When Models Attack!

This morning I was walking to work in my usual January fashion–very quickly and crabbily, wearing the same f-ing jeans and sweater I’ve been wearing all winter because I’m sick of the cold and not getting enough light and don’t give a shit anymore what I’m wearing. And I was late because I didn’t want to get dressed and go to work in the first place, so I was walking even faster than usual and feeling a little stressed.

While I’m walking down a fairly empty street in Soho I am passed by a very tall and attractive girl, obviously a model. The neighborhood is littered with them and they are easy to identify because of their height, the standard no-makeup on perfect face and the long, expensively coiffed but messy, natural brown hair. She also had on the sneakers and high quality but standard looking wool coat they always wear.

So our model does that really annoying thing that is a staple of NY rudeness, the pass and cut off move where the person speeds up just fast enough to pass you, then cuts in really close and steps in front of you so that you have to slow your speed for a second. This is an annoyance technique that works twofold: first, you have the sudden invasion of your space by a body coming up from behind and veering too close, second you get the forced stride break that jams up your energy and motion.

And me, being my cranky January self, decided not to slow down and stepped on her heel. I might even go so far to admit that I may have purposely timed my foot to step on it. It is not easy to admit that I am so incredibly immature, but there it is. I’ll state it for the record: at times I am incredibly immature. Many moments throughout the day I strive to take the high road, but once in a while, especially when it’s cold and I’m cranky and late for work and don’t want to be cut off when there’s plenty of frigging space for two people on the sidewalk, I let my lower nature take over and do its rotten thing.

But then I felt a little bit badly about the bratty behavior, so I said, “Sorry!” To which our tall beauty turned around and gave me the dirtiest of looks. I mean, she looked at me like I was a bug. Which of course just goaded me back into being even more rotten, so I added, “But you shouldn’t cut people off.”

She swung her head around and angrily mouthed the words, “What did you say?”. She actually said it out loud, I’m sure, but I had my Ipod blasting and I couldn’t hear anything except Ryan Adams whining about whatever girl he was ruining at songwriting time. Then very quickly she twisted around so that she was walking very closely by my side and started jamming her elbow into my arm. I was stunned. I have never experienced this bizarre and particular move, and said (probably too loudly because I couldn’t hear), “What the fuck are you doing??”

She continued to elbow me and look at me threateningly while saying things that I couldn’t hear. I gaped up at her unbelievingly and assessed the situation. Could I take her? She was incredibly tall and obviously crazy. How humiliating would it be to have my ass kicked in public by a model! Oh, the red-faced shame of it…

And truthfully, I don’t know that I have enough rage left in me to engage in fisticuffs anymore. Although still cranky, I am lazy and somewhat contented in my dotage. So I said, “Look, I said I was sorry, but if you don’t want to have your heels stepped on you shouldn’t cut people off like that.” At least that’s what I think I said, it was all happening very fast and internally I was veering wildly from adrenaline fight mode to total outside-of-body amusement at the ridiculous situations I regularly get myself into. And while this was going on Ryan continued to cry a river in my ears because I was too disconcerted to shut the ipod down.

Then just as quickly as she veered into me, she turned sharply and veered into the street, still muttering words forever unheard and leaving me feeling stunned, a little bit frightened, and weirdly giggly.

And this, my friends, is a first-hand account of when models attack. I am relieved and happy to say that I escaped unscathed, and perhaps a little wiser. Next time I step on a model’s heel I’ll make sure the ipod is turned off first so I won’t miss what she says.

Random Sunday Stuff

While I wait for Drew to wake up so we can eat breakfast and go see the Bodies exhibit…

First, what does everyone think about the Brangelina baby? I believe there may be a special place in hell cordoned off and waiting for those two.

Secondly, a good friend of ours has become the new love interest for a majorly famous female with access to all sorts of expensive fashion. I am SO excited to have the gossip magazines and my life intersecting, if only in a marginal kind of way (which is really as close as I’d want it anyway). I am secretly hoping that they hang out long enough for me to become her new bff and get some castoff high end handbags and shoes. Is that wrong? Okay, yes it is, it’s incredibly shallow and greedy but I never claimed to be a saint.

Remember that idiot upstairs that flooded my apt? Well she did it again this week, only worse. This time it wasn’t completely her fault as she didn’t plug the toilet, it was some kind of pipe leak. I woke up to the sound of major water pouring into my apt and the guy downstairs knocking and shouting, “There’s a flood!” We ran upstairs but she wouldn’t answer the door as we pounded and pounded and screamed at her door, every minute being crucial as it was a huge amount of water. By the time the super got the key to her place there was a nice hole in my ceiling and my bathroom wall was wrecked. Then we turned the key and walked in and she said, “Hello?” from her bedroom like it was all perfectly casual. She had been there the whole fucking time.

Suffice to say that I went off in a way that only I can, for those of you who know me. She claims that she didn’t hear anything because she sleeps with earplugs, I know she was comfy in her bedroom and is a spoiled, lazy, selfish little brat who just didn’t want to deal, because that’s what she did when she flooded my place the last time. I have never wanted to slap someone more in my life. She just stood there in her NYU sweatpants and Patty Pussy haircut whining, “It’s not my faaaaault.” while I raged in my black robe, hair all crazy, eyes wild with frustration, my dog yapping on the landing below. Of course it’s not your fault, honey. I know from the super that your parents paid a year’s rent in advance without looking at the apt to put you in this neighborhood. And they always take care of icky things like being decent to your neighbors!

I was really nice the first time and she couldn’t be bothered to apologize then, either, so I hope I scared the crap out of her and I intend to make her extremely uncomfortable whenever I see her in the halls. My apt smells like mildewy ass now, so I have plenty of fuel to keep the rage going for a while. I really miss living around junkies and drug dealers, they were so much more respectful than the repulsive crop of mama’s boys and girls that have taken over NYC.

So that whole thing really bummed me out, and added to the angst that I am having this week about what I’m doing with my life. I am afraid that when I die and my life flashes in front of me, 9/10ths of it will be of me walking to work, working, washing dishes, vacuuming, working, cleaning up dog shit, doing the laundry, working, walking home from work, etc. I have two days a week to get all of my errands done, exercise, hang out with my friends, give my boyfriend a little attention, walk the dog, and maybe, maybe if I’m lucky get some writing done. The rest of the week is filled up with making a living. I like my job, but I am finding it hard to have a life outside of it, and I make a comfortable living, but not enough to catapault me out of this old school, five floor walkup, leaky ceilinged East Village lifestyle.

I regularly marvel at how many incredibly talented people I know. People that by all rights should be rich and famous for what they do, people that are complete stars. And yet most of us are suffering in obscurity and working these bullshit jobs to be able to do what we want in our free time. I am luckier than most that I have managed to find something better than bartending or sitting in a cubicle, but I don’t want to get old and die without leaving something interesting and creative behind. I also would love to have a lifestyle where I am not obligated to be in the same place 40 hours a week.

But if I was given more time, would I use it productively? Or would I noodle around on myspace and watch talk shows all day long? Because that’s generally what I do when I get the odd extra day off. I don’t know how truly ambitious I am. I want to be ambitious, I want to leave something interesting and meaningful behind, but I seem to be stuck at the moment. Maybe I’m procrastinating? Is anyone else struggling with this? I need to know.

So those are my thoughts for the day. To sum up: Brangelina, I will whore my friendship out for expensive designer goods, my neighbor is the worst person on the planet, Lord, please don’t let me die without getting something creative done first.

*sigh* Give me your thoughts, people. I’m going to go raid the fridge now.

Tragedy Plus Time

…really does equal comedy sometimes. It’s amazing, and I think it’s my favorite part about, ah… “maturing.”

My ex-husband Curt was here over the holidays. He lives in Florida with his girlfriend Kimona, who has family here, and they visit NYC about twice a year. Interestingly, Kimona and I worked together years prior when Curt and I were married. They got together many years later in Florida, and there is no weirdness between the two of us. I always liked her and by the time they became a couple a decade had passed since the marriage had ended. They are both crazy in a way that suits each other and I believe they are happy together. Much happier than he and I could have ever been.

Most of you know the history of my marriage either personally or from other blogs, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a brief synopsis: it was a million years ago (okay 15); we were very young; we both had record deals and it was the ’80’s so things were crazy with groupies, gigs, and travel. Curt was gorgeous and cheated on me constantly; I became psycho and started pounding the crap out of everyone he slept with. The final straw came when he and his entire band gang-banged Lydia Lunch in a hot tub in L.A. That was too much to bear and I moved all of his stuff out of our apt before he got back from the trip, only to end up giving him that apartment back and moving into the apartment directly underneath it and in direct earshot of all his womanizing good times.

The entire relationship was high, high drama, the kind that people only have the energy for when they are that young. There were violent fights and apartment smashings and clothes tearing and screaming into phones and suicidal moments and passionate embraces. I still loved him when I left but I knew it was impossible, we were hideous together and I had been trying to leave for years. I just couldn’t find the strength and I suffered mightily when it was finally over. My heartbreak was epic, I didn’t think I’d ever get over it. It took me seven years to let go completely. I know it was that long because I remember the actual moment when it dawned on me that I was free. It was a shining, angels singing moment.

But before that, directly after we split up he didn’t seem to be bothered in the least and his life became even more of a roaring party than it was when we were together. We had a couple of moments of connection, one where I freaked out hysterically and he sat on the roof holding me while I heaved and sobbed and another girl waited patiently in his apartment. It was weird and horrible and typical, yet another low point in my life. I wrote him a couple of letters apologizing for my part, but he never responded and it only served to make me feel more misused. In retrospect I’m glad he didn’t because it only would have pulled me back in. He chose a new girlfriend very quickly, a 20 year old blonde dipshit of a model who I have also written about, and we stopped speaking to each other altogether. It was a mutual thing. He purposely chose my polar opposite and all the hurt and anger we felt felt crystallized into a solid, icy hatred for each other. We practically hissed when we passed in the hallway. I smoked and listened to him fuck her and wished to die.

One night my friend Storm (who rocks btw– Storm and the Balls) and I got good and loaded on Jagermeister and she kicked his motorcycle over in front of the building. The thing never worked again. He was furious and I was elated. I fucking hated that bike. Then we went upstairs and spray-painted his door with all kinds of obscenities, which got him in major trouble with the landlord, who loved me and hated him for the simple reason that I paid my rent and he didn’t. It was all incredibly immature but the only satisfaction I could wrangle.

Curt became a bad junkie and had to leave town. My insane, control freaking codependency had kept him afloat, without it he was able to freely do all the drugs he wanted, and it took its toll pretty quickly. He dropped his girlfriend (now also a junkie) back into the dirtwater Southern town she came from, never to return to her again, and drove home to his mother’s in Minneapolis to pull himself together. He kept the apartment above me for a little while and sublet it to other random junkies. On one of his trips back to deal with the apartment he knocked on my door with divorce papers. We had both been so freaked out that neither one of us wanted to deal with it. The truth is that I had been so attached that I couldn’t consider it. But it was five years later and time. He was pleasant and not high; I signed the papers and with that we were on speaking terms again.

Now it is fifteen years later and we are friends. When he and Kimona come to town we usually get together for dinner or drinks. They visit the store and Kimona shops on my discount. Drew and I have had dinner with them. It’s absolutely pleasant and adult, or as adult as Curt can be, for those of you who know him.

A few days before Christmas I went out to dinner with the two of them and a couple of other old friends and it was a marvel to me how time can actually clean away all the blood and sorrow. He looks older than he did when we were together, I begrudgingly admit that time has taken its toll on both of us. But to me he is exactly the same, only now I love him without any attachment other than affection and friendship. I enjoy his girlfriend’s company and the way they interact together. It makes me glad to see that he has someone who cares about him. And without the attachment I am able to remember why we were connected in the first place. I get his stupid jokes in a way that many people don’t, and he understands who I am in a way that many people don’t. We were always connected on a deep level and now it feels as if we had a childhood together or were war buddies. The past is just something that happened to us and the pain of it has no real power anymore, except to make life richer for the experience.

At one point we started joking about destroying each other’s belongings (which happened a few times I am embarrassed to say) and he said, “Oh, but we’ve already apologized for all of that.”

I had waited for years for him to apologize, or at the very least acknowledge how much he hurt me. But he never did, and I had long since ceased expecting or even caring if it happen. I know his limitations and had assumed he just wasn’t capable of it, and I had already forgiven him long ago without the apology. But I protested and said, “No way, you have never apologized to me for anything.”

He looked totally shocked for a moment, and responded. “Well, I guess I owe you a Corvette then.” And he picked up the bottle of wine in front of us and poured it into my glass while smiling apologetically.

Okay, it wasn’t Shakespeare, but it was something I had wanted for a long time. Now it came in an Indian restaurant when I didn’t need it anymore. Which is always the way that kind of stuff works, and I can’t help thinking there’s some lesson in that alone. But it made me think about how clean I feel now. I feel blessed to have been through such a giant, horrible, depth-plumbing life lesson with this person and be able to joke about it, to feel a peaceful love for him, and to feel gratitude for some very crap moments in my life. It is further proof that we are really here in these bodies on a fact-finding mission, and that if we just wait, things always change. And as Woody said, if we wait long enough, they get funnier.

To me that’s an absolute miracle.

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