When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Night Job; "And Who's THIS Little Minx?"

So I have no idea why I haven't mentioned my one jewel of a co-worker who I must absolutely call "Sexy Minx". Picture Drew Barrymore. Then give her an ample body, like a Boticelli cherub. Then give her the personality of ... I have no comparison. She is amazing. She's hilarious, to start with. And she flirts with me, no, truly and really, like there is no tomorrow. And this time, it isn't illusion (of which I hope that that other times aren't illusion either. But I'm growing suspect at how many people I think are flirting with me. Because possibly my sexually-repressed ass is just projecting ...). But for her, it's all a game. I know that too. She doesn't really want me, for she has a 5-mo old baby and a boyfriend who planted the seed, of whom she speaks about highly.

Yet she's crazy sexy cool. For instance, she'll be next to me while I'm making a drink for a female customer. I hand it off and I say "Thank you," all barista-style and confident and whatnot. And the female customer might blush or return the smile, as usual. Then Sexy Minx will croon, "Omigod, I can't even believe she's firting with you and I'm standing right here." And she says it huskily and with barely a whisper so that I alone can hear it. "I will scratch her eyes out."

Isn't that awesome?

Once I was in such adoration of her, I grabbed her by the hand, put my hand on her waist, and ballroomed her in a few circles before we got too much attention. She makes me feel that giddy. I LOVE working with her. That isn't apropos to the story of the evening, except that she saved me from blowing up the whole joint last night by just being there and being her sexy, minxy self.

For last night it became obvious that Scullery Maid is quite mad. As in bipolar. She asks over and over again what someone said, and then when she's shouted the answer she said, "Yell at me one more time," as though she is about to truly kick an ass. She started in on me, but I was too mystified and maybe a little scared of her to fight back. I could tell it would end in disaster. But now I don't trust her, much as I love her accent.

Snapper was in attendance as well, but he said he was 'out of it' and so not his usual snappy self. Because there were so many working at the same time last night, he didn't give me any further sordid details about his love life. (Remember Red wants to keep it on the low.) And apart from Scullery's imminent flip-out, I was brought a little low by Snapper's emerged libido anyway, so I wasn't firing on all pistons either. Plus there was no sign of Muslim Girl or Ghetto Fabulous. Possibly never again.

I did overhear Snapper telling Sexy Minx about how I moved to Muslim Girl last night when he tried to take her order. Apparently, at times, I go on the prowl! I guess this was when I asked her if she was studying with her friend and she supplied the details of her employment. What I'm realizing just now is that after Snapper dropped the bomb about his shaggerific life, I felt threatened. So I grew proactive with Muslim Girl because I sensed thought she might be into me, what with the changing tables and glancing my way a few times and whatnot

Still, she didn't show last night, so that moment might be gone forever.

Once someone told me that they didn't envy the male position of having to be the one who steps to the women. And in every single other situation, I don't envy it either. But when I tie that apron around me, and I'm handing off drinks to ladies who act as if I just gave them a rose from between my teeth, I can't help but feed off that. And so in that sense, I love being a guy. I love being the knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel from a dreary, chocolate-deprived night. Literally last night, I told a customer who asked if the Peppermint Mocha Frapp was any good --"I've never had any complaints after I've made one."

To which she said, "Then I want one, and I want you to make it."

And I said, "My pleasure."

Hell yeah, I said it.

And there were no complaints. :-) Quite the opposite. And yes, I love that moan they make. There's nothing like it.

I need to carry that over into the other arena. Snapper's arena, if you will. As so many of you have already pointed out, it's all about the attitude. The Just Do It-ness of the moment. I have to believe that I have a service that will make my chosen one happy.

And that I will gladly do, as soon as I believe it myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Night Job; Episode ? "Snapper Hands Our Hero A Reality Check"

Tonight Snapper joyfully informed me that he and Red are officially dating now. Before they were just hanging out and "kissing an' stuff." Which including getting high, getting drunk, getting whatevered.

So guess what constitutes dating? Yup, in my weeklong absence Snapper and Red did it. Shh, don't tell anyone. Snapper wants me to keep it on the low. Well actually, Red wants him to keep it on the low. But Snapper likes me alot, and he said he just feels so comfortable around me that he feels like he can talk to me. I get that a lot. Hence my professional license.

But what I don't get a lot of?

Doing it is such a phenomenon in my world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about SNAPPER. Hyperactive, loud-talking, lazy, a little slow Snapper.

Is getting some.

Snapper stepped to Red, hung out with Red, moved in on Red, got that lip, touched them thangs, and then did it with her. In the space of three weeks.


And no, the question isn't "What does he have that I don't?"

In fact, it isn't a question at all. It's a statement. A reality check, if you will. It goes to the tune of this; "I AM NOT AS HOT AS I F*CKING THINK I AM."

Or, I might be hot, but I'm not burning anything.

Snapper has not changed from the day I met him. He's a loopy kid who likes getting high and likes to try hard, but not too hard. And just by being himself, he did what I have spent about a novel's worth of words agonizing over. I mean, he just did it. This kid who could be my grandson just went ahead, without hang-ups, without fears, without inner condemnation, without philosophy and the existential unbearable lightness of being decidedly bullsh!t, just went ahead and did the damn thing.

I cannot hate on the boy for it. I truly can't.

But as for myself? I want to shatter every mirror. I don't want to see him in there grinning his gap-toothed grin, thinking he's all that with his fat cheeks, his manboobs, and his pot belly. Because he so is just not. I mean, what the hell is he doing with a counselor's license for God's sake? Who the hell is he going to counsel? Comicbook geeks who live in their parents' basement with posters of Napoleon Dynamite on their walls? Yeah. And even THEY are getting some.

Ugh, God I hate me so much at the moment.

Maybe I'm just torqued because Won't Go Away Girl stayed true to her name and STILL came in tonight, despite her verbal vomitus at the end of last night's shift. Lucy with the football, and there I was, all Charlie Browned-out, ready to give it a kick.

I got no Carmine Macchiato and I got no Bull with the Lyle Waggoner smile tonight either.

I did get another visit from Muslim Girl and Ghetto Fabulous, wherein I plied her with enough lyric to discover that she and her friend are schoolteachers. (Yup, I talked to her.) And while I'm hating on myself for underestimating Snapper and overestimating Me, the Raging Ego still decided that these two ladies came back to the cafe to do their lesson plans but also to check me out some more.

To quote Fleming & John,
I feel jealous and I feel mean"

Because I'm just oh so much man, baby! Gotta come and get some more Big Sexy Barista.

Big Feckin' Wanker is more like it.

However, Ghetto Fabulous, the cute NOT-Muslim one never did come up to the counter. Muslim Girl came every time. And but of course she did. Not to mention that they sat in an area where they could see me this time, and Muslim Girl was facing me. Because SHE'S the one who digs me. And what do I do? I make excuses, while Snapper shags Red rotten.


I want to end on a positive note, but I got nothin'.

Early Morning Edit: Okay, pity party's over. Please collect your parting gifts at the door and thank you for attending! In other words, I feel better now. No need to collect the consolations I was fishing for. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When We Last Left Our Hero At "My Night Job..."

... I've realized the name I must give the new English co-worker, hired a few weeks ago. She was raised in a small town in rural England and she very much telegraphed every bit of it. So, and I mean this with every bit of respect I can muster, I shall dub her "Scullery Maid". Because she's incredibly service-oriented, very socialable, and when she gets going, you could close your eyes and visions of Angela Lansbury on crack, scrubbing His Lordships floor with a toothbrush will go skuttling through your mind.

So last night, I worked with Baby Boy and Scullery Maid. Baby Boy likes me a lot. I think he admires me in some skewed white-boy way--emphasis on the "boy". You see, I've come to recognize a certain fog that certain white youth get about black people. I both love and hate these types of lads. (George's Son was one of them, and he was of the "I Hate" variety.) What happens is, they glorify the image of the Black Male. They imbue us with some kind of power, that I think back in the day caused their fathers to hunt us down and hang us. He seems to think I'm wise and that I'm good with women. When he talks to me, he leans in WAY too close, and waggles his head like Eminem in midverse. Both he and Snapper like to share their drug stories with me, instantly including me in their "smooking's kool" club. As though every black male knows where to score. Yoyoyoyoyoyo-yo BOYYYYYYYYYYY! I mean, hey. I only know where to score by accident. I wasn't looking. They just came up to me and offered. Twice. On different days.

I guess Baby Boy looks at me with a filter the same way I look at a white dude in a suit and think "Money."

It's all love.

Anyway, The Bull came in last night (on a Monday. Unusual.) And I shared my teeth-pulling woes with him as I fixed his drink. I don't usually give my personal business out, but it's The Bull! I want to know more about him. And so, I did! I gave him the right line for him to tell me more about himself. Such as the fact that he doesn't eat a lot of sweets because he was a hyper child and his parents (aha! So there were two parents!) gave him only fruit to eat. I told him that I wished they had raised me. And then I told him that he had a great set of teeth. At which he flashed them. You know who he smiles like?

The Bull could be Lyle Waggoner's twentysomething, if not thirtysomething, bald, hyperactive, weightlifting son. Wouldn't you go gay for him? So we progressed a little further in our relationship. lol! Thing is, and seriously, he is jumpy. Seems socially awkward. He's not as silvertongued as I am.

I know! The nerve of me! I'm telling you, I am a Sexy Beast when I'm in my apron. I'm amazingly confident! If I were on the other side of the counter, I know I'd be about as stumbly as he is. But not that stumbly. I mean, I only need a little encouragement and my with sharpens. How I write actually is how I speak. You can ask Childhood Bud. So ... it makes me wonder if The Bull has a sense of humor at all. I haven't made him laugh yet, and in return, he hasn't said anything funny either. Despite the fact that he's fun to look at, I just don't think we'd make a good pair of friends. My heart goes out to you, ladies. I've heard several horror stories about you hooking up with this kind of guy, and how torturous it could be to try to make it work just because he ________________ (has a great job, is so good-looking, has a really kind heart, etc).

In other news, Carmine Macchiato came in solo last night, and he ordered .. A CARAMEL MACCHIATO!!! I LOVE Carmine Macchiato!! He too is a little awkward. While he's waiting for his drinks, he tends to fidget a little and he even murmurs -- or at least his lips fidget, as if he's about to join the conversation that I might be having with another employee or another customer. You know what I mean? When someone on the side is paying attention to you and your convo, and they might chuckle when someone in your cypher gives a witticism? But Carmine doesn't seem to know when to jump in. I mean, I've given him plenty of ins, or I'll throw him a question while he's waiting, but it doesn't go further. He's paying attention, but he doesn't commit. He's like someone right at the edge of the spinning double-dutch ropes who never jumps. And here I shall quote Sheena Easton,
"But when he shines, oh when he shines
Yes when he shines, he shines so bright"

And that time is when he is with Lady Macchiato. He never seems to be awkward or hesitant with her. He makes her laugh. He brings her drinks. He takes care of her. And you can see that she appreciates him. And that he's comfortable with her. She gets him.

Oh. That's what you guys are talking about. Yeah. That is nice.

I had to suppress a whoop of joy while handing Won't Go Away Girl her drink late in the evening, because she supplied the unsolicited fact that she wouldn't be coming in tonight (She's like the Anti-Carmine While Carmine won't jump rope, WGAG will snatch the ropes from the turner and try to do it herself.) She also began going into detail about the reasons why she was skipping a night, but by then the Hallelujah Chorus was cascading in the background and I couldn't hear another word she was saying. I batted away the tear of joy trickling out of the corner of my eye and bid her a safe night.

A maiden wearing Muslim headkerchiefs flirted with me last night, as well. It made me want to give her the Toffee Bar with a "Asalaam Alekhem, My Queen" but I'm not trying to worship Muhammed. (No offense, Childhood Bud II!!). She had a tablemate who had come to get a drink and snack before her, and THAT one wore no rag. Her 'do, in fact, was ghetto fabulous. She started out with an attitude, but but the time she left with drink and snack on tray, she was smiling. Yes, my barista-fu is THAT good.

Drawing back a little from my narrative, I have to shake my head in amazement. I actually mean what I'm writing. I was/am this guy. As sure as I am that I'm a good therapist when in the moment, I actually become possessed with the spirit of some kind of lounge lizard. No woman is too much to handle, and no guy is too hetero.

If I'm going to pick up a date, it's going to be from behind that barista machine! I swear, I think that's the truth! I actually think that the customers see me the way I need to be seen -- which in turn transforms me into the person I need to be! Which is why I have not quit yet! And which must also be why there are actual books about being a barista and "The Starbucks Experience." There's something going on in the coffeehouses across the world!


I wonder what tonight holds for Our Hero?

Well if I don't stop pounding this keyboard, I'll never know...I have 7 mins. to punch in, and I haven't even changed my clothes yet!

Catch yous lata' !

Monday, November 26, 2007

These Dreams ...

... are about to drive me up a wall.

WHY did I dream about Day Girl last night? I should have known something was up when it started in my office, which had a big picture window and was beige, and had a couch. Exactly what my office does not have.

Day Girl came into the office looking like she stepped out of a fashion magazine. She had makeup on and contacts, instead of her regular glasses. She ushered in her small son and they had a seat on my couch. Before I had a chance to ask her if she had received any of my notes, she told her son to "Say hello to Alan, honey! He's going to be your new Daddy!" And as I studied this child who was going to be installed into my life, I began to notice the telltale signs of developmental disability. That's when she took out the pamphlets and literature about autism and how there's new treatment for hopeful moms ...

And there I sat thinking, "Well, yeah. This is about normal. Most women my age are single parents with as many, if not more issues than I do. I might as well get used to that. In fact, I might as well just go ahead and take the offer, because ..."

And I couldn't fully form the "because ..." I didn't know why I thought I should. (Mind you, I don't know if the real Day Girl has any kids at all, healthy or otherwise). It just didn't feel like I had any other options. Or that I ever would have any. In my most confident moods, the world seems spread at my feet. But like in the dream, reality seems a lot less optimistic.

Lara, I am content. Too content. I don't mean to stir it up just to keep the drama going, but honestly my happiness keeps me isolated. These are the times when I suspect that I'm somewhere on the autism spectrum. Four days passed with me having my head buried in my laptop screen and earphones plugged into my ears, happy as a pig in poop. Not even motivated enough to make a new friend with an open, friendly, FELLOW WRITER WHO LIVES IN MY FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD, not twelve inches away from my nose.

The plusses of happiness is ... well, it feels good. The minuses are that I'm in my forties and alone. Double-edged sword. What do I want more? Happy alone contentment, or the challenges of navigating a relationship? The ups and downs of the ill-thought comment, the apologies, the regret of being imperfect, the one spot I can't reach, the one pain I can't manage to heal for her, the desperation, the interdependency, the responsibility ...

Can I hear a little more from you guys who are in relationships? Tell me about your good times with your Significant Others. And for those who are not in a relationship at the moment--can you tell me what it is about being with someone else that you miss? And I guess "sex" is the obvious answer, but we all know that you don't need someone else in order to have an orgasm -- so can you be specific? Wax poetic, even.

I need some motivation to come back out of my shell. It slipped back around me without my even noticing. :-/

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tidings Of Comfort And Soy

Thankful that the only drama I dealt with this holiday is this one.

My best friend is having marital troubles. He didn't sound like it was a dealbreaker, but almost anything can be these days. And honestly, if his wife doesn't get some conscious control over her homesickness -- it really could be. I often marvel at the way couples can weather storms, and somehow I feel the same hope for their situation--but I'm not going to get caught out there emotionally. If they do split up, I'll be ready for it.

Needless to say, I didn't want to go to his house for Thanksgiving. I also didn't want to go two hours north to Childhood Bud's rustic place, because that also means two hours back the city. And that would have been the entire day that I didn't get to work on the audio. Childhood bro, you know I love you like cooked food, but I needed a vacation fo' real these last four days. And there's very little that satisfies than the solitary company I share when I make the audio.

So that's what I've been doing over the holiday. Perversely, my internet went out in the apartment, so I had to hit the streets and locate B&Ns and Starbucks in order to surf. Right now, I'm in a Starb's on Broadway in My Favorite Neighborhood (one block North of the Beacon Theater, if you want to pop in and say "Hi," hurry! LOL) I had to walk a half mile to find one with a chair near an outlet, and it happened to be available across a bald writer-guy about my age. When I first inquired, he was very open and friendly. We could have had great conversation and I could've made a new friend. But ... well ... I mean, he bit his nails. Nervous people make me nervous.

Here's hoping you guys had a drama-free Thanksgiving as well. (Those holiday movies? About the families getting together and having all sorts of heartwringing traumas? No. Thank You. It only looks fun in the movies.)

So yeah, I was alone, but it was willingly, I promise. And now, overhead is playing the selection of songs that used to play back when I worked at the Starb's near Washington Square Park. Oh, how music can rekindle. Good times!

Hope you're feeling as sweet as I am right now. Feliz Navidad! :-))

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Television's Best Kept Secret ...

... well to me anyway. I mean, did anyone know that Mandy Moore played herself as the girlfriend of Entourage's Vincent Chase back in the early days of the show? I had watched some of the latest season before I took My Night Job and found it to be a fun romp through LA and the Hollywood scene. I liked the boys and the natural way they acted. But last night they were rerunning the early season shows and I watched because -- well, I get to sleep at 2 AM these days on the regular. So cable TV is my friend at times. And at other times, bitter enemy. And I had no idea that little miss cutsie had a slice of the adult pie that is Entourage.

That bit of trivia was brought to you by the letter M and V, and by the number 1, as in the loneliest number that you'll ever do.

That last bit was for effect. I had a very satisfying New York Saturday even though I was alone. I went to follow the BBQ suggestion of my new acquaintance (downgraded from friend because I tried to solicit an invite to go to this BBQ place with him and he did not respond. I'm not offended, truly, because hey -- I'm just a listener to his podcast who lives in the same city that he does. Why should that make us dinner buddies?) The place is called Hill Country. I instantly thought of Pinknest when I paid. It was a $27.19 combo platter of smoky meats. Chicken, Pork, and Beef, plus two sides and a good-sized drink. I took the food to Madison Square Park, which I believe is going to be prominently featured in the upcoming movie "I Am Legend" with Will Smith. The squirrels in that little park and not aptly named. They don't "squirrel" at all. They are more like aggressive cats. One ran right up the back of my bench and snatched my coat shoulder with its forepaws, about to walk across me to get to my food. I cussed him or her out real good and that seemed to discourage it. Then an old man came by to feed them walnuts. I'm happy to say we didn't get devoured in the feeding frenzy that ensued.

I ate half my food (that'd make it a $13 lunch), traveled south for about 15 blocks, and successfully entered Sing Sing Karaoke on St. Mark's Place -- FINALLY! Except, I took a booth and was alone. It was 4:30 and the bar scene didn't start until 9, but at 7 they would start charging $20 an hour for the booth, so there was no way I was staying that long and paying that much. But it did revitalize me in all sorts of ways. It reminded me that I love to sing and that I'm good at it. When I'm alone. :)

According to the start of the lyrics screen, which displays the key in which the song expects you to sing in, I'm capable of sustaining the key of F and A. Those are songs like "Love" by Musiq, "I Can't Tell You Why" by the Eagles, "True Colors" ala Phil Collins, and womens songs like "No One" by Alicia Keys and "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield (although that was QUITE a stretch. Its' like opera as far as my throat was concerned).

I sang for two hours, and then took it to the streets with 4 songs from Keyshia Cole's new album on my .mp3 player as I journeyed across avenues 4th and 5th. I felt confident and content enough to sing as I walked. But of course, the songs I saved on my player are her ballads, not her R&B rappy pop tunes. This one, "I Remember" is currently my favorite. Sad songs are still my favorite types. It's what I know -- what can I say?

Then I reached the B&N in Chelsea on 6th to finish my Hill Country (making it a lukewarm, $14 dinner) and read this amazingly gorgeous graphic novel.

This is just one page out of a 12-issue series which took 3 graphic novels to contain. Every page is painted like this. It's called "Justice" by Alex Ross, and he is a comics' god. What I love most about Ross is that he paints superheroes to look they way they would if people really wore superhero outfits. He paints textures and fabric wrinkles and lighting highlights. So his projects are a dream to read. They are second only to looking at the superhero maquettes, such as this little gem;
See how colorful and realistic it looks? Would it have killed Bryan Singer to bring that to life on Hugh Jackman's back?

But that's okay, because I'm a friend of this guy, and he's real!

So that's alright then!

So, Grizz, you see, this is the kind of guy I am when I'm not in an active search for Mrs. Redeemable. Given my hobbies and my work, I have no other idea on what more there is to do. Even my hobbies keep me introverted. Reading, booth-singing, even Dungeons & Dragons, where I'm not myself at all, but a character from a fantasy world. It's so much fun when I'm doing it, then I stop and I turn around, and here I am.

So we'll see how it goes, Karma. Me and fate have a love/hate relationship. I don't tend to believe in it because I can't quantify what it actually is supposed to be. What conspires to create circumstances? Is it an intelligence? And if so, isn't it God? And if God, does He still even like me anymore? I'm way off the beaten path of faith, as MyFriendTheDoctor pointed out a few days ago. Which is why I too relate to Thomas Convenant. My first reaction so often feels like "Leper! Outcast! Unclean!" whenever a social situation opens up. I've done real good in the last month avoiding that reaction --but if I stop trying, that's what I'll go back to.

Sunshine, I'll take more than just a word of prayer. If you could, ask some of your fellow parishoners to send up some anonymous mentions for me. Just a simple "and oh by the way, there's this guy that Sunshine reads who wants to get back to You -- would you give him a helping hand?" God knows how to fill in the rest of the details. :-)

Meanwhile, I thought of Match.com too, Mike. Tried them out maybe a half a year back. Took a nibble or two but was not reeled in, although now I have a much better picture to use. It's amazing how much you guys have in common -- doesn't seem like you even needed Match! Now that I'm in NYC, and not living in a guy's basement, I think I'd have a better shot. So yeah, I'll revisit that. Thanks.

Meanwhile, on I go! Thanks for hanging in there with me, everybody! Seriously. You help me feel still attached to the human race. And that too is alright then. :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Internetters Beware

Here's another case of misleading profiles, only this one didn't end as a happy lesson learned.

I think that's the double-edged sword of internet friendships and blogging. For people like me who are guarded and have our social challenges, the internet is a perfect place to disclose ourselves and search for the acceptance we can't seem to manage with face-to-face humans. When we are given the time and ability to type clear and thought-out sentences, we can say what we really want to say without a stumbling tongue or a seizure of adrenaline turning our words into rubbish. Notably, I have felt able to pay compliments to men writers/bloggers that I never could have been able to say aloud, for fear of implosion. (You know our society frowns on open affection between guys! We can only get away with punching each other, doing a tribal series of handshakes, or slapping each other on the butts while wearing matching uniforms.)

But my "disability" also make me vulnerable to devastating rejection, and the poor girl in the above story was not old enough or stable enough to handle it when a reader or commentor turned out to be cruel and a liar. It isn't a legal crime to perpetrate that kind of deception, but it is an egregious lack of integrity and ethic, not to mention irresponsible and callous in the extreme. This is why there's religion. You want to believe that someone somewhere is going to punish that kind of human depravity where human law fails.

Or maybe I'm just in a bad mood.

Day Girl has not responded to my two attempts to have her call me. Again, she could be the shy one, except that doesn't bear out when I consider how many times she popped into my office to say hello. Maybe she hates talking on the phone as much as I used to. Maybe she's married and just wanted me to give her a quickie on my desk.

Who knows.

But I'm glad to report that the failure to connect to either Day Girl or New Employee has not turned off my "head"lights. I don't feel worse off for trying. I feel accomplished that I am trying, in fact. It feels better knowing that I'm stepping up to the plate rather than sitting on the bench, too petrified to take a hold of the bat. And as long as I am still in the game, I might as well stay prepared for more pitches. (Check out my sports-fu, Scott! :-D )

I got this far, why not keep going?

So outside of the workplace, what other suggestions can I get for where I might find the Future Mrs. Redeemable Life?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Susan Ashton Said ...

..."Here is how love was to me,
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowing what they mean.

And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If it wasn't for your touch."

I've quoted those lyrics before. It's from "You Move Me"

It's the hopeful me that brings those lyrics up. Scared is so weak and puny. I hate it. I want to do like you, Mike, and buy a rose, and get me a girl. I want to bed and breakfast her, I want her to wear Victoria's Secret for me. I want to be like you, Scott, and ... well, just be like you.

Yesterday, after I blogged, I went to Jersey and did not go to the gym. Just didn't want to. So I went to one of the eighty-eleven malls in Jersey and chucked my diet for a Mrs. Fields brownie (all week I've had to eat "soft foods" so with that came cheesecake and lemon merangue and hot dogs. So no diet last week -- or yesterday). And I went into a Borders and was attracted by the cover to a comic strip collection of For Better or For Worse. This has been a soap opera of comic proportions over the years, found in your local paper. For instance, this strip;

is of the main character Elly Patterson, and her son Michael, who according to the dialogue, is 5 years old. But in the latest strip, Michael is a married, professional author with two kids of his own. So time passes with that family, which is both awesome and awful.

Awesome because it's a unique approach, and awful because I get to watch cartoon characters live a better life than I do. Maybe that, in part, contributed to the fact that I sat in the Borders, reading about Grandpa Jim's stroke, and mopped away tears. Somehow I pulled it together (the healing power of chocolate brownies) and went to the Night Job.

Won't Go Away Girl was holding full court, visiting people at their tables. Baby Boy revealed that he is on probation for getting caught with The Chief in his car (so now I know why Snapper and he are such great friends outside of work). The Bull acknowledged me from his perch as I came to work with a macho nod of his well-shaped head, having arrived early I suspect because the school he mentioned that he attends was not in session on Veteran's Day.

But the highlight was that Carmine Macchiato came in with Lady Macchiato -- and between them was Young Macchiato!!!!! I cannot tell if the boy was his, or if Lady Macchiato had a child by another white guy, but the boy was a young blend of dark and light and they looked perfect together. Perfect like the comic strip Pattersons.

Just perfect.

So I took my phones on break and found out Day Girl's schedule from her co-workers. She is working right now in fact, and will be off at 4:00pm.

My challenge is to find a rose before then and get it to the group home.

My first stop is the therapist's.

It's like skydiving.

My mouth is dry.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sidebars ... And Then Not

First of all--only in New York. This news article makes me despair of the human race, sometimes, I do declare. That's just too ridiculous to contemplate. This is why some countries absolutely hate America.

Secondly, last night at My Night Job, I made a startling discovery. Snapper is a junkie. Not the needles & tie-off-a-vein version, but a suburban, self-medicating bored white kid stoner-with-short-hair version. The longer I work with him, the more he spills. So last night he reveals that he and his friend get high every night. What he doesn't know is that the systematic death of his brain cells is no mystery to anyone else but him. Remember I said he was slow? Now we know why. The other revelation that he disclosed last night is that he is kickin' it with Red (the fellow employee who I only mentioned once because she's harmless. And, apparently, into getting stoned and flirting around with Snapper in his basement mano a mano).

People are hooking up around me like it's the mating special on the Animal Channel. A few other weeks ago, I watched Baby Boy get a girl's digits while he took her order. He was very smooth and I had to give him his props after she left. And he confessed that he already had her digits, but he wanted to have a reason to talk to her some more.

Then in my Friday night D&D group, the geeks are getting their mack on as well! The DM brings his girlfriend to the game because she enjoys the game and knows the rules. But she's hot as a Victoria's Secret model. I isht you not. She works at a cosmetics counter in THE biggest department store in NYC. Then another feller in the group, who I've gamed with in another group a few years ago, got married to his live-in girlfriend two weeks ago. And lately, another in the group has started bringing his girlfriend to the meetings. She's new to his life, and she's a cute waifish little blonde who doesn't play D&D but digs him enough to hang out while we play -- for HOURS. Now that's some love right there. (Or desperation).

So that brings me to my sitch.

All your comments on what I should do with Day Girl are spot on. If I had a client with the same questions, I would have said the same things. But it wasn't a test of your counseling skills, I promise. It's just a totally different thing between my head and heart.

What I know is right doesn't always translate to my emotions. See, Worst-Case Scenario Man (my inner demon) doesn't pester me about other people's problems--only my own. What looks like shyness inside of me is actually terrification(TM). A litany of Worst-Case Scenarios pour through me like ticker tape. "What if this, what if that, what if the other ..." and on and on and every answer to every question equates to disaster. Life-changing results to insure misery and torture for the rest of my meager existence on the planet. And when the Worst Cases are flowing through, they come with this paralyzing nerve agent that locks up my tongue. You've seen this in movies and television shows, I'm sure. I'm here to verify for you ... it's real.

Having said all that, I am going to ask Day Girl out. I will get her telephone # from her sister, who she revealed works at one of the sites I go to regularly. She also lives in a nearby New Jersey city which has a transportation line directly to NYC. I plan to ask her to dinner and a movie in NYC, because that's where I shine.

And then I think I'll probably need to blog like an absolute fiend.

The "what ifs" are starting ...

I'm going to schedule an emergency meeting with my therapist ...

... and with all of you, of course ...


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Rubber To The Road

I've mentioned this girl very briefly in the past ... and that in passing. She works at my day job, but just today I've discovered that she only does part time here, as a direct care worker. Her full time job is as a computer operator elsewhere.

I discovered this because she strolled into my office and conversated with me as she has done in the past. And she has done so in the past because ... well, because she likes me. Apparently.

And me? I think she's button cute, but not roaring sexy. She doesn't do what The New Employee at my Night Job does to me. Which, in fact, last night, I caught The New Employee in her own section and queried enough about new music that she spoke to me. And then too, my lunch coincidened with her break so I got to walk with her to the timeclock and back. I exploited the chance to strike up all sorts of conversation, but nothing significant passed between us. I couldn't seem to ignite a spark.

And that's what the Day Girl and I have been sporadically having. I can tell that Day Girl likes me, and it makes me feel extremely good--but I haven't even brought her up as often as I could have because ... well, because she doesn't light my spark.

My last girlfriend was the only girl I've known who was hot and who approached me. All my other ladies, who also approached me--or at least made it clear that they wanted me to approach them--were like Day Girl. Sweet, gentle, and spunky enough to step to me. Clearly finding something in me that they like, and being bold enough to come and get some. I admire that so much that I cannot turn them away. Not only that, but given this specific opportunity, I think about what those qualities would mean in a partner. Someone who is assertive enough to approach the object of her desire, but gentle enough not to be scary.

So I was about two syllables away from asking Day Girl out -- not more than an hour ago, as of this writing. But I did not. I went as far as to ask when her days off were (although it was not related to anything we were talking about), and when she was a little flustered and trying to nail down her floating schedule, I let her off the hook by telling her that "We'll find a way to bump into each other outside of these jobs," in a non-suggestive manner.

My question -- what am I doing?

Is it acceptable to date someone who doesn't rock your socks? Should I just enjoy the moment and the attention, or hold out for fireworks? Am I setting her up for a heartbreak? Am I just being selfish?

I have some of my own answers, but I need to hear more than just my opinion. The rubber's about to meet the road if she comes back and approaches me again.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Newly Opened Real Estate Now Available ...


I had six teeth pulled today. SIX!!!!!!!

I only expected it to be four, because of what I could count with my tongue. They were the roots of dead teeth, long broken off and bygone. Their jagged points littered the landscape of my gums like picket fences on a beach. Mostly, they were molars, so they weren't visible when I smile. But I always felt them, and when I chewed meat or the like ... well you don't really want to hear how a good five minutes of chewing on that wreckage would change the landscape for the worse. But Mr. Dentist also decided that the well-submerged roots on the opposite side of my mouth should go, as well as the one capped survivor standing tall in the midst of the debris. Poor little fella.

The peril of having those teeth staying in my head was twofold. One, they were rotting. There's no telling how much poison my liver has had to filter over the years thanks to those teeth.

And Two, I was never able to develop a good kissing style. All I've ever done was mash lips because I didn't want her to probe in and feel the disgusting wreckage behind my smile. No lie. I was ashamed of those things. Horribly. I didn't want my own tongue to run across them, let alone anyone else's.

But they're gone now. Come on in! The water's fine! :D

One Percocet, two Motrin, a near-puke-up on the 1 train from the queasies, an overpriced soup, and a Jamba Juice smoothie later, and I'm on top of the world! I honestly feel no pain right now. I'll need to be fitted for partial dentures after these stitches come out, since dental implants are way too expensive even with my insurance, and I'm not keen on adding an additional payment to the cost of my living.

But I'm looking forward to tucking into a ribeye with abandon.

And other things. ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One More Snap of Me ...

...enjoying the attention of the woman I absolutely adored during the meeting of new friends. She is the wife portion of the visiting couple, and her accent was so posh and lovely that I'm typing with her voice narrating the words in my head even now.

She is English, but she lives in Wales with her Welsh husband, the other half of the couple. He was a big randy bloke who said the most wonderfully foul curse words, and so did she when she got rolling. But they said them in their Welsh and English accents respectively, so it sounded so sophisticated.

I just have a fetish for the English, apparently, considering how I hung on their every utterance, and she was amazing with hers. She was very Jennifer Saunders in AbFab with her sense of humor and energy, and happily, she liked me well enough too.

So that's alright then!

And now for your viewing pleasure ... Absolutely Fabulous sweeties darling sweeties!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

This Creative Life

Here, I finally uploaded the pics I took in the daytime with my new toy, before I took the mirror pics of myself.


Friday, November 2, 2007

The Wallflower

Tuesday night out in Manhattan. I did more than stand off by myself as the night went on, but there were enough outgoing partyfolk there to allow me to hide every once in while. And thus the snap.

These last two pics of me are done by a guy named Mike in this group of folks and he has a blog that has more than just me-pics, but I'm not going to post his link because I'm not ready to have him trace it back to me and this blog. I'm not ready to share it with them. I may never do.

Here's the deal, these new friends are from my Geek Life. In my Geek Life, I don't have to have drama. Geek Life is an escape from my issues. It's superheroes and fantasy and fun. For instance, I don't want to have a deep-reaching conversation with the gay guys in this geek clique the way I've had with Coaster Punchman (Mike, the picture-taker, is one of the more outspoken gay folk in this group.) I'm not ready to explore that level of relationship with people I've just met. And too, there's a part of me that thinks I might be attractive to one or more of these guys and I don't want them to think they might have a shot after reading my sexuality explorations here inblog.

I know that sounds conceited in the extreme, but I'm a guy. I know how we think. Yes ladies, if you have a platonic relationship with a dude, he is scheming to get in them pants eventually. Trust me on this.

So on that note, last night at work, I had a little conversation with The Bull as I handed off his drink to him. We are on more of a social level now, having advanced beyond the chasing-me-into-the-bathroom stage (lol). Whether you folk know this or not, Greenwich Village in NYC has a big Hallowe'en parade each year which is akin to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, except it is gay-centric. Lots of drag, lots of bondage, lots of skin goes on display all day and night. Oddly enough, if I had not known this on my own, I would have learned it from Snapper, who went last year and was eager to go again a few nights ago afterwork. No, Snapper isn't gay, he's just slow. He saw boobs last year at the parade and that's what he thought he might see again this year. Luckily a friend of his texted him during this year's parade to let him know that it "sucked", so Snapper never went. That friend probably saw one too many drag queens and not enough real.


Last night The Bull asked me how I was doing, and I let him in a little bit to the fact that I had a rotten day before I had come to work. (The which is a story in itself that I don't even want to go into at the moment. It involves the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, $12 worth of subway rides chasing down paperwork, and nothing resolved by the time I was done, SIX HOURS LATER--uccckkkhh--!)

Anyway, after I alluded to this day of mine, The Bull chimed in with how little sleep he had gotten and how he was illing as well because the night before, he had gone down to The Village to watch the Hallowe'en parade! Now, I was ready to take that as a clear and present signal of his sexuality--so much that I couldn't hide the surprise, and a little fear, on my face. (Fear because if he was telegraphing that he was gay, it was for a clear purpose--and man or woman, relationships scare me). My expression caused him to quickly say, "I've never been there before but I wanted to see what it was all about...!" If it weren't for the fact that Snapper had gone last year, I would have believed The Bull was just covering up as a reaction to my face.

But let me tell you something. My day had been so rotten yesterday that when The Bull paid me some (more) attention, and was possibly trying to find out if I was interested in him too ... dang it ... I suddenly wanted to be.

Because the whole dance I have to do with girls to get their attention, ie, run the risk of rejection, say the right thing, navigate the male/female obstacle course--I was in no mood for it. I just wanted someone I could dig, who also clearly dug me. Straight, no chaser, let's just get this thang done! That was what it felt like I was getting from The Bull. (Except of course, all the cloak-and-dagger he had to perform in order to probe my sexuality without exposing his first.)

But with a simple combination of the right vowels and consonants, I felt like I could have torn down the curtain and woken up in The Bull's bed this morning. Next to his nasty flip-flopped feet.


I'm SO not gay.

So yeah, anyway, I don't need my new friends knowing all this mess about me.