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A New York Escorts Confessions
There’s something about a relative hot spell in November that leaves me feeling a little bit frisky. I crave mini dresses, exposing the nape of my neck, showing a bit of skin.
So today I went over to The Town Shop and bought myself my first pair of thights a.k.a thigh-high tights. I always thought they’d be hard to wear somehow but I loved the way they looked. You see a pretty but primly dressed girl in a short dress. You watch her move down the street. She’s got a little smile on her face, a little secret. And then you see it—her tights stop a mere half inch before her short skirt. It’s such a little tease that flash of skin. There’s something so naughty about it—some kind of reference to school girls in knee socks. It makes me want to suck on a lolly pop. Or something.
Anyway I took my new black thights back to my apartment and had myself a little spin through my wardrobe. What was going to work with my new favorite accessory? I finally picked out a simple black sweater, olive mini and black ankle boots. The golden rule here is not to wear anything else revealing in the ensemble, otherwise you tip the scales too much.
I had to say, I looked pretty good. It was the exact effect I was looking for. I could tell even from the top of the toilet seat, which is where I had to stand in order to get a look at my whole self and my little flash of upper thigh. One of these days I was going to invest in a full-length mirror, I really was
I liked the outfit so much that I thought I’d wear it that night to Cafe Luxemburg where I was meeting someone new. He was a bankruptcy attorney originally from Minneapolis who had moved here only a few months before. I knew he was feeling lonely, displaced, and a little bit out of sorts. That was, of course, because he had yet to see me and my good girl/bad girl thights. Oooh was I going to dazzle him.
I was running a little late but decided to walk instead of taking a cab. It just was so nice outside. And I loved the feeling of the crispness of the air hitting that exposed bit of skin. I strutted. I tilted my chin up. The cute boy in the used book store gave me a thumbs up. The wine store guy arched his eyebrow at me. I saw a bike messenger glance up my skirt then veer a little bit into traffic.
And then suddenly I felt… well, askew. And increasingly colder…was it my imagination or was my right thight slowly working its way down my leg? They both had elastic on the top. It felt secure…—but no way, gravity was definitely having its way with me. Mid thigh, lower thigh, upper knee…
I stopped, reached down and discretely pulled it back in place. Maybe I had twisted the fabric when I pulled it up the first time?
One block later the right thight was now an anklight. Oh my God! I am having a Wardrobe Malfunction.
I was already on 75th. Too far from home too close to the restaurant. Did I have a safety pin? Wait, that would rip them. Tape? Glue? I couldn’t take them off because the skirt would be indecent without them. Then I thought about it. I’d be sitting down for dinner, then probably sitting down in a cab…maybe I could get away with this after all. I reached down and pulled up the wayward thight, secured it with my hand and kept walking. Maybe no one would notice I looked like I was picking my underwear out of my ass.
I got to the restaurant and looked around. “Alexa?” someone said.
He was clean-scrubbed and fresh-faced, sweating lightly from what appeared to be a case of nerves. “Hi. You must be E.E” I reached my hand out to meet his. My thight immediately dropped to the floor in an unattractive clump. He stared at it while still weakly holding my hand. “Um,” I said finally. “Don’t you hate it when that happens?”
E.E pushed up his glasses and said in a barely audible whisper, “Would you excuse me?” And then he quickly left the restaurant.
Oh boy. Do you think that’s what Justin did to Janet?!
All night I was completely tormented by one of those serial dreams. The kind you keep waking up from only to arrive right back into a different part of the same dream. They’re always so awful. You know you’re dreaming but you’re trapped in it anyway.
Neal and I were crawling through the ceiling panels of a building. We were trying to sneak into somewhere without anyone knowing. He kept turning around to look at me and I kept snapping at him to keep going. He stared at me like I was an idiot, which infuriated me.
Then the dream switched. We were doing the same thing only we were crawling along high shelves in a sterile office with florescent lighting. There was no one in the office. All I could hear was a hum from a large computer system or generator.
Suddenly Neal fell off the shelf and landed on his head. There was a huge bleeding cut on his forehead. I jumped down just as he stood up. I asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital but he just looked at me. Then his head and neck fell off into two separate pieces. I tried to put them back on his body but they kept falling off, like the pieces didn’t fit together anymore. When I touched him the last time, it was like touching a mannequin. It just felt cold and hard, like it was dead.
Even writing this down creeps me out. I awoke sure it was my fault, that I had hurt him. What do you think it means?
Thanksgiving. Or Not.
They had the stringbeans with the Cream of Mushroom soup. And the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows. And the cranberry sauce that was shaped like a can.
I had been debating all morning what to do. I couldn’t very well tell Mom on Thanksgiving about what her boyfriend had said to me. I was thinking my best bet was to avoid Neal entirely. I was too afraid I would scream bloody murder if he made another inappropriate comment.
Keeping quiet, though, is not my strong suit—unless of course it concerns my own identity. I had to talk to someone. Pete.
I pulled him aside by a plate of deviled eggs. “Okay. I don’t know how to tell you this. Right before you and Jen got here yesterday? He used ‘jew’ as a verb.”
“Neal. As in ‘they really jew you out that way.’”
“What are you talking about?”
“He’s a racist!”
He paused. “You’re amazing.”
“What—me? What are you talking about—”
“You can’t just leave it at not liking someone. He’s got to be a racist, or a rapist or evil—”
“Wait. You—you’re—you’re saying you think I made this up?”
“I’m saying you hear what you want to hear.”
“What the—that’s ridiculous! Why would I come up with him saying such a hateful—”
“Do you know you didn’t say one word to either me or Jen about us being pregnant? Not ‘congratulations’, not how far along are you’— “
“That’s because I was worried about what to do about Ne—”
“No Alexa. It’s because you were worried about you. As usual.” And he turned and walked away.
I was going to cry. I was going to cry in this strange place by myself. Could they really think I was that mean?! Of course I was happy for them.
“Okay! Everyone to the table,” Cynthia said. “We have place cards!”
Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you looked at it, Cynthia had placed me far away from my family. I seemed to be sitting with the hostess and her girlfriends.
“Can I just introduce you to him at church on Sunday?”
“She’s so stubborn. Hi, I’m Mamie.”
“Alexa. I’m Bonnie’s daughter.”
“Oh! The New Yorker.”
“I’m trying to convince Cynthia here to go out with my neighbor Mark. He’s a very nice divorced man.”
“Who I’m not interested in, Mamie.”
“You’re single aren’t you Alexa? Tell her how hard it is to find a good man.”
“Um. Oh. Uh—maybe she’s not ready yet?” Hadn’t Neal said her husband died only three months ago?
“Nonsense. Stan was sick for a year. They talked about this. He would want you out there honey.”
“There’s no one here I’m interested in. I just—I have to make peace with being alone.”
“No you don’t!” we both said in unison.
“You never know who you’re going to meet. You could meet someone at the—at the library—or the supermarket. Tomorrow .” I said.
“I suppose that’s true sweetheart but sometimes it’s hard to believe it. I think this is why so many go gay.”
“You know I read that.” Mamie said.
I. Was. In. The. Twightlight. Zone.
Neal began tapping a glass. Everyone quieted down. “To Cynthia, our host!”
“To Cynthia!” everyone said.
“Let’s gather hands.”
I thought about Pete’s previous advice to think of clothes at this moment. Instead I was going to take comfort in prayer. One of my own:
I am thankful…I don’t live in a little town in Virginia.
I am thankful…my mother is happy. Even though she’s dating an anti-Semite with a homophobe sister.
I am thankful my family and I are healthy and happy and together.
I am thankful Pete and Jennifer are going to be blessed with another child.
I am thankful for the rich life someone has seen fit to give me, one full of wonderful, open-minded friends both in solid form and on the Internet (Thank you!)
I opend my eyes and began to push whatever it was around on my plate. Miss Manners must have said it once: no one wins by making a scene at Thanksgiving. I think I was right not to say anything. But if I was, why do I feel so gross?
Something Wacked This Way Comes
Boy I hate traveling the day before Thanksgiving. All the traffic and confusion and crowding. All the anxiety and delays and personalities.
But as bad as traveling can get, nothing beats getting to the other side. When I walked out of the terminal at Dulles there she was, Mom, waving to me and blowing kisses from the passenger seat of a Suburu Outback. I had this weird nostalgic pang seeing her like that. I was sure when she pulled up Dad would be behind the wheel. Which is strange because I hadn’t even seen them in the same room together since high school. Then it struck me: this would be the first Thanksgiving with Dad gone, really gone.
Mom came out and gave me a big hug. God she looked amazing. She had her hair cut and styled and was wearing new clothes that actually showed off her figure. She was radiant.
The person driving the car turned out to be Neal, who looked like an accountant. It turns out he was an accountant. He had a medium build, a slight paunch, a receding hairline and neat wire rimmed glasses. Mom gushed as he spoke. I was confused. Hadn’t she said “Cynthia and Neal”?
“How was the flight?” Mom asked when I got in the car.
“Good good. So where’s Cynthia?”
“Oh that’s nice of you to ask. Cooking away. We’re having twenty for the holiday,” Neal said.
“Are you sure this isn’t too much for her Neal?”
“She wants to do it. Cynthia’s husband passed three months ago.”
“Oh my God—goodness.”
“Brain cancer. Horrible disease.”
“Neal’s moved in to help Cynthia with the boys.”
“Well. That’s what big brothers are for.”
So he lives with his sister. Huh. That was both nice. And weird.
I’ll give Neal this. He was really trying. He opened doors for us, and wouldn’t let me handle my bag, even though it looked like it was going to knock him over if he wasn’t careful.
When we got to the house Mom wasted no time. “Pete, Jennifer and the kids should be here any minute so—I’ll just go freshen up. You two talk.”
And she left me there with him. Neal. Who she was dating. The accountant.
All I could think of was that song from the show “Chicago”:
Shoulda been my name
‘Cause you can look right through me.
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…
“So, Mom tells me you’re in fashion.”
‘Mom’? ‘Mom’ tells you?! “Yeah. I’m a junior editor.”
“…at a magazine.”
“What’s it called?”
“It’s to the trade. Trust me. You’ve never heard of it.”
He nodded thoughtfully. And endlessly. Nod nod nod nod nod. “I used to live in New York you know.”
“Oh. Wow. Where?”
“The Upper East Side. 3rd and 77th.”
Of course. The most vanilla part of the city.
“It wasn’t for me though.”
“It’s not for everyone.”
“I found it hard to sleep there. All the noise.”
“Yeah.” I was going to fall asleep during this conversation.
“The garbage trucks would always come at 3:00 AM. I kept calling and complaining. And you know what happened? They just plum stopped picking it up. For two weeks. It stank to high heaven.”
They really jew you out that way.”
And in burst Jennifer with Tyler and Emma in tow. Suddenly the room was a flash of color and energy and motion. I tried to think. Had I just heard him right?
“Hey Lex. Nice belt.”
“Oh you must be Neal! She gave him a big hug which he returned. “We are so very happy to meet you!”
I grabbed her hand. “Can you come outside with me?”
“We just came in.”
“Hi Aunt Alexa. I’m wearing the bug shirt.”
“She loves the bug shirt. Tyler stop running. Say hello to your aunt.”
“And Grammy Bonnie’s friend Neal. Pete this is Neal.”
“Hey how you doin’?” Pete reached out and gave him a firm handshake. Neal slapped him on the back appreciatively.
“Pete I have GOT to talk to you. Now.”
“I know.” He pulled me aside and whispered. “Sorry I didn’t tell you. Jen wanted to wait until we were here.”
“Grammy Bonnie. Grammy Bonnie. I’m going to have sister!”
“Emma! What did we say in the car!”
“Oh! Jennifer! Pete! That’s so wonderful. I’m so happy for you!”
“A grandma again. How nice.” And Neal kissed her on the lips.
Oh my God. My mother is dating A RACIST.
So I wanted to try a little blog experiment. Only I lost the info to make it happen. Help!
Sometime over the summer either in Daily Candy or in Lucky Magazine (I’m pretty sure those are the probable sources) someone wrote up a website where you can actually have your boots redesigned. Like say you have boots with square toes and stilleto heels? You can redesign them on the site with pointy toes and wedge heels. You just pick the styles you want on the site, send them in, and voila they come back better than new! Pretty cool right? I actually used to joke about opening up a business that did that, but never thought it was really truly possible.
And it is, theoretically. But for the life of me, I can’t now find the magazine or email that referenced it. Anyone know what I’m talking about? I’ll make it worth your while…
Mom and Sour Cream Apple Pie
“Do you know what it is today? Four days until the big day. Two until I see you.” Boy I just love Thanksgiving. Cornbread stuffing. Mashed yams with maple syrup. Cranberries with little bits of orange peel in them. And watching football with my brother Pete afterwards. And fixing turkey sandwiches with cranberries for my mom the next day. And playing tag with my niece and nephew. “So did you get my email with the flight information?”
“And you’ll be there to pick me up?”
“…your brother. They’ll get here before you.”
“Okay. Yay! Okay. I gotta—”
“So…we’re going to do things differenly this year.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” Last year I exploded the pumpkin pie I was trying to make in her oven. It took hours to clean up and even longer for the kitchen to stop smelling, well, burned. “I already ordered a pumpkin pie from The Little Pie Company. “Do you want me to get a sour cream apple walnut for you?”
“I was going to do it but I was afraid of having nuts in the house because Tyler would want some and Jen would be all paranoid—”
“Honey. You don’t have to get a pie—”
“But I want to.”
“I’ve—Alexa, I made friends here just like you wanted.”
“Oh that’s so great! I knew you’d love the neighborhood.” She had just moved to Virginia in April.
“You were right sweetheart. So my friends Cynthia and Neal have been nice enough to invite us to their home for Thanksgiving.”
“…they’re very nice. I met them in church.”
She had just said what was in my book a four letter word. And she knew it.
“Church?! I am not going to church!”
“Alexa Susan, nobody is making you go to church. You’re leaving on Saturday, yes?”
“Yeah but I am not—”
“So how would you be going to church with me on Sunday?”
“Everyone there—they know each other from church—So wait wait. You mean—you’re not making the cranberries with the orange peel?”
“Well honey I can make some for the house. Of course. But they asked me to bring a jello mold for dessert so—”
Okay. This is where I draw the line. “Jello mold?! Did you just say—”
I knew I had just morphed into ‘bratty youngest child’ but I couldn’t help myself. “So I suppose they’re going to have those—greenbeans with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup and stuffing from Stouffers and—”
“I’m sure Cynthia will have a lovely buffet—
“Everything’s going to come from a can. That’s not Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is is—”
“Honey. Listen. I know you’re disappointed. But this is really important to me. You wanted me—you encouraged me to start a new life for myself.
“Well, this is it. It’s something new for all of us. A beginning.”
Oh I so didn’t like the sound of that.
“Honey. I need your support. Please”
Jesus. I was making my mother beg. “Okay.”
“Of course. Of course”
I hung up and speed-dialed Pete.
“Church friends? We are having Thanksgiving with church friends?!”
“Alexa? Hi Alexa.” It was my sister-in-law Jennifer.
“Did she call and talk to Pete already about this?”
“Pete it’s Alexa,” she said meaningfully with her hand over the receiver.
“…Jen why are you acting weird?”
“I’m not acting weird. Um…so who are you dating?”
Okay now she wasn’t being weird. She was being exactly as annoying as she ever was on this topic. I sighed. “Can I talk to Pete?”
“Sure. Pete! It’s Alexa”
He picked up. “Hey”
“Are we concerned?”
“…about what?” He sounded nervous.
“Oh. Oh. She sounds good.”
“I know she sounds good. But church. Church friends. What, are we going to pray around the table?”
“So if we do it’s five minutes. Close your eyes and think about clothes.”
“I’m serious Pete. Thanksgiving is—it’s ours. It’s for our family. We have traditions and and our way of doing things and—”
“Alexa. We’ve got to trust mom to live her own life. Change is good. It’s good for all of us in fa—”
“PETE!!!!” Jennifer screamed in the background.
“Um. I’ve got to go. Just don’t worry about this, alright? It’ll be fine.” And he hung up.
Okay now I was more than worried. I was freaked. You would freak, wouldn’t you? Church friends?!
Sample sale day! Sample sale day! Yippee yippee yippee.
I had printed out Daily Candy from a few days ago and was taking the C downtown and dreaming of 80%-off booty and maybe a dosa from Hampton Chutney. All of a sudden I saw someone, a man, move abruptly from across the car towards me. My NYC don’t-fuck-with-me defenses kicked into high gear. Before I could even get up though, he was addressing me by name. “Alexa?”
Wait a second. “Holy cow Hobie?! What are you doing here?”
“I live here.”
“Get out. I thought—weren’t you in…San Diego?”
“I was. I moved back a year ago.”
“You look exactly the same.”
He paused. “Alexa. I have no hair.”
It was true. Hobie from high school was completely bald. I was trying to focus on his face but my eyes kept veering to his head.
“I’m telling you, you look exactly the same.”
“Well thanks for that. And you look beautiful of course. what are you doing now?”
I hate this question. I knew it was coming. Whenever you meet someone new or see someone old it’s always, “What are you doing now?” It’s our way to quickly process and categorize who the person in front of us currently is. I suppose there’s something utterly American or capitalistic about it: I am what I do. I just wished we all picked a better question to do this by. Like, what are your voting patterns these days? Or if you were a dosa from Hampton Chutney, which one would you be?
Of course with me this question always came down to creative ways around the truth. I had a list of answers: I work in the fashion industry (true but out of date); I’m in hospitality (true but evasive); I’m in public relations (vague enough that anyone could say it and it would be true). This time though I couldn’t help thinking about the two penises on my site. Jesus. Why did I have to be so circumspect all the time? Why couldn’t I just be bold and admit who I really was?
“Actually I’m writing porn on the Internet.”
Jesus. Had I actually said that out loud!? It was both true and actually hinted at what else I did. I wanted to close my eyes and curl into a ball while the world fell into a million tiny pieces around me.
The subway screeched to a stop. I caught sight of Hobie looking right at me.
“What?” I said. I was sure I was going to throw up.
“Oh my God. I do voice overs for Japanese porn anime!”
We blinked at each other. The doors opened. “Oh.” he said, “We are having coffee right now.”
So Hobie, it turns out, is an actor who had been making a living on voice-overs for quite some time. One of his friends had put him in touch with a Japanese company doing anime. His first gigs were for programs broadcast as kid shows on Saturday mornings. But apparently a lot of these companies also do hentai, which is the porn version of anime.
“So what’s it like exactly?”
“Some of it’s soft core, some of it’s more sadomasichist. I played a guy in the last one who got off making women fart.”
“The Japanese are weird.”
“Tell me about it. A lot of it is about turning women into sex slaves. It’s like they’re fascinated by this corrupted innocence. Here look at this. I carry this around just—I don’t know why. It’s just wacked. It’s a character breakdown from one of my last auditions.”
A quick skim and…oh boy. You can’t make this stuff up:
Lila: mid 20’s, female. More of an adult.
Rika: perky teen, female
Yoshiko: 20 year old female. Low key, a bit bashful (but has no problem urinating on a photo of her dead husband).
“Sweet. But has sex with cows.” I said.
“Wholesome. But not above ramming tasers up her behind,” he countered.
“Ow!” We laughed. Then Hobie looked at me. “So tell me about your site! What do you write about? Do you write anything true?”
I opened my mouth. It was so…soothing to talk to someone who was so candid about what they did. And being with Hobie, it was all familiar, hypnotising actually. I almost wanted to go to sleep. Hobie who had sat next to me in math, who had taken a close friend of mine to the prom. Hobie who’s older brother had taught Pete to drive, Hobie who’s mother knew my mother from our old church. Oh my God. Thanksgiving was next week. Oh my God. What the fuck!?
The world had just turned garish. Colors swam before me. I felt the coffee rising in my throat.
“Um. You know what? I made it up.”
“Yeah. I know. Sorry. I just—my job at the fashion magazine is so you know um menial. It’s just something I said. It sounded good at the time. I would—you excuse me? I—nice seeing—”
I just made it out of the cafe in time to throw up in the alley around the corner.
Uch. I feel so bad about this. I keep thinking I should try to call him. But I did the right thing, right? I couldn’t tell him. I’m right. Right?
Say Sayonara to the Shoe
So I’m about to have some work done.
On the site that is.
Gotcha, didn’t I?
After a few months of shopping around, I’ve finally found a fabulous web designer who’s going to give the site an upgrade in sleek. Oooh. You’ll all have to dress up to even come visit me. Or you can just wear your birthday suits Like always.
We’re at about T minus one month before the changes hit your screens. I’ll have a countdown and everything.
Coffee To Be Seen And Not Heard
Taste of Heaven—my hat is off to you.
So there I was last Wednesday in Columbus Avenue Bakery nursing a blackout cookie and a latte. I was knee deep in the front section of the Times. Just enjoying the sunlight streaming through the window, the sugar/caffeine rush and the quiet pace of pouring through the paper and letting all the issues wash over me and my thoughts. And then there was a screeeeeeeaaaam. Followed by another even higher-pitched shreeeeeeeeak. Two toddlers ran around me wielding cutlery and laughing at so high a register I was surprised a pack of dogs didn’t immediately surround the place and howl for all it was worth.
All of us in the room turned around to glare at whoever was in charge of these demons, but no one seemed to be within ten feet of them. Then, about a minute later, two hip Upper West Side grandmother-types trudged in, looked lazily around, and called the kids to eat their cookies. So they could have more sugar. And presumably yell even more. Great.
Now I love Columbus Avenue Bakery. I have met so many fascinating, friendly, and offbeat people there. The salads are great, the baked goods inspired. But this happens ALL THE TIME and is nearly as annoying as the fact that CAB still does not have an internet connection.
I turned back to my paper in disgust, flipped the page, then nearly knocked over my coffee. For there on the front of the National Section was an article with the title “At Center of a Clash, Rowdy Children in Coffee Shops.” Are you kidding me?! This was just too weird. I looked around in confusion then met the eyes of a guy across the room from me. He smiled, raised his eyebrow, and flicked his paper conspiratorily. “Do you think I should make a paper airplane out of this and lob it at ‘em?” he whispered. I gave him a big thumbs up.
Did anyone read the article? The jumping off point was about this cafe owner in Andersonville Chicago who put up a sign asking for all children to speak in their indoor voices while at the cafe. Apparently mothers were incensed and tried to boycott the place. It exposed a division between the cafe patrons with kids and those without—and also between the yuppies gentrifying the neighborhood (mostly those with kids) and the artists who had been living there for years before the area was even on the map. The owner described these parents as “former cheerleaders and beauty queens” who “have a very strong sense of entitlement”. Ah the class issue raises its ugly head, huh?
I was thinking about getting up right there and then, marching over to the manager and handing over the article as required reading when two young moms walked in with baby carriages. One of them was a stunner—blond boing-boing curls, fresh-faced with ivory white skin and a huge smile. If she were in a commercial she would be selling us dishwashing liquid and Hot Pockets, and dear God since it was herwe’d probably go out and buy them. The blonde politely apologized for knocking people with her carriage and quietly made her way to an empty table. As I followed her with my eyes, I noticed a harried-looking brunette cutting her pan-fried chicken breast into perfect itsy-bitsy pieces. I marveled at her precision. She had to be completely off her rocker. But no. She was feeding her tow-headed little boy who was sitting in the seat next to her. He turned around, looked at me, and said in the most proper of indoor-voices, “Hi.” Then he started to eat the chicken, even though he could barely reach the table in front of him.
Before I knew it my mouth was open. “Excuse me, miss? Would you like a high chair?”
She turned around in confusion. “They have those here? I didn’t see—”
“Don’t worry. I’ll get it.” When I brought it back to her she completely gushed. “Thank you. That was so nice.”
“Well I didn’t want him to fall.”
“What do you say to the lady Peter?”
“You have silly tights.”
And I did.
Kids say the darndest things, don’t they? Especially when someone’s teaching them not to yell.
Ivory soap—I’m on to youThere’s a peculiar thing about shower design in New York City post-war apartments. Why is it that the soap niche is always placed right smack in the line of fire from the oncoming shower stream? I’m assuming that designers and contractors are familiar with both basic physics and the constitution of soap. The must know that a stream of water projected at a certain angle with a certain force will hit a certain unassuming soap-like target and completely waste it. Which is all the more sad when the sad little soap in question is fancy lemongrass oatmeal soap from Ithaca’s farmer’s market. Was fancy lemongrass oatmeal soap anyway. My bar lasted a mere six days!
Could it be that Proctor and Gamble is secretly colluding with American Standard? Ivory, Zest and Camay certainly hold up better against deadly jet streams than your mom and pop variety like Ithaca’s own 17th Century Suds. And of course to further stack the deck, your basic NYC shower is designed to be used with a shower curtain, not door, Which of course limits one’s ability to adjust one’s shower head, unless you’re partial to moats in the bathroom.
I’m trying to hold out against the soap/shower cabal by keeping my second fancy bar (lavender-mint by the way) on the back ledge of the tub instead of in the more handy but clearly more dangerous niche. This is especially hard since I take showers and baths in the dark. But it’s a risk worth taking in the name of supporting America’s small businesses. Let’s just hope I don’t trip.
What’s A Modern Girl to Do, Indeed?
I’m a little behind The Times here. The New York Times. So I just read Maureen Dowd’s October 30th feature magazine article “What’s A Modern Girl to Do?” over this past weekend. And I’ve been thinking of nothing else since. Anyone else read it?
Dowd wonders what’s become of the feminist movement, which seems to be a topic many people are writing about of late. She wonders if the return to 50’s fashion also reveals a return to 50’s values. She cites the recent Times article about female Ivy League students who admit they will dedicate themselves solely to child rearing once they get married. She quotes some figures too—like the fact that in 1990 23% of college-educated women kept their own names after marriage, while in 2000 the number had fallen to 17%.
The scariest part of the article was the section on power dynamics:
“…55% of 35-year-old career women were childless. And among corporate executives who earn $100,000 or more, 49% of the women did not have children compared with only 19% of the men…”the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child. For men the reverse is true.”
Apparently even I.Q. makes a difference. “The prospect for marriage increased by 35% for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women there is a 40% drop for each 16-point rise.”
At least we can now explain Brittney Spears’ two marriages…
Hmmmm. I’m not sure what to think here. It’s always difficult when you live in Manhattan to figure out what a norm really is. Case in point—I counted how many girlfriends I had who were married. Only three had changed their names while nine of them didn’t.
I also don’t know about the fashion thing. Chicken egg. Chicken egg. Besides, I’d hate to think my love of all things Marc Jacobs springs from the fact that society is telling me I’d be better off baking a pot pie in the kitchen.
But the thing about marriage and child bearing…you live in New York you see it in action. I know lots of accomplished, successful, amazing women in their late 30’s who are single and not happy about it. Then again, there are others that are very blissfully so. I have a former fashion rag friend who know works as a publicist. She tells me she loves the fact that when she gets home she only has to worry about taking care of herself. And I wonder about those executives—maybe the truth is they don’t want children?
Tass would say, “It’s a sticky wicket mate.” I’d have to agree with her.
He pounded and tapped, smacked and fingered the dumbek, swaying to the rythm and tossing his golden brown dreadlocks in time to the music. His mouth was open and his eyes closed. He wore what passed as a Halloween costume. Ripped pants, no shirt, and green Incredible Hulk body make-up. Somehow it worked. He was raw sex, power As he took his solo he began to sweat, the green goo melting along his arms and glistening in the half-light. His eyes sparkled. He raised his chin and signaled.
The rest of the band joined in, adding in riq, zarb, finger cymbals, an electric bass and guitar. The room shook with intensity, the bass thumping in the audience’s collective chests. Angels, and insects, superheros and princesses nodded their heads, whooped and clapped along to the ever changing beat.
She entered the area in front of the band, a mass of silver and sparkles, her eyes large with markings like hieroglyphics. A sudden hush filled the air. A slight pause. Then she began to dance, smiling ever-so knowlingly as her hands made exotic circles above her head, along her sides, near her bottom without so much as grazing any part of herself. She turned slowly in elipses slowly, then made her way to face us. Her belly undulated softly back and forth teasing us along. She turned to him and made eye contact They were lovers surely, I thought. She arched her back away from him, bringing her hands up in the air and bending further and further towards us, her black hair cascading down her shoulders. He tempted her back with short quick jabs on the dumbek. I imagined him slipping his green hands under her the silver halter,working his way with those fingers to her nipples, stroking their crowns ever so lightly and leaving a trail of melting paint behind him.
I brought my boot closer towards me under my skirt and began to move in time to the beat. Maybe next year I’d be a belly dancer.
The Counselors Are In
“Is that your way of saying ‘cheese’?
“Sorry. Right. Parmagiano Reggiano!” she mugged, closing her eyes and kicking her foot up dramatically.
“Gouda, dude,” said Cass, giving the peace sign. That cracked both of them up. I snapped the picture.
We were hiking up Ithaca’s Buttermilk Falls on a perfect October Sunday. Well perfect in that it felt like it was still September. An almost cloudless blue sky, the smell of mulching leaves beneath our feet, the cascade of water and an overhang of mist. The path was damp from all the rain the weeks before. It felt hidden, grotto-esque, mysterious. The architecture of the rocks was dramatic, stage-like. I felt alive, as if I had finally rejoined the rest of life. If only Tash would get off her Little Ms. Fix-It Routine.
“But you’re really good at yoga. She’s really good at yoga.”
“Yoou ahre being very goood,” said Cass properly, in an on-the-nose imitation of Tash talking to her dogs. I snorted.
“Oh shog off the both of you.” She turned to me, plaintively. “But you are really good.” Then to Cass, “She can do ankle to knee.”
I shoved past her and ran up the next set up steps. “I’m not going to be a yoga instructor.”
Tash ran after me in hot pursuit. Jesus she was dogged when she wanted to be. “Why not? You just said you don’t like your place in the city anymore.”
“So I’m going to go get licened and then open my own place? What is that, like a three-year time-line?”
“What’s the matter with what you’re doing now?” said Cass.
Tash and I both stopped. I flashed her a don’t-even-think-about-opening-your-big-fat-mouth look. She flashed me back an eyebrow-twitching, nose-wrinkling, no-holds-barred well-if-you-don’t-have-anything-to-be-ashamed-about-what’s-the difference-if-she-knows face. Luckily Cass was too busy studying a tree to catch the mad mugging and masking going on behind her back.
“Okay. A vintner.”
I choked so hard the Reisling went up my nose. Cass did a spit-take into her glass. Since this was our third vineyard and our twenty-something taste, we were pretty primed to find just about anything funny.
“And this next one is our Moondance dessert wine—”
“Oh don’t try that one it’s bloody awful.” Cass did another spit take. She was going to choke if she wasn’t careful. “Sorry” Tash said to the clerk. “But it is. As sure as eggs are eggs.”
“I’d love to try it,” I said cutting her off. “So what? Now it’s a ten-year time-line you’re subjecting me to?”
“You like wine. You have a great palate.
“I know when they use oak Tash. Doesn’t make me Robert fucking Parker.”
“Can we have more Cheez-its?” asked Cass.
“That’s what these are? Cheez-its?” said Tash, horrified.
“Saw the box. Had a bitt of a sticky at that.”
“You make a lousy Aussie, you know that don’t you?”
Cass turned to me. “I don’t know. It’s not a bad idea. You could move up here. I’ll move from Portland. We could be partners.”
“What are you talking about? You have a great job. You just finished grad school.
“I’m designing grain elevators in Buffalo.” she deadpanned.
This time it was Tash’s turn to snort her wine all over her lace shirt.
“Remember when she wanted to be a cheesemonger?”
“Oh come on you guys. That was for like five days.” I looked apologetically at the Sheep Lady. We were now at the Cornell Farmers market getting desert for tonight’s dinner. “Not that I don’t like cheese,” I said paying her for a hunk of just that. “I’m just not sure about caves.”
“What about a pastry chef” Cass said as we wandered off to the cider donuts.”Or a baker.”
I didn’t answer. “Lex? What’s up? You look pensive.”
“…maybe I’ll write a book.”
“That’s a good idea!” Tash looked positively ebullient,like she was going to burst into a million pieces.
Who knew. Maybe I would.
When we got back to Tash’s I looked at myself in the mirror of the bathroom. I was breathless. flushed from wine, the exercise, and the company. It had truly been a great day.
Things just got better when I entered the dining room. In our absence the Rocket Scientist had fixed a feast fit for kings—roasted baby beets, brussel sprouts with walnuts, braised pumkin and butternut squash, salmon with rustic pesto, and cauliflower soup with caraway seeds. Yum. But where oh where was the chef in question? I stretched my mouth in preparation for the torrent of words that would erupt the second I caught sight of him.
We found him a few minutes later sprawled out on the couch, my open bottle of absinthe before him. The dogs had burrowed on top of him, making him look even more askew than he probably was. I couldn’t help laughing.
“Well look at you!” said Tash. “Nipping into the drinks without us”
“So how is it?” I asked.
The Rocket Scientist smiled lopsidely and blinked. “I see stars,” he said.
Diarrhea…of the Mouth
He came up looking apologetic and clutching a pink notepad. “…Tash gave me a list of what to pack for you.”
“Hi. How are you? I can’t believe she sent you. Your wife is a crazy person. Not that I don’t love her. I hope she didn’t tell you what I said. How was the drive? That’s a nice shirt. Is it cold outside?”
He blinked and shuffled his feet uncomfortably. “…she says I should get you some turtlenecks.”
I sighed and let him inside.
Tash knew I was powerless against The Rocket Scientist. She knew his reticence brought out the very worst in me. Confronted with the long silences that came with any exchange with him I suddenly morphed into Chatty Cathy. It was like a tick. I simply couldn’t shut up.
“I was going to call her back but then I fell asleep but I’m awake now. Have you seen The Daily Show? You probably don’t have time to watch it. How do you like Ithaca? I should get some deodorent. Ooh! Are you hungry? I have some stewed bananas. I heard you’re building a patio.”
And then there was the other factor. Because I wasn’t just being facetious. The Rocket Scientist wasn’t an ironic moniker for dumbass. The Rocket Scientist was smart. Really smart. Genius level smart. The Rocket Scientist…well, he’s actually a rocket scientist. I would tell you some of the things he’s done, but frankly I don’t understand any of it.
“Oooh. I haven’t done laundry in a while. I’ll just—you know? I’ll just take my dirty clothes. Because everything important is in there, in the dirty clothes. And some boots. I need boots. What kind of boots do you have in Ithaca? I bet you need ones with good traction. Do you have two cars now?”
When I emerged from the bedroom I expected him to be hitting himself senseless over the head with a frying pan. Instead he was quietly inspecting one of my bottles of absinthe.
“Oooh we’ll take that. Have you ever had absinthe? Do you know it’s not really halucinogenic? I mean it is but you have to have like ten shots of it a day for weeks before anything really happens. That’s not really scientific, it’s just an estimation. I don’t know why it’s even illegal. It seems ridiculous. But we can drink it up there in Ithaca. It will keep us warm. Do you know you’re supposed to carmelize a teaspoon of sugar when you drink it? Well with the rot gut stuff. But this brand is supposed to be higher end. Maybe you don’t need to do that.”
Jesus. How was I going to survive five hours of this? It was like a talking marathon. I was exhausted and sweating. My heart was palpitating. He looked even worse than I did. I suspected he thought I was crazy. I cornered Tash one time and asked her to tell me the truth.
“Of course not.”
“Really? He hasn’t said anything.”
“Come on. I don’t believe you. It’s me”
“He just thinks you’re…energetic.”
God only knows what that was a euphemism for.
When we finally exited the building, I got a start. For there she was. Tash. At the wheel of a waiting 93 red SAAB.
“No way. You snake. You were here the whole time?!”
“Someone had to watch the car.” She smiled a big toothy smile.
“I hate you.”
I laughed. I was sure she was right. I threw my stuff in the hatch back and climbed into the backseat.
“Alright then. Onward James.”
And we were off.
The Road to Ithaca
I was the victim of a hostile abduction last weekend…
Day Five of the oatmeal and mashed potato diet was going along quite nicely. I was considering moving on to polenta or stewed bananas. Somehow yellow sounded nice.
I ignored the phone when it rang, and instead turned up the volume on yet another Tivo-ed Daily Show and snuggled deeper into my blanket. No one but no one was going to get in the way of my-what-happened-in-satire-while-I-was-away marathon. I was on the verge of considering John and the gang close and personal friends.
Something about the tone on the machine though made me sit up and take notice. I paused Ed Helms and gave a listen.
“…the rental car, but if you forgot I already got you a convertible blue Porsche since I know how you hate economy—”
Holy smokes! I threw off the covers and scrambled into the bedroom to grab my datebook. You have got to be kidding me. You have got to be kidding me.
God. She wasn’t kidding.
I had plum forgotten that the weekend before Halloween had been declared official reunion weekend by my college friends Tasha and Cass. We had planned it months ago. Shit! I was supposed to be leaving in a few hours. For Ithaca.
“…thought we could do the winery trail tomorrow afternoon and then Cass wanted to make dinner for—
I happened to catch sight of myself in the mirror as I pondered what to do. My hair had passed greasy and now was veering towards clumped, which I assumed is what happened on the way to dreadlocks. I had rings of mascara around my eyes. When did I last wear mascara even, I wondered.
“…wish you’d bloody well pick up the phone. Your cell’s been off for ages and—”
“Hi,” I croaked, picking up.
“Oh good. You’re there. What’s happening with your voice?”
What was happening with my voice? Oh right. I actually hadn’t talked to anyone in uh one, two…three whole days.
“Cass wants to know if you can pick up some everything bagles and a couple of blueberry as well at H&H. Wegmans’ thinks they know how to boil them but they taste like they’ve been laying out in the bin for—”
“Of course you can. You’re a handful of blocks from there. It’s on your way to the car. Did I give you the address—”
“No—that’s not. Tash, I’m so—look, I’m…I-I just can’t come.”
“I’m not feeling too well.”
“…we set the date in March”
“I didn’t plan to get sick.”
“You’re trying to chuck a sickie on us.”
“I am no—”
“You are. You have the best resistance on the entire Eastern Seabord. You take vitamins and drink fresh juice and down loads of echinacea and zinc if you so much as sneeze. You never got a cold once through the whole of college—”
The problem with old friends is that they happen to know you too well when it’s most inconvenient.
“Um look…it’s more a psychological—”
“Is this about the job?”
Ugh. If there was one thing I regretted it was telling Tash what I actually did for a living. Well, in fairness to me, she had been a little too difficult to convince. I went from not being able to afford a cell to buying a flat screen a little too quickly in her book. I couldn’t pull the “trust fund baby” routine on her since she had actually met my family. But I figured she of all people would be open minded. She was the one who stole a kilo of pot from a deceased woman when she was working as an assistant to an estate lawyer in Melbourne. I think she first took her parents car out for a spin when she was nine. But working as an escort, somehow that was something she couldn’t fully understand. It wasn’t a judgment thing. It was a not-living-up-to-my-full-potential issue. I remember how she stared at me blankly when I finally came clean.
“…no way you can do this without it affecting something in your psyche. You’ll self-objectify. They’ve done studies on it here, you know in the psychiatry department. Our neighbor only last week told me the average escort—”
She was so surprised that she did.
“Look I have just had the week from hell, okay? I spent a week in Europe with a limp-dicked emotional psycho and his frigid wife who probably had thoughts of killing me. My asshole won’t stop throbbing from the double whammy of non-stop diarrhea and an exposure to post Soviet Bloc toilet paper. And I’m finding the idea of stewed bananas to be enticing. So if you don’t mind I would appreciate it oh so much if you would just hang up and leave me the fuck alone!”
I slammed down the phone. Then pulled the cord from the wall.
I went back to the television. She deserved it. Jerk.
About three Stewarts and two Colberts later I started to feel bad. Frankly I would have been upset with me too. It was completely rude that I was focusing on myself when we all agreed that our friendship was a precious thing that needed to be attended to, especially since we were all living in different cities. And Tash had timed it all so that we could see the foliage. I should call her. I should beg her forgiveness. I should jump in that fancy blue Porsche and just go.
Fat chance. I was in a groove after all. I was going to continue to sit and feel bad about myself. Now I could add being a lousy disappoinment of a friend to my list of sins. I sucked for sure.
I must have passed out because the next thing I knew there was a certain familiar convertible backing up near my head. I had to stop it before it ran me over. I put my hand out but it moved in slow motion as if I were cutting through goo. I tried to scream but my lungs were underwater.
What?! Something was beeping. I rose suddenly from the couch. What was that—
Right. The intercom. I ran over to pick it up, tripping over myself since both my right foot and my left hand were still fast asleep.
“Sorry. Ow. Hello?”
“James here to see you”
Oh no. She had sent The Rocket Scientist.
So why am I writing this blog? I have an inner exhibitionist that just needs to be let out. I've always wanted to bare myself completely in front of strangers but have always been held back by fear.
As strange as it may sound, I've never really truly bared myself in front of any of my clients. For all that they've seen, they've never seen me be me. And for all that I've seen, I simply need to share it with you!
So why should you come? To be tantalized and teased. To get release by knowing the true me.
I promise that I won't bite, and if I do bite, I'll make sure you like it!
my favorite posts
- Caveat Vendor - Part II
- Selling Out (Part III)
- Poops!... I Did It Again!
- My First Escorting Experience
- My First Lesbian Experience
- Daddy's Little Girl (Part II)
- Selling Out (Part III)
- March 2007
- February 2007
- January 2007
- December 2006
- November 2006
- October 2006
- September 2006
- August 2006
- July 2006
- June 2006
- May 2006
- April 2006
- March 2006
- February 2006
- January 2006
- December 2005
- November 2005
- October 2005
- September 2005
- August 2005
- July 2005
- April 2005
- March 2005
- February 2005
- January 2005
- December 2004
- November 2004
- October 2004
- September 2004
- August 2004