Love is in the Air

It’s an ice storm and Valentine’s Day! You can’t ignore it. It isn’t like Washington’s Birthday or Administrative Professional’s Day. You either have someone or you don’t. Valentine’s Day forces you to take a stance. Are you single? Are you together? Are you together enough to send flowers? What about a forward with a flashing pink Cupid graphic? Would you wear a diaper and drive 900 miles?

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This was me in November after the dissolution of my last relationship. I’m drunk and clutching Snickers, the stuffed animal moose we once bought together at a stoop sale, named, and endowed with a Cockney accent. In an infomercial, this would be my “before” picture. Only a few hours earlier I had crammed all my stuff into a trashbag and left my boyfriend’s apartment, but because all I could find were scented trashbags, my clothes ended up smelling like lemon. I took an unmarked car back to Brooklyn. I spent the afternoon with Woody in a low-lit gay bar drinking whiskey, playing The Smiths, and writing resolutions on napkins.

This is a real ugly photo. Snickers looks better than me. And yet, something truly beautiful is going on here. If you look close enough–um, please don’t enlarge it, just take my word–you’ll see an emotional disfiguration born of love. I was in love. Soul rending, e-card sending, love.

New York dating abides by different rules. I was with my ex for 6 months and it felt like 4 years. I’m a firm believer that the length of any New York relationship must be converted into dog years. And 4 years is a long time. 4 years is a college education or the entire run of Felicity.Come on, give it a whirl on Valentine’s Day! You can convert your last New York relationship into dog years here.

Tonight at concessions, I met Dustin Hoffman. He asked me where the men’s room was and I pointed to the door behind him. He stayed on the toilet longer than Michael C. Hall but probably not long enough to take a dump.

He was with his wife. She has the kind of long, curly hair you pin up but then let spill over your back while seducing your lover after a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.

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Some of you have a blind date tonight. Some of you are married. Some of you are married and have a blind date tonight (shame, shame). Some of you will get drunk and go home with a stranger. Some of you will cry. Some of you will carve a watermelon into hearts. Some of you will get stuck with an enormous check after a mediocre meal with a horsey girl you never want to see again. Some of you will sleep with her anyway. Some of you will watch Lost and eat Sweet Tart hearts that say “U R Cute” and “#1 Fan.”

Better to have loved and watched Lost than to have never loved at all.

Why am I single on Valentine’s Day? My Pokeman name would be something like Picky-Mushy. I’m discerning and unattached and slightly bored until I meet the right man, and then, pow! love shadowballs me in the stomach. I haven’t been shadowballed in awhile.

Love is weightlessness. Maybe that’s why Lisa Nowak couldn’t stand the thought of losing it. I bet love feels a whole hell of alot like floating around in space eating freeze dried ice cream. She sure seems crazy but maybe for one day out of the year, Valentine’s Day, we can search ourselves and acknowledge that at one time or another we’ve all been there. There was a boy whose coat I used to smell. I’d see him at parties. I’d watch him leave his coat in the kitchen or bedroom and then I’d go in there alone and I’d smell it. Or rub the collar on my cheek. Or try it on. This is a bit much even for a poet. Funny thing is, now we’re good friends. He’ll never know and I’ll probably never tell.

Last Sunday, an Italian restaurant in Florida held a benefit dinner for Lisa Nowak. According to this article, Kay Getsinger of Cocoa said “everyone deserves a second chance.” Was the benefit sponsored by Donald Trump? Diners ate in view of a “small, smiling picture of Nowak in her astronaut gear.”

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I love this story. I love that it will be made into a TV movie. But more than that–more than the dinner, or the diaper, or the pepper spray, or her self-proclaimed interest in skeet and rubber stamps, I love that the root of her irrationality was love.

I still don’t understand why she couldn’t just pee when she stopped for gas, but hey, what do I know, I smell coats at parties.

I hope that one day, a restaurant in Florida holds a benefit for me with my picture on display.

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Lisa Nowak isn’t the only Lisa involved in an amorous scandal with a fellow flier. Lisa Robinson, a Quantas flight attendant, is accused of having a sexual encounter with Ralph Fiennes. Mid-air. In a bathroom. Mother of GOD this is my fantasy. This is why I took the part time concessions job at The Actor’s Playhouse. I don’t necessarily want to have sex with Dustin Hoffman in a men’s room but I’m beginning to think it’s strategic, just how close my candy is to the toilet.

You know, if I had to pick which of the Lisas is crazier, I’d go with Lisa Robinson. She’s saying it was Fiennes who followed her into the bathroom and that she tried to stave off his advances. What sane straight woman, a woman who’s a flight attendant, would stave off the advances of Ralph Fiennes? For more on that story, click here. I hope she’s lying. Lisa, please. It’s worse to believe you were talking to Ralph Fiennes and all of a sudden “expressed a need to go to the toilet.” Couldn’t you hold it? It’s Ralph-Fucking-Fiennes. Couldn’t you go in your pants like Lisa Nowak?

BTW, this is my “after” picture:

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3 responses to “Love is in the Air

  1. I fully support coat-smelling.

    I’ve been in love twice. Becca will recall the last time, the first heady months of 2004. My beloved was a self-identified polyamorist in an open marriage, on the opposite coast. The self-identified polyamory community gives me the willies, incidentally. Especially when they start talking about “primaries” (i.e. primary relationships) and such. Shout-outs to Beth.

    From eighth grade through the end of high school, I had a deep-seated infatuation with Sophia Thrall, the best friend of my twin best-friends’ older sister, a girl I’d known since I was 9. I wrote her (bad bad bad) poems and convinced Amy (the older sister) to drive me by her house so I could put them in her mailbox. Interesting strategy, since we went to the same school and I saw her every day. One night, after the twins and Amy and Sophia and I went to the Paul Simon concert (he played Call Me Al twice!) I perched on the arm of the sofa and watched Sophia sleep for an hour. Wrote a bad poem about it later.

    I remember the exact moment when that infatuation went away. My freshman year at college. I was walking past the library. For no reason at all, I suddenly looked up and realized I didn’t care anymore. Apparently Cupid has two kinds of arrows, gold and lead. Guess what the lead ones are for?

    A few years later I saw Sophia for the last time, at her wedding. I enjoyed not caring. I still regret, however, not figuring out how to sleep with the brainy, buxom cheerleader who sat in front of me in French class, who was also at the wedding that night.

    This long story is not the other time I was in love. The other time is another long story, dragging its sorry ass into my 30s. (Hey Rosalind!)

    Maybe I should get a blog, Becca. This is so cathartic. There is consolation in feeling clever, apparently.

    Hearts n flowers,

    A.

  2. i can’t wait until ewan mcgregor asks you for the loo. and when that happens, cousin, give me a call asap!

    as for love. love thyself because you can never leave thy side.

  3. through this your pain has made something worth more that all the other trinkets left behind… it has made levity.

    and that is something that you just can’t buy, well, cheap, anyway.

    and the after picture is stunning.

    Tm

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