Noonish: Becky Jean & I are celebrating the one-year anniversary of our friendship this week, wishing we didn’t live on opposite coasts. Promise I’ll be back to New York City.
Hit the market for our usual – the salad bar. (Not just any salad bar, it’s the Ultimate Salad Bar.) An elderly lady thinks my Whopper Stopper sweatshirt is cool.
Beaming a smile, she says, “Goooo Whopper Stopper!”
We are giddy and giggling, recapping events of the previous night. There were so many cute boys, I couldn’t keep them straight! No clue what the guy’s name was at the end, who tried his hardest to steal me away.
“They just don’t want to take no for an answer,” I say, feigning dismay.
Becky Jean says she thinks one of the guys in her group has a crush on me. “He was looking at your butt in those blue pants… and he said you were sexy. He never does that. He’s not easily impressed.”
Pretty sure I know why, “It’s totally the magic pants.”
Stop for hazelnut coffee, to go. Then back to the apartment, rest & regrouping.
4:15pm: Walk to Williamsburg, crossing the bridge at sunset. Get a stranger to take our picture in front of a mural that says, “FANTASTIC NOBODIES”.
“We’re gonna change the world,” muses my girlfriend.
My reply, “One smile at a time.”
5:30pm: Stalling. The friend we planned to hang out with in Williamsburg, is running late. We find ourselves in front of a charming French cafe. Dip inside for some sangria. Lady date!
6:15pm: Meet Becky Jean’s friend, Brandon, and a couple he knows, over a mound of nachos. Brandon is an actor and his buddy, Chase, is a director. They’ve recently worked together and have plenty of catching up to do. Gather useful tid-bits about the business: Getting chosen is less about what you do on camera, than whether or not the people running the project want to hang out with you on set all day. Also, having a complete film that you’ve written, directed and starred in, is kind of a big deal.
Brandon reminds us, “Some people are out here, still trying to build a reel, or make it with a headshot and resume.”
Since Chase and his girlfriend have just moved to NYC from Florida, we ponder the 2012 election debacle, which means diving headfirst into the separation of church and state. Chase expresses relief to be able to discuss such taboo topics in public.
Let him in on a secret: “Depending on how far ahead of the curve you are, you’ve got to get used to being surrounded by idiots.”
Chase nods. He almost seems a little saddened by the notion.
To soften it’s impact, I go on, “Everyone’s a product of their environment, so they can’t really help it. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. The key is to ask the right questions, let people build their own connections.” Chase agrees.
8pm: Don’t want to leave. We’re torn, because we’ve accepted a fancy dinner invite, but we’re nowhere close to being ready. Besides, we’re having fun here!
“A girls gotta eat,” says Becky Jean, pouting a little, “but I’m not hungry yet.”
9:30pm: Fast shower and wardrobe change. Feast at opening night of the Arlington Steakhouse. Drink whatever we want, as long as it’s made with Grey Goose, Bombay, Patron, or one of the whiskeys (didn’t hear which). Food arrives family style: fluffy cheese rolls – crispy outside, perfectly doughy in the middle. Then sushi, scallops, lobster salad, pastas, a couple potato dishes, a variety of fish, and two 42oz porterhouse steaks, medium rare. Drool.
The man across from me has big a diamond in each ear. He’s clean-cut, young, built, and good-looking. Sounds like he’s from Jersey. I almost choke when I hear he’s NYPD. Talk about New York’s finest!
11:45pm: Short on time, we are forced to make an abrupt exit. Thank our hosts and hail a cab. Meet the gang from the apartment at SL. Our table gets a bottle of champagne that’s four feet tall.
2am: Wow. I’m not sure what you’d call it when a person, out of the blue, grabs you in such a way. Flirting? Sexual assault? Maybe it’s his way of saying hello. Grrr.
“That’s the guy who has a crush on you from yesterday,” says Becky Jean.
“No kidding. He just came up and grabbed my crotch.”
Laugh it off. What a perfect cue to make an exit. The handsome man who I gave my card to last night is at a club around the corner, called Rendezvous. He’s expecting me.
2:45am: Dodge a few more crotch-grabbing attempts. Becky Jean’s phone is dead, so I find her roommate, Sara, in the bathroom to trade numbers. She’s adorable.
“Give me a kiss goodbye,” she says. Kiss. I’m gone.
3am: Walk to RDV. Doorman asks another guy if they should let me in. A quick nod says yes. Someone tells me the person who I came to see, just left. Apparently, wasted. Check my phone, look up, and suddenly he’s in front of me. Handsome as I remember, but angry. It takes a while to figure out what the problem is.
Earlier, Becky Jean suggested that I find out if he’s a promoter. Promoter, a dirty word. We never talk to promoters. She wanted me to be sure that he was inviting me out for the right reasons. Tried explaining that she means well, but he was deeply offended. On top of that, it’s late – he’s been waiting. And worst, I’m going home tomorrow.
So he is angry, but he doesn’t want me to leave. With reluctance, I consider going back to Becky Jean and the gang. Weigh my options: Return to the crew (and deal with Mr. Grabby) or stick it out with this handsome/drunk man?
Intriguing. His beautiful blue eyes and dark lashes with furrowed brow, emote a fury that I haven’t done enough to deserve. I want to know what’s wrong.
5am: Going to his apartment, in Harlem. Cab drops us off by a sandwich shop. Must be friends with the shopkeepers, because he’s completely belligerent and they aren’t kicking him out. After calling the owner and clerk both fucking assholes, everyone has a chuckle and he tells them he’ll be back to pay for it tomorrow.
6am: Falling asleep on the couch, his emotions dissolve into sadness. Eyeballs jiggling, he’s still smashed. Learn about his recent heartbreak. He doesn’t trust women anymore, but he doesn’t want to be alone.
8am: Departure day. A town car to takes me back to Becky Jean’s place. Sleep till 11.
Noon: Brunch at the market.
1pm: Part ways with Becky Jean. Lots of love.
Arrive two hours early for my flight. Bump into Kris again, the same hot/Nike guy who I ran into (in Portland) on the way here. Get drinks.
6:30pm: Board. Make friends with my First Class neighbor, Lee. Discover he is also my neighbor-neighbor; he’s staying with his parents, a few blocks down the street from me!
9:21pm: Land in PDX on time, ground steering breaks down, sit on the runway 15 min until we get a tow in to gate.
Midnight: At last! Cozy in my own bed, 10 solid hours of sleep… Glorious.