You can make him like you

I saw The Hold Steady tonight with Em at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. Solid show.

Last night was supposed to be a down night. Mikey’s birthday took place on Tuesday at Nostrand Pub and I stayed til close. So yesterday was supposed to be rest and recover. I was in sweats and I’d put on A New Hope on the projector.

I captured the night in a text to the Israeli:

Hi Roy void. Last night I went out to celebrate my friend Mikey’s birthday at Nostrand Pub. I stopped by a grocery store and bought a bunch of snacks for everyone. Chips, fruit by the foot, crackers with cheese. All silly stuff that makes grown ups feel like kids and more generous and happy.

I went in a rainbow striped onesie pajama and silver sequined uggs. We were mostly outside in 30 something degree weather. The pajamas were just cozier than clothes. And I had my nice winter coat from JCrew that cost way too many hundreds of dollars but turned out to be the best investment. Almost too good because strangers stop me on the street to compliment me on it. And it is sooo warm.

There were about 20 of us. Even my roommate Jack came through. I picked him partially because I knew he’d be a good fit with my friends. He’s young. A little over eager to be liked. I had to coach him on what not to do (climb things, walk on his hands, perform random feats of strength). And now he’s working his way into the group.

It’s not clique-y. It’s just sort of a family. Everyone has worked at the same restaurant at some point so they’re very familiar with each other. Except me. I’m just the mascot and sort of mother to all these children.

It’s nice to be loved. And it’s nice to love with abandon.

Everyone is an actor or a musician or a filmmmaker. They’re great with yes anding. So the conversations flow really well.

I think the only thing I’m missing right now is soulful connection. No one really talks about the deep stuff. The meta Stuff. The scary stuff. The inspiring stuff. For that I usually have to go to romantic relationships with men. I keep my nose clean in that neighborhood so I don’t feel uncomfortable. I don’t date in that circle.

It’d be nice to have those late into the night talks that I love having with you.

Hope you’re well. Hope someone has told you how special you are. And if they haven’t, know I have seen most of the types of people there are in this world and you are special to me.

I didn’t even get to the cantina scene when my phone started ringing. It was him. The Israeli. A video chat. He was in Queens and he wanted to see me. I said yes. He sent an Uber. And off I went.

Normally I don’t come on strong with him. I let him take his time. We talk for hours while he chain smokes and unfurls like a fern and then makes his move.

But this time, I jumped him in the first five minutes of being at some shitty generic apartment in Forest Hills. When you get only one night every eight or so months with someone you’re in love with, who inspires you to write intense prose and poetry, who is the imaginary audience of one you’ve been writing to since you started blogging in 2019, you have to take initiative.

Yeah, I said in love. I’ve been in love with him since that first night in June 2018. I was dating someone else at the time though and I made the wrong choice. When I came back for a third time that year in October it was mostly to see The Israeli. But it ended up being the trip in which I realized I was moving to NYC.

So I jumped him early in on the night. And it was hot and heavy. We took a break from making out to talk. He told me I’m gorgeous. And he meant it.

Am I? I dunno. I’m not a great judge of how I look. But I’m gorgeous to him. He’s absolutely gorgeous to me. He doesn’t think he is. But he is.

At some point he said he loves having time with me. I asked him why then, if he loves spending time with me, does it happen so infrequently? Didn’t he know that I love him? That I’m in love with him?

He didn’t. I think it kind of shook him. He needed to process it. Because, and I’ll take his words at face value, he loves me too. And he doesn’t know what he wants to do with it. But he wants to do right.

How could he not know? He said he thought he was just another one of my many experiences.

I don’t know what happens from here. It felt good to say I love you. It felt complicated to hear it said back. But I laid my head in his lap. And we just sort of sat in each other’s space for a night. It felt easy. And warm. And I tried hard not to get used to something that has a way of ripping off like a bandage, leaving me raw ever single time.

We’ll see.

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