In September Eryn and I venture to NYC to celebrate her 30th birthday. We arrive a few days before and spend time with her friends in Brooklyn. The night before her birthday we move to our Air BNB in the upper east side. Tomorrow we have a full day planned, including a very exciting hip-hop tour in the Bronx, complete with chicken and waffles. We plan to have casual cocktails at a bar a friend has recommended, as it’s her cousin’s bar. We decide to keep the night low key, and save the real party for tomorrow. The location is excellent, and the bar is lovely! I get chatting to a middle aged man about the up coming election, and on my other side Eryn is in a hilarious conversation with a no-bullshit middle aged women.
We. Are. So. Drunk. The next few hours are more like pictures in my mind than a memory film. I have a few crystal clear still frames, and the rest of the time was my body acting on its own accord. These are the images I have retained from the next few hours: we have switched bars, I think there’s tequila in what I’m drinking, and at some point Eryn realizes we are in a gay lounge. I’m giving a man and his boyfriend my phone number, and promising them we will attend a birthday party for one of them tomorrow. A man declares himself a professional ballerino, and Eryn says, “I’m a dancer, too!” At some point two dudes are talking to us.
Now I’m in an elevator of an apartment with Eryn and the two dudes. I’m having a conversation, and also staring at the buttons. I wonder if this is our Air BNB. Later, I will find out the men had made mention of some weed at one of their apartments, and apparently it was enticing enough to us at the time to go home with complete strangers. We get off the elevator and I have no idea where I am, and I think I should try and casually learn the names of the men we’re with.
The apartment is nice, it’s a studio, and the blonde tells us he pays 3400$ US a month in rent. Killer view, and huge for a studio. I ask if they both live here, and get a hard no. I think they think I’m implying that they’re gay. In hindsight we did meet at a gay bar, so unless they had already cleared that mystery up then I think that was a fair question. They met in the army, but from what I remember neither still serve. They’re both attractive and in excellent shape. The one I’m chatting to looks like he could knock over a building. Later, when I google him, I will discover he competes in muscle competition things.
Eryn is half way between sitting and laying on the couch when she starts to vomit. It is the most casual and relaxed vomit I have ever seen. It’s like someone turned on a tap on the back of her head and she has low water pressure. She makes no effort to move, and is unphased by this recent development. She vomits all over herself in a delicate lady like way. The three of us are paying attention to her now, and trying to problem solve. Blonde guy brings out some mega expensive looking towels, and I tell her to sit up. He puts a few towels across her and she continues to vomit onto them. We eventually realize bringing a bowl is what people normally do, and so he does. The man who has been chatting up Eryn picks her up and carries her to the bathtub. He places her into the empty tub, fully clothed, and hoses her down with the shower nozzle. At the time this registers as both perfectly normal, and very considerate.
Jason, (I figure out his name is) and I are alone on his couch. He’s a mega babe. He pulls my legs across his lap, and is rubbing up and down them while we talk. We kiss intermittently, but I think we are aware of the fact that the space is small and there are two others hosing down puke in the shower. At some point Eryn, and man who’s name I don’t know, come out of the bathroom and say that they’re heading back to our Air BNB. I try and give her my serious, ‘are-you-okay-eyes,’ but she gives a convincing enough, ‘I’m fine’ that I feel alright with it.
Jason and I are alone in fabulous New York apartment. His big chocolate lab is laying by our feet. Jason explains that he has PTSD from seeing 8 close friends die in combat, and that his dog is a therapy dog that he takes everywhere with him. He tells me about how he was engaged once, but she cheated on him while he was away. He says at 37 he’s not getting any younger, and would like to be married soon. He owns a villa in Amsterdam and says he’s going to take me for a little trip. I say, “WHAT! OKAY! LETS GET TICKETS RIGHT NOW.” And were back to kissing. At a point he stops and says, “I want to play for you.”
What follows is one of the funniest moments of my entire life. Jason moves across the room to a stool with an acoustic guitar leaned against it. In front there is a microphone set up that I had not paid notice to until now. He sits on the stool, picks up the guitar, and starts to tune it. There is nothing I find more uncomfortable than unsolicited performance. I know that I am also ‘on’ now because whatever comes out of hot Jason’s hot mouth needs to be met with praise. He plays a few chords and I make a face like I’m watching an elementary school’s Christmas pageant. He starts to play Wonderwall, and any ounce of wanting to have drunk holiday sex leaves my body quicker than a sneeze. When he starts to sing the words come out kinda monotone and in the heaviest New Yorker accent I have heard to date. Aren’t accents supposed to dissipate when you sing? How is his heavier? I’m clenching my teeth together and trying to remove myself from this moment so I do not laugh at hot Jason, and his deeply sincere drunk wooing. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I do want to relive this moment tomorrow, and the next day, and forever. I take my phone out ever so slightly and hold it by my thigh. His eyes are closed intermittently, and he’s not really paying attention to me, so I think I can get away with filming him. I get the shortest clip ever when he notices, and he snaps. The music is over, he stops singing, and he’s genuinely furious with me. I lie and say I wanted a picture, but for one quick second I’m a little scared. I’ve poked the PTSD bear, and it did not feel great. As fast as he was angry he is sweet again and starts to kiss me. With one hand he lays me on his couch. When he lays on top of me he is so muscle dense that it winds me. It’s almost 4am, and the alcohol is starting to wear off, and my rationality is starting to kick in. I need to go. I need to check on Eryn. I need to not have sex with Wonderwall because I don’t want to right now. He says he’ll walk me down and hail a cab for me and explains he’s ‘super connected,’ and any cab I take will be paid for. I realize I don’t know really anything about him so I say, “okie dokie.” The second funniest moment of my life is when he lifts me with one hand on the small of my back, (seriously, think about it) and puts my heels back on with his other hand, like I’m a life-sized Barbie. I get into a cab that he hails, (and kinda shoves me in). It is not paid for.
I get home to our Air BNB and crawl into bed with Eryn, and we discuss the evening happenings. Much to my tremendous joy she has tried to engage the man she was with earlier in a conversation about, ‘what it’s like to be a black man in America,’ and he has no interest in discussing it with her. We sleep through our alarm, and miss the hip-hop tour. I puke until 4pm, and we are both feeling low. That night we eat Brooklyn cheesecake in our bed to celebrate Eryn’s birthday and the worst hangover that two Canadians have ever had in the upper east side.
He texts me and asks me to see him before I go, and I say sure, but I am ambiguous about a time frame. On our last night we agree to drinks, but he cancels last minute, and I’m kind of relieved. Over the next few months we keep in touch, and he says he wants to visit me. At this point my heart isn’t really in it, and I am still wanting the man from summer. He sends me pictures occasionally, and he really is handsome. He’s also lovely via text.
On Christmas Day he texts me a picture of himself and his dad. I zoom in to his face and see that he and his father are both wearing red ‘make America great again,’ hats. Fuck. I instantly write him off, but later I get to thinking that it’s not entirely fair. It would not be very progressive of me to hate him based on his political views, right? Maybe his dad asked him to wear the hat? We’ve never been anywhere close to discussing politics. He says he will come and see me at the end of January and I say, ‘can’t wait!’ Except, I can wait. I wonder if a medium attraction, and the love of a good story will out weigh the potential weirdness of entertaining Wonderwall. I wonder what he thinks about Trudeau. I wonder how much protein I’m supposed to feed that many muscles. I wonder if he will actually like me in any real way. I mean after all, he could be my Wonderwall?
To be continued…(maybe)