Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"You are the best thing ever, you should add that to your resume or put it on a business card."

Ms. K has decided that I'm awesome and a half. Was I lacking in awesomeness before? Or had I managed to supersede the awesomeness barrier? What caused this sudden uptick in affection?

When you put it like that, you make it sound like awesome is an insult. I don't know, it isn't that I didn't think you were awesome and a half before, but every time I see you, I like you more and I add to my personal list of reasons that you're the best thing ever. So I decided that you were awesome and a half :)

I have to admit that having my awesomeness praised by a ladyfriend is a new thing for me. Not that I ever doubted my stunning qualities (okay, I might have been a little down on myself at times), but these attributes have been grossly overlooked in the past. I mean, much to Ms. K's sputtering disbelief, I was once single for 3.5 years. And when I say single I mean nothing. Nada. No making out with hot girls and certainly no naked time with hot girls. When that period of forced celibacy was over, the parade of women I dated was middling. Mediocre. Emotionally retarded! Oh how I sighed. The people I even dated previous to my long stretch of celibacy weren't exactly prize winners either. And they certainly never thought I was awesome and a half. Or even awesome.

The point is that unfortunately this means that I have been conditioned to think that dating = awful. That if someone likes me there must be something wrong with them. It's a bleak outlook that I'm slowly overcoming with Ms. K. Thankfully she doesn't think I'm a sped with my whole guarded, mixed signal, cold in the streets routine. In fact she thinks I'm awesome and a half.

So here's my rhetorical question of the day:

WTF?! Why has it taken so long for awesome people to recognize that I am awesome? I'm 28 years old for Chrissakes!

"I was an invisible witness to this scene."

My dream started off with three men, one of whom was slowly sinking into an leaf filled ornamental pond, blood flowing from a bullet hole to his head that formed a ragged circle of dark against pale skin. The other two men, dressed in 1970s tweeds with hats on their heads against the fog and damp, seemed like a pair of unlikely assassins. Older in age, they looked shocked by their barbarism and while one held the murder weapon, nonplussed, the other reached into the pond as if to save the man, to change the unchangable. But he was dead before he even reached the water.

I was an invisible witness to this scene. I made no judgments about these two men and their killing. I was aware of certain things, such as that I was in the past -- 1970s Germany to be exact -- evidenced not just by the clothing of the men but by the cars visible from below the park's elevated perch. The damp autumn air was heavy with mist and the clouds hung low at this altitude.

Floating away, I had no control over my movements as I descended down the slope towards a line of houses below. One in particular drew me like a magnet, a two story home made of white stucco with a low dark roof with a paved area to the side large enough for a car or two to pull into. Inside the house I came to inhabit the body of a 13 year old German boy -- except it was my conscious inside of him. The transition into his body was jarring, especially when his older brother came into the kitchen and asked me something in German.

Once upon a time, having studied the language for four years in high school, I used to be reasonably fluent in German. But since forgetting most of it, my understanding of his question was spotty and my response barely passing. I panicked and squeaked something in both German and English.

The brother, Matthias I think was his name, was warm and forgiving. I immediately liked him and wished he was my real brother. He seemed to have a genuine familial concern as he gathered me in his room to make sure I was okay because I was acting strange. Then the scene shifted to the outside again where I watched the father of the boys pull his dark blue colored car to the side of the stucco house. That's when I woke up never knowing what sort of connection there was between the 13 year old boy and the murder of a man.

The other night I dreamt I won Top Chef.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Am I an awful person?"

I have a secret. Or maybe it's a confession, a confession that feels like a betrayal of my two X chromosomes, a bazillion years of genetic selection, and a good amount of cultural programming. If I was feeling particularly crafty, I'd confess it a la PostSecret. But instead this blog will do.

I feel righteously smug when I see a woman gush about her kids and husband. I want to mock her for being a stupid breeder.

Am I an awful person? Am I wrong that there's a part of me deep down inside that feels smarter and more superior for having escaped the trap of heteronormality? That I am repulsed -- repulsed! -- when a woman says that the most important thing she has done in life was have kids. Or maybe just thankful that I wasn't born fifty or even a hundred years previous where I would have had to accept the only role that society allowed for me?

It's true. I'm not the most maternal person. When I was a teenager, no one really asked me to babysit, and when I was growing up I never had any burning desire to get married and have children -- and I always felt a little broken for not wanting to do so.

Maybe that's my real secret?

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Rarely is a person so pro-active, conscious, and good humored about bringing a healthy partner into their life."

The death of OFAG came not too long before Ms. K.

I'm not sure of its final moments, but they quietly arrived sometime in June when I was pushing myself out again into the dating world. Although my actions hinted otherwise, I was realizing that my motivations for starting OFAG had drastically changed. For the first time in my adult life I was okay with being single.

Who knew that such an outward push would ultimately turn inward? That the path of OFAG, ironically, would lead to such an epiphany? And who knew that it would inspire people?

"Rouge, dear, OFAG was nothing short of an inspiration. For those of us in the latter part of our twenties (and beyond) it is all too tempting to trust that our perfect mate will miraculously appear out of thin air. Rarely is a person so pro-active, conscious, and good humored about bringing a healthy partner into their life."

All along I've felt that OFAG would lend itself neatly to book form, but even as I got out there and experienced one disappointment after another I never quite knew how OFAG would end. Surely it wouldn't be as clean cut or saccharine as me and a long sought after fantasy girlfriend skipping happily through the streets of New York. No, I sensed its ending would be more complex, yet still convey that satisfying feeling of finality.

The death of OFAG was notable for the way in which it did not die -- not by antipathy or by cliché. Though terribly tempted at times, I did not give up in frustration, and I should feel a special sense of accomplishment for not having shacked up with someone after the second date.

Maybe OFAG had to die in order for me to actually meet a girl who wanted to date me longer than four seconds? What is it that they say about meeting someone? That it never happens when you're actually looking? Or maybe it wouldn't happen till I knew what it was that made a healthy partner?

So now that OFAG is over where does that leave me? Well I've been seeing someone, Ms. K, for the past couple of months, who is notable because she has distinguished herself from every crappy girl I've dated in the past. But I'm trying not to over think things. I'm just trying to be, yet still remember all my hard earned lessons. Take things slooooooow, Sinclair said to me today. Wise words indeed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"This isn't even half over and I've already been psychologically damaged."

This is a story of an iPhone named Alice, an iPhone that belongs to Ms. K, and how through a series of twists and turns I narrowly avoided the soul searing image of watching live geriatric sex.

I'll allow you a moment to compose yourself. It's a wondrous story.

Alice the iPhone has a mischievous streak, a prankster spirit exhibited in her ability to dial people that Ms. K doesn't want to talk to and mis-send people texts that are meant for others. Sometimes her pranks are innocuous -- such as the time that Alice sent me a text meant for Ms. K's friend -- but other times Alice sows discord with glee -- such as the time I received a text that I thought was Ms. K lamely brushing me off. The confusion was later cleared up with it was revealed that the text was not meant for me.

Alice is a bad iPhone.

When I got a series of jumbled texts last Sunday, they were clearly not meant for me.

"I forget it's either Tues or Weds. It's an actual demonstration. I'm not sure why he wants to go. Strapless strap-on meaning like a feeldoe or some such"

"Yeah, it's included in the price. I actually have a couple of them. Goodtimes especially coupled with the g-spot gel, but they require some flexibility"

"rious Kegel strength. But if he's paying, whatever. I'm intrigued as to what is actually going to be demonstrated."

I texted her back letting her know that Alice was up to her usual tricks and, uh, what was this about g-spot gel, demonstrations, and owning a couple of something?? Must know!

What commenced, via text no less, was what my friend Sinclair calls the Kink Conversation -- the point in the sexual relationship between two people when a partner asks, So, what do you like? What's your kink? I had wanted to ask this question of Ms. K a couple of times, but had invariably pussed out. Ah, but leave it to Alice the iPhone to broach the subject.

Alice is a good iPhone.

Turns out the demonstration was a small seminar in how to engage in pegging (mildly NSFW link) by using a strapless strap-on. (Since the vast majority of you all are [presumably] gay and [hopefully] savvy, it's not necessary for me to go into the mechanics of the strapless strap-on use and pegging. I'll allow Goggle to satisfy your curious minds if you require more information.) Being a good friend, Ms. K had agreed to accompany her straight friend who wanted to learn more about pegging so he could be a good lover and submit to his girlfriend's kink. Ms. K even suggested that I attend too not because of the pegging but because it was more a demonstration on how to use the strapless strap-on. I considered this a possibility since I'm generally game for anything, but then I learned that the seminar was $500 (!!) per person and started at 3 pm on a workday. Ms. K seemed less worried about the price and more worried about whether there was any space for me. No no, I protested, $500 was a completely ridiculous sum to spend on such a thing. That and I can't take off work to go to a sex toy demonstration. Then I found out that my protestations were moot since the seminar was booked up.

Fast forward to Wednesday. Ms. K texted me that she was off to the demonstration and would be playing show and tell with me later that evening with the items she brought back. Awesome, I thought. But an hour and a half later Ms. K texted me again.

"This isn't even half over and I've already been psychologically damaged."

Oh no, I texted back, not worth the money?

"That would depend on how you feel about being four feet away from a guy in his early hundreds being fucked like a champ by his wife who is also in the hundred range. If that's your thing, it's worth the money."

I laughed, but probably not quite gripping the gravity of the situation.

"You laugh, I now have to wash my eyes out with Clorox."

Followed quickly by . . .

"Fucking live geriatric porn."

When Ms. K and I later met up for a drink in Prospect Heights, she was visibly distressed. "I should have know something was wrong when twelve of us entered some old couple's apartment in the Upper West Side." Turns out for the price of $500 in New York City, one can watch two people old enough to be on social security demonstrate the joys of using a strapless strap-on. If that isn't enough, you do get a gift bag filled with about $100 worth of lubes, warming gels, a vibrator, and a strapless strap-on.

For some reason I found this hilarious. I laughed and laughed till tears formed in my eyes. One shells out half a grand think that they are going to see hot people demonstrating sex toys and instead they get geriatric porn. I silently thanked the gods that I hadn't taken off work to see such a thing. I even did the math in my head -- $500 x 12 people = $6,000 - $1,200 for the gift bags = $4,800 earned for a 3 hour seminar.

Clearly I'm in the wrong line of work.

"Where did your friend hear about this thing if he didn't know that it would be demonstrated by two people in their 80s?" I asked, wiping my eyes and trying to make a serious face.

"Somewhere on the internet."

Right. A cautionary tale? Yes. One should be deeply suspicious of anything advertised on the internet. The downside for me was that the image geriatric sex was wrenched deep into Ms. K's brain by the time we left the bar for my bedroom. Let's just say it cast a pall over what was an enjoyable show and tell session with the gift bag items.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity."

This is what Ms. K said to me as we sat in the back garden of a Cobble Hill restaurant last Tuesday evening. "I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity." We had been talking about life, the direction our nascent relationship was taking, and the tough position of being scrutinized by fellow blog readers.

"I understand," I offered sympathetically, "that it must be hard being a passive witness in a story that you're a character in. Why don't you add comments to my blog posts?"

"Besides the fact that I can't comment on your blog with the iPhone, I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity. Do you not want me to read? Because I can stop reading," she conceded. "Or you can write like I'm not reading."

He words weren't bitter, but honest. We had spent the last couple of days together -- our longest stretch to date -- and it was nice to sit there in the fading late summer light under a pergola while having an honest conversation. Of course I still wanted her to read my blog; I'd feel like an asshole for telling her to stop. But the truth of the matter is that I haven't written as much as I would have normally because she is reading.

The thing is that I'm starting to develop feelings for Ms. K. I guess it was inevitable -- we have been seeing each other for almost a couple of months -- but I have tried hard to remain aloof and walled. Maybe this makes me sound like a jackass, but I have secretly relished being in the position of power because I have never been in this position before. I've also wanted to protect my heart since I have a bad habit of meeting people who run roughshod all over it.

This is new territory for me, everyone. To date someone for more than a month? To date someone who is seemingly not retarded? To date someone who seems genuinely into me and is emotionally available? Needless to say my brain isn't quite sure what to do. Isn't this the point where she disappears on me or drops some bombshell on me or tells me that she only wants to be friends?

What kind of got my brain thinking of the possibilities of Ms. K and I was our conversation -- or rather her question -- as to how I would feel if she were dating other people. Though she didn't mean it this way, I read her remark at first as something like, I like you, but I also like keeping my options open. Or worse, I like dating multiple people because that's how I roll. Instead she meant it, I think, as a way to gauge my feelings. How would you feel if I was dating someone else?

After the confusion was cleared up, I had a hard time answering the question -- hard because I wasn't ready to own up to my feelings. She was calling me on my aloofness and my mix signals and the Scorpio in me was squirming under the spotlight. But after a few days thinking about her question, I am starting to realize that I would have a problem if she was dating other people.

Damn, there goes my heart.

"Is this body for real?"

It's been a while since I've regaled you all with tales of men trying to pick me up, but it was a bumper weekend.

Picture it. A Brooklyn bound Q train. 1:50 am Sunday morning on my way back from the Modest Mouse concert at McCarren Park Pool. A man, whose name I later discovered as Chris, sat down next to me after boarding at the DeKalb Street station. I could tell that he was checking me out, but I was tired and really didn't feel like engaging him in conversation so I stared intently out the window. My, don't those darkened tunnels look pretty.

"You're very beautiful," he said, although we're not making eye contact.

"Thanks," I murmured.

"I just got off work."

Silence. I continued to stare out the window. One must nip these things in the bud.

As I got up to leave at Prospect Park, he left me with a plea of "Stay beautiful." Okay, not so creepy.

The next day, after a couple of margaritas at my local bar, my roommate Libby and I stopped by the Dominican grocery store to pick up some mixers for the continued drinking we were planning for the evening. Perhaps it was the salsa music playing overhead or perhaps it was because I was taught to dance to Latin music by a former Colombian friend of mine, but the music made my Anglo hips, loosened by two margaritas, jerk to the salsa beat, absently so as I moved between shelves of tamarind juice and other exotic items. And when I say move I mean I really started to get into it thinking my roommate was right behind me and would enjoy the margarita induced silliness.

When I turned around to confirm her presence, I instead saw a five foot five heavyset Hispanic man who looked old enough to be my father. And he was dancing with me.

"Is this body for real, mami?" he gasped as his stubby hands appraised my curves.

I let out a nervous laugh and my eyes searched the length of the aisle for any sign of my roommate. My new friend, Señor Papi, even slipped an arm around my waist, cajoling my body to move to the rhythm of the music.

"Help," I called out weakly as I was met with a torrent of praise.

"Is this body for real?"

Then he grabbed my ass. It was a good natured grabbing, but still a Bad Touch. Woah.

"Okay, no mas," I told Señor Papi firmly. He bowed apologetically and began to gravel with a level of reverence that one normally reserved for royalty. I grabbed a bottle of guava juice and made a break for the check out line where I found Libby. Mostly I found the incident humorous.

The trifecta of Man Love came this morning when lo and behold I again saw Chris again. He was coming up the stairs of the Prospect Park station and he stopped when he saw me, eyes registering a familiar presence. It took me a moment to realize that he had been the guy sitting next to me only the night before.

"I thought I was seeing a ghost," he proclaimed and gestured towards me as if he was trying to remember where he knew me from. "I saw you on the train. Late night, right?"

"Yes, that was me."

"What's your name?"


"Hi, I'm Chris. I just wanted to let you know that you got it going on from head to toe."


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"I don't care how cute you or your remarks are, there will be no burqas of any kind."

I've had a hard time picking back up with the narrative of my life over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps it was work drama that has distracted me or the waning days of summer, but the half formed entries in my head just never seemed to make it onto the web. Having wanted to write some pithy summarization, I have opted for the highlights instead.

* Because of trauma at work, I have been drinking with coworkers. A lot. I've consumed more prosecco or tequila than I care to admit and I discovered that Superfine in DUMBO is my new favorite bar.

* After plans fell through to go to North Carolina for Labor Day Weekend, Ms. K came up from Pennsylvania and taught me how to drive stick shift in a Sears parking lot. Only stalling a half dozen times, we drove to the beach -- Jacob Riis Beach in the Rockaways -- both Monday and Tuesday. Our next plan is to drive back to Ft. Tilden and go biking before it gets too cold. Because, you know, I'm a professional stick shift driver now.

* From the above bullet point you can surmise that Ms. K is still in my life and it occurs to me that we've been seeing each other a month and a half. And it also occurs to me that this is the longest I've dated someone -- I'm not counting Holly since it wasn't a real relationship -- since January 2003. I should probably concoct a more in-depth entry about this, especially the long overdue entry that I've been meaning to write about OFAG.

* I really liked the comments on this entry. I could have easily written a couple of entries in response to some of the comments, but alas I was either drunk or lazy.