Monday, January 31, 2005

She hate me, she hate me not

Stepping backwards in the narrative for a moment, after Kerry and I parted ways on Thanksgiving in the Wilds of Park Avenue, I anticipated the beginning of a radio silence between us, the length of which would be unknown. I had abandoned writing it all up for Paper magazine before the end of the cab ride home. I knew Kerry’s cab would be going in the same direction until it angled over some bridge or other. It made me feel like a low-down heel. I am bad at hitting on the girls I actually like. My only consolation is that there are so few of them.

The next morning/afternoon, I attended a one-off product shoot with the agency I’ve been freelancing for. I was shooting chromes but I wasn’t hungover, and I thought they’d be all right. With chromes the lighting has to be just so, and the last thing I want when I’m hungover is to add light to the room I’m in. That was one benefit of the previous evening ending early. Lately, there are only three possibilities: something goes wrong with the girl, and you leave early; you spend all night drinking with some girl until you can’t even get it up; you spend all night drinking with some girl but more or less can still get it up when it is finally required. Two out of three of those involve drinking yourself into a stupor, for those keeping score. They are bad for shooting chromes. Your only hope of escape is for the girl not to like you, which happens only if you’ve chosen her with extreme care.

After my usual three-hour day, I swung by the liquor store and then home. Since I had skipped a day of drunkenness, I thought I’d celebrate. As the magnum of Stoli was chilling in the freezer, I checked my answering machine and found that, against the expectations of the handicappers, Kerry had in fact already called. She said this:

“Jack, hi, it’s Kerry, it’s just about four o’clock. Look, sorry about last night. I just wanted to say I’m glad you invited me — made me go, really, but it was fun to see you and I’m sorry about losing my temper at the end. I know you weren’t actually offering me money for sex. Or I think I know. Anyway, let’s get together soon, this week, okay? Call me. Bye.”

I poured myself an unchilled vodka and thought about the ramifications of this call, and my receiving of it. It was perhaps the most monumental communication I had ever heard. It was not eloquently worded, well-delivered, or recorded at an especially high fidelity (Neil Young, for example, refuses to leave answering machine messages until 24-bit recording reaches the home), but it shook the foundations of most of what I understood about modern society. To wit:

I also was sensitive to the subtextual reading that Kerry’s objection to my suggestion of money for sex was the money part, which is not the usual problem, and something I felt I could work with. Will you be surprised to know that I picked up the phone and dialed this woman’s number? Let me add another shocking bullet point to the litany:

With admirable casualness, we made a date for Saturday night, the day of the week historically reserved for the heaviest of dates*. I put my glass in the freezer with the rest of my supply and lay down on the couch to think about what I could have possibly done right. I had been pursuing Kerry in a haphazard way for the better part of my New York gigolo life. Many had tried to determine the source of my mindless attraction to her, though the smart money seemed to be on “dark hair, big tits, knee boots, not particularly friendly”. No one was mystified as to the source of hers to me: there was none. But now I was suddenly seeming to get through to her. In the intervening years, she must have dated every other man in New York. Now it was me or nothing. I had to make sure she chose me.

Kerry. I thought about her. I decided I needed her. Stay tuned.

* Thursday is for dating strangers, because there’s no pressure, since everyone has to get up early. Friday is for dating friends, because you can stay out all night but can’t spend all day preparing for it. Saturday is for when you want to get it on, and then wander around in a love daze all Sunday afternoon to the scorn of everyone else on the island.**

** I feel I have taught you too much in this post. Shooting chromes, the possible ends of an evening, the nature of modern society, which days of the week mean what. I hope you appreciate it, but in the end it’s not fair to all the blogs that only talk about what DVDs somebody bought. In the future I will be less educational, though it will mean the loss of my grant from the Corporation for Public Blogcasting and viewers like yo mama.

by Jack, January 31, 2005 9:16 PM | More from Drinking & Women | More from Kerry

Within the Chronology

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shimamoto said:

Jack, your writing has intonation patterns. See a surprisingly melodious voice. And kudos on the professional footnotes. Now we just have to get them into Bluebook form.

Jack Author Profile Page said:

Your link has mystified me. But thanks for it anyhow. Does this have something to do with how I talk?

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