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Beware the Foursquare Mayor and the New York City Fadeout

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My periodontist asked me to fuck his daughter for him. It was during surgery, a fairly minor procedure. He stuck me with a six-inch dagger of Novocaine and hacked into my gum line to chisel out 30 years of horrific rot. Wiping bloody chunks of flesh onto my lobster bib, he jammed two fingers into my cheek and commenced the interrogation. How old am I? Where do I live? What do I do for a living? "I want you to call my daughter. She broke up with her boyfriend a month ago and she's hot."

He dangled the suction wand on my lip like a cocktail garnish, ducking out to grab his daughter's headshot and a prescription slip with her name and number. The headshot was a tragic mess, completely unacceptable. I might have called her if her name was Vicodin and her number "1-800-4-Refills." Sensing my disinterest, Doc stood up, taken aback. Bastard had no right to conjure tension. I'm the one with a hemorrhaging jaw, so I stared him down. I pulled my lip into a "Fuck you" snarl, straining through the local anesthetic and nitrus fog until he yielded, "Well, you're not obligated or anything." Goddamn right. I then noticed he was wearing roller skates, a startling accessory for a licensed medical professional on the Upper East Side. Sir, are you out of your mind? I'm not putting my dick anywhere near those genes.

That's love in the City. I had a date lined up a while back, and an hour before meeting the female in question I received "James honey I'm drunk, I don't want you to meet me like this." Andy dictated the text message for me, received from a knockout poptart I met via, a dating site for bargain hunters, sexual predators and those of us who know that a life well-lived is going to cost some skin. I’d squared up and created a profile: an aggressive personal manifesto, line by line prerequisites for interested applicants and my complete medical history including monthly weigh-ins, cholesterol levels and magnetic resonance imagery. Also a shirtless photo of myself holding a puppy by the ocean.

I began composing a reply, something along the lines of a raincheck, when she followed up with, "if you are persistent, however, i will be on stone street for another hour or so." Game on. I stepped into some jeans, splashed my throat with tequila and hit the throttle. I found Keisha on the cobblestones. She was arresting; a Perfect 10 with fuck-me heels and a black dress, onyx eyes and a smoke trail. My spine bolted straight and the neurons in my brain flared like the broadside of a battleship. Here was a live one, and none too soon. It's been a thin season in an ocean that is habitually over-fished.

And now there was Keisha, burning through the fog, ferocious and aggressive. She dragooned me to her lair, a dark, anonymous Irish bar, a temple of alcohol and escapism. Her commands came hot and fast. "James darling, I'm going to order water and then I'm going to the ladies room. It's a cover; I need to steal this pint glass. Do you understand me? Now order something strong and drink it." Someone with fangs, finally. A worth adversary.

In her absence Andy shrieked out a warning. Checking into Foursquare, he noted that Keisha was the “mayor” of the bar, a critical red flag whipping at the parapet. Too late, she was on me, one leg hooked on my stool, pressed between mine. We locked eyes and cut past the life-story bullshit, whispering only truths about sex and drugs, her fingers tracing my wrist. Everything was hurtling along at a steady clip until she brought up her pug. It was a ridiculous aside, insane and irrelevant. I couldn’t endure this diversion, it threatened every dish on the stove so I kissed her full-on under the glow of a Heineken sign. Her lip gloss was a peculiar strain of venom; she pressed in firm and writhed on her stool like a leopard on a branch. Too drunk for mistakes, we somehow left everything dangling on the edge of a cliff. I walked her across the street and safely to her door; she clutched me by the collar, demanding promises about "doing this again" before vanishing into her building. I shuttled home to Astoria on the N train.

And just like that, it was over. She shot me with my own bullet, a little trick called the New York City Fadeout. In a city of eight million people, where everyone is chasing stars and scrambling for cash, it's perfectly legitimate to simply fill your schedule until a love interest simply gives up and fades away. That's the game out here. Love is a beast, and the species’ leading cause of death is exposure. When you realize someone isn't The One, you put them on the fade. This really is best. I'm a Midtown service industry professional and she's a Financial District dollar-chasing bitch with an unhealthy attachment to an inbred glamor pet. I can only imagine what I would have said to her the first time she snapped at me for wearing a hoodie to dinner or leaving a dish in the sink.

There is great serenity in singularity, a promise for the unknown, the sunrise of possibility glazing the next horizon. I just have to go get it.


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