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Friday, May 27, 2011

Are tulle shoulder pads and face paint necessary?

Monday night I was talked into attending a live show hosted by a radio station. The guy who convinced me said the artist "radiated positive energy" and there was no way I could leave the venue "without being inspired." Inspired to do what exactly? Not sure. But the show was nearby, sounded promising, and I had nothing better planned.

I was in a fine mood earlier: I left my apartment at noon and went to the village to bar hop and drink vodka. It was now 8 p.m., and I found myself at this show, grumpy, drinking cheap white wine (it was all they offered) and out twenty bucks. The performer was wearing mini rainbow-colored tutus on her shoulders and sounded like Bjork singing African tribal music. The band wore one-piece, spandex gymnastic outfits. Not my scene.

Or was it? It was definitely not a yuppie Hoboken crowd but it felt like the audience (and performers) were trying too hard to be non-commercial, acting like arty know-it-all hipsters. But shouldn't I feel better here than yuppieville? I morphed into a snob who did not believe in this performace specticle. I put on my big sunglasses, sipped wine, and scribbled notes on the show's flier, thinking: "I can be just as pretentious as you all." Instead of bobbing my head and embracing the chants, my face remained serious and I analyzed each note. It was as if I needed to take on a role -- create a character and reason why I was there -- if I did not fit in I would make it because I was someone else. I did not receive the "positive energy" and all I was inspired to do was drink and write more.

In Hoboken, I yearn for an art culture, people who like poetry and indie music but I am surrounded by the superficial youth who brag about how great they are at beruit and chugging and prefer rap or techno. Here, where I thought I'd belong, I was still on the outskirts. I was in my own bubble of observation, staring at the audience, wondering if they were authentically happy.

But why is it so important for me to feel included in a crowd? Furthermore, why do I constantly lie on the outside looking in?

Monday, May 23, 2011

My three lovers.

I don't sleep around. Not really. I like making out with guys. But to have sex with them? Well, I am particular. So how I ended up having three lovers -- at the same time -- for fours months is beyond me and how I chose these winners from the rest of Hoboken's elite is further from that.

The Tool. Simultaneously, his Jersey Shore meets Jonas Brothers persona endeared and annoyed me. After drinks, he would create a pseudo Italian accent, calling me "baybeh" and leaving the 'R' off the end of words like car and bar. We were friends with benefits for a year before he confessed to having stronger feelings and wanted an exclusive relationship. In other words, he was "jealous of other guys fucking the shit out of [me]." One tipsy night led to us trying on the boyfriend-girlfriend label. Twelve hours later, I saw him walking down the street holding hands with an Asian chick. Dumbfounded, I managed to yell his name, to which he introduced us then hurried away. I still have the boxer briefs left in my room from when he was my boyfriend. My twelve hour boyfriend. I texted him he fucked up but we haven't seen each other nor discussed the incident since. Who broke up with who? 

The Man Whore. A Dominican, charismatic coke head. Off the top of my head I can think of seven people I know he's had sex with. We have nothing else in common. One night he pulled me into my room and gave me an over the top kiss as he tried to stick his hand down my pants. I pushed away, although, secretly liked it. Sure he was slutty, but also, hot. The cat and mouse act continued and ended with him yanking out his (ahem, huge) penis, saying, "Don't you want this?" and me screaming, "No!" and leaving him bewildered on my bed. I smirked at how coy I was, until the next time we hung out, and my hormones won. We had a few nights of rough and wild sex. His room had a long mirror aligned with the bed; the floor covered with half empty liquor bottles and the smell of stale cigarettes. I could spend three days in there without even realizing the sun came up. We did not have much to talk about: just series of basic questions, in between positions, discovering how opposite we were. My favorite question he asked was, "What's your favorite salad dressing?" It was fun for four months until his arrogance got the best of me. Now whenever I see Thousand Island (his favorite) I think of rough sex.

The Married Guy. Don't judge me. It's a cliche story and the mistress never gets the sympathy vote. I am not justifying the situation just explaining it. We talk literature and bond over other people's idiocracies. Once we had a fifteen minute conversation on why I love parenthesis and he loves semicolons. Should I mention we both have daddy issues? And we get prescribed the same panic attack medicine. So he's a wasp and older and married and I suppose that is a problem. The sex is okay but I mostly get off on the secret, taboo aspect of it all. A couple months into the affair, we had a bittersweet conversation about ending it. Two weeks later, we began again. The cycle continues.

A friend (ok, my therapist) said to me, “Various people know fragments of you, but nobody knows and has all of you.” It is true. I put up walls. The Tool built up my ego but I never trusted him. The Man Whore satisfied my animalistic desires but the Married Guy suffices my humanistic need for connection. I choose guys I know could never have all of me... Does this keep me safe or in pain?
I am currently in the market for a new lover.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Potatoes: A True Story

     “I would like the steak with mashed potatoes.”
     “We don’t have mashed potatoes – we only have one kind of potato – they’re like home fries.” I tell this to at least ten customers every day.
     The woman’s dry expression remains unchanged, “Okay, I will have a baked potato then.”
     I sigh, not surprised, “We don’t have baked potato – we only have one kind of potato – they’re like home fries; they are sliced red potatoes sautéed on the grill with some seasoning and onion.”
     She blinks. “I think I’d rather the mashed potatoes.”
     I blink. “We only have home fries.”
     “Oh, that’s fine.”
     Of course that’s fine, it’s the only potato we have, if you want potatoes you will eat these potatoes. The restaurant has been around for 26 years; I have been working there for two. Still, I am filled with a mundane amazement every time I repeat to customers about our one-of-a-kind “famous” potatoes. It says that right on the menu: “Our Famous Potatoes.” The menu has not changed in its 26 years and it is incredibly simple: meat and potatoes, more specifically giant steaks, burgers and potatoes aka home fries. Sometimes, when I describe these “famous” potatoes, I do quotation marks with my fingers. 95% of the customers will giggle at this and think I am a friendly waitress opposed to one who repeats herself over and over and curses those not listening in her head.
     I smile and collect the table’s menus.
     Five minutes after I bring the woman her steak and home fries she waves me over. “I don’t like these potatoes. Could I have French fries instead?”
     I am dumfounded. “We don’t have French fries.” I cannot bring myself to explain further, again.
     “Really? No French fries!?” She exclaims.
     No I am lying. This entire time I just wanted to make believe we only had one kind of potato because I do not want to please you, drive up the check, or receive any kind of tip.”Nope, just the one kind of potato, the home fries.” I give a half smile.
     As I walk away I hear her and her husband marveling about how there are no French fries and how odd it is for a restaurant to have no French fries.
     I need a new job.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A holiday celebrated by hypocrites.

Cinco de Mayo. Nearly every person I work with asked me what my big plans were. Without a second thought, I would say, "Working." They then would respond with, "Well, yeah but after?" or "That sucks; I requested off." About three of these people were actually Mexican.

East LA had a line out the door. People walked around with glowing Corona necklaces. My friend called me and when I answered yelled a high pitch "arriba!" then burst out laughing, saying he screamed this to every customer who walked into his bar. He is a white boy from Detroit.
I do not need an excuse to go drinking. If I want a drink, I will drink. Why is there an incessant need for an excuse to celebrate life? Furthermore, Mexico is a country often looked down upon by Americans. People debate Immigration Laws and often say we need illegal Mexicans to do the "dirty" work (ie: landscapers, dishwashers, and the cooks in a predominant amount of restaurants).

In the white suburb I grew up in there was one house where about ten Mexicans lived and my friends referred to them as "petunias" since they were "sceevy" and drove around in a van together whistling at girls. Those same friends updated there facebook status' yesterday with "drinking margaritas in lieu of the holiday."

The sad thing is, the Mexicans who have pride and a reason to commemorate the day, were the ones serving and cleaning up after Hoboken's drunken youth. And probably laughing at them.

So on each fifth of May I am reminded how stupid my peers are; however, I also remember on that date in 2005 I took my ex's virginity. I rather celebrate that.