“NYC – Play or Be Played” #22

Posted on February 21, 2011


It started like any ordinary day.  Waking thoughts of failure, self-doubt, panic over money, fear of the future, fear of no men ever again, and another annoying text message from my New York friend, Denise.

She’s always bragging about her nights out and meeting men.  It never used to bother me, because I was there in the city, where I was a part of it all.  But now, well…I’m here.  For fun I eat cookies, watch soap operas with my mother, and when I’m really wild, hitch a ride to the library with my Dad.

Something must’ve shifted when she received my irritated reply, because twenty minutes later I got a text that said, “We’re sending a limo for you – great night in the city planned.  Don’t worry about money.  I’ve got you covered.  You can pay me back when the world realizes you are the next Sylvia Plath.”

I didn’t know how to take that, but, whatever.  I thought, I’m going to go back to the city! I’m going to pretend I have a peaceful life with good friends who care about me and that everything always falls into place and works out swimmingly in my life.  Woohoo!

My mother is worried sick about me going into the big, bad city.  I have to remind her that I just lived there for the last ten years.  She still thinks it’s the 80’s, where people get stabbed on the subways and thrown onto the tracks for good measure.  My father wants to know how much this outing is going to cost me, and who’s paying for the limo.  They don’t seem to understand that sometimes friends take care of each other.  Or that I’m 40.

As I try desperately to find a sexy outfit that still fits me, my mother comes in my room needing some more reassurance of my safety.  She then says, “Are you going to meet some guys?”

“Well, I’m certainly going to try,” I respond.

“Oh, please, I hope so.”

I don’t know what to say to her desperation.  So I ask her what she thinks of my outfit.  She scrunches up her face, “You don’t think people will think you’re a prostitute?”

Denise and two other chicks who look like they’re right out of an Entourage episode ride the limo with me to the city.  Our first stop is a bar in the Village.  We start drinking.  I never used to drink that much, being that I’m a lightweight who gets drunk after three sips of anything, but given my current circumstances…it can only be summed up by new favorite motto: Drinking is underrated.

I talk to a great guy who leaves without asking my number.  Fuck you, great guy.  We finally move on to the club.  I’m surprised at how soulful the music is, given that Denise is so…white.  I am big-time tipsy.  I see a cute guy, possibly the cutest in the club.  One of my ‘new friends’ buys me two shots, so I can go over to the cute guy and say “I wanted to bring you a taste of me.”  Now, I would never normally say something this cheesy, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m on the limited-time-only-plan.  And, when you’re drunk, any action is good action.

His name is Kirby.  Which to me, translates immediately to Kermit.  (Reference: Miss Piggy sheets).  So, that’s what I call him; Kermit.  We down our shots, talk for a little bit, I’m thinking to myself, Yeah Kermit, I know you want this.  But, then he says something to his friend and ogles a nearby blonde girl.  I don’t want to feel sad, so I quickly walk away.  Soon, I’m in a bathroom stall in the back.  A red bare light bulb overhead, I can hear the bass line pumping through the door.  Graffiti on the black painted walls, I put my head against it and absorb the wonderful feeling of New York City seediness.  I come out of the bathroom just as Kermit is walking into it.  He’s drunk.  I’m drunk.  We start kissing.  Ohhhh yeeaaaahhh.

He goes into one of the stalls, and I wait just around the corner.  I feel awesome.  Did Hanukkah come early?  The music is alive and loud and good.  And I am drunk on free drinks.  I see a girl by the wall who’s been checking me out all night.  The only thing I can think is, I’ve got so much mojo, everyone wants me.

It’s been a little while, so I peek my head around the corner and see Kermit talking to a girl sitting there.  He’s trying to get in close.  I feel my heart start to sink the way it’s done so many times before.  I can’t go there.  I just can’t.

With purpose, with desperation, I go out to the dancefloor.  And I let loose.  I become the music.  No inhibition.  My hair is flying all around like an animal.  I have to stop myself from getting dizzy.  Hours are like seconds.

I walk off the dancefloor to try to find my friends.  I pass Kermit who is talking to a young blonde.  As I pass, I say, “Just because I have a big ass, doesn’t mean all these other guys don’t want me,” simultaneous outwardly pointing my finger, which pokes a guy in the eye.

I can’t find anyone I know.  There is a text from Denise saying she left with some guy, and the wannabe Entourage sluts are nowhere to be found.

I go outside to the limo.  The driver tells me that he was never paid, and I have to give him the remaining $300.  I tell him to give me a moment.  I go around the corner.  This sucks.  I’m still so drunk.  I have no options.  I call my Dad.  It’s 3:30 in the morning.  I know this isn’t good.  My heart is palpitating.  He finally answers.  I tell him he needs to pick me up in the city.  I hear my mother in the background, “Did she meet somebody?”  I tell him I need to pay the limo driver.  As if on cue at the word “pay,” my father hangs up the phone.

I go back in the club, not knowing what to do.  I see the unsuspecting lesbian looking at me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Her name is Karen.  She lives in Queens.  She is nice.  She has a car.  She is very nice.  We dance to the reggae music.  I’m always grateful for something.  And right now, I’m grateful for being drunk.

Turned on by the girl-on-girl action, Kermit comes over and tries to sandwich me in.  I turn and eloquently say, “You snooze you lose, Kermit.”

Karen and I walk out.  She’s going to drive me home.  I consider being a professional liar and user for a living.  We get to her car and she kisses me before opening the door.  I’ve never kissed a girl before!  I get in the passenger seat as she walks around the other side.  I feel like a slut.  But also not like a slut.

She wants to go to a diner or something to prolong the night, but I say I have to go feed my dog.  “At 4:30 in the morning?” She asks.  “He’s no ordinary dog,” I reply.

We finally get to my house.  I give her a fake number.  But, to make up for it, I give her a really big hug and say, “You are very…nice.  Please remember that, okay?”

I get out.  My father comes out in his bathrobe and his 1979 boxers.  He watches her drive off. “Is she single?”

“Are you?” I reply.

He laughs.  “That’s funny.”

“I learn from the best, Dad.”  Drunk, I salute him and say, “Good night.  And, good luck.”

Vito, who’s been waiting in the chair by the door for me all night, jumps all over me and follows me to my room.

I put my arms around him on the bed.  “It’s good to be here.”  I fall back somewhere between Miss Piggy and Kermit and resume the position.