Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cherry Blossom Gray

I'm heading out to see the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens today. But the sky is gray. And it's only 55-degrees. I hope I don't regret it. Rain for the rest of the week. Ick.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perfect on Paper Does Not Equal Perfect

Round two with MJ was not a success. Nope... Not so much. I didn't see him for two weeks or so, as he went home for Passover and I went home for another breast surgery, Passover and Easter. That was a nice weekend, despite the fact that it was difficult to cook and manipulate a 20 lb turkey without flexing any chest muscles. In any case, I got to see GoldenFinch and BabyBird and I spent plenty of time with the delicious little Sesame. Oh-- and my breasts are now restored to perfection. Yay! I hope they stay that way.

The following weekend I suffered a little Narc-related-stress. I received several drunk voice messages followed by crashes and incoherent mutterings on a Friday night and when I hadn't heard back from him by the following evening, I got nervous. I got so nervous that I thought he was dead. I was on the verge of an anxiety attack past midnight on Saturday. I texted his friends and was applying lipstick to head out the door and search for him (yes-- I wear lipstick on all occasions!) when I finally heard from him. He arrived at my house in a drunken state, issuing many loving and delusional speeches-- so loving and delusional that I can't bear to repeat them. He wants us to live in a house on a river where I can teach and he can write. He wants us to spend every night together again as if it hasn't all been broken. Enough said...

Anyway, the weekend after that I finally had date number two with MJ. He took me to the Firebird-- a fancy 19th century style Russian place where he said we could "pretend to be Romanovs." I was looking forward to it. I knew that I hadn't felt any sparks on the first date, but I was willing to give it a second try. Dinner was delicious and waaay too expensive. I felt guilty that he spent so much money on me. I arrived late and in a flood of apologies laughed that he had now seen one of my "character defects."

"I don't see any flaws," he said. "You seem perfect to me."

Up onto a pedestal I went. I don't like the view from there.

He ordered us a caviar course. I don't usually eat caviar. I was in a red dress with a plunging neckline and four-inch heels. I felt a little silly. I ate chicken Kiev for my main course. We talked a lot about our families over dinner. I told him about my mermaid-obsession. I wouldn't mind being friends with him, but he still seemed too meek-mannered and something was just "off" about our dynamic. I felt too powerful-- as if I might bowl him over with the sheer force of my personality. It made me feel clumsy somehow. Again-- I didn't like it.

After dinner, we walked down the block to "Don't Tell Mama's"-- the renowned theater district piano bar. There were no tables available in the main room, so we sat in a lounge off the main entrance until our table would be ready. I went to procure us some diet cokes. When I came back, he was still looking at me with that dreamy, strange look on his face- as if he wanted something from me that I couldn't deliver. I decided to probe a little further.

"Do you have a wild side?" I asked.

"I don't really know what you mean by that."

"You know-- that little spark that gets lit up-- for me it's a nocturnal thing."

I didn't know how to articulate it.

"I've been known to have a few drinks, if that's what you mean," he said.

That's not what I meant. We were on different wave-lengths.

He told me that he had died his hair green once in high school. I laughed and asked if he had used "Manic Panic." And he told me that he had a self-mutilating phase.

"What? You did???"

"Hasn't everyone?" he said, in that same quiet, somber tone.

"Um... I guess."

He suddenly seemed very sad to me. I told him so.

"I'm not sad. I'm quite happy," he said.

But I didn't believe him.

After a period of silence, he tried to fill in the gap. Clearly, he felt awkward.

"My mind is a blank," he told me. "You make me nervous."

"Really? I thought that the silence just meant we were both content."

"You're a very intimidating woman, Hyde."

"I am?"

I don't want to be an intimidating woman. I want a boy with that spark.

In any case, we finally were seated in the main room, right up close near the pianist. I thought the pianist was cute, but he had the same first name at Narc, which somehow made me feel sad, frustrated and mad at myself all at the same time. MJ tried to take my hand. It lay there like a limp fish. I clearly felt awkward.

"I love your hands," he said, as if needing an explanation for his move.


We resumed watching the very mediocre performance unfolding on the small platform stage in front of us. It was an open-mic night, so I untangled myself from the uncomfortable hand-hold and requested a song-- Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine-- a safe and sturdy choice for me. The pianist played about three keys too low, but it was fine. I tried not to look at MJ while I sang, but I caught his eye once or twice all the same.

At around 1:00 AM, I yawned and told him that I wanted to head home.

"I'll take a cab," I told him.

"I'll ride with you!" he volunteered.

"Aren't you going to Brooklyn?"

"Yeah, but we can make two stops."

I moved to the farthest corner of the cab. The bag of leftover food perched on the middle seat between us. He placed it onto the floor and took my hand again.

"Your office is near here, right?" I said, distracting myself from the feeling that I had been invaded.

Then something awful happened. He awkwardly lifted himself off the seat and came towards me in what seemed like slow motion. It was an obligatory kiss. I didn't want to be kissing him. I felt like he was playing out his own script and I wasn't event here.

"I had to do that," he said.

I hated it, but smiled.

As luck would have it, he did it again before the cab pulled up to my corner. I just wanted to get out of the car.

"Can I call you to go out again?" he asked.

"Oh- um, yeah...sure! Call me tomorrow. Thanks for dinner!"

I raced out of there, tottering along the uneven sidewalk in my super-high-heels.

TT had texted me earlier in the evening that he was at Cheers. He works in television and had gotten a hold of several extra-large Elvis poster-boards. They were being held in the Cheers basement. He asked if I wanted to come by and pick them up. I just wanted to see a familiar face, to be defined by a familiar gaze to restore normalcy. He was tipsy when I arrived, but his face lit up to see me.


"I need a hug," I whined.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know. I'm an asshole. I just feel like an asshole," I said.

I was confused and felt guilty and disappointed and somehow robbed of myself all at once.

He locked me into an embrace.

"You're not an asshole," he said. "You're Hyde, my friend and a very special woman."


"Do you mind if I ask what happened?"

"I don't know... I was on a date... I didn't want to be on the date at some point. I mean, I did, but I didn't want to be kissed. And somehow, I kissed him anyway. I just feel guilty and terrible and like I'm making mistakes left and right."

TT seemed surprised that I was dating. He decided to make his play.

"You know how I feel about you," he said. "I could fall in love with you so easily... so easily. I would love to take you on a proper date. I think we could have something really real between us."

I just looked at him.

"I don't want to confuse you any more," he went on. "But I don't want to miss my chance either. Do you want to go outside and talk about it?"

We went out into the streetlight. I was still standing with my hands around his neck. He continued to make his case. I didn't know what to do or say.

"We're both in a different place than we were years ago... better places. I mean, I know how much you've changed. I thought you were great then and I think you're great now. I just want to keep you safe," he said.

I didn't know how to respond, so I kissed him. Then I kissed him again.

"What do you think, Hyde?"

"I don't know. I need some time to clear my head. Just give me a call tomorrow."

He went into the bar to get me my Elvis pictures and then walked me home.

I couldn't sleep a wink that night. A third of my brain wondered where Narc was and what he was doing. The next morning I had to be up early for a follow-up with the plastic surgeon on Long Island. I was unbearably tired. When I got back to the city, I fell asleep for a three hour nap. Upon awakening, I had two voice mails-- one from MJ and one from TT. Guess I set that one up. I didn't bother to answer either of them. Instead, I got dressed to meet my friend Drew in Tribeca for dinner and an "Annie Sing-Along" at the new branch of the 92nd street Y on Hudson Street. Narc had sent me a text so I stopped off to see him for a drink before finding Drew, as I was meeting her in his neighborhood.

"I wish it didn't have to be this way between us," I said. I was bursting with wanting to tell him things that there is no point in telling.

"I just don't know if you and I are in the cards," he replied.

"Yes, you do. We're not in the cards."

"I don't know, Hyde... That's all in the future."

"The future is where I'm trying to go."

I was glad to get away from him and to have a nice girls chat with Drew over a big bowl of pasta. The Annie Sing-Along was great as well-- just what I needed. I sang and danced in the street on my way back to Narc's that night.

By the next day, I had received another text message from MJ and several from TT.

I'm getting nervous. I must have really freaked you out, TT wrote.

I called him back right before my Sunday night AA meeting. I tried to be truthful.

"I'm not entirely over that other guy," I said (Narc, of course). "And I don't know what you expect from me by 'going on a proper date.' I don't want to drag you on an emotional roller-coaster with me when I don't know what I want."

"I'm willing to take the risk," he said. "I don't want to lose my chance. I'd rather you take me on that roller coaster than some other guy."

"Give me a few days to think about all of this," I said.

Narc was supposed to come to my place after AA. We had spent the morning looking for his favorite ducks at Battery Park and had agreed to meet up later. However, when I texted him about it, he told me that he was going for drinks with CouchSleeper and the boys, as Couchy had just come back from Ireland. I felt blown off and powerless.

Here's how it went down:

Hyde: Are you blowing me off? Our plan was for 9-ish

Narc: Was just going out for a little bit, really want to see Couchy, can still meet you later, though how late are you up?

Hyde: I don't want to wait up for you. I don't like the feeling. I'll just see you some other time. But seriously, I thought we had plans...

At that point he called me and I told him only to come if he could come before 11:00 PM. He agreed. In the meanwhile, I went down to NDN and Tamika's apartment and ate dinner with them and NDN's friend, RDN. They made fettuccine with clam sauce and NDN's famous garlic bread. Yum.

At 11:00 PM, not having heard from him, I sent him another text: ?? On your way?

No response.

Hyde (11:22): You are inconsiderate of me. I hate being treated this way

Narc (11:32): I was just heading off!! Taking forever to get check, figuring it out... If you're to bed soon though I can just head home, get up early and run

Hyde: You were supposed to be here before 11

Narc: I know I know, was trying to get out. Leaving in few but think I'll just go home. Closer and really want to get up and run etc.

Hyde: Just leave me alone.

Narc: (11:53) Heading off.

On Monday, after therapy I set off to babysit Sesame. In the middle of our playtime, I got another message from MJ. (He had also sent me an email at some point over the weekend.)

MJ: Hey Hyde, Are you having a good Monday? Everything go ok at the doctor and at Annie?

I took a while before answering, but I finally wrote back: Weekend was good. Hope yours was too! Had a great time & we def have a lot in common. But I'm just not feeling the right connection as far as a relationship.

MJ: That's terrible! Mind if I ask what u don't see in me?

I didn't answer. About an hour later, I got another text from him:
Sorry, better you don't answer I guess. U seemed perfect to me and my soul felt like it died at your text. I wish you had given me a chance to not be nervous with you. I'm sorry.

All I can say is-- HIGH DRAMA! It never would have worked out.

Meanwhile, Narc and I hadn't spoken all day. On Tuesday morning I noticed that he posted on his facebook page that he was planning to see a movie that afternoon that we had agreed to see together. So, I left him a comment-- "Weren't you going to wait for me?"

"Thought you had 'Idol night' with NDN and Tamika, " he responded.

"Whatever..." I wrote.

Then our little tiff shifted to text.

Narc: If you really want to see Anvil I will wait, just didn't think I was going to see you for a week or what not.

Hyde: I just feel like we said we were going to see it and you are just going to blow me off again. It makes me feel rotten and sad and not worth much to you.

Narc: I said I wanted to see it in the next couple of days, and that was several days ago. I know you're always into scheduling and planning everything out, etc. but sometimes I feel like being spontaneous and just going to see a movie. If you want to see it, when are you free next?

Hyde: Do what you will. I am too upset to attempt to figure this out. My feelings were really hurt on Sunday and you never apologized. We are on different planets.

When I got home that afternoon, I had a lengthy email from him:

So let me see if I understand this... I told you I was going to see you on Sunday, and I was. My impression was that you, after AA (around 8:30), were heading home to, I don't know, "do other stuff / mellow out / relax / whatever", and that you weren't expecting me until a bit later, like 10-ish. If I'd known you were expecting me IMMEDIATELY after AA, at 8:30, I would have gone straight from M's place to yours, as it was only 15 blocks straight up. But, because we wrapped early at M's, and I thought I had about an hour to kill, and because CouchSleeper, one of my best friends, had just gotten back into town after SIX MONTHS away and wanted to see Mike and myself a for a little bit, I thought I would see him, and then go to see you. We all met, I iterated right up front that I couldn't stay out long because I was heading off to see you around 10, and CouchSleeper said that was fine, as he was jetlagged all to hell and didn't want to be out for more than an hour or so anyway. So we had a couple of pints, and attempted to get our check (which happened rather slower than I would've thought, but still, we finally got it), and off I was, about to head to you, when--

And let me see if I have this now...

You. Hyde. Hyde -----------. Gave me grief. Because... I was: "late".

You. Really. Of all the people in the world. Were upset... Because, though I kept my plans with you (despite the fact that everyone ended up trying to keep me out later anyway), I ended up running 45 minutes over. Seriously. You. Upset at me. For being late.

You see where I'm going with this? Because really--

That. Is. So. Fucking. Funny.

Tell you what Hyde--from now on, I'll just stop talking to you every time you're late, and we'll see how far we get with all that. What do you say? Given the fact that you run anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes late EVERY SINGLE TIME I see you, I'm thinking we're looking at a lot of "Leave me alone, don't talk to me" responses from me from now on.

Sound good?


I guess I pissed him off. So I wrote back:

Oh, Narc...

I don't want to be in a fight with you. I hope you don't want to stay mad at me.

I wasn't mad because you were late. I was upset because I felt rejected & blown off. A simple "I'm sorry" would probably have made me feel better. I just felt dispensable and taken for granted.

In any case-- I'm sorry if I overreacted, but maybe I'm just sensitive in general when it comes to our relationship. It's hard to deal with the toxic feelings of mistrust and rejection that I shove down all the time. I know that I either need to find a way to live with these feelings or cut things off with you. I go over and over this issue in my mind and it always runs in the same circle. I feel like shit, and so much of what has happened is emotionally unbearable for me, but I love you and want you somehow in my life. So, I'm trying to bear it. I'm still trying to live with these feelings but it hurts and yes-- probably makes me overly sensitive. I hope you can understand all of that and act with some compassion and largess towards me when these things arise. This had nothing to do with lateness. It had to do with the fact that I feel rejected by you, who I love so very much.

It is what it is. You are who you are and I am who I am. Let's just let it go.


And finally from him:

I'm sorry. I'm sure I overreacted as well--I'm just sick and tired of all the drama, and am, really, looking for a drama-free life at this point (or at least as much as I can manage). Am sure we can probably put this behind us.


Later that night he sent me a text: Haven't watched Tudors yet if you want to watch it together.

Hyde: Yes, want to watch it with you. Just got home and am making spaghetti. Got your mail. Sorry I bring drama. I also bring love. Love you...

I ended up staying at his place that night and we made vague plans to go see "Anvil" (the movie) on Thursday. There were two shows-- an 11:00 AM and a 1:00 PM.

Needless to say, when I called him Wednesday night to figure out the details, I couldn't get a hold of him. Then all day on Thursday he didn't answer any of my calls or texts until 5:00 PM when he wrote:

Hey, just got up little while ago., Couldn't get to sleep until like 6 AM! Then slept in all day...Ugh...

I think it's complete and utter bullshit. I haven't spoken to him since but I really am so sick of this. I'm sick of boys in general. I want to give dating a rest for a little while and just do something else-- my school work, for example. And I want to start painting again. The only time I ever truly feel like myself is the one hour a week in my voice lesson. I want to make that bigger.

I did have a nice day yesterday even with Narc blowing me off. I met Pixie in the afternoon and we walked through Central Park and I ate a snowcone and declared that the statue of Robert Burns was my boyfriend. She said she prefers Walter Scott across the way. We watched "Thoth" singing under the bridge by the fountain. He has some new female protege. Afterwards I met Drew and we went to the gym, to our AA meeting and then all of us out to the diner. We ended up sitting with that guy I sort of dated last summer from my home group (although it was really more like a series of "non-dates.") He said that he wants to memorize the last speech given by Archbishop Romero of El Salvador, in Spanish, and recite it at the next AA talent show. I love being surrounded by interesting people. For a brief moment, I really appreciated my life-- here... in NY City... young and energetic and financially secure and totally free. I have complete freedom. I'm lucky that way.

In the meanwhile, I got another email from MJ:

I saw this and thought of you. I guess I should stop that. :)

I decided to answer:

I'm going to be in Vermont that weekend. No mermaid parade for me, I guess! :( Didn't mean to make you feel bad. Don't know what else to say about all that, so I'll leave it at that. Hope you're having a good day.


And then I got what I think is a very strange response-- an email to which I gave no reply.

I've been to the Mermaid Parade once, but I was told the one I saw had less nudity than the previous year, so I was disappointed.

I don't begrudge you your cruelty. It helps balance out wicked things I've done in the past. Eventually, when I suffer enough, I'll reach some sort of peaceful equilibrium.

On that note, I'm working from home today because I have a doctor's appointment. I have these antibodies that often accompany auto-immune disease, so I have to monitor them closely. It's all part of the same plan.

Hope you're having a good day as well.

Anyway, this weekend a major event is taking place-- NDN and Tamika are tying the knot in Philadelphia! My parents are invited to the wedding, so they're picking me up tomorrow afternoon and driving there. I'm excited to wear my Nicole Miller gown. I'm even more excited to see them bring in this next phase of life. It's really kind of amazing. And I'm soooo grateful and relieved that NDN picked an awesome girl like Tamika.

So... that's it for now. I'm exhausted from re-hashing all of the garbage that went into this post.

Hope you are all well out there!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meeting MJ

It has been a busy few weeks around here. B and his wife asked me to be Godmother to their daughter. I am so honored that I am without words. Some kind of real healing has truly taken place. The baptism is coming up on Saturday. I bought her a beautiful gold locket. yay!

On Friday afternoon, despite the rain, I kept my appointment to have a Brazilian Keratin treatment on my hair. They instructed me that I could not get my hair wet, clip it, put it in a ponytail or even tuck it behind my ears for four days! I finally get to wash it tonight. I also had to endure some gynecological torture before meeting Hammer, the Alaskan and their friends at synagogue that night. The Alaskan has been working for about two years towards his conversion to Judaism before their wedding in June. The ceremony took place on Friday. He made such a beautiful speech. I was really quite moved. Afterwards, Hammer hosted a little dinner party at their apartment. I got to meet some of their new friends.

In other news, I finally had the date with "perfect on paper," from now on to be known as "MJ." When I posted last, we were supposed to go out that night, but he got sick and had to cancel. We rescheduled for Saturday. I spent most of the afternoon hanging out with NDN. We went to Bloomingdale's where I sugar-crashed a little bit on Forty Carrots frozen yogurt and NDN had his makeup done at the Lancome Counter. He is into being a rocker these days, a la Adam Lambert. Back at my place, we took topless pictures of him making love to my plastic Guitar Hero guitar and a dagger that I brought back from Russia while I got ready for my date. I tried to ignore the gnawing Narc-anxiety present since I hadn't heard from him on Friday night. I need to just assume that he is doing the worst of what I fear at all times, since it's not in my control anyway.

MJ and I met at "Kefi" on the Upper West Side at 6:45. I had to set the date early, as Contessa's housewarming party was later on in the evening.

(HYDE: If you wanted to, we could have dinner on Sat and you could come with me to the party, but that might be kind of weird for a first date. What do you think?

MJ: I think we need more context to determine how weird that would be. How about we do dinner on Saturday and then decide whether I accompany you further?)

I don't want to turn this date into something blog-dissected, but the bottom line is that we got along really well. He is very, very, VERY impressively smart; he is randomly interested in all things Russian (as am I-- we were even both in St. Petersburg the same summer in college) and he was kind and chivalrous and I felt comfortable with him. He is also responsible (as in he has a good job and lives like an adult), he's close with his family, and he nurtures his spiritual/religious side. I'm not 100% sure that the chemistry is there, but I think I need to give it a little more time before I can tell.

Since dinner went so well we decided it was best for him to continue on and accompany me to the party. We looked for a homeless person to donate our delicious dinner leftovers and he treated to a cab up to Inwood. As Contessa is an architect and her husband is a composer, the party was full of interesting artistic types. I barely knew anyone there, but in a way it was better that way. When we first arrived, I had to use the restroom and when I came out, MJ was talking to two strangers. I thought that was a good sign--that he is comfortable in his own skin.

At one point, a choreographer asked if we had known each other long.

"Um, no... we just met," I said.

"How wonderful! You are still discovering each other!" she declared.

Also-- I told him I don't drink, although I didn't explain why (he didn't ask), and he didn't have a single drink the whole night. It was very sweet and respectful and wouldn't you know-- there are people who can comfortably socialize with strangers and on a first date without alcohol!

We stayed at the party until well after midnight. In the cab on the way home, he asked me to sing something in French and held my hand. I was grateful that he didn't try to kiss me. I think that at this point in my life, I need to develop friendships first in dating. I can't deal with much more than that right now.

Anyway, it was all great. The only problem is that he's not really my "type" (which may be a good thing, given the guys that my "picker" has picked for me). It may never click though, and I don't want to force it either.

Later that night (at around 1:00 AM), as luck would have it, just as I had put Narc momentarily out of my mind, he called. I went. He was at "Edwards" reading Tarot for his friend Miranda. I had met her a few times and said my hello's just as she was saying her goodbye's. He was in "I love you mode," making out with me, groping me at the bar, and all that. I felt conflicted and strange, but blissfully obliterated in the black hole of him-- a place from where I need not deal with anything else or anything real. We were up until 5:00 in the morning. It was one of those nights I wait for-- the ones that make it worth tolerating all of the other crap. (Well, sort of...)

On Sunday I stayed with him and we watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." At around 3:30 we took a walk to Battery Park to look at his favorite ducks. It seems that they haven't yet arrived for the season. I had to leave to meet Sugary for book-work and a meeting at 5:00, but I went back to Narc's at 9:00, still in my date jeans and tight lacy top from the night before. Ug. In some ways I totally suck. My sponsor calls it "powerlessness." I have to agree...

MJ sent me an email:

I wanted to tell you that it was well worth the wait to finally meet you. You seem like an amazing person. To quote the choreographer from last night, I hope you'll allow me the opportunity to continue"discovering" you, he said.

Yesterday I babysat for Sesame again. She is just a delight and a doll. When the rain cleared I took her for a stroll on Austin Street and we stopped in at Victoria's Secret. Some pushy saleswoman kept asking me what kind of bra I wanted.

"I'm just looking," I said.

"Can I measure you?"

"I'm alright. I'm just looking."

"Alright. Are you nursing?" she asked.

"No!" I looked at her as if she were an idiot and walked away.

It was only moments later that I realized that she asked me that because I was with a six month old.

Oh no! I thought. She probably thinks I'm the kind of mom who doesn't nurse. I WOULD nurse if she were mine!

I wanted to go back and explain it to her, but then I laughed at myself and decided not to bother. I did end up getting measured, was very surprised at the size, became convinced that I should take advantage of their sales, and so, I bought some very sexy lingerie. woo hoo!!! (Not that there's anyone in particular to share it with, but whatever...)

Anyway-- this week is busy-- I've got Passover and Easter and the christening. I hope you are all well out there. Off to teach another class in a few minutes. World War II is about to begin...!