Sunday, February 2, 2014

Loring Park Episode #36: Guys and Dollfaces

Loring Park Episode #36: Guys and Dollfaces

Last season on Loring Park:


Still haven’t figured out which “Loring Park” character you are? Take the quiz!

I was lucky enough to be off on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Instead of a house party this year, we opted to hit the clubs. Jared came over and I informed him that we were going to my friend Norman’s house, as he and his partner bought a mansion on Clifton Street. I haven’t seen Norman in two and a half years, so I was touched by the invitation.

“We’re going to a mansion party?!” Jared cried. “But I am wearing zebra!” We ended up schmoozing just fine at the party, even though we were the youngest people there (not counting Norman) and I told myself that if anyone asked what my job was, I would just tell them that I had Kevin’s job.

Speaking of Kevin, I was hoping to spend time with him on New Year’s Eve because I had plans to bring him to the annual comedians bruch on New Year’s Day! I was going to bring him last year but he wouldn’t wake up in the morning and I was a bitter, pouty mess. I hadn’t heard from him, but I did get a text from Chuck, who thought it would be funny to send me a screencap of Kevin on a slutty Grindr-ish phone app.


 Here’s the thing. If you are a regular fan of this fake show, you understand that while Kevin is not (and never will be) my boyfriend, he is more than one of my one thousand and one bar crushes. There’s a history there, with real feelings, and unsolicitedly informing me that he has plans that night that do not involve me didn’t seem like something a friend would do, and surely not one who had a front row seat to all the drama.

But maybe I was overreacting. Jared and I agreed that I would not text Chuck back about it, and then we waited until an hour later when I was drunk. We got a cab with Joey and Quinn on the way to Jetset, and even they agreed with me.

Quinn had never been to Jetset and felt nervous. “Just tell everyone you’re in banking,” I said. Jetset gays love words like banking and portfolio. I texted Paul Ryan and said Jetset wasn’t the same without making out with him, because I am good at flirting. After half an hour at Jetset, we vamoosed to The Saloon, where an imitation town car ripped us off and made us pay $30 to go eight blocks. And I wonder how I went bankrupt.

Jared was my New Year’s kiss, and I was fine with that. We continued flirting and mingling, and then Kevin showed up!! What in the what?? He said he got a cab after midnight. I asked if he would go to the comedians brunch with Jared and me the next day and he agreed. Jared and I went home by ourselves, happy to bring in the new year with laughter.

 I had turned my phone off because it was acting up. I woke up at ten and told Kevin I was still bringing him to brunch, and then I received a message from Chuck that told me to never speak to him again because he could no longer understand someone who creates their own pain and anxiety, and he reminded me that I am 25. Joke is on him because I am 27, unless you are an agent or potential love interest. I haven’t spoken to him since but he sent me a Snapchat from his tropical vacation and I can’t tell if that was a passive-aggressive move or if he just forgot I was still friends with on him there.

“I do not self-create my own pain and anxiety,” I told Jared. “That’s so ridiculous.”

  “Right,” Jared said.

“I miss Wesley,” I said out loud as India.Arie's cover of "Heart of the Matter" came on my iTunes. I wondered how he had spent his New Year’s. Did he leave town? Did he go to a straight bar? Who did he kiss?

“JAKEY!” Jared cried. “It’s not even noon and you already broke your resolution! I’m beating you! I haven’t eaten anything yet!”

Paul Ryan sent me a sexy sexy text message and I prepared to pick up Kevin, even though my phone was no longer taking calls so I could only text. How awful! Jared, Mona and I (Mona is my Toyota Yariz. She is a lesbian and we have an adversarial relationship) picked up Kevin from outside from an apartment building. He had stayed with a med student/exotic dancer but they did not have sexy time because there was a third wheel involved. “But I really like him,” Kevin said.
“I’m happy for you,” I said. And I was.

 We made our way to Jake’s Grille in Eagan to the annual comedians’ brunch! I was again honored to be invited. Ron Lamprecht wrote on Facebook that Elisabeth Ess ate my weight in bacon. “I love your Facebook,” Wendy Maybury told me. “It reminds me of me when I was a 16-year-old girl.” Jared was so hung over that we had an entire pitcher of water at our table. I wore the tightest T-shirt I possibly could.

I dropped Kevin off at his house, then went to Jared’s to talk about Kevin, then went back to Kevin’s.

 “What do you want to … do?” he asked.

What was I so afraid of?

We went grocery shopping and liquor shopping. He flirted with the cashier at the liquor store. At Rainbow he chased me around the store with a salami. I wish that was a metaphor.

We played video games all afternoon and all night and he talked about the dancing med student some more. We discussed friendships and how he does not go out to the gay bars that much anymore, and I enjoyed that Jared and Joey and I are more than just “bar friends”. I talked about how Chuck had friend-dumped me, and what a weird concept that was.

 “There was another boy I used to hang out with a lot, but he just completely dropped me from his life,” I said. “And I’ve never had that happen before. That was weird.”

“Well … why do you think he did?” Kevin asked.

I sighed heavily. “Because I represent ‘gay’ and he can’t have that in his life right now,” I told Dr. Thomsen.

“Okay,” Kevin said. “You know that has nothing to do with you, right?”

 God dammit, Kevin Thomsen. When you’re good, you’re good. It was a light bulb moment. Wesley’s life was a puzzle, and I was never a corner piece.
He sat on the couch next to me and we discussed luck. Kevin worked damn hard for everything he has, and I will always appreciate that about him. “I haven’t had much luck in my life,” he said.

“That’s not true!” I cried. “You met me!”

“Well,” he laughed. “That was more like fate.”

“Your elbow is digging into my neck and it’s really uncomfortable.” I am sooo good at flirting, you guys.

 Still fearful of physical intimacy, I finally kissed him in his driveway at 11 P.M. like we were in middle school. But I hugged him a lot at brunch. Probably to an embarrassing degree. He makes me feel comfortable.


                He made it official with the dancing med student two weeks later. I had no right to feel anything but joy on his behalf, and I did not turn to Hot Pockets until he started posting “A Whole New World” on Facebook. I was naively selfish enough to think that was my thing. It was never mine to begin with.


Paul Ryan kept texting me, but on January 2nd I felt another sinus infection coming on. SOOOOOOOO annoying. I felt bad for my constant cock-blocking. Sometimes he would sext me and sometimes he would be sweet and romantic, and sometimes he would just be silly. The timing was never right. I assured him I would come over once I was done with my sexy sexy sinus infection. I called in sick to work for two consecutive days, something I have never done in my five and a half years working there.

 The doctors initially refused to give me antibiotics (they’re overprescribed, according to the CDC, and I get that, but, PEOPLE, I GET FIVE SINUS INFECTIONS A YEAR. Look up my records. You would have thought I had come in asking for Oxycontin). After another miserable week of symptoms, they finally reneged, and gave me Amoxicillin, which tore up my stomach. The first day I was on them I almost puked walking to my car from The Saloon.

Why was I driving to The Saloon? Well, um ….
I was busted when I drove Jared and I to my apartment the following Sunday and he wondered why the passenger seat was leaned all the way back.

 “I was driving someone and they wanted to sleep,” I said. That was not lying, it was just not sharing certain details.

“Who?!!!” Jared asked.

I turned red. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Oh my god! Tell me!” Jared cried.

“No!" I cried, because I am twelve.

  “Kevin!” “No! He likes the med student now.”
“Dollface Killer!” “No! But he messaged me on New Year’s Eve, too! Dammit!”

 “Del!” “No, I think he still feels weird about the time when we watched Precious before fooling around.”

“Ryan Robertson!’ “He moved to Los Angeles!”
“Star Quarterback!’ “I don’t talk to Star Quarterback outside of the bar!”
“Paul Ryan!” “No! I haven’t seen him since Jetset before New Year’s because then I got sick.”

“Liam!” “No!”

“Joey!” “Why would Joey and I be driving?”

“Tan Man!” “No …”

 A look of horror came across Jared’s face. “Wesley?”

He had called me on a Thursday. My phone rang and I stared at it incredulously before answering. I didn’t even want to go out. I was sick. But it was him. And because it was him, he acted like nothing had changed at all and that his absence for four and a half months was completely normal. And because I was me, I acted like everything was okay and yes, of course I would be his sober cab that evening.

 Maybe it would be different. A new year was a new me! When he got in the car I didn’t even feel anything. Normal. FRIENDSHIP. I got this. When I called him out on the whole disappearance thing, he gave me the whole “I’m sorry you felt that way” non-apology, and I decided not to fight a losing battle. He bitched when I parked too close to the sidewalk.

 We walked into The Saloon and the bartender acted like he had seen a ghost. I was not going to care. We are just friends. I do not have feelings anymore.

“I couldn’t even enjoy Cabin in the Woods because you look too much like the boy in it,” I said. “And you died! You tried to bike across the cliff and it was all a trap.” Oh, sorry, kids. SPOILER.
“That was actually me,” he said. “It was one of my best roles."
“No, it wasn’t,” I said. “You’re not an actor.”

“Yes, I am,” he said. “I’m actually the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar.”          

Jesus Christ Superstar?”  I asked. “You can’t even name a fucking song from Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“I take my work very seriously,” he said.
“I left my phone in the car,” I whined. “I’m gonna go get it because I don’t anyone want to steal it.”

 He nodded.
“Let me wear your hoodie because I checked my coat,” I demanded. Point Jakey. He acquiesced and I did not feel anything. Then I made a stupid joke and then he laughed and he gets these lines by his eyes that only show up when he laughs, and GOD DAMMIT SON OF A BITCH. I should have asked someone for a cigarette.

When I came back he was flirting with a 19-year-old that has the same birthday as me. That was okay! I could be a wingman.
“This is Jakey,” Wesley said. “Isn’t he adorable?”

“No,” Birthday Boy said. “He is not. You are.”

                I let that one go. I went to mingle, but The Saloon was sparse that night, and my status as third-wheel/cockblocker was only more apparent. I awkwardly joined them three minutes later.
“How do you know each other?” Birthday Boy asked with fire in his eyes.

“From school,” Wesley said. “Maybe, I don’t know, ten …. No, wait … Wow. Like, 14 years?”
“Wow,” Birthday Boy said. “You’re old.”


  I was feeling nauseous from my Amoxicillin, which I remembered you’re not supposed to take on an empty stomach. He still refused to leave until 2:15, and when we walked back to the car I almost threw up. In a church parking lot! And I was the sober one!
"I'm sorry," I said. "This is so embarrassing. I took it on an empty stomach."
"You don't want to take that stuff on a naked stomach," Wesley said.
"No one calls it a naked stomach," I said.
“That boy was mean,” I pouted.

“He didn’t say anything mean about you,” Wesley said.
 “That’s not the point,” I snapped. “It’s fine.” I had no right to be upset. Hanging out with Wesley and feeling like shit about myself afterward was the same logic as putting my hand on a hot stove and complaining about the burn. The worst part was that while I was off in Third Wheel Land, Paul Ryan texted me saying he was at the 19! I could not win for losing.

“I’m tired,” he said, and he leaned the seat way back. Then I got lost. Then we got stuck behind a train.
“Fuck,” he whispered. “We’re gonna be here forever.”

I looked over at him. God dammit. “How horrible,” I said.


“I missed you,” he said when we got to his house, but I don’t know if it counts because his eyes weren’t even open.

 “Okay,” I said.

 Then he squeezed my bicep (yes, technically I have biceps) with a surprising amount of force and if Mona had not been in park, we would have flipped over into a snowbank.

 On the way home, I realized that I could either see him the next day or the next year, because that is the kind of person that he is, and very little of that has anything to do with me. Then I got stuck behind the train again. Maybe it was a metaphor.


“I can’t believe you saw him!” my best friend Erin McCloskey cried.

 “But this is different now!” I cried. “It’s in moderation. It’s like chocolate cake.”

 "But this is not like some Little Debbie B.S.!” Erin blasted. “This is hardcore chocolate cake! With all kinds of fat and sugar!”
“Now I just really want cake,” I pouted.

Jared and I went to the 19 and saw Dollface Killer on the patio. He looked sad in a brooding James Dean kind of way. “Hi, Dollface,” I said, as if I was some overly confident pin-up.

Then I ran into a man who is friends with Paul Ryan and he is like a vision of myself in ten years. Do you know people like this? He is a sad sack. He is Gay Eeyore. He is friendly but he is soooooo sad.

"Cameron broke my heart," he told me.
"Who's Cameron?" I asked.
"The boy with red hair that was with us," he said. Wait, Cameron, the 24-year-old ginger jock with the executive job?? You thought you were gonna get that? OH, EEYORE. But then I realized that I could easily be the same way soon. One of the reasons I keep turning down Paul Ryan's booty calls is because I'm waiting for Candid Camera to show up. I can't tell him that because he is young and would not know what Candid Camera is.


I was going to meet up with Kevin and his new beau, but I took forever to get ready and we were playing phone tag and I just went to the 19 again. Dollface wasn’t there that night. Boo! I drunk texted Wesley but he did not reply because he is like a gay werewolf and only comes out when there is a figurative full moon.

Jared called me at work two days later to inform me that Kevin and the boyfriend had broken up already. I had no right but to feel anything but sadness on his behalf.

“Did you hear about Kevin?!” Joey asked three hours later.
“I did,” I said, and I tried to sound sad in my inflection.

“Are you smiling!” Joey asked, and looked at me as if I had stabbed a kitten in front of him. “You bitch.”

“I am not!” I cried. “I have gas.” Which would not be lying. I was still on Amoxicillin at that point.


 Paul Ryan realized that I was the doomsday orgasm (TM Janet Evonavich) and began to text me about cooking for a boy he liked, and I knew he didn’t mean me because he knows I don’t eat. I decided to be happy for him and attempt adulthood. He texted something racy and I told him I would have rather woken up next to him.

  “That’s cute,” he said. “I tried.” I felt bad, more for myself. He did not need to know about my disgusting sinuses or my fear of that kind of sex or my insecurity about the three of five weeks of a month in which I have chest hair, and then the one week where it grows back in all bumpy, and how I pay a fortune to get waxed when it really only looks good for three days at a time, and no one is seeing me naked anyway and I am going bankrupt anyway.
“I have been a whore for a year now and I am looking for something serious,” he wrote.

 “Good luck,” I said. “And I mean that in a real and adult way, not a snarky, bitchy way.”

 I went to Norman’s house and he colored my hair brown.


 You can kind of see it in this picture, when a bunch of us went out for our friend's birthday! These were just four of the approximately 30 handsome gay men that were in attendance.

 I had to work early the next day, so I carpooled with Quinn. Liam later met us at Hammer and Sickle before dinner at Coup d’Etat. I really enjoyed myself. Quinn and I may have had a complicated existence in the past, but one of the many blessings of Wesley’s AWOL-ness is that we were able to get over all that on our own, and I don’t think we could have if he were still in the picture. Quinn is fiercely loyal with a biting sense of humor and a rapier wit, meaning the combination of him and Liam and jokes about Liam is the best way to spend your Friday evening.

 After Coup d’Etat, I drove Quinn back to his apartment and watched Golden Girls with Tan Man and his friend. We decided that I was Rose and the friend was Sophia and Tan Man tried to argue but I was adamant that he was Blanche. Tan Man’s friend is a graphic designer with a fabulous apartment in Northeast Minneapolis, and could not have been any more gracious as I ate all his food and talked about myself the entire time. He had an off-on relationship with a methhead, and I felt grateful that no matter how complicated Wesley and Kevin were, at least none of them were doing meth in my house. Then we discussed fuck buddies and my practical virginity, and I accidentally found out that he occasionally boinks Dollface Killer. Well, go get it! Dollface is a hot piece of meat!
“Would you be upset if I had sex with Dollface?” I asked.
“No, why would I?” he asked.

“Well, it’s girl code,” I said. Not that I ever would. Dollface has the body of a sex god and I look like an anorexic teenager. Tan Man has taken a lover from New York City and, because I am such a supportive friend, my very first question was “What is he getting me?!” and clapped my hands like there was a new uncle in the family.
I drove Tan Man home and was astounded at my getting home at 3 in the morning despite being a sober cab. Adulthood didn’t have to be terrible.

I was supposed to do laundry at Kevin’s the next night but he forgot we made plans and instead went to dinner with three of his grown-up friends. I do not deserve good things.

Jared, Joey and I went to The Saloon and we assured the birthday girl that no one could even see the band-aid on her forehead. We went with our new friend Charlie, who is 21 but has the soul of someone much older. We enjoy quoting Alanis Morrisette lyrics together. Charlie watched wrestling as a kid, but Drunk Me was going on and on about Trish Stratus and Jared was trying to literally pull me away from the bar.

 We saw the last half hour of the Grammys, where Macklemore and Madonna did the “Same Love” mass wedding thing, and I started crying. 16-year-old me thought that I would be married and successful by now. Instead I was financially and sexually bankrupt, still not over men that were emotionally unavailable, and the only constant love in my life was Ketel One.
I took a picture with Robin (“Stand over here. The light will really bounce off your pale skin”) and Jared and I decided to go to the 19 at 1:15. I do not remember this.

“Dollface is here,” Jared said.
I remember talking to Dollface.

I remember the three of us walking to my apartment.

I remember Jared passing out and snoring.
I remember Dollface wanting to watch Ultimate Warrior vs. Undertaker but I insisted we watch Trish Stratus vs. Jazz.

I remember that he was successfully able to power bomb me onto the bed.
I also remember being a sexy black heterosexual couple.

 “I am so proud of you,” Jared said the next day. “I just wish you didn’t have your clothes on when he did that.”

“Jared, that is so TACKY!” I cried. “You were passed out on the floor! It’s like we were in college!”
“It’s fine,” he cackled.

“I didn’t take his clothes off until you started snoring,” I said. “I am classy that way.”

Dollface has not talked to me since, by the way. I do not deserve good things.


On Sunday, Wesley asked if I was out but then said he probably wouldn’t go to The Saloon because of the cold. I got drunk and texted “Do you miss me?” but he did not write back. “I AM JUST KIDDING PLEASE WRITE ME BACK OR I WILL FEEL AWKWARD ALL NIGHT” did not warrant a response, either. I do not deserve good things.


   On Thursday, I didn’t work my whole shift because work was slower than expected. Remember that whole adulthood thing? I used too many wet wipes in the bathroom and clogged the toilet and my bathroom flooded, so I had to call Roto-Rooter! Then Paul Ryan called me because we had initially made dinner plans!
“But I flooded the bathroom!” I cried.
“Well, don’t do that,” he said.

 “I didn’t mean to!” I cried.
“Well, get that taken care of and then text me,” he said. I ran to the front desk and the girl told me that the building had a maintenance man that would take care of that, so there was no need to call Roto-Rooter. I called Roto-Rooter and cancelled, but I Tweeted them because their dispatcher was so nice and calmed me down. The sweet front desk girl waded into my apartment and I ruined any illusion she may have had of gay men having neat and tidy and beautiful apartments.

It took an excruciating half hour for the maintenance man to arrive, and I was worried that he was never going to show up, and that I was wrong to so quickly cancel Roto-Rooter. Then I worried that Roto-Rooter was a metaphor for Paul Ryan somehow.
The maintenance guy showed up and retrieved the evil wet wipe. I kept apologizing. “I was on a date when they called,” he said. “I’M SORRY!!” I cried. “It’s fine,” he laughed. “She knows it’s how I make the big bucks.” You see, I don’t just cock-block myself, I cock-block an entire city.

I finally met Paul Ryan at The Saloon. He looked tall and dreamy and ready to vote for tax cuts for the one percent. We reunited with Cameron, and I apologized for my douchebag move of making him watch my stand-up when they all came over.

 “That’s fine,” he laughed. “I remember sprinting to get the mixers.” That’s right! Cameron and I were the athletes of the group and kept running to get Sprite from the vending machine!
We uncharacteristically left at 11:30, because Paul Ryan wanted to go to the Foshay. That plan petered out, and instead we went to Tiffany’s Pub, which is a delightful St. Thomas college bar. Okay, it’s a total dive and Erin practically disowned me for going, but I was in college broski heaven. It reminded me of my Stout days! We shared an Uber vehicle with two freshmen who were in Paul Ryan’s fraternity. His roommate had a sign on his door that said “ATHLETES ONLY.”  He told me how he was disappointed with the boy he was pursuing, because he gave it away too easy. “It only took me two weeks to get into his pants,” he said. “How sad.”

He stared at me. “Hey, brah,” he said. “Do you want me to put on my St. Thomas hat?”

 The next day, we woke up at 9 A.M. and didn’t even get to cuddle because he is so Type A. He is past Type A. He is Triple A, and not the kind that helps you when you lock your keys in the car. We got Starbucks and talked about business meetings and I entertained the possibility of maybe going back to school! What if Loring Park stopped being a murky soap opera and became a fun, wacky sitcom called Tommies? But what would I major in? How would I get financial aid? What hurtful things could my mother say about it to deter me from believing in myself? “You are just playing house,” she had told me in Brooklyn, and that was the day my dreams ran away. I forgave her a long time ago but I am still looking for them.

 “I never had Daddy Issues as an adult,” I said, as he had been discussing how his father cut him off. “I had Mommy Issues. I was a trendsetter.”
 “No,” he said. “You followed the trend.” He had been drunk the night before and told me how much his family is worth, but I am trying to forget the number in the same way that you forget a spoiler about a movie you haven’t seen yet (like my Cabin in the Woods spoiler from earlier in this episode! Chris Hemsworth DIES, you guys. And it’s sooooo sad).
He pulled into my parking lot and kissed me good-bye. He has not spoken to me since. I do not deserve good things.

Next week: Jared’s birthday party! OH NO!

Most .gifs courtesy of T. Kyle McMahon at







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