Marco’s brought me over here on the pretense of meeting a dude. “You’ll like Nicholas,” he says. “Right up your alley.” In my “right up your alley,” Marco means slightly Nordic looking, probably hairless, and sporting the type of under-eye bags that you only acquire by ambition-induced stress or a drug problem, likely a combination of both. Marco knows me well enough; my tastes have become disgustingly predictable, self-induced misfortune honed like a craft over the last four years. Give me someone broken and striving and I will give him my heart.
And so I meet Nicholas, who is certainly my type, and when he talks to me he touches the small of my back even though we’ve only met twenty minutes ago. These touches are fleeting and fickle –I’ve been doing this long enough to know that — merely the grazing hands of flirtation, as easily placed on me as someone else. And they will be soon enough, when, less than an hour later, we’ve arrived into the dark basement of some club in the Meat Packing district.
We’re dancing next to each other: Me, keeping my eyes firmly on the floor and my hips suggestively in his direction; he, still in that excellent motorcycle jacket and a Yankees cap, his blonde hair and those beautiful bags. Right now, I’d like to get drunk and kiss him and never talk to him again. That’s what I feel like. A full plastic cup of vodka and soda sloshes over my hands and I feel potential – as much potential as one can feel at 1 a.m. on a Friday night in New York.
Then something happens: a disturbance in the force field. I recognize the girl because the girl is famous, or at least could have been famous if she had stayed in better shape and hadn’t arrived on the fashion scene back in 2010 at the same time as another model with a similar look but a more fashionably weird face, uglier by traditional standards. My ex-boyfriend shot her before she went on to model in Europe, her giant, Lolita mouth gaping for the likes of Elle, Vogue, Dazed & Confused. We did a show together once. I say nothing. I don’t even think she’s legally allowed to drink yet.
Nicholas knows her. He smiles. They talk. They disappear. I watch his hat dive through the crowd, followed by the big blonde mop of her hair dancing down her back as she trails behind, her body like a big, hulking overgrown doll. I feel like the owner of an affectionate stray dog who only used me for food until another stranger came along, their palm filled with something sweeter, something like candy. I’m left on the dark dance floor with my friend the drug addict, dancing with his eyes closed, pumping his fists towards the floor, his neck craned like an egret.
Marco was right. This dude is right up my alley for another reason I didn’t think of until now: He just not that into me. But, hey, at least the turnaround was quick. I usually have to wait three months to figure that out.