brain right now post-orgasm and you are probably very sleepy."
He said, "That's ok, as long as you keep talking I am up."
So, we kept talking. He asked me what would happen if I didn't like his set.
I said, "I was worried. But you were great. Funny. I was impressed."
He said, "But what if you didn't like it?"
I said, "I probably wouldn't have jerked you off."
I asked him about cats and dogs, occasionally he would look up at me with huge eyes to emphasize sincerity. My energy was almost entirely gone, I dug my toes under his legs and put my head down on the couch to close my eyes. It was almost 5am.
He said, "Can I walk you to your car?"
I straightened up, "Yeah."
Putting on my boots I thought, what the fuck?
Then I said, "I mean no. Its fine."
He said, "No, please. Let me walk you."
Was it wrong to wonder why he didn't ask me to stay? In fact, I was kinda upset about it.
Once we both had our shoes on, I was out that front door and walking as fast as possible to my car, shivering.
He said, "You know, if you are cold, walking fast actually makes it worse because it creates a wind that hits you head on."
I said, still walking fast and barely turning over my shoulder, "But my blood is circulating faster."
He said, "But . . .the wind."
I opened my car door and said, "Thank you." And pecked him goodnight.
He said, "Text me when you get home ok? Let me know you got there ok."
My girlish neuroticism was eating me alive. What. The. Fuck.
I went to bed upset. I woke up in the middle of the day upset. Despite the FB Friend invite he sent as soon as I left his apartment, I was sure he just discarded me like a wet kleenex.
Then, slowly, I wondered if he is just not used to dating girls. Maybe. The obvious analysis is that he pushed the sex part and didn't really invite the intimacy part- but what if he just didn't know what he was doing. And really, what if I am being over-sensitive because that little shit Atticus didn't text or call until 10 days after our really great date. (Atticus First *and last* Date: http://soibecameanactress.blogspot.com/2011/03/vegan-beggars-need-smooches.html)
So I threw him a hook and texted, "Ur hot."
He responded, "Back at ya. I had a great time last night. Let's do somethin next week? Beans?"
I stood over my iPhone, wondering if I should accept the FaceBook request. Links to this blog. My updates. Boys. Pictures. Oy. What a fucking headache FB is.
A few hours later, I resolved, if he is going to like me he will know through my FB activity. I am on the damn thing so much, posting every aspect of my life- it might help him decide if he actually likes me.
I pressed "Accept." God help me.
That afternoon, I was in Santa Monica for an audition. The drive from east to west LA is brutal. I am talking two plus hours of no straight forward freeway access. Also, I was on day three of the Reality Dating Show migraine. So I stopped at the marijuana dispensary on my way . . . she recommended Green Dream. After two hits, I thought, "I have to go back and return this. Its too much." My stomach dropped out, or was it my head popping up.
Then Elton John came on the radio. I opened my sun roof. Never mind. I will be fine.
I found the casting place 15 minutes before my audition- its a miracle I found a parking spot and got down Santa Monica Blvd in under 3 hours ... I mean, just under.
I walked in.
Small, Bald, White Man, "CDW?"
Me, "Excuse me?"
Me, "What does that mean?"
Man, "CDW. Are you here to audition for C . . . D . . . W?"
Man, (very slowly) Are . . . you . . . sure???"
Me, "Yeah. I am here for NY, NY."
I am stoned not stupid asshole.
The audition required six of us in a room, recreating three scenes:
-Fighting to get to the front of the line of a roller coaster, then riding the roller coaster
-All of us trying a slot machine
-All of us competing with shots of tequila
What kind of weird bullshit audition was this? Whatever.
I was paired up with a hot Italian guy and, refusing to let go of his hand as we cut through the line to the front of the roller coaster, I knocked into the back of the other girls' heads then mimed the roller coaster. The whole thing felt real to me. Thinking back, was that wind blowing through my hair on that fake roller coaster?
After that, I had to meet Lana. There has been tension over the comedy pilot we developed, directed and produced together. We spent the last year and a half working on it and every step is an obstacle, mostly because it relies on favors.
Joel manages a bar in Culver City, so we rendezvoused there.
Now, getting Lana free drinks is probably the most I have done for our project in the last 2 weeks. I am a fuck up right now, I know that. My head has been in a self-induced fog so I can numb out the strain of finances and Abe. In fact, I might just be a version of myself right now, I don't really know. I am coasting because I don't know what else to do.
Our editor said it would be another couple weeks until she can finish the last few touches to our piece and it created a minor blow-up between us. It shook me up, you see, Lana is one of the few really good friends I have. One of two close female friends. And the only creative partnership I have. Now I was fucking it up. People can't rely on me. I can't be the person they need me to be. At least not right now.
She said, "There I was, waiting for our meeting that you were 45 minutes late for and you brought nothing to the table."
I couldn't even remember what meeting she was talking about.
She said, "At the Starbuck's."
I said, "Oh yeah." I was 45 minutes late for that? Shit. I am an asshole.
She said, "And I did all this research and a budget, and I felt like saying, 'What do you have to bring to me? What do you have for me?' And you had nothing."
I said, "That's true. Right now I have nothing. I don't have focus, time or money. I mean, I am forced to take a backseat to everything until I have something to put in. Right now, I am just empty, and it sucks because I don't feel I can contribute really anything."
She said, "That makes sense. I hear you."
I repeated myself and she grabbed my hand and said, "I hear you."
We agreed to take things one day at a time, since the project and our lives were all changing.
I said, "I know we started this project a year and a half ago when it was a really good time to do a project. Now, its a really bad time. My life is kind of fucked up."
She said, "I know. The projects have to work around our lives."
I told her I was confused. I was still hurting over Abe and now feeling interested in Kashul and was somehow sexually involved with Joel. I told her I am the poorest I have ever been.
She said, "I don't know if its the poorest I have ever been."
I said, "Using change to buy gas?"
She said, "I was walking! That's how poor I was."
Me (singing), "♪ ♫ Walking in LA . . . Walking in LA . . ."
Lana (singing), "Nobody Walks in LA." ♪ ♫
She continued, "Yeah, I am going to have to get a waitressing job, I just hate people when I do that. I mean, the last 3 years are a waste then? That's what it feels like, I wasted 3 years of my life, because nobody will hire me. I've even been applying to equipment rental houses for $10/hr and they aren't even calling me in for an interview. I keep dreaming about what its like to be rich. That's how bad it is."
I said, "Well, we have to get rich. I mean . . . that's the only reason we are suffering."
Joel came up to give us bread and wine on the house. I filled in Lana with the date, and how he left me after our last sexual encounter. Joel would occasionally come up to defend himself. I admire his spirit.
Lana said, "I think you have to have sex with him for the good of womankind. Its your responsibility. He symbolizes everything wrong with man."
I said, "I think I should too."
Lana got up to leave and as she collected her things, I told her that I felt like I failed her. I am nothing but a disappointment.
She grabbed my hand and said, "Don't ever feel that. And no matter what we say or how things play out with this project, I will always be here. I am not leaving."
Lana doesn't get emotional, she says things with a strong voice and looks you directly in the eye. She teaches me a lot about integrity in friendship, more than anyone has before.
Joel wasn't off for a few more hours, but he had a cigarette behind the bar for me. I took it and smoked. I thought about how I am confusing myself by being involved with men right now. All I wanted was a distraction. I never meant to meet anyone I genuinely liked, I mean, its Internet dating for Christ's sake. And Joel would be the perfect arrangement if I didn't break down crying after sex and if I hadn't met Kashul. I am losing myself in vapor. This isn't my life.
Stumbling back into the French bar, I spoke briefly to a French waiter about Napoleon. You can take a tour of his first escape of exile. That's pretty cool.
Then, an Italian stranger asked to join me. He was older, sweet, a chef.
The conversation was great, you know:
He said, "A chef is not like a film, where everyone has to do one thing. Its not like a director or actors on a set . . . its like . . ."
I said, "God."
He smiled and nodded.
He said, "I have thought a lot about how . . ."
Me: "You wronged a woman." Wild guess.
He slowly nodded. Shocker.
Chef, "But I am trying to be content with the moment and not worry about what should of happened or what could have happened. (beat) This conversation is great."
I said, "These are the only type of conversations I have."
He told me a story about his first love, "I moved in with an Italian girl. Her place was 7 ft. by 3 ft. The room was separated by a what you call it? A screen. So small. We were on top of each other. And I was very young, I was ... a virgin.
I asked, "Did you make love?"
He said, "Never. I didn't know anything. I was so young. We lived there for a year before she moved on with a Scottish guy. It was like, 'fuck you' you know? And I started to understand things. How things worked."
Strangers who use me as a confessional sometimes think we have a connection. They think I understand them more than someone else. I am just listening, and its actually something I learned from Oprah. I am not afraid of silences. I don't need to keep them thinking. They know the course of thought better than you ever will. If you are quiet, they just start telling you about their lives, like they are thinking aloud. Its one of the best secrets I know.
A song came on. It was a song that never plays in public.
Paper Bag by Fiona Apple (Play it . . .)
I discovered it towards the end of my marriage and the beginning of the Prophet. Yet, the lyrics are more appropriate for Abe. The Chef kept talking and I was secretly annoyed because the song was a gift meant for me.
♪ ♫ "I thought he was a man but he was just a little boy . . . Hunger hurts, cause I want him so bad, oh it kills. Cause I know I'm a mess he don't want to clean up." ♪ ♫
He asked if I wanted part of his hamburger. I explained that I was vegan.
He said, "Oh sorry, should I not eat it."
Me, "You better eat it. Someone died for that. And you better enjoy it, too."
He said, "You have great female energy. It's so great it almost gives me erection."
We both got bills, and I said, "Um . . . I'm in a sexual arrangement with the bartender. I should not be getting a bill." Joel laughed and winked. He was hurrying to close up the bar. He looks so big back there, almost intimidatingly big. Tall and really muscular. I wonder if he could beat me up.
The Chef said, "I won't let you pay, give me that. Please, I insist."
I said, "Only tip him 15% since he charged me."
The Chef laughed and needed me to tell him how much the bill was and how much to tip since his English was bad and he didn't have his reading glasses.
He said, "How much?"
I said, "15% is $5.45"
He rounded up to $6.
I brought the bill to the bar.
I said, "You get a 15% tip for charging me."
Joel laughed. He grabbed my hand, leaned in and said, "I only billed you cause I knew he would pay. If he didn't pick it up, I wouldn't have charged you."
I pulled back, "Oooookay."
Joel, "I am gonna be really tired tonight so I don't know how much energy I will have to hang out."
I covered my mouth with my hands, "Oh my God, I am feeling so insecure right now. What am I going to do? I guess I will have to try my best."
The Chef walked me to my car and said, "I am glad I met you tonight. Whatever it is, we have a connection. Let me have you over, cook you dinner, we can sit in the Hakuzzi. Haku-zzi?"
Chef, "Yes, jacuzzi. And if we have sex, it doesn't have to mean marriage or anything."
I said, "Wow, you know just what to say to a girl. Sex doesn't mean marriage. THANK GOD!"
He laughed from his stomach and hugged me.
He said, "I will call you."
Yeah yeah yeah.
I drove over to Joel's to wait for him as he closed the bar. He told me where the key was hidden for the guest house he is renting. When I entered the yard, a friendly golden retriever and pug greeted me, along with a very unfriendly pug. We all went into Joel's guest house together, and the golden retriever kept bringing me things of Joel's as gifts. I was flattered and didn't want to hurt the dog's feelings, so when I reached for it and tugged a little, I didn't really want to take it away. Sorry to say, Joel's yoga block is no longer in good condition.
I jumped on his computer and thought about exploring his browsing history, like I did on our first date. Then I thought that Joel was no longer an acquaintance and I don't desire to take anything away from him EXCEPT FOR his peanut butter filled pretzels. Then I was humped on his bed by the golden retriever.
Joel came home amped up, talking loud and fast and even seemed annoyed.
I said, "What are you on your period? Relax."
He said, "Sorry, when I work, I am on. You know? I have to be someone else." He faked a showman's smile. "I just need to unwind from it all."
I said, "I liked how you handled yourself tonight. All my boyfriends, well most, have had a problem with two things 1) being teased in public 2) me flirting with strangers."
Joel said, "I can see that. That second one would be a problem for me."
We switched positions and topics. He said, "And I can't read the blog anymore. I read the last one only because I wanted insight on what was going on."
I said, "It was all dialogue. There was no inner monologue."
He said, "That's right. I got nothing from it. But when I read the second one, about our date, after I had a really good time- it affected me and it made me rethink our relationship, negatively."
I am sorry for that.
He said, "So I am not going to read your blog and I am not going to tell you if I have sex with someone else."
I said, "Are you?"
He said, "No. Of course not. Once I say it to myself, that I am only having sex with you, it changes things. It might not change things on the outside but inside me it will."
I said, "Well, that's whats so nice about this arrangement. We don't need to hold each other accountable."
Joel rolled the word "Arrangement" over his tongue like it was a fresh piercing and said, "You can be so text book about things."
He put on Pandora and a version of "You've Really Got a Hold On Me" came on by She & Him. We were kissing and I was feeling moved. Not emotional, just moved. By the darkness, by the blue hue from the computer screen, by the music, by the smell of Old Spice and the new ease I felt in Joel's company. We were getting used to each other.
♪ ♫ "You treat me badly, I love you madly, you've really got a hold on me . . ." ♪ ♫
♪ ♫ " . . .I don't want you, but I need you, don't want to kiss you, but I need to . . . oh, you do me wrong now . . ." ♪ ♫
(Play it . . . ))
I felt the harmony locking into the base of my gut, the way a prayer can. Suddenly, I broke the kiss and said, "Sorry, I have to see who this is . . .this is amazing." I got up and clicked on the screen- Artist: She & Him.
I said, "Sorry I broke the moment."
He kissed me again and I said, "I need you to be tender with me tonight."
He said, "I know that. I can sense it."
I said, "I don't know if its the music or what it is . . . I just need tenderness."
He kissed me and we had unprotected intercourse again.
After we were done, he held me. I buried my face into the nape of his neck where I felt the morning beard growing in already. I fell asleep easily, but woke up in a panic at 3am. I thought something was wrong with my animals, so I kissed him and said, "I am sorry I have to go. I really loved sleeping with you." He said sleepily, "I'm sorry you have to go, too. Goodnight" and then he said my name.
Even with the lazy T, it hit me. We were getting too comfortable with each other.
The next few days, I struggled with whether or not to publish this blog. As much as I criticize older men, they strongly appreciate my honesty, younger men can be repelled by it. They haven't figured out yet that there really is no one to impress.
Last night, I was sitting in the break room at Doggie Daycare with Ocean and told her, "Kashul is going to read my blog and see what a train wreck I am. I don't blame him. He hasn't texted me since Thursday."
Ocean said, "Look, you put everything out there. Facebook is you. The blog is you. The people in your life who know and love you appreciate that. And if he can't handle that, then he can't handle you."
I am living like a sampler plate. People can pick up pieces of me with ribboned toothpicks and walk away snacking on my dreams and thoughts. I keep living and writing like I have no other choice, but I do have a choice. I could live like a girl with cards pressed against her chest, with mystery. Men love mystery. People might respect me more if they knew less about me.
As the driver said on Monday, "Tuck your heart back in from your sleeve. It might save you some of the hurt."