The other day I had a terrible audition. Though in no way would I still call myself an actress, sometimes a role will come along and I just can’t say no to standing in line with 200 other girls who thought they could also be the next Audrey Tatou. Auditioning like this is a terrible habit, like biting your nails or smoking. In fact, auditioning has become its own form of cutting—something I do when I feel terrible about myself to make myself feel even worse.
This particular audition had me sitting at a table pretending I was in a coffee shop and that I had OCD.
“Except you don’t want anyone to know you have OCD,” the director lecherously whispered in my ear.
I didn’t know what he wanted, so I half-heartedly pretended to move around imaginary silverware on the table. After three hours of waiting, the audition was over in two minutes.
Luckily, my best friend Jason was at my apartment waiting for me, and he listened to me cry about how my acting career was going down the tubes and why did I still do this to myself and who was I kidding and blah blah blah. I had tear soaked mascara dripping down my face when I finally turned to him and said, “And now I have to go out with some fucking loser from Staten Island.”
“Why do you have to go out with him? And why is he a loser?” Jason asked.
I hate people who need specifics.
“I have to go out with him because I need to get over the last guy. And because I need a boyfriend. And because I don’t know for sure that he’s a loser. But I’m pretty sure he’s not that great.”
It’s possible that I hate specifics because they’re usually bad news.
“Oh, I get it,” Jason said. “You’re going out with him so that you can start this vicious cycle all over again. Lacy, we both know how this works. You go out with him. You don’t like him that much. He loves you. Then you start to obsess and for the next two months everything in your life—all your thoughts, conversations, dreams even—are about him. Sounds like this date is a really great move forward.”
“Well,” Jason said. “I don’t think this is a great idea, but I do have something to take the edge off.”
Then he handed me a Valium.
This is the great thing about having friends who are as lost as me, and also in a lot of therapy. We can see our problems very clearly, but there are still some solutions that are more fun than self-reflection. Valium is one of those solutions.
I had never before taken a Valium, but my crazy aunt Rosha swallows them like Tic Tacs during our family reunions and she always seems fine. So, I thought, no big deal, right? Luckily, Staten Island dude and I were meeting close to my house.
Half an hour later, I was on my way to the bar with a lovely sort of loose feeling, thinking about how easy it was to walk in my very, very high heels.
I got there and noticed right away that my date had an extreme overbite.
It was so extreme, it caused him to lisp. Cool. Now, I have a big place in my heart for speech impediments, but this was really making the conversation difficult. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I couldn’t just keep asking “What?” after each sentence. Eventually I just started nodding politely and thinking about other things. This was easy because I was higher than a kite.
I guess I forgot to mention that Aunt Rosha is 6 feet tall and 250 pounds.
Eventually, this dude opened up to me. He started to talk about foreign film with the extreme fanaticism of a recovering addict or a born again-Christian, or even a Canadian hockey fan. I wasn’t judging, because I’ve gone through my own foreign film phase. There was a moment in time when I bored people to tears with my philosophical breakdowns of Denys Arcand films.
“Who?” you ask.
“Exactly,” I say.
But I have never heard anyone talk so passionately about movies, all the while barely moving his lips. This guy LOVED Fassbender, Sirk and Rohmer. It hit me that this dude watched like six movies a day and that this date was probably the first time he’d left his living room in a week.
Just as his cinema monologue was really taking off, my inner monologue started singing me a lullaby that made my lids feel heavier and heavier.
The Valium mixed with my gin and tonic had relaxed me to the point where I didn’t care about the audition, my career, the person in front of me or the rest of the crowded bar. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, and I shut my eyes, just to rest them. The next thing I knew I was sunbathing by a technicolor lake as an older man massaged my knee. It turned out that the knee massage was Mr. Overbite pushing me awake.
Luckily, he was a totally decent guy and he walked me back to my house to make sure I didn’t wake up in a trash can the next morning.
I was sound asleep by the cool hour of 8:30, and it was the best 12 hours I’ve had in a long time.
The next morning I woke up fully rested. But more importantly I woke up glad to be alone. Yes, for the first time in my life I was happy that no one had spent the night.
It wasn’t just the Valium that put me to me sleep. I’m exhausted by the whole dating, sex, dating-sex, breakup, breakup-sex, single all over again, cycle. Don’t get me wrong, I still love sex, and I still want a partner, but Christ this is a lot of work.
Every time I mention to someone I write a sex column, they always ask me if I have a lot of sex. The truth is that yes, I have had sex, but I don’t know what “a lot” means, and I also don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. And besides all the “exciting sex” I’ve had, I’ve also had dry spells. I’ve gone a whole year without sleeping with or dating anyone. It was the most productive year I’ve had since I lost my virginity.
I’m not proposing celibacy in anyway—that would be boring to say the least. But at this moment I’m a little worn out from running the rat race that is my own romantic life. I kinda think it would be nice to be single and “not looking.”
And, when you’re not looking isn’t that when IT falls into your lap? Fingers crossed, right?
Follow Lacy Warner on twitter @laceoface