Friday, April 12, 2013

Missed Connection

When I was nineteen I was a bit of a basketcase. I think most women are. Esther Greenwood in the Bell Jar pretty much describes all of us. These days if they were to meet the tall, leggy, yet awkward red head who wrote poetry and was unsure they would say the following words, "Pamphlet, pamphlet, pamphlet."

At that phase in my life I was awkward on a stick. I had my puppets. I was also really shy when it came to guys. Wasn't a big dater than and still am not now. My idea of a great Friday night was being by myself and reading. When I wasn't doing that I was on some loner journey to Lincoln Center where my cousin was a member of City Ballet, yes the ladies from Black Swan. Anyway I really didn't have it going on.

That summer I met this impish creature with red hair. He was older than me and sort of a bad boy. Born under the star sign Sagittarius, he got my attention right away as Archers often do. I got one of my normal April being April panic attacks when we locked eyes. He spoke to me right away. We bonded cause we were from Pittsburgh. Unlike me he had gone to an alternative school, aka where kids who couldnt make it in regular school parked. He ended up asking me out and off we went.

We saw some crazy play about a Catholic girl who fell in love with a Jewish guy. And then we went to Washington Square Park where he tried to light up a joint and asked me if I wanted some. I have never been a fan of weed: it makes people stupid and I hate the way it smells. At this point in my life I was really uptight and wanted to hide it the best I could. I still remember when he kissed me it's like, "Is this the time when I tell him how truly awkward and stupid I really am? Nah, I can still hide that.....kind of."

We ended up going to the bar of the Washington Square Hotel where he was living at the time-stable, right? I still remember feeling at home in the bar with the mural of old movie stars on the walls. Hell, I even felt at home in the bar. As I sat there amongst the patrons who were all basically loaded and dropping wads of cash it dawned on me that I could hide my total messiness by showing him how totally slammed I could get. My date that night was drinking Apple Martinis. I asked him to buy me one. I remember drinking the first one and felt tipsy cause I had not eaten all day. Then I wanted to show him how I was a big girl and could handle my liquor because he was slightly older. Yes I was drinking under aged but this was New York and who gave a damn. Everyone did it.

I don't know how many I had but it was a lot. I felt outgoing, I was funny, and I was making my date fall in love with me. Gone was the puppet loving basketcase who sat in her dorm room dateless freshmen year. Erased was that high school dork who knew every line to every Sylvia Plath poem. That embedded shyness I felt from lack of experience had disappeared with the liquor. I was like my hero Mae West, ready for action and ready to seduce. I had arrived, or so I thought.

My date and I had spent the entire night talking with a guy who felt he was Ernest Hemingway at his typewriter. We laughed about how trashed I was becoming and how trashed they were becoming. That is when I went from Mae West to Miss Mess as I fell off the barstool, landed on my ass, and my skirt of my dress went over my head. To make matters worse I was wearing granny panties. The smack on my head in the midst of a blackout knocked me back into sobriety for a minute to realize the room was spinning and I was really drunk. The eyes of the white, spoiled, trust fund kids were on me. I remember one even said, "Man, she is piss drunk. I bet you she pees on herself."

A minute later my date helped me up. We walked to his room where he told me I could lay down. He turned me on my side, got a bucket, and I ended up puking my guts out. I still remember begging him to "TAKE ME!" Despite the fact I was sweaty drunk and the farthest thing from sexy I still wanted to hide this shy nervous ball of energy. I still wanted to impress my damn date. God did something terrible when he gave me a brain. He gave me the brain of a man. I am a stupid, simple creature who would rather act all tough and macho than show anyone her soft side.

 He didnt though. My date informed me, "The only thing you will be taking is some Advil tomorrow morning because you are drunk." In my travels past and present I met a jerkoff or two who would have taken advantage of that open door but he didnt. Instead he got me water and periodically checked to make sure I was okay. The next morning I woke up really hung over. I remember the sun shone on my face and nearly blinded me. I had no idea what had happened after a certain point or how much liquor I had. My date thought it was funny and filled me in on the details.

He treated me to breakfast the next morning and we laughed about my getting utterly wasted. I was like, "Oh God." It was cool eating breakfast in the same bar as the murals of old stars looked at me. In the morning light Jean Harlow didnt seem so inviting but more like a judgmental whore. Some of the kitchen dudes and waiters remembered me as "that girl" from the night before. For as much as I huffed and puffed like Foghorn Leghorn I had not impressed anyone at all. If anything I had looked like a raging moron and passed the problem drinker exam. Some of the people from the night before were also having breakfast and looked my way. They knew who I was. I felt them burn through me like an errant child who burned ants with a magnifying glass.

Just as a guy and a girl were whispering about "the girl who's underwear we saw last night" my sweet date took my hand. He looked me directly in my eye as my slurped my coffee like a junkie does methadone and said, "You know, you didnt have to drink to impress me. You could have just been real."

I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Sure he knew my secret and wasn't cosigning the act I put on for the universe where I was more than confident and the world was my runway. Yes he was calling me out on my shit which was mega-scary. But it felt good to know someone out there could embrace an eternal basketcase. A second later he added, "And I had a great time and do want to hang out again."

We spent the whole day in the park and hung out twice more. Instead of trying to be this bad ass who was more like dumb ass I was more of myself. We talked about the plays I liked, the books I read, my puppets, how I liked to write. Things like that. Positive crap if you will. It kind of fizzled out as it does with me and Sag dudes. He was being kicked out of the hotel where he was staying and had to find a new place to live and that became his top priority. I also began seeing another crazy dude who had a famous dad in that midst. Not to mention that he was planning on leaving the city and moving to LA.

I saw him a few years later when I was doing a street show with my puppet kiddies in Brooklyn. He was with his new girlfriend and they both stopped to talk. Unlike the girlfriends of guys passed who want to rip my head off she was cool. And if I would need a friend or two I would have them. I wish I hadn't lost touch with him. He was very sweet. Actually, he was kind of special. He liked me despite the fact I was such a mess at the time. Not to mention he didnt hate my guts for it either.

I dunno, Archers and I have that relationship sometimes. In the words of the Bangels, "Angels don't fall in love."

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to RAINN


  1. Very sweet and touching. I am glad to see there are gentlemen out there. I was starting to feel like a dinosaur. ;)

  2. LOL you are not a dinosaur. It's more like chivalry is in a coma and not completely extinct. xoxo