It’s the end of the summer. Even though there’s still a month to go, this past Thursday was only 66 degrees, so it feels like we need to say goodbye to freezing our underwear and endlessly taking cold baths.
This has been a confusing and full on summer of love for me. When it rains it pours, and I left my umbrella somewhere on the F train. It all started with me lying in bed staring at the ceiling and praying that something would happen to end the mundanity in my life. In hindsight, I would give anything to have back my boring routine of sleeping, eating, working, and masturbating. Now I have to do all that while also dealing with all these people texting me, and then figuring out how I feel about them, which is a lot of hard work. Is it just me or is everyone in New York going crazy?
Leading up to this summer, I’d been having a major dry spell. The kind of dry spell where when someone friends you on Facebook it can keep your mojo going for weeks. Really, that was all it took for me to feel excited—no dinner, no movie, not even a phone call, just a simple, totally removed friend request. But everything changed in June when I attended a party a friend of a friend was throwing. I went with some people from my block, but the host were complete strangers to me. Luckily enough, it was a great party; it was super relaxed, and full of warm welcoming people who smiled kindly and asked a lot of questions about where I’m from. I loved it. I loved it so much in fact that when my friends wanted to leave to hit up another party in Queens I opted to stay. I think there’s something exciting about being at party where you know no one and you’re on your own. If you make friends and enjoy yourself it feels like such a victory. Like, “Yeah, that’s how socially well adjusted I am! Drop me anywhere with anyone and I’ll have them singing show tunes ’round the piano just like that scene from The Exorcist!”
But probably you’re asking, what’s my secret? Why am I comfortable striking up a conversation with total strangers? What’s my magic ice-breaker? Cigarettes. I hate to say it, because smoking is a disgusting habit, but it really saves a lot time when it comes to meeting someone. You think that guy in the leather jacket drinking whiskey and coke at the bar is cute? I can guarantee you that in 10 minutes he’s going outside for a cigarette. Follow him out, get him alone and ask for a light. (Actually, please don’t do that its terrible advice that only leads to heartbreak and cancer).
This particular party was ripe with smokers. Everyone had left the apartment because the heat had become suffocating with all the guests. We moved as a group onto the stoop and soon littered the sidewalk. He was standing with his friends smoking American Spirits and playing a game where they had to guess which celebrities were born or famous events took place on their birthdays. I sauntered up in my new pink sundress, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “The Oklahoma Bombing took place on my birthday. April 19th.”
Their laughter came to an abrupt halt, and everyone just stared at me.
Fuck, I thought. Not a good introduction. Well, if I’m going down I might as well get a cigarette out of it.
“Hey, could I bum a smoke from you?” I asked.
He turned to light my cigarette, smiled and said, “You know Joey Lawrence was also born on your birthday. So it’s not so bad after all.”
I was smitten.