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So far no agents have taken me on, K.'s "too busy" to meet, and due to my recent move, my new phone line won't be set up for another few weeks. Oh yes, did I also mention that I recently got fired? Well I did. And if it wasn't for the unemployment, I don't know what I would do. Do you hear this, editors, agents and publishers? Your boy needs some cash!

Anyhow, despite the weather, it's been a pretty exciting month in the Burg. Lots to report, not the least of which was Halloween. What a night! (And what a weekend before, and after!) Some of the usual crew assembled at my old place (310 Bedford, 2nd floor - you can throw rocks if you want, we're outta there), and we made our way into Manhattan for what turned out to be a wicked good time.

It was the Shout Magazine party at Pageant, and all of us were dressed to the nines. There was a Hugh Hefner, an Austin Powers, a sexy, faux-fur-wearing ring master-circus-type and one guy in his own creation, something out of the Dark Crystal meets Star Wars. And of course I pulled out my usual number - a tight, sleeveless dress which showed off my tats, complete with fuzzy black hat and pimp coat. I told everyone I was a Russian prostitute, although there were a number of interpretations. One guy asked if I was supposed to be the WWF's Chyna, and I replied by body-slamming him to the ground and subsequently posing for Playboy.

When we first got to the party it was totally dead, and we were a little worried that we had made a bad decision, that we should have stayed in Brooklyn instead. But the free drinks soon compensated for the lack of crowd, and eventually the people did come, in droves. The dancefloor, which had consisted solely of us and a few randoms busting moves, was soon packed to maximum capacity, with a multitude of decked-out freaks. There was a blonde, beautiful Britney Spears clone, complete with 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' schoolgirl outfit, a day-glo cowboy, a girl dressed as a Budweiser marquee and even a guy who was a dead ringer for that fat, heavily made-up chick (Mimi?) from the Drew Carey Show.

The music went from bad - to decent - to great, and all of us, infused with the Halloween spirit, let loose with a series of moves that would have made Jacko jealous. Lots of bumping and grinding ensued, flirtatious looks were exchanged - as well as phone numbers - but by the end of the night these were all but distant memories (at least mine were - I lost them all).

At one point I was dancing with the ring master and I looked down at her - I'm easily a foot taller - and she looked so cute I had to kiss her, so I did. She kissed me back, and for the rest of the night, every time our eyes met I found myself in a tremendous lip-lock. For some reason, despite the height distance, our eyes met quite a bit.

To check out what was going on in the rest of the club, we formed a mini congo line and paraded around the large downstairs area, distributing goodie bags to everyone in our path, bags which contained, among other things, condoms and Astro Glide. We ended up meeting some folks who were heading to a party in Soho, a party they assured us was going to be amazing, and so, despite the great time we were having, we piled in a series of cabs and took the evening to a different level. Luckily, it was a good fucking level. A great fucking level.

The dominant theme of the party was leather, and when we arrived the dance floor was crammed with bodies in all types of S&M wear, latex, masks, whips...an entire assemblage of fun-loving fetishists. We joined in the melee and were soon accepted into the strange new world, all of us gyrating together, as one. Despite the late hour, there was no shortage of energy, and everyone, it seemed, was having the time of their lives.

At one point my friend, as a joke, tried to peek under this guy's kilt, and his wife or whatever pushed her and started cursing her out. My friend returned the insults, and it looked like it was going to be a major cat fight. I was psyched because I had a front row view, but, unfortunately, cooler heads prevailed and peace was established.

That was until the party ran out of alcohol. And because whatever various substances we had brought with us had been depleted long ago, we needed something else to keep the party going. We decided the best thing to do was to head to a bar, so our entire crew, including a large Japanese posse we ended up bonding with, went back to Brooklyn to cap off the night. We crossed over the Williamsburg bridge in a fleet of cabs, each of us urging our drivers to go faster, to be the first ones there. While there was no clear winner, as soon as the cabs stopped we all jumped out, trying to be the first ones inside the bar. One car was so enthusiastic that they forgot to pay their driver, and he was forced to run inside after them. Even after a thousand apologies, he was not a happy man.

The bar was just as crowded as the party, if not more so, and the house band was busy getting everyone into a frenzy. As I made my way to the back I swore that I saw Jennifer Connelly, that hot, voluptuous big-screen vixen who's been a subject of countless of my fantasies, but I convinced myself that it couldn't be her, that I was simply imagining things.

But later I heard that it was indeed her, that she, for whatever reason, was hanging out in the WB for Halloween. And of course if I had talked to her I would have won her over and bedded her, so you can imagine my present distress.

Even so, it would have been tough to get away from the ring master, who followed me to the back of the room to survey the action. The Japanese crew Immediately took over the place and was going nuts on the dancefloor, breaking out a series of Bruce lee, Kung-Fu fighting moves. I did my best to keep up but was more Matrix-style Keanu than Bruce. I don't remember much after that, only that I woke up late the following afternoon in a strange place, totally depleted, and had to negotiate my way home through unfamiliar streets in harsh sunlight.

That night set the tone for the weeks that followed, and even though I went out consistently (not having a job has its perks), with each event I grew more and more braindead. There is a threshold that one reaches with these things, and I had gone considerably past it. For example, while I had a tremendous time at the Burning Man re/decompression party the following weekend, which was held at a massive space called Exile in Long Island City, I was so spent that I could do little more than wander around and gawk at all the beautiful freaks.

Ditto the Bounce party the following week. Even though I was in wonderful company - my lovely ex and a bunch of old Jersey buds - my heart wasn't in it. Come to think of it, that's not true at all - my heart was in it, as were some other key body parts - but my head wasn't. My brain had shut down some time ago, and I was simply on auto-pilot. The music was good, the lights were nice, the spring-loaded dance floor was kind of cool, but what did I really take away the experience? What did it mean in the larger context of my life? Not much.

But then again, who cares? What are we doing by going out if not taking a break from our perpetual self-examination and search for meaning? Does everything have to be about discovery and growth? Fuck no! Therefore, in retrospect, it seems I had the perfect month. I hope I never get a job, that the booze keeps flowing, that the parties continue. I mean, I've got a lot of free time on my hands right now. This thing only takes about an hour or so to write. After that, what else do I have to do? Not much. So call me, alright, keep me in the loop. Even though my phone won't be set up for a while, I'll be here, waiting, just in case. So don't forget, okay? I'm counting on you. And heck, if you want, I'll even put on the dress.


THANKS FOR NOTHING

I really fucked up Thanksgiving. I mean, really fucked it up. See, I do this every year. I'm late. Always late. All I have to do is climb out of bed, shower, look somewhat presentable and board a train to Westport, Connecticut, a trip that takes about an hour, and be there in time for dinner. By dinner, of course, I mean lunch, or linner or whatever, that time in the late afternoon when everyone eats. Not that difficult, right? But for some reason, year after year, I always oversleep and get there late. Not midnight late, but late nonetheless. When I arrived it was about 4:00, and dinner was long over. I was just in time for dessert.

Now, as everyone knows, dinner is not dessert. Not by a long shot. Thanksgiving dinner is where the long conversations are held, the political discussions, the family members choosing sides and forming alliances against each other, everyone bickering, squabling, squawking. Well, sort of. I mean, it's not violent or anything. It's just talking. And usually it's very polite. But you know what I mean.

So I got there for dessert. And what does anyone talk about over dessert? Absolutely nothing. Everything's already been said, and even if there is more to say, no one has the energy to say it. The only thing you talk about over dessert is how good dinner was.

Part of me thinks that I do it on purpose, showing up all fresh from the city, psyched to be in the country, while everyone else is stuffed beyond measure and tired, their belts loosened, hands over their stomachs, eyes half-closed. I come in super-awake and thin and jubilant, the rest of the family the living dead, virtual zombies, barely able to even focus on the football game.

I think I do it so I don't have to deal with the questions I always get asked, the same questions I and you and everyone else is bombarded with year after year: "What are you doing with yourself? How's work? How's your love life? Are you seeing anyone? Why aren't you seeing anyone? Shouldn't you be thinking about marriage? About a real career? Don't you care? Well, if you don't care about yourself, shouldn't you at least care about your family?"

This is not a great situation to be in when one does not have a job, nor doesn't know what he really wants to do. Add to this the fact that I don't have a girlfriend, that over the past year I have had but a series of flings, and that I still have feelings for my ex. Now add to this the fact that I only really see my family once a year, and even though I love them it always seems that, right before Thanksgiving, my life turns to shit and I have to go to Connecticut and lie to their faces about how great everything is. So maybe this is why I constantly show up late. Maybe all I can deal with is a few hours.

And of course everyone was disappointed with me. Way more disappointed with the fact that they only got to see me for a few hours then the way my life's been going. So that in itself is a good thing. And next year, I promise, I'll be there on time. Even if my life is shit, if I'm living in a cardboard box and spending my time sweeping up my own shit on the sidewalk, if I'm dating a 300 pound transvestite named Miss Demeanor, I'll be there.

But I'll let her wear the dress.

Email Russ: [email protected]

 

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[email protected] | January2001 | Issue 10