Paid for Lovin'
My first boyfriend, well, if you can call him that. Let me begin again. The first man I ever slept with in NYC was a hustler. Two months before I came to New York, my first love, my first lover, the one I thought would be my first and my last and everyone in between, left me. He had been in love with me for three years. We were together for eight months. And then HE left Me. Something that no one, I don't think even he, could quite believe.

Not only did I feel betrayed, not just by him, but by the universe-that would allow such perverse reversals of fortune, but I also felt unattractive and abandoned. I hoped he would come back to me. He went to Wesleyan, and I never heard from him again. I went to NYU and sat on the floor of my dorm room and thought, "Perhaps we are both looking at the sky right now." I remained faithful only to him.

By sophomore year, I decided that my first therapist was right. That I should live without emotional love, well, that was fate, but that didn't mean I should deprive myself of the pleasure that a heaping pile of college boys could afford. And really why just limit myself to boys? Why limit myself at all? If the universe had deprived me of so much, it made no sense for me to volunteer to give up even more. In fact, my logic continued, I should take all the pleasure that I could get my hands on-by any means necessary.

And the first man I could get my hands on was Pablo. I am amazed that I still remember his name. He was older. In his mid twenties. My father died and so I was delighting in doing all manner of things that he would have disapproved. Including an older man. And to fuel to the fire, he had a motorcycle. He was dangerous. He was scandalous. He was forbidden.

And me? I was far sweeter and more innocent than any twenty-five year old man in NYC has any right to expect from a 19 year old girl. Only just barely not a virgin ( I had only had sex once). And thus, I was easily seduced by Pablo. Who, if memory serves, was quite pleased to teach me about physical love.

Although I did not love Pablo, I did feel comfortable with him and attracted to him. I do not mean to make our affair seem simply about gratifying lust. Because it wasn't. Well, not entirely. Sometimes it was about eating ice cream and watching movies or riding on the back of his motorcycle or holding hands with him as we walked through the park.

On one such walk, a classmate saw us together. She knew Pablo, they had worked together in a show. And she told me he was a hustler. I didn't quite understand as he had never asked for any money from me and never seemed to hint at having financial problems. So she set me straight, "You don't get it. He sleeps with older women so he can get money and then he takes you out."

Isn't it romantic?

The moment she said it like that I knew it was true, although I would say in retrospect that if I ever pay for sex I will demand much better quality, but I digress. Although I didn't end the affair, it cooled down considerably and during winter break I allowed it to die a natural death.

Last night, my dear gay husband Princeton came to town. "Oh Poodle, we are going to have a wild night. I am going to find rich husbands for both of us." I smiled wanly listening to him on the phone. I didn't even want to meet him. I felt about as attractive and inviting as a port-o-let. Still I got dressed up and put on heels.

In the cab, Princeton told me about his latest love woes and I explained mine to him. That men have come asking for me and I just blow them off. I don't even want to take their calls. In the word of the song, I'm through with love, I'll never fall again.

Until I've had four martinis and end up at a gay bar.

In college, I was rather notorious as being the 12th step for many a gay man to become bisexual. Take me to a gay bar and I garantee you I'll get phone numbers, I'll get drinks, and I'll get laid. And the strange thing is I'm one of the few women in the world who doesn't have that turning a gay man straight fantasy. Some of my gay friends were so disturbed by this trend, I was banned from gay clubs-for in the words of my friend Angelo, "It's not right when you bring a straight woman to a gay bar and she gets far more action than the gay man."

But my days at Splash and running around with Richie Rich at Flamingo East are long gone. Princeton and I have dinner and drinks. Somehow we end up at the Townhouse, a gay bar for older men and the younger men who love their money. Princeton as both young and not a hustler was quickly snapped up by the crowd leaving me at the bar with my martini. I had enough liquor in me to feel be feeling good when I noticed an absolutely ripped man, a man whose shirt, whose leopard print shirt, could barely contain his biceps and heaving pecs, flirting with me.

With me.

Ahhh dear readers. Martinis make for strange bedfellows. Sufficed to say when I woke up this morning I found his card neatly tucked under the corner of my bedside lamp. He has already called and in his broken English (his name is...Antonio) requested the pleasure of my company, emphasis on the pleasure, again tonight. Which I shall probably not grant.

But some times, some times I remember that girl who thought a motorcycle ride was the height of danger and realize that maybe things haven't changed as much as I thought.

Miss Bunni's Blue Period
It's 3:04 in the afternoon when I get the phone call from NYU that my check for two years of back pay will be ready on Monday. I'm waiting for the bus so I can rush home and finish calculating midterm grades. I am exhausted and cranky.

And I get the call.

I feel exhilarated at first. I'm finally getting the money that I had all but given up on. I think of who I can call. And the list comes down to two people.

Still I'm excited.

By 9 that night I have dissolved into tears. Sure, it was a really stressful day. Yeah I was suffering from sleep deprivation. But mainly it comes down to the fact that I had no one to share the good news with. No one to come home to and announce hey we, WE are getting this money.

But the only we is my cat and I.

No one can come out and celebrate. It's me. On my own.

So I call Mr Nyquil and Sawdust. Even he doesn't pick up. I leave a message. I get dressed in one of my glittery tops and do the serious eye treatment.

I don't want to do this, but it becomes a question of what I want less. I can stay at home and be depressed or I can go out and drink and for a short period of time blot out that depression. It's about short term solutions. Because in the pit of depression you can only see solutions in the short term. The solution has to be in this drink, this blog post, this book because you don't have the energy to go much farther so the solution has to be close. It has to be within arm's length.

There's no one I know at the bar and no likely candidates for my company. I settle down to a vodka and tonic. I look around the bar and think, "If I'd gone to that 30 single meetup down in the financial district I could be having a bad time in a completely different bar." I decide I prefer the familiar setting.

This is the power of positive thinking.

Nyquil calls and says he'll meet me in 20 minutes. I sit by the bar and drink and wait.

The guy who stood me up before Christmas comes in, he kisses me on the cheek before I know what's happening. Like Nyquil, he's a tall black man. At first I think he's my date. It takes me a minute to realize what is going on. Great, I think, dueling dates.

Which a year ago or more, I would have loved. The impending drama. Another Bunni bar story. But I've already been there too many times. I'll wake up tomorrow thinking what have I done? Well, as soon as I stop throwing up and my mind can do more than form vowel sounds.

Because it's not about sex anymore.

When Eric left, it WAS about sex. I would go down on anything and the Titanic. The worst part was that I was totally inorgasmic. For months. But still I slept with men, seduced men, because it wasn't about pleasure, it was about needing the reassurance that I was attractive. Now it's not that simple. I know that if I start playing limbo with my standards I can haul somebody home. There are any number of candidates in this bar not to mention men who have been dying for me to exploit them the last few months. But it's not what I want. What I need now is reassurance that I'm lovable, which considering my mother's behavior as well as well every man in my life with whom I have anything vaguely resembling an emotional connection is the one thing I can't find. And of course, I feel about as attractive as an old boot on the side of the highway smelling of fermented dog spit. And taking home some random moron and just hope that he can figure out how to give me pleasure, well, it's not going to make me feel less boot-like. It's just going to make me think I've found a dog that's not too finicky about what boot he chews on. Which are the only kind of dogs that come my way. The others are home in nice houses or sitting well trained in the laps of women who have an entire closet full of doggy clothes.

Finally after about an hour and a half Nyquil shows up. By this time, some guy has bought me a Long Island Iced Tea. I'm well on my way to being drunk. Hey he's the one who showed over an hour late."So what did you think of me when we first met?" He asks me. I have no idea what to tell him. I thought he was pedestrian and boring then and my mind hasn't changed. Essentially, he's lucky to be an actor because he isn't going to say anything interesting unless he's reading someone else's words.

And I'm not applying for permanent scriptwriter.

He tries to talk his way into my apartment in a wearisome way. He just wants to be somewhere quiet where we can talk. He'll give me a shoulder rub. Nothing will happen.

Honey, even drunk I'm not that stupid. In fact, I don't think there's enough desperation and liquor in the bar for me to consider this option.

I send him home. He doesn't call me later. And wake up thinking, "The bad news is that you still feel sad and depressed. The good news is you feel less sad and depressed than if you had taken that moron to bed."

I was going to do some quality blogging this week since it's spring break, but I'm sick. I couldn't even rally myself off the couch to get some of Bakerina's freshly baked cake. So coherent blogging isn't likely.

I thought some of you would like to know I have booked my stay in Paris-10 days which was the cheapest flight, of course that means quite an investment in terms of the hotel stay. I realize now I should have taken a hit on the flight and saved on the hotel, but hey ten days in Paris. It can't be too bad of an idea, right? I'm excited and scared. And honestly I don't really want to go to Paris alone again. Last time I swore I wouldn't, but now I can plan my trip, and you all can look forward to a reprisal of my Paris travelogue, which won't be as exciting as the last time. (How can you top walking in on two people having sex on the top of a piano?)

Well I'm going to go back to crocheting on the couch so I can get this bridal shower present done by this weekend. I'll post pictures of it after it is presented. Trust me it's going to be a vision.

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