Ah, the holiday is almost here. I feel a
little depressed today. New York kind of empties out before
Thanksgiving (and will temporarily de-populate dramatically again
before Christmas). And the holidays always remind me of
how amazingly SINGLE I am YEAR AFTER YEAR. I've gotten myself into
that mindset, once again, of: I'm deeply flawed, I've been a
bachelorette too long, and I will never find love.
Where is Stuart Smalley when you need him?
On to some lighter stuff, shall we?
dear friend had a very lovely cocktail party on Saturday
night. The album playing when I was arrived was the new Kings of
Convenience record--auspicious! He made all sorts of delicious foods--like a very festive
guacamole spotted with pomegranate seeds, shrimp ceviche, and
banana-walnut bread. There were two kinds of mullled wine, cider
doughnuts from the farmer's market, and delicious cantaloupe-colored
sliced persimmons, with their green tops arrayed on the plate like
flowers. My friend's apartment is adorned with the work of all sorts of
super-cool just-under-the-radar artists ... including a very cool
painting of a chick playing air guitar that was cross from the
makeshift bar. People were getting their
pictures taken in front of it all night.
Another dear friend, Ruby Finch, came along as my "plus one"* for the night.
one point, some dude who was, inexplicably, wearing sunglasses, a sports jacket and what seemed to be a captain's hat--white with a navy visor and some sort of gilded insignia patch-- cruised over to us, and mumbled something about something to Ruby.
don't think I have ever given anyone the evil eye before, but I laid it on
Mr. O'Captain quite hard. I think I even scowled--and he zoomed away.
Why my extreme reaction? Something about the way he'd sidled up, approaching us literally--and
figuratively--sideways made him seem ever so slightly ...
unctuous. And he was wearing the
sunglasses, thereby preventing me from seeing his eyes--the windows to
the soul, as they say. There was also something about his relentless smile--a mouth that never seemed to lose its
almost perfect U-shape--which gave him the feeling of a Hollywood deal-maker, a Vegas stage
performer or a high-end used-car salesman. The type of person who wanted
to put something over on you. Come on baby, let's make a deal! Something about him got my haunches up.
But, as you will see, perhaps the lady doth protest too much.
Anyway, Ruby left
shortly after that for another party down the street. I told
her I'd probably stop by eventually, but that I wanted to give my party-throwing friend a
little extra support first. (Not that he needed it, but you know).
I skated around the party solo, eating persimmons and hazelnuts,
assisting with the picture-taking, chatting with people and probably
getting in my friend's way more than anything else.
Then, right as I was retrieving my bag from where I'd left it--over
near a short bookcase that was serving as a pedestal for the persimmon
plate--Mr. O'Captain slid over and said, "Leaving? So soon?"
"You really need to take those sunglasses off if you want to make
friends," I said.
He complied for a second or two, just long enough for me to see that yes, he did have human eyes ... before putting his shades back on and then starting to make jokes. Really smart, funny ones. I can't exactly
remember what the hell he said, except that there was one riff that had something to do with
an imaginary man in the corner playing the piano with one hand, and it
was pretty funny. A group of his friends came over--they were screenwriters, apparently--and suddenly they
were a comic force to be reckoned with.
As much fun as I was having, listening to them, I felt the need to take off--mainly, I suppose, because I felt
like it was getting late and I didn't want to appear to be hanging around aimlessly. But before I
could get out the door, Mr. O'Captain was like, "Let me get your number
so I can text you in a few minutes to say that whatever party you're going
to is way less fun than this one, and you should come back."
I told him my digits. And true to form, about 20 minutes later, he'd texted, saying, Maura ...?
By that time, however, I was already on my bike, heading home. (At the second thing, I wished someone a quick happy birthday and left.)
Surely, I should have just gone to bed when I arrived at my apartment. Instead--knowing that there was NO WAY in hell I'd leave my place,
certainly not to return to Manhattan, but curious about what Mr.
O'Captain might say--I texted him back.
HIM: We should meet up.
ME: Oh, I'm sorry. Your message has been rejected. My phone does not accept booty texts.
HIM: But Maura ... Drop me a line, yo.
ME: You've got a lot of nerve, to say you are my friend. You just
want to be on the side that's winning. -- That's a line. In fact,
that's two lines.
(Two lines, FYI, from an old but well-known song called "Positively
An interlude passed, during which I brushed my
teeth, washed my face, changed into my flannel pajammers and began to realized that perhaps my text has not come off as playful, the way intended, but rather, kind of obnoxious. Particularly since there was no word from him. So, despite my better instincts, I wrote back
ME: I wasn't trying to be mean. I was just trying to get you to name that tune.
HIM: Damend Dylan.
It was time to drop it, so I went to bed ... and that's that.
I haven't heard from him again. Which bums me out a little.
And initially I was offended that he would think I'm the kind of girl who would be
receptive to booty texts. What gave him that idea?
Now I'm kind of thinking: Did I over-react? Maybe it wasn't a booty text at all--or is a 1AM slightly drunken text automatically sextual?
Eh, I don't know.
MOST importantly: Happy Thanksgiving!
-Lost Male: I'm glad you've overcome your prejudice against the
bearers of cold sores. And thank you for your insight; it's nice to
have boys around on the site, isn't it, ladies?
-Also, to you, LM, and Amber: no name changing. Sheesh. TARDS would be terrible.
-Claude, Barbie, Liz, Ellen: Thank you for weighing in. We'll just have to see what (if anything) happens next, won't we?
-And JV: Kiss the girl! If she's stuck around for a third date, I'd
say, she want you to do it, fer sher. And I'd say in general, signs she
might be into it are: Looking at you kind of questioningly or
expectantly, not being in a hurry to say good-bye, etc.
-Arshile: I appreciate the Salinger reference, and the haiku, and
the Franz Marc pic, which looks a bit like a cross between a Marc
Chagall and ... I don't know, one of the Constructivists, or something.
But what is this business about "offering the vulnerability of your
deer's neck to your inner red flame"? I suppose you are talking about
some sort of metaphorical death and re-birth, but it sounds a little
*Do people say "my plus one" in other places? It basically means "my guest" or "my date." As in: "Maura Kelly + 1."