Thursday, December 20, 2007

Homecoming Anxiety Queen

Yesterday at LaGuardia my friend in Alaska called me from my apartment in San Francisco, where he is staying right now. (Yes I still call it "my apartment," not "my old apartment." Just like my house in Illinois is still my house in Illinois. I have many homes. Strangely, it makes me feel homeless instead of homeful.) Anyhow he couldn't get in, and he had me call all my roommates (not my old roommates, of course) but it just brought me back there right away.

Last night I dreamt of my return to San Francisco, which fills me with anxiety. In my dream I unlocked the front door and everything inside I found Girlfriend in, stretched out and on her laptop, and next to her was Love Affair, reading a book. I gave Girlfriend a massive hug and lay there with her for a little while before giving Love Affair a kiss on the cheek. The pink room was very small.

After a while Love Affair disappeared and I realized that, in addition to everything being pink, a lot of other things had changed. Like there was this bitch named Naomi living there and my former roommate Gabe, though he was still the same, and there were samurai swords dusted in coke to prove it.

(Then there was a spontaneous buffet that started with shredded cabbage and ended with a chunk of blue cheese so large that I joked to the guy doling it out, "You could make a sculpture with that thing." The label read that it was the "largest legal lump sum of blue cheese in the United States.")

Love Affair kept flitting in and out of the scene. It was a pink party full of strange outfits, strange people when I was supposed to be at home. I didn't want to hang out with strangers; I wanted to be with the friends I was missing. Then I got a telegram--yes, a telegram, it was handed to me buy a guy dressed like a toy messenger, but it was a digital tabloid--from Love Affair that read: I want to hang out with you; I want you to know I care, but I have so much to do. Why do I always leave things like this?

If I continue to think about it, it will be awkward and I will be uptight and psychoanalyze every moment we spend together for the next six months. I need to just let it go. My subconscious has other plans. Also I hate my haircut, even though I'm not dwelling on it. But every morning I wake up and I see my reflection and I wince. Not a good way to start your day. Maybe I should just lie to my face? "You look awesome! Have you lost weight?"

But I am filled with so much anxiety that I'm chewing all this nicotine gum again. Yesterday I fell asleep with it in my mouth.

Monday, December 17, 2007

let it go, let it go, let it go...

I'm sorry, but I just can't. Something really fucked up has been bothering me.

So I had this charming couple stay with me the last few days. They were very chill, and I told them to please make themselves at home, and to help themselves to whatever. I meant it, too. Within reason. So, please help yourselves to: foodstuffs, shampoo, use my computer, borrow a sweater, I don't care.

But really? You're going to drink my only bottle of wine...and instead of recycling the bottle, you're going to put it back where you found it, like maybe I won't notice? Really? My feelings are hurt. vitamins? You're going to take my bottle of vitamins? Come on, now. You could have taken a few, but the whole bottle? And that clearly homemade bottle of hot sauce my mother gave me in're going to...use it ALL? And then leave it in the sink for me to wash? Oh, it's all right. At least they gave me that bar of chocolate from Germany. No, wait. Where is it? Are you fucken kidding me? You ate it? I liked that shit. Apparently, I liked it more than I liked you.

I thought we were friends. Okay, let's say that you mistook that huge bottle of vitamins for yours. Maybe we had the same bottle, you saw it sitting on the kitchen table, and just threw it in your bag. Then I better get an email from you saying, "Oh, dude, sorry we swiped your multivitamins. I know that shit cost like ten bucks. It wasn't on purpose."

Otherwise, next time I see you, I'm gonna mug you like a Mitchell.

Update: I'm so going to hell...
That's right! I found the vitamins. They were tucked way back in the spice cabinet? Crazy couchsurfers. Does this mean I'm turning into my grandma, who accuses the cleaning crew of stealing her earrings? Oy.

brought to you by Starbucks!

I was at a piano lesson with my piano teacher from high school because I missed her, because I had time, because I wanted to work on my classical music again, and we were trying to set up a recital time for me, but time was short because I'm leaving for Ecuador on the 19th. We opened up a schedule and she asked me when my flight was, and I told her I hadn't yet booked my plane ticket, but I would probably be flying Wednesday evening on Delta, because they had the most convenient flight to Miami, where I would have to catch my connection to Quito.

It was really important we get together before then, so together we counted backwards to today to see how many days remained until the 19th. There were 10 days.

"That's so soon!" She said.

"I know," I said. And then this rush of anxiety came up. "I have a lot to do in the next 10 days."

Then I woke up, the oh-god-insomnia kind of explosion into the dawn, where you don't gradually wake up and blink your eyes a few times, you are just suddenly AWAKE, and you know you're not going back to sleep any time soon.

Not that I didn't try to, seeing as it was 4:30 in the morning, and I couldn't just get up and throw all the lights on, because there were two French boys sleeping a few feet away from me, and they were tired.

So instead, I waited around until 6 a.m. and left the house for the only place I knew would be open: Starbucks. I read a fascinating indictment of San Francisco's BART system in J. Allen Whitt's "Urban Elites and Mass Transportation," and then finished watching DIG!, this pretty-good documentary about the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The first was all about how BART was conceived of (and, therefore, serves primarily) downtown business interests, yet was paid for by tax-financed bonds under the guise of affordable transit. Booooo! The second was mostly about what happens to you if, despite being a musical genius constantly compared to Bob Dylan, you are an egomaniacal asshole on heroin.

I have overwhelmingly negative feelings about the corporatization of America's public spaces. But, this morning the Bucks was a great hideout for me. When I walked in at 6 a.m. and asked for a decaf, both of the guys laughed at me. What do they know that I don't?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

an educational saturday night

this is what i learned last night:

do not go out to get away from your mind or your resolve to stop drinking so much.

drinking cocktails out of double-shot glasses will give the appearance that you have only had little sips all night. do not be fooled.

do not stand too close to the pinata. foil-wrapped chocolate balls, when flying at high velocity, can really hurt.

if you tell yourself, "i will only have one drink," it usually works. if you tell yourself, "so what's one drink in these cute little glasses...three? four? well, i'll figure it out later," an educational saturday night is in store for you.

when you abandon the cute glasses that everyone has been drinking all night and start swigging tequila straight from the bottle, you have had too much to drink.

when people start calling you a hero because you are championing everyone else's discarded desperation drinks -- like vermouth on ice-- you have had too much to drink.

when your friend who has NEVER asked you if you're okay asks you if you're okay, leave immediately.

when leaving a party drunk, ask the hostess if she has a plastic garbage you can take with you. an old shopping bag should work too.

if you have to take the subway, sit at one end of the train, as far away from as many people as you can.

if you have to puke, use the garbage bag. if you don't have the garbage bag, use your purse.
if you are too drunk to open your purse, use the floor.

if you're vomiting all over the A train and you can't even think to yourself, "oh my god, i'm vomiting all over the A train, i'm so embarrassed," this is a good thing.

just because you want to get off the train doesn't mean it's your stop.

if you've already puked all over the A train, you might as well sit in it, so to allow other people to sit in seats that you haven't puked all over. also, if you change seats, you are messing up more seats.

just because a man wants to take you home does not mean he wants to sleep with you.

when a nice stranger walks you home, just say thank you. do not try to hug him, because you are covered in thirty people's drinks, and your partially digested meal. the stomach acid could ruin his coat and discourage him from helping other pathetic drunk girls in the future.

although tight chinese dresses are not comfortable pajamas, it doesn't matter if you're passed out on the toilet.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


this post is dedicated to keetins and to anyone else who knows that it is possible to love life so much that you wish you were dead.

Last night we went on an internet binge and read all about doppelgangers, our phantom selves that accompany us throughout life. As part of my new separation from mind and self, (or feelings from thoughts) I feel like I'm kind of prancing around, holding hands with mine and, like any relationship, sometimes hating her, sometimes winking at her slyly for being the only one in the secret, which makes me love her.

In the middle of my 8 days of intense concentration, however, my mind is not easily ignored, and my "feeling" doppelganger has now begun to put the "thinking" doppel on a pedestal and started to write odes to her. Usually, it's the other way around. By "usually," I mean that certain periods of intense exhilaration that I have come to suspiciously regard as mania, the "thinking" self becomes fully obscured by the seeking and sating of all of life's worldly pleasures. Let me illustrate. This is the normal pattern of thought that occurs when "feeling" and "thinking" co-exist and, in my case, "feeling" usually beats "thinking" into submission.

Feeling: I feel bad. I need something. Sex? Booze? What is it?
Thinking: Is that what you really need? Sex and booze can fulfill your short-lived desires, but your deeply rooted unhappiness will still remain.
Feeling: Shut up, you. Deeply rooted unhappiness cannot be corrected right now, can it genius?
Thinking: This is a self-destructive pattern. We've got to start somewhere.
Feeling: All right, genius. Start. Make us feel better.
Thinking: Uhh...I'm thankful for my friends. My family. My health.
Feeling: I'm not feeling better. Are you?
Thinking: No.
Feeling: Of course not, genius! You got nothing! Let's try this again. Sex or booze?
Thinking: Well, booze would make sex easier.
Feeling: Yes! I knew you were good for something. Great, that's a plan. We're in this together now.
Thinking: Okay, but I'll get you back tomorrow morning.
Feeling: Stop trying to play the "you" and "me" game, friend. You mean, you'll get us back in the morning. If we got to make the trip to Shame City, we're getting a double room.
Thinking: Yes, double rooms are a better value.
Feeling: See, you can't deny me. We're one and the same.
Thinking: You're right. I don't know what I was thinking.
Feeling: You're always thinking. I exist for a reason.
Thinking: Yes. Without you, we would never have any fun.
Feeling: Now quit your yapping and get us a drink.
Thinking: Yes, sir.

In times of mania, feeling and thinking kind of merge into this kind of thought stream:

Feeling: I feel bad. I need something. Sex? Booze? What is it?
Thinking: What is this, junior high? You forgot drugs, guns, and the reckless endangerment of everyone we care about!
Feeling: God, where would I be without you? Of course.
Thinking: Okay, let's call everyone we know and get this Tuesday started!
Feeling: Yeah! Let's do it! God, I love you.
Thinking: And I love you.

Synergy is indeed a beautiful thing. It eliminates so much conflict. Now, what happens when thinking wins over feeling?

Feeling: I feel bad. I need something. Sex? Booze? What is it?
Thinking: God, your material desires bore me. Have we learned nothing? We will always feel bad until we learn to think outside of ourselves. The only way to not feel better is to cure the world of its ills through the disciplined practice of Extreme Intellectualism.
Feeling: Are you serious? We've been through this before. And last time I checked, sex and booze got us lots of lovin'.
Thinking: I am ignoring you. I'm serious about this. Where can we start? The politics of the world stage? The labor market? Marxism? Capitalism?
Feeling: Okay, I can see you're feeling a little overexcited. You're delusional. You need to settle down there. Why don't we calm down, take a Xanax, and go to sleep. We'll talk about booze tomorrow.
Thinking: Sleep is for the weak. I am on the brink of something huge here. Oh my god, it's so obvious. Freud. How can we possibly think about society as a whole without first considering the most basic unit of society, the individual?
Feeling: I thought I knew you. I'm hurt. I have needs, too, my pompous friend.
Thinking: Well, you're going to have to go get tanked without me. I have bigger concerns now.
Feeling: I can't do this without you! We're a team, remember?
Thinking: I am ignoring you. Perhaps you haven't noticed.
Feeling: Nobody will like us anymore.
Thinking: Those people don't concern us anymore.
Feeling: Do you think you can do this without me?
Thinking: Oh yes. I am quite capable. You, my childish ghost of a soul, are what's been holding me back all these years.
Feeling: Right. Well, go then. See how far you make it on your own.
Thinking: I will. Once I achieve world peace, we can be friends again.
Feeling: Not unless you bring the bourbon.
Thinking: You'll see.
Feeling: So will you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hanukkah madness, madness, madness!

Strangely enough, my eight days of go-time here at school correspond exactly to the eight nights Yo La Tengo is playing sold-out shows in Hoboken, as well as the eight nights of Hanukkah.

It's been a most invigorating week, kicked off by a Saturday gazing into the mirror of my soul, reflected in the eyes of keetens. There are some people who are so like me in such pointed ways that it makes me uncomfortable to spend time with them. At the same time, their very existence is comforting and inspiring. This is why I have this love-hate relationship with my NA groups, and why I couldn't go this week. But I thinking talking to her made me realize that change is inevitable, because without change we either (a) continue to kill ourselves, or we (b) have no conflict, in which case we pretty much cease to exist.

Then Sunday vertical writer woke me up to tell me to look outside. For a long and beautiful moment, my mind was completely blank except for the sound of myself saying "Holy Shit." Everything outside was covered in a pure white silence.

My five-mile jog in the snow and the couple of 14-hour days on campus this week showed me that I am more or less comfortably enmeshed in a manic state of finals and euphoria. It's about fucken time. A few years ago, I realized the signficance of October, during which I flicker through being depressed and acting like it, and being depressed and exhausting myself trying to act like I'm not. RLP also fears October, and one October evening we had the following phone conversation in San Francisco:

RLP: What are you doing?
SB: Sitting in the dark. Watching TV.
RLP: What are you watching?
SB: Snow.
RLP: Snow?
SB: I just realized the TV is on, but it's not on a station. I've been watching snow for a few hours now.
RLP: Why is life like this? Why does October suck?
SB: You mean, why does life suck?
RLP: I feel like we could be on an after-school special right now about how to be a depressing shame to yourself and everyone you know. It would be called "Wasted Potential."
SB: That is really funny. I would laugh if I hadn't been doing all those drugs for the past five years.

Last year, I came to terms with November being a time of intense self-reflection involving massive life changes, accepting responsibility, and quitting smoking.

This year, I am accepting that, following October and November, it is only right that December and January are times of extreme energy and excitement about everything, everything, everything! This year it is a little tempered because I am pretty much sober, so now I get to crack out on Extreme Intellectualism.

I am incredibly excited about the world that has been opening up to me as a result of Columbia-induced malaise, Eckhart Tolle, and cuz, a PhD student whose lecture on Tuesday made me incredibly happy and loud. All this brain function makes me want to be a PhD student, a thought which is alternately repulsive and awe-inspiring. How does that work? How can you possibly not work for 7 years? I just don't get it.

Yesterday I had a funny meeting with my Quit Counselor because when I am amped up about life, I don't like to talk about the past or any kind of struggle, something that I normally cream over. I was kind of in denial that I have quit smoking and that it is affecting me at all. I felt like it would never get better, and then it did, so what is there left to talk about? Let's move on.

We started talking about winter break plans, because he is going to have to give me a large supply of nicotine patches to last me the month. Last week I would have only been too happy to talk about how stressful my return to San Francisco is going to be, but yesterday the stress was a moot point, and instead I turned to extolling the virtues of Love Affair. He said, politely, "Well, you'll have to tell me what happens when you get back." And instead of saying "Fucken A, you and everyone I know is going to get a blow-by-blow account of everything we said, ate, and saw, whether you want to or not," I told him that there would be nothing to tell. Or, rather, I would tell him right then and there would would happen, because I already knew. We're going to have a good time, see some sights, and enjoy each other's company. We will have fun. We will laugh a lot about stupid shit. We might have sex, we might not, it won't matter. We won't talk about the past; we won't talk about the future, and then we'll leave each other again and not speak for a while.

Hearing myself say this was quite satisfying. Not terribly awe-inspiring, but satisfying.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

november i loved you but you brought me down

It's been *so* long since I've posted that I thought I should do it now, before it got to be so long that to write would have required too much explanation.

My dear friend's disclosure last week left me feeling detached from the world. When you live in New York and someone is breaking your heart from Alaska, I get the feeling your insides dump out somewhere in northern Montana, a cold and mountainous place, from what I understand. It's jarring, but then again, what are you going to do? After you cry about it for a while, you've got to find your heart thumping somewhere and swallow it back in to where it belongs so you can smile when some good-hearted soul buys you three shots of tequila for looking so down. Organs in glaciers are good finds for the explorers of the future, but they don't do as much good right now.

Speaking of right now, I read a book this week called The Power of Now, which I want to tell you all about. Seems I was ripe for an injection of spirituality, because when my mother offered it to me over the break, I jumped at it like she was offering me a pack of Winston Lights. And yes, yes, YES!--this book was on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club.

When I told my little brother about it, he asked me what "the take-away message" was. I love him. Basically, there are two themes of the book: Forget time, and forget yourself.

Forgetting time is hard. I, for one, am always brooding over the past: how it fucked me up, how it's still fucking me up. I am also one to pin all my hopes on the future: things will be better once I get through this, once I figure this out, once I meet and marry Joey Comeau. (He writes! He plays chess! He's cynical and edgy but maintains that idiotic faith in life that I adore!) But, simply put, how can we be happy in the future? We never live in the future. We live in the present.

Forgetting yourself is even harder. Eckhart Tolle writes that one of the most damaging spikes to inner peace was Descartes' proclamation "I think, therefore I am." The notion that we are our thoughts seems obvious, but we really are not our minds. There is a challenging dualism that we so frequently face, evidenced in cliches like "My heart says yes, but my mind says no," or the author's wake-up call one day: I can't live with myself anymore.

There's so much in this book that I found really resonated with me, and it's written in a question-and-answer style way, for all us non-believers who are quite skeptical and, perversely attached to our pain and our thoughts, as tortuous as they may sometimes be. But I really have to believe that kicking my Self to the curb is the way to go, because so far all my mind does is fuck with me, urge me to compulsive and self-destructive behavior, in addition to keeping me awake at night.

In trying to settle my mind, ease my utterly worthless anxiety, and in general lead a healthier life, I have more or less retreated into as much solitude as is socially acceptable. A random kid I met the last time I went out...uh...two weeks ago...found me on MySpace. I was self-medicating that night, so it took more than a few moments to remember who he was, and his message (Subject: You Are Fun. Message: Let's Hang Out!) didn't do much to jog my memory. What kind of sorry sap thinks that a depressed drunk girl is fun? Turns out he's a comedian. We live in a fucked up world. He invited me to his show Monday night AND gave me his number, which I thought was funny (I tend to laugh *at* comedians rather than with them). I didn't go to his show.

November has always been an interesting month for me. But, as I'm forgetting time, right now is quite pleasant. My internet, after a week of vacation, has returned, and the heat in my apartment is on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Falling Off the Wagon and Into Your Arms

One of my favorite new activities is sitting in my quiet apartment in front of my computer and putting things in my mouth. I like to have fifteen different internet tabs going at the same time, three different downloads, and, for good measure, Microsoft Word running, so I can pretend I'm writing or doing homework. I also make tea, eat cookies, chocolate, ice cream, and pasta. Some people call this ADD, but the people who treat me gently, like psychics and therapists, like to call it "multi-tasking."

Tonight I'm distracting/rewarding myself by focusing all my non-eating attention on this 2-3 day trip with Love Affair. So far I want to go to Mexico, Yosemite, Mono Lake, and Big Sur, and hike in the desert, the mountains, along the ocean, get a massage and a facial, relax, drive, and not be cold for one single second. In the middle of January. I also want us to make a soul connection so deep that it is unquestionable our lives will be inextricably, romantically intertwined forever and ever and ever. Also, we are both students, so this trip should cost very little money.

Apparently quitting smoking has made me delusional in more ways than one. I also thought it was okay to smoke cigarettes four nights in a row last week, twice with the sorta predestined notion that if I got drunk enough to not remember that I had quit, it wouldn't be like cheating. My NicA meeting today was especially effective in showcasing my weakness and shame. But god I love recovering addicts; they are so positive and supportive.

At today's meeting I had a flashback when the woman next to me said her perfunctory "Hi, my name is Seriously, and I'm a nicotine addict." There are a lot of people in this city are named Seriously, and it confuses me. I feel like once a day, someone yells "Seriously!" to someone standing within seven inches of me. I've never met so many Seriouslys in all my life. Anyhow, the first time this happened to me was when I was institutionalized for one hot minute, and this woman came into the smoking lounge during one of our two 30-minute smoke breaks. She sat right down next to me, which was bizarre because she wasn't from The Ward and none of us knew her. But she knew who We were, and she said, in a parody of The Ward (from which it was obvious that she had been recently discharged), "Hi, I'm Seriously, bi-polar, manic-depressive," and she stuck out her hand, and I said then as I did today, " too?" Moments like that act as horrifying mirrors into your soul because you realize that despite all these horrible problems you think you have that drive you to attend 12-step programs or to self-incarcerate aren't so unique; in fact they're so commonplace that they have these systems in place for a reason. And when someone says EXACTLY what you were about to say, then you feel foolish for repeating the same thing, so you just stare back at them like a baby seeing its reflection for the first time. Except the baby that looks back at you is haggard, just like you.

After the meeting I treated myself with a trip to Whole Foods, where I allowed assorted yuppies to bang into me with their miniature shopping carts, and purchased three-dollar organic chocolate bars with love poems printed on the interior of the wrapper.

In the arms of chocolate and dreams of Love Affair, I thought about two wonderful conversations I had last night with two friends from San Francisco, Sharp and Sleepwalker. Sharp is an old co-worker whom I almost want to name Too Sharp, because the things he says to me are so on point that sometimes I wonder if he's just humoring me. He seems to know exactly what I want to hear. Did you ever tell someone about your deepest and darkest fear, and then forgot about it? Like have you ever been at a bar wasted, and then reveal, for example, this dream you had, then you woke up and realized your life is spinning out of control and that you're clinging onto your deadbeat boyfriend for distraction? Not only do you forget you told that person, you forget this crowning realization altogether. Then, weeks later, that person said to you, "It sounds like you really fear that your life is spinning out of control and that you're using your boyfriend as a distraction." And you look at them like they're the most insightful genius ever? That is how I feel about Sharp all the time. Sometimes I realize that he's just a very good listener to all of the many things I say, but other times I think that he's just very intuitive, and he knows exactly how I feel, and what to say to make me feel good about the world. He had so much news to tell me that I couldn't really explore any one topic; I kind of just let it all wash over me as a package of "San Francisco News." Sharp is also a very good confidante. I never realized how important it is for me to have a confidante because I'm a very open person. I kind of think that secrets lead to shame and shame leads to self-deprecation, so I try not to have any secrets. I also feel like by sharing the burden of my issues, it really lightens the load on me. Like if everyone knows that I'm slipping at quitting, it's okay, because I'm not trying to hide it, and now people will know what I'm going through and they won't smoke around me, or they won't make fun of me because they know it's hard. A few years ago, however, I ran into my first thing that I needed to share that I couldn't, because it involved someone else, and I found out the hard way that some people actually try to maintain some sort of privacy. For me, privacy is an illusion. Anyhow, that's why I wanted to have a secret blog, so I could write about anything and everyone, and nobody would get upset. But then, what use is it telling your problems to a wall? You need people to respond, and it's so much better when it's people you know, because then you actually care. Confidantes are so very important. That's why it's nice to have separate social circles sometimes. We all need confidantes. I need several. We all need support, and it's so important and wonderful when you find people to fulfill these vital roles.

I was a little alarmed at some developments of which Sharp apprised me involving our friend Sleepwalker, so I called her up too, and we had a great talk that ended up being a pep talk to stop being such alcoholics. At one point though, we started talking about not knowing what we were doing with our lives, and because she is facing a potential layoff, about job security. I told her to stay doing what she was doing because she likes it, and no job is ever really secure. My parents are doctors, I said, and I remember them constantly talking about moving to Canada whenever shit with the health care system was called into question. And...maybe there's no solution, there's no security, and there aren't any answers to any of these problems. We just accept the uncertainty of it all and talk about television.

Despite our lapses into alcoholism, running from crazy bitches who want to kill us for no reason, and adolescent angst about the purpose of life, we are more or less having adult conversations. It dawned on me then that maybe these thoughts about Life are what cause us not to care about neighborhood melodrama, and, addictions in mind, our individual lives. Maybe, just maybe, that's what separates the men from the boys and then the men from the Men. Boys have melodrama; men have Life struggles, and Men live life.

I don't know where I fall. I have a vagina.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Updates

Monday at 5 a.m. I emailed Love Affair to see if he wanted to perhaps take a road trip with me over winter break. Today he emailed me back and said yes!

This fills me with tempered elation and anxiety, the healthiest mixture of emotions that a recently quit smoker can possibly enjoy. So, sometime during my week in San Francisco, I'll escape somewhere along the West Coast with my broken-off love affair. This gives me 6 weeks to lose 30 pounds.

God, I'm just kidding. Shut the fuck up! The most I can hope for is 5 pounds. Or, with the way I'm eating lately, the best I can hope for is a maximum gain of 3.

The Quit has faltered recently, with me smoking half a cigarette last night and the night before. The NicA meetings have proven to be helpful; addicts are so nice! The other night I walked into this church basement on the Upper West Side and I felt like all two old men in there were staring at me. I've had similar feelings of demographic alienation in mental health groups of past, where it's a bunch of old white guys and me. Then they talk about the Vietnam War and I feel like I remind them of all the villagers they gunned down while listening to Wagner in a helicopter.

This one guy gave me the especially hard once-over, but I stayed, and then I loved him. He'd been a smoker for what, 40 years, and recently quit a few years ago. He said something along the lines of, "For the first time in my life I'm dealing with my emotions...I feel like a little girl sometimes! But it's good."

A lot smokers talk about the "smoke screen," using smoking as an avoidance tactic with anything from awkward social situations to extreme personal emotions. That's how I'm feeling lately, and it's weird to recognize these patterns from your past.

After the meeting this born-again man approached me after the meeting and gave me words of encouragement. "Keep coming back," he told me. "When I first quit, I came to a meeting every night."

What drove me to my first break up my complete Tobacco Abstinence was my disappointing Crazy Blind Date. The guy looked like an overweight Marv Alberts:

But with worse skin. Let me tell you how CBD works. First you create a mini profile where you answer, briefly, what you are good at talking about, what you expectations are, and what you look like. You upload a photo, but they blur it out until after your date with said person. Then you answer like 10 short questions. You tell them you're free at a certain time and can get to certain neighborhoods, and if/when (they're still in Beta) they find you a date, they text you to look at the person's profile, and then you accept/decline. I should have declined because he said he wasn't a drinker (ultimatums scare me), but I accepted because he, like me, said he had no expectations whatsoever. That, and he was a classical composer, which blows my fucken mind. They tell you where you're going to meet, which dude picked out, he told me, from a list of pre-approved locations. A half-hour before the date, CBD enables text messaging to happen anonymously, by texting through their service. Kind of cool.

Too bad there was zero attraction.

To be fair, he was fine as a person and a pretty courteous date, not too hard to make conversation with, etc. But he made me feel kind of made me wonder why I'm trying so hard to be with someone that I'll be willing to spend all of this time and energy with people like him.

He asked me if I could be doing anything at the moment, and I said: drugs.

I knew I was going to smoke a cigarette as soon as I got home. I tried to wait it out, but only so I could tell my Quit Counselor that I did give it the full 10 minutes for it to pass, but it wasn't that kind of craving. It was the kind of thing where you want to talk to that one friend you have who can make you feel better without saying a word, and I needed that hug. And you know what, I didn't feel bad about it at all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quitters Are Sexy

My school employs a guy who helps students to quit smoking. I went to see him last week and he listened to me bitch about how hard it is to quit and how it makes me even moodier than before. He also gave me the patch, and told me to use it in tandem with the gum.

Did you know quitting could be this sexy?

Also, did you know that the patch fucken ITCHES? At least, for the first hour you wear it, it feels like there are ten billion little mosquitoes permanently suckered onto your arm and at the same time you want to squash them dead and flick them away, you know that "skin" - colored circle is preventing you from bashing your head repeatedly into the wall.

I also went to my second NA meeting last night. Instead of going to the Gay Men's Health Clinic, I went to one in a church basement and we talked about Step 11, "Seeking through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out."

All the God stuff makes me a wee bit irritated, and they try to substitute "Higher Power" whenever possible. I don't know where this is leading me yet, but if I turn into a Jesus Freak, then I think I'd rather be smoking. At least then I wouldn't be delusional. For now, I picture my heart a lot, all pink and pasty, and thumping away.

My older brother came into town this weekend and we did some serious touristing. Sunday alone we went to the Museum of Natural History, the MoMA, the Knicks game, and the last night of the Django Reinhardt festival at Birdland. It was my second time seeing these very same festival performers, and the accordian player, Ludovic Beier, is fucken amazing. The last time I saw them, at Yoshi's in Oakland, I cried. It was so good.
Ludovic Beier

I fell in love with two Davids on Sunday. The first was Knicks Forward David Lee. I love basketball players--a throwback to growing up in Bulls Domination Era in the suburbs of Chicago--and David Lee is kind of goofy and pasty, which is why he is irresistible. I spent the game cheering for only David Lee, and feeling conflicted about being at a Knicks-Heat game. At Birdland, I gazed fondly at the second David of the evening, Django's grandson, David Reinhardt, who was so adorable. And, at 21 years old, just my style.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fearless Moral Inventory

I am pretty good with my Quit (thanks to Nicorette), but I am at the stage where, during any free moment, my mind plays a "greatest loves" reel of me smoking in blissful situations: walking down the sidewalk, sitting on a park bench, outside a bar, in my kitchen, on the toilet...and I feel kind of dumb for breaking up with my boyfriend, Samson. I miss him.

Today I actually attended a meeting of Nicotine Anonymous. I didn't even know such a thing existed. It was about 160 blocks out of my way, but I knew that if even one thing was said that made sense to me, it would be worth it. So I went. It was small and they had me read the preamble to the meeting, as well as the 12 steps. I said "God" 5 times and the pronoun another few times. This made me uncomfortable, because I do not believe in Him. Other than that, and the fact that they use the word "smober," it was good. Most of the people there were in other 12-step programs too, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Co-Dependency Anonymous, to name a few. I didn't know it was going to be 12-step based when I got there, but that's cool. We did an hour of peer-to-peer support and then an hour of Step Four, which is "Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

I cried more than once.

Having my little brother here this weekend was a huge help in getting me motivated for the Quit and shepherding me through Days 2-4. Just like Girlfriend, Little Brother is exceptionally good at leading through example and not being judgmental at all. He was also very helpful when I needed to e-break with CL 10.1, because he called me to go out over the weekend and his voicemail gave me the shivers, and not in a good way. I asked Little Brother how to handle it and he helpfully told me what a girl told him: I think you're a great guy but I'm not feeling anything in the way of chemistry.

This is fucken genius because the situation boils down to CHEMISTRY! It's science! It's not me; it's not you, it's nobody's's CHEMISTRY.

I am pretty much done with craigslist dating right now. The Ukrainian and I were supposed to hang out this weekend, but neither of us called each other, and that's okay with me. I was supposed to go out with an unknown, 11.1, sometime this week, but I'm over it. I'm tired. Mick invited me to see Jersey Boys this week but...he smokes. Could be easy as that, huh.

Okay, okay, I'm having issues. Little Brother pointed this out to me too. Well, first he introduced me to this:
I pulled my shoes off at Brookstone the other day to try this sucker out, and I almost came in the store.

Swear to god.

Oh, but he also showed me that I'm still in love with Love Affair.
He called me while we were at dim sum on Saturday and I kind of had a meltdown and was pissing him off.

"What's the big fucking deal? Call him back."

"I can't. I can't handle it. I miss him too much. Why is he calling me?"

"Isn't it obvious? He wants to maintain your friendship."

"We never had a friendship."

"Well, then...maybe he wants to keep you on the back burner."

I know that being kept on the back burner isn't exactly a glamorous position to be in, but this thought had never crossed my mind, and it made me so happy that I caused a small scene in the subway, inspiring some douchebag to say "Oh, I can't conTROL the VOLume of my VOICE sometimes!"

Ahh, douchebags. Sometimes I'm one of them, though. Can't really blame them.

Anyhow, I would love to be kept on Love Affair's back burner. I'm sure as hell keeping him on mine. Isn't that romantical? Yes, entirely unhealthy. Maybe this will preclude me from falling for some perfectly matched men who are right before me. But I'm okay with that. I'm supposed to be concentrating on school anyway...I guess I'd rather be in love in my mind with a fantasy than trick myself into a half-assed relationship in the real world.

Wait. Maybe I didn't tell you. I'm going to see Love Affair in January. No, I'm not going to San Francisco specifically to see him. To be honest, I don't really want to go at all, but my family made this decision en masse, and we are going to California for the holidays. My mom thought she was doing me a favor because she knows I miss my friends, but really, this is too soon for me. This presents a gross situation with me and Love Affair, as I would love to go back and stay at our apartment, but if I'm not allowed to touch him, it might kill me. Or if he's dating someone else, that might kill me too.

This is why I smoked have control over what would kill me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I am quitting smoking.


The first thing that I always do when I quit smoking is to tell everyone I know. It's not so much for support--because the only one who can really help you to quit is YOU--but more like I'm hoping that I will be too ashamed to start smoking again, after telling everyone I have quit. Actually, I've been down this road before, too. Then I just start being a closeted smoker, and then one day I forget that it's supposed to be a secret and I light up all nonchalantly and someone says, "Didn't you quit?"

And then I laugh, "Oh come on...that was months ago!"

This time I think it will be different because it's not for a boy, it's not for my health, and it's not for financial constraints. It's for VANITY. My skin is looking quite terrible lately, and I don't want to have that ashen, wrinkly skin that smokers get after smoking half their lives. I've been smoking half my life. Yesterday I started obsessively massaging my face in class to try and get circulation in there. I'm also sick of listing myself as a smoker in my craigslist ads.

Okay, and there's a secondary reason. I think it's contributing to some feelings of inadequacy, which in turn compound themselves with self-destructive behavior. Sometimes, out of the blue, I think to myself that I'll never have children, because I smoke. Now we all know that this is fucked up because (a) I don't really want children to begin with, (b) many smokers have children, and (c) who the hell is messing with my head? But those thoughts are there. I think it also causes me to devalue my life subconsciously, and I don't really need help with that.

I do need help, though. Quitting always brings out the worst in me: the justification, the bending of self-imposed rules, the quitting quitting, telling myself that life is meaningless anyway, so why am I trying to prolong meaninglessness? There are an incredible amount of "resources" online to help you quit smoking. I used to be on QuitNet. Now it's kind of depressing because I get "quit anniversary" emails that say "Congratulations on having quit three years ago!" and what not. It also tells me I (could) have saved $6,000 by now. Gross.

I have a meeting with counselor on Wednesday. Let's see if I can make it until then.

Monday, October 29, 2007


My liver needed further lessons in the school of humility, so Saturday night I treated it to a fifth of tequila and some red wine.

On the train home, this guy came and sat right next to me. The train contained maybe five people. I was wearing headphones and knitting, so it should have been easy to ignore him. But he wanted to talk to me. I don't like being rude to people; it just doesn't give me any satisfaction at all. I'd rather be polite and still make them feel like an asshole if that's what they deserve. But I was kind of drunk and I just kept telling him that I didn't feel like talking, and doing the thing where I keep taking one earbud out, nodding, and then saying pointedly, "Look, I'm going to listen to music now. Have a good night!" I could have been bitchy, but maybe I was just too out of it to get to that bitchiness threshold. He even put his hand on my leg and even though I had every right to be pissy, I just said, "Don't do that. Please don't touch me."

This cool chick sitting close by us, after observing this debacle for a few minutes, decided to intervene on my behalf. She was like, "Hey man, just lay off her, okay? Christ. Can't you see she doesn't want to be bothered?"

He said, "Hey, I think she likes you."

We chatted for the next 40 or so blocks, and she got off at my station. I had an empty fifth of tequila and a quarter-full bottle of Jack Daniels that I found on the ground, and the bottles were clinking together and sticking out of my purse. As cool as she was, I guess I was not drunk enough to hit on her.

I slept from six to eleven, then tried to clean myself up and head out to what I think was craigslist date 10.1, which makes me feel like I should get a free sandwich or something. On the train back to the Lower East Side, I was listening to the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, and the song "Satan Dance" came on, which promptly produced a flashback to the previous evening that I never would have remembered. I was smoking outside this really fun bar on the called Sweet Paradise talking to a guy who looked forty but was younger than me. For some reason we were talking about how we both thought we would die at 23, which for him had not come yet, and for me that had passed. I don't know what it is about that age that screams Death!!! but I thought I would cure him of his fatalistic attitude by slapping him. I was slapping his face and his chest, mostly, and saying something like, "Don't be a fucken shithead!" His responses to my slapping ranged from "Why are you doing this?" and "I've never been treated like this before," to "I kind of like that," and then, "Can I buy you a drink?"

But wait, the reason why "Satan Dance" brought this back to me was that after the third or fourth chest slap, he said, "You're hurting me," and lifted his shirt to reveal SAtAN hand-carved and still scabbing over in five-inch high letters. "You're hitting my scars."

I think I said, "Serves you right, you fucken drama queen."

I was still kind of lost in this flashback when I met up with 10.1, a guy who, thanks to my slight hangover, seemed totally humorless. He was also short. And he was cold. As in, we had brunch outside and he was cold. For some reason, he totally lost me when he said, "Aren't you cold?" In response to that, I took off my jacket to further emasculate him. I wanted to share the SAtAN story with him but decided against him. That was a Freudian slip that I'll allow.

I guess in addition to my drinking problem, I'm also kind of a bully. And a hypocrite. I need to have a heart-to-heart with myself today. My horoscope told me so.

Friday, October 26, 2007

rampant alcoholism

Last night, on craigslist date 9.1, I decided it would be a good idea to take everything I know about drinking and throw it out the window. It involved whiskey, a bottle of $7 champagne, Coors Light, and two separate fast food pitstops that I have not indulged in about ten years, namely KFC and McDonald's.

I'm going to call this guy Mick. He just moved here SATURDAY from San Francisco, and I actually met him via craig a few weeks ago, and I kind of forgot about him. He's about my height (short), Peruvian, a nice guy. We chatted, and I felt kind of bored for a while, and was fascinated by this guy sitting next to us at the bar. Actually, I was fascinated with his drink, which was bar peanuts floated in a glass of Budweiser. The peanuts kept dropping to the bottom, then floating back up, like they were goldfish. I've never seen peanuts move like that, so free-spirited.

After many drinks, we delved into heavy topics ranging from self-mutilation to enduring friendships. It kind of weirds me out when someone tells me something that they've never told anyone else, or that only their one close friend knows about. I inspire trust in people, I suppose. Later he became infatuated with me and he was telling me that it was fate that he moved all the way across the country just to meet me, and we made out a little and I felt all love drowsy (some would call it just plain drunk). He became very insistent upon seeing me home, which is about 80 blocks from his home. At this point I became bitchy and a little fearful, and it took some firm ground-standing to force him off the train a stop after his.

I got home a little before three a.m., three hours after my target return time, and had to get up at a few hours later to attend an all-day conference. I was so hungover that not only did I think I was going to throw up on the subway, I thought I was going to shit myself. I've never had that feeling before, and let me tell you, it's not a good one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

craigslist posting iv

Going the vague, dreamy route:

listen. - 27

Reply to:
Date: 2007-10-23, 10:38PM EDT

I know how this will happen.

I see you on the subway and I think you’re cute: you’ve got dark hair, a secret smile that I have yet to see, and a somewhat sloppy, unassuming style and grooming habits. You’re reading a book that I may or may not have heard of, and if it’s the former I ask you how it is, and if it’s the latter I pretend I’ve heard of it, and ask you about it anyway.

We talk. You say something even mildly funny or honest, I do the same, and the conversation continues and you say, spontaneously, let’s go get a drink.

We get a drink. Or two or three or four. I can drink, and so can you.

At this point we’re inebriated and we start talking shit, about serious things like religion and ironic motivations and mundane things like everyday frustrations and at the same time get all sappy about our blessings in life like our great friends, families, and the things we can still get excited about despite moments of confusion or despair. We have so many things going for us and we could talk forever, listen forever, learn or just rant. The conversation is getting so heady, so giddy, so…late.

We walk out of the bar into the night. It’s dark, the moon is out, the trees are softening the imposing urban jungle of this amazing city, and in the instant that the cool air hits our lungs we both come to the same sudden realization that we are young, beautiful, with enough sense to know when to listen to our doubts and when to ignore them, and that this person you’ve just randomly met on the subway has reminded you of all the incredible possibilities life has to offer. Actually, we have inspired each other. This realization invigorates us completely. And a part of each of us thinks that if only this person were there in our lives, we would do all the things we were capable of doing, and together anything and everything would be not only possible but probable.

This is the guy I am looking for. I’m willing to go on three hundred first dates to find him. I know he is in this city. And I am okay with not seeing him on the subway; I can find him on craigslist too.

sloppy sensitive big-hearted adventurous open-minded caring irreligious intelligent atypical aforementioned literate smoker drinker social reclusive undefined confident questioning compassionate conscious dreamer idealist realist self-indulgent disciplined seeking and wise…

  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 457856560

Monday, October 22, 2007

i told you not to do that

The Ukrainian and I had a cute date last night, but I'm kind of being evil/unfair by indulging in things that remind me of Love Affair. We were perambulating through the Village and passed by the Chess Shop, this awesome little spot on Thompson and W. 4th where you can pay $1.50 an hour to play chess. It's a little serious business inside, but it's fun if you can grab a table outside.

Love Affair reintroduced me to chess. We would play at home, before we started dating. I loved playing with him because he would let me take back moves in a way that didn't seem generous at all. After a while I got better.

So after getting a few beers at The Peculier Pub--a chill spot with a quirky beer selection and a name that seems misspelled--and some very decent sushi rolls at Miyabi--The Ukrainian and I played chess last night, and of course he beat me because he's got that Russian blood in him. I did pretty damn well for losing my queen so early on.

This was our third date, and I kind of felt like we would probably kiss at some point that evening, and for some reason I was worried that it would happen too early in the evening, and then he'd try to make out with me constantly. So all night I was smoking like a fucken chimney to discourage him from kissing me. We had a final drink at some joint that turned out to be a Red Sox bar before we went down to the train and parted ways on the subway platform, where we awkwardly kissed each other goodbye. It was fine, because now we don't have deal with it anymore.

Isn't it weird that I just called our first kiss "fine?" Let's just let that one pass.

The problem came today. In my second email to The Ukrainian, I warned him that (a) I am a smoker and (b) I run away from guys who show too much interest in me, in an itemized list of disclaimers about 'j' items long. Well, kind of like Boy, The Ukrainian decided today to kind of tell me how interested he was in me, in an email. Why go through with that? I know it wasn't spontaneous; it can't be because it just fell out of your mouth. You thought it, typed it, and then pressed send.

For some reason, I just really don't want to have your premature emotions e-mailed to me after a few dates. Maybe some would find that charming or cute or even honest, but to me it makes me think that this person is worthless. Whatever happened to playing a *little*hard to get, or at least not making yourself SO attainable that it seems like you'd just fall for anyone? I guess that's my problem with these guys who are so completely available. I kind of want to win a guy over and not just feel like he would fall in love with just about anyone.

Am I so Groucho Marx?...

"I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member..."

I came home from my date and thought about Love Affair as I fell asleep. I've come to the conclusion that I've been thinking about him so much just because we never had the chance to let it all play out. That, and he symbolizes everything I left behind in San Francisco.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

it hurts it hurts it hurts

My hangovers are still a mystery to me. Sometimes I'll wake up feeling like I got away with murder and then there are mornings like today when I wake up and launch myself mechanically into my hangover ritual, which is composed of:

(a) sending one or more text messages out, canceling any plans I have made for the first ten hours of the day

(b) healing my body with a four-hour feast, always starting with an entire can of Campbell's alphabet soup, and today including a pint of Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio ice cream, and most recently moving into gouda cheese territory, and probably ending in a half hour with a large bowl of pasta.

(c) wondering what it was about last night that could have contributed to the loss of today. Was it the cocktails at the Living Room, kicking off the evening at 6:30? Was it the tasting at September Wines? Was it the two bottles of wine that Ricardo and I consumed at The Ghetto Gourmet? Or, was it that last beer? Was it finishing the night at the speakeasy on Avenue C, where, joy of joys, you can smoke inside? I like to blame a lot of things on smoking.

(d) going through all the messages I sent and received last night, which may or may not require mediation today.

I sent a lot of text messages last night.

Last night, on what would have been our sixth date if he hadn't freaked out and fucked it all up, Boy texted me to see if I wanted to get drinks. This was just after midnight, and I was surprised. I didn't want to meet up with him or even respond to him; I just don't want him to think he has a chance with me. I ended up texting him back later that I was busy instead of ignoring it out of politeness, and now I feel like he's going to try and contact me again.

In my mind, though, that ship has sunk.

I had a nice, liquor-free lunch date with The Ukrainian after I went to a great lecture given by Robin Chase, the founder of Zipcars and the new ridesharing service, GoLoco. I don't remember much about what we talked about, but I do remember that once again, he did not finish his meal. People who don't like their food worry me. Aside from that, I find him charming and maybe a little too earnest. The question "When are you free next?" is just so pointed.

I was supposed to go out with him today, but it's 11 p.m.; I still haven't put on clothes, and I think I'm going to keep it that way for the day.

And yes, it still hurts. My head. Liver, I'm so, so, sorry.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

e-flirting and e-breaks

Tonight I restrained myself and had only three cocktails before calling it a night so I could come home and, yes, do economics homework. The fact that my lover Insomnia spent the night also made this an easier decision.

So I come home and there are two emails awaiting me, one from The Ukrainian, which was sweet and saying that he had fun with me, with a link to this and he was telling me about. I happily responded that I would love to go out with him again, and that I thought he was cute.

The second one was from Boy, and it set of a totally unexpected e-nd to our CL affair. I think.

Boy is one of the many of us who spends way too much time in front of a computer, and when we first met via craig, I sent him a link to my MySpace for photos, and I guess he combed through my blog for clues as to my personality. Well this morning as I was waiting for the sunrise, I posted a dumb blog about Boy 1 v. Boy 2 as well as many sappy two-bit comparisons about This Life v. That Life, and on and on.

Following the first two emails, I consulted with Girlfriend, and she thinks I was right to let this one go. She says he expresses too much "entitlement" to me in his first email. Really, I would have let it pass, but I feel like we were heading nowhere anyway, and the person at the bar I reference in my first response was because I was saying this earlier tonight, about the friend zone. Keep in mind that this email from him was totally unsolicited, i.e., he happened upon my MySpace blog, and decided to tell me exactly what he thought of it.

> > > Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 20:35:44 -0400
> > > From: Boy
> > > To: seriously
> > > Subject: i want to read your secret web log
> >
> > >
i'm curious about boy number one. unless i'm boy number one, in which case i'm curious about boy number two. if i'm neither then i'm curious about both. i think i'm most comfortable being boy number two.
> > >
you made a comment in an email about being glad i wasn't bored with you yet, or something. i found that funny because you are the interesting one, the one who *goes places* and *does things* and plays piano and writes two web logs and used to ride a motorcycle. i like to stay home and watch reruns of house. but i believe that you like me. at least a little.
> > >
the truth is that i know nothing about adult relationships either. i'm not going to lie -- i have wondered how things would be if after getting drunk on one of our *dates* we went back to someone's place and did it, whether you would suggest it, what you would say if i did, whether i really wanted to, and what, eventually, you would write about it afterwards, if anything, on your secret web log. and so, in response to your suggestion of sex (not your suggestion of *having* sex, just of sex itself, so clever or careful as you are to make such a heavy thing float so effortlessly in an email) is that i like you. a lot. there are parts of me that say yes, which don't discriminate, and there are other parts of me that also say yes, which do discriminate (there are also parts that say no, but those parts will always say no; they are curmudgeons), and that is enough for me. but all my parts say no if you are already doing it with boy number one, or whatever his name is.
> > >
i guess this email is in case my actions or attitudes are confusing. girls sometimes tell me i can be that way.
> > >
> > > Boy
> >
> On 10/15/07, seriously wrote:
> >
you're funny. congratulations, you have actually managed to come quite close to flooring me with such an honest email, and i really don't know how to respond. but since i have a few cocktails in me, i will just go with whatever comes out of my fingertips in the next 4.3 minutes:
> >
number one, you cannot read my secret blog, so let's just leave it at that. it's secret, duh. don't you remember our conversation about the things you elect to tell, and those things you elect to keep to yourself? well, this is one of those situations. live with it.
> >
if i was going to be brutally honest, which i guess i will be, hey why not, i guess i would say that i have no idea what is going on here, but i'm inclined to take it as it comes and also just leave it at that. i am not supposed to be with you; that is honestly how i feel. but i like you too; i appreciate that you and i have both "been to the dark side," as my (former) roommate would say. and in spite of these similarities, i like that your brain functions on a different wave length in terms of your problem-solving abilities, and i like the way you explain things. to me teachers are so fucken hot. but i feel like we could be walking into friends territory, which is familiar--and not bad--ground. someone just said to me tonight, "if there can only be one, then i'm glad i didn't fuck up all my friendships along the way by sleeping with everyone who wasn't that one." so what if i don't know how i feel. i like hanging out with you, so let's just do that. hang out. have fun.
> >
i'm not trying to be discouraging, and i'm running out of my 4.3 minutes, i'm just saying that i think i know what adult relationships consist of now, so if you think you can still hang out with me given all this brutal honesty, on these terms, let's just have fun and not put any undue pressures on either one of us. how does that sound?
> >
this friday night, the cross street is allen and delancey. i would love it if you could suggest a place to meet at 7 and grab a bottle of wine. of course if you're freaked out by the thought of us just being friends, then you should bail on this right now.
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________

> Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 23:56:08 -0400
> From: Boy
> To: seriously
> Subject: Re: i want to read your secret web log
yeah, well, i came home from work and ate a truffle and got to thinking. (i love how, even when we are being up front about being honest, we have to mention a cocktail or pot filled snacks.) and then i cleaned my room.
i *was* feeling a lot of undue pressure. i really don't know how adult relationships work. your expectations, etc. you kept calling our meetings dates! i don't think i had ever gone on a date with someone i wasn't already sleeping with. seriously. i just... didn't want you to think i didn't like you because i didn't try anything, or at least mention anything. that has happened before.
i don't think i'm supposed to be with anyone.
i like that you have been to the dark side, but i *really* like that you are done with it. i don't think that i am. and i kind of envy how you go full speed all the time, out every night, talking,
drinking, feeling. i kind of wish i was capable of that, because i fear that i miss a lot while at home, resting. but it's not me.
anyway, i'm definitely not freaked out by being friends. intimacy freaks me out, not friendship. but, to borrow your favorite phrase and be brutally honest, i already have friends.
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:12:23 -0400
RE: i want to read your secret web log
From: seriously
To: Boy

Boy, i don't know about this.

this is a gross email chain, but now i feel captivated by it so i have to continue.

it sounds to me like you have a lot of things you need to work out before you can be in a healthy relationship and i'm not sure i want to be the one to work with you through it. i don't want to be anyone's sherpa, especially the sherpa out of the dark side. i also don't want to feel like i have to hide the fact that i'm dating, that this is what dating should be like, or be defensive about it, and your earlier email to me really put me off though i wanted to just brush it off. i think we both have different ideas of what we want right now. i just want to have fun and enjoy life, and i don't think you're there with me right now.

look. something's telling me to let this go right now, and maybe for a little bit. i don't want to give you the wrong impression of anything, but i guess i do want you to think about why you're dating, what you're looking for when you get on craig. i thought i was pretty explicit.

let's call this friday off. i have a friend in town, midterms next week, and i think you're tired and stressed, and i can't deal with this right now, and i don't want to feel like i have to. it is hard for me to say this over email; this took way longer than 4 minutes, but i think it is best. i am out here to have a good time, and you should do the same.

call me next week if you want to talk.


This whole interaction feels totally evil to me, and gross, and I am kind of mad at him for pushing me into it. I was going to not respond to his third email, just go to bed, meet up with him Friday as planned, and just forget about this whole weird exchange, but you know what would have happened? That would have been inviting my lover Insomnia back to bed with me to think about how fucked up this whole thing was, and I would have laid awake wondering why I was subjecting myself to this kind of scrutiny for a Boy I've only been on 5 dates with, who doesn't even like to consider them dates, but "meetings."
I also cannot date a guy who calls having sex "doing it." He is a nice Boy, but a boy nonetheless. Do I want to deal with someone who confronts me, before our sixth date, with his lack of adult relationships, intimacy issues, and threats to retreat back to the dark side? This is not my deal. It's not fair for me to have to worry about the feelings of a boy I haven't even kissed. And that's not attractive. Ever have child fantasies where you have sex with the frail creature you're trying to protect?

Yeah, me neither. And this is why I shouldn't have gone out with him in the first place, because he was younger than my age requirement, but since he ignored it, I thought I would, too.

Now I can go to bed feeling like I have washed my hands of this. Eww, no. I have a conscience. I still feel bad.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

more bars, more dates

Friday night I found myself at a weird happy hour at the Tribeca Tavern drinking expensive greyhounds, at a weird club getting free drinks, and then back at Odessa. I called it an early night because Beauty's Boulder hipster crew were making me pine for San Francisco. It was also freezing out and I was tired of drinking and not being drunk.

Saturday I went to a wholly uninspiring CultureFest at Battery Park where Muffin and I basically went to each booth and filled out raffle tickets and got free buttons. We wandered out back into the world and, noting that it was almost five o'clock, decided it was time for a drink. Muffin took me to a great bar by Union Square called Revival with a cute outdoor area for us smokers and decently priced drinks.

After that I returned to Odessa to meet up with my new CL date, whose name is Polish but is actually from the Ukraine. He had suggested meeting at Tompkins Square Park but since I hate waiting for people without a drink in hand, I suggested the bar. He has a cute accent and has lived in New York since Chernobyl. I was excited about our date because my fortune cookie on Friday told me that everything would come my way, and I just got a good feeling from his emails, and he seemed stoked about meeting me even though he lives even farther away than Boy; he lives by Coney Fucken Island. At CultureFest, Muffin and I got to actually make our own buttons at the Bronx Children's Museum's booth, and I'd made him a button that said "I heart" I gave him the button. He seemed pleased.

The Ukrainian and I met up at 6 p.m. and continued to drink until 2 in the morning. He knew a lot of great spots to go to. After Odessa we went to get food at the Yaffa Cafe, a surprisingly large restaurant with a bohemian interior and a grand outdoor patio with a smoking section. The food was nothing special, but it was relatively inexpensive so we drank a bottle of wine as well. After that I led him on a wild goose chase to look for my buddy's birthday party, which apparently got switched to Monday night without my knowledge. So we ambled over to watch an accordian player in some park on Avenue B, and then had some more cocktails at a bar I think was called Luca Lounge or something; it had a photo booth in it. And then we went to Mona's a few doors down to play some pool. Mona's had a great jukebox and a pool table, and The Ukrainian and I played several rounds of pool with various people. I was so drunk that I almost adopted a rescued daschund named Louie that this girl had brought to the bar for the express purpose of introducing him around. I spent about two hours all over this dog; he was so fucken cute and mellow.

I liked hanging out with The Ukrainian because: (a) he knew a lot of places to go (b) he insisted on paying for several drinks for me, and dinner, which I appreciated, though of course I bought us about twenty drinks (c) he was mellow and could hang with other people easily and (d) I felt safe with him, especially when he put his arm around me as he walked me to the subway. He's definitely cooler than Boy, and I hope to go out with him again.

I had brunch with Boy today at a mediocre "mexican" restaurant called Agave on 7th Avenue South and W. 10th. I'd been craving some decent huevos rancheros and this was not the place for it. It was pretty much fauxican, and who the hell is going to pay $10 for guacamole? We did get a sunny table without having to wait (a bad sign, in my opinion). I struggled to keep up my end of the conversation because my whiskey-heavy sleep was not a good one. I rehydrated with coffee, mostly, and after brunch we sat out in Washington Square Park for a while and I felt my brain twitching.

Boy was in my former backyard, Dolores Park, in San Francisco this weekend, and yesterday he'd called me to see if I wanted anything from the famous truffle man who sells delicious pot truffles out of beautiful copper pots; one for $4 or 3 for $10. I asked him to bring me back two ginger-cayenne ones, and he did. That was sweet of him. I'm still unsure of how I feel about him, and I'm wondering how long I should keep this up. This Friday will be our sixth date. Earlier he mentioned something about hanging out with a girl mostly because he knew she liked him, and he liked the way he felt around her. I wonder if I'm doing the same thing with him. I wonder if that's why he brought it up.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Ex

The Ex was the longest relationship I ever had (just shy of three years). The Ex started out as a fuck buddy. The Ex used to call me "My Darling" in such a way that eradicated all his stupidities, all of my doubt about us, and made my heart melt and wrap around his. The Ex gave me my first motorcycle, my first dildo, and what I recalled in Morocco as the happiest moment of my life in the past five years on a weekend trip to Las Vegas. The Ex became my ex almost two years ago, and I still dream about him.

When will it end?

Memory is retarded. The Ex also gave me my angriest moment in the past fifteen years of my life when I found out from a friend at a bar that he'd cheated on me. The Ex was cold and distant half the time we were together. I broke up with him after a strained year of living together in Oakland, separated from our friends by the Bay and the idiocy of our continued relationship. I know that it was right to move out and move on, and I don't regret it. My heart and memory, it seems, have other intentions.

When will it end?

The Ex started dating someone who looked like me (Asian) but much younger and hotter within weeks after we broke up. They're still together, pretty much. The Ex lives in San Francisco, approximately 3,000 miles away. The Ex is totally and wholly The Ex.

Why, in my dreams, is he still my boyfriend? Am I fucken retarded?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

craigslist dating III

Uh oh, I'm back on craigslist. Ever since my last posting got flagged and taken down, I convinced myself that I had an addiction and cut myself off. (Okay, I scrolled through one night last week, but I didn't respond to any.) But, like a true addiction, I came back to it.

I found a boy from San Francisco (my true goal here in New York: to find a boy from San Francisco. How fucked up is that?) who is coming here next week. That could be fun.

What about Boy, you may ask? Didn't I tell Boy I wasn't going to date any others? ...Well, Boy is out of town. Boy has left me high and dry to entertain myself for the next two weeks. And I haven't even kissed Boy yet. So there.

Also I had a mildly depressing e-conversation with my Ex, who just broke up with his long-distance girlfriend because he needs to get laid. Oh Ex. It's so fun to talk about relationships with your Ex, because who knows you best? Ex cheated on me more than once, and I accused him of breaking up with her just so he could sleep around without guilt.

Ex admitted I was right.

Oh Ex.

someone I know died

Today I got an email from this novel writing group I used to be a part of in Berkeley. Even though I left the group almost two years ago, I still get emails from the host. It was one of the first times I ever gave my gmail address out to a list serve. I'll never do it again.

But the subject line of the email was another member's online scrapbook instead of the usual "Chapters 15 and 16." Oh god, I thought to myself. She's dead. And sure enough, she is. She's dead.

I've been spared the death of anyone remotely close to me in my life. Yes, people I have known have died, but never anyone close. (Please tell me that I'm not inviting death into my life by writing this.) So, whenever I hear that someone I know has died, I sit there and think about that person for a long time, and I get a little sad that I didn't know them that well, because that means I never will get to know them better, and they probably didn't know how much I liked them.

You can't feel sorry for people who have died--well, at least, I don't--because they're dead. I do feel sorry for the people who survive them, and I know that whoever lost Holly is probably in a really bad way. She was one of those people who was a very comforting presence. I imagine that she was very important to a lot of people, because she had the kind of personality that attracted people with problems. I remember smoking cigarettes with her before, after, or sometimes during our writers' workshops, and being surprised at her honesty. She was at least twice my age and she seemed very fragile and tough. When we took our breaks together a part of me wanted to tell her all that I was going through with my then-boyfriend and I didn't really know why, because I hardly knew her. It took a few breaks together for me to realize that many people probably knew this about her already, that she was probably the person everyone went to with problems because she was so deeply empathetic.

So, my heart goes out to whoever loved and lost this very special woman. I remember her well after knowing her such a short time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I have a beautiful girlfriend

My Girlfriend was here this weekend, and it was fucken glorious. I was so excited to see her that I hardly slept Thursday night. When I came home after class Friday morning, she was in my apartment, passed out in my bed after her redeye through Las Vegas. We had a fun girl afternoon of trying to decide what to wear, which was difficult because we were going from an architecture party to that hip-hop/dub show that I got free tickets to. Friday night was a typical alcoholic haze that started off with margaritas and free tequila (actually I think it was Tequiza) shots at Mama Mexico. The architecture party found us cruising with plastic cups of Budweiser and Oreos. Hmm. We had a great dinner at Cafe Habana in Nolita, which was exciting because I have heard about the corn on the cob there FOREVER and it did not disappoint. Decent margaritas there, too. Then we headed over to Motor City, this rockabilly bar with a sweet pinball machine.

We headed over to a friend's house to drink champagne on the roof and ended up getting stuck. Yes, stuck. On the roof. The door somehow shut behind us, and we had no way off the roof. Beauty was able to locate a friend at a nearby bar, Odessa, who came to rescue us. We threw him a set of keys and he heroically climbed up to the sixth floor on a bum ankle to save us from our stupidity. Or, rather, potential stupidity. I was volunteering to hang off the ledge and drop onto the fire escape. Ah, liquid courage.

Of course we had to escort our hero back to Odessa to buy him drinks and eat french toast at the diner next door. Around 4 I dragged my poor tired Girlfriend into a cab. Alas our adventures were not yet over, as we got stuck in stop-dead traffic on FDR and, after smoking a cigarette in the back and watching people get out of the cars to chill, I woke up Girlfriend and we ran inland to get an illegal cab back to Washington Heights. Never did make it to that show.

Saturday we went to the show at Randall's Island. We ended up walking across the Triborough Bridge to get there, which was cool. We found a joint on the way in, I got my free tickets to the show, and we spent the next six hours each occupying roughly one square foot of space and enjoying Les Savy Fav, Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, and Arcade Fire.
Each set was awesome. There were so many cute boys there that I became convinced that the whole concert was some sort of Hipster Vengeance plan to exterminate all twenty-something PBR consumers in greater New York. Why else would they have the concert on an island? And why were all those helicopters hanging out overhead? Very mysterious.

We showed up at Muffin and Keeten's place for dinner at midnight, exhausted and starving.

Yesterday we bummed around Williamsburg and championed another long day of drinking. After an awesome brunch at Juliette, a bright, laid-back little bistro, we went over to Rock Star bar where there was some kind of birthday party happening, and I got a huge $5 shot of Maker's Mark in a plastic cup. Did I mention you can smoke there? Awesome.

From there we went to another smoker-friendly bar, the Cyn Lounge at Bedford and 5th. It was fine but we were restless and hungry, so we found our way into the Charleston at Bedford and 7th. This place rules. You get an 8" cheese pizza with every $4 drink, so we ate about 7 pizzas between the five of us, and the bartender didn't give us a hard time for being drunk and hungry. The jukebox was full of Talking Heads, Joy Division, the Make Up, Donovan, everything. Highly recommended.

One more bar...Union Pool, also in Williamsburg, has a spacious outdoor patio, and a functional black-and-white photo booth, where Girlfriend and I took some of our only photos together.

I really, really love my Girlfriend, and I was glad I was only half-awake this morning when she left for her 8:30 flight out of JFK. The last time I said good-bye to her in August was so painful, I guess mostly because I didn't know when I'd see her again. I feel better about things now, because I worried that, like some of my past roommates, we would fall out of touch despite promises to the contrary. Having her fly all the way across the country to drunkenly bumble around the city with yours truly meant so, so much to me. And she didn't falter from her recent smoking quit, which was pretty incredible.

The best part about her visit is that I don't feel miserable like I thought I would. I feel happy and lucky to have such a beautiful girlfriend, even if she is 3,000 miles away.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Tonight I am paying for my blatant disregard of doing things I know will hurt me, and part of this is indulging myself in this gratuitous post that will take me further down the spiral of emotional masochism. Let us pray:

My pagan new year's resolution this year was to love indiscriminately, without fear or expectation, which started the year out with me having a big crush on a boy with a girlfriend who I met on New Year's Eve, and that led to lots of wrenching pseudo-dates, threats of a roller derby chick clocking me, and me being The Other Woman and trying to be okay with it.

After that mess cleared up, this resolution also led me to an incredibly intense, anticipated, and much mourned love affair with my roommate, that began on a 3-day chautaqua to SoCal while I was crippled. On this spiritual journey, Sexy Roommate and I were trying to decide which graduate school to attend, and I told him that one of my last goals in San Francisco was to have an intense love affair, and we defined an affair as a relationship that (a) is finite, with a foreseeable end, (b) more or less exclusive, and (c) emotionally involved, despite its predetermined time span. Sexy Roommate asked me if I had anyone in mind, and though I had him in mind, we had a seven-hour drive ahead of us, and so I evaded the question cowardly and proceeded to think about it for the next four weeks.

While visiting grad schools later that month, I decided that I had to go for it, and when I returned, I put a plan into action and Sexy Roommate turned into Love Affair. It was one of the strangest times in my life. Our affair lasted two months before he left for the Middle East, and when he returned, I was living in The NY.

Tonight, while at happy hour with fellow urban planning students, I made the mistake of checking my voicemail and whaddyaknow, Love Affair had left me a message. It was the first time I'd heard his voice in three months. Yes, we've now been incommunicado longer than we were actually affair-engaged. I knew it was a mistake to call him back but I had a few drinks in me, so I kissed Beauty goodbye and said Ihavetogomyloveaffairjustcalledmeandihaventtalkedtohiminthreemonthsandihavetocallhimbackrightnow.

We talked for about 15 minutes as I made my way over the A train and we talked about how life back in school is going, how we miss each other, parties we need to throw in order to support our graduate student lifestyle, and the Queen of Sheba. In short, nothing. But, like our love affair, that short conversation is going to have massive emotional repercussions on me. I shouldn't have called him back. I should have kept drinking with my fellow classmates, talked about Millenium Park, asshole TA's and the I Hate Columbia club, but instead I left to torture myself with a tentative outreach to a boy I only allowed myself to half love.

I'm going to be paying for that move for days.

Of course I don't regret the affair, but FUCK...! Love hurts, man.

craigslist dating II

Last night I had date #4 with Boy. We went to Cleopatra's Needle, this jazz club/mediterranean restaurant on the Upper West Side. My piano teacher recommended it to me when I asked for a place that didn't have a $20 cover charge. This is the only one he could think of. There were a bunch of female vocalists doing hokey Sinatra covers until 11 p.m., when the open jam started, which I liked a lot more.

Boy told me about this hilarious golddigger post that had been circulating at his office. (He works for a hedge fund.) Someone at his office replied to her. God it's so funny.

> >

> >
What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy.

I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 -250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her

Here are my questions specifically:

-Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 432279810


Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that.
So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way.

Classic "pump and dump."

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

This is why I love craigslist, New York, and people in general. This kind of shit gives me hope in life.

Date #4 was nice. I like going out on Wednesday nights--something to look forward to during my horribly long Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I also like that I can outdrink Boy, and that he thinks I'm way cooler than him, which makes me feel supremely comfortable around him.

I feel like we're going to go out every Wednesday night for a long time, never kiss, never sleep together, and never do anything outrageous. I guess I wish I was more attracted to him. I wish that when I saw him, my heart went a-flutter. I wish that I wanted to lick his face. I wish that I had sexual dreams about him in the nights leading up to our Wednesday night dates. But I don't. When I see him I sit next to him and we drink and talk for hours, and it's my most articulate time of the week. It's like everything makes sense to me when I talk to him, including me, which is strange. The only thing that doesn't make sense is our grown-up
dating process, and why it's failing to bowl me over.