I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "Walkin' on Sunshine"]

Sunday, December 29, 2002

The sidebar is dazed, confused, and crawling back into its hole.

I am...probably never going to understand why I keep getting asked out by all the wrong people, especially when I wasnít looking. Itís not like Iím pining away for some impossibly handsome, rich bastard everyone wants. I just grew to want this one, simple yet complex, seemingly good person who seems to fit. The nerd of my dreams.

I met another one a few months ago and I thought, ďFuck celibacy!Ē So much for the best laid plans. Thus began the oozing of hormones from my very pores and the parade of really nothing-to-do-with-who-I-really-am men begging to lap them up, like dogs trailing my scent.

So now is the point at which I freak out, or he does. I pulled myself back the other day. On the one hand, heís not in touch. On the other, I had to ask him out the last two times, but he did accept and we ended up having a lot of fun. So were those acceptable risks? Like Nerd Boy, must I be the aggressor? I hate to play along to something as insipid as The Rules, but thereís a line I donít want to cross.

I guess this is my plight for really being put off by the aggressive men who come after me for my body, but donít see me at all. My therapist says it canít be that black and white, but truly it is. When Rafe jumped me, smart and nerdy as he is, it was rather an exception.

If there is one thing in life I hate more than anything else, itís not understanding what is going on. I felt like that at my last job. I was exposed to everyone who passed by, yet I was alone and had no clue what was going on behind the walls that surrounded me. I sensed there was gossip about Nerd Boy and I at the very least and Iíve always been strangely surprised that people are threatened or overwhelmed by me, but I should be able to anticipate it by now.

Iíll never forget Fang telling me how her boyfriendís brother described me as ďintenseĒ on a lazy afternoon during which we drank lots of Guinness and ate his brotherís nummy Guinness stew. Ironically, both Fang and I would describe my mood that day as ďErica on 5Ē (thinking of the volume on our stereos that only went up to 10). Nevertheless, 5 is too high a setting for a civilian.

And so I never know what is the truth, if someone is intimidated or repulsed by me, because I have both extremes all the time. I have overheard people talk about me in less than flattering terms and have had others describe me in the most glowing terms. Meanwhile, I just putter along, completely clueless as to who feels what in regard to me. Iím just not savvy enough to know, sometimes, who to trust. Granted, my instinct is great and most of the time I know who to trust and who to distance myself from, but I do have blind spots.

If someone writes to say I shouldnít care what anyone thinks, I will hunt them down and slap them. Itís not a matter of caring what people think about me, per se, but of wanting to know which people think what, so I donít throw my pearls before swine, as it were. My concern is of wasting my bounty on those who are beneath me.

. . .

Thursday night, I went out with Steve, who Iíve been talking with for a month or so. His work schedule is pretty hectic, so he wasnít able to get together sooner (except during the day when I am, of course, at work). We met for drinks at Johnnyís, a quirky watering hole a few blocks from where I live. I have passed it a hundred times, but never gone in before. In one of the sad ironies about living in the West Village, I donít go out for a drink nearly enough.

It had a great jukebox, and I hummed along happily, between drags on American Spirits bummed from Steve. Unfortunately, Crazy Eyed Singing Guy in the Corner knew the words to all the songs in the juke box, whether Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye or something more contemporary. He annoyed me very much, though I could not pinpoint exactly why. It was an entirely irrational disdain.

Steve and I kept praying the hot bartender wasnít going out with CESGC and were oddly relieved when she didnít. ďBetter she comes home with me,Ē I said with a wide grin. The conversation was easy, if terribly light, as were the laughs, touching and flirting. I forgot I could be this way. Itís always so damn serious with the nerds I so adore, a vicious circle of shyness, insecurity, crossed signals. Despite my geeky brain, there is something about just being a woman and enjoying a man.

After a few hours and a few drinks, I walked Steve to his car on Seventh Avenue South. It still had much more snow on the roof than the others because heíd just driven back from Christmas with his family in Westchester. He held my face and told me how beautiful I am, how sexy my lips are.

Open sesame. I kissed him back, not another thought in my head. For a moment, I was, as Zelda Sayre/Daisy Buchanan put it, ďA beautiful, little fool,Ē all the world wants of a woman.

. . .

And so it was Steve again on Saturday. After the utter lack of physical contact with K (I hugged him on Tuesday night and he looked like Iíd punched him in the gut) I needed to be kissed, badly. Thus, the pattern rears its ugly head again. It always starts with the shy, smart guy who seems right in every way, except he wonít touch me.

I have this wonderful, luscious body and itís just going to waste. There is this huge part of my self I donít get to express regularly. That is very frustrating. Imagine not being able to speak for months or years on end and then only surrounded by the deaf. That is how I feel.

I donít want to keep having these sort of schizophrenic relationships -- one for my mind and one for my body. I laughed appreciatively last night while watching Kissing Jessica Stein when Helen describes how she calls one boyfriend when sheís hungry, another when sheís bored and still a third when sheís horny.

I get exhausted at the thought of trying to squeeze in more than two people; I donít know how men do it. Instead of assembling a whole man from miscellaneous, spare parts, I want to meld the best together into one, smart, quirky, passionate person who doesnít annoy the fuck out of me.

Regardless of how much I enjoy Kís company, I have always and will always need my time alone in great quantity. Indeed, after work I need to be alone for an hour before going down to the communal dining room, if possible. I vant to be alone -- not always, but rather a lot. When Rafe was calling everyday, it was too much. Begger and chooser, I.

[Next entry: "Deferring a Dream, Again"]
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