Thursday, February 19, 2015

Loring Park Episode #49: The Ballad of Auntie Debby

January was a crazy month, children! A month of good-byes, hellos, public promiscuity, complicated feelings, and new friendships. I am even using an Oxford comma and I usually don't enjoy them. It was that eventful.

                  ***




Our friend Chris, who had a code name on here once but I forget what it was, moved to West Hollywood after leaving his local corporate gig. A festive going-away party was held in Golden Valley. I felt blessed to be around so many people I enjoy, and not just because they had free booze, pizza, and a 24-pack of 5-hour energy drinks. It's like they knew I was coming! I arrived with Joey and Jared. We played flip cup and I was a diva and played with vodka. Among the other guests was Victor, whose boyfriend's sister is marrying my uncle in June (small world!), and Steve. Steve is 21 and flirts with me but he flirts with everybody and I never know how to feel about it. I've decided to stop thinking about it and letting it be.

My good friend Peter visited from Washington D.C. for a week! He treated me to Masu Sushi on my lunch break. We were going to go Dutch but Wells Fargo withdrew money for a loan payment that I thought my mom was making on my behalf and I literally had no dollars to my name. Peter covered the lunch but I felt terrible and ashamed and embarrassed. He is 22! And in college! And works three jobs! Peter always inspires me because he has hustle like no other. I am beginning to wonder if part of the reason I am such a financial/emotional mess is because hustle might be innate. I am a three-time college dropout. I haven't been to the gym since October or an open mike since December. If I ever achieve hustle, it will be because I watched a lot of Oprah on YouTube or got really desperate. I was not born with hustle.

Meanwhile, at The Saloon (of course!), I was at T.J.'s bar pretending that he isn't moving to Taiwan. Perhaps when he does it will finally end the chapter of my bar star career. That is why I cried so much when he told me he was leaving. I couldn't stay Peter Pan forever, and not just because I am getting bald and poochy (fuck you, aging!).

I was talking with Joey and Jared when a tall man built like a former linebacker came up to us. "Uh, sorry," he said. "Are you Jakey Emmert?"
"Who's asking?" I inquired, because I don't know if someone is friends with the broski or if they're friends with Celebrity and want to beat me up.
"Uh ... we're friends on Facebook," he said sheepishly. "I just moved to Minneapolis. I love your blog."




His name was Jonathan. Jared rolled his eyes so hard they almost fell out of his head. I, of course, loved it! Hashtag fauxmas. We had a lovely conversation about his days in North Dakota but then he had to leave because one of his friends was super wasted and it was time for damage control. Been there.

"We don't even have the same taste in men," Jonathan lamented. "But then when he gets drunk he always decides to go forever who I like."
"What does he like? Broskis?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said. "And I like ..."
"Twinks?" I said with evident disdain because I am an insecure bitch.

He corraled his friends and the drunk one apologized for being drunk but I told him he was fine. I've had to deal with Jared passing out in public, for God's sake.

"I gotta go," Jonathan said. "But .... fuck it."
Then he grabbed me and we made out in front of everyone. Danny saw it from his bar (which is behind the kitchen, behind TJ's bar, and there's a window, if that makes any sense to those not familiar with the Saloon layout).

Then a dude who I hear likes the boys young -- like let's get the Feds involved young (allegedly!) -- made out with me, too! I felt flattered and skeevy because I always think I look super old.

"All I can say is Auntie Debby!" Jared wrote on Facebook. Auntie Debby is my alias when I get too drunk. She is recently divorced, hates her job, and has the false confidence and sexual prowess of a much younger and prettier woman.
"Stop making out with everyone!" Danny wrote on my Facebook.

We moseyed over to Danny's bar. I should now point out that it was a full moon this evening, and it was in Cancer.

"How many people are you going to kiss tonight?" Danny asked.
"I might as well make out with a third person and score the hat trick," I said. At this very moment, Steve walked by. I looked at him with lust and he looked at me like I had known he had an upcoming day off and asked if he could help me move into a new apartment that day.

"Ugh," he said. "Fine."

Then I made out with Steve. Surprisingly, I did not get strep or mono from any of this.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Loring Park Episode #48: Destiny Unbound

My favorite people are the ones that you can't make up. I don't just think that way about my fake boyfriends. Maybe it's the wannabe journalist in me.

Speaking of being a wannabe journalist, I still haven't heard from St. Thomas yet! I was doing an open mike at The Chatterbox (hosted by the lovely and talented Rana May) and I ended up driving down Cretin Avenue toward St. Thomas. Even though I was right by Paul Ryan's house, I wasn't even thinking about him! I mean, kind of. But as "All I Want for Christmas is You" was blaring, I realized that all I wanted was to be a Tommy!

They e-mailed me and said they needed my transcript from MCTC. Then they e-mailed me and said that my MCTC transcript said that I went to Kingsborough Community College (which is in Brooklyn -- maybe CUNY Brooklyn would have deferred me there had I stayed as I technically flunked my second semester?) and that I had 12 credits from a non-U.S. school. That sounds lovely and interesting, but it wasn't my life.

At that point I was going to give up, but people accurately on Facebook told me that I had come too far to just quit. So on Christmas Eve Eve, I went into the offices of MCTC, immediately had PTSD, received my accurate transcript, and dropped it off at St. Thomas. I would return to that neighborhood again that evening, but we'll get there later.

Because first I have to tell you about the time Joey and I hung out with a porn star!



It was soooo weird. We were at The Saloon and this attractive boy told us he was having an after-party. He was very good-looking in a dirty way. Tall, kinda scruffy, piercing blue eyes, lanky but toned body. Since I never go to the club until midnight and I always take a 5-hour energy shot like a moron, I was all for an after-party. Joey paid for the Lyft and we took it to the wrong side of town at first.

I forget if we knew then he did porn or if it wasn't until we got to his house. And I shouldn't be throwing around the phrase "porn star" because I think if you even do one porno, you're certified as a "star". I don't know. All I can say is we got to his house at 3:30 A.M. and holy crap, am I in the wrong business. He had beautiful artwork done for him by a fan in Japan. We discussed how much he paid for rent here as opposed to his life in New York. "I used to live in New York," I had said about eight times. I fantasized about a different life, in which I had a good body and a healthy appetite for sex. I was even realistic in this fantasy because I am 28 and now I'm too old for twink porn and could only maintain my career if I gained 50 pounds of muscle, stopped shaving my body hair and became an otter muscle top, and that is not going to happen anytime soon.

Anygay, there were two other dudes there that were older than us, and Joey went upstairs to watch American Horror Story with them. Here I was, standing in front of a kitchen island, with this beautiful strange man who can't stop making "meow" sounds.

"I like cosplay," he said. "My favorite is Gambit."
"Gambit is Cajun," I said. "Can you do a Cajun accent?"
"No," he said. "But I can show you my costume." Then he changed into his Gambit outfit and slightly lifted up his shirt and oh, boyyyyyyyyyyy.

Somehow we got on the topic of height because I am good at flirting. "I'm not that tall," he said. "I'm 6'2'."
"That's tall," I said. (Height is a fascinating topic to me, really. Joey is 6'2" and often laments that there's not enough tall men at the clubs, and this is Minneapolis. Men were always my height or shorter in NYC). "I'm only 5'7'."
"Really?" Porn Dude smiled. "No you're not. You're way taller."

Then he walked around the island.

"Oh," he said, almost disappointed. "I thought you were sitting down."
"Maybe I want to sit somewhere else," I said as I ripped his Gambit outfit off. Then he picked me up by the armpits, sat me down on the kitchen island and banged me senselessly and the men upstairs in the loft watching American Horror Story had a raucous three-way above us.

OK, that last part didn't really happen. I just thought the story should have had sex in it at some point.




The five of us ended up going to the Nicollet Diner as opposed to the Uptown Diner, a fact I enjoyed because that meant Joey and I could walk home. I played Mariah Carey on the jukebox and the waiter rolled his eyes. I already have a rep there. They have TouchTones! I can even play "One More Try"! As I sat across from the meowing porn star, I realized ...

Holy crap. I've met him before!!!

He has no idea who I am, but I put the memories together and no longer felt insecure about myself. Behold, this episode from December 2012:


Victor had two ridiculously attractive boys with him, one of whom had a T-shirt on advertising a porn site. I didn’t speak to him at LUSH, but he was in our eyesight at The Eagle, where I overpaid the jukebox to play “We Belong Together”.

“We were friends on Facebook,” Liam was telling the porn star.

“You deleted me,” Porn Guy insisted.

“What? I wouldn’t do that,” Liam balked. “Oh, this is Jakey. He thinks you’re really hot.”

“Wait, what?!” I balked, and then I got lost in his lapis eyes. “I don’t -- I mean, I’m not, like ---Hi, how are you? I’m just -- Mariah.”

“Are you, like, really shy around guys or something?” Porn Guy asked. Then I imagined he was really good at kissing.
Those were the days! He showed up on my Facebook 'People You May Know' the next day. I added him back and he added me back three weeks later, but only because he got spammed and his profile was trying to get me to buy Ray-Bans. Such is life. On we go.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Loring Park Episode #47: This is Your Life

                                         THANKSGIVING EVE

This is your life, Jakey Emmert was all I could tell myself to keep from screaming, crying, uproariously laughing or possibly all three. Speaking of "all three", while I understand that it's an impossible feat to keep track of all my bar crushes and half-hearted emotional affairs, there's only been three that made me feel real things and cry in the car. And while I met them intermittently, for the first time in my life, here they were, in the same room, on the busiest night of the social calendar. And I am single.

I am not with the Boy in the Jacket because he has condemned me to the Friend Zone. I told him to check his jacket but he refused. He is attractive enough that he is probably the only person in this bar who could wear an oversized North Face and make it look good.

I am not with the Tall Boy because he finally got tired of chasing me and now he has a boyfriend nine years my junior.

I am not with The Boy with Great Hair because when I was crazy about him he liked my friend instead. Timing is everything and it was never on our side.

 I tried really hard to get over The Boy in the Jacket and when I came closest, he made his way back into my life. It's still platonic and always be. That's okay. Last time I saw him jokes led to truth and he said we won't ever round the bases because it would be weird.

"Oh," I had said. "I thought it was because I was hideous and disgusting."
"What, really?" he asked and his eyes were sadder than usual. His surprise surprised me. I realized that 18 months is a long time to think that way about yourself. Those feelings would be a toddler by now, trying to run away from me. I cried for three days, because I had spent so much time being sad about him and this time I was finally sad for myself. In my defense, Sam Smith was on the radio.

My bartender is cute and friendly but that would be too messy.

And let's not forget about the dude who greeted me with a kiss when I walked in here an hour ago. He is adorable and undramatic -- and born in 1993. I just told my mother not to cash the $75 check I made out to her. I shouldn't even be out.

"You're having a good night, Jakey!" my friend Z cries. Z was Jared in They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They?
"Happy Thanksgiving," I cry as the Boy in the Jacket keeps kissing me on the forehead like I'm a five-year-old girl.
"Who's this guy?" asks the Boy in the Jacket.
"He played Jared in the play I wrote," I say. "You didn't see it. Thank God."
The Boy with Great Hair is his usual hyperactive and spastic self. He is bothering the shit out of the Boy in the Jacket and it is as hilarious as it is upsetting.
"How do you know Jakey?" The Boy in the Jacket asks.
"We go way back," The Boy with Great Hair says. "He wrote a play about me."
"Interesting," The Boy in the Jacket says, and then he lies to The Boy with Great Hair about his name.
"How long have you known Jakey?" The Boy with Great Hair asks. I signal for a refill.
"15 years," The Boy in the Jacket says.
"Are you---?"
Boy in the Jacket smiles devilishly. I purposely avoid eye contact with all involved. Boy with Great Hair is confused.
"Um ... how is it?" he asks. Like you care. The Boy in the Jacket graciously lies and says it is amazing.
The Tall One walks by with his boyfriend and taps my nose with his finger.
"Oh, Jakey," he croons. "Are we in love?"
"Just a little bit," I say. Your boyfriend is right there.
The Boy in the Jacket eventually drifts away with his sober cab. The Boy with Great Hair wants to dance and lifts me up by the love handles and it is painful. My heart can beat as fast as it wants to, but none of this will mean anything in the morning.

This is your life, Jakey Emmert.

"Do you need another one, Jakey?" the bartender asks.

I look around at the game show that has been my emotional love life and realize that, despite how intensely I feel about the three of them, I'm going home alone tonight anyway.

I nod.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Two Jakes

This is from a book I wrote and tried to publish a long time ago. Yesterday was December 3rd so I was thinking about it.


                                                 The Two Jakes

 

How to Stop Being a Loser, Step #4: Avoid What Will Make Your Eye Twitch. Namely, Your Computer.

 

            "If you have to question whether or not you were in love with someone, then you never were." Somebody told me that when I was 18. Ironically, he's the same person that I question myself about on a regular basis.

            So at the risk of being dramatic, I was in love once. He was two weeks older than me, spoke in a Southern accent with a slight hint of Cajun, and was perfect in every conceivable way. Not just from a physical standpoint -- although he was blessed in that department, with sandy blond hair, piercing blue eyes, an effortless hard body, and a sun-kissed complexion -- but also emotionally and intellectually. A pre-med at the University of Texas, he could talk smoothly about anything, and when he would talk about me, I could feel myself evaporating into disgusting lovesick goo.

            Our affair lasted one summer, and despite a brief reconnection during our winter breaks of school, we drifted apart. Occasionally, I still smile when thinking of nights when I would bitch to him about mean people shopping at Walgreens, or my brother hogging the computer, and he would chuckle and say "Bay-bee", and I just knew that as long as he was in my life, it wouldn't matter if my own hopes and dreams came true, so long as I was with him, safe and happy.

            Does any of this sound pathetic yet? If not, let's make it so.

            I met him on the Internet and never once encountered him in real life, and somewhere, deep in my jaded soul, I will always love him.

            I'm going to be sick.

           

Monday, November 10, 2014

Loring Park Episode #46: I Left My Liver in Miami


Hello, children! We are in November already! It was a crazy October, and that’s even if I didn’t go on a trip that I couldn’t afford.

               ***
 

I saw Gone Girl. What did you think? They showed a preview of 50 Shades of Grey and I started giggling. It is worth noting that I saw it with two cute boys and purposely sat in the middle. I am 12 years old. The dude on my left yelled “Son of a bitch” at the two hour mark because he had a leg cramp and I almost spilled my orange soda on the boy on my right. I cannot have nice things.
Y’know what was nice? Doing comedy at Nye’s! It unfortunately no longer has the room because show business is the devil. I met up with Dennis that night and we went to the Gay ‘90s, which has a $10 cover on Thursdays. And I wonder how I went bankrupt (it’s because they have dollar drinks, but I am a princess who eschews rail drinks. Dennis bought me something with Ketel in it and I quit pouting). Dennis grew up in Miami, so I spent most of the evening asking him stupid questions about it. The essentials were that a) everyone looks like a body builder so I will fit right in and b) it is expensive as fuck. Oh, good.

We made our way down Hennepin to The Saloon, and I ran into Kevin! Kevin has a new job and a leather jacket and an earring and maybe it’s a total quarter life crisis (boy did just turn 31), but he was rocking a Johnny Depp look and I wasn’t nearly as sloppy drunk as I was the last time I saw him. I ignored him for 15 minutes even though he was right next to me because he had hurt my feelings.
“You told me to go home,” I told him

“You were really sloppy,” he said.

“I guess I was,” I agreed.

“I haven’t heard from you,” he said.

“Well, I didn’t know the boundaries,” I said. Kevin is living a new healthy lifestyle and I don’t know if it appropriate for me to make contact with him considering I am a partyhound booze bag.
“You have a phone,” he said. I told him that once and it really hurt his feelings.

We went to his house together. Jared was livid because he thought I was driving, but hell froze over and Kevin drives now! I am enjoying this new version of him.

There was no sexy time except spooning and that is fine because he is good at it. Some men really hate it (including Jared. He hated sharing a bed with Joey in Florida because “Joey is like a damn cat”). Kevin treats it like a sport. He takes it full on and puts his arms around me like he means it, and I slept like a smiling baby. His cat woke me up at noon while Kevin had been productive all morning, because I am a great guest that way.
When he dropped me off at work, I caressed his chest like a slut. I haven’t seen him since. Timing is everything.

                   ***

Paul Ryan and I enjoyed dinner at Hard Rock Café while I was on my break at work. I only had 60 minutes, so I practically sprinted to get there, which amused him as he glided in his Hugo Boss ensemble. I applied to St. Thomas, so I grilled him with questions because he is part of that educated, old-money world.
“I wore a suit when I took my tour,” he said.

“I’m not wearing a suit,” I blasted. He told tales of travel and debauchery and his plans for New Year’s Eve. I ordered a non-alcoholic drink with orange juice and Red Bull in it, because I like to gamble with my digestive system. He ordered a sparkling water and we got it comped when he was given flat water instead.

“It’s so nice to see you not drunk,” he said.
“And with clothes on,” I said, trying to be funny and sexy.

“Oh,” he said. “Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that.”


 
“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said.

“It’s fine,” I pouted.

Somehow my ID ended up on the table.

“You’re 27?” he asked.
“You’re bad at math,” I said, and then lowered myself to a whisper. “I’m 28.”

“You’re so cute,” he said. “With your big eyes and the fast way you walk.”

I squinted, because that is how I react to compliments.

                          ***

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to University of St. Thomas! I still have no idea if I will get in, in part because it has been three weeks and I still haven’t sent my ACT scores and AP scores and I have to send a letter defending myself because I never officially withdrew from CUNY Brooklyn College and I might be dealing with a whole semester of F’s. Although, I don’t think I technically took anything higher than fourth grade math.
But that’s the strategy of my life lately. Throw things to the wall and see what sticks. My friend Shelly thought this was profound and took a weekend gig playing piano at a theater camp. “Theater people are so expressive,” she told me. “And my shower didn’t work so the choreographers said I could use their bathroom. I think they had every single hygiene product ever made in their shower! They had at least three different shampoos! And we were only there for a weekend!”

My best friend Erin works at UST, so she joined my tour. Since I hadn’t taken a college tour since 2007, I thought it would be a group setting. No! It was just me and an accounting major! She was very sweet and planned to return to Omaha after graduation to work at her parents’ landfill. This was the day of the shooting in Ottawa, and we had a measured and interesting conversation about guns. I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed walking by the gym, because I am only woman.

I didn’t feel like I totally belonged until I met my transfer advisor, who teared up when she told me how much she loved the university and when I told her about being named Funniest Person in the Twin Cities and writing a Fringe Festival show about unrequited love, her eyes widened.
“You’re not very old, are you?” she asked.

“I’m 28,” I said.

“Well, you look ten years younger,” she said. “And you’ve accomplished so much in your young life.”

That might have been worth more than the damn degree.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Loring Park Episode #45: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (Too Late?)

I applied to college.

I have no idea if I get in, if I will go, or what I will think of myself if I get in or if I do not get in.

Work is ... promising. Like, I might even be perceived as an adult there. I just had my six-year anniversary. Now, if only I could get my ass out of bed and on time. You'd think I would have this down by 28.

               ***

It was the day before Labor Day when Paul Ryan asked if I wanted to go to his house and cavort with his frat bro friends. While that sounded lovely, I already decided I was going to head to The Slutoon (shocking!). Jared decided he wasn't going out, and Joey reluctantly agreed to ride in the Uber with me provided he got shotgun, and we would Uber to pick up Paul Ryan -- who lives near the University of St. Thomas -- and then head to The Saloon.

Um, y'know how Uber has "peak rates"? I have never paid more than $10 for an Uber, although I have admittedly only taken it as far as Northeast Minneapolis from Loring Park. Apparently, everyone and their dog wanted an Uber to celebrate Labor Day, because it would have cost $100 round trip to pick up Paul Ryan in one and have us be delivered to The Saloon. And let's not get started on the ridiculousness of the fact that I would be paying for the Uber despite the fact that Paul Ryan had just told me how much he made last month and it is more than I make in a year. Stay in school, kids.

Since I hadn't started drinking yet, I decided I would pick up Paul Ryan myself and then the three of us would walk to The Saloon together.

"I can't believe you're doing this," Joey kept saying as I was getting dressed.
"I know," I said. "But think of it as me being Mommy and I am trying to find a good stepdad for you."

It was raining, and I was already wet when I walked up Lasalle Avenue in my usual parking spot (right next to an always-empty commercial parking lot -- so Mona, my tina Toyota Yaris, usually scoots in. I used to park across from there but I got a $35 parking ticket once). I put music on and ventured to St. Paul, where I am sure I made a fool of myself trying to park and nearly causing a three-vehicle crash (seriously, there were at least three different frat boys standing in their yards amidst the commotion).

I walked into Paul's house and lamented that I didn't have an umbrella. "I have one," he said.
"Good," I said. "Now put on your pants. We are leaving."
"Jakey," he grinned. "Don't you want a cocktail first?"
"No," I said. "I am driving. And I'm all wet. Do you have a hoodie I can steal?" I used to do this when I went to Kevin's house all the time. Kleptomania is part of my charm.
"You can have my Cambridge one," Paul Ryan offered.
"Oh, that looks too expensive," I said. Even Kleptomaniacs have morals. "I'll just take this one." I chose a waterproof blue reversible Billabong zip-up hoodie. Paul Ryan chose a Polo button-up, shorts, and Boss suede shoes.

"Suede?" I asked. "It's raining."
"They're already ruined anyway," he laughed. "I don't care. Why aren't you parked in front of the house?"
"Because I got disoriented and I can't parallel park to save my life," I said. "Now walk fast."
"We're walking by my car," Paul Ryan shared. "I have a Toyota Escalade."
"I have a Toyota Yaris," I said. "Her name is Mona."
"Aww," he said. "We both have Toyotas. We have so much in common, Jakey."
Interestingly enough, a Toyota Yaris is compact and frisky while a Toyota Escalade is large and ostentatious. Sometimes, we are what we drive.

We entered the car, and Paul Ryan, as the tallest person to ever ride shotgun with me, looked absolutely cramped.
"I'm sorry," I said. "It's not really a tall-person car."
"You drive like a white person," Paul Ryan said.
"I still haven't finished my college application," I said.
"Finish it, bro," he said. "That place needs people like you. Everyone there is so ... sheltered. You would have a unique perspective."

We drove up to Lasalle Avenue and my spot was taken! Curses! To Clifton it was.

"Paul, I am very bad at parking," I explained. "You have to do what Jared does and look back and tell me if I have room."
"Remember when I fucked you?" he asked.
"Paul!" I cried as I almost hit a construction cone. "Now is not the time."
"Jakey," he laughed. "Your leg is brushing up against mine. You're getting me hard right now."
"Paul Ryan!" I cried as Mona brushed up against the curb. "Focus!"
"I was pretty intoxicated when we had sex," he said.
"Yes, well," I said as I felt my face get hot. "You clearly knew what you were doing."
"Really?" Paul Ryan asked. "Cool." Boys are soooooooo stupid.

We got out of the car and stood across of a house for sale. "Why would you want a house downtown?" he asked. "Especially Minneapolis. I would never want to live here."
"I want that house," I said.
"Of course it's a Corbett Realty property," Paul scoffed.
"I would like a house for my thirtieth birthday," I said as we walked arm-in-arm, prom-style.
"Really? Not like a trip or something?""
"I just think it would be nice to have a house," I said. "That isn't my parents'."

We arrived back at my apartment and pre-gamed. Paul Ryan was incredulous that Jared was not going and cajoled him to join us. By cajole, I mean he told Jared he would pay for his cover, and Jared got dressed in 45 seconds. Paul Ryan passed the time by trying to show me and Joey his nudie pics, but I would have none of it.

On the walk there, Paul Ryan and I shared an umbrella. I always fake date boys who are rather masculine. This makes me feel guilty for a variety of reasons. As a result, every now and then I have an intense need to demonstrate that I can be "the boy" when needed. Therefore, I insisted on holding the umbrella. However, this did not really work because Paul Ryan is seven or eight inches taller than me.

"Jakey," he scoffed. "I'm getting wet."
"Then you hold the umbrella," I said. "God damn."

We arrived and Paul Ryan took back his offer on paying Jared's cover. Jared started walking home in the rain. I got him to come back.

"I want to go shake my thing," Paul Ryan said. He and Jared did so while I mingled and gossiped. Paul went home with a twink and Joey was outraged the next morning.

"What an asshole!" Joey cried. "I can't believe he would do that."
"I wasn't even mad about it," I said.
"Why not?!" Joey cried.
"Because we never made plans for after," I said. "And I have his hoodie."

I still do, by the way. It is comfortable as all hell and I am not giving it back.

***

I went to the State Fair! I would post pictures but I have temporarily de-activated my Facebook. I will explain this later.

It was lovely to spend time with my extended family, even though the bus ride was horrendous. The driver begged me to wait for the next bus, but I said "I'm little" and stood between a group of mean seventh-graders. I hung on for dear life.

***





I had the opportunity to meet Detox at The Saloon a few Thursdays ago. I further recapped it here. She didn't get on stage until 11:40 (doors opened at 10) ,but she was beyond gracious and genuine during her Meet and Greet, and I felt The Saloon had things organized much better than when DWV appeared last April. I gushed about how when she performed with Battle of the Seasons at the Varsity Theater in December, she was the only queen who gave a genuine, heartfelt speech about being there for the fans. I knew at least two people who went to her after party, so she is a friend in my head. Special thank you to Liam for taking the picture of us, because I am an excellent photojournalist and therefore my phone was dead by the time I got to go up in the line.

Also, Christ, I am getting old and fat.

And when I am older and fatter, I will look at that picture and think of myself as gorgeous, because life is like that.

***

I had the most "Jakey"-ish night on a Thursday, when I did stand-up comedy at Nye's Polonaise Lounge! It is a great room that they run on Thursdays, where you are in the basement and it feels like an old-timey club. A really cute boy that I used to work with was there. I went up first, which is always difficult, and the way the light is run there, you can't see for shit when you're onstage, an aspect I have yet to get used to. This was the day after the news of Adrian Peterson allegedly beating his 2-year-old was released.

"I'm going first and there's, like, 17 of us tonight," I told the audience. "And we're all gonna want to be cutting-edge and ahead of everything when it comes to current events. So, I thought of a game. Just drink every time someone makes an Adrian Peterson joke. And hopefully you have a sober cab, because you are going to be flat on your ass. Much like you would be if you were dating an NFL player. That counts. Drink!" I had fun.

I stayed until the show ended, as is the polite thing to do (and it's not like I was in a hurry! Afterward I was going to Honey, which was just across the street). As I mingled, a comedian who I had never seen before came up to me.

"You're awesome," she said.
"I did okay," I said. I need to read Lean In.
"No, I'm serious," she said. "If you work hard, you're going to be a star. Even your voice is funny. And your material is smart."

Well, shmuck.

But isn't that a novel concept? That you will be a success ... if you work hard. I lost that somewhere. I dropped out of school at 21, was still furious with my mother for ruining my life and was still furious with myself for thinking she had ruined it, and I just kinda gave up, but I also thought that I would somehow still become rich and famous.

Huh.

The evening was marred because Joey and Jared were feuding, but I fixed it when we got home. Joey saves his emotions for when he can no longer accept them, and Jared is constantly on a stealth audition for The Bad Girls Club. I suppose this is the best dramatic re-enactment of it all:



The three of us, along with my best friend Erin McCloskey and my reading-to-filth mother, will be going to Miami together at the end of the month. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

                                      ***

There is a new boy in our group named Steve who just turned 21 and is smooth-skinned and babyfaced and therefore everyone is in love with him. I haven't decided yet, so I just hug him more than is appropriate. I don't think he has it figured out.

We like Owen, too. He works at The Saloon and is kind of a dork trapped in a hot model's body. Some people are just cursed that way.

Cordero brought me too many drinks at The 19 but then Dollface showed up so I spent all night flirting with him like an asshole. And then I didn't even go home with him! I don't know what I am doing.

I did get a parking spot now, so there's that. I pay $75 to a former Marine named Lowell who is approximately 100 years old and as many pounds. He has a tiny flip phone. I love him.

                        ***

Speaking of not knowing what I'm doing, I went from being an MTV alcoholic to an A&E alcoholic. It was time to dial it back, as the kids say.

The kids don't really say that, Jakey.

Shut up! I am hip!

On a Friday, I was supposed to meet everyone at LUSH, but Jared left without me, so I pouted at The 19, and then I took an Uber to Sean's, and I pre-gamed at his place and then met the kids at The Saloon. Paul Ryan was there and could barely stand up. He travels with an entourage, so they walked him out in one piece.

Then Kevin was there.

"Jakey, we need to go home," said Jared. "We work early."
"Go away!" I cried. "It's Kevin!"

In my head I was all



But instead I was probably all





I had not seen him in four months and did not know what I was expecting.

"You should go home," he told me.



"My family doesn't ask about you anymore," he added. "And I lost weight, which I know you cared so much about."

He did look very much like the 'old Kevin' (well, young Kevin, if you know what I mean). I wasn't going to go home with him anyway, but it would have been nice to be asked. And I get why he said what he did, because it is human nature to want to win. I've done the same thing with other people.

But why was he so standoffish with me? I wasn't that drunk and sloppy.

My Facebook at 3:30 AM said I AM SO SAD.

Okay. Maybe I was.

Sunday was an even bigger shitshow!


I met up with Jared and Joey at The Eagle and we received applause by re-enacting the lift during "(I Have Had) The Time Of My Life". My Uber driver was new to the job and did not listen to directions. When I got there, Joey and Jared were talking to Ricky! The nerve! I acted like a wife who had walked into her husband banging the secretary on the desk.

"It wasn't like that," they promised. "He just came up to us."
"Whatever!" I cried. "This is a betrayal!"

I went to order my drink and was even more horrified when the bartender called me Ricky!



"Um, what?" I asked.
"Do you know Ricky?" the bartender said.
"Yes, but I'm not him," I said.
"He spilled his drink," the bartender said.

I get that The Eagle staff is not fond of the twinks and the twink-adjacent, and I was an odd mix of offended and flattered. Ricky and I are both blond, but he is tan and buff and can have his shirt off in public without people averting their eyes. I wasn't sure what to think.

We tried running to The Saloon but we got there at 9:59 and the bouncers claimed it was ten and made us pay cover. The nerve!

Oh, it went from bad to worse, children. Because Sunday is 2-4-1's night. And Sunday is football day. And boys were wearing Vikings jerseys. And one boy was wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey.

I immediately went to Facebook and typed that there was a hot guy in an AP jersey and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Then I drank some more. Then I went on the patio and told everyone.

"Oh my god!" cried my friend Doug. My friend Doug is, like a biochemist or something that requires 130% of your brain power, so when he parties, he parties hard. "You should spank him!" he cried.
"THAT SOUNDS HILARIOUS!" I cried. In my vodka-soaked stupor, this would be my finest hour. I'd spank him on the ass, he'd be all "What was that for?', I'd be like "You're wearing an AP jersey!" and we would all laugh and be merry.

Let's go to Wikipedia, which never lies:

Short-term effects of alcohol include the risk of injuries, violence and fetal damage.[11] Alcohol has also been linked with lowered inhibitions, though it is unclear to what degree this is chemical versus psychological as studies with placebos can often duplicate the social effects of alcohol at low to moderate doses. Some studies have suggested that intoxicated people have much greater control over their behavior than is generally recognized, though they have a reduced ability to evaluate the consequences of their behavior.

Now imagine you are a young and attractive gay man -- for some of you this may be a stretch -- and you are at The Saloon with a group of your peers. You are there to have a good time. You are not there to get spanked on the ass by an old, intoxicated skinny dude who thinks his assaulting you is hilarious.

Of course, one understands this the next day. When they're sober.

So I spanked the kid. And he did the best and worst thing he could have done, which was not respond to it at all. I walked back to the patio with my proverbial tail between my legs. My joke completely bombed.

A boy who looked like he could be on Teen Wolf came up to me moments later. "Hey," he said calmly. "I just want you to know, next time you feel like spanking my boyfriend again, you're gonna have to go through me first. Fuck off."

It was really the perfect thing a boyfriend could have done. He wasn't all machismo about it -- he never raised his voice or his hand -- but he let the point be clear. Even though I told Facebook that I spanked the kid and he was trying to get me out (and it had 13 likes! In one hour!), I deleted the whole thing when I got home. By protesting what I thought was a perceived acceptance of violence with violence, I had solved nothing, I had likely ruined someone's night, and I had made a complete ass of myself in the process.

The next day I realized that I still had not finished my college application, I still had not launched JakeyEmmert.com despite going to a former high school classmate's house for a gracious offering of Weebly 101, and in general, I was just becoming super obnoxious.

I de-activated my Facebook.

Which is super stupid to do for my "comedy" "career", but that's going about as well as spanking strangers at the bar.

It will be back up when the website is up.

It's strangely freeing not being on Facebook. Now every time my phone dings, I think it's something important. Then I find out that it's spam from Twitter or my friend Chuck telling me he has gas, but still! It's better than compulsively checking Facebook, right? I would post, like, eight things a day. And then You-Know-Who would be "online", with a green dot next to his name, and I would just sit and stare at it but never think of talking to him because I had nothing to say, and then the green dot would disappear, and I would just get sad about the whole thing. STILL.

I should apologize to the dude I hit, but I don't know his name. Maybe it's best to let sleeping dogs lie. Maybe he's not really that mad about it. Maybe he'll throw a drink on me the next time I go to The Saloon. Maybe his boyfriend will bash my skull in. Maybe I'll send them both matching Bridgewater jerseys.

Next week: Will Jakey really get his website done? Will he really stay in during all of October because he wants to look like a human when he goes to Miami?



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Loring Park Episode #44: I Know There is a Rainbow



This song calms me down. We'll get to that later.

***

The day before I officially became a 28-year-old lady, I had a meet-up with some fellow writers of L'Etoile Magazine/LOLOMGBlog.com at Club Jager. I sat by a boy who looked just like Cordero, only if Cordero was heterosexual and sober. It was jarring.

The meet-up itself was enjoyable. People discussed fashion and Broadway and the closing of Cause and the Fringe Festival. Jahna, the L'Etoile editor is 31. Maggie, the LOLOMG editor is 25. Straight Cordero is 21. The girl next to me was 21. She went outside for a little bit because she was going through serious things.

"Wait, how old are you?" someone asked me.
"I'm gonna be 28 tomorrow," I said.
"You don't look it," Maggie said. "I thought you were younger than me."
"No, I'm just really immature," I said.

I don't really feel that old, though. I'm not embarrassed that my age will make me unpopular; I am embarrassed that my age points out how unaccomplished I am. I am seriously debating going back to school, because I don't want to be 30 and working retail. I want to be 30, working retail, and paying back expensive student loans (as was discussed at the meet-up). It's the American dream, isn't it?

***

He called me two days after my birthday only to ask if I was going out (I was closing).

"I'm working nine days in a row because I asked for my birthday weekend off," I said. "Thank you for wishing me happy birthday, though. That was really sweet of you. Oh, wait. You didn't."
He sounded exasperated and I couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic or not. "I was going to," he said. "And then I got distracted and ---"
"It's fine," I lied.
"So, how old are you, now? 34? 35?"
"Fuckkk youuuu," I said.
He laughed at his own joke and even though no one could see me, I tried to fight smiling. I always loved his laugh the most. My favorite laugh in the world is Jared's, but his is probably second. It is scratchy and full of gravel and suggests he has been smoking for more years than he has been alive.
"I'm 28."
"28 isn't that old. I'm 26."
"But all my friends are younger than me! Erin is my age and she's married, but I hang out with Joey and Jared the most, and they're 23. Everyone I know that's from high school and Stout is married or engaged and has fancy grown-up jobs."
"That's a good point. I'll bet if you hung out with people older than you, you'd feel like the young one of the group."
"True. But I'm not. I'm the old lady. But hell froze over last week and I actually had sex. At least I'm not going to be the 40-year-old virgin." I had absolutely no reason to tell him that.

He said he would be downtown that weekend. I texted him that Saturday. When he didn't respond, I was only surprised that I was surprised.

On we go.

***




Another day, another MUSCLE GAY POOL PARTY!! The man on the left is Chad Bushman. He was in my Fringe Festival play last year. (I am so nostalgic about the Fringe Festival! I wrote about it for LOLOMGBlog.com. Go look at it) When he read for the part, I immediately thought he was too attractive to do it because I had envisioned his character as more of a frumpy loser. However, he nailed it, and I realized that the fact he was so good-looking would make it even sadder that his character had completely given up on love and going to the bar.

The only other person I knew at the party was Tan Man (minus a brief and random cameo from my friend Jenny!). I mingled with him and his friends, who are all professional dancers. One was gay and one was straight and the gay one introduced his friend as "my straight boyfriend". It is a phrase I have heard a lot this summer, and I find it fascinating. I suppose the closest thing I have to a straight boy-friend is my bro-ish co-worker. To have a straight boyfriend, I think there can be absolutely no sexual tension at all, and he has to be full-on, 100% straight, not 'flirty when I drink a little' straight. I have tried straight-adjacent boyfriends that made me really sad, but that is sooooooo Season 2.

Chad's party was really fun. It was a mix of "circuit gays" and a sense of suburban normalcy. They live in Lakeville, so neighbors with kids were there (Chad and his husband have three teenagers). The moms of the group thought that the straight boyfriend looked like Maxs from Dancing with the Stars. I sat in the hot tub with the impossibly chiseled dancers because I was strangely feeling good about myself. Tan Man and I went to the bathroom together because we are girls, and he spanked me while I was peeing and I got it all over Chad's bathroom. Chad has his own cleaning business, and his home is immaculate. I felt shame, the kind you have when you're walking your dog and she decides to take a crap right in front of the church you attend.

Chad and his husband hired a bartender who had a 12-pack. I enjoyed telling everyone he was my ex-boyfriend.

That night, I came home and Jared's mom stayed with us! We went out to the bar but I got there super late because my stomach was mad at me. Jared got sick at the bar and wouldn't leave the club! It was a stressful disaster. The next day, he was miraculously on time for work while I was an hour late because I was having stress-induced diarrhea.

There was a lot of unnecessary bodily fluid in that story.

Kevin called me that day. We were going to have lunch. He said he would call me on Wednesday to confirm and then he never did. And maybe it's okay. You have to set your own boundaries. He is fixing himself and his life piece by piece, and I tend to cause disorganization.

                    ***

I was excited for the following week because my friend Peter was visiting from Washington, D.C.! We went to Flip Phone, where the theme was appropriately "Thank You For Being a Friend."




There was a shot there called "Blanche's Dream" that was a nightmare. Ugh! I love Flip Phone and I love Honey, but I cannot recommend their specialty shots anymore. Maybe the whole thing was a prank by Sophia.

Also, I have no idea where the shoes I am wearing in that picture are, and that makes me sad.

Later, at The Saloon (this show's version of "Meanwhile, across town..."), one of the cigarettes people asked Peter for a survey and he was livid. They come up to us all the time. Markie asks for our ID's and wins prizes. It's a win-win, especially for Markie, because he won a free trip to Montana courtesy of Marlboro. I wasn't even jealous, because I watched all three episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City when they went to Montana, and you could tell those ladies were all bored.

"This shit just doesn't happen in D.C.," Peter said. "But everything is three times more expensive." He was not feeling The Saloon. He asked the bartender about his Scorpio tattoo and the bartender seemed like he didn't even know what Scorpio meant. Meanwhile, we talked to a cute "straight" guy who was in the Army.

If that wasn't enough, Paul Ryan was there with his boyfriend of the week, who was hot and British. He once told me I was #7 on his sex buddies list, and the British dude must have been #2 or #3. Instead of feeling pouty and insecure, I instead decided I would attempt busting his balls all night. However, Paul Ryan is cavalier and always several steps ahead.

"Jakey," he bellowed. "I got bored today and bought something." Before I could react, he produced a key to a Lexus.
"Kiss me," I demanded. He always texts me on nights I'm closing.

Peter and I went out a few more times during his week in Minneapolis. On the last night, we met a Marine with dimples who laughed at my jokes. I never saw him again and he wouldn't get Peter's information because he had no interest in long-distance romance. It may have all been a dream. I was happy Peter visited. I know how hard it is to not only transfer schools, but to do it cross-country. His hard work and pragmatism inspire me.

I keep running into this boy. By "keep running into" I mean I have met him twice. He is 19 and he is kind of bromo-ish with a slight yet sturdy build and wears a snapback. He told me he was from Kansas and that it's very anti-gay and he seemed very sad about it.

"But I'm from Wichita," he said. "Which is the best city in Kansas."
"It's no Lenexa," I said.
"Jakey, aren't you jealous that I'm so young?" he smiled as he touched his rubber face. "I have so much collagen."
"You're out past curfew," I said. I did not want to make out with him at all.



I felt a strange impulse to photograph these two before we went out one evening. I talk so much game about flirting and drinking and clubbing, but I think I'm really happiest when it's just the three of us chilling out. Maybe that comes with getting older.

It is not always rainbows and butterflies. Some struggles are long over. Some are just beginning. Through it all, we have each other and our laughter.

                                                     ***



The funny and talented Isaac Witty put together "The 2nd Annual Be Annoying on Facebook Awareness Day". It was on a Monday night and I worked 9-6, so I headed to The Corner Bar right after work. People who knew how to do screencaps had actual examples of what they found annoying, but I am so computer-illiterate that I didn't even do that. I just stood in front of my douche shirtless selfie and talked about the time my dick pic went viral. My friend Kate is on the right and she missed my set but she enjoyed the rest of the show. We drank at the 19 afterward. My bartender TJ was there with a lady friend and looked good. He invited me to Chino Latino but I didn't feel very great. It was a Monday, after all.

Kate, however, was flabbergasted that I declined the invitation. "Boys with glasses are monsters in bed," she informed me. Sean later joined us, we played trivia, and then Sean and Kate went gallivanting while I went home. Kate lost her passport at the 19 (but retrieved it), and I got another freaking parking ticket. Before they left, we met the SEXIEST MAN EVER. Oh my god. He had shoulder length hair which isn't really my thing, but he had big muscles and made eye contact when he talked to you.

"I'm straight," he told me on the patio. "I mean, I've fucked dudes before, but whatever." I never saw him again.

My luck with comedy continued. Daryl Horner (who has been on a bit of a social media hiatus lately) graciously offered me a hosting gig at The Palace and an opening spot for him at The Pourhouse that following Friday for his DVD taping. I LOVE THE POURHOUSE.

I re-arranged my work schedule for the Palace gig and then it got cancelled. However, one of my high school friends was in town, so I was happy having the time off and was excited to hang out with her, even if it meant sacrificing the miracle that was parallel parking right in front of my building. It never happens.

She cancelled our plans while I was in her driveway.

This is why I hang out with gay men in their early twenties all the time. They don't do that shit.

The Pourhouse night was amazing. I bought a new suit from the kids' department at Nordstrom. C2 by Calibrate is my favorite!



It was that rare night when I felt like a "real" comedian, y'know? I mean, even though I was just the host (ess), I had never been to a venue where I was treated so well (part of this, I'm sure, was a testament to Daryl). I got five comped drink tickets and they let me order top-shelf with them. One of my co-workers and her husband came, as well as Sean and Jared, the latter of which I was thrilled about because his laugh is identifiable and infectious.

Needless to say, when Daryl's raucous hour was over, I was plowed. It's a miracle I was able to close the show without slurring or tripping.

We then went back to Sean's majestic apartment, where I drank even more. Sean is like The Pourhouse in that he also treats me like royalty when I visit. We stood on his balcony and listened to Mariah Carey and talked to his neighbors. Then he put on the Dolly Parton version of "I Will Always Love You."


While I was laughing and smiling, I was also crying. Maybe it's because I was mixing 5-hour energy drinks with copious amounts of alcohol.

"I loved him so much," I told Sean as he embraced me.
"I know," said Sean, even though I'm not even sure if he knew who I was talking about.

It was truly one of the best nights of my life, so it's only fitting that the following week proved amazingly difficult.



Anyone who has met me for more than ten seconds will not be surprised to know that I have issues with anxiety.

It's a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's what makes me Jakey, y'know? Especially in comedy. I am described as "high-energy." One of the comedians from the Facebook show even shared this on his own Facebook (which was super nice):


Was asked "is that just a bit or is he always like that" by a guy pointing at Jakey Emmert. I said "bit? No...not a bit. Do what so many boys before you have done...just hang on and enjoy the ride".



But I could be calmer. At work and in stand-up, I get told I talk too fast. My manager has suggested using my high energy for the better, and I found that to be constructive. I am used to being hyper and always being on Level Nine when the rest of the world is at Level Five.

But that Saturday was a different kind of anxiety. It was waking up with my heart rapidly beating on very little sleep. They closed the freeway. Jared and I were super late for work. I was such a nervous wreck that I made Jared drive. Maybe it was because Friday was such a great night that any day after that would seem like a letdown. I was drinking too much and having too much caffeine and not sleeping enough and I just needed to calm down. Tomorrow would be a new day.

The next day I felt the exact same way.

Monday came around and I just -- I could not. I woke up at 8 and work was at noon and I was going to jump out of my own skin and my mind was going a thousand miles a minute and I hated Jared and I hated everyone who was texting me and I hated myself and I hated everyone at the Mall of America and I JUST COULD NOT DO IT.

I called work and was my usual frantic self. "I'm sick!!" I cried. "I mean, I am, but I'm not!! I'm not peeing or puking but I just -- I can't!! I don't need the whole day off!! I just ... AAAGGGHHHH!"
"We'll be fine," my very calm co-worker told me. "We'll plan on seeing you at four."

Chuck took me to Dairy Queen. He is a nurse so we discussed anxiety. I went to work at five like a dedicated employee, and then Jared, my mom and I went to see a production in the Fringe Festival that my friend Robin was in. And things got a little better. I am trying to have less caffeine and I am trying to exercise more and be more aware of my emotions and control over them.

I made a CD mix with the Rainbow Interlude at the end. I listened to it over and over.

 
"Petals" is such a sad song. God damn. I didn't realize that she often performed the "Interlude" right after. Rainbow is a very good album from beginning-to-end. People don't really make albums with that in mind anymore. It initially wasn't my favorite, but it's grown on me.

I know there is a rainbow
For me to follow
To get beyond my sorrow
Thunder precedes the sunlight
So I'll be all right
If I can find that
Rainbow's end

I will be all right
If I can find that

Rainbow's end

Am I really going back to school? What if I don't get in? What if it's too hard? What if they make me take a math class? What if the 18-year-old boys are mean to me and think I'm creepy? What am I even doing? Should I just try to write a book? But what kind of book would it be? What if I lose my job? What if I stay at my job forever while my friends all get promoted and move to California? What if I lose all my hair? Will I be in debt my entire life? What is going to happen when my parents get old? Like, old old? Where will I be when I'm 30? How did my life become like this? Why did I live on the computer from ages 21 to 25 when I should have been out there living? Why can't I ever be on time for anything?

I will be all right
If I can find that
Rainbow's end

There are bugs in my room.

Next week: We say good-bye to summer! What will fall bring?