Sunday night was my Celebrity Apprentice TV “date” with Frank (my new casual buddy, 5'7, Masculine George Costanza type). The finale.
Kushal never called for that third date. Ah, the moment before a handjob:
** "Are you still going to talk to me if I do?" ** He laughed and said, "I am not an asshole."
I was fighting a stomach virus for three days. At work that night, I had to lift Sebastian, a very old golden retriever with bad hips, up a few times so he could walk to his food and get a bath since he soils himself. I smelled like urine. I fell on my ass breaking up a fight between a shih tzu with a really bad attitude named Willie and a terrier/poodle mix. Not to mention, I had three zits on my face, which is unusual for me.
I really wanted a boyfriend that night; to bring me a beer while I showered, to massage my ass; to tell me I was pretty even though I looked and felt like shit.
I was looking forward to seeing Frank; he was easy to be around. I show up in pajamas, glasses and slippers with my ganja Tupperware. Its all very casual.
After the show, Frank spoke to me frankly about the blog (har har har). He said, “Now, I am not judging. I love the blog. I am addicted to the blog. I am just saying some women would take what men say and hold them in confidence. There has to be something said for confidence.”
I said, “That’s true. There is something to be said for confidence. I do change everyone’s names. I am a writer . . . its my duty to preserve all those stories.”
I think about all the stories from the past and how they are worn down and faded from time. I can’t save them for you- but the ones from last week, last night and today . . . those I can capture so they can live forever.
He said, “I thought you were going to bail on me today, cause you weren’t feeling well. If you weren’t coming, I was going to drive out to you and bring you some soup or something.”
I looked at him confused and said, “You were?”
He paced and sat across from me.
He leaned in and stopped short of my cheek, I am not sure if I turned my face or if he aimed for my cheek. His lips stopped just above my skin.
I said, "Wait a minute, are you kissing me? Like a romantic kiss?"
He said, "Well it was, but now somehow the romance has been completely eliminated from the moment."
I said, "Did you read my blog?"
He said, "Yeah, I wasn't going to read it. I thought if I was going to try something with you, I shouldn't read it. Then I did."
I said, "Well you know I am really confused right now."
He said, "Yeah, I know you are in a weird place."
I said, "I think it’s a really bad time to try this. I like you. I mean, I like talking to you-"
Him, "Ok. Ok." He was taking this as rejection.
I said, "No, I mean. I am interested in . . .” Find the words. “All of it. I want to protect it from whatever I am going through right now. I am just surprised you would want to get involved after knowing I am involved with other guys. I mean, I had unprotected sex a few days ago."
He said, "Well, I know. I shouldn't have read the blog."
I said, "But, I like you. And I don't want to ruin this, whatever it is."
He said, "If we were to get together, it would be either one of us feels great loss or someone's crying over the other one's grave."
I said, "I have heard that before. It lasted 3 months."
He said, "Well, who knows what would happen ... no one knows."
He continued, "You had to have known I was going to try tonight."
I said, "No, well you didn't hit on me last time I came over and when we said goodbye at the comedy club Wednesday night, you made a point of joking about the lean in/stretch-your-face away-hug not being a come on. And . . . I mean . . . you read the blog. Why would you be interested?"
He said, "Yeah, well, with the hug I didn't know I would try then. Then I started thinking about you. You were on my mind and I thought, ok, I am going to try. Come on, you had to have known."
He said, "I haven't dated a woman as intelligent as you."
I said, "I wonder if people think I am more intelligent than I am."
He said, "Well, I've dated some real morons. Pretty much all of them, so don't pat yourself on the back. One girl was pretty good . . ." His head started bobbling and he stretched his ear lobe between his index finger and his thumb.
I said, "Oh, is she the one?" We all have a one . . .
He said, "No . . ." his head was still bobbling.
I smoked a bowl while he poured himself a shot of bourbon.
He said, "Do you like Vegas?"
I said, "Eh. My sister lives in Vegas."
He said, "Do you like to gamble?"
I said, "No, its very unsatisfying for me."
He said, "I am a gambler. I am ashamed to say I dropped $100 down last night in a poker game. I had a terrible hand, but I played it. I played it in a way that would make (some poker celebrity names) proud. "
Frank, "Do you like scotch?"
I said, "I like everything. But my stomach can't take anything right now."
Frank likes to gamble, likes Scotch and used to binge on cocaine. I am not sure we are good for each other. I would end up giving in to some of those vices and we wouldn’t be able to pull the other one up.
He said, "If you were going to say no or bail on me tonight, I had a back-up. I had someone else I was going to call."
Me, "You did? What's she like? Is she good-looking?"
He said, "Just a back-up. Am I going to be an honest asshole? She is not good-looking (stretching pinkie finger away from his glass) enough."
I said, "Does someone have to be good-looking to a certain degree for you to be interested or can her personality count for as much?"
He said, "No, that’s not good enough, either."
I spit out my lemonade and laughed.
We told stories and laughed, me laying on my stomach with my bruised ass in the air and him pacing with a bottomless shot of bourbon.
I said, “This is like a slumber party.”
He said, “I just need some whale print pajamas. I don’t know what I am saying . . . I can play a song that I know is special to you right now . . .”
He took out his guitar and played “Say It Aint' So.”
I sang the beginning while he played the chorus. He cut me off, "I am playing the chorus!!"
We started over and sang the song in synch. Then he launched into “Spaceboy” by Smashing Pumpkins, as the Sandman tugged at my ankles. It was 4am.
I asked to lay down in his bed . . . but it was clear this was platonic. He kept talking to me as I curled and kicked under his blanket.
I sang, ♪ ♫ "Say it ain't sooo . . . your drug is a heartbreaker . . . " ♪ ♫ (Groooan!) "I LOVE THAT SONG SO MUCH!! WHY?!!"
He gingerly laid down next to me, careful not to touch me.
I said, “Are you going to braid my hair now?” He laughed.
I said, “As a testament of your love, can you move my car for me?” The street was closing and ticketing all cars on the street at 6am.
He said, “I can move your car to a spot in the complex, but you might not be able to get out later. I gotta check.”
I said, “You can drive me to work . . . and clean my place for me during my shift.” I was giggling.
He said, laughing, “Anything to touch your hair again.” He moved my car for me.
When he came back, he launched into a story, “So my neighbor upstairs, Ramon, he has a wife and a baby. One day he says to me and Adam, (lowering his voice like Cheech Marin) ‘What do you think about drugs?’ I said, ‘Well you know I smoke pot everyday. He said, ‘What about coke?’ I said, ‘Hey I had my time with it. Now it just makes me throw up.’ Adam said, ‘Yeah man, coke.’ So one day we all do a few bumps, I threw up but it didn't stop me. I kept going. He was saying crazy shit like sometimes he wants to kill his daughter.”
I looked up, “He said that.”
Frank, “Yeah, I mean if he said sometimes he wants to hit his daughter that would be disturbing. But he said sometimes he wants to kill his daughter. One day, I get a call from him; he is being held up in a parking lot somewhere. I didn't know what the hell was going on, only that Ramon was going crazy. Then he just pops in through my front door . . .”
I was drifting. Eyes heavy. Twitch.
Frank, “I said, Ramon, coke and guns don't go together . . . By the way, he has some really good cocaine up there if you are ever interested."
Me, (sleepily) "Oh my God, don't tell me that."
I may have slept for 45 minutes, or an hour. I opened my eyes and saw Frank sitting on the edge of the bed, scrolling through his phone.
He said, "The guy who wrote the song ‘You Light Up My Life’ killed himself last night."
Me, "Are you serious?"
He said, "Yeah."
The song is actually about a comedian who had a one-night stand with a director.
I said, "So are we going to spoon or what?"
The next time I saw Frank was Tuesday night, two days later. He asked if he could stop by when I was done with my shift at Doggie Daycare.
Though I was sleep deprived Monday at work, I was happy. I had a great time with him, I loved my job. I don’t know, it was a good day.
Tuesday night he walked in and came up to lightly embrace me. I heard him take in a nose full of my hair.
He said, “May I smell you again? (beat) I keep looking for a way to kiss you organically but its not coming up.”
I broke my rule, leaned in, held his face and kissed him. He smiled.
He said, “You know, I was really happy all day yesterday.”
I said, “I know, I was happy too.”
He smiled and said, “Good.”
He said, “I want to buy you things. I won some money in a poker game last night and I am excited by the idea of throwing some money at you. Do you want a tank of gas? I bet you are on empty.”
I slowly nodded. Did men really get a high buying women things? I thought it was usually just a way to make them feel indebted.
He said, “I will buy you a tank of gas.”
He met my dogs, we listened to Pandora and went to lay down on my bed. One thing led to another, and we fooled around. Nothing serious, third base. We had sexual chemistry, I was kind of surprised since he wasn’t my type at all.
First thing in the morning, I brewed some vanilla hazelnut coffee. He said, “I like this place. I like the place, I like the dogs- love the dogs. Love the cat.”
I smiled, that was the first time a man said he liked my apartment. I brought him a cup of coffee and he said, “Thank you. This reminds me of that monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross. You know, Al Pacino’s monologue about a girl that brings him café au lait?”
I said, “I haven’t seen it in years.”
He said, “I will look it up for you.”
On his Facebook profile right now, he has a YouTube link to it, “The great fucks you may have had, what do you remember about them? I don’t know, for me I am saying what it is, is probably not the orgasm. Some broads forearm on your neck. Something her eyes did. It was this sound she made. Or its me in the . . . I am tellin’ ya, I am in bed, the next day, she brought me café au lait, gives me a cigarette. My balls feel like concrete.
What I am saying, what is our life? Our life is looking forward, or its looking back. That’s it. That’s our life.”
I tried to give Frank and orgasm, Jr. High style, but like pretty much every man I am with, he struggled the first time. He also said my name, which is how my last blog ended. Coincidence?
As I put in my contacts, he mentioned the struggle to orgasm and said, “I think I had trouble almost because I respect you too much.”
I said, “You don’t equate sex with respect? That’s disturbing.”
He said, “Let me rephrase this so I don’t sound like an asshole-“
I said, “Well, that’s consistent with what you said before, about dating a lot of bimbos.”
He took pause and said, "That's true."
We took the girls for a hike. I told him I had a date with Joel on Friday- he covered his brow and stopped walking.
Frank, "I’ve got to protect myself.”
I said, “I told you I am in a confusing place . . .”
We finished the trail in a weird place of conversation. I felt like I woke up and grew a boyfriend overnight. It made me feel uncomfortable. We weren't light and laughing anymore, we were on to pregnant silences and knowing stares.
As we pulled out of Echo Mountain, he said we should check out some of the houses for sale around the area. I told him on the way up that if I could have a house anywhere right now, it would be in Altadena, by the hiking trails.
We followed signs to a little hideaway house with a rose bush and a jacuzzi. No enclosed yard. He called the broker and asked if they could show us the house and got a quote. He said, “600k.”
I said, “Eeek.”
He said, “I don’t know why I am saying this but it is within your reach. I might be interested in getting a place with you . . .”
He spoke about his time as a cigar entrepreneur and how he could get steady pay coming in from that business again. I could see pain at the mention of working phones in an office every day, 5 days a week.
I said, “Do what you love, that’s what I am doing.” In the back of my head, I wondered if this was the answer. A friendly romance with Frank, who was willing to put writing on the side to make money and start a life with a girl he only spent 48 hours with . . .
Sounds like my failed marriage.
We went to breakfast.
He said, “So a date with Joel on Friday . . .”
I said, “I think I would advise you to stay away from me . . . romantically.”
He said, “I don’t like that advice and I have heard a lot of shitty advice in my time.”
I laughed out loud. His eyes lit up. Men love making women laugh, maybe even more than orgasming.
He said, “I feel like I should tell you not to screw it up with me.”
I said, “Hold on! Let me analyze how I am feeling right now.” Pause. My eyes were burning. “Thinking about being only with you . . . makes me want to cry. I can’t give myself totally to someone else again.”
He grabbed my hand and said, “Ok. Its ok.” He turned his face away.
On the way home, he said, “I don’t know why I feel so attached so quickly.”
He took a picture of me and said, “Just in case this is the last date.” We both laughed, but not really.
I went over to CBS Radford for audience work, and was miserable with sleep deprivation.
A short fellow, pale with the kind of broad nose and light blue eyes you would think of when reading Flowers in the Attic, came up and said, “Hello. My name is Michael. Would you like to have a conversation?”
He said, “So, a topic . . .”
I said, “Um . . . um . . . sorry, I have been lost in thought for . . . a few months now.”
He asked, “About what?”
I said, “A relationship ended. My cat died. I’m broke.”
He said, “Did this all happen the same week?”
I said, “Within 3-4 weeks.”
He motioned to the paw print tattooed on my inner wrist and said, “Is that the cat’s paw print there?”
I said, “Nope. That’s my other cat that died.” (awkward laugh) “ . . . yeah.”
He said, “Well, hopefully the break-up was amicable.”
I said, “Nope. No. And the mother fucker is holding on to my hard drive. He won’t mail it. He is just holding on to it until he can give it to me when he has made something of himself.”
Michael said, “Well, he is terribly mistaken, isn’t he?”
I said, “I hope he dies.”
He said, “Wow, I am so glad we talked. Those heart-shaped sunglasses really do hide the terror within.”
He said, “What was the last book you read?”
Oh . . . he wants more.
I said, “What was the last book I read?”
He said, “I don’t know what book you read-“ He is undercutting me because he doesn’t think I read. I hate that.
I cut him off and said, “Hold on! I am talking to myself, not asking you. What book . . . The Help. Before that House Rules. Then The Male and Female Brain.” I must start a new book. My focus is so fucked right now.
He said, “The Male Brain, bet that was an easy read. Budump bum.”
I said, “That’s the joke.”
He said, “I don’t think men get enough credit.”
I said, “Well, they get all the credit, so . . . I don’t know what to say if that’s not enough.”
He said, “I meant to say how we interact with others.”
I asked, “Socially? ”
He said, “Yeah, people seem to think our intentions are all bad.”
I said, “Maybe you are talking to too many women. I am sure you will hear about how bad women are if you socialize with more men.”
He said, “True. Maybe. (beat) I am reading The Hutt Gambit.” Silence. “It’s a Star Wars book.”
I wonder if men read my blog and think I am confused and in a daze, so find it an opportune moment to put their foot in the door.
I wonder if men want to fuck someone who is unfuckable.
Or love someone who is unlovable.
Why would anyone want to be involved with me?
Maybe the younger ones who don't call after one passionate date, Kushal and Atticus, maybe they are the noble ones.
Or maybe people think if they know this blog, they know me.
Everything happens so God Damn fast. I just need a minute. One . . . drug induced . . . minute.
That night, I picked up Trent, a few ecstasy pills and headed over to Hollywood to pick up Frank.
To Be Continued . . .