“Some boys take
A beautiful girl,
And hide her away
From the rest
of the world.
I want to be the one
To walk in the sun.
they want to have fun.
just want to have fun…”
The evening began at Prada. It ended at a strip club.
Yeah, I know; I should probably rewind a bit, shouldn’t I? After all, I haven’t updated you for a week now. The last time I wrote, I was happily dismissing the “Harlem Knight,” while heavily obsessing over “The Scribe”…
Actually, let’s be real: I was full on freaking out.
The truth is that after years of solitude, staring someone who could be your future in the face can be as frightening as it is promising. While I haven’t exactly been picking out china patterns—far from it, in fact—my almost instantaneous connection with The Scribe has been unsettling, to say the least. In spite of his greatness, and our obvious compatibility, the possibility of an actual relationship has had me far more panicked than I could possibly anticipate.
It’s just so much, so soon. I’m simply not ready to call it. Not yet.
Which might explain my restlessness, as days passed and I found myself unable to focus on anything—or anyone—else. Perhaps it was our connection, or perhaps there were also the very basic politics of desire at play. The Scribe had awakened something in me that had been dormant for far too long…
But after going so long untouched, how could I possibly be sure that it was our chemistry that I was responding to? Did I even have any basis of comparison anymore? And if not now, when would I find out?
As Whitney would say, how will I know?
So, when a friend sent me a last-minute invite to a cocktail party at the Prada store on Madison Avenue, tempting me with promises of “fine men” in attendance, my curiosity was piqued. Frankly, I was going stir-crazy within the confines of my own confusion. I desperately needed a distraction; perhaps this was it.
I hemmed, I hawed, I hedged…and at the eleventh hour, I hailed a very expensive cab from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It’ll be an adventure, I told myself (though the Upper East Side is the absolute last place I’d generally go looking for adventure). At the very least, I needed to get my mind off the Scribe—nearly 2,800 miles away—and back to New York. I needed to get my head back in the game.
The party itself was predictable: beautiful people among beautiful clothes, discussing their professional prowess, philanthropy, and the like. I quickly found a few folks to chat with, a convenient spot within arm’s reach of the bar, and set about recouping my taxi fare in complimentary cocktails. Perhaps a few drinks would obliterate the obvious questions: What was I was doing there? Why had I even bothered to make the trip uptown, when I could be comfortably at home writing, resting, or doing virtually anything else?
And then, he turned to say hello: a very handsome—and familiar—face.
We’d met a few months before, through the same mutual friend who’d invited me. I remembered him as charming, if a bit confrontational. Maybe I just recalled him catching me slightly off guard, at first meeting. I also remembered that we shared the same Midwestern hometown, so…there was that.
Since then, we’d become friends on social media—no direct exchanges, but undoubtedly in each other’s peripheries. I’d heard the occasional rumor that he wanted my number, though he’d never asked me for it directly. So, I’d shrugged it off.
But suddenly, there he was again, right in front of me, looking like quite the fine man, indeed: “The Power Broker”.
The Power Broker is the kind of guy who seems to hit all the right notes: dynamic entrepreneur by trade, homeboy in the off-hours, and all-around good guy. It’s nearly impossible not to like him. Then again, his business is selling, so…there’s that, too.
Looking at him, it wasn’t a hard sell at all. In his tailored suit and wingtips, he was far more polished than I remembered, and I was immediately intrigued. In fact, I was intrigued enough to remind myself that at eight years my junior, he was far younger than anyone I’d previously been willing to entertain. I mean…Cougar, much?
A woman I’d befriended at the party—while checking out my blog on her phone—asked him if he was featured.
“Not yet,” he grinned. “But I’m working on it.” Well played, Sir.
By the time our assembled crew abandoned Madison Avenue in favor of a nearby bar to watch the Mets close out the first round of the playoffs, our game was also on. The Broker engaged me exclusively, teasing through my resistance with an almost irresistible appeal. And despite my protestations (I had many, besides our difference in ages), he—like the Mets—was winning.
As the game ended, we kissed. Well played, indeed.
But the game didn’t end there. Caught up in the celebratory frenzy of the evening, I soon found myself in the crowded backseat of a cab, whizzing toward a midtown strip club. The evening was turning out to be an adventure, after all.
Except, once again, I was thinking of the Scribe, who—as if possessed by some sixth sense—had sent me a text at almost the exact moment I’d kissed the Broker.
We both knew that this could happen; we’d discussed it. It was entirely within the realm of reason and possibility, given the long distance and current circumstances. We weren’t beholden to each other; and until we decided whether or not we wanted to be, we were both free to continue exploring our options. This was our agreement, because I wasn’t ready—not yet. At the moment, I still wanted to be free. I wanted to have fun.
There was no betrayal. And yet, I felt guilty. Why did I feel guilty?
Against my better judgment, I called the Scribe back. Laughingly, I told him where I was headed. He was—as expected—amused.
I wouldn’t remember our conversation clearly in the morning, but what I would remember was squeezing into a banquette in the crowded club, another round of drinks before us, flashing lights and lap dances on every side. I was struck by the hideous cliché of it all—seriously, we could’ve easily been on the set of “Ballers.”
Overwhelmed, but not the least bit aroused by my surroundings, my eyes scanned the room, observing and assessing the surreal behavior and bodies around me. Is this all there is? Is this the politics of desire?
When my eyes met the Power Broker’s, I found his gaze fixed firmly—unwaveringly—on me. As we kissed again, it was neither panic, nor promise that I felt. I wasn’t worried about the future, or our possibility. There was only the moment, and the adventure.
And it was fun.