Cartier Open. China White Party.

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Polo.  It is my first time.  I imagine an English countryside, ladies in hats, teacakes.  Stephen wears a blue suit.  Sofia and I are in summer colored dresses although it’s not a summer colored day, surely.  Our cab pulls through dense wood until we reach a clearing in which the dozens of horses in stables come into view.  Behind that, peaks of white tents jut up into a sky threatening rain.  We are dropped off and march on to the sign in.  Ladies’ heels dig into lawn already scarred from the heavy hooves of horses.

Through a white fence and immediately to a gentleman offering glasses of champagne.  It’s barely noon.  I think this is maybe a bad way to start the day and opt for a macchiato, the first of about six throughout the day.  Stephen chats up acquaintances.  The wind blows harder.  There is hope for it to not rain, a very vain hope.  Lunch is served.  Salmon with peas wrapped in cured salmon.  It might be a pate, I’m not sure.  It’s the shape of toast.  There is a buffet.  I am starving and rudely go up earlier than anyone at my table.  Asparagus salad with shaved Parmesan, beet salad with some cheese that tastes neither like goat nor feta, caprese salad, potato salad smattered with flecks of dill.  On the corner is a full leg from a pig – hoof to thigh – from which a server cuts off pieces of ham.  I pass.  Beef is being sawed into pieces and served with a gravy and risotto that reminds me of creamed corn.  Even when it’s not British fare, there is definitely something British about it.

More wine.  White.  I’ve had more wine to drink this trip than I have in three years.  I sense the need to drink is contagious here.  There’s something about this place that requires libation.  Or maybe that’s just life.  I help myself to more slabs of Parmesan and finish a roll because the booze is going to my head and I’ve only had half a glass.  I talk to the woman to my left about writing, journalism, schooling.  She recommends schooling.  I check out mentally because I’ve just been denied from the only school I wanted to attend.  I nod and give some agreeable “Uh huh”s.  She is nice.  I want more wine.

The threatening clouds open up for a good sprinkle twenty minutes before the polo is to start.  A ruddy faced boy in black comes running with a giant box of umbrellas.  He looks under working age.  I am reminded of the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins.  I walk under a big black brolly to the stands.  Later I will lose this brolly in the tube, but we decide it’s a karmic thing because we had stollen it from the fields to begin with.

Horses come out – the Calvary horses decked out in traditional horsey garb.  White and tan hounds clip at their heels.  They are the colored of milky cappuccinos.  I want another, actually.  The rain has stopped but it is chilly and the wind throws my legs into a fit of goosebumps that stay for about four hours straight.  “I’ve Got the Power” suddenly blares onto the speakers above.  By the time I look up the Calvary is performing what is essentially synchronized pony cheerleading.  I can only compare it to what it’d be like to see the Queen Mum dance around to MC Hammer.  It’s ridiculous, fantastic, and entirely cheeky.  British humor.

After much pomp and ceremony, the polo begins.  The horses are powerful little beasts, built for the game.  Their joints turn left and right, left and right painfully and jut out in odd directions and inopportune times.  I ask Stephen questions about safety for riders, safety for horses, people dying.  It’s dangerous and beautiful.  Clumsy and refined.  The British supposedly picked up the sport during an occupation of Afghanistan in the 1920s.  Afghan royalty used to play, only the difference was that the ball being smacked around the lawn was of a decapitated head of their enemy.  Charming, really.

After three “chucks” the wind becomes unbearable and we go back inside our tent.  I get another hot coffee and eat some tea sandwiches.  Egg salad seems to be all the rage here.  As does smoked salmon.  I opt for hummus and roasted red pepper on wheat bread.  There are sweets, endless amounts of sweets.  I nibble some chocolate, drink some water, and wish it was a sunnier day.  The game plays on flat screens behind us but it doesn’t translate well and I don’t watch.  At some point it ends.  I look up and the stands are empty, leaving people traipsing down the lawn again back to London.

I am to stay for the “China White” after party which starts at 6 PM.  Before I had heard about what this was really about, I had imagined it to have something to do with porcelain dishes and delicate ladies, drinking tea until small talk was exhausted.  This is a terribly naive and inaccurate assumption.  I soon discover that China White is a club in the city.  And this is where people come to ruin their lives.

From the beginning the crowd is lively.  Bodies jam up against each other, creating some much needed heat for the afternoon.  Michael Jackson plays, people pump their fists in the air.  I feel like I am at a rave.  The sun isn’t even down yet.  We move over to the VIP tent.  The crowd is predictably dour and typically judgmental.  The DJ booth stands between the VIP and the plebeians.  I watch the plebeians have much more fun.

But the booze is free and as the time passes, the Very Important Pretentious loosen up.  And they loosen up so rapidly and violently that the standoffishness from the daylight hours becomes a fond distant memory.  There is a girl at our table who puts her head between her legs and moans for more drugs.  She makes a joke about cocaine.  She says she’s going to kiss Mickey Blue Eyes or my friend Veronica.  At least she’s wise enough to keep her options open.

I look around and realize that she is not the minority in this makeshift club in the middle of a polo field.  Everyone is on drugs or drunk beyond comprehension.  I am forced to remember the first forty five minutes of a rave I went to in high school in which I watched Kandy Kids hop around on Ecstasy, dressed up like cotton candy and bumble bees.  But these people don’t look like bumble bees, they look like whores.  To my left is a girl who though her strawberry hair would cover her exposed nipples a la Botticelli’s Venus.  Next to her is another friend with 2/3 of a breast hanging out.  The other 1/3 is hidden with the help of now visible double-stick tape.  I pull out one of three bottles of personal-sized champagne I transferred from a gift bag earlier.  I pop it open.  Take a swig of warm fizz.  Pray that a light drunken state will quell my misery.

Veronica and I travel to the restroom.  The door is open and a man rushes in.  “Wrong loo!  Sorry, wrong loo!” I yell.  I see the back of his head, two hands, and a dusty plastic bag.  Drug run.  I get it.  Veronica is buzzed and silly and looks like peaches and cream.  “Ew!  Ew!  Ew!  Don’t do cocaine!  That’s gross!” she squeals at him.  I wish I had recorded the entire interaction and then sold it to D.A.R.E. for a promotional video.  He stomps out the door without looking at us and I hear him say to his buddies something like “I can’t give this shit away.”

Throughout the evening, there is a man sitting at our table that I begin to refer to as “The Village Idiot.”  He is too drunk to speak, too drunk to move.  He looks about mid-forties.  I thank God for not giving me parents like him.  In an attempt to communicate with Sophie, he pelts her with an ice cube.  When he asks me where the cups are, he lugs me in the forearm.  For whatever reason, our twenty-five-year-old friend has been put in charge to babysit him.  And thus, we are also subjected.

I am starving.  The last thing I’ve eaten was at 4 PM and I would necessarily put it into a proper meal category.  There are sausages for sale.  I have an “I hate this country” moment.  A man by the name of Charlie comes up to me as I leave the stand and asks if I am from LA and says, “Oh!  I have the LA crew coming in five minutes!  Do you know Lucas Haas?”  Lucas Haas is an actor I’ve been watching since Alan and Naomi when he was six, and been watching partying peripherally in LA since I was nineteen.  I say I know of him though friends.  Then Charlie tells me Leo’s coming.  Like Los Angeles is some village in Eastern Europe and we must all be buddies.  Yeah…me and Leo, good times.  He invites me to come back to the table later, which I don’t.

I have some more champagne to fill my stomach.  Now I feel like a true degenerate.  The music bounces from good to bad, as does my mood.  I am trapped until midnight – when the car comes.  The hours creep on like black strap molasses until finally the lights come up, the people flood out, and I freshly anticipate food and a much needed shower.  It’s only 11:30 but it feels like 4 AM.  I haven’t seen people party like this…ever.

Our group walks out in the rain, under stolen umbrellas, over misted grass, scouring the fields for one car out of four hundred.  Taryn is on the phone with the cabbie, confused about his whereabouts.  She keeps yelling, “Hello?  Sir?” into her BlackBerry.  It’s cold and I miss the sweaty drunk bodies insulating me from this English summer evening.  We stop at the pickup point and The Village Idiot falls into a barricadede, toppling it on top of a parking facilitator – a bigger man who was actually quite nice about being knocked into by a negligent drunkard.

Eventually the driver and our party find each other.  His car is clean and warm and he is nice and foreign.  It’s midnight.  The drive is long and the roads are wet.  I sit in the front and wonder what would happen if we were to crash into a tree.  The girls holler off locations of Burger Kings, McDonalds, asking questions about how far away is this and how late is that open until.  The conversation turns inappropriate, per the usual.  I’d like to imagine this man is going to write a book about the asinine conversations he has heard in his occupation as a driver.  Veronica’s lost a very important business card given to her by her future husband.  They scour her purse.  Nothing.

It’s about 12:40 by the time we get to the only place in London that’s open for food.  Four chicken shawarmas.  Taryn gets gristle in the third bite.  She spits it on the street.  I had mine in the first but I ignored it.  In five minutes we have finished and half of our party continues partying and half of our party goes home.  By 3 AM we all join forces again, learning that The Village Idiot had continued on with his evening and started a food fight at a restaurant.  And while Veronica starts to change for bed, the lost business card falls out of the bra that she had so fortuitously placed into her décolletage.  Good God.

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MIA…Me, Not that Other Chick

IMG_0811Many apologies about the lack of entries as of late.  I have decided to take a much needed break from Los Angeles, blow through all my American Advantage miles, and get out of dodge.  Long story short – I am in London.

I’m mentally storing things to make for some good writing once I return, but right now I’m keeping it all bottled up.  Once I’m done processing, I will be back with a vengeance.  Til then, goodnight and good luck or whatever.

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Musical Review: Ray LaMontagne

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Ray was a rather unknown entity to me before I started carpooling with Veronica to jobs in Orange County.  When I hear his voice it reminds me of being too tired and wondering when I wasn’t going to be modeling anymore.  Beyond the amusement I would get when Veronica would gesture like a Baptist minster/ rapper to the tunes, I had attached no feeling toward the music whatsoever.  Pleasant, yes.  My favorite?  I don’t know.

But when I was invited to see his performance at the Hollywood Bowl last night, of course I agreed.  It’s the Hollywood Bowl: quite possible the only reason to live in Los Angeles.  Tucked into a far corner of the foothills of Hollywood, nestled under million dollar homes teetering silently above – it offers one of the most beautiful musical experiences ever.  A true testament to my dedication to the place – going with a friend to see The Dave Matthews Band, ten years after their music could be perceived as “good” and even then was contingent on questionable taste.

The last song from Blitzen Trapper plays on as we trek up the sloping entrance, sweating from lack of exercise.  I pass through security, a process that has a placebo effect akin to sugar pill.  Veronica and Michelle get a 40 ounce Corona to split.  Amber grabs an Amstel Light.  I break a year-long ban on cancer and get a Diet Pepsi because after starting my day with a 50 minute telephone correspondence with Bank of America, I am still exhausted.

We are outside when the lights of the venue dim and the crowd lets out a communal roar.  An usher leads us to our bench right of the stage. Veronica’s friend has purchased 4 tickets for an “Early Birthday Present” but I would like to think of it as a “Maybe You Bang Me?” gift.  Hope he’s got a good return policy.

Surrounding Ray and his band is the LA Philharmonic, a talented group of musicians that he accidentally introduces as “The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.”  They begin to play and I am reminded that while I sort of like this man’s noncommittal raspy voice that hushes its way through songs, I don’t feel anything.  It’s obvious that I am in the minority here.  Couples pair up like shadowed turtledoves.  It looks like a Yes on Prop 8 support rally.  I’m with four girls who, less than an hour ago, took turns swigging out of a bottle of sparkling wine in the car.  I would like to imagine this is sort of romantic.

The white, bear-bedazzled flag of California laps back and forth in a warm breeze, eventually resting languidly propped against a blackening sky three songs into the concert.  I think about the wind and then I think about love and then I think about what the people who really relate to this music are setting themselves up for.  It is the music from a Grey’s Anatomy season soundtrack.  It’s what people think love is supposed to be.  I don’t even know if Mr. LaMontagne feels love the way he sings love.  I am almost angry with him for placing these expectations on life – this seemingly dishonest infomercial of an unexplainable feeling.

As cynical as I am, I am equal parts self-aware and because I love Veronica and because she loves this music I open myself to the idea that maybe this man is singing truth.  Maybe I am just missing a sensitivity chip.  And I try to place these songs within the context of my life and I think about standing and watching my boyfriend pot plants while the sun plays golden on his arms, his face scrunched up in concentration, how I will remember this small moment for the rest of my life for no real reason – and I play a Ray LaMontagne song in the background of that memory.  It works.  It feels like a movie.  But then movies are plastic.

Throughout the show I continually wish he would just dig deeper.  His songs lack climax and complexity and they dribble along softly and sweetly and it reminds me of when Nikki Sale gave me four-fingered debutante handshake.  He howls at the ceiling of the Bowl like a musical werewolf, tapping his right foot with more fervor than I can discern from what is actually being played.

There is a moment when I do connect with him and this show.  He lifts his voice higher than he has the entire past hour and says “No, not a girl.  A woman.  I’m sayin’ a woman.  A woman.”  I wonder when I will feel like one or if I ever will and how I am still just a variation of a girl.  Then the stanza ends and I am back to looking up at the only twelve stars visible in Los Angeles County and feeling Veronica’s arm next to my arm and the bench seat pressing into my tailbone.

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Hazards of a Frequent Flier

It’s 5:13 AM Portland Time.  That’s the same as Pacific Time.  I am in Portland.  We are in Portland.  Veronica is the only one who is still gainfully employed during the recession so she is up to catch a flight to another job.  The light from the bathroom slips into my mostly closed eyelid, passing through eyelashes still clumped with mascara and lash glue from the show the day before.  Another ten minutes slips by and I wake up as the door jams shut.  “Bye bye, Veronica.”  I slur into my pillow but the noise doesn’t travel far and she doesn’t here me or respond.

Our hotel room is hot and stuffy.  It used to be a motel but someone has turned it into a hip place that provides complementary condoms for possible one night stands and ear plugs to sleep through the late night of raging going on around the patios downstairs.  This place wants you to party, but party responsibly.  I sense the people that truly enjoy The Jupiter Hotel are those that get disastrously hammered – screaming and bawling and laughing their way through the night – and then black out face-down on the comforter with their clothes still on.  The people that need ear plugs to drown out the fun by said drunkard might not appreciate the care that is taken to condone restful sleep and prevent the spread of chlamydia in Pacific North West.

That brings me to my point.  No matter how hip you make a motel, motels still have some tragic design flaws, one of which is the inability to open a window allowing fresh air to reach you in the middle of the night.  Around 3 AM, I resort to turning the air conditioner on HI.  The temperature reminds me of when my mom’s Toyota Landcruiser was having coolant problems and heat would occasionally sputter out of the AC vents in the middle of June.  It was uncomfortably unrefreshing.

After Veronica leaves I realize I am writhing around in my flannel sheet bed, dying of heat.  And then I realize that I feel quite sick, possibly on the verge of throwing up.  As an adult, I find this vomitous sensation quite bizarre.  It’s as though I’ve been able to control most all bodily functions with the exception of this.  And I like to be in control.  When you throw up you are at the whim of a force of nature seemingly unknown and unwilling to negotiate.  At 5:45 I am forced to get inappropriately intimate with The Jupiter’s white porcelain toilet.  And at 7:00 AM, I relive the experience.

I walk the AstroTurf stairs down to the driveway, past the patio, through the doors and into the Doug Fir diner.  Danika, Kelly, and Karen are there eating breakfast.  I think of what my mom would have made me eat when I was 9, around the time I stopped getting sick like this.  Toast.  Then I order orange juice.  Mom wouldn’t approve of its acidity but I think that maybe the Vitamin C would be good for me if I’m to get rid of this thing.

“Do you want coffee?” Danika asks.

“Good lord, no.”

They know it’s serious.  I rarely pass up an opportunity for a latte.  The waitress who probably doesn’t like us returns with my dry toast and orange juice.  I slather on some strawberry jam.  Bad move.  The sweet overcomes me.  I decide that a better route would be to lightly spackle the toast with a dusting of jam every inch and a half or so.

“Are you pregnant?” Danika asks.

“No.  Absolutely not.  No way.  Uh uh.”

If this is pregnancy, I’ll adopt.  We finish breakfast and stand outside.  I feel sick again.  We get in the cab.  I feel really not so nice.  We get to the airport.  Karen and I are in the security line.  This is a most unfortunate situation.  I lean over my bag.  I pray I don’t get sick all over these people traveling to different states with their roller bags and their vacation hats.  Ever so slowly I end up on the other side of the x-ray machines and the FAA man with the bored face and the blue latex gloves.  I put on my silver Converse.  We walk down the hall.  I call my mom.

“Are you pregnant?”

Everyone thinks this is a humorous thing to ask.  I demure.  Mom tells me to go buy a 7 Up and sip really slowly.  I know she is going to tell me this because this is what she’s been telling me to do since I was little.  I gave up soda in the tenth grade and I never liked 7 Up because I only ever associated it with being ill.  Nevertheless I hobble over to the sundry store and scan the cooler for 7 Up.  Sprite.  Damn it.  Pepsi apparently has a strong hold in the Portland Airport.  I buy a Barq’s Root Beer.  I haven’t purchased a soda since 2000 and it feels liberating, it feels like being a real person.  I walk back to my seat and have a sip.  I look at the amount of sugar per serving.  I put the plastic bottle on the floor and lay down the span of two chairs, my feet by Karen and her US Weekly.

The feeling overcomes me again.   I get up and walk as quickly as I can, eying the round silver trash cans within sprinting view for the worst case scenario.  I make it through the bathroom and into a large handicap stall.  Barely.  There’s no one in here but I try to be quiet.  I’ve overheard someone getting sick in the loo before and I generally bare no empathy, only disgust.  My toast and orange juice never happened.  I walk out.  I feel better.

We board the plane.  It is small.  Two people on each side.  6C.  I am surrounded by eleven models, most of them friends.  Karen sits next to me.  The only foreign entity is an older gentleman who Nicole moved away from when he snorted loudly in the way that old people do.  The plane takes off.  I get cheeky and imagine I am cured.  The 1/3 left of a Peanut Butter Cliff bar gets eaten with a half bottle of tap water I filled up once I got through security.  Immediately I regret my hubris.  We are air bound and approaching our cruising altitude, a number that never means anything to me but certain death if something were to happen.

DING.  DING.  The seat belt light ceases to illuminate and I run to the back of the airplane to the only restroom available.  There’s a gray haired man waiting in the aisle.  I am sure he sees the panic in my face and in my voice when I squeak out, “Are you waiting?”  He obviously is but I am hoping he is telepathic or chivalrous.  He is neither.  I turn to walk back to my seat, grabbing a white paper bag from a chair-back in front of a sleeping girl.

I’m back at row 6.  Karen looks at me.  I look at Karen.  My mouth waters.  I grab the bag.  I will myself to not be sick.  I will.  I will.  I will.  My mouth waters.  I heave silently.  Karen rubs my back.

“Are you sure you’re not pregnant?” Danika asks again.

Again, I feel better.  I am relieved.  I dispose of my bag discretely in the now inconveniently available restroom.  I return to my seat.  Thirty minutes creeps by and like a wave, it returns.  I grab yet another white bag – things I have only ever previously used to doodle notes on and stick wads of chewed gum into.  Karen rubs, I am sick, I produce another bag full of shame.

The rest of the flight continues uninterrupted but I feel wasted and tired and ready to be home.  Traveling used to be fun.  I used to park in the $30 dollar lot and walk over a bridge to the airport.  I used to be able to keep on my shoes and listen to my Sony Walkman while staring out the window.  I was not scared.  I did not hate the experience.  Now I am a frequent flier with a penchant for immunity deficiencies.  I don’t stare out windows, looking wistfully at the dusty topography below.  I think about recycled air and swine flu and premature wrinkles and terrorists and engine malfunctions.  I loathe.  Actively.

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Fourth of July Weekend

liberty2-fireworksJuly 4th.  It’s that time of year to get hammered and sunburned.  Maybe you think about your ancestors ceding from Europe in the ultimate “Fuck you” but this most likely does not cross your mind as you down your fourth margarita in a backyard that becomes increasingly less familiar as the sun moves across the sky.  Instead, it’s our opportunity to bond with our fellow man over bowls of guacamole and bean dip, burn meat on the grill, relax, and plan to forget any of this ever happened.

The aforementioned impressions of this holiday are, of course, memories from my childhood.  The last two Fourths have been spent in a more sober and subdued manner.  I like to think of it as putting my big toe in the waters of senior citizenship one holiday at a time.

  1. Drive to San Diego – 3 hours
  2. Dinner at Grandma’s house – Beef stew and a salad with dressing from Fresh and Easy
  3. Sleep on twin bed from 1963, feet hanging off the end
  4. Wake up with cramp in upper back
  5. Breakfast with the family, lunch with the family, dinner with a comedian (seriously)
  6. Sleep on another twin bed, also from 1963, also uncomfortable
  7. Wake up in agony
  8. Sneak breakfast – I don’t eat coffee cake
  9. Tour Balboa Park: treated to organ festival rehearsal and a comic book about God and venereal disease
  10. Grandma’s 4th of July Church picnic – the only people falling down here are over 75 and it’s because of a bad hip, not booze
  11. Avoid the fried chicken, potato salad, and cookies
  12. Fall asleep with my eyes open
  13. Drive over to Ocean Beach to watch the fireworks
  14. Attempt to not start throwing the remnants of a bean burrito at a mother and child sitting behind me on the beach.  The mother’s commentary about the fireworks amounts to such intellectual and insightful observations as “It looks like a bumblebee farted!” and “It looks like a leprechaun farted!”  The child has a bag of marshmallows and our group is pelted relentlessly.  When I turn around to tell them off I swiftly find this was perhaps a bad idea, as the next round of mallows were pre-chewed
  15. As the entire beach whips out bags of marshmallows for what is apparently a pre-planned prank that we are not in on, I fear that this will erupt into riots.  “This is what Kosovo must be like,” I think to myself.  And then I realize how spoiled I am to live in a country where my biggest fear is getting pelted in the face by a sugar pillow.  God bless America.
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Celebreality Bites: Vincent Gallo…Actor…Club Friend

“Hey Amber!  Doesn’t this guy look like Luke?”

The gentleman in question is to my right.  He has shaggy brown hair and an unkempt beard.  For better or worse, this reminds me of Luke, who fits a similar description.  I am saddled up to the bar at a bar called The Bar, not getting a drink because I don’t drink.  Amber’s red hair spills over her face as she gives an affirmative “Uh huh” and snickers gently into her drink.

I nudge the aforementioned doppelganger.  “Hey!  You look like my friend Luke!” I yell over the clatter of cheap drinks and a Gang of Four song being played for the 800th time this year.  He says something along the lines of thanks and he hopes this is a complementary statement.  I assure him that it is, he turns back to attend to his beverage, Amber and I leave soon after.

We open the door onto a dirty stretch of Sunset Boulevard.  The bar is sandwiched between a Mobile gas station and an old apartment building turned half-way house.  Toward the end of the night, the patrons of the bar and the occupants of the building would be on par in their stammering belligerence.  The difference between them being that the drunkenness was temporary for us, while the others existed in a permanent state of poverty induced perma-fry.

As soon as we’re breathing smokeless air, Amber grabs my arm.

“That was Vincent Gallo!”

“Who?”

“The guy who looks like Luke!”

“Who’s Vincent Gallo?”

Amber laughs.  She thinks it’s funny because I’m new to Hollywood and I don’t know who anyone is yet.  Celebrities, restaurateurs, overly friendly music managers.  Unless you’re Tom Cruise, you’re as much an unknown as the next schmuck.  The result is that I am unintentionally charming and carefree.  Social democracy is achieved for this brief moment in my history of interacting with such people.  I act like these people are regular humans because, well, I don’t know any better.  Los Angeles is like a village and we are all common folk, swapping stories about sick pigs and crop yields.  I quickly lose this naivete.

Later I do some research on Vinnie.  I make my TMZ discoveries:

  • Previously a Calvin Klein model back in the Kate Moss 1990s hay day
  • Independent writer and actor
  • Given an on-camera blow job by Chloe Sevigny in movie (Brown Bunny)

I am now fully abreast of this man’s life and famous quotes.  I am prepared for the official and informed Hollywood interaction.

The next time I see him is at Teddy’s, a club under the Roosevelt Hotel.  He was living in the hotel temporarily and I was practically living on the dance floor.  Needless to say, both of us where there far too often.  And, of course, as social protocol would have it – successful older man/ pretty young girl – we are introduced.  I do not tell him I met him a few years back and I do not remind him that he looks like my friend Luke.

Over the course of various Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night run-ins, Vincent and I established the familiarity that occurs when two people often share witty banter that involves talking about shoes and making jokes about the family dog.  It was amiable and superficial and all within common practice standards of “going out.”

My friends met Vincent, and they too became friendly.  I watched Karen play Hide-and-Go-Seek with him, dodging behind a gray cement piling with his grubby fedora on her little head.  I stood watching as he peered around the column like the “Where’s Johnny?!” scene in The Shining.  These were the moments I left my house for.

One day while walking down a New York street, I passed a newspaper stand.  There was Vinnie, staring out from a cover of Purple magazine, wearing a magenta dress and a black riding hat.  Naturally, I had his number in my phone, having been ordered  to exchange mine for his one night around 1:47 in the morning.  This is waht happens when a sleazy, vaguely famous nearly 50 year old celebrity thinks that all of the previously listed qualities will be enough to impress a 21 year old girl enough to bang her a few times until it gets boring (an often successful tactic), and when that same girl thinks that she can just keep this sort interesting famous man as a dear friend (always impossible).

Wanting to express the excitement and pride for my club friend’s magazine cover, I texted him a joke about the stylist stealing that hat from me before the shoot.  Maybe my bad humor didn’t quite translate.  What I received back was a rather scathing message telling me I was never to contact him ever again.  I felt as though I had been attacked by a rapid dog.  I was embarrassed.  My cheeks burned.  I thought it was rather unprovoked.  There were boys whom I had actually stalked who treated me with less disdain than this.  I couldn’t think of a response like “Fuck you, crazy asshole” so I just deleted his phone number and avoided him from that point forward.

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