Monday, April 5, 2010


More than one person has said to me, “how do they find you?” These screwed up men with issues that make such good blog material yet such bad boyfriend material.

I always say, “they don’t find me, I find them.” It’s way to simple to blame them, blame the city you live in, or the universe. It’s you. You get what you seek, but yesterday, I swear that me or my subconscious was seeking nothing of the sort. My friend was having a lovely picnic in Red Hook. I went stag, after asking Cal who said he was too tired or something. I was crazy about Cal, he’d indicated as much to me in ways too various to mention. I wanted to go for a ride on his bike, go to flea markets, I adored spending time together, I even asked him if he wanted to go away for a few days, but in spite of the warmth he regularly bestowed upon me but he seemed to steer clear of pretty much any and all invitations. His no’s were starting to sink in as an overarching message and break my spirit, which made me mad not so much at him but at myself. So I set out for Red Hook alone, it was a good thing, you never knew who you could meet. Hope springs eternal, especially when it’s actually Spring.

He had me at “pashaw,” – it was the first word I heard come out of his mouth. I mean, who says “pashaw” other than someone with a great sense of irony, an expensive college education, and a deep appreciation for all things 1800’s. He was cute, probably late thirties. Tanned skin, longish shiny sun streaked hair, nice upper bod, perfectly weathered t-shirt, I thought I hit the motherload when he poured me a white wine and asked me to join him on the cozy slatted bench overlooking the water. I hadn’t been there four minutes.

God, he was cool. Funny, smart, used my name a lot, which I always find as an indicator of general attentiveness, either that or a tool of a confidence man. He was all things maritime; he worked on a ferry, and was working his way up to Captain. There were certifications, approval processes, these were coveted positions, and Luke was well on his way to getting promoted to the top. He was a fisherman, and told me what you could catch, what was swimming when, if they were just swimming through, mating, or here to stay for the season. He knew Buttermilk Channel like the back of his hand, and told me it’s history, complete with why they call it “Buttermilk,” the real reason, as well as the myth that most people bandied about. The real reason according to Luke involved cows being herded during low tide between Red Hook and Governor’s Island and their udders dragging low on the water and leaking thick milk into the channel. It sounded more like lore to me, but he told it with great finesse as he stared out on the water, smelling like wine, sun burnt skin and Ivory Soap.

Things were going well for Luke, up until the accident, that is. Things went downhill from there for him. The car didn’t see him or his bike, it pretty much crushed the bottom half of his body, he pointed to all the parts of him that were now cored of metal; I wondered how his penis had fared. He told me he didn’t have a dime to his name or so much as a penny in his pocket. This would have explained why my friend Sam who was throwing the picnic was looking over at me frequently with great concern the whole time I was seated next to salty Luke on the bench. Turns out Luke had just stumbled, literally, on Sam’s picnic, and was helping himself to generous portions of booze, roasted chicken, and now some of the women.

Luke went on to tell me how he was a rich kid, but was no longer speaking to his dad who was now married to some hoochie young Hispanic woman. The dad and the hoochie were raising Luke’s son, who had been plucked from Luke's ex’s apartment after she was busted dealing meth. “I hear meth is a tough one to beat,” I said, trying to sound sympathetic as I planned my escape from the bench. “It is,” Luke nodded like a wise man, “I speak from experience,” he said in unison with the voice in my head. After listening to his future plans to sue the city for 22 million dollars with his personal injury lawyer who he now considered to be his true dad, I excused myself and drunk dialed Cal who is always kind no matter what the circumstances. We both tolerate a lot from each other so I guess in some respects it's almost like being married even if the boyfriend/girlfriend didn't seem to be panning out.

So with Cal in my never-say-die heart, I travel forward into new frontiers like Red Hook, Jersey, and the other random places I fell upon this holiday weekend to get out of my neighborhood, my head, and away from damaged guys like Luke. Still, he found me. I swear, I was headed in the complete opposite direction.

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