Thursday, August 30, 2012

A New Experience (the explanation is three-fold...)

I had an audition yesterday.

That part wasn't new. Done auditions before. Granted, not tons of them in recent years. I auditioned only once for the Neil Simon Festival in 2005 (after a 7 year break from theatre during which time I gestated repeatedly). After that I continued to get cast at the Neil Simon Festival without having to audition again (hair flip).

I did have one other audition since  the '05 Neil Simon audition. It was for the Utah Shakespeare Festival which is stationed in Cedar City. It was December of 2010.  I was called on a Wednesday and asked if i could be at the L.A. audition on that upcoming Monday.

You have to be invited to audition for the festival. Also, only Equity actors are given an audition time in Cedar- the same town the festival is in.  Also, this was the first year in a long time they'd given locals the opportunity to audition... albeit in L.A.

So when i got the call with the invitation to audition, I couldn't really say no. What I thought was, I'm a single mom with very little funds, and it's two weeks till Christmas. But what I said was, "Of course!"

It's just business, you know. So I did the 7 hour drive twice, up and back, within 24 hours. I brought one of my 4 kids with me.

I didn't get cast.

I would have taken any crap part they could offer.  I also was a permanent resident of Cedar City, so they wouldn't have had to house me.

And my audition was pretty dang good.  With my lack of significant audition experience since motherhood, I was taken slightly off guard when I became aware of them writing notes and referring to my resume during my monologues (I'd forgotten that is just a normal part of auditioning). At any rate, I knocked my song out of the park.  Like out of the mother freakin' Dodger Stadium. Whatevsies.

Then there was yesterday.

My new experience.

Here's the 3 Fold Thing:

1) My first California audition (I don't count the Utah Shakes Fest audition as a California audition)

2) My first Disney audition

3) My first audition in which I had to wait 7 1/2 hours for my turn after arriving at the venue at 9:45am

Auditions were held at the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios in North Hollywood.  I had stayed the night with Wagamama in Santa Monica the night before, which perhaps cut out 45 minutes of driving the morning of the aud.  I hadn't been able to fall asleep until 3. I stayed on an air mattress which decided to deflate around 5:30am  What a mess.

When I arrived at 9:45, the sign-in room was already packed.

Sign-ups started at 9:30.

I was number 134 on the list.

I found out one girl had gotten there at 4:30am to get in line and was number 12.  So there ya go.

Just the same, I was excited to be there.  The energy of all those auditioners reminded me of speech tournaments in high school (also because most of those kids yesterday were just barely out of high school). I wasn't nervous at all, even though it seemed that I was the oldest one there.

Then after about an hour of waiting, I was over it.  I have no idea how I killed time until 3:15pm when my name was finally called.  I have no idea how I didn't go crazy, either.

There was a lounge area with 2 pots of coffee and the fixin's.  There was a sign about the pots that said, "Please deposit a quarter into the box for a cup of coffee." So I deposited a quarter, and had 4 cups of coffee. Cause, you know, free refills.

My name was called. I walked into the audition room with the casting director of the whole Disneyland Resort, the director of the show itself, and the show's music director.  Upon crossing the threshold, I gave them an enthusiastic "Hey!", sang my song, and after the first note came out of my mouth I knew that they knew I wasn't getting a call back .

Looking back, the song did not showcase my voice well.  I focused more on choosing a song from the time period of the show, which is usually a great idea if it shows off the best of your vocal talent. And the only form of energy that I had to draw on was a cup of coffee I'd had an hour before.  Excuses.  Excuses. Lessons learned.  Great experience.  Very glad I did it.

Plus, hey, here's the thing- my first California audition is over.  There'll never be another one ever again.  I'm glad about that, too.

Did I fail to mention that the night before this I was in Beverly Hills with Wagamama at a private screening of Sleepwalk With Me?  Did I also leave out that Tom Hanks was there?  Oh, and Tim Robbins, too.  And Weird Al Yankovich. Also, the moderator of the Q&A was Joss Whedon, who I met.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

p.s.   he told the story of how the shawarma scene came to be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To All Those That Know You Are Gay, but You Still Say You're Interested in Women on Facebook:

(I'm gonna be a bitch for a minute.  But just for a minute.)

First I wanna start with You, yeah, you- the one who went on an LDS mission and believes the mission cured your attraction to the same sex.

You've been back long enough now to know that you are still attracted to men (or women, as the case may be), right?  But you wanna hang on just in case something else spiritually miraculous happens, and it goes away again.

Dear Former Elder/Sister, IT AIN'T GOIN' ANYWHERE.  NOW CHANGE YOUR FB "Interested In" OR AT LEAST LEAVE IT BLANK.  You are only hurting yourself and others.  Prolonging the inevitable.  There are too many loving people in our community (LGBT and Allies) who are wanting you to end the confusion and pain, who are waiting to throw our arms around you and accept you and love you.  And when you do that, guess what?  Your Heavenly Father will not be disappointed in you and will still love you just the same as before.  It's true.

I promise.

He told me.

Next, I wanna talk to You.  You, who for years have been secretly having sex with/messing around with people of the same sex, but in public behave hetero-ly.

Here's why you need to change your FB "Interested In" (besides the obvious):  all those people you've done? They talk.  They tell their best friends who know all your mutual friends, and whether or not the BFF actually talks, you are seen as a joke.  As a liar. As a coward.

Be honest.  Be authentic.  If you are going to actually engage in physical activity with the same sex, have the decency to stay stop lying to the members of the opposite sex that you are bringing home to mama.  You are not in any way marriage material for them!

Also, you're like 36.  It's. Time. To. Be. Who. You. Really. Are.

Not to mention, the lying and secrecy is one jolly way people get & give STD's.            fin

Thirdly, there's You- I like to refer to you as the repeat offender.  You got married to the opposite sex when you were young because of pressure from home, religion, or fear.  And whether or not you acted out as your authentic self before you were married, you knew.  You knew you were gay. And, lo and behold, the first marriage is miserable!

You find a way out of it by blaming your straight spouse. And in the next few months or years of being single again, you marry someone else! Another poor victim of your fear and lies. And let's say you have children with these poor straights you keep marrying... shame one you.  You have brought lives into a world that you created based on lies and your unhappiness and selfishness.

How do you do it?  How do you find contentment in a lie, a lie you are invested in with children no less? Are you taking some heavy duty anti-anxiety/depression meds?  Are you sneaking around and getting some same gender tail? How do you take the edge off?  If not in these ways, then what?  Are you cutting? Or maybe you're drunk by 11 am everyday... Am I warm?

Okay, I'm gonna step back for a minute and be fair (nice)...

The repeat offender,

You do find moments of Joy and Fulfillment in your family.  Your spouse is your companion and companionship is, well, it's what we all want.  You feel a kind of love for your children that is so fierce and unique and complete that it has changed the very fabric of you.

But what led you here? Fear? Fear that you wouldn't be loved if you had honored your truth? Fear that you wouldn't be loved any longer by parents, siblings, friends? I'm sorry. I am. I was married to someone who lived that fear for the first 39 years of his life. I'm sorry you are that afraid.

The secret lover,

I'm not sure you find joy in anything.  I mean you live a double life, right? The ongoing strain and stress and anxiety you must endure... I can't even imagine.

But you don't have to endure that.  You're an adult.  You have the power to choose- continue the state you are living in or announce to the world who your authentic self is and, yes, perhaps endure some pain from the fallout of that, but ultimately you will have more peace and joy.  Don't you think? Am I wrong? I've been wrong...

The cured returned missionary,

You are starting down a road of hope and expectation that will ultimately be heartbreaking, and not just for you.

You want to be the one who breaks the mold.  The one who can stand up in front of all people and nations and proclaim that you are a changed person.  Unfortunately, the Club Unicorn frenzy is only encouraging this dream for you.  Well, not every black girl from Arkansas who was molested by her father will grow up to be Oprah Winfrey (props to Wendy Penrod for that one).  And I wouldn't say that the Club Uni couple has reached that level of success.  Not even close.

And to you, I am sorry.  For you, the thought of giving up the dream means giving up everything.  Everything you have been taught to utterly live for.  You have feelings of desperation on this matter. I can understand that.  I can!

Just don't make an uninformed decision. That means talk to others who are or have been in your situation.  Don't rely on the advice or counsel of those who simply do not truly understand your plight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Pale Horseman of the Apocalypse

On Saturday afternoon, Matt had to go to a rehearsal.  I was taking a nap when he left.  

I woke up from my nap and found he'd left his iPhone on the couch!!!


I say to Hana and Emma, "Um, you this dad's iPhone?!" I am holding the iPhone like an explosive device that has a timer on it.

"OH MY GOSH!" "WHAT!" "NO WAY!" "AAAHHHHHH!  "SERENITY NOW!" are some of mine and the girls' various responses.

We do this for about a half hour.  

Then one of us, can't remember who, has the brill idea to hide it and create a scavenger hunt for him to find it.

Thus ensued the best 1 1/2 hours of our lives.

The 3 of us are collaborating on all these clues and such, and we are having a freaking blast.  Also, we are working together quite well.  I know this because I've seen lots of Project Runway and Top Chef episodes- they could take some lessons from us.

When everything was in place, we took off so we wouldn't be home when Matt got back.  

I'll now take you through what Matt found when he got home:

On the front door~

In the entry way~

On the inside of the medicine cabinet door~

Next to Matt's doorbell chimes~

Under the rug~

A gift from his Miss Saigon cast

On a shirt that the girls said made him look like a park ranger, so he took it off immediately~

The thermostat~

Emma's notebook~

Even though this is on the front of the fridge, this was the hardest one for him to find~

The final clue- when he bought his sheets a few months ago, the girls were with him.  He was looking for the right size.  The package of sheets he chose said 'standard queen'.  Hana made a joke about how perfect the sheets were for him, because, "Dad, you are a standard queen..." ~

The hiding place- in the center of his bed, under the fitted sheet~

These were posted throughout the house for him to see while following the clues (we clipped all these from Out Magazine):

Hope you had fun.  Tomorrow I have a much meatier post for you.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Writing About The Boy and Some Crumbs

A couple days ago, I had the flu. But I still had to pick up Hana and friends in my 115 degree car while sweating from all of the pores under my boobs, because why would I put on a bra when I have the flu...I then hit my head on a low wooden beam of Matt's carport when I got back.

I kept it together until I got inside the house and walked into Matt's bedroom for privacy (I sleep on the couch), then I opened the flood gates.  As I begin sobbing, I start taking off my clothes because they are wet from sweat, and I lie on Matt's bed naked, sweating and crying. Good, hearty crying. All the while, my head was throbbing from my infected sinuses and now the goose egg I'd just acquired in the carport. But the crying was cathartic regardless.  

But I don't wanna get sweat on Matt's bed, so I cry on the floor for a while.  Then I stand up and see myself in the mirror and cry that my boobs no longer defy gravity like they did when I was 17.

Then Hana walked in on me naked.


It was time for a cry what with the Mesquite/Vegas hospital retreat, moving, being broke, missing Jeremy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

A release was way overdue.

And I realized the last time I cried was when I said goodbye to Awesome in Cedar.  

{I don't know if she knows that I cried.  Now she does.}

{I don't know if you guys knew that my breasts don't defy gravity anymore.  Now you do. Welcome to a woman's post breastfeeding body.}

{I don't know if Matt wanted to know that I was sweating and crying on his bed.  Now he does. Actually, I told him later that evening.  I told him the whole heinous sequence of events. When I was done, he nodded and said, "Well, yeah...I would have cried, too."}

There's a point to this.

I've been writing about The Boy for the past week and a half.  The experience of telling the story confirmed to me that I have completely purged him from my system. How lovely. How wonderful. After 20 years of juvenile, naive fantasy.

So as I was crying and sweating and sagging, I asked myself if the outburst had anything at all to do with writing about The Boy. I could honestly conclude that it did not.  Not even a teensy bit.  

What's more is when I had written only the first 3 or 4 parts, a friend from high school commented on Facebook that my story sounded like deja vu, because he apparently DOES THIS.  

It's like a thing, y'all! A thing that he does!  

He likes the idea of hopeless romance at a distance, but then when the girl is available, geographically or otherwise, i.e., divorced in my case, he shuts off!


LORDY, LORDY! as my Mamaw would have said.

So my friend and I start corresponding back and forth about this, and she had several examples to back this up.  

Then another friend and I touched base, because she had similar sentiments and examples to share as well.  In fact, she said to me, "I am sorry you had to go through that. I wish I could have told you how many times he has done this kind of thing."

Having these exchanges were yet another confirmation that I am COM-PLETE-LY moved on. I felt nothing. Except burning curiosity.  


Just like the 17 minutes I spent watching Captain Eo two Christmases ago at Disneyland, I may never get those 20 years of my life back (nor would I want to), but I am so much smarter now.  Probably smarter than everyone in the world.   

Also, I know that someone, without any prompting from myself, sent him the link to my blog within the past couple of days.  


And super. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy, Part 9 (Final Interlude)

I was headed home. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Boy.

I felt content.

Also, I was ignoring the universe.  And ALL OF THE THINGS.

In the airport, I saw Paul Rudd.  He was very short.  He had Dustin Hoffman hair from the 80’s. I looked at him like, Yeah, I know…  His look back to me was like, I know you know…

I got on the plane.  I thought about the way The Boy had smiled at me once while on the subway.  It had made my heart pound so hard that I simply had to look away. I thought about the time he made fun of the way his friend, John Lennon, walks and how it made me guffaw.  I thought about the way he touched my face when we kissed in the apartment earlier that day. 

Then I slept. 

The plane landed.  I turned my phone back on and there was a text from him.

I drove home from Vegas. 

He facebooked me the next day or so. 

I’d told him in NY that I’d be alone on Thanksgiving.  My first holiday alone.  He seemed mildly concerned about me at the time. The day before Thanksgiving I texted him asking if we could plan a phone call on that day.  He said yes.  We picked a time. 

I had made plans for myself to stay at a B&B on Thanksgiving in Springdale, Utah (near Zion Nat’l Park).  There was that teeny tiny part of me, the girlish, ridiculous, stupid bitch part, that was hoping he would just show up.  Like, I’d be walking down the sidewalk of the picturesque autumness in Springdale, and he’d come walking up the sidewalk toward me.  Or the cute gay couple who ran the B&B would say to me as I was checking in, “Oh, you’re Ashley? Here is your key.  And don’t be alarmed.  There is someone in there waiting for you.”

It was that last 24 hours in NY that derailed me.  If that had only been flip-flopped.  If only he’d been a royal ass the last 3 days of the trip instead of the first 3… 

He saved his goofy sweetness and gentle face-touch-while-kissing for the end, so that was my last(ing) impression.

Thanksgiving.  The time of our scheduled phone call. The reception in Springdale is quite dodgy.  And of course he called when I was in a dead pocket.  I got a voicemail from him.  His voice sounded amazing.  I tried calling back. 

No answer. 

Tried again. 

No answer. 

Oh, you betchya I was getting nervous.  

Rightly so. 

I texted him.  He texted back. 

Why wasn’t he calling me again instead of texting?

After a while, when it was clear he was not going to call, I started feeling this gaping hole, a blackhole, forming in my chest.  It was the most horrible feeling I’ve ever felt...maybe...but that's how it felt at the time. 

And I was confused, because I thought I’d prepared myself for this bullshit pre-trip.  I guess it’s kind of like taking birthing classes.  Take as many classes as you want.  When you actually give birth to a small human, it’s gonna hurt like a mother. 

I thought I just need to head home now.  Maybe getting away from Springdale will help me get away from my irrational hope that The Boy could change simply because we’d seen each other. 

Driving home it was clear to me that the blackhole would not be left behind in Springdale. No, it was following me.  Like a black cloud.  Like a Dementor chasing me. And I was effed, because I had clearly chosen the wrong patronus.

I got home and writhed right along with the fabric of the universe.  Actually, I was writhing all by myself, because the universe had moved on to laughing. 

My subconscious was trying to speak to me, but I was blocking it out.  It was screaming: 

You knew this! You knew! Self-sabotager!

I could barely sleep.  I kept thinking about him and other women.  He clearly was screwing other women, right?!

Here are only some of the possibilities that crossed my mind in the next several days of little to no contact from him:

-He’s seeing someone else.

-He’s screwing someone else.

-He’s screwing lots of someone else’s. 

-He’s a sex addict. 

-He’s an alcoholic. 

-He’s a sociopath. 

-He’s hiding something!

-Is he gay?!

It is now the beginning of December.  I cannot do anything or go anywhere without crying.  I had enough wherewithal to realize that I was mourning a fantasy.  A die-hard fantasy that I’d clung to for survival since he’d told me he loved me in an email 8 years prior. 

I was also mourning the truth- the true Boy that I got to know over the previous months and finally had some face time with.  The Boy in my fantasy was not in any way, shape, or form The Boy in the real world. And that was no one’s fault. No one was to blame. Don't get me wrong; Boy was still an asshole! Nothing could excuse him from that.  

Thirdly, The Boy Was The Only Man I'd Ever Had Sex With Besides My Husband Who I Was Married To!  
     a) I'd never had sex outside of a committed relationship before  

     b) I'd only had sex with one man in my 35 years 

     c) Sex was (and continues to be for me) emotional 

So I am mourning losing some part of myself that I don't know how to define- a part that involved mutual trust, respect...a bond where sex is concerned. I could never imagine sex meaning nothing for me. I gave that part of myself to someone who didn't care. This is best way I know how to explain it. Maybe you can help me.

Well, I text him, "Can you please call me as soon as possible?"

He called me that night.  (I do not get him)

I was definitely still holding on, you guys.  (It's astonishing to me, as well)

When he called I asked, "What is this thing between us for you?"

"Well, I think that I love you. But you have 4 kids, and I don't want an instant family. Also, you're planning on following your ex-husband wherever he goes." (I really hate it when people say that.  I have children who need to be close to their dad.  I am a mom.  My children come first. The end.)

I say to him, "You know, instead of, like, worrying about all of that, why don't we just focus on our feelings for each other? I think that I love you, too. Let's just nurture those feelings and figure out the rest as we go along."  

Have you guys puked yet?  Cause I just did.  

"Okay..." he replies hesitantly.

"Can we set a time to talk on the phone, maybe, once a week?"

"Yeah! I can do that! I don't really do that with anyone, but let's try it!"

"When do you want to do it?" 

"Um, this is a good time. Let's talk again this time next week!"

"Thank you," I say.  "This makes me really happy."

"No, thank YOU. You have certainly had more patience with me than most people.  I have really pissed some people off because they don't hear from me very much."

After our call, I need to think about something else.  So I go to karaoke.  On my way there, he texts, "Thank you!" with a photo attached that he'd taken while we were together.  

Can you believe this shit? I mean, ALL OF IT!

This is the part where The Boy falls off the very face of the Earth. 

Ta da!

There is no phone call the next week.  

I am ripped wide open. I am bleeding out. 

One day during this horrible time, I walked into my room.  Emma was in there.  I yelled at her for being in there.  She left and then I saw the reason she had been in my room.  This was laid on my pillow:  

Go ahead. Judge me. Judge away. I yelled at Emma for doing one of the most incredible things that anyone has ever done. I wanted to drown myself. I felt like the most worthless piece of shit that I didn't even have the courage to immediately go to her and apologize and hug her and love her and thank her.  One of those mommy moments that haunts me to this day.  

One time only, if I'm not mistaken, did I reach out to The Boy with a text that asked why he was ignoring me and that told him I was in pain because of it.  

His reply was something like, "Ashley, I am truly sorry that I am causing you pain.  I am not ignoring you, but I have been having a battle with depression, not to mention I'm constantly worried about finances and not having enough work, so timing is just generally lousy."  

And that was it.  

Until January 1st.  The fucker texted me.  "Ashley, wishing a happy new year. I have been thinking of you."

I was in a movie theatre watching The King's Speech when I got it.  I gasped, attracting attention to myself.  And then I cried.  And then it was over...all over again. 

Well, I soon had to focus on the foreclosure of my house and moving out by January 31st.  

Focusing on packing and moving was a good distraction. Not that I was partying or anything.  

Being in my new town home and leaving behind the home I'd moved into with Matt in '04 brought me an unexpected euphoria.  

But, lo and behold, 2 months later, on April 1st no less, I texted The Boy for the first time since the first of January:  

"I miss you."

Stupid girl. 

An immediate reply, "I hope this isn't an April 1 joke.  I miss you, too."

"It's not a joke. I love you."

I hate me...

Another immediate reply, "I love you, too, Ashley."

Let's just save anymore energy that it takes for me to type this CRAP.  This didn't pan out either.  Oh, really?????!!!!!!!  It fizzled about 6 weeks later.  

Sidenote:  I had an epiphany. When The Boy and I professed our desperate love for each other through the emails in '02, the exhilaration, or more aptly put, rapture, I experienced wasn't any different than what I felt reading the Twilight Books back in '08. It filled a void. When I was reading those, I was in a constant state of ecstasy. Fantasy. That is all.

I only cried once this time.  Swear to God, Allah, and Tom Cruise.  

I was much better this time.  Much better.  

Besides, I had already met The Artist.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy, Part 8 (I really hope this is the end. Jeez!)

I'm off into the city for the day while The Boy teaches French lessons.

I went to see Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams.  I really enjoyed it.  Things are looking' up for the rest of my trip!

By the time I get out of the flick, I go visit my friend, Miss Karen, who works at Macy's.  She worked in the toy department, and told me that she'd just helped Roberta Flack who spent $1000 on her grandson.  "$1,000?!" I said to my friend, Miss Karen, "Did you ask her if it was killing her softly?? Ahahahahaha!" See, this trip wasn't all bad.

Met The Boy after that.  We had a party to go to- a friend of his was turning 40 -but we had time to get some dinner first.  

We're still dragging our luggage around everywhere, of course.  The Boy had shown frustration toward the bags, of which he was very kindly dragging along mine and his (mine was a duffle which he set on top of his rolling suitcase).  Understandably so, his anger toward the bags was growing.  They simply did not behave.  

We sit down in a restaurant.  He tells me he hasn't eaten all day, because he's too stressed to eat and has no appetite.  So he drinks to glasses of Pinot Grigio.  I'm eating a small dinner and struggling to stay awake.  You have no idea.  Ordering one diet coke after another.  But as tired as I was, I was not oblivious to the fact that he was in a terrible mood.  

It's time to meet his friends for the party, which includes the birthday boy himself.  

We drag our luggage up the stairs of The Birthday Boy's building and then back down to go to the party.  His other friend, John Lennon, asked what we'd been up to.  The Boy told him we stopped somewhere for dinner.  I said to John Lennon, "I ate. Boy doesn't eat." As I say this, I realize I haven't seen The Boy eat since the French restaurant two nights ago.  

John Lennon asks The Boy, "Boy? You don't eat?"

"Well, I haven't eaten today..."

"Why haven't you eaten?" John Lennon asks, worried.

"I'm just too stressed," The Boy replies.

The way The Boy whines is starting to remind me of Napoleon Dynamite.  

We grab a taxi to go to the party, of course with our luggage.  

Before this night, The Boy had expressed how sorry he was that he had to drag me to this party and "I don't know how long we'll be there because we're staying with John Lennon that night so we're stuck there till he leaves."

"Oh, I'll be fine. Don't worry about me at all," I assure him.  

We got to the bar where the party was and parked our luggage in a little corner.  The music was insanely loud, as it tends to be.  We sit down next to each other, The Boy and I.  I naturally know no one. I only assume The Boy does.  And yet he just sits there with me not talking to anyone, including me.  A couple of people came up and introduced themselves.  

After, like, 10 whole minutes, The Boy screams over the music, "Well, Ashley, we're not talking so I'm gonna answer this text."

He picks up his phone. I chuckle, which he can't hear because the music is so loud.  He gets up to get a beer.  I get up and start talking to people.  After ending a conversation with someone, The Boy comes back over to me and asks, like he has a bad taste in his mouth, "Who was that?"

I tell him the person's name.  He shrugs.  

He goes out for a smoke a few times with John Lennon.  He has 3 or 4 more beers.  I continue to mingle.  

After several hours, The Boy and I finally have a conversation.  Clearly, talking is not The Boy's strong suit.  Not even in person.  No wonder his profession is teaching a language that is not his native one.  So, yes, we had a conversation, but he was still his whiney self.  "I didn't wanna see those pictures from high school.  I hated high school.  I don't wanna think about that."  That was just a drop in the bucket.  

Then Moby walked in.  The real Moby.  Yeah, that famous guy.  He knows The Birthday Boy. Finally! Another moment from the trip to write home about!

It's time to leave.  We get to John Lennon's apartment in Brooklyn, and I immediately start getting ready for bed.  I'm so crazy tired.  John Lennon's girlfriend had gotten an air mattress ready for The Boy and I.  I get into bed. The Boy is trying to tell me about a cat he'd found with his previous girlfriend. You know, the crazy one that he thought he was gonna marry? But I fall asleep.  I can't help it.  I NEED SLEEP, CHRISTMAS JESUS!

The next morning, I put a box of chocolates in the room we stayed in at John Lennon's with a thank you note.  We go to a late breakfast with John Lennon and girlfriend.  

Now, at this point, as far as I understand things, this is The Boy's only free day while I'm in NY.  The next day, my last one in which I fly home in the evening, he'd be teaching and our goodbye would be in the morning.  

At breakfast with JL and his gf, they asked if we'd done anything fun since I'd arrived.  Uh...

The Boy pipes up, "Well, Ashley was hoping to go to a museum but I think we've run out of time for that."

"Oh, that's too bad," says John Lennon.

The Boy looks at me, "When do you leave again?" 

"Tomorrow night."

"Oh, then we can totally go to a museum."

"Oh, I thought you were teaching tomorrow."

"I actually only have one lesson in the morning."

"Well, okay, then."

My last night there, The Boy has a cat-sitting gig for his Uncle's Boyfriend.  We'll be in an apartment that no one has to pay for and no one will be there but us.  Ashley's gonna get some more sex!

We get there.  Drop our bags.  And The Boy seemed transformed.  Perhaps when we dropped the bags, he released some major stress.  I mean, he swore at those bags in the days previous.  There were a few Jesus Christs and Godammits aimed at those poor bags through gritted teeth.  All I could think was, "What if that was one of our children?!"

We relax for a bit.  Decide to grab dinner and a movie.  

As we start strolling down the sidewalk, I start to see a different side of him. He's calm, he's lighter on his feet, he's fun.  

We go to a pub for dinner.  We didn't realize until we sat down that most of the people in the pub were there to watch the New York Jets game on the TV's.  It was loud, but we managed a really great conversation while I ate from the biggest plate of nachos I'd ever seen and cheered on the Jets with everyone else.

We walked around for a bit before our movie started. He put his arm around me.

Our movie was lame and I fell asleep.  After the movie, The Boy told me the movie made him cry, so I felt bad for sleeping.

Back at the apartment, we sat on the couch flipping channels for far too long.  I eventually decided to just get up and start getting ready for bed.  There was a twin size bed that we would be sleeping in together.  By the time I was ready for bed, he was already in bed and got up to let me slip in next to him.

We talked for all of about 30 seconds before we started kissing.  And, yep, we did it again. Then we talked till we could see the light of dawn through the windows.  And fell asleep.

He left for his lesson.  I slept some more.  Got up and went to see Miss Karen.  She made me muffins.  The Boy met me there.  We went back to the apartment holding hands.  He took a quick shower while I packed everything up just to be ready for later.  We had plans to go to the Museum of Natural History.

When we were both ready to go, I walked into the living room where he was petting the cat.  I sat down next to him and kissed him.  He ever so gently put his hand on my face.  I wanted that moment to last forever.  I tried reliving it many times after that trip.

Then, one thing led to another...

Museum time!  We go for pizza first.  He is still quite relaxed and I am finally feeling comfortable in his presence.  There were wonderful moments when one or both of us were quite silly.  Lots of laughing.  I was happy...

Museum was fun.  Time flew, and I needed to get to the airport.  He had an evening private lesson to teach.  Walking to the subway from the museum with arms around each other, he asked what I thought the chances were of a freak snow storm grounding all flights.  He made another comment or two about how he didn't want me to leave.

On the subway, holding hands, I started looking at his hand for the first time.  "I want to memorize it," I told him.  What was I doing?

Back at the apartment, sitting on the couch, holding hands, killing time until I simply had to catch a taxi, I asked, "When do you think you'll be able to come out to Utah and visit me?"  I could feel the fiber of the universe heaving and quivering in pain at where my mind was wondering off to.

Without so much as a pause, he answered, "Well, I've always hated New Years Eve, because I've never really been with someone on that night.  If I can make it work, I'd love to come for New Years."

I'm a little stunned.  Was expecting more of a "Oh, I just don't know.  It's so hard for me to travel with my teaching.  You are not important enough to me, so..."

He continues, "But if not that soon, then January or February for sure."

I very calmly respond.  "That sounds really good."  The Universe Fiber is writhing now.  It is, like, mad. Oh, I can feel it.

Down we go to the street.  He hails a cab.  And pays for it.  He kisses me good and hard and twice.  I get in.  I smile and say, "Bye."  And I'm off.

The next part should really be the last.  All the messy bits will be rolled into one nicely wrapped post.  Look for a precious letter from Emma, the worst Thanksgiving ever, and Paul Rudd in Part 9 of The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy.

End of Part 8

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy, Part Sevwen! Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah! ~Count von Count

Let's recap:

1) The Boy has had all the sex in the world.

2) I'm an idiot.

3) My trip to NYC is just for sex- hopefully.

"I have to see him," I keep telling everyone.  That was important, because even if nothing comes about, the fantasy wouldn't have that last leg to stand on, so to speak:  "If only we'd seen each other, maybe we could have been something..."  Gotta eliminate any chance of 'Coulda Beens' ala Debbie Gibson.

Besides, the plane ticket was already bought.

And wouldn't you believe it, something else absolutely incredulous got thrown into the mix:

The Boy's apartment, which belonged to his roommate/uncle, has been sold.  And the very last night that he can be in the apartment IS MY FIRST NIGHT THERE!  So, yes, we will be 'homeless' while in NYC together.

Can you stand it?!

It is the eve before my flight.  The first snowstorm of the year is forecast for early the next morning, which is exactly when I need to drive down to the Vegas airport.  So to be safe I set my alarm for an hour or so early in hopes of missing the storm, cause, you know, people have been known to die.  I'm planning on getting 4 hours of sleep, if I'm lucky.

The drive down to Vegas is uneventful.  Cross that off the list.

The Boy had already informed me that he could not meet me at the airport because of his teaching schedule. "It's not really a 'meet at the airport' kind of airport anyway," he'd said.  Also, he couldn't meet at all until that evening.  Luckily, I had a very good friend who lived in the city who was able to meet me at some point between her apartment and the airport.  I go to her place and sleep for a few hours, even though I was very jittery.

Red flags aside, I was about to see The Boy.

I wake up to shower and get ready to take a taxi to his place.  I'm feeling a very unique type of stage fright for lack of a better term.  My sister and I are texting back and forth.  She's almost as excited as I am.

I am shaving every part of myself, pumicing my feet, repainting my toe nails, flossing my teeth, moisturizing my entire epidermis.

Then, it's time to go.  Oh dear god.  How I was able to keep it together, walk, speak without foaming saliva oozing from the corners of my mouth, I'll never know.

I hail a taxi.  Give the address.  I ride in the back of this taxi feeling like I'm in a movie. I'm watching a movie.  Period. This can't be real life.

We're there in less than 10 minutes.   Wait!  I'm not ready!  I guess I have to get out of the car?  Oh my god...

I ring, he buzzes me in. I feel like that dude at the beginning of Prometheus, the Engineer who is crumbling.

I get on the elevator.  Go up, like, 2 whole floors.  The elevator door opens as The Boy opens his door right across the hall.

Here is my internal monologue that came to pass in the 0.25 seconds before we said something to each other:

I hear a door opening.  It can't be his door.  It IS. There he is.  It's him.  Him.  The Boy.  Just stay on the elevator.  Close the doors. Run to him.  Don't move.  Don't talk.  His face.  His hair. His smile. His nose. His walk.  I know this guy.  I've seen him before.  Yeah, I have.  Ashley, this is not going to go well for you.   

"Well, hey, look at you," he says casually, but smiling.

"Hey!" I say smiling as well, trying to contain my inner supernova.

I have one piece of luggage, my purse and a bag that I  awkwardly try to maneuver through his doorway.

We hug.  Did I mention that we'd never hugged before?  This was the most we've ever touched.

There is a stool to sit on.  That is all.  (Remember he's moving?  Last night in apartment.)

I sit on it.  He stands.

"You look great!" he says.

"Thank you, so do you!"

He asks me if I want anything to drink.  I say no.  He's drinking wine.

He sits on the floor, and we talk.  It's...awkward.  Very.  I mean, we haven't seen each other in 16 YEARS, PEOPLE.

We leave the apartment to go have dinner.  He takes me to a French place.  I order what he orders.

The talking is getting a bit more comfortable, but then one of us brings up Mormonism.

The gist was I was trying to explain why I was still hanging on to it.  I brought up Joseph Smith.  The Boy gets a very a-holey smile on his face to which I stop talking and say, "You know what? I don't want to talk about this with you."

We get back on track somehow with another topic.

We go back to his apartment.  He mentions that he has to get up very early, so we better hit the sack.

Breathe, Ashley...

I go to bathroom.  When we'd first started talking about me coming to New York, I pictured myself bringing only hot lingerie to sleep in.  After I chilled out, I settled on some polka dot pajama pants and a t-shirt.  So I came out of the bathroom wearing that.  He was in bed already, which was an air mattress- one of the few things still in the apartment.  He's in a t-shirt and under the covers.

We lie there talking, side by side, both staring up at the ceiling.

Then he says that he needs to go to sleep, because of the early morning.

"Okay," I respond, nervously, thinking that we may not be having sex tonight in which case What the fuck am I doing here?

But then he asks, "Can I hold your hand?"

"Yes," is my relieved reply.  I can get somewhere from hand holding.

He takes my hand.  Our fingers entwined.  His grip is strong.

"This feels good," he says.

"It does."

"Damn good," he continues.

Then, still holding hands, he rolls over towards me on his side and with his other hand, squeezes my upper arm.  With my free hand, I touch his arm and slowly start stroking it up and down, lightly.  I am patient and cautious.

After several minutes of light touching each others arms and backs and thighs, we wrap our arms around each other tightly and don't let go for a long time.  We are squeezing and my breath is becoming fast and audible.  I give myself permission to drift back into the fantasy.

The Boy. I am in his arms.  I say his name.  Over and over.  This moment is happening.  This moment is real.  This moment, that I'd imagined and re-imagined, played out in my head for years and years and years, is reality.  I am touching The Boy, and he is touching me.  I am here with him.  

The squeezing and embracing continues.  I then put my face into his neck, rub my nose across his cheek, grab his hair with my fingers. I never stop moving.  Nor does he.

Smelling him.  Breathing him.  Our faces pressed against each other.

Then I put my lips on his neck, on his ear, on his cheek.  Whisper his name another time. I move my mouth to his mouth.  Our first kiss. Sweet.  Perfect. Our hands grabbing each other's hair. Moving back and forth from face to hair grabbing. And way before I was expecting it, his tongue.  He penetrates my mouth with his tongue.  I knew from the way he did that, we'd be having sex tonight.

Here's the thing.  We did have sex.  I apologize for not getting more into the details of that.  It was wonderful in the moment.  Truly. I'm not going to say anything disrespectful, but for those of you who have just GOTTA KNOW, I've since had better.  Unspeakably better.  Like, I-had-no-idea better. And I've only been with one other man since The Boy, so you can figure it out.

When we fell asleep his hand didn't leave my body all night.  No matter how he or I turned throughout the night, he barely broke contact.  When I got up to go the bathroom once, his hand stayed on me until I was out of reach.

His alarm went off the next morning.  We embraced.  It felt so good to hold him and squeeze him.  I can't even tell you.  We had sex again.

I got ready for the day, while he finished packing up the apartment.

He had to teach all day.  And I had lunch plans with some old BYU friends.

That morning, before we went separate ways, was awkward.  After my lunch date, I spent some time doing very little.  Sat on a park bench for a good while and slept- I was now 2 nights sleep deprived.

We met back up at a bar that night. Things were still strange.

He had reservations for us to stay at a hotel in White Plains which meant a long train ride that he was already annoyed about.  We left the bar, both packing our luggage (as we were homeless), and took a bus to the train station and the train to the hotel.

It's very nice. I take off my shoes, relax on the bed, he makes coffee and I pull out some photos I'd brought from high school, just 2 or 3 that I'd taken of him in 12th grade.  He kinda laughed at them.  I did, too.

By this time it was midnight or so.  We start a crossword- we both love crosswords. By 1 a.m. we fall asleep. We were both so exhausted, so we just fell asleep mid word.  But I woke up later, looked at the clock- 2 a.m.- and I panic.  We're not having sex!

I look at him.  He's hugging a pillow, turned away from me on his side, clinging to the opposite edge of the bed.  I scootch up against his back, rub his arm...he does not move.  I mean, like the dead.  I move my hand away from him and think.  I touch his hair.  He is a statue.

I move away a bit.  Stare into the dark.  And I start to cry.

I am overwhelmed with feelings of rejection.  O-ver-whelmed.  I'm trying to not cry audibly.  Why am I here?  What am I doing? I should have listened to everyone!  I am so stupid!

I have NEVER experienced this type of emotion.  And I felt ridiculous for feeling it.  But someone said to me once, "Feelings are never right or wrong.  They just are."

It felt like the end of the world.  I was having the most irrational thoughts as this tsunami of rejection washed over me, like, "I've ruined my life"  "I must be repulsive" "I'm destined to become a crystal meth tragedy".

I'm thinking that I only have 2 more nights in New York after tonight!  I want him as much as possible!  I am fully aware that I will probably never see him again!

I toss and turn.  I get up and go to the bathroom a couple of times.  I wake him up, "Boy?"

"What is it?"

"Kiss me."

Very quick peck and back to hugging his edge of the bed.

"Boy, is there something wrong?"

"No, there is nothing wrong.  I'm just so incredibly exhausted.  Just let me sleep please!"

Another night of sleep deprivation.

His alarm goes off the next morning.  He's got a full load of teaching again.

Before he gets out of bed, I say to him, "Boy, something is wrong..."

"No, there's nothing wrong!  Why don't you believe me??"

"You...didn't touch me at all last night."

"Well, come here," he said and puts his arm out for me to come close to him and cuddle.  Which I do.  I kiss his neck.  I squeeze him with my free arm around his torso.

Then he gets up.

I just lie there.

I am about to open up to him, open some communication lines, which I realize with him is shaky ground.  But that is what adults do.  Healthy adults communicate clearly and as unemotionally as possible.  So here goes nothing:

"You didn't even touch me last night."

He releases the most ridiculously exaggerated sigh.

I go on, "I mean, I thought our first night together was pretty great, and that next morning-"

"It was really great, and you're about to ruin it!" he said...pissed.  I mean, just plain and simple pissed.

I'm lying there frozen wondering if he's constipated or has a migraine or has erectile disfunction that he's embarrassed about... There is something behind this unbelievable childish reaction...which continues:

"I heard you sighing and tossing all night!  We haven't seen each other since high school!"  His tone of perturbation is escalating as I continue to lie motionless, hoping that I am concealing my shock.  "What do you think this is?!"  I'm not exaggerating with my use of italics and choice of punctuation.  Swear to god.

And my mind did that thing again.  Because I had no clue how to rationally process his behavior, I shut out the rest of what he was saying, which included something about the exhaustion of moving out of his apartment (valid point) and him accusing me of not understanding that type of stress and fatigue (invalid).

And when he was finished, I waited a beat, understanding that I cannot communicate with him on an adult level, said "okay" to no one in particular, got up, showered, got dressed, curled my hair, did my make-up, looked amazing, turned to him with a smile and said, "I'm ready when you are."

At this point (actually about a half hour before that point), I'm thrilled that I only have 2 more nights with him.  I am also thrilled that I was able to emotionally detach enough before I arrived in New York that I could handle the previous incident as well as I did.  I mean, I was doing my hair and almost chuckling at how mind-blowingly adult I felt compared to him.

We got in a taxi to go back to the train station.  He was stressed, as usual, but I could also sense that he felt a little dumb, as I was clearly feeling just fine.  Kinda more than fine.

We chatted about nothing important on the train.  Got on the subway.  Walked up to street level, and he said, "So I'll just meet you here at 5?"

"Okay," I said with a shrug and a casual smile.

I started to walk away, but he grabbed me and kissed me. Twice.  Then just looked at me. Looked at my face.  With a look that I couldn't interpret.  "I'm sorry" or "Is that better?" or "You okay?"...I don't know.

I said, "Thank you," and crossed the street with plans to see a movie and visit a friend before meeting him again at 5.

End of Part 7