Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oz

This post isn't about an athlete. It's one of the few about a guy that was so far out of the range of my stereotypical type that he obviously had to make an impact. This is a shift from the normal sex and humor story, but something dumb made me think of him today and I thought it was a story worth sharing.

Back in March, I had met a guy in a bar. He gave me his name and I made the attempt of finding him on Facebook. His name (we'll call him Tom) was pretty standard, so of course 30,000 matches came up. I added a few, hoping one of them was right. Long story short, although he wasn't the Tom I was looking for, we started talking.

He was Australian, which, obviously already made me want to make out with him. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, he was in LA doing some work and was actually coming out to NY for like a week to visit some buddies and what not before he headed back to Australia. Despite the fact that I had no idea what he looked like (his Facebook picture was half of his face and a dog), we had actually had such randomly good conversation via Facebook that I thought it was worth the beers.

He agreed, though with less hesitation as he could see my whole face on my page and knew I wasn't a deformed mutant looking to stalk him. So we met at my favorite bar (McSorleys) and it was one of those situations where it almost, a little bit, makes me believe in higher powers.

I don't want to be all gay and gushy. Not my MO. But McSorley's is kind of like Beni hanas in the sense that they have a bunch of big round tables and you sit wherever there's open space. He and I sat at this table and stayed there long enough to have three different groups of people come through. He wasn't an athlete. He was a writer/actor typical creative type of guy, that carried a camera around and looked super touristy. And we had a blast. I guess outside of the sports situation, there's shit I like to do that I'm kind of embarrassed about. The writing will always be one of those things. I love to write but I always hate saying "I'm a writer" because I feel like it has such a negative connotation. Like "oh, you can't get work so you're giving yourself a title that seems more important than bartender". It's up there with "aspiring actress" to me. But with Tom, that shit was easy to talk about because he was in it too. So my creative nerdy side got to shine through for a bit.

We played this intense game of quarters with some randoms from...I want to say Pennsylvania? It was seriously one of the best drinking games I've ever been a part of. I was shitfaced.

There was a lot of coincidence in the conversation. He happened to be on a show I had just recently gotten into. No idea. He and I both shared favorite names or a girl (find me one other person in the world who would name their daughter Josephine. Seriously). And he is the first person ever to point out the scar I have on my clavicle.

We leave and make plans for the following week to do a kind of "site seeing" day of New York. I hate touristy shit. I really do. But I thought it would be fun to go wander around the city with this cute Australian guy for a day, so I was pretty pumped. I took off work, and got lucky because it was that day in April when it went up to like, 80 degrees and was gorgeous.

I dragged the poor guy around the city, doing untouristy tourist shit. For example, instead of paying for the Circle Line, I took him on the Staten Island Ferry - one of my FAVORITE things to do in the city. And that ride was awesome. When I found out he had been on the show I had gotten into, I obviously youtube stalked his ass and found some other stuff he had been on. Busted his balls about this one show he was on in Australia, and just laughed the whole God damn time. This sounds so lame, but it was one of those really innocently perfect moments that no matter how much time passes, you think back to and can't help but smile. We leaned up against the edge of the boat and just bullshitted about everything under the sun.

We grabbed beers on Stone Street and wandered around the FiDi, and I sucked up my pride while he took pictures of a lot of shit. He met my mom, which was mildly hilarious. And then we ended up getting snow cones in Central Park, sitting on a bench, and shooting the shit over everything, watching ducks. I mean, it sounds so lame, and so cheesey, but it was so much fucking fun.

I've been with so many guys who are all about sex and being dicks and being typical guys. And sometimes it's fun. If it wasn't I wouldn't keep doing it, I wouldn't keep fucking around with athletes. But this was so far from what I had become used to, that it was amazing. I mean, we literally sat around watching ducks for like an hour. I think we named a few. We talked about my writing, my idea for my book, how badly I wanted to get it published and how badly I wanted it to work. And he was supportive. It wasn't like a nod your head and smile situation, it was legitimately like...he had advice for me and listened to saw the potential.

I don't know if any of you have seen the movie 500 Days of Summer. But at McSorleys Tom and I had this long conversation about movies and we seemed to have a lot in common - he might be one of the only guys I've ever met that really liked Lars and the Real Girl. So since 500 Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies, I thought he'd appreciate it.

I bought the DVD and constructed this horribly inappropriate letter.

Tom-

Somewhere down the line, when I’m a famous author making millions off of my ill-fated stories about professional athletes, I’d have to consider writing a book about serendipitous mistaken identities and quarter games with Australians on a random Thursday night. And when I do, if you ever happen to see it on some obscure bookstore in Sydney, know that the “T" I’m thanking on the back page of the cover, is your dedication alone.

Until then, all I can say is you were a ridiculously pleasant distraction to all the bullshit worries this fabulous little city breeds. I can honestly say hanging out with you was one of the easiest things I’ve done in a long time – a shock, considering how horribly awkward and terrible it probably should have been.

It might have been the Josephine thing – when I was sixteen, dating my first athlete boyfriend (all-American lacrosse and football star ha), I remember being in the back of his car (as most sixteen year olds tend to do) and talking about our favorite names. I told him mine was Josephine, because I liked the nickname Joey for a girl (I was a Dawson Creek’s fan, sue me). He told me that was a horrible name and I should never do that to a kid, so for the last, oh, eight years, on the very random occasions that girls’ names came up in conversation, I’d usually lie and say something a little more tolerable. In fact, I hate the name Christine.

Could have been the Temper Trap thing – I’ve been listening to that song (Sweet Disposition) every day for the last two months or so on my way to work. Watch the movie I gave you, and you’ll figure out why ha. Possibly could have been the Lars and the Real Girl thing, as well. I think I’ve lost friends who I’ve made watch that with me because they disliked it so much, meanwhile I’ve watched it three times in one day (I was sick ha). “And she is not petite, Lars. Bianca is a big, big girl.”

Whatever it was – perhaps a combination of these things, PLUS your Australian accent – the best way I can come up with what this note is all about, is by saying that if I were your girlfriend (unfortunately she’s a blonde which is all together tragic), I’d probably be out in front of the government buildings in Sydney on a daily basis petitioning for gay marriage rights. While I was hoping you’d turn out to be a fat, balding, homeless guy with acne (maybe not in so many ways), you turned out to be tragically, heart-breakingly likeable. I’m still debating whether that’s a good thing or not.

I hope you have a safe trip back to Australia. Maybe at some point, when I have, you know, money, I’ll make a trip to your side of the world and you can buy me a beer at a hole-in- the wall bar in Sydney and ask me ridiculously obscure questions. I’ll even give you one to start with –favorite childhood cartoon? Correct answer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

All the best, Aussie. Safe journeys.

PS- The ending of the movie’s pretty accurate, eh? “If Tom had learned anything... it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence. That's all anything ever is. Nothing more than coincidence.”

This was a letter I had written, deleted, and rewritten seven times. Obviously there's a lot in there that I skipped in this post, but I think the letter does the story justice. I'm not an emotional person, I've learned not to be. This was very out of the norm for me, particularly concerning a guy that I didn't know at all and who was very much not my typical type.

I'm reading back over this post and it sounds lame. I'm trying to cut down the story for length purposes and 'm realizing right now I'm not doing justice to the whole event of it. Of why it's a story that's worth a post to me.

He and I still talk. We send each other random Facebook messages (although we are actually NOT friends on Facebook). There are some nights I can't sleep and I think of something funny and drop him a line. Sometimes I wake up at 4 in the morning to find I have a message from him. And it's nothing like, crazy sexual or unrequited love. It's like...this innocent fun and thrill of knowing that week was simply all it will be and it's a bitter sweet moment in a lot of sexually psychotic conquests of the last two years.

Anyway, this is all just rambles. Something made me think of him today and I'm not sure if he reads the blog or not, but since he was one of the first people to say "hey, that's really cool" when I told them that I wanted to write and about the book idea, I thought he deserved a shout out, whether he reads it or not.

It's nice, being reminded sometimes of things that are very simple that don't really fit into the grand scheme of what your life is about, still having a very big impact. This kid was really nothing, a blip, and if you knew how often I thought of him during my day, it'd be embarrassing. But he's there and the whole situation makes me laugh, and I just thought I'd be lame and change it up for once for you guys.

Now, I'm going to go watch the Jets and drink heavily with my best, Christine, while making fun of how fat every bitch girl from my grade got (Christine and I went to high school together). Back to normal, bitches!


This is a song that has very much to do with this story...just too long to explain. But to those involved, it makes sense. Trust me.

3 comments:

  1. The Jets looked like SHIZZ last night. Poor guys are going to get their asses handed to them in Foxborough next weekend, I do believe if they play the way they did last night.

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  2. Shizz or not they f'n won! and that makes me very very happy!!! GO JETS!

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  3. For the record, I LOVE the name Josephine, and wanted to use it for a future daughter, but my husband put the kibosh on it, saying it sounded like an old lady name (it's his grandmother's name)!

    And I also LOVE Lars and the Real Girl...definitely a cult-classic...very My Fair Lady for the 21st century.

    But even aside from that...I can totally relate.

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