Monday, December 31, 2012

Loring Park Episode #20B: A Long December

Previously on Loring Park:

Sunday Funday! And let’s not get into it.


I have never liked December. Years of retail have turned me into a Scrooge. I am little and get cold easily. A friend told me this month that I need to live in Miami, but I am so pale that I am worried that if I lived there, friends and neighbors would constantly assume I was deathly ill.

2012 was a year of change, growth, poverty, heartbreak, disappointment, triumph, SO MUCH FLIRTING, new friendships, strengthened older friendships, an appreciation for family, and maybe just a glimmer of hope. Here’s to financial independence, confrontation of fear of intimacy, and improvement of punctuality.


I started working two jobs in December after choosing to go part-time at the one I have had for four years. It is either the smartest or dumbest thing I have ever done. I adore most of my co-workers, but I could not get promoted to save my life, and dealing with certain co-workers plus the nature of the job (December in retail! Hello!) was giving me hemorrhoids. Besides, my ultimate goal in 2013 is to be solely focused on the most stable industry of all: Entertainment. What could go wrong?

This new schedule meant that I could go only out once a week! Horrors! But I strangely enjoyed this, because it meant that instead of showing up at The Saloon at 12:30, you go to places early, leave before bar close, and actually value the time you have to spend with your friends. One night Joey and I even went to LUSH at 10:00 on a Wednesday, and I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a dream. Because I am 13, I had to tell him all about Kevin, as if our table at LUSH was in the middle of a high school cafeteria.

“Well, does it mean anything?!” Joey asked with wide eyes.

“I don’t think so,” I scoffed.

“Didn’t you guys talk about it when it was over?!” he asked again.

“Did we talk about it?” I repeated. “That is the gayest thing I have ever heard.” We danced out our confused emotions, next to Muscle Margaret and Star Quarterback. Muscle Margaret is not to be confused with Muscle Mary, who bartends at The Saloon and is often very cold with me. Muscle Margaret is in his own bubble, where if he thinks you’re worth knowing, he’ll acknowledge you; Muscle Mary sees you, knows you see him, but could give a shit as long as you’re not tipping. Chuck and I went to his bar one fateful night at The Saloon this month, a night that was hampered because I spent all night freaking out about my lost cell phone, only to find that it was in my apartment the entire time. I am the spaciest person EVER, you guys.

I even did a Sunday Funday for the first time ever! I posted a picture last time, but how Sunday Funday works is that you start at LUSH, drinking mimosas and ostensibly acting like a grown-up. Then your mother leaves, and your friends drag you to the Eagle, where good things never happen. You either return to LUSH or to your apartment (for a well-needed nap) before ending your day at The Saloon. It is exhausting and a sport in itself.

I was able to celebrate another Sunday Funday, but before I get into that, I must share  events that happened that had nothing to do with clubbing.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Loring Park Episode #20: We Need to Talk About Kevin

After two weeks of struggling as to how I would write (if ever), about this recent development, I decided it would only be right to use REALITYTVGIFS.TUMBLR.COM as my resource.


His interactions toward me have not changed, and neither have my feelings for him. I ended up going to his corporate Christmas party the next day. I FIT RIGHT IN. .His mother, his niece, and his mother's dog now enjoy me, but it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything.
 (And yes, I am still closed for business and we only went to second, but IT STILL COUNTS because I have the sex life of a nun. I WAS IN THE BEST MOOD THE NEXT DAY. It took me an hour to park at the Mall of America and I considered it a blessing because I had an extra hour to think about sex. Also, I do not feel bad about writing this because not only have I changed the boy's name, but I showed him previous entries and he said "I find this asinine". This is not a Duke Power Point type of situation)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Loring Park Episode #19: Be Thankful

This episode is going to be written in a choppy form, because I have things to do. Also, a lot has happened, and a lot hasn't happened, but it's all going to start with this:

It was the day of Liam's birthday party, and I was bringing groceries in the house, and I was only going to be inside for a few minutes, but a few minutes turned into two hours, and the moral of this story is that if you have a red Jack Spade wallet, do not leave it on your passenger seat, even if you live in an ostensibly safe neighborhood.

It put things in perspective, though. This happened a week before Thanksgiving, and I was surprised by how I really wasn't that upset about it. Discover air-mailed my credit card, my mother spotted me $20 to get food and paid for the window to be fixed (adding it to the thousands that I owe her, in the year 2013, when I allegedly become a grown-up), my friends were sympathetic and understanding. It made me realize what I should be thankful for.


I got a new bed last week because one of my friends peed in it. I am thankful for that friend because he makes me laugh and he paid for the Rug Doctor the next day. "This was meant to happen, Jakey," he said, "Because it'll get rid of the cat pee smell in your closet anyway." It was a rare Sunday that I had off in retail world, so naturally I took my mother and grandparents to LUSH for brunch.


We didn't really tell Grandpa that it was a gay bar, and I don't know if he got it because the football game was on (albeit next to a music video screen). My grandpa is not homophobic, but he is blue-collar and in his 70's, so I was a bit tepid at first, but my mother explained that as long as you feed him, he is content (and he fully joined the Clean Plate Club). We discussed a friend of mine whose father is a Pentecostal preacher and does not speak to him, and I shared that I was thankful that I got to have both family Thanksgiving and friends Thanksgiving, and it is a rarity for a gay person to have that blessing. Many of the Minneapolis gays go to brunch regularly, but I only get to go twice a year (the last time I was off on Sunday was for my birthday in July), which meant I was drinking like I was in Las Vegas. A gay complimented Grandma Shirley's new handbag that she bought from Lilian's in Blaine in support of Small Business Saturday, and was gracious when she accidentally bumped into him with it. "I'm sorry," she said. "My bag is too big." "Oh, darling," he said. "Nothing can ever be too big." Banter! I met Tall Boy's boyfriend and he couldn't look up from his phone to introduce himself, but not even that would bring me down! Sunday Funday!

My family departed, and I was hoping to eventually get a nap in at some point. It was not to be. Somehow we went to the Eagle, and it's all a blur from there, kids. I allegedly felt up Ryan Robertson, but only because Liam was controlling my hand, and I allegedly shared secrets, because when I drink I am like Elaine on "Seinfeld" (I am also an awful dancer and I violently push people). We went to Lush for a second time, which I do not remember, and then at The Saloon I remember doing self-esteem exercises with a really cute bro-ski type, and then Liam told him how old I was, and then I tackled Liam to the ground and made Jared count the pin.


 Allegedly. I remember nothing.


Oh, the friends I have! There are the usual suspects, to be sure, but I know such a great variety of people. Kara threw a Barbie themed birthday party and I wore my best pink Express shirt. Then I had an allergic reaction to Kinky, which totally bummed me out. Do I need to have Claritin before I drink now? I remember reading in Augusten Burroughs' "Dry" that he would take, like, eight Benadryls before a night of binge drinking. That sounds so awful to me. I would be in a coma. My sinuses would feel great, but I wouldn't be awake to notice it. I last went to Kara's for her Fourth of July shindig, and I love her parties. They are a mix of people who work retail, people who are writers, and usually both (Kara herself is an amazing writer -- and avid reader.She knew about Carole Radziwill before RHONY!). She is also friends with another comedian, in a delightful coincidence.


The hardest part about doing stand-up comedy is actually leaving your apartment to go do stand-up comedy, but I'm doing it more and more lately, because my goal for 2013 is to actually make money doing it (and also prove to myself that I wasn't supposed to be promoted and that I was meant to feel worthless and destitute in the latter half of 2012). Every month I meet more comedians who are so dedicated to what they do, and I just hope to absorb their drive and work ethic. I did a real show at the Comedy Corner this week called Punchline Punchout, a concept in which the comedians have to write five minutes of new matrial based on the topic they get that very morning. Mine was "fire", so I did jokes about Lindsay Lohan's vagina, scary gay stories to be told at gay campfire ("One time I went to The Saloon and I wore black shoes with brown socks!!!"), and the time I set my apartment on fire because I was having webcam sex with a stripper from Miami and I put a towel over a lamp to create better mood lighting. You see, when the stripper took off his shirt he looked like a stripper, and when I took mine off, I looked like an albino 12-year-old girl who is growing slight body hair as a result of her body eating itself due to anorexia.


I have a job in this economy. has been doing an incredible series about the plight of the unemployed, and it can really scare the crap out of you. HOW DARE I EVER COMPLAIN.


I am just as boy-crazy as ever. Jared and Liam were over and I jokingly made a list of all my crushes, and I realized I have at least 20. Then, because I am a mature adult, I began to rank them based on how badly I want to play board games with them, and how likely my odds are of playing board games with them. I quit because it got too depressing. ("#3 is single now! But I am still white!"). And at the risk of being TMI, I am sexually bankrupt. I just like to flirt, people.

Joey, Liam, Markie and a gal pal graciously attended my Comedy Corner show, and after LUSH karaoke (with my parents! Who secretly love LUSH now. It's going to be one of those things where I show up on a crowded Wednesday and they will be sitting at the bar, shocked to see me. Like, "Oh, Jake! It's dollar drinks! Your father and I are going to have to get a cab home!"), we vamoosed to The Saloon!!

I had more to drink than I usually do, and because it was a full moon, all of my crushes were there. As I was yelling in the bathroom about how much Muscle Margaret is a snob (because he is!), Piano Man told me to stop yelling. He has been working out and his arms looked good. Even Jared commented on it. "Jakey, I usually never want to have sex with the same people you do, but CHILD BOO." The Pink Ladies were there, usually flawless. Peter showed up and told me everything he was wearing (it's our thing), and grinned even bigger than usual. "I have foreign exchange students with me," he beamed. You don't have to tell me twice! We sprinted to the dance floor and I met the blondest person I have ever met. "Where are you from?" I gushed. "Europe," he smiled, and I will consider it a truly multicultural experience.

Later in the night, I met up with my posse from earlier. As we stood in the center of the bar, Star Quarterback sauntered in. Were this even a month ago, I would have had my Pavlovian response of tensing up and running away, but now we're best friends and call each other every night and talk about life, love, and the pursuit of the American dream in a frightening economy.

Okay, that part isn't true, but he *did* say hello and hugged me.

I was so excited, but not everyone agreed that it was worthy of my emotion. "Oh, wow, really?" Joey scoffed. "You hugged a guy who's always hopped up on Adderall and doesn't do anything with his life. You and your A-list bullshit. Big fucking deal, Jakey."

I was angry for five whole minutes! But as I walked back to the bathroom, I realized two important points. First of all, Joey is a friend versus an acquaintance, and friends have the right to call you out on your bullshit and immature behavior. I am 12 years old about the preferred gender, and I understand that. Secondly, Joey and I have discussed the concept of the A-list before, and I learned over the summer that it's only "real" in the case of the clubs and the social echelons we create in the unique subculture that is the Hennepin Avenue bar scene, but it does not mean anything in terms of your success in life, of your career, or ultimately your happiness. Joey lives with Muscle Margaret, someone who had an establishment throw him a birthday party complete with a $5 cover charge, and, from the one very brief conversation I had with him, does not engage in pleasantries with people who aren't going to figuratively or literally sit on his dick. I understood where Joey's reaction was coming from. Yet I must defensively note that, as I said in the Halloween episode, the Star Quarterback thing eventually wasn't personally about him anymore. It was about social anxiety and self-affirmation and basing everything on wanting to be acknowledged by one person (hello, 12th grade, I remember you!), because if I was then I would feel like I belonged, and I finally got it and it's all I ever wanted from him, and it was a full-circle moment for me in this particular era of my life.


My best friend Erin and I are seeing Kathy Griffin tonight. Life could suck a lot worse.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Loring Park Episode #18: Bingo, Barack, and Boys

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey and Kevin went night swimming. Jakey has a crush on everyone.


I had not heard from Kevin since our night swimming in August, after which he had completed the grown-up life task of buying a house. Meanwhile, I am so broke and co-dependent that my mother set up an account for me at the local basement grocery store.

I did a show at the House of Comedy a few weeks ago, and was honored that so many of my friends showed up, as did my parents and brother. I worked 10-7 the following Saturday, so I mentioned a possible bingo excursion at Big Louie’s to my mother and my best friend Erin. We play bingo often on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in my mind the invitation was casual and not definite. It’s bingo, not a birthday party.

That same week, Kevin randomly messaged me on Facebook asking if I wanted to hang out. Because I am twelve years old, I jumped at the chance. However, he has a grown-up schedule whereas I have a retail teenager schedule. Not sure what day would work, I decided to give him my entire itinerary, because I have game like that. We tentatively made plans for Saturday at 9. Perfect! I would finish my shift at 7, go home and get pretty, and then drive to his house in the suburbs. This would go off without a hitch!

“Are we still on for bingo on Saturday?” my mother asked on Thursday when I was at work.

“Wha--no,” I said. “I’m going to a boy’s house.”

“Oh, really?!” she scoffed. “You know, when I make plans with people, I keep them. I don’t just ditch them for some yay-hoo.” Yayhoo is a technical term.

Erin was no more sympathetic to my plight. “I would never ditch Robbie for you, and we’re getting married in less than a year!” she wrote in a text. “THAT IS WAY HARSH, TAI,” I wrote in all doocecaps. Still, I was in the midst of a moral dilemma. I did not realize our quasi-monthly bingo excursion was such an important social obligation, but my mother and best friend are the two most important women in my life. While I imagined this would be an argument that I would have a good thirty decades from now, I was in my mid-twenties and possibly having relationships ruined because of no-showing bingo. I was going to have to make an important decision.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Me When I Drunk Facebook

I have had wonderful conversations with people from different spectrums about the two proposed amendments Minnesota votes on this Tuesday. I can only offer this: Voting "No" on Amendment 1 will not legalize gay marriage, or mandate that your 8-year-old will learn words in school like "homosexual", "queer" or "different". It will only imply that your lesbian neighbors will not get legally married without further evaluation/discussion of the topic, and that your gay friends, family members and colleagues will not feel explicitly ostracized . Voting "No" on Amendment 2 will not "protect" your vote from the myth perpetuated as "voter fraud". In reality, Voter ID laws are explicitly designed to prevent minorities, seniors, students and lower-income citizens from voting. And at the risk of sounding pedantic, you can vote No on both and *still* vote for Mitt Romney if you so choose, and God will not disown you. I promise.

          There's a typo in the original post, but it has over 20 likes already, SO THERE. My new drunk fantasy now has nothing to do with sex or Channing Tatum or a combination thereof. Instead, it is brunch mimosas with Rachel Maddow and Steve Kornacki.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Loring Park Episode #17: Go Long

Previously on Loring Park:

Jared and Jakey encountered a frightening bar patron. Joey returned to Minneapolis. Jakey has a crush on everyone.

Halloween was looming! The week before, Chuck and I ran errands so that I could buy my costume and feel like a grown-up. I had left my car at LUSH the night before, and we had to reflect on the previous night because I am in ninth grade.

“The twinky bartender is so nice,” I declared. “Usually I’m threatened when they’re smaller and prettier than me, but he’s genuine and not bitchy. He even said he hoped I would come sing karaoke!”

“I hugged Star Quarterback,” Chuck boasted. “I wished you would have seen it.”

“I don’t know if I like him anymore,” I said.

“What?!” Chuck asked, and his face fell. “That’s the only reason why I did it.”

It’s so stupid,” I whined. “It’s not even him! It turned into this whole manifestation of my insecurities, and now he’s this entity that goes beyond him as a person.” It should be noted that we were shopping for my Halloween costume, and I was ironically going to be a star quarterback. I had the jersey custom made.


Yes, I know that the quarterback doesn’t wear #69, but I was going to gay bars and therefore I did not think that anybody would be calling me out on my lack of football knowledge. Plus, back when I did a radio show, I totally talked to Chris Kluwe for five seconds, and that was before he became a heterosexual gay icon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Loring Park Episode #16: Jaymes Vaughn

Previously on Loring Park:

-An emotional affair officially went awry! Roger got drunk and asked Jakey out! Jakey is still closed for business! The CUTEST BOY EVER!

This week's episode begins on a Wednesday night at LUSH, which is the best place to go mid-week (dollar drinks, even though I usually have a Grey Goose Lemonade by the end of the night). I, of course, arrived at midnight because I am inconsiderate that way, but it was lovely to see my usual suspects there: Jared and Joey and Liam and Markie and our friend Esquire, who just passed the bar. South Dakota Version Two, a.k.a., the CUTEST BOY EVER, was on the dance floor and I was blushing just talking about it. I also realized that I remembered nothing of the conversation we had, except that we discussed the weather and the probability of coat check.

"Wait, that's *all* you remember?" Esquire asked. "You don't remember anything about him telling you had a 'positive aura'? He must have mentioned it five diferent times."

No, I remember none of it. And it's not because I was piss-drunk, either. When I later told this story to my brother, he scoffed, "What, were you that lost in his dreamy eyes?" And, yes. Yes, I was.

I didn't talk to him that night, though, because he was dancing with his hot friends. I hate high school. MANUEL~!, the boy who stole my cell phone the week prior and then gave it back to me two seconds later when I said "Excuse me", was starting fistfights on the outside of the club. SOME PEOPLE. Joey and I briefly snuck off to Legends, where I ran into the same St. Anthony girl that I encountered last week! Small moments! Joey is enjoying his new life living with the Muscle Gays, and is allegedly planning a dinner party. Fancy! We will discuss politics and glute exercises.

Back at LUSH, I gave Jared $25 to take a cab home so I could go to A-bar with the boys, and that was only because I knew that Ryan Robertson was going to be coming with us. Ryan Robertson appeared nameless on an earlier episode -- I met him for two seconds at LUSH and he helpfully gave me workout advice -- and while I have never had another actual conversation with him, he has always been as cordial as he is dreamy. Markie, Liam, their friend Blake and I drove together while Ryan drove beside us, and I was a delightful mix of loopy and nervous.

Markie lives with Lawrence and we all trekked down to the basement. Ryan laid on the bed perpendicular to Liam while I sat on the edge of it, and spastic conversation was had. We all went on Grindr as a joke but I have a *horrible* Grindr picture these days, a tragic side effect of always losing your cell phone. Star Quarterback was on Grindr and I refuse to believe that he is 6'2" and 180 pounds.

"He used to be fat," Liam said.
"Still," I said. "That boy is LANKY." And I am not bitter at all.
"I'm 5'11" and 155," Ryan Robertson shared.
"You are *not* 5'11," Markie accused, because Markie is the expert on all things, including height.
"Pssh, I am too," Ryan Robertson said.
"No," Markie yelled. "I don't believe you".
And I, who had said nothing to Ryan Robertson since that fateful night in April in which I learned what ab exercises I should be doing in the morning, decided to pipe up. "Well, stand up," I said. "I'm 5'7".

He stood up in all his lanky sexiness and we stood back-to-back, like you do when you're in grade school and wanting to find out who is the tallest kid in the class. Markie immediately whipped out his measure tape (what, who doesn't have a random measure tape on their nightstand?) and declared that Ryan Robertson was exactly four inches taller than me! And thus ends the closest I will ever be getting to romance with Ryan Robertson.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Loring Park Episode #15: We're Not All in the Mood For a Melody

I am that weird age where I am too old to be following random 19-year-olds on Twitter but young enough to snag myself a sugar daddy. Both are dangerous.

I went to LUSH twice in a row last week! LUSH is still my favorite gay bar and while I’m very happy to be in Loring Park, I miss being within walking distance of it. Chuck and Joey were both attending, and I felt bad that I didn’t get there until 12:30. I have a chronic inability to arrive at a social gathering before midnight. It doesn’t matter what time I start to get ready. I have to shave, and take an hour-long shower, and put my make-up on, then remove my make-up because it doesn’t look right, then re-apply, then change my outfit three times. I think I have Gay OCD.

Joey moved in with muscle gays in the suburbs, and I have not met them yet but one of them I often see at the clubs and the other one I Facebook-creeped out of boredom. I told Joey that if I am just randomly in his suburb (that I don’t think I’ve ever been to in my life, truthfully), I just might need to borrow something like vodka or a cup of sugar or an orgasm. I went to the bathroom and stood at the mirror next to someone who had to be a model, and then Star Quarterback came out of the stall with four other dudes, and he was wearing a zip-up sweater and looked dreamy. My life is a joke.

At the end of the night, Chuck and I stood by the fire and somehow we ended up in conversation with a boy who used to work coat check at The Saloon. You know I’m not one to be overdramatic or use exaggerated statements, so you’ll have to trust me when I opine that he was THE CUTEST BOY EVER. He was from South Dakota and that meant that he didn’t know that he was beautiful. We talked about the weather, which means I must have wowed him.

“I heard you met a boy last night,” Liam texted me the next morning.

“Not like that,” I said. “We only talked about the weather.”

“I know his last name,” Liam said. Then I Facebook-creeped and found out he has a boyfriend. Cue the music they play when people lose on The Price is Right.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Loring Park Episode #14B: Wake Me Up When September Ends

Previously on "Loring Park " ...

With a few minute exceptions, I realize I took a month off from writing. September was a weird month, you guys.

During the last week of August, I found out that I had made the semi-finals of the ACME Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest. This meant that my score was in the top 25 of the over 200 participants. My semi-final date was the last Friday of the month, and we wouldn't find out the scores until Labor Day weekend.

I, of course, went to The Saloon that night, as I found it to be my last day of summer. None of my usual club buddies were there, but I was happy nonetheless as I walked out of the bar, and reflected on my "summer of love". My summer of love wasn't about hook-ups (I really only had one). The love was in other forms, like going to the grocery store with Chuck and Peter and making them hold my bags because I was too busy holding up my shorts, and Joey coming over at the time I had told him to and then I wouldn't even have showered yet, and roller coasters with cute strangers, and late-night kiki's with the neighbor girl, and gay softball games, and Jared and I singing Salt 'n' Pepa at 3 A.M. on Hennepin Avenue, and doing stand-up in pubs in Duluth and garages in Northeast Minneapolis. I felt happy. I felt alive. I looked at my phone and found out that I had made the finals of the Acme contest. I wanted to tell everyone, but then I realized I didn't know anyone standing outside of the bar that night.

The finals were on Tuesday. I only knew one of the other finalists, but she was a girl who I've seen on a regularly standard basis at open mikes, and I felt comfortable with her. While everyone else was silent and walking on eggshells, she had no air of competition about her. "I have chap stick, lozenges, breath mints, anything you need," she announced when I walked into the green room. I saw Colin Kane's name on the wall. I couldn't believe that Wendy Liebman was the headliner! I remembered watching her "Pulp Comics" episode dozens of times when I was a kid and Comedy Central would show it at 2 in the morning. Yes, children, there was a time when Comedy Central actually showed stand-up comedy. Like how MTV used to show music videos.

Short story long, I won the damn thing. And for a few days I was on a high, as the Facebook "likes" kept pouring in, and I got some publicity (a sentence that sounds sooooo douchey to say, but there it is). And then, not counting a show at The Saloon in front of 20 gay guys, I didn't do stand-up again that month, because the weirdest thing happened.

I got really fucking depressed.

Was part of it disappointment? As I have written before, not even 24 hours after I won, another comedian made sure to tell me that "Winning the ACME contest doesn't really mean anything". Maybe I expected certain things that didn't necessarily happen. I didn't get gigs or offers from the sky (was I supposed to?). I still didn't know what open mikes to go during the week, or who to talk to in order to get on stage A on night B. The boy I liked could have given two shits (to be fair, I should have promised him something more appealing than a dinner at Embers when I texted him of my winning). Then I felt guilty for being depressed, because there were at least 200 people in this town that wanted the proverbial title I now possessed. I had also hit a wall at my real job, the one that actually pays my bills, as my two closest work friends got promoted while I could not get past the judgmental 22-year-olds with clipboards holding the velvet ropes. If you are obsessed with divas of professional wrestling, especially from the years 1998-2006, an apt analogy would be that I was Ivory in the summer of 2002, doing bikini contests with Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler on Smackdown house shows, while I got to watch from afar as Molly Holly, Trish Stratus, Victoria and Jazz get to go out there and have actual wrestling matches on every episode of Raw is War. For 98% of the population, I am not even going to bother to explain that. Just trust me when I say that it felt like my soul was dying. I drank excessively because I was depressed, I was depressed because I was broke, and I was broke because I drank excessively.

But my identity crisis didn't fully make sense to me until I re-read "Guts" by Kristen Johnston (an amazing memoir, by the way). Kristen Johnston won two Emmys for 3rd Rock from the Sun, and she writes that at the height of her fame she became deeply depressed, because she realized that she had lost her ambition. That makes so much sense, right? You have a goal, you meet your goal, and then you have no idea what to do with yourself because you didn't plan on anything after the goal was met. I also realized that, superficial qualities be damned, it was Kevin's relentless ambition that I had grown to admire most about him.

So I tried to go back to real life two weeks ago. "Loring Park". Gays of our Lives. I went to three different birthday parties in one night, a fact that would have made third grade me sooooo jealous. Joey was in town and there is a slight chance he is going to move in with a group of muscle gays in the suburbs, and I hope they allow him to have friends with body fat in the double digits. We showed up at The Saloon at 1 A.M., booty-danced but did not make out, and Star Quarterback was right there and saw the whole thing, but I still sprinted far away from him every time I made eye contact with him, because I am good at flirting. Chuck came over several times and taught me how to do grown-up things like clean the bathroom and vaccuum under furniture. I lost my cell phone again. Jared got mugged and got his cell phone stolen. I lost my cell phone a *second* time, but mercifully it was in Markie's car and Liam delivered it to my workplace the next day.

Last night I was going to recognize my budget, but Piano Man asked me if I was going out to The Saloon, so I ended up there at 12:30 A.M. I was in line right behind Star Quarterback, because you can't make this stuff up. It is gay high school, and I have decided that Piano Man is the popular Student Body President and I am the chunky girl with the three-ring binder trying to convince all the cute boys to join the drama club. He flirts with me, and I flirt back, but then he tells me he can't have his arm around me because people will think I'm his boyfriend, and I have to fend off the three boys drooling over him, but after my fourth Three Olives lemonade I realize that maybe I like Piano Man too, but I am closed for business, and that is putting it mildly.

"You're past closed for business," Jared told me on his last day at work. "You're like .... bankrupt."
"I know!" I cried. "It's like when you drive by an abandoned Hardee's and it's boarded up!" I'm surprised I don't notice tumbleweeds when I take my clothes off.

But the people I have met! I met a newscaster who drunkenly accused me of thinking that I'm better than him (couldn't have been further from the truth!). Jared called him out for wearing colored contacts, but then we bonded over our love of Esme Murphy. I met a drunk man at Lush who announced, "I know you", and I was hoping he recognized me from stand-up, but apparently we would talk about pro wrestling on adam4adam. "Your picture was of you in a yellow shirt against a white car," he slurred. That was scary accurate! "You lived off of University and you were going to come over and fuck me!" he yelled so loud that the entire patio, if not all of Northeast Minneapolis, could hear it. That was not accurate.

I had my proverbial summer of love. I don't know what my autumn will be of, but I'm more hopeful now than I was before. It's like the saying goes: You make plans, and God laughs. It's like the other saying goes: You win your city's biggest comedy contest, and then a week later you're sobbing at your mother's kitchen table because, even though you just won $1,000, you somehow have no money in the bank (okay, I did splurge on clothes, such as Vince cords and a Cardigan t-shirt and two Quiksilver sweaters. Judge me not).

It will be my first autumn in Loring Park. I will change and mature with the leaves, and hopefully that doesn't mean that I will be totally bald by winter, because I'm still telling everyone I'm 24.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loring Park Episode #13: September's Coming Soon

Typically on the 13th episode of a TV show’s freshman season, loose ends are tied up because a show is initially only ordered for 13 episodes before the network decides to give it a full 22-episode run. Hell, if this were a cable show, we’d be at the season finale anyway. You would expect something eventful to happen in Episode 13.

I turned down sex three times in one night last week. That should let you know where this is going.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Loring Park Episode #12: Jersey Chaser, Drunk Facebooker, Bad Picker-Upper

The Gay World Series is in town, and as a result my checking account is practically subzero. Jersey chasing is a sport in itself.

But before all that, I went to Peter's apartment in St. Paul. It was a lovely chill night of wine-drinking, and Peter is a delicious source of gossip as he knows all of the names I drop. We are opposites, he and I. At 19, he is already "over" the club scene as he went through his bar-star phase when he was ridiculously young but with a fake ID and connections. I, on the other hand, am 26 but think it's all new and exciting, and therefore have the same wide-eyed lust as a silly, naive, high school junior would. Nevertheless, I instantly had to tell him of my past weekend and summer of love, and his opinions were scorching and hilarious.

"You're friends with Taylor?!"
"What? He was nice to me! He let me have some of his drink!"
"I don't know. He acts like he's hot shit."
"He is kind of hot shit, though. If I looked like that, I wouldn't be nice to anybody."
"Wait, is that PHILIP?!"
"Yes! I don't talk to him, though."
"That bitch is MY age! He goes tanning way too much. He has pock marks everywhere."
"But look at his buff friend! I had to get a picture with him just to prove to myself that I actually met him!"

At this point, I think Chuck had rolled his eyes so far backward they made marks in his brain. I talked about possibly being promoted at work, and  Peter and I discussed name brands for an hour, which made Chuck roll his eyes back AGAIN. I slept on the couch under a blanket with hot shirtless men on it (Peter only has the best things), and in the morning I realized that my car had been towed.

Apparently, you can't park in front of a driveway in St. Paul.

Chuck drove me to the impound lot, rubbing my leg in support and constantly apologizing, but I really wasn't that distraught. I mean, yes, it sucks, and it's another month that The Money Fairy won't come, but when something like that happens, you have two ways to react to it: You can feel like the world is against you and is ending, or you can realize that shit happens. Also, I have a Discover card.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Loring Park Episode #11: My Summer of Love

It is my third month in the city.

It is my summer of love.

I don’t put out, but it’s still my summer of love.

Love can mean different things, for example. I met a neighbor girl a month ago at the 19 Bar. She has air conditioning and an adorable kitten. She stays up until 5 in the morning like I do. She moved here from Green Bay, didn’t realize she was in the gayborhood, but we all have adopted her. Her posse is a bit different than mine, but one of her friends, Eric, is a hilarious fedora-sporting African-American gentleman who lives a block away and occasionally bumps into me at The Saloon. We share a love for old-school Mariah Carey and singing about a hot guy, “He can gettttt ittttttttt!”

A lot of them could get it this weekend. But we’ll get to that later.

I stopped at my parents’ house after work on Friday night to drop off some mail and get my Entertainment Weeklys (they still deliver them there! Soooo frustrating). Kevin texted me to let me know that he just bought chocolate cake flavored vodka. How sinful is that? But I was going to be an adult about Kevin this time. I wasn’t going to drop everything and drive to the suburbs. I said I would call him when I got home, because we are friends and nothing more and that is what friends do. Italics.

“My apartment is a sweat hut,” I explained at 10:15 P.M. The fan in the living room read 98 degrees. “Wait, that’s not right, is it?”
“Sweat hut?” he asked.
“Y’know, like they have on those resorts,” I explained.
“A sweat lodge!” he exclaimed.
“Yes!” I said. “Anyway, I’m living in my sweat lodge. It’s like doing bikram yoga only I don’t need to do anything.”
“Hmm,” he said, and then he slipped into that damn fake Southern accent. “That sounds tempting. Well, I just bought a new bottle of chocolate cake vodka.”
Awkward silence.
“This is when you invite me over, Kevin,” I directed. This was 50% because I still like him but the other 50% was really because I wanted to sleep in air conditioning.
He did, and I told him I would be there in half an hour. Because this is me, it took me 45 minutes just to shower, throw together an overnight bag, and leave my apartment. On my way to his estate, it started STORMING, almost torrentially, and that is when I realized I left my apartment windows open. The route there directed me to eight different exits, and I panicked more as the storm got stronger. When I drove into his town, sirens were blaring, and I wasn’t sure if I should have been terrified or turned on.

I arrived at his building and a birthday party/quincenera was going on and a man let me in. “You’re in my building?” Kevin said when he called me. “Only an hour. Not bad. You’re just walking around randomly? That’s smart.”
He was right in front of me then, on the second floor of this suburban palace, and it was the first time I had actually seen him in a month and a half. We’re good now, we’re normal and platonic and drama-free, but I would be lying if I still didn’t feel a little nauseous. His tight tee-shirt effortlessly showed off his swimmer’s build, the well-developed biceps and the slim waist, and I calmed myself down with Absolut Citron.

We played video games. That’s not a metaphor like board games. It was actually a very enjoyable, Monopoly-meets-Mario Party type of game, and I learned a lot about things like stock prices and equity and other grown-up things that Kevin is obsessed with. At 28, his mother is financially dependent on him, and that is when I understood why he is always talking about things like 401(k)s and retirement savings. The conversation made me want to call my mother and tell her that I had two interviews for grown-up jobs and I promise to stop being a screw-up by the time I am 28 so that she can live in my basement.

I did the tutorial for the video game while he read boring work things. He chastised me for not using a coaster, and when I responded with something snarky, he responded with “Aww, you’re trying to be cute, aren’t you?” I was sitting almost off the couch because I need glasses but I am in denial, and he forcefully grabbed my thigh and shoved me so I would lean back, and I felt strange tingly feelings in my urrrrea.

He told me that Joey thinks I cried last week because I had a bad show. Awkward. Also, How dare you? I fucking killed it at Campus Pizza last week. He explained he was self-conscious about his teeth because he was in an accident last fall and the flipper finally came off, and I won the Hypocrite of the Year Award when I told him that he shouldn’t surround himself with superficial people.

We went to his closet to get a board game, but he only has ridiculously nerdy RPG-type ones, or Risk, and I really hate Risk. As I was rambling about something ridiculous, he grabbed me by the waist and made out with me. I tried to push him into his room and onto the bed, but he countered me with his superior upper body strength. Then he continued the conversation as if nothing had happened.

Boys are so dumb.

We finally went to bed at 5 A.M., and he demanded mutual shirtlessness. Thank goodness I remembered to shave my chest. I did not pursue sexy time because I hadn’t Naired my legs. We took melatonin, and that morning I had three different dreams about being in bed with him. In the second one we wrestled. I should be so lucky.

I justified going out on Saturday night because we have a major event at work next weekend and therefore I won’t be at The Saloon until the next paycheck! Oh, horrors!

It’s Gay High School. I know I always say it, but it’s true. Most (but not all) gay men did not do high school the "normal" way -- we didn't openly date, we didn't gossip about who we liked, we didn't unabashedly flirt -- and thus we live it out in our twenties. Let's just say I have an embarrassing amount of school spirit, and I just want everyone to sign my damn yearbook.

Nights blur together. Jared met me there, but he didn’t get there until 1:15, so before his arrival, I mingled. I ran into Eric and he allowed me to hang out with his posse. South Dakota was there and didn’t try to make out with me, and I wasn’t sure if I should have been offended or not. Star Quarterback was brooding. Gay Oprah was there oozing fabulousness. I have Drunk Facebooked half this bar!

Just like in Episode One, I left with South Dakota to go to the secret warehouse after-party. It was different this time because I actually knew where it was, and I was able to convince myself that I belonged. I’m not an A-lister, but I’m certainly up to a C-minus. We were in a group of five, and everyone else was a music major because they kept saying their names while clapping the syllables. Ta tah tee tee tah. JA-KEY.

We arrived, my name wasn’t on the list (they have a list now?! Someone has upped the ante at The Place) and I might have overpaid, but it was all worth it once I got to ride the freight elevator with a man covered in balloons. He explained that tonight’s theme was aquatic. What?? Theme?? In line for the bathroom, I was next to a woman dressed like Kate Winslet from Titanic, and she explained that her house turned 100 years old so she wanted to dress like it was 1912. Clever! I love uptown people.

It was an “Under the Sea” theme, and people covered themselves in body paint. A lovely young woman was giving impromptu pole dancing lessons. Jim Wilson was in his underwear. If I had a body like Jim Wilson, I would go grocery shopping in swim trunks. All the local bartenders were there, and I ran into someone who I met at my very first job from the movie theater when I was 16! I was proud of myself for knowing the only heterosexual male in the venue.

Eric was there, too, and his friend got body painted. After an hour of mingling, I totally forgot there was a roof! Last time I was here it was raining, but tonight it was beautiful. I walked up by myself and absorbed the skyline and took in the moment. This lasted all of two seconds, because then I saw Philip.

Philip is an A-lister that I do not speak to. You could say Philip is good-looking, but that is an understatement. Philip won the genetic lottery, boys and girls. Philip is so good-looking that I, to quote Mariah, get kind of hectic inside. Jet black hair! Cobalt blue eyes! Ridiculously white teeth! Naturally olive skin! A birthdate in the 1990’s! Liam once went on a date with him a few years ago, and they went to a roller rink and held hands! I was so jealous when he told me that I almost kicked him out of my apartment.

Anygay (my new favorite segue), Philip was there with two male friends and a beautiful girl, and they asked me to take their picture. It took me three times and none of them turned out well. Deeeeee-lissssssttttttt. The boys were all nice though, and one of them had a crazy athletic build. In a world of twinks, he was strapping muscles and granite, and, to steal a phrase from Liz Lemon, I wanted to go to there.

At 5:30 AM, it was finally time to go, and South Dakota and I took a cab home. South Dakota! The first boy I ever made out with post-moving! Awwwwwww. I still hadn’t Naired my legs. Was I supposed to put out?

“Just so you know,” South Dakota said, “When we get there I’m gonna immediately pass out.”
“That’s okay,” I smiled. What a relief! We stripped down to our underwear and he wore neon green Andrew Christians.

Jared called the next morning at 8:30. “I lost my phone!” he cried. “I’m outside of your apartment! Let me in!” I buzzed him in, and he entered my apartment looking like he had just got back from the club. He was awake, polished, and energetic.

“JAKEY!” he cried. “I lost my phone! Loring Park is having an art festival and I slept in a tent with these artists! They were so weird! But they were so nice to me! I could have been killed! Where did you go last night?” He kept rambling until he noticed that South Dakota was nearly naked and in the bed with me. “Oh!” Jared cried. “Oh! Ohhhhhh!!!!!!!! JAKEY!”

“Jared, don’t be ridiculous!” I cried with mock embarrassment. I am half naked in bed with a cute boy, how humiliating! The Rhoda Morgenstern to my Mary Richards sashayed out of my apartment (yes, I have decided that I get to be the Mary in our friendship and that never happens), and then I overslept. Oh no!!! I drove South Dakota home as is proper faux one-night stand etiquette, but then I took the wrong freeway! Must you be so confusing, uptown?!

I went to work with that post fake-sex glow. I had slept with Kevin and South Dakota two nights in a row! Granted, we didn’t do anything, but still! How exciting! My summer of love! A man from the Internet wanted to come over and play board games, but I still hadn’t Naired my legs. Then I ordered Jimmy John’s and subsequently locked myself out of my apartment building when I went to retrieve it. That would so not happen to Mary Richards.

I was exhausted! Did I even want to go out? Was this what it is to be old? Should I stay in? But I couldn’t go out next weekend! I had to! It was my duty!

I waltzed into The Saloon and turned the world on with my smile. I immediately ran into Davis, who I went to Stout with! He was there with Jim Wilson and I felt awkward and out of place. Then I realized that as he and Jim were sitting at the corner of the bar, and I was now next to Davis’s friend Taylor, who is tall and of ambiguous descent. Taylor had a million-dollar smile and an American Eagle polo. He was very attractive, but I wasn’t intimidated at all, because I was able to charm him with my wit and grace.

I am so full of shit, y’all. Our initial five minutes were like this:

Davis: “This is my best friend, Taylor. Taylor, this is Jakey.”
Taylor (very nice! Very sweet!): “Hi. Good to meet you!”
Jakey: “……………….” (stands awkwardly next to the cute boy for five minutes until I down my first Three Olives lemonade. YAYYY FOR TWO FOR ONES)

Then I summoned the courage to ask Taylor what he was drinking. His poison was tequila sunrise, and he let me taste it.
“What straw should I use?” I asked.
“I don’t care,” he smiled. Then I asked for his hand in marriage.

I went back to the porch and Eric and his fedora were there again! Yayy!!! We discussed the “Daydream” album and how he is often drawn to skinny white boys as his sidekicks. “We’re a hoot,” I explained.

I walked back inside and Davis and Taylor were talking to a girl who was gorgeous. She had long black hair, popping lip gloss and a glittered piercing under her lip. “You are beautiful,” I said. “And when a gay man tells you that, it’s the truth. We have no reason to lie about it.” She oozed sex. I wanted to make out with her.

“I want to make out with you,” Davis told her.
“Me too,” I said. But then Davis actually did make out with her! For like two minutes! It was the sexiest thing I’d ever seen, but I was kind of disappointed because then that meant that I couldn’t make out with her. Davis is classy and handsome, but sloppy seconds is still sloppy seconds. Plus, I’m probably a horrible kisser compared to him. I know my strengths, people.

One of those strengths is schmoozing when I’ve had enough liquid courage! This doesn’t mean that I talked to Philip or Star Quarterback (though the latter and I had the most awkward staredown in front of the bathroom!). I did, however, walk to the back patio and schmooze with Philip’s friend, he of the football player build from the prior evening. He was filling out a blue Abercrombie & Fitch polo and he could gettttt ittttt.

He has family in Manhattan, lives in Madison, is 22, is 230 pounds of solid muscle, and had that magic black hair/blue eye combo that makes the girls melt. I kept trying to lift him up, but he wouldn’t have any of it. The bartender suggested I buy him a drink, but I made him flex his biceps first. I’m only human. I told him my real age. Life is short. I told him he is a gay unicorn and someone like him, an incredibly muscular ‘jock’ with beautiful eyes and dimples, is a very rare breed. I may have even used the term “conventionally attractive”. Life is still short.

We heard rumors of an after-party, but nothing happened, so Football Guy (what a great code name!), his friend and I went to my apartment because I knew Neighbor Girl would be up. She had her man friend over and gave us wine. While in the bathroom she told me she has a lump in her breast. Football Guy and his friend walked me home, and I sobbed hysterically. I called everyone I have ever met before one of my co-workers called me back at 4:30 in the goddamned morning. Boy, do I owe someone a fruit basket.

How does a 24-year-old woman have prospective breast cancer? Is it because I read What Remains by Carole Radziwell and thus I had cancer on the brain? Did I not hear her right? Was this lovely young woman so lonely that she had to create pathological lies for attention? Did she tell me because she had no one else to hear it for her? I thought of the young woman I met at Lush who also told me of her “lady cancer”. Bad things happen to good people. When they do, you question your faith, your God, your belief in concepts like grace, karma and fortune.

I texted Football Guy. He did not write back. Will I ever see him again? Was it all a dream? Thank goodness for Instagram. Neighbor Girl said she would call me today, but maybe the time is too ripe. I will see her at the 19, which does not count as going out.

I was supposed to go to a movie audition today but I totally forgot about it. Dammmmmitttttttttt. So much for my fake show business career. I am going to work at a Walgreen’s until I die. I went to dinner with Chuck and Devin at Psycho Suzi’s, and then I had to tell them about my summer of love. They made gentle fun of me for being such a Prudence McPrude. Chuck is older and wiser, and I told him about the Kevin drive-by kiss at his apartment. “It’s a control thing,” he surmised, and that is why you should always be friends with 31-year-olds who have seen silly boys come and go, when they had their own summers of love and ill-fated emotional affairs.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Loring Park Episode #10: My Hair is Full of Secrets

“Sometimes people compare gay men to teenage girls, and they are correct, I realize. I think the reason is because gay men didn’t get to express their crushes in high school.” -Augusten Burroughs, Dry

“So many activists say that Minneapolis needs a gay high school in order to prevent bullying. I just want everyone to know that there already *is* a gay high school. It’s on Hennepin Avenue, and it’s called The Saloon”. -Jakey Emmert, telling yuk ‘em ups to a crowds of at least a dozen, at your local watering hole or pizza place

My life briefly turned into Mean Girls this week. Valleyfair was having Gay Day on Saturday, and I planned to attend with Chuck and Peter. Liam didn’t have anyone to go with and asked if he could come with us provided he slept over Friday night, and I had a “more the merrier” attitude. Chuck and Peter didn’t quite feel the same way as they had planned it to just be the three of us, and for a strange moment I felt like Cady, in the scene when Gretchen and Karen are asking her what they’re going to do this weekend, and panic and excitement reaches her face as she asks:

- So, what are we doing this weekend?

- Yeah, what are we doing?

-Oh, I have to go to Madison with my parents.


-We have tickets for this thing.

- What? -


Was I the new queen bee?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Loring Park Episode #9: Are You There, Gay Oprah? It's Me, Jakey

Previously on "Loring Park": Lordy, Lordy, Jakey is 40!

I told myself that I wasn’t going out this week because I had gone out so often during my birthday weekend that I could have been put on a waiting list for a liver transplant. Liam invited me out to the 19 bar on Thursday, and I told myself that was fine, because the 19 doesn’t count. It’s a block away from my apartment, it’s cash only, and you don’t have to dress up.

Lawrence, Markie, and a few others joined us, and we all caught up on delicious gossip. For starters, it turns out that the man I made out with on my birthday is a sex offender and was busted in an FBI sting several years ago because he had gone to a hotel room in hopes of doing lascivious things to a 13-year-old boy.

That is awful.

I am having an identity crisis in which I, at 26, feel washed-up and decrepit, as I am no longer a twink, although I never felt confident when I was at my alleged peak of 19-21, and thus I feel that my ship sailed before it ever came in, and that older gay men in our culture are only sexualized if they are masculine and muscular, and when you are an aging twink you are just old and gross and weird. The fact that I apparently look young enough that the only person who was sexually interested in me was a pedophile is disturbing … but for someone in the identity crisis I'm in, it's also really, really flattering.

I will see you in hell.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Loring Park Episode #8: I Love Birthdees

I don't feel that old because this suit was from the kids' department. $90 DKNY before my discount, bitches.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

In Which I Have a Nervous Breakdown

I had a nervous breakdown in the car today. There is nothing more narcissistic than writing about your mental health issues. It does not make you special.

Dashboard Confessional's "Stolen" played and I thought about college. How I was miserable my sophomore year, yet also the happiest, but then miserable again, because I knew that I couldn't stay. I could not stay because I did not have a driver's license. You cannot live in Menomonie without a driver's license. How will you go to Eau Claire for your internship? This is what I had convinced myself, anyway.

My mother and I saw "Magic Mike" the other day. This ties in, I swear. I told her of my Facebook status discussing how we were going to see it together, and how it got 10 likes. "Why do you always refer to me by my first name?" she asked. "Why don't you ever say 'my mother'? My brother always called my mother by her first name because he didn't like her and they had a horrible relationship."

What I wanted to say: Do we have to have this conversation now? We have gotten along better now than we have in 12 years. Do I really want to think about this when Channing Tatum is gyrating? You know I call you by your first name. This is nothing new. Why are you choosing now? I do it to Dad too and he never said that it bothered him, and then there was that night at Big Louie's when his friend Joe called me out on it and said if his son ever did that he would kick his ass, and Dad said "Yes, well, Joe, that's different, my friends actually respect me", and when I look back, I think that I, in character with being a passive-aggressive Cancerian, am still pissed off about that even though it was a year ago.

What I said: "Um, well, it's no secret that I have had Mommy Issues, but I started doing it around ten years ago as a way to emotionally distance myself. You know, that was when I ..."
"...Stopped liking me?" she said.
"I ... Oh, look, Erin Court!" I said as we passed the street that shares the name of my best friend.  "I miss her so much! Why is she in Haiti?
"Erin should live on Erin Court," my mother said.
"She is going to have four boys," I predicted. "No, she will have three boys and her life will be cake and then she will have an 'Oops' baby late in life and it will be a girl, and she will have no idea how to raise a girl and her daughter will drive her crazy."
"Yes, well," my mother said, "Life doesn't always turn out how you think it will."

We were driving to Wynnsong Cinemas. Six years ago, back when I had only known Channing Tatum from "She's the Man" (and MY DREAMS!), I had walked ten miles there from the Walgreens in St. Anthony to go see the midnight show because I *had* to see my husband's new movie at midnight and my mother would not let me take the car. I did not have a license to operate the car. I was 20 years old. At 20 years old, I decided I was old enough to drive anyway and not having a license was beside the point, because I was four years past 16 and it was really fucking ridiculous.

I was suicidal my entire sophomore year. Then I moved to New York City, which was supposed to save me, but I was still angry, and I spent every waking moment in the greatest city in the world being mad at my mother and wishing I was living in the "Henhouse", the home on 20th Avenue in Menomonie where my gal pals were all residing. Then I flunked out/quit Brooklyn College and everyone in my family, including myself, had the audacity to be surprised by my epic failure.

Then the iPod played "I Will Buy You a New Life" and I remembered when I was a freshman at Stout, and back then I was so stupid that I thought I was miserable even though the true misery would not come later, and I randomly finished a LiveJournal entry with "I moved in with the strangest guy/Can you believe he thinks that I am really alive?" Then I felt really poor. I am throwing myself a birthday party next week even though I technically cannot afford it. It is no one's fault but my own that I am poor. No one put a gun to my head and made me drop out of two different colleges (not counting the two seconds I spent at MCTC, and I actually paid for that tuition myself), nobody put a gun to my head and made me spend the first two years of my job constantly tardy and hung over while watching everyone else get promoted, and now nobody is putting a gun to my head and making me crabby and timid while watching everyone else get promoted. I never e-mailed that prospective talent agent because I didn't think I was good enough. I did not enter that national comedy contest because I didn't think I was good enough. I was in rehearsals for a play because I thought maybe I was good enough, but then after seven months of rehearsal the play got cancelled and then I realized that my hair is thinning and there was no chance in hell I could have played a 17-year-old anyway. XCel Energy claimed my check was bogus (whaaaatttt?), my computer crashed and burned, my car is death on wheels, my apartment is 1000 degrees and smells like cat pee BUT IT'S IN LORING PARK I WANTED TO BE A GAY BOY IN THE CITY, my point is that the essence of adulthood is that you can make all the plans you want for your life, but shit happens, and then you just have to figuratively roll with the shit until it turns into fertilizer.

Then the iPod played "That I Would Be Good" and then I just started swearing at the stupid thing. Really, iPod, really? And then I cried about Kevin, even though I said I wouldn't write about him anymore, but I lied, because I had a whorebox epiphany last night at The Saloon that he has probably not thought about me once in the past four weeks while I still think about him every day, and that is what hurt the most: Not that we were never physically intimate (unless spooning counts), not that he invited another boy over when I had driven to the suburbs to his apartment and was already drunk, not that Nora Ephron died a week after we had watched the first hour of "When Harry Met Sally...", not that I had felt tears in the back of my eyeballs when I sat on his couch because I could feel myself falling for him and knowing it wouldn't end well, I just didn't think it was gonna end that quickly and with no actual closure ... No! None of that! What had hurt the most was that he had ultimately meant much more to me than I ever did to him, and perhaps that is the essence of heartbreak.

"GET OVER HIM," Liam told me last night when we were at Lawrence's house (Lawrence was the host of the Recovery Party after Pride Weekend and is a Cancerian in all the best ways -- extroverted, outgoing, loving, and opens his home to anyone).
"I can't!" I cried. "He was my first."
"Oh my god," Liam's jaw dropped. "You were a virgin?"
"No, no, no, we never had sex," I explained. "I mean, he was like my first gay crush. I only fall for straight dudes, bartenders, or guys from the Internet. He was the first actual gay guy, in the flesh, who was on my team, who had been in my bed, and then dropped off the face of the earth."
"You've never dated?"
"Was this your first Pride?"
"Kind of. I went to the parade last year. But before that, no. When I was 21 and 22 I was moving in and out of New York, and then I would work all weekend...."
"Oh my god," Liam finally said. "When it comes to gay guys, you're like ..... 15."
"I know," I whimpered.
"It's okay," he said. "You look 12."

I kept crying when I was in my apartment. I looked at my phone and saw that I have over 200 contacts. I realized that, out of all 200, I did not know who to call. Then I cried harder. I called my parents' house but they didn't answer, which was probably merciful. I would have screamed and sworn. Nothing would have been resolved. My mother and I are fine. We are Scandinavian. We do not need to talk about issues and feelings and bullshit.

Life was never meant to be the Brooklyn Bridge.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pride Weekend Recap: Cliffs Notes

                              Gay Pride Weekend in 25 Observations

1.       I lost my phone on Friday, stone cold sober, while running errands with Jared and Liam.

2.       My computer crashed and burned that night. These things come in threes. Jared graciously let me borrow his laptop, and I am forever grateful. However, I threw away my router password like a dumbshit and thus the Internet only works 25% of the time. Refresh refresh refresh.

3.       I ran into a high school crush at The Saloon, and while I have no idea why a straight guy would be there at 1:50 A.M. on a Friday night, I had enough liquid courage to tell him that I had a crush on him all through high school and that Erin McCloskey and I called him Colonel Brandon so we could talk about him behind his back. He was surprisingly not freaked out.

4.       I went to The Eagle on Friday and kept asking people how to aim a shotgun so I could properly go “bear-hunting”. I learned from Jack that if you are a bear with a smartphone, there are approximately 87 different hook-up apps you can download.

5.       I went to work on Saturday and it was surprisingly a breeze! I texted Joey and was excited to reunite with him. He was on the fence between the ‘90s and The Saloon, and I said I would probably stop at The Saloon to look for a certain boy. “Kevin?” Joey asked. “No, of course not,” I said. “OMG, then who?” Joey wrote back. “Kevin,” I said. “I was being sarcastic.”

6.       Kevin gave up drinking and will not ever be at The Saloon ever again. He told Joey this via text message, but he does not contact me anymore, and I am totally fine with this.

7.       By totally fine, I mean I bawled my eyes out in the car like a dumb homo and then subsequently told everyone and their dog about it at work when I got back from break. I work with people who have gone through ten times the shit that I have and you would never know it. Meanwhile, I am sad about a BOY who I met THREE WEEKS AGO and he thinks I am shit on a shoe and therefore MY LIFE IS OVER I WANT TO CRAWL IN A HOLE AND DIE.

8.       OMG, am I really wasting all my Pride sentences about Kevin? I will say this: I have only fallen in love with boys from the Internet or unattainable straight guys, and despite the fact that we never did anything physical, he will always be a “first” for me. I think I was saddest that he does not want a damn thing to do with me, but there are other fish in the sea.

9.       I want that fish.

9b. OK, I totally get that I am putting him on a pedestal, but he was jocky and fratty and intelligent and complicated and tragic and complex and arrogant and blunt and sensitive and ridiculous and ambitious and frustrated and broken and connected and incredulous and silly and while we only had two of them because I am not counting the Prince Eric one, I will most cherish the mornings, when I would sneak in a Listerine strip, pretend I was still sleeping, and surreptitiously navigate my body as close to his as I could. I was in love with Drew and I was in love with Puppy, but they were from the Internet, and while I was certainly not in love with Kevin, the mornings are what I always imagined a real relationship felt like.

9c. I will never write of him again.

10.   No one made out with me all weekend, and that is probably karma for telling people at work that I was taking over-under bets for what number I would get. I think the highest bidder was 12.

11.   When Jared is Level Three drunk, he is the most hilarious person in the world. “STOP THAT TWINK!!” he yelled in the park, and a buff dude turned around and was like, “Did you just call me a twink?” “Yes,” I said. “I could break you in half.”

12.   When Jared is Level Four drunk, he is not the most hilarious person in the world.

13.   I babysat Jared during the latter half of the weekend, is what I’m saying. I screamed at his gal pal this afternoon. My anger was misplaced and I apologized for yelling, but I still meant every word that I said (I just could have said it in a regular tone of voice and with a dozen less F-bombs).

14.   HOLY SHIT, MYA!! She was great at The Saloon. She did “Case of the Ex” second and Jared and I, in happier times, queened the fuck out. “I have one question for you, Minneapolis,” she said. “Where are my soul sisters at? Let me hear them soul sisters. Hey, sister, go, sister soul, sister go, sister go, HE MET MARMALADE DOWN ON OLD NEW ORLEANS!!!” Jared and I urinated on ourselves and on each other and the strangers near us.

15.   I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Liam as a person these past few weeks. He is a hoot.

16.   I have been telling a lot of people they are a “hoot” this week, but I genuinely mean it. Some people even get called “a hoot and a half”. I grabbed one blond man and said “I sat next to you at Lush last year at Meghan McNamer’s table, and I just think you are a hoot and a half.” Also a hoot and a half are Chuck’s boyfriend Peter, Liam’s Gal Pal, and that *hilarious* Star Quarterback who is so beautiful but manages to look pissed ALL THE TIME. I imagine he is a pistol at parties, and I am not just saying that because I’m bitter that he’s not even polite enough to give me a courtesy eye-fuck.

17.   Channing Tatum(‘s publicist) Tweeted me when I sang the praises of someone in a “Magic Mike” T-shirt who gave me a block party ticket for half price because my drunk ass lost mine. I LOSE EVERYTHING.

18.   I went to the A-list recovery party on Monday afternoon. I did not have my face on and looked like sheer and utter hell.

19.   I got flirted with more at that party than I did all weekend when I was all gussied up in designer clothes and Clarins foundation. At one point I had actually convinced people I was a sophomore in high school. There is a lesson there somewhere.

20.   I have glitter all over my apartment.

21.   I AM SO FREAKING SUNBURNED. For the first time in my life, I decided to wear a tank top (I still have Liam’s. WHOOPS.) Yay for self-esteem because I never looked twinkier in my life, but now I would like to bathe in a vat of Solarcaine.

22.   At 4:30 AM. On Saturday night, Joey decided he wasn’t sleeping over at my apartment and then I listened to “Brighter Discontent” by The Submarines on repeat, even though I have no idea what I was expecting.

23.   Joey apologized right away Sunday morning and all was well in gay world. Feelings are weird.

24.   I spent all of Sunday taking pictures of hot guys with my disposable camera. Some were sneak pictures, but most of them were me coming up to them and asking if I could get a picture, and because  it is Pride Weekend, most of them were ridiculously cute boys from Iowa who probably assume that this is just how we do things in Minneapolis.

25.   I have been measuring happiness by all of the wrong quantities. I may have the sex life of a nun, a sub-zero checking account, a hellacious case of sunburn, and something gross is going on with my gums right now, but I really am blessed. Happy Effing Pride. Vote No in November.