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?
A 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.
At 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.
I 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 Fourth Street.)
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 to him:
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 scary!
*Do people say "my plus one" in other places? It basically means "my guest" or "my date." As in: "Maura Kelly + 1."