Thursday, December 11, 2014

Loring Park Episode #47: This is Your Life

                                         THANKSGIVING EVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is your life, Jakey Emmert.

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

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

I nod.




                                    ***

I have had such an eventful month! I performed at the Big Gay Comedy Show at Bryant Lake Bowl with the hilarious Jason Schommer. 

I did stand-up and then we read skits that Jason had written Prairie Home Companion style. It was a great line-up (Courtney McClean! Zach Coulter!) and I met Chris, Jason's friend who just moved back from Los Angeles. Chris is in great shape and that is because he almost died because he was drinking so much that his liver and kidney exploded, and now he is sober and one of those people that is incredibly positive and has a beaming aura about him.

"That is crazy," I said as I ordered another alcoholic beverage.

Oh! Get this! His dad came to the show, and he drove all the way from Little Falls. He was really nice, too.

After that, Chris and I drove to The Saloon. My phone was dead and I got us super lost. It was one of my favorite nights of comedy that I've had this year. And I actually had a good year in comedy. I made more money doing it last year, but this year I got to work for the Turkeys and open for Daryl Horner and play at actual venues. I'll plug here that I got booked for a New Year's Eve show!





I think we should spin this off into a Saturday morning cartoon where we solve mysteries.






I still haven't processed that Gus Lynch passed away. Carole Radziwill writes in "What Remains" about "tragedy whores", who are people that make someone's death all about them. I wasn't good friends with Gus Lynch, but that weekend in which he asked me -- me! little, gay, loud, me! -- to open for him at Gearheads in Eden Prairie was a most unexpected boost of confidence that I was maybe doing this comedy thing right.  He graciously talked to me about the Fringe Festival and told me to not wear shorts on stage. I had tried to impress him so I told him I won Funniest Person in the Twin Cities. He laughed uproariously. "The ACME curse!" he bellowed. He was unapologetic, hilarious, surprisingly warm, and our strange little world of the Minneapolis comedy scene will not be the same without him.

And now we're gonna talk about boys.


                                                 ***

I drunk-texted Dollface Killer to such an embarrassingly bad amount that I blocked his number in my phone. He deserves good things in life, not me being bored, drunk and horny at 3 A.M. On a Thursday. I saw him at The Saloon last week but didn't say anything. He was wearing a sweater and looked good.

                                                 ***






He came back into my life like a hurricane. I told myself it would be different because we're actual friends now instead of just bar friends and we hang out when we're sober and I'm not in love with him anymore. Things would be normal.

"Everyone drinks more when you come around," Joey told him one night at The Saloon. "I fucking hate you."

Joey is ride or die.

He weaves in and out of my life and I can only accept it. Nobody owes you anything. I have stopped thinking of him as someone who needs to be fixed or changed or remedied. It is secretly my proudest accomplishment of 2014. He picked me up from my parents' house in his truck and he stood outside the door to let me in. I felt like I was in tenth grade. I rode shotgun and stared at him and at one point I felt myself think, "I love him. FUCK."



And then I realized that love means different things and it does not always mean romance or sex or flowers or mushy stuff. Sometimes it is just there. I know that is simplistic but simplistic is easier and not painful like complicated.

A week later, we had the aforementioned conversation in which I realized my being hideous and disgusting was not the chief reason we have always been platonic. Then Joey and Jared left The Saloon without me because they thought I wanted to go home with him, but I didn't. Then in a mix of Fireball-infused rage, I threw a fan at them when they walked in the door and I am totally going to regret that when it is summer.

The next day, I remembered what had happened and I was sad that I spent 18 months of my life thinking I was hideous and disgusting when I am almost 30 and I was convinced Joey hated me. I woke up crying.

"You are ridiculous!!" cried Jared.

"I am staying in bed all day," I declared. Then I got out of bed and while Jared was taking a shower I crawled into his bed and pulled the covers over my head.

"Get out of my bed!" Jared cried.
"No," I said. "I am staying here forever."
"You are getting tears all over my pillows!"
"I don't care! I'm gonna blow my nose on them later!"

Joey came over and we were supposed to work out but got food instead. This happens every day, I swear to God. I haven't been to Planet Fitness in two months! Fatty fatty two by four can't get through the kitchen door! Joey wanted to go to Olive Garden and I blatantly refused. Paul Ryan called me and I was equally disappointed at his pro-Olive Garden viewpoint. He ended up meeting Joey and me at Little Tijuana's on Eat Street.

I told Paul Ryan I want to go to St. Thomas for a journalism degree.
"Jakey, that's like getting an M-R-S," he said.
"That's why I want to go!" I cried.
In that conversation, I also learned that I am the oldest person Paul Ryan has penetrated and that he now has a 19-year-old boyfriend.



 He invited me to his apartment later to make brownies. And that is how I spent my Monday night: Baking brownies with a strapping 24-year-old and his adorable 19-year-old boyfriend watching Adult Swim. I was jealous for about ten seconds, and then I chose to embrace the moment instead. These men have graciously invited me into their world. I am the wacky aunt of the Twin Cities. There are worse roles to play. Paul Ryan comes from old money and it is like meeting someone who comes from a different culture or religion. Every credit card is black. He has a "schedule" that he cannot keep track of and gets mad when his boyfriend doesn't know what is happening on Thursday. At one point in the kitchen he told me I was little and picked me up Cinderella-style just because he could. I didn't even cry the entire time I was there. I waited until I drove home and "I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith came on the radio.

                                                           ***



My brother and I went to go see Art Alexakis at The Amsterdam. He even Tweeted back at me to let me know I could buy tickets at the door! My brother was with his girlfriend, so I was happy to have Elizabeth Ess as my sidekick for the evening. We met an older woman who was trying to dance like she was in a Whitesnake video and she kept grinding on her muscular boyfriend who was not having any of it. My brother's girlfriend has a natural ability to find out everything about everyone, so we later found out that she was ten years older than her boyfriend and felt insecure about it and that she was pretty sure he was going to propose to her. I was rooting for those two.

Yes I know all about that other guy
The handsome man with athletic thighs
I know all about the times before
Yeah, with that obsessive little rich boy
They might make you think you're happy
Yeah, maybe for a minute or two
But they can't make you laugh
No, they can't make you feel the way that I do

Art Alexakis was my teenage years. My brother somehow became enamored with him and we had all his CD's. I was mentally ill and erratic and we fought a lot. Because of the honesty of those albums, I think my brother was able to understand me in a way that he probably couldn't have if he didn't have those songs. And I look back and realize that maybe I was able to understand myself a little better as well. I ended up quitting Paxil cold turkey (which you SHOULD. NOT. EVER. DO.) and my brother still cringes whenever I refer to those years as times when I 'went crazy', but I really *do* think it was Art Alexakis that helped us understand each other a little bit better. My favorite song was "Sunflowers". Art asked for requests and Dane and I kept shouting it. He finally played a little of it, but he admitted that it always makes him cry.

Someone also requested "Good Witch of the North" and he replied "Fuck no!" and I thought it was a hilarious and appropriate response.

            ***

I didn't even want to go out on Thanksgiving Eve.

But! Plot twist! I didn't go home alone that night! Kevin and I ran two blocks and hailed a taxi cab and took it to his house and I brought him to my Thanksgiving. I would invite him to Christmas but I'm pretty sure that means we have to get married. He has a new job and a Bowflex and he is 31 and on the way to his house "I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith came on the radio and while I was mad at him for being rude to the taxi driver, I put my head in his lap and cried and laughed at the same time. Then we tried to watch "Heartburn" on Netflix but he thought it was boring and I thought "The Dark Knight Rises" was too depressing so we just went to bed. He treats cuddling like a sport and I miss that the most. I had even been thinking about him that day because that Ed Sheeran song came on the radio and I joked on Facebook that I accidentally drove to my ex-boyfriend's house. He is not my ex-boyfriend but he is the closest I will probably ever have to one.



                                                               ***

I had a fabulous weekend at birthday parties at Heyday and Marvel Bar. Heyday was for Kara Nesvig. I love her. Maggie, my editor at LOLOMGBlog.com was there, too! I finally met Gigi Berry for the first time and she told me how much she hates ranch.




After that, I moseyed on over to The Engine Room. I knew Becks and Abercrombie and boys I met last summer, so I felt relaxed enough to pretend I fit in. I went to the bathroom when somebody stopped me.

"Are you in line?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "Do you need to go?"
"No, but just be careful because the door doesn't lock," he said. He had a backwards baseball cap on and a tight T-shirt and God Dammit, it was CELEBRITY!!!!


Usually I get bashful bladder, but this time I sang "Waterfalls" to myself and peed promptly. I was doing it for famous people.

The following birthday party was for my friend Tan Man. He has a spirit that is as beautiful as his eight-pack. I don't think I've ever heard him say an unkind word about anyone, and I am a hateful and bitter bitch. We had to stand outside for ten minutes and the bouncer let me wear his jacket. Someone was raised right.




Look at me on the left! AUNTIE DEBBY. The guy on the far right with the beautiful smile is heterosexual and I made him give me a "bro hug" without even saying a word to him. "Can't I give you a gay hug instead?" he asked. I love boys.

After that, I convinced Joey, Jared and Sean to join me at Jetset. I love those kids. Sean and I listened to Delilah at his place and I talked about boys the whole time. I took home an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt because his apartment is like Christmas, and they are going to have a new CEO soon.

                                      ***

I still haven't heard from St. Thomas. They want my transcript from MCTC, where I went to film school for a month and a half and I hated it and left. I don't have a good track record. But that was in 2009! I am slightly less stupid now. I don't have Mommy Issues anymore. Now I get sad about boys and bankruptcy and (comedy rule of three! something that starts with a B!) ... boogers. Boogers are gross, you guys.

Next week: We learn again that life is SHORT! And will Jakey ring in the New Year with style?

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