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22 august 1999

"i've figured out why you were so intimidating standing outside the theatre," she said as we lay heads at opposite ends of the couch facing each other, legs and bodies squished together to keep from falling off the edge. "it's because when you're sitting there, expressionless, you look so 'cool.' like you're better than all of this," she finished with a wave of her hand.

ok, so i exaggerate the hand gestures a bit. what can you expect as i hadn't been to bed yet at that point and already the events of the weekend are starting to fade.

i was slowly being sucked into the real world marathon on mtv. you know how they do that, right, how they don't put commercials in between the episodes so you're watching wondering whether the lesbians are going to get it on again or whether so-and-so are going to hook up and whatever and all of a sudden i realize that it's an hour later and i haven't done anything and if i kept this up i would be sitting on my ass all day. and there I was, my last day house sitting in the city and i was going to waste it watching a bunch of people having more fun than i was in hawaii.

no.

so up i hopped, donned my newly rediscovered hiking boots and started walking. now it's pretty ridiculous that i didn't know where st. marks place was, because, well, i did, i just didn't know that it was particularly called st. marks place, which is where the theatre was where i saw benj's show which i wouldn't have even known about had i not run into chi-wang who is in the show on the train randomly one night coming back from work way too late.

wandering through the city, picking up slowly the new yorker's walk and scowl, or so i've been led to believe from the number of times people have asked me for directions, i finally ended up at the theatre, waited around, walked around the building before which i noticed that attractive redhead (did i notice she was a redhead at the time) also waiting for tickets.

returned to the theatre and waited outside for a bit, trying to build up my nerve enough to strike up a "boy, nice day, isn't it" conversation with the girl who was now standing next to me and, as luck would have it, the doors to the theatre (or rather the metaphorical doors as the theatre was in the basement of a building hosing a tatoo parlor and who knows what else and was down some rickety stairs into a tiny room with some seats and set and with really maybe one door to the theatre) opened and we entered the tiny room.

there were six people in the space in total, and the other four were paired up and talking. this was absolutely ridiculous and so i turned around and started talking to this girl, whose name i found out, is rachel.

so now rachel and are friends and find we have a mutual friend in the director, at which point the show decides to start and we spend the next hour watching something which was okay, but wasn't quite as good as when we did it up at school and was still a bit too pretentious for my own good and really could have used a bigger space and more actors and a little bit less of an ego. but it was theatre, and $11 theatre at that, so i was going to have fun trying to remember lines and compare the previous production to this one.

the show ended and i stuck around for a bit waiting for people and attempting to figure out what was going to do next as i really had no other plans except for this other show that i had wanted to go see some five hours later. the group migrated outside until i realized that rachel and benj were going to do some talking at which point i excused myself and headed over to the payphone.

it was one of those awkward situations where you really don't know where anyone stands or what anyone is going to do, but you know that you'd better check out soon or things are going to get worse before they get any better.

so across the street i went.

i look. hrm. that's strange, there's benj, getting into his car, and there goes the girl, walking down the street all by herself. so i, being the spontaneous person that i was being this weekend, bounded off after her and caught up to her in time to make some comment such as "want some company?"

the rest of the evening up until funbox2000 was a delight of conversation, of coffee shops and falafel and walks through new york and talk of school and theatre and computer things and old school bbsing and all sorts of stuff that i don't get to talk about with my friends any more because i know them all so well, but which came as a breath of fresh air and light in a stranger.

funbox2000 came to me under the recommendation of the lighting designer, a fellow lighting designer trapped in the bill-paying body of a computer geek living in new york. explain the show, i really can't. if i had been looking for deeper meaning to the evening, it would have been a totaly wash, but was it was, i was looking for some fun accented by a cute girl and a sketchy jewish deli with lots of corned beef and knishes, so it was pretty much perfect.

"ladies and gentlemen, please take out your funbox2000 pacificier" or "laddies and gentlemen, please take out your funbox2000 dog biscuits" and "in the beginning, there was, the pinata" with the whipping scene from superstar playing in the background.

it was that kind of show and, in stark comparrison to the show which i had seen right beforehand (well, five hours before) i felt like the wild crazy people running around the space screaming and yelling and throwing words around like they were confetti was perfectly justified and not at all snooty or overly intellectual.

i mean, large amounts of jello couldn't possibly mean anything other than large amounts of jello and i can't believe that i actually took a drink of that stuff was i crazy? yes.

the show ended, i did a little networking and offered up my services for the low low price of free as long as i get to touch a wrench and a light and off we went into the post-midnight streets of the city in search of a subway. a subway, and i realized that there might not actually be anything scary about the subway at night, but i've just been trained to think so. either that, or by that point my brain had completely shut off in glee and sensory overload.

but we made it back without a scratch and proved to myself that i might actually have this city licked by the time i need to move into it for good. we got off the subway and started to walk back to the hostel. "but if i go back, i won't be able to see your portfolio," she said.

it was at this point when i realized why artists get so much play. "hey, want to come back to my place and take a look at my ..." and who could resist a chance to head back to someone's place under the pretense of looking at art, a socially acceptable thing to do, and be thinking all the while looking to get some, which is, well, less socially acceptable.

so she came back to my place and we looked at my portfolio, and we sat around and talked, and talked, and i dozed for a bit and then we were going to sleep and then we talked some more and finally fell asleep arond seven in the morning to be awoken an hour later by my father coming to pick me up to bring me home. not that i could figure out the buzzer system in the apartment, but that's the typical "high-tech brain meets low-tech buzzer and can't make heads or tails of it because it's not complicated enough."

on the other hand, it might have just been the fact that i couldn't find the buzzer because i was still asleep.

and so i packed up my shit and drove rachel to the hostel where she might have had some explaining to do to the six other girls she was supposed to be staying with (oh yeah i met this guy and we went back to his place to look at his lighting portfolio and talk all night, yeah uh huh).

and it is in this reflective time that i'm supposed to think that after i said that i thought she was attractive and after she said that she thought i was attractive that someone in even a more adventurous mood than i would have taken that as a hint to perhaps make a move. but i, still being me, beneath all this trying to go out and be social and meet people, could not do anything about it. was this the right thing to do? i'm probably never going to see her again, which could mean two different things.

i'm never going to see her again so a one-night-stand would be perfectly fine or i'm never going to see her again, so it wouldn't be right to try something.

then there's the third option which is that i might actually see her again, in which case i wouldn't want to ruin whatever friendship we might have kindled in the 17 hours that we've known each other.

then again, i had the experience. and what more could i possibly want out of life?

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