Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loring Park Episode #7: Aggressive Spooning

I was so excited to go "glamping" this weekend a la The Real Housewives of Orange County! Matt Iverson, a gay comedian who I've seen around the circuit, graciously invited me to be the opener for a GLBT comedy revue at CAMP Bar in St. Paul. I was excited for many reasons. First of all, I never go to St. Paul, which is rather shameful; My good friend Josh Florhaug would also be on the show; and it was the first time my name has ever been on a flyer! Anyway, I was looking forward to a good time, and my parents were in attendance, which is always awesome.

I decided to wear Kevin's Hollister tee, the purple one that says It Only Gets Sweet When You Get Deep. First of all, Hollister fits my figure really well and I don't know why I never wore it when I was actually the appropriate age to wear it. Secondly, stand-up comedy is really my therapy. I was still emotionally damaged from my super fun hang-out with Kevin turning into an episode of "Elimidate", and I decided that I was going to talk about it in front of my parents, lesbians, and a totally awesome group of gay guys sitting in the front row.

"I need to address the elephant in the room," I told CAMP bar. "Which is that I am born in the eighties and that I'm way too fucking old to be wearing Hollister. Here's the thing: I'm mad at a boy, it's his shirt, and in my teenage girl logic, I have decided that if I wear his shirt at a comedy show that he doesn't know about and therefore isn't attending, somehow it means he'll text me back. Just go with it.

And I knew it wasn't gonna end well. All of the warning signs were there. Strike one: I met him at The Saloon. Strike two: He was wearing a pouka shell necklace. And strike three: His name was [Kevin], which is only a step above Tyler when it comes to how messed up a dude is."

The gays appreciated it. Then I did my Gay Oprah jokes and they bombed. I am not destined to be the Kathy Griffin of Minneapolis and that is okay.

After the show, I mingled with the other comics, including the headliner Tiffany Norton! I took a picture of me, her, and our mutual boyfriend Channing Tatum:


Unfortunately, I do not know how the hell to use Instagram, which is why my face is grey. That would never happen to Chan Crawford.

My mom's high school friend Lori and her boyfriend (husband?) came to the show, which was awesome! I should have been less dirty. They maintained they had a good time, and I drove my Deathmobile back to Loring Park. I had no reason to go out considering I had to work at 10 A.M., but stand-up always leaves me with such adrenaline that I felt I had to celebrate, even though no one at The Saloon would have known I was telling jokes across the river hours ago.

I debated if I should wear the Hollister shirt or not. I decided it would be too creepy. It honestly wasn't that I wanted to run into Kevin, it was just, what if, in the 5 percent chance that I did, I would be wearing his T-shirt? How Single White Female would that have been? I opted for a different one, did my usual stop at the 19 for a quick cheap drink, and was on my way.

There is rarely a dull moment in downtown Minneapolis. On my way down 9th St, I saw a policeman pointing a gun at a dude and arrest him against his car, and then I graciously allowed a group of three good-looking guys and their gal pal to go ahead of me in line at The Saloon. This proved to be a mistake, as the jackhole was indignant when the bouncer told him that The Saloon does not accept American Express. The silly, silly boy said he would wait "all night" for a manager. Honey: AMERICAN EXPRESS CHARGES BUSINESSES $2.50 FOR EVERY TRANSACTION. BRING CASH TO THE GAY BAR. YOU'RE NOT SPECIAL. WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT.

I soon began to regret my decision to come to The Saloon. Most of the gays are hibernating until Pride weekend so their abs will be in full display (While I am down to my lowest weight ever, it's actually kind of gross and I am still going to be wearing a button-down all weekend. Or maybe a muu-muu), and I didn't recognize anyone, nor did I feel confident to make new friends (there's this blond guy I always see, but Jared and I are convinced he is an escort, and I'm broke). I finally recognized someone I barely know, and he was polite enough to make small talk with me on the patio for a few moments, but when he walked back inside with his friends, I was back to social square one.

I walked back to the large room, and took a picture for three good-looking gays. I had set my drink down and it was gone, so the bartender graciously made me another Three Olives lemonade on the house. Such good service (and why you always tip well, boys and girls!). I threw it back and walked back to the patio, and when I turned around to look back indoors, there he was.

I did not do what Old Jakey would have done, which is to ignore him like I am in middle school. I smiled at him like a grown-up, but I did make him walk over to me if he was going to engage in conversation. He was wearing a dark blue short-sleeve button-up. It looked nice. Wait, holy shit, that was my dark blue short-sleeve button-up!

"I think I'm wearing your shirt," Kevin smiled.

"I was going to wear yours but I didn't want to be awkward!" I cried.

"Let's go inside," he said, and I obeyed. We soon walked by a shirtless boy giving out $1 Red-Headed Sluts (the drink, not promiscuous women). Because Jagermeister gives you balls and Red Bull gives you wings, I couldn't resist.

Margaret Cho has a joke that Jagermeister is the liquid equivalent of Wonder Woman's golden lasso, because it will make you tell everybody everything, and that was in the back of my brain the second after I downed the Red Headed Slut. Within two minutes, Kevin and I were on the subject of the Dismissed incident.

"Eric and I didn't do anything," he smiled. "You could have fought for me."

"I'm not gonna do that," I said calmly. "I'm above that. I like you, but I'm not gonna get in a catfight with some boy for you in the mud pit. It's not my style."

He was genuinely confused. "Wait .... mud pit?"

"Did I stutter?" I challenged, and chugged the rest of my Three Olives. "Let's go dance this out."

I wanted to go on the whorebox, but Kevin does not like the whorebox. There were four beautiful young women dancing on the whorebox, and I decided he was not going to dictate my night. I jumped up and booty-danced with them and got all their names, and it was like a weird Kardashian thing because I think they were all "K" names. Kaylie! Katie! Kara! They were there for a bachelorette party but the bachelorette could not be explicitly identified, because The Saloon has banned bachelorette parties long before The Abbey ever made headline news for it.

Kevin was legitimately scared of the whorebox, but he finally jumped up and danced with two of the girls. I would have understood his trepidation if there were other men on the box, especially older ones (he had told me that being sexually harassed was nothing new), but it took me a while to understand that maybe he was afraid of girls. Not in a juvenile, cootie-fearing way, but in a way that was deeper and sadder. I do not know how old he was when he came out, or if he had done so in high school or not. Unless you are witnessing his intimate moments, Kevin does not look or act gay in any capacity unless you are aware of his DVD collection, and I realized he had spent at least a decade fending off girls innocently hitting on him, never thinking that the reason they didn't have a chance was because they weren't the right gender.

"Is he your friend?!" one of the K's asked. Kelly?

"Yes," I smiled.

"Are you ----?"

"We're friends," I smiled through gritted teeth.

"Okay," she smiled knowingly. We danced some more, I might have kissed one of the girls (judge me not!), and Kevin jumped off the whorebox.

"C'mon," he said. "I want to go outside."

"Fine," I groaned, and I gave him my hand so he could escort me off the whorebox without me falling and breaking my nose (because that did happen once, in my most D-list of moments). Instead he grabbed me by the waist and carried me around like our team had won the pennant, and the K girls were cracking up.

"I know that's what you like," he said. "I just wanted to give you a little taste." Thank goodness I wasn't turned on at all.

We went into the big room, and I told him that I had to work at 10 A.M. He looked bummed.

"You don't have to leave with me," I said. "I don't have air conditioning, anyway." I believe in honesty, dammit. I bought a Three Olives lemonade for me and a Long Island iced tea for him.

He stared at me as my back was against the wall. "That's real early," he said. "It's Saturday. I want to sleep in."

He kissed me on the lips and walked back onto the dance floor. I had been Drive-By Kissed.

When I saw him again, he was dancing with an attractive, strapping young man in a pink shirt. My freshly ordered Three Olives lemonade was half-empty.

"Are you leaving?!" he shouted over the music.

"When I finish this," I said. It was about a quarter to two. There was an uncomfortable silence. He looked at the guy in the pink shirt, then back at me, and I began to realize that I was going to be dismissed again. I remember an episode of Elimidate when the guy made out with the slutty girl, then turned to the other contestant and told her he forgot her name, and she indignantly scoffed, "That's it! I am eliminating myself!" and walked out of the bar in triumph. I wanted to be her.

"Ten o'clock is early," he said.

"You don't have to leave with me," I said, and I genuinely meant it. Yes, I would sulk when I got home, but he certainly didn't owe me his presence outside of the club.

He jumped off the box he was dancing on. "All right," he said. "Finish your drink and let's go."

We took a petty cab back to my apartment, and all the cash I had left went to our "driver". What is the appropriate term? Bike pilot? When we got inside, he was wired as hell, ate my mac and cheese and a Hot Pocket, got cheese all over the floor, and we watched The Devil Wears Prada. He criticized more of my writing when the computer was open, and I showed him the first memoir I wrote and quit, about my mental illness when I was a teenager, because I was desperate to prove that I was deep, and depth, like hotness or class, is something that you only have less of the more you try to prove that you have it.

I fell off the bed, could feel myself falling, realized I could have helped myself back up if I wanted to, but I decided to make him rescue me anyway. For the two of us, that's like second base.

When I woke up at 7, I realized that I could not fall back asleep. I reached out to three co-workers to see if they could switch shifts with me, and none of them did. I know it's only spooning, and spooning means nothing, but I wanted to stay in bed for as long as I could.


My mother came over the following night because my freezer had gone off the fritz and I was still concerned about the DeathMobile. She noticed that some of my blinds were broken.

"How are your blinds broken already?" she asked.

"Because I fell off the bed!" I cried. "It's hard to fit two people!"

"Well, you have a sleeping bag if you want people to stay over," she said, and she was actually serious. I stared at her until she got the point.

"Well," she sighed again, "I guess you'll have to call your grandpa to borrow his pick-up so you can bring the bigger bed over here for your ... aggressive spooning."

Sunday night, I was going to walk to The Saloon to meet Liam, but the weather turned into the Rapture. I don't mean just a little bit of rain, I mean torrential downpour. I stood outside to watch it and appreciate its majesty, and debated going back inside when I realized I didn't have any alcohol in the apartment (and I had put my face on). I walked the two blocks to the 19 bar, thoroughly ruining my Polo shoes as I think I walked through a pond at one point.

I soon became friends with a young man who was the Latino version of me. He had my exact body type and I found out he lives on my street! He assumed I was 21 and we had fun picking out songs at the jukebox. He was from Houston and I enjoyed his accent. When I decided I really wanted to be friends with him, I told him my current fake boy problems and my real age, and strangely, his face fell.

"Really?" he asked. "You're screwed."
"But I've never dated!" I cried.

He was appalled. "Why not?"

"I don't know!" I cried. "It just wasn't ... in the cards."

And right as I said that, Prince Eric walked in the door with a companion. Of all people. Someone who I have never seen before last week, who lives in a third-ring suburb, who would never be downtown on a Friday night, and he's in a bar that I'm only at because there is a monsoon outside. You can't make this stuff up.

He smiled at me, and we shook hands, and told each other our names again. I turned to my new friend, who by this point had heard the whole Kevin/Prince Eric story. "I don't want to say this is fate," I said. "But it's cosmic, right? I can't show up at The Saloon because of the storm. I show up here. I meet you. Prince Eric shows up. It has to be mean something, right?"

"Eric is hot," New Friend said. "Everyone would like him. Tops. Bottoms. Jesus." I think he meant Jesus as an exclamation and not literally Jesus.

"Gilbert!" I cried. "Not. Helping."

"Sorry," he cackled. "Yes, I do think it means something."

It finally stopped raining. Gilbert and I walked home and he announced plans to cook for me. Yay for new friendships! And weird feelings.

Coming up: Pride weekend! OH NO.

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