July 18th, 2004

pod

He's coming on a Chinese Bus, he'll rob me blind and I will make a fuss

fakingsincerity is on his way to this great city (assuming there's still room on the fabled Fung Wah bus line), and he's going to crash with me. Those of you who know me well know that I'm not one to invite people into my home lightly. I worry about theft, I worry about pootential violence, and most of all I worry about a combination of personal friction and having my stuff messed with. As an only child, I'm used to and comfortable with neither. But I'm trying to be more open to new experiences and new people so I'm going to go ahead and do this. If you hear of a fat New Yorker stabbed to death with a ski pole then you'll know who it is. I'm trying to think of things to do, exciting things that don't cost a lot of money. We'll probably hit Bryant Park and the Bronx Zoo, maybe a free concert or something. This is all very last minute, I'm working overtime to lower my defenses and let it happen.

It's getting hot in the city. I'm a little better at dealing with it now that I've lost some weight but it's still uncomfortable. I'm feeling better mentally but I still can't write like I'd like to. I have ideas but they aren't coming out right, it's all thick and coagulated, it comes out in misshapen glops onto the paper. It's frustrating. Sometimes I feel like I'll never be anything but sub-mediocre. It's a very depressing proposition. What else do I have to look forward to? My future's so dim I have to wear night-vision goggles. I don't even feel like a college graduate anymore. I feel like I haven't done anything at all since high school, and that I'm stagnating here. It sucks. I'm 22 years old and I'm going down to pick up a young man I met on the internet from Vermont at a bus station. I don't know what the most depressing part of that statement is. Man, internet, or Vermont. I should be picking up pretty young Czech girls and attempting to take advantge of them during the early morning hours. (Not that he's not pretty, that's for sure. If you're in to men he's a very pretty boy.)

There was a young (not young as in illegal, but a year or two younger than I was) Czech girl I might have had a shot with a few years back in school. She was blonde and perky, but not in an annoying way, in an uplifting sweet way. I think she enjoyed spending time with me and we used to study together and one night we were working and she pressed her leg against mine but I couldn't tell if it was intentional or not so I didn't react. Those are the things you regret later on, not in an intense way but in a light "what might have been" sort of way. Of course if I had hit on her and she had gotten upset and offended and wondered what she could have done to lead her fat study partner on, that would have been a regret too. At least this way all the memories are sweet.

I don't announce my weight on this journal and I'm not sure why. I'm not afraid of stating it, but I feel like it's not relevant and people would respect me less (not that I'm getting a ton of respect as it is.) I've slowly let more information out over time, and now I'm meeting a journaler for the first time at a bus stop in Chinatown, my true colors and pants size on display to the world.

I think Czech women are the best of the European lot. They come from a culture that's sophisticated but not arrogant. Let's hear it for the Czech girls.
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He picked up some baggage on the trip over

It appears I spoke too soon. I went down to meet fakingsincerity and it was certainly an interesting trip. If you haven't been down in Chinatown at 3:30 I recommend it. There are parts of it that seem nearly post apocalyptic, with swirling trash, the stench of fish on the air, and nobody else for what seems like miles. The actual bus station itself didn't have anybody nearby, but it was well lit and there were all kinds of cars. I had a bit of a scare when the Fung Wah bus pulled up, disgourged its passengers, and there was no Matt to be seen. Apparently there's more than one bus at once and the stop he was kicked off at was not within line of sight from the bus company's ticket window, where I was lurking. I was unsure whether they'd killed him and thrown him off somewhere in Jersey (what a place to die. Jersey.) Or whether he was playing some sort of cruel prank on me, but I hovered in the area for awhile, hoping that he'd show up, because that's the kind of stand up guy I am. I'm the kind of guy who doesn't give up on his wayward Vermonter even after suspecting that I'd been pranked and was standing around near a bridge at nearly 4:00 in the morning with only William Safire's Political Dictionary for company.

Eventually Matt did swing by where I was and we managed to encounter one another, although not before walking past each other in the night, unsure of who was who (He has a new beard, I didn't recognize him. It was less awkward than the OTHER fellow I stalked pretty sure that it wasn't Matt but unwilling to believe that Howard Dean's statemate would lie about being on the bus.) Matt recognized by voluminous form and said "Are we going to pass eachother nodding a few more times?"

There was another reason I didn't recognize Matt. He had a girl with him. A woman, really.

Now those of you who don't know me in person may not be fully aware of this, but you probably suspect that I am not the sort of fellow who gets on a bus at 11:30 PM alone and off the same bus at 3:30 AM with a 26 year old Arizonian in a reavealing top. That is definitely true. Matt, apparently, is such a person. She said her name was Leigh, that the person who was supposed to pick her up had not been in contact for 6 hours, lived in Brooklyn "near a park" and "Looka, like a man." Matt helpfully invited her back to my place, in the sort of hormonally driven decision he was in no position to make. I was more than willing to wait there with her for her friend, praying that he would decide to swing by and pick up his Arizonian rather than get piss drunk and leave her to the wolves, but I was outnumbered and frankly it didn't seem likely that he'd come, so we all headed back to my place. She seemed friendly enough, and not at all likely to plunge a knife through my heart while I slept. I was exhausted and made apparently confusing references to cads and Shecky Green. Matt made goat cheese infused eggs. She weighed herself and learned that at 126 she'd lost a pound (I'm so not kidding about that either). I offered her the bed in the dining room, which can be sealed off from prying eyes via a series of curtains. She didn't have any clothes with her except what she was wearing, but she did have 3 pairs of sunglasses. She claims to be a Tucson Sunglass Hut manager. I still don't understand why someone would pack 3 pairs of Ray-Bans but not any spare underwear.

So that's the basic story right now. They're asleep, seperately. I'm afraid of being robbed since this could very easily be a scam, picking on two trusting fellows in order to obtain access to their homes and valuables, except Matt has no valuables here, just a pack of cards and some turquoise socks (they're nice enough turquoise socks.) If she runs off with checks or money or art my mother will execute me and I will feel like the world's biggest heel, especially because this was all to fuel Matt's "Birthday Girl" style fantasy of a lost and bewildered girl and naughty endeavours in New York City. He's playing a dangerous game with my chips pushed to the center of the table. Fucking Vermonters. I don't know why they call Burlington the windshield capital of the world anyway.

I'm sure this is the sort of experience that will be rich in material to mine for some of my spectacularly bad writing. That's one of the reasons I'm not more upset about it. On the other hand, such experiences hopefully do not include yelling at a bank about faked checks and filling out police reports for people whose last names you don't know. I'm a pretty open person and I'm glad that I was able to give this girl a safe place to lie down until her bastard Brooklynite realizes that one doesn't leave young women stranded at bus stations (station, not even a depot with a waiting area, just a boarded up window) in New York City. Even someone from Brooklyn should know that. I'm paranoid enough to recognize the size of the risk.

This is one of the reasons I tend to be cautious in my associations. You set out to help a young Vermonter, take him to the zoo and get his mind off his troubles, and you end up with a pillar of the Tucson business community complaining about those arrogant pricks from Scotsdale, and pocketing your silverware.
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