tales of a girl in the city

janvier 31, 2004

Putin's Putang Vs. America's Favorite Bush

The woman who gives me bikini waxes is trying to lead me into a seedy life of petty crime.

Her name is Bella. She comes from The Old Country, where women look like men and family pets get eaten when times are hard.

Our relationship is very complicated.

It used to be that I would just lay back on her crinkly, paper-covered table. She would then smile her gap-toothed grin at me and say, Slavik-ly, "Tek ov yooerr oondahvar."

Having no idea what she had just said, with my upper lip already sweating in anticipation of the pain, I would typically reply with something like, "I know. I wish it would stop raining."

Since Bella already thinks I am a sex-hungry American girl with a thing for pain and an odd distaste for body-hair, it was pretty much fine with me if she also thought I was stupid. Besides, you don't know "awkward" until you've tried to make small talk while a Russian woman with a moustache looms over you and covers your genitals with hot wax.

Generally, then, our total inability to communicate suited me just fine.

Lately, however, Bella has had a hankering to reach out across the great international divide and establish better relations between our two nations. It is possible--communications from The Old Country being what they are--that she learned only recently that the Cold War had ended. In any case, in her special way, she has decided to send out an olive branch.

So now, we have the following conversation each time I see her.

"Yooo haf beoyfrent?"

"What? Oh. No, no I don't have a boyfriend."

She is persistent.

"No mehn?"

I can only assume she hopes that I am putting myself through this hot-wax skin-ripping torture because there is a large, gold-chain-wearing man somewhere who will only wife me if I have the vagina of a ten year-old girl.

I imagine that if I replied--after struggling for some few minutes to understand what the hell she had just said, "Yes, Bella, I do have a boyfriend"--she would be just tickled pink.

(I have to interrupt myself here to say that I am laughing my ass off at the thought of Bella being tickled pink. If you knew Bella you would understand this. Bella has never been tickled. Ever. Tickling Bella pink would be like tickling Mikhail Gorbachev pink. It would be a fucking laugh riot.)

Anyway, if Bella was familiar with the expression, "newfangled" I'm sure she would apply it to my relationship with this imagined beefy boyfriend. As long as he put bread on the table and washed his hands after milking the goats, vat vood eet mahter zsat he laik hees vomen to bee laik leetle gurl?

Indeed, Bella. What would it matter.

However, since whenever Bella inquires after the current state of my lovelife, I respond, "Nope. No boyfriend," she is utterly perplexed.

"Ow auld, you?" she will ask me next.

"Huh?" I will say, wincing in anticipation of the pain.


"Ow -auld- you?"

RIP. rip.

"Ohhh," I bite back a scream, "Same age as last month, Bella. Twenty-five."

"Put hant heeyer. Pooel skeen."

I comply.


"Yooer husbant, he die? He leef yoo vit behbie?"

RIP. rip. rip. rip.

"Ahhh. Wooh. That was a doozy. Um, no, never married, Bella."

This answer displeases her.

"Ald oon von meynute," she'll say.

Then--though I am presently laying on a table in a flourescently-lit room with my knees by my ears and my legs spread akimbo--she will open the door W I D E (and by "wide" I mean, ALL THE WAY) and step out. I will raise my head and smile dimly at the faces of the people in the hallway who have just seen my bare ass. For a brief moment I will be thankful for the searing pain in my loins that has sent my brain into shock and dulled the humiliation I would otherwise surely feel.

Bella usually comes back a second later carrying something innocuous like towels. This act doesn't fool me for a second; we both know that she's just taken a few nips at the old wodka bottle. My singlehood drives Bella to drink.

It is somewhere around this time that Bella decides that I am probably a hooker.

I don't blame her. My dutiful waxing is insane. Even more insane, in fact, than Bella even realizes. For, while she thinks that I wax my nether-regions because I am the recipient of a lot of manly love-action, I know that tearing the hairs out of the most sensitive region of my body with continuous, violent, ripping motions, is really more of a wishful-thinking kind of ritual for me.

I am sometimes even tempted to explain to Bella my true reason for undergoing this tortuous hair-removal process. I am, after all, not without some small knowledge of the Russian language. In my opera days I sang some doleful Rachmoninoff arias and, were I to dig through my memory hard enough, I am sure I could recall the Russian words for "deep yearning for a man." In my fantasy, I reveal my pain and loneliness to Bella in perfect Russian, and she sobs, gives me the waxing for free and then we go out for a night on the town with her red-faced husband Vlad.

However, it is far more likely that I would just fuck up my pronunciation or my translation and end up accidentally hitting on Bella, which--given the, erm, circumstances (Naked. Akimbo.)--would be easily the most awkard situation to happen since, well, ever.

Not exactly a fool-proof plan.

So, having decided that I am possibly a prostitute and definitely a twisted mother-fucker who gets off on genital mutilation (Being from The Old Country, Bella is not afraid to judge.) Bella decides to pull out all the stops and make herself an extra buck or two.

Bella closes the door behind her. The mood in the room changes perceptibly. I am afraid that Bella is about to try to sell me crack.

She bends down to my ear and whispers conspiratorially, "Yoo vant stoomache wayx?"


"Cohst extrah. Yoo peh Beylla."

I am bewildered. First of all, why all the whispering? Second of all, do I actually have hair on my stomach? Eeew. I raise my head to see. She interprets this as a nod.

"Owkeh," she mouths, pointing at the door and the ceiling.

I begin to panic. What? Is the room bugged? Are we being--oh God. Is this on tape? Am I on a grainy video being broadcast throughout the former Soviet Union with my legs spread wide open for any fat man with a million rubles to see?

I am, apparently, entering The Bikini-Waxing Black Market. I wonder briefly if Bella will ask me to follow her into a back alley where she will try to sell me counterfeit Nair.

Bella, apparently, has done this before.

She continues in an even softer voice, "Beylla vill ehsk, 'Yoo vant wayx stoomache?' Yoo seh, 'No Beylla.'"

This last is accompanied by a series of shh-gestures and pointing towards the ceiling, the door, me, her, my stomach, etc.

I am truly terrified now. As I follow Bella's pointing finger, it is becoming obvious that there must be cameras everywhere. The Soviet Eye of The Bikini-Waxing Black Market is all over this room. Possibly even in my belly-button.

"Yoo vant wayx stoomache?" Bella asks in an artificially loud voice, which she projects toward the air vent in the corner.

The plan, I guess, is in motion.

I imagine KGB officers sitting just behind what I realize now must be a two-way mirror.

"No, Bella!" I say. My voice is overly bright and forced. It is not my best work. I'm nervous.

"Goood gehrl," mouths Bella.

She then proceeds to wax my stomach, all the while winking at me and saying softly, "Cohst extrah. Yoo peh Beylla."

When my (I guess totally hair-covered?) stomach is finished, Bella bends in again.

"Peh joost Beylla. Beylla du laig? Du thighe?" she offers.

What am I, a Yeti?

I begin to sit up.

"No, Bella--"

She makes frantic shh-gestures with her finger.

"no, bella," I lower my voice. "i am not that hairy. i can just shave my legs. i feel kind of bad about this. i'll just pay the salon. it's no big deal. thank you, though."

"Beylla du laig. Vill be moore behyuutivul. Yoo no see hayer. Foor yoo onlee leetle beet extrah," she mouths, beginning to adjust my leg and giving the back of my thigh a meaningful look.

I am not that hairy. I will not let her make me feel insecure. I will not believe that on the back of my thighs there is some sort of gorrilla-fur that I have conveniently blocked out through a strange and rare psychological combination of denial and astigmatism, but which Bella's eyes alone can see....

"No, Bella. I don't want it. I will do it myself. Thank you," I force my leg back from her grasp.

"Beylla du laig." Another meaningful glance at my leg. She reaches for my thigh.

Hmm. Invisible gorrila-fur. Stranger things have happened. I waiver.

She senses that victory is near.

But then, I remember that I only have a twenty. I rebound.

"No! No, Bella! You! Will! Not! Win!"

She reaches for a body part with wax dripping from her terrible popsicle-stick waxing tool. I dodge and twist, praying that I leave this room with both my eyebrows. It becomes a veritable wrestling match. I imagine somewhere in the ceiling the cameras are on "Record" now, with the KGB officers hidden in back already printing out labels that read, "Putin's Pootang vs. America's Favorite Bush."

In the end, however, her meaningful glances are no match for my poverty.

I roll off the table and grab for my oondahvar.

"Maybe next time, Bella. Thanks a lot, though."

I pay her a few dollars extra for my black-market stomach wax. I feel dirty.

But that will end soon enough.

I'm seeing her again next week Thursday and will be sure to bring along extra cash so she can take care of every last bit of the invisible gorrilla-fur.

Hey, during a sexual dry-spell a girl can't afford to take any chances. I mean, come on.

janvier 28, 2004

One of the (ten-thousand-million-gazillion) good things about SNOW DAYS is that they allow you to go through all of your old diary entries and remember the bliss that is...


(Brief backstory: D was The Boyfriend Before M. I was: fresh out of college and just coming off of six months of touring with a show. He was: 30, a hot-shot in the classical music industry, and prone to going on two-week long bed and breakfast vacations with his mother. Who he referred to as his "soulmate." His father was still married to his mother, but was not invited on these trips. Which made two of us.)

*** August 6, 2002

It happened today. I took back the last pieces of my wardrobe. Less than one year later, and our entire relationship is pared down to fifteen awkward minutes in your apartment and one black Betsey Johnson dress.

When I asked if you were home, your doorman said, "They usually come in at night." I jumped quickly to correct him, "He's single, so it wouldn't be 'they.'"

I was wrong, as the picture in front of your desk (in direct sightline so that you can see her at any moment during your day. You must be so in love.) clearly told me. Her name is Erin, and she's gorgeous.

But, so am I.

I'm going to stop this now, because it's taking me in the wrong direction. The picture of your new girlfriend did not make me sad. You've moved on; I've moved on. And I guess I know a little about the shape of your love. I know that your mom still--always--comes first. That your dog, your friends, your job, are all priorities. That your words are always sweet and poignant, but, when it comes down to the moment when you're truly needed--the moment when my frightened phone call interrupts your meeting--all of your sweet words will become just so much noise.

I cried today not because I want to be back in your life, though admittedly, in that apartment, part of me admired the illusion of your new self. Your two new buzz words are "casual" and "simple": You quit your job. Became a bartender. Bought a bike. Shaved off your hair. The New You; The Look of Less Responsiblity. All of it so cool and colorful.

But the rest of me sees the cracks in the walls, the clumsy paint in the bedroom. God, and those silly stars you've put on your ceiling. There's something posed about all of it; a kid clomping around in his father's grown-up shoes. You're no more ready for the responsibilities that come with love now than you were six months ago.

I don't miss you.

I cried today because of what it means to have stood in your apartment, having no more to say to you than an awkward salesperson. It is the most horrible moment in the world, and it ran over me like water. The memories and the familiarity. The closeness. All of it tumbling into the terrific, uncomfortable gap between us. Piece by piece it crumbled and left only the knowledge that we (I had you inside of me. I tasted your tears.) don't know each other at all.

As I got into the elevator (I stood there willing it to come and take me far away and quickly) I was teasing you about your age. You replied, "To me you're always gonna be twenty-two."

Maybe the comfort is there. That, somewhere, frozen and packed away like ice-cubes, is the best part of our six months--a little time-line drawn on a wall far back in a corner of the universe, documenting just 'hello' and an afternoon or two in your white summer bed. Not at all part of any present. Just a fresh line in a corner, stringing together some few happy words.

All the rest should be left out.

I got out of the subway and stepped out onto Canal Street this afternoon after seeing you. The sun was bright and the street was bursting with foreign noises and paper fans. Tiny turtles swam in their plastic cases, held in the grubby fingers of children who were sure to kill them soon. Brilliant clusters of fake Prada bags. Shiny toys and noises. The hiccups of people jumbling together.

How can you be where you were? And how did you find the way--with your mind your only measure?

This is a strange place to me still. My new job in this new neighborhood, just like my new home in Brooklyn, has nothing to do with you. I find them both a bit strange and scary, a bit exotic and thrilling.

I stand in the street--on this day that has come (finally) After You--in a present that is mine to stumble into. Mine to own.


I am sick of:

1) Paying to meet people to date.
2) BOOM. pause. BOOM. pause. BOOM. Again today. All day. Again.
3) Not being famous.
4) All of my clothes. Especially the ones on my floor. Ditto: shoes.
5) The deli downstairs which is the only place I ever go for lunch because I'm lazy.
6) My laziness.
7) My height.
8) Spring pastels.
9) The phone that sits on my desk, taunting me all day with its maddening ring. There it goes again.
10) The holiday coming up that shall remain nameless because it is God forsaken and cruel, taunting me and my loneliness with it's fucking yummy fucking heart-shaped fucking candies in every drugstore fucking window.
11) Paris Hilton.
12) Missing Sunday brunch because I work weekends.
14) People telling me I am good at my job. Don't they understand that being good at this parrots-could-do-it-well job makes me want to slit my wrists the right way?
15) The subway.
16) January.
17) The homeless woman on my street who won't ever take (fresh) food but will always ask for money.
18) My mess.
19) Diet Coke instead of regular.
20) Searching The New York Times Sunday Styles section to see if any of my ex-boyfriends* are getting married.


I am NOT sick of:

1) Um...

fuck it.


janvier 27, 2004


Soho. In a trendy boutique desperately seeking the Yeti of the winter-fashion season--the top that is both ravishingly sexy but also long enough to cover the long underwear I'm wearing underneath my low-rise jeans.

She says: "Honey, God, I love, love, LOVE this skirt."

He offers hopefully: "Yeah, it'd look great with some--um--really high boots."

She says: "Right?"

As they leave she adds: "And we'll totally have to think about that cute sweater from before."

I try to imagine what it would be like to be part of a couple who thinks about sweaters.


Also Soho.
A perfectly lovely normal-sized girl emerges from a dressing room wearing a short skirt and top: "What d'ya think?"

Her boyfriend: "I don't know. It doesn't look like that on the mannequin."

The size 0 mannequin. With HUGE breasts, a metal rod up its ass, and no head.


My acting class.

An Actor: "Yeah, I rocked my audition this week. It was great. I totally brought it. I mean, I could see the energy. And I was open and in the moment and feeling it. My mantra and the character's mantra just melded into this one single mantra, which was just, "It's my turn." It's my fucking turn. And after that it was just about The Work. I mean that's what it's about for me. The Work."

An Actress: "Yeah. Totally. The Work was great tonight."

Another Actress: "What got me into The Work tonight--and it may sound silly?--but it was just, like, that I started to think of all of the emotions in the scene as colors? And, like, anger was purple? And love was, like, peach? And every time I felt my energy closing, I was like, Amber, go toward the peach. I just said that over and over. Like, Amber, go toward the peach."

Another Actor: "The Work brought up a lot for me today. And, frankly, I'm still caught up in our Christmas Message from last month. About affirming the Self and Positivity. There are really some things I'm looking at from my childhood, and I think The Work's going to really grow because of it."


Boy at bar trying to pick me up and doing a good job of it until: "So this girl and I just buy a bag of blow and go back to my place. And obviously I can't get hard when I'm that fucked up, so we just take off all of our clothes and keep snorting the shit. And then she finds this lipstick that she doesn't like in her purse, and we just start going crazy and writing all over each other with it. And we're naked and the shit was like everywhere. We showered it off later and when I woke up the next day my bathroom was just covered in red shit. I mean it looked like someone had been murdered in there or something."

(Female readers, of course, will find this story doubly disturbing because they will realize that no one keeps a lipstick they don't like in their purse. Lipsticks that one doesn't like are kept in plastic containers under the bathroom sink, or in the upstairs bathroom of your parent's house. Meaning that this particular cracked-out young woman spent the night writing on a naked stranger with what was undoubtedly her favorite lipstick. So sad.)


And finally, a group of teenage tourists that I passed on my way to the N/R Downtown train at 23rd Street.

Boy Tourist in hushed whisper: "Guys, Look! Cameron Diaz!"

I would like to buy this boy an airplane.

janvier 24, 2004

Re: Jury Duty.

My faithful and brilliant reader Sam had requested in his comment last Wednesday that I try to get picked for a murder trial. I gave it my all, Sam. Just for you. But, in the end, the nearest I could get was a stabbing involving two drug dealers and no witnesses. Good enough? We're talking attempted murder, crack cocaine, word against word, deception, revenge, punishment--the whole shebang. This was high stakes, Ladies and Gentlemen. And I took my civic duty very seriously. Very seriously, just as the video with Jane Pauley and the cast of 60 Minutes had instructed me to do. All day I looked deep into the heart of my belief system, trying to come to terms with the qestion I was faced with in that sacred hall where Truth reigns supreme:

Was the defense attorney wearing a wig?

Frankly, Guys, I still don't know.

Having now witnessed the American Justice System in action, I have come to some major conclusions. Those of you studying law would be well advised to print these next lines and refer to them often:

1) The American Justice System could use a new instructional video; 1970 was a bad, bad year for Jane Pauley.

2) The American Justice System's new instructional video should, however, keep the scene where the medieval extras tie up an accused thief and throw him into the lake to see if he floats (guilty) or sinks to his death (innocent). It's funny.

3) The American Justice System has yet to incorporate either of the following two concepts: "good lighting," "joie de vivre."

4) The American Justice System vs. A Barrel of Monkeys? Monkey Barrel. No contest.

My last observation regarding The AJS is of a more personal nature. My day as a juror proved to me--beyond any reasonable doubt--that I have no shame left and can cry about M absolutely anywhere.


janvier 21, 2004





janvier 20, 2004

If any of you reading this happen to be responsible for operating a very large piece of machinery in the vicinity of E. 8th St, whose purpose--as near as I can tell--is to POUND LOUDLY ALL DAY, thank you. You are responsible for my new game:


"Hell" (copyright pending) is a game in which you ask yourself the question, "What would be worse than this?" It should be played whenever things are going really badly. If, for example, there is a DEAFENING BOOMING NOISE emanating from a machine that is located about SIX INCHES FROM YOUR OFFICE WINDOW, you should play "Hell." It will make you feel better.

All of you good, God-fearing people out there, may be tempted to play "Hell" in the following way:

Today is a bad day. I'm going to play that new game, "Hell." Let's see. How could this day be worse? Hmmmm. This day could be worse if it was -raining-. This day could be worse if I was -poor-. And so on.

If these were your answers, you suck at "Hell." Stop playing. We don't want your kind here.

"Hell" is not politically correct. It is mean-spirited. It is nasty. "Hell" is about digging deep into yourself to find out what makes you squirm and kick and want to vomit, and then bringing those things to the surface and staring directly into their beady, pink-eye infested eyes. The result?

Suddenly your whole world will seem a little more tolerable.

My Hells--as of about 4:30 EST--are:

* Note: Each "Hell" scenario should be considered eternal unless otherwise noted.*

1) Being forced to walk through the (disgusting, litter-filled) underground part of the Times Square subway station during the height of rush-hour on the hottest, most humid day of the summer. In this Hell, I would be naked except for a short fur coat that made me pour sweat but still left my lower-half totally exposed to all of the thousands of dirty strangers pushing past me in the stifling heat.

2) Being forced to give Golem a blow-job. If Golem has no genitals, then I guess being forced to let him go down on me would be just as bad. Maybe worse.

There. See? This infernal pounding seems like nothing now.


janvier 18, 2004

Finding My....Um...Nemo

A few things keep me up at night. Among these are:

* My pure and silent hatred for the person responsible for the front-page headlines of The New York Post. For example, a recent article on property value assessment, "TAXMAN GIVES HOMES A KICK IN THE ASSESS." Such terrible punning has not been seen since 1984 when seven-year-old Joey Zileski discovered Knock-Knock Jokes and went around asking anyone who would listen, "Orange you glad I'm not a banana?".

* The fact that I had a crush on Joey Zileski and used to think--each time he asked this stupid, stupid question--"Yes, Joey. Yes! I am glad you're not a banana. If you were a banana, who would there be for me to love?

* This. And again. Everybody now!

The last and most recent addition to this list (MOM, STOP READING HERE) is this:

* The fact that I had my only non-self-induced orgasm with a guy who I met on an on-line dating website.

God, I know. And I didn't even like him.

All those years in college with soft-lipped, golden-tongued lads who spent hours trying to work out the complexities of their womb-envy issues with their heads entrenched firmly between my thighs. All those dear, dear ex-boyfriends (except for M. He's sexually inhibited.) armed with honeyed words. And actual honey. Prepared to dig in and last until I came, or lose their lives tr--well, hold on a second. I mean we musn't get too overdramatic about their sacrifice. Blow jobs, after all, can be an awful pain. These boys just gave their tongue a little workout is all. And their egos got a tad deflated.

But anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that much time and man-power (and even a bit of girl-power that one semester) has been put into trying to make me come. And what did we all get for our efforts?

We know that honey is still both sticky and sweet.




Even after all this time.

Meanwhile, after seven years of trying. After some hundred-odd nights or so of me ooohing and ahhhing and moaning, squealing, sighing and (after yoga once) quietly concentrating on the image of a single candle burning brightly in my mind's eye. After making out with boys I lusted after and idolized and loved and hated and envied and just generally felt a whole smorgasbord of feelings about. After. All. That.

Along comes this guy who uses "LOL" a lot.

And he makes me come on the first try.

Five times.

....So. ANYway. Back to what I know is on all of our minds.

Uh-huh. He uses "LOL" all the time. Right? I know. I hate it too.

And curiously, as it turns out, my hatred for his use of "LOL" is pretty much the strongest emotion I will have about him all together. Because he's...I don't know. Fine. Normal. Very nice. Rides a motorcycle, so that's cool. He takes me out to dinner several times and is a gentleman (no posing, no car accident photos).

But he also has the following strikes against him:

Strike 1: He is a professional gambler. For real. He plays poker until like eight in the morning at this secret location on the Upper Westside. Kind of sexy/mysterious in a Robert De Niro in Casino way, right? You might think so. In the beginning I totally did. I was psyched and shopping for a red sexual-lady-killer dress to wear as I stood behind him at the card table massaging his shoulders and waiting for him to give me the signal that Shorty was in position out back and we could go ahead with our plan to steal the diamond.

Strike 1 Con't: But then when I actually saw him go to the secret location once, it was a real let-down. Let's put it this way: he certainly doesn't have to get hand-printed or retinally-scanned before they let him into the smallish, crappy-ish regular-old apartment building where he goes to play cards with fat men from Jersey. The sexual-lady-killer dress has been returned to the store from whence it came.

Strike 2: He loves Andrew Lloyd Webber. Really.

Strike 3: He and his last girlfriend used to get up in the early morning on Saturdays and do things like, say, bike to Pennsylvania. He once used the word "triathalon," in the same sentence as my name. It made me belly-laugh.

So, anyway, I wasn't, like, scribbling teeny hearts around his name on all my notebooks or anything. No, Sir. I was definitely keeping the whole thing in perspective. And by our third date I was pretty much ready to call it quits. So when he invited me back to his apartment to play Scrabble, I thought, "How perfect. After all, nothing says 'Let's Just Be Buddies' like a board game."

Incidentally, after arriving at his apartment I was able to add a "Strike 4" to the List:

Strike 4: The majority of his decorations seemed to have been stolen from the kind of hotels that are frequented by truckers.

Our game of Scrabble goes well, but I am so busy trying to get rid of my "Q" that I decide to forgo the "Friend Speech" for now.

After Scrabble, a movie. Which is fine, I think, because I make him watch Finding Nemo and the only thing that says "Let's Just Be Buddies" more than a board game is a movie about a funny cartoon fish.

But this is where my "Friend Boundaries" get a little hazy.

When he tries to hold my hand during the movie, I am firm. Friends do not hold hands. We're clear on that.

When he tries to kiss me, I am firm. Friends do not French kiss. Clear.

But then he gets down on his knees and says, "I just want to taste you."




Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you, "What is a friend?"

Friends borrow and lend things. They share things--secrets, sweaters perhaps. Gum. If we were at the movies I would let my new friend have some of my Junior Mints or a sip of my Coke. (As long as he didn't have a cold.) I see no problem, then, with his request.

He is simply asking, as a friend, for a taste of my--

He wants me to share a bit of my--

Oh, FUCK THE FRIENDSHIP BOUNDARIES. The guy wants to lick me like I'm ice-cream in August and that's fucking fine with me.

So he whips off my pants and just starts going to town.

And, this next part you may find hard to believe, but I'm pretty pococurante about the whole thing. (Honestly. I am.) I'm not overcome by the throws of passion (like I've been before). His technique is strong, but not extraordinary (like I've had before). It's all just...fine. And since none of the extraordinary, passionate encounters I've had before have done the trick, it seems logical that this totally...nice...encounter will fall flat as well. So I just figure he'll go down on me for a little while, I'll sit here and watch some Nemo (those sharks are so funny) and eventually he'll get frustrated and fall asleep.

After I've rewound the shark scene a couple of times, though, I'm starting to be distracted. I mean, he's still down there, trying to figure how many licks it's gonna take to get to my tootsie roll center. Figuratively speaking, of course.

But where is this going? I mean, I'm not gonna fake it. And I don't want him to feel like I owe him something for his troubles because I'm not gonna sleep with him. Frankly, I don't want to do anything to him at all really. I'd just like to lie here, watch Finding Nemo and have him lick away for a while. (Hey, at least I'm honest.)

I decide I should warn him. Just let him down gently so the ol' ego doesn't get too bruised.

This first part I deliver in my breathy phone-sex voice just so he can feel good:

"Ummm. That feels so good. Really, really...oooh. Really good."

This second part I deliver in my teacher voice because after awhile my phone-sex voice makes me cough:

"But, just so you know. I can't come. I'm broken or something. No biggie. No one's ever been able to do it but me. Just wanted to give you the heads up."

(Last parentheses, I swear. This one's important. Ladies. If you wanna get your man to hustle, My Number One Secret Sex Tip is this. Tell him that no man has ever made you come before. Though in my case it was actually true, whether or not you've had a partner make you come, just tell 'em all you haven't. It's unbelievable how much they want to be the first. Silly men. We wuv you so much, you wittle silly willy guys. Seriously, though I don't mean to make fun. It's really cute. They just try and try. And even if they don't actually get you there a good time will be had by all. So don't say I never did anything for you. Bitches.)

Well. Just as I am finishing my last sentence....WHAM!

Just like that. Out of nowhere. After seven years.



I lie perfectly still while he continues on his merry way, unaware of the miracle that has just occurred.

Wait. Oh my God. Stop. Stop. Oh my God! I just CAME. You made me come!--

Now I just don't get it. I just don't. Though the number of people I've had actual intercourse with is not so high, the number of people I've let go down on me is...kind of up there. And there have been, (as the old Armour Hot Dog jingle used to say) some fat--well, we'll call them well-fed--men, some skinny men, some men who may have, indeed, climbed on rocks. Some tough men. One sissy man that one time in Italy ('nother story, 'nother time). And, as of yet no men with chicken pox, but you'll never hear me sayin' never. (I've already had chicken pox. So, you know. Anything for a sick friend.)

Then, WHAT THE FUCK? Since it obviously couldn't have been this guy, what was it? Something I ate? Or didn't eat? Was it an astorlog--an asterol--was it in the stars? Or was it...the movie?

Wow. That'd be weird. I'd be so weird.

Turned on by cartoon sea life. That Calypso-singing lobster from The Little Mermaid desperately clinging to my nipple as I moaned "Find me, Nemo. Yes! OH, Yes! FIND! ME!".

God, I'd be more weird than those people who like to get dressed up in those huge, ridiculous looking animal-costumes and have sex. What are they called? Furbies or something. Only they at least have clubs and web-sites and things for the furbies. 'Cause let's be honest, ok. Let's not fool ourselves, here. I'd be dealing with a rather limited dating pool. The only other cartoon fish I can really even think of is that goldfish that that black-and-white cat in Pinocchio (?) is always trying to get out of its bowl. And he's probably from a petshop or something, not the sea--so who knows if he'd even do the trick? So I would just be alone in my room watching two fucking Disney movies over and over and over again. And what kind of a life is that? And once I'd gone through all the cartoon sealife in those movies. What then? I mean, really. What next, huh? WHO WOULD FUCK ME THEN? I WANNA KNOW! WHAT CARTOON FISH AM I GONNA FIND THAT'S GONNA ***Bleeeeeeeeeeeeep***


...And, my friends, that is the story of how Jingle The Dancing Panda and her puppy, Button, brought new joy to Cupcake Town.

janvier 17, 2004

My mom made up for ruining the fun the other day when she said,

"Kate, when am I going to get to read your blob?"

Everyone Who Knows Who Punky Brewster Is Should Read This One First. Everyone Else Should Leave Now. I Mean It.

Buster B. Bumbles The Monkey-Doodle King, is the name of my mother's shitzu. I can't help wishing we had named him something more practical.

Here is why.

My new fear is That I will run into M. with his new girlfriend.

The horrible scenario of our meeting is as follows:

I am walking down Broadway on the Upper Westside. Luckily, because I am fully aware that this is M's neighborhood and because I am psycho, I am dressed in a cute Saturday afternoon outfit that took hours of careful planning, but looks as though I just picked it up off of my floor and threw it on. (It should be noted that I only go for the Saturday-Afternoon Casual Look out of necessity. It is not my best Look. If I could get away with it, I would just spend most of my Saturdays strutting up and down Broadway between about 86th St. and 79th in an evening gown, displaying my glamorous Saturday-Night Black-Tie Gala Look, which always steals the show. Or, at least would steal the show if I ever actually got invited to a Black-Tie Gala.)

ANYway, having picked out and put on my perfect Saturday-Afternoon-Casual-Look Outfit (the one that says, "Hey, look at me, I just got back from a seaside vacation where I spent hours journaling and running in the surf.") I am feeling great.

In fact, I am practically skipping down the street, because I am already aware that The Universe hates me. Therefore, The Universe would never ever ever let me see M when I'm looking hot. So, obviously I will not see him today. Nope. Never ever ever. Nope. Not today. Not tod--

And there they are. (Fucking Universe with its fucking irony.)

...And they're walking towards me, waving.

...And she's wearing his sweatshirt, which means that her outfit kicks the ass of my outfit because her outfit says, simply, "He's my boyfriend now, Skank."

...And my outfit is sad because its ass has just been kicked.

...And I am sad because I have just swallowed my gum.

Though I try to psych myself up for this now unavoidable encounter by rapidly making a mental list of everything I've accomplished since our break-up, I fail.

Then I try to think sexy thoughts.

But I fail at that too, because all I can think of is the time when I was five and my aunt took me to the zoo where we saw elephants, and I wanted to eat like they did, so I shoved peanuts up my nose and we had to go to the hospital. So. Not. Sexy.

Then I panic.

Now, for some reason, when I panic my brain goes into this strange mode where it churns up storylines and quotes from old sitcoms. Believe me, if I had the kind of brain that churned up useful, smart, witty-banter kinds of quotes from old sitcoms, I would be pleased. If, for example, my brain in a panic spoke like the cast of The West Wing I would love my brain. LOVE it. But my brain tends to run more towards, oh...He-Man cartoons.

So that explains why I suddenly can think of nothing but Punky Brewster, a sitcom about this little spunky orphan and her playful golden-retriever, Brandon. And there's this episode where Punky has a crush on this older guy....

Meanwhile, M has begun to speak to me:

M: Hey, Kate. I've been thinking about you. It's so great to see you. This is my girlfriend. We were just on our way to her photo shoot.

...and Punky really, really likes him. Likes him even more than she likes her dog, Brandon. And she gets all happy whenever this older boy comes around. Sure, he's eighteen, and she's, like, nine, but her love is pure. And she thinks they'll be together forever. Because she's so certain that he loves her too. And they pal around for the whole episode...

M's New Girlfriend: Oh my Gosh! You're Kathryn! Wow. It's amazing. M was totally right. You two do look like brother and sister.

...and then one day Punky's crush comes over to her apartment and he brings along his eighteen year old girlfriend because he wants to show off and make sure his girlfriend sees that kids just adore him. And PUNKY IS CRUSHED; she didn't know he had a girlfriend, and she can barely keep the tears from coming. And then her crush starts to rave about how cute Punky is, and it's so patronizing...

M: Yeah, I know. That's what I always thought when we were dating. She totally looks like she could be my sister. My cute, chubby little sister, you know. *puts his hand on New Girlfriend's ass* Doesn't that explain so much about why I was never attracted to you, Kate?

...and the girlfriend of Punky's crush tries to be nice to Punky and says that Punky's so cute she must have a boyfriend. And Punky just stands there with tears in her eyes...

New Girlfriend: You know, Kathryn. Can I call you Kate? I have a friend who I'd totally love to set you up with--Oh...I'm sorry. I guess I just assumed that you're single. You are single, aren't you, Kate?

...and, finally, Punky--who, even with her limitless Punky Power has been reduced to a whimpering love-sick fool by this nineteen-year-old and his tarty little girlfriend--decides to lie. Knowing that she has no -real- boyfriend to describe, and knowing that she never told her crush about her dog, she responds, "Yes. Yes, I do have a boyfriend. His name's um...Brandon. And he has reddish-blonde hair. And brown eyes. And he's great. Because. *sniff* He takes walks with me in the park. And. *sniff* He kisses me when I'm sad."

(God. It's SO pathetic. Nine-year-old girl lies to her crush, only a split second after he's broken her heart, by telling him about her imaginary boyfriend who, as it turns out, is really just her faithful, but slobbery dog? Un-fucking-believable. I have only three words for you: Punky. The. Musical. She'll make that bitch Annie look like the cracked-out orphan street-trash that she is.)

But, uh-oh! Wait a minute. My panic-stricken brain won't think this pathetic sitcom plot should be relegated to Ole' Broadway. NO. If I ever do actually run into M and his New Girlfriend on the street, my blitzed-out sitcom-loving brain will be primed and ready to try this scenario in real life. So, when M's hussy of a girlfriend asks me if I'm single, there is a good chance that I will reply with something like:

"No, no I have a boyfriend. His name's, um, Buster Bumbles. *sniff* And he has white hair. And big, black eyes. And *sniff* he sleeps in the bathtub when it thunders...."

Yeah. It's not gonna be pretty.

janvier 14, 2004

I went to this party once in this huge loft in Soho. The host of the party had decided to invite...oh, pretty much everyone to his house for drinks and dancing. And we get there and there are just waves of people. We're all mushed in together, all elbows and pushing and cigarettes-become-dangerous. It felt like being inside a crowded subway car--it was that uncomfortable and about as personal.

At some point I noticed people writing on the walls in permanent-marker. They were mostly scribbling. A few played tic-tac-toe. Every white surface was ripped soon by huge black and red gashes.

There's a hand on my ass and my nose is in someone else's collarbone. The music is so loud it's no longer music, and the jolting hasn't stopped since we stepped into the room.

I am handed a plastic cupful of something lukewarm. As I take it, there's a smash and half of it spills on my dress. But my friends don't notice because they've started yelling into the ears of strangers. So I just lean my head up and stare at the ceiling, feeling exactly like I do in the movie theater when everyone else is looking at the screen and I'm turning 'round to stare at the people.


This morning I felt like everything was enough: this new manager I'm working with, the new agent, my breakfast, my walk to work.

Then why is it that I'm going to bed now and I feel...I don't know? Imaginary. Every day, I think, I just make myself up.

We'll all hate him again together tomorrow, I promise. But right now, I just thought of it--(God someone should invent a pill for this.)
He read to me sometimes. I don't--I mean. Well. So what. He read to her too.

funny again tomorrow. promise.

janvier 13, 2004

In Which Le Secret Plan Is Thwarted

Well, guys, it pains me to say it, but Le Secret Plan is off.

Sorry about all those down-comforters and tires.... I guess, um, just tar and feather someone you hate on your own or something this weekend.

The reason that Le Secret Plan (and, hell, we might as well just refer to it as "The Secret Plan" now so that everyone out there who doesn't speak French can get caught up) has been nixed is...

My mom found out about it.

She found out about it because I called her last night to tell her she might not be hearing from me for awhile. (I know I shouldn't have said anything. DON'T RUB IT IN!) It was just that, with me being huge and gigantic-sized and all I figured I might have some trouble dialing her number on my itty-bitty cell phone keypad, so I just wanted to be fair and give her a heads up and tell her I loved her, blah, blah, blah.

So we're talking and one thing led to another, and she wanted me to explain "Le--sorry," I mean "The Secret Plan". So I did. I told her that Leticia and Sam and Zed and I and all my other 800-or-so new internet friends were all in on a totally awesome secret plan to tar and feather The Unholy Slut-Whore From Hell, and how after she was covered in goo and feathers and apologizing for riding my boyfriend like she was an Indian and he was a wild pony running free through the hills of Montana, I was going to use my secret potion to grow to a really enormous (but still gorgeous) size and STOMP HER FUCKING BRAINS OUT!!!

To which my mom replies:

"Just as long as no one's feelings get hurt, Kate."

....If, at around 9:47 Eastern Standard Time any of you heard a kind of rushing, woosh-sound sweeping through the air like a horrible, sucking vampire banshee newly released from hell, don't worry....

That was just the sound of Maternal Guilt descending down to Earth in order to ruin a perfectly good secret plan.

janvier 12, 2004

In Which I Threaten Anyone Who Fucks With Le Secret Plan


'Coupla things.

First: Apparently The Unholy Slut Whore From Hell is smarter than I thought. Because...No picture yet. The hussy must have heard something.

There's no way to be nice about this.

Which one of you talked?

I know it wasn't Linz or Sam because they're skinny perfect supermodel literary-genius angels. It wasn't Leticia either. Because she's a goddess, and I think she was in school all day anyway. The rest of y'all...if you go over to The USWFH's side, I will find you and cut you.

'Kay *claps hands excitedly*. Right. So, meet me here tomorrow anyway, picture or no picture and we'll reasses Le Secret Plan. Or just go for a beer. Whatever.

Second: You may have noticed that there has been a slight name-change throughout this blog. There used to be another letter of the alphabet standing in for my exboyfriend's name. Now he is called M. This happened because I have now realized that none of you can keep your mouths shut, so I figure we might as well use this to our advantage and give you the real first letter of his real name.

Do. Your. Worst.

In Which Le Secret Plan Is Introduced

If you're F, the woman who M cheated on me with, STOP READING THIS NOW because I'm planning you a surprise birthday party as a peace offering (bygones) and I totally don't want to ruin the surprise. 'Kay?

Ok. Now that The Unholy Slut-Whore From Hell has stopped reading, everyone who's left huddle up close. You are all in on what we will refer to in our secret plan language as, Le Secret Plan. Heh heh heh.
(I'm pretty sure the USWFH doesn't speak French.)

This morning on the subway I got sad. The woman next to me was finishing a huge bag of sour cream and onion potato chips at 9 am. Her totally terrible nutrition choice got me a little down, true. But the real tears started when I realized...

...that if I did get really really big for real and get to lumber (gracefully) around the city squishing people, I couldn't squish The Unholy Slut-Whore From Hell because I only met her once and can't remember what she looks like. (Editorial Note: I feel that, actually, that last italicized phrase should've been put in bold, but then I thought the USWFH's eyes might be drawn to it as she skimmed the page, and the proverbial jig might be up. So I used italics instead. Hehehe. I am so smart and tricky.)

Well, anyway, back to Le Secret Plan.

So I and the team of great minds who have brought us The Olsen Twins and one-calorie soda (?) got together this a.m. and developed the planne genius (I couldn't help myself with the bold there, but don't worry. The French will confuse her) that is currently unveiling...right...before...your eyes.

(God, this is fun.)

What I need from you my dedicated and gorgeous readers are two things:
Oh, also quarters. This last is because this upcoming Thursday is my laundry day, and now that I'm gonna be giant-sized more often I will have a lot of large clothes to wash.

So, everyone with me? Great. Go to it. Leave work early. Don't worry, your bosses won't care. They hate her too. Get home and start ripping open those down comforters and melting those tires. We'll meet back here tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm gonna go try to recreate that freakish chemical reaction that caused me to grow to a giant size in the first place. For those who haven't yet read yesterday's post and need to be caught up, the ingredients are:
1) Fury.
2) Mario Badescu Seaweed Body Lotion
3) OPI Nailpolish (Blushingham Palace, a shade from The British Collection.)

It's gonna be a looong, hard day of pedicures and lotioning for me folks. We do what we gotta.

(By the way, for all of you selfish, me-me-me kind of people who are in on Le Secret Plan, don't worry. Once I get really big and have squished The USWFH I'll take requests about who to squish next. So if there's someone you feel is in need of a squishing--or just a good scare--write to me and we'll see what we can do.)


F, START READING AGAIN HERE. The surprise party is gonna be awesome. Eeee. I'm so excited! I'm totally looking forward to the two of us being great friends just like Anne of Green Gables and her best, bosom chum-friend Diana. But, because I just bought us those awesome heart-split-in-two Best Friend Lockets, I need you to do me one huge favor. *** PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR PICTURE. *** Email address is on the right. Thank you. Big Hugs! 'Kay. Stop reading now.

Heh heh heh.

janvier 11, 2004

Answer the following.

On-line dating is:

a) Pathetic. Girls who have to troll around on the Web looking for dates should just stick to what they know: girdles and Jane Austen. My new boyfriend, M. and I were just talking the other day about how sad it is that some women turn to the internet because they're so desperate and lonely. I wish I knew where those poor, desperate women lived so I could bring them a basket of warm muffins. I don't eat carbs, but I'm sure they do. ANYway, thank goodness I've never had to on-line date. But, then again, why would I? I mean, my thighs don't touch and I have such shiny, shiny hair.

b) Really fun. I have met a ton of nice, laid-back guys who live life to its fullest and love to cook and travel. These great guys take care of themselves mentally and physically. It's so fun to have someone to explore the city with. I've never known so many people who share my interests, which include, but are not limited to: rock-climbing, snowboarding, and appreciating the small things. cute tiny poodles. Oh, and that one actor who's really small. Oh. You know. Oh! *bounces up and down* Elijah Wood.

c) Invented and maintained by the same great minds that brought us Pepsi Blue, a fusion of berries with a splash of cola. Making it actually blue was the real genius move there, Guys. Way to leave your mark.

So, that was a fun little quiz, Yes?

To those of you who chose "Answer A": M will cheat on you like he cheated on me, Bitch. Skinny whore. Your muffins suck.

To everyone else, Nice work. You "Answer B" Gals will get what's coming to you any day now, and you "Answer C" Folk are well on your way to ending up bitter and alone. So. Great! Let's move on.

What on-line dating did for me was lower my expectations.

A date is now considered a success if the man does not bring along pictures of a car accident victim who he's about to perform surgery on . It's that simple. No dead or mutilated bodies = LOVE. If only I had started on-line dating in middle school I would've figured this out, found true love, gotten married, gotten divorced, moved to the French countryside, grown long hair that I would wear only in chignons, and learned to ride now.

Too bad.

Back to the present.

So, I joined an on-line dating site as the result of a cruel urban myth.

Having attended an all-women's college and studied voice at a conservatory, I have two basic friend groups. Women. Gay men. All the women I know only know other women, so our lives are just one big festival of heading to the ladies room together at restaurants and endlessly buying shoes, shoes, shoes. Really my girlfriends and I do neither of these things, but a gal's got to keep a few things private now, doesn't she? ***

All the gay men I know just want to talk about the other gay men they know, and who's a Top and who's a Bottom.

Thus, when I dumped M (Bottom) and began scraping my heart off the pavement after The M Fiasco, I realized the following Great Truth : I needed a way to meet men who would want to touch my boobs. And I needed it fast.

The Answer?

Well, here's the urban myth part. Everyone has a friend or a neighbor whose piano teacher's cat-sitter met a guy on "" who she fell in love with and married. Even my mother was OK with me dating strange men I met online because a doctor who works with her at the hospital had a friend whose mother-in-law's cleaning-lady cleaned the apartment of a woman who met a guy on "" who she (say it with me) fell in love with and married. Uh-huh.

So,*clapping vigorously* it must work.


Well, I'm afraid I have some bad news. All of those couples who met and fell in love while online dating are dead now. Most of the guys ate Pop-Rocks and then drank soda, accidentally causing their stomachs to explode. The women--who were grieving and lost without their men--stopped washing their hair, which gave spiders time to nest in their beehives, chew through their skulls (spider teeth are a bitch) and eat their brains. We grieve for their loss.

We members of the on-line dating community who still remain--we who, with each new failed attempt at finding love on-line, rediscover the acrid taste of loneliness--will now share with you a more realistic account of what an on-line date is like:


Me: "Hey, T. It's so nice to meet you."

T: "Likewise. I'm glad you found the restaurant alright."

Me (who, when I got to this restaurant blanched and almost fainted because it's actually located in the building where M works. The irony is, like, tangible here, yes?): "Yep. Found it."

T, who is a plastic surgeon, orders a drink and looks at me knowingly, reaching into his coat pocket.

It should be noted that he has now known me for around forty-seven seconds.

T: "I've got a really tough surgery coming up in the morning."

He casually throws six or seven photos down on the bar.

Me (innocently picking up the photos, touched that T brought along pictures of his family and pets so early in our acquaintance): "Nice. What are th--"

In my hands I hold not one, but seven pictures of a woman

She is what the French might call, Nose-less.

(Dear Lord, thank you for my nose. I love it. I love its small bump. I love its nostrils. I love that it tells me when I'm about to have a yummy treat. Noses are a mighty blessing, and we are all truly thankful.)

First I'm speechless. That passes quickly. Obviously.

Then I'm suddenly really pleased with myself. Ohhhh. Right. I know what's happening here, I think slyly. I'm being Punked right? Ashton, you nut. Get out here.

Ashton doesn't show.

As I continue to stare dumbly at the photos this man has brought--to our date--of a newly disfigured woman whose life changed horribly two days prior when she was hit by a car, I get more and more...well. Sad. My vision begins to blur.

At that moment T, studying my nose intently, offers, "You know, I gave my last girlfriend a great discount on a rhinoplasty."

That's IT

My anger is so fierce that my body temperature begins to rise at an abnormally high rate, which in turn causes a freakish reaction to occur between the chemicals in my Mario Badescu Seaweed Body Lotion and my OPI Nailpolish (Blushingham Palace, a shade from The British Collection. It's a sweet, dusty pink that's royally pretty)

I begin to grow and grow and grow. Luckily my outfit grows with me, so I'm not just a really, really big naked girl standing in the middle of a restaurant. No way. I am a really, really big girl in a really, really big, awesome outfit standing in the middle of a restaurant. Obviously, I'm still totally gorgeous, just on a larger scale.

And I am fucking pissed.

"Listen," I bellow, staring down at my now-puny companion, "You're an asshole. You bring in these pictures of a patient who's just undergone a horrible tragedy--a patient who trusts you--so that you can show off? Perhaps you're hoping to highlight the fact that you're a plastic surgeon and you know a lot about anatomy, and you're well educated and powerful, blah, blah, blah. Well I know a lot about anatomy too, Cocksucker, because it was my favorite class in high school. And you make me feel sick right in my duodenum. You make me and my metatarsals and my phalanges and, hell, even my hyoid bone, absolutely fucking sick. So, since I just happened to grow really really really big right now at the absolute perfect time, I'm gonna do the world a favor."

And I squish him.

Then I lumber away to find M and his new girlfriend and squish them too.

Later, as I am galumphing (sexily) down the street in my huge, awesome shoes, thoroughly satisfied by a full day of squishing, I am momentarily stricken by the following thought:

I am now so big that there is no one in the world big enough to date me.

For a brief moment, I get really sad.

But then, far below me I hear this girl talking to her friend about the new, wonderful man she met on (Since her thighs touch, I don't squish her). I bend down to listen to this girl talk about Mr. Wonderful On-Line Dating Man, I do...I notice a spider silently burrowing his way into her beehive.

The eight-legged little guy flashes me a toothy grin just before he disappears into her hair.

Yes,I chuckle to myself, Being single is awesome.

***Coming soon: The gym apparatus that makes me come.

Hemingway says to write the truth. One line followed by another. So, Mr. H. this one' s for you:

I sometimes stand in front of my mirror naked and grab the fat on the back of my thighs and pull really hard just to see what it would be like to have legs like a runway model. And if I could make it fit, I'd use one of those claw hair-clip thingies to pinch the fat back there permanently, and then I'd just cut holes in the back of all of my pants so there'd be room for the clip to stick through. And I'd walk around like that.

Which would mean I'd have to never let anyone see me from behind because then they'd know my hair-clip secret.

I think never letting anyone see me from behind would be difficult, but not impossible.


janvier 10, 2004



I am at work and there is a woman breastfeeding her baby in my office. She just finished getting a tour of the apartments in the building and, as the sales agent I work with was finishing up her presentation, this woman just picks up her baby, lifts up her shirt, whips out her boob and lets the baby go to town.

In my office. Which is a place of business, by the way. Not a hippie commune.

The sales agent, who is a far better person than I, understands that a baby's gotta eat when it's gotta eat. "We have an empty office in the back if you'd be more comfortable there," she offers kindly.

"Oh, we're fine," giggles the woman while the baby starts making gross baby-monster sucking noises as it chugs milk from her boob. Yeah, we're all just fine right here. Me, my computer, my post-it notes, her exposed left breast, and her monster-sucking baby.

In my office.

Now they are sitting on the couch behind my desk, and her broker (a man) is trying to talk about mortgages and real estate taxes without looking at his client's exposed teat. Awkward DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN to describe this situation. And now the nursing woman--who apparently has no shame--is interrupting the conversation about mortgages to tell everyone--giggle, giggle--that the baby would "nurse at [her] breast until he was thirty" if she'd let him. And then she informs us that, Oh my, he's biting her nipple. Isn't that cute? Isn't motherhood wonderful? Giggle.

Unbelievably, the nursing woman seems to be waiting for one of us to offer a response to her little moony speech about breastfeeding. So her real estate agent--who is hoping to make $35,000 or so in the process of selling her a new apartment--looks around awkwardly, sends up a silent prayer to heaven that
God be merciful enough to reach down and smite him, and ventures:

"Um. Aww. I mean. It's he bit your..uh..your ni--nipple."

Oh my God.

The real estate broker stares sadly at his hands, feeling a great and humbling shame.

The nursing woman--who also, apparently, is oblivious to awkward silences--sits and glows and thinks about (I don't know) her cat and her baby and her cottage by the sea. She is happy about her baby, and happy to have nipples, and even happier that those very nipples are now a hot, hot topic. Giggle.

Her husband, who until now has been calculating mortagage rates and pondering monthly common charges, looks up, suddenly aware that another man has just commented on his wife's nipples. Nipples which, he now realizes, this other man can actually see.

Mistaking me for an actual, trained Guest Relations Associate who would know the exact right thing to do right now, the husband looks to me for permission to punch his broker in the throat.

Happily, since I am just pretending to be a Guest Relations Associate for a little while until I win my Tony, I can do exactly what I do.

Which is burst out laughing. I mean. Come on.

A Fun New Game

Let me tell you about this fun new game I'm playing. It is called, Find The Girl In The Bar Who I Think Is Probably M's New Girlfriend.

Here are the rules:

1) She has to be prettier than I am.

2) She has to look like she might have one of the following occupations: underwear model, rockstar, hot librarian.

3) She has to be the kind of person who doesn't look like she does community service, but, when you follow her out of the bar, all the homeless people she passes say things like, "Hey So&So, thanks so much for the basket of muffins you brought us over at the shelter. We really loved 'em. See you next Sunday."

4) When you position yourself near her to listen in on her conversation and see if she mentions M's name, she has to be talking (in Russian) about one of the following four things:

* How she deferred Harvard Med School to live in Paris for a year and paint.
* How sometimes it really hurts her to love the world so much.
* How she and her new boyfriend were just talking the other day about how great she looks naked, and how nice that is for him since his last girlfriend was basically just one big fat-roll covered in stretch marks.
* How, the other day, when she was feeding baby deer in the forest, she found the doorway to Narnia.

I hate my imagination.

I am officially psychotic.

What a night.

I got all dressed up. I did my make-up like Charlize Theron on the cover of _Time Out New York_. I looked hot. Surely, I thought, I will be kissed.

This is what happened when I got to the bar:

No one talked to me.
I lost my glove.

janvier 09, 2004

For Leticia M.:

I lost my virginity in eighth grade on a field trip to Milwaukee's Museum of Natural History.

We had come there, I think, to give my teachers a day off from talking about science fair projects and _Tess of the D'Urbervilles_. I had come there with only one intention: to be near Andrew Morter, who I loved at the time with all of the focused concentration it took to love someone who barely spoke to you.

It happened in the rainforest exhibit, which is this huge room covered in green, mossy folds. I remember shadows of plants everywhere, climbing the ceiling and thick on the walls. Enormous flowers with petals that seemed to be not colored, but bleeding. I was, what? Twelve? And I had never been around the sound of so much moisture. Even the iridescent beetles seemed erotic, pinned down as they were by the recorded rain trickling overhead.

I gave myself to him on the second level of the exhibit, in full view of both the Jennifer's, the museum docent and my Social Studies teacher, Mr. Doman.

Andrew was standing next to me near a cliffside that was lit from above. The lamp, which was hidden by branches, was aimed and focused on six or seven stuffed Macaws. I could feel the recorded noises that they made pulse down from the ceiling--rhythmic calls, counting each new moment of flightless rest. And because I was twelve and rainbows still had meaning, I was captured by the colors that fell everywhere--from the lamp, from the birds' wings, from the strange, recorded freedom in their sounds. I felt surrounded. I felt seared by rainbows and the closeness of Andy's breath.

I stood there for minute after minute, transfixed by those six dead birds and the thirteen year-old boy body standing next to me. I wanted--I didn't know what. I wanted to point to those birds. I feel that way, I wanted to explain. Just that way. How they cry out. How their mouths never move.

Gripping Andrew's hand, I pulled him forward and over the railing. We scrambled onto the cliff. My fingers slipped as I unbuttoned his shirt and frantically grabbed for his face. I didn't know how to kiss him. His hands felt sweaty inside my jeans. Our teeth clicked. Needles pushed through the black backs of beetles. The sounds of recorded rain rushed overhead like saliva.

It really didn't happen that way.

A guy named Gustavo took my virginity in a dorm room five years later. It was surprising and fast and we listened to Beethoven.

But, the trip to the museum really happened. Though, in real life I don't think Andrew even went up to the second level. I may have just brushed past him later by the cases of dead bugs, or stared at the back of his head on the bus willing him--tightly, silently--to see me. I certainly never talked to him that day. And if I had, it would've just been to mumble something about the rainforest exhibit. Birds there. I don't know, parrots or something.

And the birds are true. Also, something was caught that day, pinned down for a moment just before it changed or flew. All the rest of it really didn't happen.

But it should have.

janvier 08, 2004

It can't be helped. I am just completely and utterly happy. I am joyously looking at a lifetime of happiness with the man I love, here in my cottage by the sea, with my pet.

Nope. Its just not me.

I can't remember how I came across her, but I stumbled on a blog yesterday written by a girl living, apparently, in a cottage by the sea (?) with her man and her cat. And perhaps I caught her on a bad--er, well, good--day, but all she had to say about herself was that she liked the sea and she liked her cat, and she really really loved her man, and life was great and she was gloriously happy and content. In her cottage. By the sea. (Sorry, but I just can't let that go. I mean, who lives in a cottage by the sea. What is this girl, a mermaid?)

(Even more to the point, do you think she might be M's new girlfriend?)

Well, in any case, she's got me thinking. First of all, I think I may hate her. I mean, here I am in Manhattan, living in a room the size of a tampon dispenser and frickin' on-line dating, and she gets to live by the bloody sea with the man she loves and her dear, darling cat? I demand a recount.

Secondly, I feel kind of competitive towards her. Which is a new thing for me (like the other day when I used the phrase "That's a horse of a different color" for the first time). I want to one-up her happiness. Just. To. Make. Her. Miserable.

She thinks she can live in a cottage by the sea with her boyfriend and her cat? Yeah, well I'm gonna move to a cottage in a daisy meadow by a meandering brook with my soulmate and our pet chicken, Sparkle. And it will be Christmas every day, and we'll make our money by weaving daisy chain hats for all of our hippie friends, and Sparkle will lay golden eggs that, as it turns out, will make us live forever, which is great, because it'll give my soulmate and me an eternity of days to cultivate and grow our deep and beautiful love.

Also, Sparkle will beat her cat in a wrestling match.

And my soulmate will have a huge dick.

Editorial Comment: Sparkle is a damn fine chicken.

janvier 05, 2004

In Search Of A Woodcutter

If I had to foster a guess as to when I realized that the latest perfect stranger I had decided to meet after seeing his blurred picture on an online dating site and exchanging a few awkward emails would not be the man I would marry-- Wait. Let me start over.

'Kay. How bout this.

I have discovered a disturbing trend among late twenty-something men. They are beginning to pose. As in to stand or lean back and arrange themselves in sultry or seductive positions while talking to me at bars. Trust me when I tell you neither sultriness or seduction is being achieved. Mostly they just end up looking like twits. They should all stop it.

Picture this: I meet this on-line guy for a drink at a trendy bar with lots of low mocha-colored couches. He shows up wearing suede, which, admittedly, should have tipped me off. If I someday have a daughter, one of the motherly bits of wisdom I may impart might have something to do with staying away from men who own suede outerwear. The jury is still out on this one, but with each newly bedecked Banana Republic suede-wearing weirdo, my case only gets stronger.

Anyway. To my point. We sit on the couch and I'm excited. Not excited like my-heart-is-behind-my-kneecaps-because-I'm-peering-into-the-future-at-our-beautiful-as-yet-unborn-children kind of excited. More like the kind of excited you get right before you dive into a bowl of fairly good breakfast cereal--moderate to low. I mean, he's cute. Looks like the picture he sent. Is tall. Ish. Does not appear to have brought along pictures of any car crash victims (this happened). So romance may be in the air.

But then he starts doing it.

Each time I turn to look at him directly, he has stretched himself into a new, unnatural position. First he leans in too close and tilts his head at a funny angle and makes his eyes look all buggy. I imagine he thinks his eyes look all "bedroom-y," but he also wears outerwear that is useless in the rain or snow, so this isn't the first time he's been wrong.

I ignore this initial offense. Perhaps he is trying to make some sort of ironic physical comment on the New York over-the-top hipness of our ultra-mocha surroundings? Perhaps he is having trouble seeing me in the dark bar? I decide to give him The Benefit of The Doubt. So, we continue our conversation, which, by the way, is so obviously first-date quality that men from around the bar actually come over to inquire as to whether this is, indeed, our first date and, if so, whether they might "have a go" at me. (More on this later. I hardly know where to begin.)

Minutes pass and my date asks me a question. I turn to reply and.... He's doing it again. This time it's unmistakable: lounging dramatically backward on the mocha settee, head cocked at an angle, eyebrows raised in a strange and silly manner that I suppose he imagines suggests satin sheets and swimming pools in South Beach. He is also biting his lip. Its true, it's true. His lip is actually held between his upper and lower teeth to suggest...What? His overwhelming desire to kiss me? His ability to deliver great oral sex? For a moment his intension remains unclear. For the best, perhaps.

I answer his question and quickly turn my head. But as I am looking away and mumbling something about the ladies room,

At the risk of sounding juvenile, Icky. Icky. Icky.

(Dear Lord, thank you for fast reflexes and good peripheral vision. Thank you for a neck that works and can swivel a full 180 degrees. These are small blessings, but they are indeed miraculous and I give you a big thumbs up for all your careful planning and anatomical foresight. We'll talk some other time about body hair and the G-spot, but, in general, you've done a stand-up job.)

I escape by rushing to the ladies room where I find solace in cool running water and anti-bacterial hand soap. I contemplate leaving, but, having left my coat and bag behind, this idea is nixed.

The first thing that happens upon my return from the bathroom is his blow-by-blow account of how many times he's had to hold up my handbag in my absence, thereby indicating to the various women who were "all over him" (and who are now, mysteriously, gone from the bar) that he is "taken." I nod and smile and mostly wonder what the women thought of my handbag.

The second thing that happens is that his posing continues in full force. Every time I look over at him he is pouting, pursing, leaning in, angling, lip-biting and generally lounging around with his eyes all big and "come-hither." I stay until midnight as he makes his way through what must have been a lifetime's worth of swimsuit calendar poses. After enduring just under two hours of his coy girlishness, I claim fatigue and flee the scene. (Admittedly, I should've left sooner, but I was all decked out. And sometimes a girl just wants to sit back on a mocha-colored settee and enjoy a martini. Or four. Even if the guy she's with is a posing twit.)

If it sounds as if his behavior made him seem effeminate, IT DID. Now, I'm not saying I need a man who can throw me down on the pile of wood he's just chopped and fuck me while crushing his used beer cans against my ass. Though, come to think of it.... Hmmm. Well, never mind. But the point is that any man who seems to have practiced his facial expressions in front of a mirror comes across as a) vain and b) generally misguided. Also, c) possessing a copious amount of free time.

And lest you say that one episode of this does not an epidemic make, may I also report that, on my plane ride home at Christmas, the attorney next to me bit his lip and lowered his head coquettishly--even threw in the old single raised eyebrow--as he asked for my phone number.

Clearly, action is necessary. So, let us avoid all further confusion about the effectiveness of this courting strategy.


Do not, under any circumstances, flex, arch, purse, lounge or otherwise arrange yourself in any artificial way, unless you can do it and look like this.

Thank you.

In the meantime, any available woodcutters out there, I'm ready for you now. Contact info is on the right.

janvier 03, 2004

My current professional incarnation is: Receptionist.

Yeah. I know.

Past incarnations have included: Talking Dog, Manager of large discount retail store in Lower Manhattan, Snow Queen, Think Tank Employee, Staff Interviewer for the college from which I graduated.

Some might call my employment history "a mess." I prefer to think of it as "eclectic."

Additionally, some might call receptionist work "dull." I prefer to think of it as "horrid."

Being a receptionist has dealt a near-fatal blow to my concepts of good and evil. My intelligence is also staggering around on its last legs, as is my self-esteem. I often think this must be the rock-bottom of my professional life, but then I realize that I'm not wearing a nametag or a uniform and suddenly I see that there is, indeed, further to fall. Thank God.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say before I leave work for the day is this:

I hate everyone who, after calling to bother me with silly questions about apartments they can't afford, finishes the conversation by saying in a smarmy voice, "And who am I speaking to?"

This seems to me to be a thinly disguised way of saying, "I'm going to tell on you."

It bothers me endlessly.

I hate everyone.

Editorial Comment: I am not a receptionist. My mistake. I am a Guest Relations Associate. A Guest Relations Associate who still hates everyone.

Some days are better than others.

A good day post break-up:

Standing at a party with a drink in my hand, happy about whatever song is currently playing. Happy to be included in the feeling of people when they're together and tipsy. The sensation that everything is possible again. Particularly the cute guy in the corner, who makes me feel curious and giggly. Just a little. Fine. A lot.

Passing a stranger who whispers just loud enough: "You're gorgeous."

Walking home at night. Sharp sky. Sharp sound of my feet on the sidewalk. Full of cold. Full of the evening and its conversations, its food, its drinks. Alone, but feeling big anyway. Feeling filled up and large enough to last.

A bad day post break-up:

Watching my youngest cousin touch his new girlfriend's hair, looking at her like she'd just been invented. I'm on the couch across from them, working as hard as I can to forget how nice it feels when someone you like plays with your ears.

Trips into The Land of Unanswerable Questions: When did he start sleeping with her? How many times? When did they go to Washington D.C.? Does he think of me now? What does he remember? Does he miss me? Does he regret what he did? And so on and so forth.

Being hit suddenly in a cab or on the subway, by an awareness of space. How different...well, how different life feels when there is no longer another body there to touch or bump up against.

And the worst, worst, worst of all: waking up and realizing that I have been crying in my sleep.

Well. Forward motion.

A toast (Coca-Cola in hand. Told you I wouldn't be able to give it up). To the day (Please get here fast) when M is just a letter and there's that feeling hovering close by all over again...

That anything can happen.

That I'm gonna love what's coming next.