The 30 Days of Metropolicks
July 4th marks the beginning of the 30 Days of Metropolicks!
The FIRST chapter of the 30 Days of Metropolicks will be shared on July 5th. Come back each day after for another chapter and/or some of the visual surprises that appear in the book! We're looking forward to sharing a chapter a day with you.
5 Days a week, 1 day a week will be dedicated to 1 of the main characters of Metropolicks
Mondays will feature Luana
Tuesdays will feature Tara
Wednesdays will feature Nine
Thursdays will feature Montoya
Fridays will feature Frank
July 5, 2015:
A Good Man is Hard to Find, but a Hard Man is a Good Find
(Tara, Frank, Montoya, Nine, and Luana)
Tara Reynolds entered the gigantic rooftop bar of 230 Fifth Avenue and felt the gaze of several men as she sauntered past them in a form-fitting black dress revealing her entire back. Her long, luminous, dark hair, which reached down to the middle of her back was draped over one of her shoulders. She was in her late twenties and Asian, though one would not have guessed that from her surname.
As she scanned the room, she saw two of her male friends Frank and Montoya. Frank Branigan, a tall Irish-American, was twelve years her senior. He grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and was usually the most dapper man in the room. He was always impeccably dressed in custom-tailored suits. Standing beside him was Montoya, one of his closest friends. Half-Spanish and half-British, Montoya was a combination of Latin looks and British charm, thanks to his British accent. He was able to approach ladies with ease, and was the sort of person who could find something to talk about with just about anyone, which made him Frank’s favorite wingman.
“Sorry I’m late,” Tara apologized to Frank and Montoya, and promptly kissed each of them on the cheek. “So, good crowd?”
“Not bad,” Frank said.
“Well, it looks like you are not the only one who is fashionably late,” Montoya said as he pointed to the door. “Nine just arrived.”
Nine Anderson was the youngest of the bunch at twenty-six years old. Lean and statuesque, with a medium-brown complexion, and dark, shoulder-length hair, her most striking feature was her green eyes. Montoya had mentored when she was a Summer Associate at his law firm. Together, all four of them often frequented parties and mixers together, trying their luck in the endless possibilities of New York City’s dating pool.
Nine hugged and kissed each of them on the cheek, “So, how are you guys doing?”
“Just chilling and checking out the crowd,” Montoya replied.
Nine surveyed the crowd. They did not look like your average after-work crowd, she thought. Many of the women looked very stylish and put together, as were the men, “I have to say, it’s a pretty good looking crowd,” she noted.
On this beautiful spring evening, the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the 230 Fifth Avenue penthouse lounge offered panoramic 360-degree views of the city. The sight of the Empire State Building in the near distance was even more striking from the open-air rooftop bar, which was up one flight of stairs from the penthouse lounge. With the iconic Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, it looked like a picture perfect shot of New York City’s glamorous nightlife.
That night, the question on everyone’s lips was, “How do you know Juan?” The Juan in question was Juan Betancourt, a top headhunter, who had started throwing parties in New York City in 2008. Today was Juan’s birthday. He was of Cuban descent, had gone to Harvard, and then to Wharton where he got an MBA. On his smartphone was a contact list of more than 5,000 friends, and friends of friends. One of his claims to fame was having appeared as a guest judge on the television show, The Apprentice. Juan’s parties were fast becoming a part of the New York City social scene. He was a one-man networking machine.
The penthouse lounge had on this particular night, become Juan’s extended living room. Numerous seating areas consisting of couches and sofas were spaced throughout the massive lounge. It made for easy, relaxed conversations among this large group of people.
Montoya had met Juan through the Oxonian Society. Despite its name, the society was not an Oxford alumni association, though the founders of the group were graduates of Oxford. Now called the Hudson Union Society, the group’s events were talks featuring some interesting minds, such as well-known writers, actors, journalists, politicians, and celebrities. Some were on book tours; others simply talked about their lives and work.
Both Juan and Montoya were Hudson Union Society patron members. This entitled them to meet the celebrity speakers in a private reception prior to an event, which is how they met. Juan started inviting Montoya to his monthly poker night at the Harvard Club of New York. Montoya reciprocated by inviting Juan to his many social events. The two of them kept busy social calendars, inviting each other back and forth.
“I can’t believe that Juan was able to reserve both the rooftop and the main floor of 230 Fifth Avenue. There must be at least 1,500 people here,” Tara said. “I see Juan trying to make the rounds to talk to everyone, but it seems like that would be impossible,” Tara remarked to Nine, Frank, and Montoya.
Then, Montoya turned to Frank and asked, “So what do you think of her?” He smiled as he looked at a woman standing about twenty feet away from them.
“Pretty, but way too slutty,” Frank replied as he looked over at the woman.
“So, how was your week, Frank?” Nine asked.
Frank sighed, “Working my ass off at my business. Meeting after meeting. We have this big sales campaign that needs to get ramped up and I’ve been working marathon hours. So, I can’t stay out too late.”
“Tara, are you seeing anyone these days?” Frank asked.
“Well, I went on a date with a guy named Liam. It was one of the worst dates of my life.”
“What happened?” Frank inquired as he took a swig of his white wine.
“It was my first date with him. He took me to an expensive restaurant, but, then, when the bill came, he looked at me and said he forgot his wallet. What kind of guy invites you for a first date and then asks you to pay for it?”
“Unbelievable,” Nine said.
“Yeah, so you know what, I told him? ‘I will bill you for your half.’ ”
”So, are you seeing him again?” Montoya asked teasing Tara.
“Funny!” Tara said with a sarcastic tone.
Just then, Juan made his way through the crowd to the group. Montoya caught Juan’s attention and wished him a happy birthday as he shook his hand. Then he introduced Juan to Frank and Nine. Juan and Tara had met before so she also wished him a happy birthday and greeted him with a hug and kiss on his cheek.
“How do you like the party? Good people and good energy, right?” asked Juan.
“Definitely,” Montoya responded.
“If you’ll excuse me, I have to go over there and talk to some more people. Good seeing you!” Juan said as he turned and moved toward a small group of pretty women.
Tara glanced to her right, “Hey, Nine, that guy there is cute.”
“You mean the one talking to the woman with the F cup?” Nine asked.
Frank cut into the conversation, “Those are huge! In case of a boating accident, she definitely won’t drown.”
“Bloody hell! Those might actually be a G or H cup,” Montoya added.
“Oh stop!” Tara responded. “I’ve been told by some men that mine are pretty perky, although not in the F cup category.”
Nine chimed in, “Mine are perky but only for Mr. Right.”
Frank motioned to the left of Montoya, “Sorry to interrupt, but Montoya, look at those two women over there.”
“You mean the real slutty ones?” Nine said making a joke.
“Funny. Not those two. The two to the right of them.”
“Okay Frank,” Montoya said, looking at the women, “They look good. Which one do you like?”
“As you know, I have my one-bullet theory like the character in the movie, The Deer Hunter. I only go for one woman per mixer. I want the brunette in the little black dress.”
“That actually works out, because the other one seems more my type. So, ladies, we will return,” Montoya said to Nine and Tara as he motioned to Frank.
“Have fun!” Nine said with a twinkle in her eye.
As Montoya and Frank walked across the room to talk to the two women, Juan’s voice came over the loudspeakers thanking everyone for coming. Apparently, he had given up on trying to talk to everyone personally as he now spoke with a microphone. Then, a few of the lounge bar staff wheeled out a large birthday cake with candles on it for him.
Nine and Tara clapped as Juan blew out the candles. Tara pointed to a guy across the room and asked Nine, “What do you think of him? Oh, but we can’t see his butt. Even if a guy is good looking, I know what matters to you.”
“Yes, I’ll admit that I am a ‘good butt chaser.’ But, he also has to be tall. That guy looks a little too short.”
“Yeah, tall is good. So, what exactly do you think is a good butt?”
“One that’s like a butterball butt,” Nine said laughing. “Firm, like in the military when you make your bed. It’s a butt you could bounce a quarter off of.”
A dark-haired man approached the two women. “Hi, my name is Gianni,” he said in a thick Italian accent, “Are you friends with Juan?”
Nine looked over at Gianni noticing his day-old stubble. Not all men could rock that look, but on him it was definitely sexy. “I just met him through our friend Montoya,” she told him.
“Montoya? Yes, I am friends with him also.”
“Yeah, Montoya knows everyone,” Tara added.
Turning toward Nine, Gianni leaned in close to whisper something in her ear.
“I am not sure I am that flexible, maybe I will be if I learn yoga,” Nine said giggling.
A curvy brunette dressed in a loose-fitting blouse with a few too many buttons undone and a tight little black skirt approached the three of them. “I knew that I would find you with some pretty women,” she said to Gianni. Then, giving a piercing look at Nine and Tara, she announced, “I am Luana, Gianni’s girlfriend.”
Seeing Luana’s jealousy, Tara quickly responded, “We need to go find a few of our friends, nice to meet you though.”
Nine and Tara walked away from Gianni and Luana. When they were out of earshot, Tara said to Nine, “I thought she was going to take out a gun and shoot you, the way she looked at you. I think that guy has probably cheated on her more than a few times.”
Nine responded, “It’s pretty bad when your boyfriend hits on women right in front of you.”
Nine noticed Tara shift her gaze, and both women looked over at Juan who now had a line of people waiting to wish him a happy birthday.
Meanwhile, Montoya and Frank approached the two women Frank had pointed out earlier—a brunette and a blonde, who looked like they were in their late twenties.
Montoya opened the conversation with the blonde, “That is an interesting opal pendant. Can I see it closer?”
“Sure,” the woman said, allowing Montoya to come closer to her.
Montoya picked up the pendant and started examining it but never looked down at her cleavage. “There’s a lot of fire in that opal. It reflects what is in the wearer,” he explained. “I’m Montoya and this is my friend Frank,” he said extending his hand to shake hers.
“I am Jennifer and this is my friend Tawny,” the blonde woman wearing the opal pendant responded.
“So, what do you do Montoya?” Jennifer asked.
“He’s a magician,” Frank said. “He works his magic.”
“No, actually I am a lawyer.”
“You ladies need to get on his social calendar,” Frank added.
“Oh really? Why’s that?” Tawny asked.
“He knows everything that is going on in this city and goes to a million social events,” Frank continued.
“Maybe a tad less than a million, Frank. We don’t want to get their expectations up too high.”
“Impressive. So, you’re a man in the know?” questioned Jennifer.
Acting like a perfect wingman, Frank looked over at Tawny and asked, “Can I get you a drink?”
“Sure,” Tawny responded.
While Frank and Tawny walked over to the bar, Montoya looked at Jennifer and asked, “Are you in school or do you work?”
Jennifer smiled but didn’t answer.
“You could still be in graduate school,” Montoya said returning her smile.
“Actually, I just got laid off from my consulting job.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. What did you do for them?”
“I did project management.” Then, she quickly changed the subject and asked, “What’s the next big event on your social calendar?”
“I am having a party next week and you should come. I might not be able to get quite as many people as Juan, but you will meet a lot of people. Maybe you’ll even make a connection to get a job.”
Montoya reached into his pocket and said, “Here is my card. Do you have a card?”
“No, I’m unemployed remember?”
“No problem,” Montoya added as he took out his wallet. “Here is a second card of mine. Write your email on the back of it. You can use my wallet to write on. But give the wallet back,” he joked.
Jennifer wrote her email on the card.
“Write down your mobile number too.”
Jennifer wrote down her number and then she handed the card and wallet back to Montoya. “From the accent, I am assuming you’re British.”
“Half-British and half-Spanish from Spain. I grew up in London which accounts for the accent.”
“Which half is Spanish?”
“The bottom half,” Montoya said playfully.
“I guess that means your father is Spanish?” Jennifer said playing along. “What is your last name?”
“Montoya is my last name.”
“That is unusual. Just one name like Elvis or Madonna?”
“Well, I think it suits me better than my first name. My mother was a big fan of Cary Grant. His real name was Archibald Alexander Leach. So, my full name is Archibald Montoya. But, I am not a big fan of Archibald or Archie for that matter. It is either associated with the television character Archie Bunker, or the comic book character, who hung around with Veronica, Betty, and Jughead. So, I just go by the one name of Montoya.”
“I see. Actually, hearing the name ‘Montoya,’ makes me think of the movie, The Princess Bride, and that famous line ‘You killed my father, prepare to die.’ ”
“It’s a great movie. But, as far as I know, my father is still alive, so you shouldn’t be worried.”
As Jennifer and Montoya talked, Frank got Tawny the drink he had promised her. As Tawny and Frank sipped their drinks, she asked, “Are you in fashion? You are such a sharp dresser.”
“Fashion? No, but I do have a sense of style. The shirt goes on the top, the pants go on the bottom,” Frank said dryly. “Seriously though, I own a few car dealerships.” He handed Tawny his business card.
“Really, not one but a few car dealerships? That’s impressive. My husband also owns a business,” Tawny said.
“Your husband?!” Frank asked in surprise.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I meant my ex-husband. We are separated now and we’re going to be divorced. The man was such a jerk. Cheated on me all the time,” Tawny explained.
“Sorry to hear that. So, what do you do for a living?” Frank asked trying to change the subject.
“I mean he was just such a jerk. How did I not know that? Of course, we married after only half a year. I don’t think you can really know someone in that short amount of time,” Tawny continued.
Still trying to change the subject Frank said, “You do work right? What do you do for a living?”
“I mean, how do you really know if a guy is going to cheat on you? A good man is so hard to find. He was great in bed. Always hard. It was like he was always on Viagra even though he didn’t need it since he was the same age as me. I guess a hard man is also a good find, but I guess I wasn’t enough for him. I was devastated when I realized that he was cheating on me.”
Jennifer and Montoya came over and interrupted Tawny’s monologue. Jennifer looked at her watch and said, “We actually have to go to another party. Tawny, are you ready to go?”
“Yes, I’m ready. Frank I’ll text you sometime,” Tawny said as she held up Frank’s business card.
“Without a doubt,” Frank responded.
Montoya kissed Jennifer on the cheek. “I will see you next week at my party.”
“Wow! Do you kiss every woman you’ve just met?”
“Just the pretty ones,” Montoya responded.
“So, you really are a charmer, huh? See you next week.”
“As you wish,” Montoya said with a sly smile.
“Funny,” Jennifer said as she turned to head out with Tawny.
Montoya looked at Frank as the women walked away. “So?”
“Not happening,” Frank responded.
“Why? You seemed to be really into her. She is totally your type.”
“She spent the whole time complaining about her husband.”
“She is separated and she is going through a divorce right now. She was going on and on about how bad the guy was,” Frank explained.
“With women, it’s important to be a good listener. I have a lot of women in my life because I’ve learned that when a woman wants to talk, just listen. That’s all they want, someone to listen.”
“If I could, I’d like to pick and choose what I have to listen to. I have to deal with enough crap at work. I don’t need to hear more from someone else going on and on about her problems,” Frank said.
“I’m telling you Frank. Women like good listeners. Almost as much as they like multiple orgasms.”
“So, I will only give them half of what they want,” Frank said as he chuckled.
“Let’s go check up on Tara and Nine,” Montoya said to Frank. “Unless you want me to be your wingman for somebody else.”
“No, Merlin. I’m done for the night,” Frank said. “I’m not an Uzi machine gun like you—approaching multiple women. I just have my one bullet.”
At that moment, a curvaceous brunette approached Montoya and Frank. “Hey I have been watching you two. You’re both pretty smooth operators. I’m Luana Cruz.”
Montoya looked over at Luana recognizing her. She was a stunner with olive-colored skin, hazel eyes, and long dark hair. “You probably don’t remember me, but I already met you once before when you were with Gianni,” Montoya said as he shook her hand.
“My boyfriend is coming on to anyone who has tits at this party! Hopefully you aren’t like him!”
Montoya replied, “No, definitely not.”
“Hey!” Luana ignored Montoya and turned to Frank, “I have a boyfriend but I am free on Mondays and Thursdays.”
Frank was not paying much attention, but just then, he looked over at her. She was obviously a knockout. Her short skirt showed off her toned legs and butt. She was quite sexy but something about her approach annoyed him.
“Look, I’m not interested in being anyone’s two-day a week sex toy. Sorry, but not interested,” Frank said as he walked away to find Tara and Nine.
Montoya remarked “You can dress him up but can’t take him anywhere,” trying to soften Frank’s words.
“Who cares!” she said as she downed the remainder of her drink.
“Hey, try to save some liquor for the rest of us. It seems like you’ve had more than enough for the night.”
“I haven’t drunk that much!”
“I don’t know, but you’re starting to sway back and forth, which would be fine if you were on a cruise ship, but you’re on dry land my dear. Maybe I should look for Gianni to help get you home.”
“Who gives a crap what that SOB is doing? He’s probably screwing someone in some dark corner right now.”
“Didn’t mean to get you upset but maybe I should take you home.”
“I don’t need a babysitter,” Luana said as she grabbed Montoya’s wine and downed it. “Hey, there are plenty of pretty women here for you. Look at that one. She could be your future ex-wife,” she said laughing at her own joke.
Luana walked away teetering precariously in her heels and approached another guy, “Hey, I’m thinking of taking you home tonight. What’s your name?”
The guy looked down her blouse and got a glimpse of her nipples since she was not wearing a bra. “My name is Brian. So, you’re taking me home tonight?!” he said enthusiastically.
Montoya stepped between Brian and Luana, “Actually, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high.”
That last drink that Luana had gulped down seemed to be kicking in as she draped her arm around Montoya, and leaned on him as she tried to steady herself.
“Who the hell are you?” Brian responded with annoyance in his voice.
“Her brother! Luana, I am taking you home,” Montoya said firmly. “Excuse me!” He put his arm around Luana and pulled her away from Brian. “Let’s go.”
As they turned and walked away, Brian yelled, “Hey! I didn’t get your name. What is your number?”
Montoya yelled back at Brian, “She doesn’t have a number!” He continued to escort Luana out of the lounge as she struggled to put one step in front of the other. After exiting the building he held Luana and supported her as he hailed a cab. When a cab pulled up, he opened the door for her, helped her in, and sat next to her.
“Where are we going?!” Luana asked loudly.
“Yeah, pal, where are you going?” the cab driver asked.
“I am bringing you home.” Montoya reached into her pocketbook and pulled out her driver’s license and then told the driver, “81st and Third Avenue.”
Then, he pulled out his phone and texted Frank, Tara, Nine, and Juan, telling them that he had to leave the party early and was sorry that he couldn’t say goodbye.
Back at 230 Fifth, Juan’s birthday party was still going full swing. Nine’s on-again off-again boyfriend Paul had showed up. Tara knew that Paul had recently gone MIA on Nine and sensed that the two of them needed to sort out some things. So, Tara left them alone to talk and she walked around to circulate.
“Hey, Tara! How have you been?” Tara turned to see Mike, one of the most jovial and congenial people she knew. They had gone to the same college. She had met him at one of the Asian Student Association meetings that she had attended during her freshman year at Brown University.
“Hi Mike. I haven’t seen you in ages. How do you know Juan?”
“I don’t, but I think that my friend who invited me does, or someone he knows, does.”
“Yeah, how is it possible to have more than a thousand close friends? I don’t know how he does it. He certainly knows how to get a crowd. It really is pretty impressive that all of these people ended up here to celebrate his birthday!”
“So, is everything good? Are you still working at the same place these days?
“Yes, what about you?”
“I’m still working at the American Cancer Society. Thanks for being on the financial advisory board and being such a faithful donor all these years since graduating from college.”
“Yes, I’m glad that I was able to help out the first year that you were there. Every year since I’ve chosen a different cancer-related cause to raise money for. Last year, I organized a group to do the breast cancer walk in Central Park and the year before that I helped organize a Relay For Life event.”
“This year I’m working on a different sort of fundraising event and we’re still looking for people to volunteer,” Mike said.
“Oh that’s great! What’s the new event? I’d be happy to help out.”
“Well, yes, maybe you can help us out. This year we are doing something really fun. We are going to have a date auction and I’m going to be the emcee!” Mike explained.
“Oh! Are you asking me to auction myself off? I’m not going to have to walk down a runway or do a little twirl, will I?” Tara asked.
“No, nothing like that. Just look beautiful, like you always do, and may the highest bidder win!”
“Ha ha! Why does the movie Indecent Proposal suddenly come to mind? But, what if things backfire? I’d be at the mercy of the whims of the bidders.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be there. It’s all in good fun,” Mike said with a wink.
“I’m not so sure about this, but since it’s for charity, I’ll consider enduring the public scrutiny. You know how to reach me,” Tara said.
While Tara and Mike bantered, the cab with Luana and Montoya drove by the upscale boutiques of Madison Avenue. Luana rested her head on Montoya’s shoulder and said, “So, you want to kick the tires with me? Do a test drive?”
“No, Luana, I am your friend tonight. I will make sure you get home safely.”
“You want to help me put on my pajamas? Tuck me in?”
“It is tempting.”
She put her hand on his lap. “If I rub this, will the genie come out and play with me?” Luana asked giggling.
Montoya removed her hand from his lap. “Not tonight. If you were not tipsy and didn’t have a boyfriend, yes, Luana, I would totally make out with you and maybe more. But tonight you are pissed drunk. It would be really taking advantage of you and I won’t do that.”
The taxi arrived at Luana’s address and Montoya paid the cabbie. Luana was very wobbly, so Montoya helped her out of the car. He opened the door and as they walked into the lobby, the doorman stopped him. Luana muttered, “It’s okay, he’s just helping me home.” The doorman said, “Eighth floor, apartment 8C sir.” They walked over to the elevators and into one that was waiting with its doors wide open. Montoya pressed the eighth floor to get up to her apartment. By now, Luana was barely conscious so Montoya reached into her pocketbook to get her keys. Once they made it to her apartment, he opened the door, scanned the layout of the apartment and saw the door to the bedroom ajar. He took Luana to the bedroom and placed her down gently on the bed and took off her heels. As Montoya pulled the covers over her, Luana whispered, “I want me... you... me inside me.”
“I think you mean you want me inside you.” Montoya kissed her on the forehead, “Maybe another time, if you weren’t with Gianni, but not tonight.” He then placed one of his business cards on the bedside table.
Luana had already fallen fast asleep, so he walked out of her bedroom, and closed the door. As he walked out of the front door, he locked it before leaving. Then he left Luana’s keys downstairs with the doorman.
Meanwhile, back at Juan’s birthday party, Frank had finally found Tara. “Any luck tonight?” he inquired.
“Maybe. I just gave my card to a cute guy about ten minutes ago. What about you, Frank?” Tara responded.
“No luck tonight. Tried it with that brunette I pointed to earlier, but that isn’t going to happen. I’m ready to head out.”
“Me too. Did you see the text from Montoya?” Tara asked. “It sounds like he had some drama tonight.”
“Nothing he can’t handle. I am positive about that,” Frank said as they saw Nine in the distance talking to Paul. “Knowing how Nine and Paul can get, should we just leave them to it, and wave goodbye to her on the way out? I have a meeting in the morning and they might be here a long time.”
“You’re right about that,” Tara said and they walked to the elevator. They waved goodbye to Nine as they passed her.
Nine waved back as she continued talking. It looked as if she and Paul had gotten into another one of their arguments.
“Nine, I really care about you, but we keep arguing over the same issue. You keep wanting me to move to New York, but I can’t right now. My job is in the Bay Area. We keep trying to make it work long distance, but it doesn’t seem to be working out.”
“I know, Paul.”
“I am okay seeing you once or twice a month. But, you don’t seem to be happy with that.”
“I really don’t like it that you don’t want to be exclusive anymore. It’s like our relationship is going backwards,” Nine declared.
“I’m sorry Nine. But, I can’t be in an exclusive relationship with you if I’m 3,000 miles away. We keep going round and round on this. I think that maybe this should be my last trip to New York for a while. I think we should take a break and see where we go from here.”
“I can’t believe this is it, but it just seems like it isn’t meant to be,” she acknowledged wiping away a tear that ran down her cheek.
Paul kissed Nine on the lips and put his arm around her shoulder. “Let me take you to the street level and hail you a cab.”
“No, it’s alright.” She looked at Paul sadly and reached over to hug him. “Let this be our goodbye here.” She gave him a quick kiss on the lips, walked to the elevator and got in, giving Paul one last wave goodbye.
POSTSCRIPT: Juan, the one-man networking machine, has since moved to Miami where he’s started a new life but New York City misses him.
July 6, 2015:
MONDAYS feature the character Luana. Want to know more about Luana? Come back on Mondays and click HERE to read more about her.
A Beautiful Friendship
(MONTOYA and Luana)
One warm spring evening, I walked across the street to Marseille on Restaurant Row in the Times Square District. It was an unpretentious, spacious and elegant restaurant. As soon as I entered, I saw where Luana was seated. She waved when she saw me and I made my way to her. I greeted her by shaking her hand and kissing her on the cheek in one simultaneous motion. Then, we both sat down and surveyed the menu.
“So, who are you really? And what were you before? What did you do and what did you think?” I asked Luana facetiously.
“Casablanca right? Great movie. But how did you know I would catch the reference?” Luana responded.
“I get the strong feeling that you are a romantic.”
“I am, although most people think I am a flirt,” Luana said dryly.
“As the old expression goes... it takes one to know one. I am a romantic and a flirt also.”
After ordering our food and over the course of our conversation, I discovered that Luana was quite smart. She had attended some of the best boarding schools in Europe. Her undergraduate degree was from Stanford in statistics, and she also had a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics from Yale University. She had used her Ph.D. in physics to get a job as a top financial analyst on Wall Street. I realized that due to her educational background she didn’t speak English with a traditional Brazilian accent.
“I’m very glad you called me for lunch. I wanted to know that you were okay after the other night,” I told her.
“You’ve given me hope that there are still some nice guys in New York. I really want to thank you for taking care of me. I was a drunken mess the other night and you were great. Really great,” Luana said reaching to touch my hand.
“I know that Gianni seems to have had a wandering eye. Sorry about that.”
“He would have sex with anyone female. She could be old or ugly, it wouldn’t matter to him. I have never felt comfortable having any of my women friends around him.”
“How many times has he cheated on you?”
“That I know of? At least thirty times.”
“Thirty times?! Why in the world are you still with him?
“Hey, I thought you were Gianni’s friend? Aren’t you going to stick up for him?” Luana asked, picking up the conversation where we’d left off, after the waitress had walked away.
“No. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I like Gianni, but he’s more of an acquaintance than a friend. The cheating thing is quite bad. I really don’t want to be guilty by association.”
“Interesting. So, you really are a nice guy.”
“I’d like to think I am a decent guy, not necessarily a nice guy.”
“What’s the difference?”
“As I said earlier, I am a flirt also, actually, a notorious flirt. But, I have a code of ethics I follow. I don’t cheat.”
“So, you have a girlfriend?”
“Been on again and off again with someone who is driving me crazy. Her name is Evelyn. All my friends say I should move on.”
“Sounds like we are in the same boat. I have tried to break up with Gianni many times and I keep going back to him.”
The waitress brought our food but I was more interested in hearing Luana’s line of reasoning than the food.
“I love his body. He is also the best lover I’ve ever had. He knocks on my door at three in the morning. When I tell him to go away, he keeps knocking until I let him in. I don’t want him to wake up the neighbors. Then, I yell and scream at him.”
“I am assuming you screaming and yelling at three in the morning would annoy the neighbors also?”
“Yes, it does but guys like him take all that yelling and then afterwards he says he is sorry and we have sex again. This has happened over and over. For three years I have been trying to break up with him.”
“Three years? Bugger! I have only known him half a year. Let me ask you a dumb question. Why not report him to the police when he knocks on your door? If you have a doorman, tell him not to let Gianni up.”
“Are you serious? You are taking my side?”
“I have been thinking about this ever since I met Gianni. I don’t think it’s right what he is doing to all these women, and especially to you.”
“After a while, I actually didn’t even know if I could say that I was the one that he was cheating on. You do know he is technically still married, right?”
“Are you serious? I didn’t know that.”
“He is separated, but not divorced. So, these past three years, he was technically cheating on his wife with me. Although they are no longer living under the same roof, I’m not so sure just how ‘separated’ they actually are. So, the crazy thought is, am I the one he is cheating with or the one he is cheating on? Because there have been other women besides me.”
“You need to set boundaries and take control of the situation for yourself. I mean he cheated on you over thirty times. So, now, you need to do something drastic that gets his attention.”
“Right, I want to put a stop to this,” Luana said with conviction.
“Well, I have never suggested this to anyone before, but this is an exception. You should check out this website where women post about men who they want to warn other women about. I know someone who did this to her ex-husband because he cheated on her. Put him on it and it will definitely get his attention.”
“Oh really? Can you write that down for me?” Luana asked as she handed me a piece of paper and pen from her purse.
“Sure,” I said as I took the pen and started writing the website’s address on the piece of paper.
“Tell me, what happened with your friend whose ex-husband was cheating on her?” Luana asked with curiosity.
“Well, that’s what led to him becoming her ex-husband. There was no turning back for them after that,” I explained.
“I didn’t have a cheating ex-husband, but I have been divorced for other reasons.”
“Do you mind if I ask what happened?” I inquired as I returned the pen and paper to her.
“We had been together for a few years when I unexpectedly got pregnant. We were so happy about it because we had talked about having a family and it’s what we both wanted. So, we got married immediately and started planning for our family. But, then, I had a miscarriage at three months.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.
“It was devastating. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try again right away, but about a year later, I got pregnant again. Miguel was overjoyed but I was more cautiously optimistic. I didn’t want to tell anyone until I was in the second trimester,” Luana explained and then paused.
“I see,” I said waiting for Luana to continue.
“It was a girl, Marisol. When she came into our lives, everything changed forever. And, then, one day, just like that, she was gone,” Luana said recalling the sad memory. “It was sudden infant death syndrome.”
“I’m really sorry to hear that you went through that,” I said as I put my hand on Luana’s.
“It now seems like a lifetime ago. The marriage was just not the same after that. I was the one who found her,” Luana said getting choked up as her eyes welled up with tears.
“We don’t have to continue talking about this if it’s too upsetting,” I said as I reached into my pocket and handed Luana a handkerchief.
Luana dabbed her eyes with the handkerchief and said, “No, no, it’s okay. I feel I can share this with you. So… after that, the nursery became a painful reminder for me. I wanted to redecorate and repaint it, but Miguel couldn’t bring himself to do it. He didn’t pressure me about trying again, but even though he didn’t say it, his actions told me that’s what he wanted eventually.”
“You obviously needed time to heal, but Miguel didn’t see that?” I asked.
“At the time, I might have felt that way, but I now realize that we just had different ways of dealing with grief.”
“Did you want to have a kid with Gianni?”
“When I met Gianni three years ago at a party, and I had been divorced for a while. I was in a better place and had thought about one day trying to have a child again. I did think about having a baby with Gianni, but now I realize that he is so irresponsible and immature. If I had a kid with him, it would be like having two kids. I’m not sure he could handle the responsibility of being a father. Although, you never really know how someone is going to be when the child, their child actually arrives. But with men in New York, you have to keep it a secret that you want a baby. That makes them run away.”
“Nobody wants to feel like they are being used and for men, the four biggies that we are used for are money, sex, citizenship, and sperm,” I explained.
“What I mean is when a woman wants you more for the ability to give her a baby than for being her boyfriend or husband.”
“I want the whole package. The sperm, the dick, and the baby,” Luana said cheekily as she handed the handkerchief back to me.
I realized that her mood had improved and then I said, “You mean the sperm, the penis, and the baby? You don’t want a dick.” Luana laughed upon hearing this and, then, I added, “I think you deserve a decent guy.”
“Thanks for your advice. I’ll keep you posted.”
The waitress came over with the check. Luana immediately grabbed it. “This one is definitely on me.”
“Remember the last scene from the movie Casablanca?”
“Very funny!” Luana said understanding what I was referring to.
“Yes, Luana, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” I said with a warm smile.
July 7, 2015:
TUESDAYS feature the character Tara. Want to know more about Tara? Come back on Tuesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
Knowing and Not Knowing
My friend Minh and I were sitting at a trendy hotel bar in the Flatiron District, deeply engaged in conversation about everything from dealing with the health issues of our aging parents to celebrity sightings. We were discussing “big love” and that undeniable feeling, when the relationship just seems right.
We talked about how big love is not to be mistaken for larger-than-life love, which is just so unhealthy. Larger-than-life love is like a sinkhole—it just takes over everything, throwing reason out the window, leaving you in a constant state of yearning and dissatisfaction, and feeling as if it is never enough.
Minh was telling me about this guy David, who she had just met at an Asian Young Professionals (AYP) event, a social networking organization for single Asians. We were definitely getting a little too engrossed in deep conversation for a Friday night. It was the end of another workweek, which should’ve meant that it was time to just kick back and relax.
A man standing at the bar and right beside me waiting for his drink looked over at us and introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Matt. Where are you ladies from?”
I had noticed him. He had dark brown hair and a clean-cut look. The bartender brought Matt a scotch on the rocks. Minh and I looked at each other. “Well, I’m not sure how to answer that. But, I’d say I’m a New Yorker. I’ve lived here for several years now,” I offered.
Matt set his drink down on the bar beside mine. “Well, I’ve lived in Connecticut, New York, Southern California, and Colorado. But I’m Irish. My grandparents actually came over here from Ireland.”
Minh looked over at Matt and said, “I’m from Hoi An in central Vietnam. I came here a few years ago to get my MBA.”
Straight to the point, and always very direct, Minh knows who she is, I thought.
Matt turned to me and asked, “So, what about you? I’m not sure how to ask this…” Matt’s voice trailed off as he looked at me, “But where are you from? I mean what’s your family background?”
I smiled and asked, “Why don’t you take a guess?”
“Well, I don’t think you’re Chinese… but maybe Thai, or Filipino?”
“Hmmm… close… I think I’ll leave you guessing,” I said in a sprightly way.
I thought to myself that the truth is, I didn’t exactly know where I was from. When my birth mother had shown up with me, then a three-month-old baby at an orphanage in Thailand, she didn’t have any identification with her. Though she could speak Thai, something about the way that she spoke made workers at the orphanage guess that she may have been a refugee who had escaped out of Cambodia.
As an adult, I learned that the orphanage had close ties with Thai human rights organizations and activists who helped Cambodians who were fleeing from the wrath of the Khmer Rouge. Thailand was the gateway to freedom for many Cambodian refugees, even years after the fall of Pol Pot. All my birth mother had told the orphanage was that her baby girl was named Chantara, and was born in the fourth month of the Khmer calendar. Because of that, the date of birth on my documents is a guesstimate and I don’t know the exact date of my birth.
My exact country of origin remains a mystery even now because my given name, Chantara, is both a Cambodian and a Thai name. In Khmer it means moon and stars, whereas in Thai it means moon and water. My adoptive parents had brought me over to the United States from Thailand and raised me in Connecticut. Growing up, no one knew exactly how to pronounce my name, so I just decided to make things easier and to go by the name of Tara.
Matt broke my train of thought, “Well, my ex-girlfriend was from Thailand. People from Thailand, they are good people. I met her parents and they were the sweetest people.”
“So, what happened to her, your ex?” Minh chimed in.
“Oh, she was kind of young and immature. What about you two ladies? What are the two of you doing here? Just the two of you?”
Minh took one last sip of her martini and set it down, “Well, I am kind of with someone.”
Matt leaned over and looked at Minh and me with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, I know what you’re thinking. We are not with each other. The two of us,” I gestured from Minh to myself, “We are not together!”
Matt’s phone rang and he reached into his pocket to answer it. “Yeah, I’m still here. It’s at the corner of Park Avenue and 28th Street. Sure, come on over,” he said to the person on the other end.
Minh and I looked at each other, and we knew it was time to call it a night. Matt hung up his phone.
“Well, it’s time to move on now. We’ve got to meet up with some other friends uptown,” Minh announced.
“It was so nice meeting you girls. Too bad you’re not sticking around. One of my buddies is on his way over,” Matt said as Minh and I put on our jackets.
Outside on the sidewalk, the two of us laughed.
Minh spoke first, “Isn’t that always when it happens—right when you’re taken or getting involved with someone, that’s when some handsome guy tries to pick you up!”
“Well, it looks as if you are really into this new guy you told me about. It seems like human nature, that when you’re taken, somehow men know this and then you somehow seem even more attractive to them.” Seeing Minh eyeing the street for a cab, I told her, “It’s always so great catching up with you!” Minh hailed a cab, then we hugged before she got in.
As I walked home, I thought about how it must be nice to be the sort of person who knows exactly who she is, where she’s from, where she’s going, and what she wants to do, like Minh. In the past when people have asked and tried to guess my ethnic background, I usually played along. It was just easier. They guessed Thai, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese—you name it. If it’s been guessed, I’ve played the part. I’m not entirely sure if I am Thai or Cambodian.
It was a short walk home and soon I was in my apartment. I glanced at a photograph of my adoptive parents displayed on one of the bookshelves in my living room as I walked into my bedroom to get ready for bed. It was my favorite photograph of them taken in Thailand. That’s where they had met, when both were there on Rotary Peace Fellowships. After returning to the United States together and several years of marriage, they discovered that they were not able to have children. So, they decided to go back to Thailand to see if they could find a child to adopt.
My parents did their best to help me understand my roots. While growing up, they had told me about the shared history of Thailand and Cambodia. As a teenager I’d watched the Killing Fields with my parents, and the topic of Cambodia’s war-torn past had come up. Looking back on it now, perhaps it was a way for my parents to bring up a discussion on this topic with me.
They had several albums of gorgeous photos from their time in Southeast Asia. As a child, I would flip through the albums imagining my parents in this faraway land, posing for photos. My favorite photos were those of Thai and Cambodian traditional dancers. Their elaborate headpieces and jewelry captured my imagination, but I could never tell which was Thai and which was Cambodian. Both cultures seemed quite similar. My parents had told me that both had roots in Khmer culture.
Throughout my childhood, my mother Angela, would periodically prepare traditional Cambodian and Thai dishes for me. My favorite was khao thom, which is a rice soup that’s eaten with pickled vegetables, fermented soy beans, and leftovers. I knew that all of this was a part of my heritage, but I had never been back to Asia since I’d been adopted at the age of three.
July 8, 2015:
WEDNESDAYS feature the character Nine. Want to know more about Nine? Come back on Wednesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
I am very committed to being a Christian, but my world isn’t black and white, which is kind of ironic for me to say since I really am half black (that’s my father’s side) and half white (that’s my mother’s side). My dad is African-American while my mom is German, which gives me dual citizenship—American and German. I’ve been blessed with the best of both of my parents’ genes. I have my dad’s height and my mother’s green eyes. People can’t always tell what my ethnicity is. Sometimes, it’s fun to have them try to guess.
My parents met at the Nienburg Abbey, a thousand-year-old Benedictine monastery in the town of Nienburg, in the Saxony Anhalt area of Germany. At the time, my dad was stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base in the German Rhineland as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. My father, James, has always been fascinated with old churches, so he decided to visit the abbey, while on leave. My mother, Astrid, was a tour guide there, and my father ended up in her group—that’s how they met.
A few months later, my father proposed and they arranged to get married at the abbey. I was born in Germany and my parents decided to name me after the town where they met and were wed. We lived at Ramstein Air Force Base and then Spangdahlem Air Force Base (also in Germany) until I turned eight, which accounts for my fluency in German. Then, my father was promoted and we moved to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. We kept moving around to different bases, both in the U.S. and abroad until we finally wound up at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
I’ve always thought that the intent behind my name was romantic. But when I started going to school in the U.S., it wasn’t fun being teased about it. The kids at school thought, what kind of a name is Nienburg for a girl? Later on, I adopted the nickname “Nine.” Surprisingly, my nickname has kind of worked in my favor. Introducing myself as Nine to guys, has often resulted in some very interesting reactions, which is not a bad thing at all.
Looking at my parents’ marriage and relationship, that’s what I want, but dating for a Christian woman like me has never been easy in New York. Even, with all of the churches here, you would think that it would be easy to find a good guy. But, it wasn’t always like this. The church I’ve been attending for the past three years, The Journey Church, was one of the first churches in Manhattan that was “cool” and attracted people my age. It’s a contemporary church that opens its services with a live rock music band performance. Now, even with many other churches in Manhattan similar to The Journey, it’s still tough.
My problem is that I am looking for the trifecta in Christian dating. He has to be cool, cute, and Christian—the three C’s. I guess tall would also be a requirement. Most guys would be cool and not cute, or cute and not cool, or cute and cool but not tall. I know this makes me sound a bit like Goldilocks—constantly saying this porridge is too hot or this porridge is too cold—but so far I haven’t been able to find the porridge that is just right. I did come close once with Paul, who I met at a fundraiser in Midtown for Howard University. We started a long distance relationship since he was based in San Francisco and working on a startup. He was indeed cool, cute and Christian.
I knew how passionate Paul was about the startup and I admired his ambition. The idea of living in New York appealed to him. He had said he’d love to live in New York one day. That was the long-term plan, but he wanted to get the startup off the ground first. Over time I saw him less and less frequently and our relationship became on again and off again. Then Paul said he couldn’t be exclusive with me anymore. That’s when I realized that things had changed and we were not on such solid ground anymore.
After it didn’t work out with Paul, who actually had the three C’s, I decided to go back to what is known as “missionary dating.” That is, I dated guys who weren’t Christian. In doing so, I hoped that somehow my great looks and dazzling personality (and of course my humility, just kidding) would get them interested in attending my church. The idea was that they’d eventually consider Christianity as a way to get to know me better.
Before Paul there was, Kurt who was German and a lapsed Lutheran. He had stopped going to church in his freshman year at college. But after dating me, he started attending The Journey Church. We were together for two months, but then I started to get this weird feeling that somehow he knew things that he could only know by reading my emails. After I got into a fight with him, I would write out my feelings in an email, but I never sent the email, and just kept it saved as a draft. I’d look at what I’d written down from time to time and after a while I would delete it.
Kurt always seemed to know the right things to ask me, and what to apologize for after our arguments. This made me suspicious. So, I decided to do a test. I told a girlfriend that I would be sending her a bogus email and for her not to respond. In the bogus email, I said that I was having an affair with someone else behind Kurt’s back.
It didn’t take long for Kurt to call and start probing me. Eventually, he started accusing me of having an affair with someone else. I told him that I’d specifically written about the affair in the email as a test and sent it my friend. I told him that none of it was true and, then, I also asked him how he could possibly know about the email. He knew that he had been caught so he confessed that he had been aware of my email password for almost the entire time we were together. I was furious and told him that not only had he violated my privacy but also the privacy of all my friends, since he was reading their emails to me as well. So, things ended abruptly with him.
More recently, there was this guy at work, Yves, who I had a major flirtation with. Our first date was brunch together and he attended The Journey Church three times. Yves was a little on the short side, but that didn’t stop me from making out with him from time to time. He was a good guy, though he seemed to be too controlling for me. Then, I found out from a co-worker that he already had a girlfriend in Paris and that he was waiting for her to come back to New York City. So, I decided that I really didn’t want to be any guy’s plan B or filler until the real girlfriend returned.
Then, The Journey Church did a sermon series on dating and they weren’t so keen on missionary dating. They may have a point because it hasn’t been working out for me, anyway.
July 9, 2015:
THURSDAYS feature the character Montoya. Want to know more about Montoya? Come back on Thursdays and click HERE to read more about him.
Jennifer and I were eating at Ooki Sushi, a Japanese restaurant on the Upper East Side sitting adjacent to each other at a corner table.
“Thanks again for inviting me to your party last month. That’s how I met Bentley, who as you know, works for a foreign bank. He contacted me and I have an interview this coming Friday. I’m so glad that you introduced yourself to me at Juan’s party,” Jennifer said.
“My pleasure,” I responded.
“So, are you as good with relationships as you are with setting people up for job opportunities?” Jennifer asked.
“You’d have to ask the women I’ve been with if I am good at relationships. However, I would definitely say that I am good at dating. While my friends would say that I’m a flirt, I do try to be a gentleman.”
“So, you help women with their coats, pull out a chair, or open doors for them?”
“Yes, among other things,” I said suggestively.
“What type of woman are you looking for?” Jennifer inquired.
“I want a woman who will value the intimacy and friendship of a relationship. Even after breaking up, I’ve stayed friends with every single one of my ex-girlfriends, except the love of my life.”
“Why is that?” Jennifer asked.
“Oh, that’s kind of a long story. I don’t think you want to hear all about that on a first date.”
“No, it’s ok. I want to get to know you better.”
“It was a long time ago, when I was at uni.”
“Oh, we were all young and foolish at one time. You go first and then I’ll tell you about the love of my life,” Jennifer said reassuring me.
“Ok, I’ll hold you to that,” I said looking at Jennifer. “I met her as a freshman at Oxford. Her name was Jane and I had fallen so hard for her. She was the love of my life and the first person I had ever fallen in love with. However she felt that I was smothering her.”
“Uh-huh,” Jennifer said nodding.
“The relationship was on and off for two years. After each break-up, I’d desperately want to get back together with her. It was like Jane was a drug and I couldn’t handle the withdrawal symptoms.”
“Oh, I know how that can be.”
“Finally, one day, Jane just stopped returning my calls, and disappeared. She literally ran away from me, and I was devastated. After the breakup, I brooded and brooded over how not to repeat the mistakes I had made with Jane,” I said.
“And so you never ever heard from her again?” Jennifer asked.
“No, I never did hear from her again.”
“I think that after a breakup, it’s hard not to look back and think about the mistakes you’ve made and what you could’ve done differently,” Jennifer commented.
“I rationalized that Jane had a fear of commitment, but after brooding on it so much, I came to a revelation of sorts. Her fear of commitment and, I think this is true for most people, was really a fear of losing her personal identity, and needing her freedom and personal space,” I continued.
“I think that maybe for men, it is a little different and the fear of commitment is really a fear of being controlled,” Jennifer paused for a moment and then continued. “You seem like a decent man and it sounds like Jane was somewhat heartless. As I look back at some of the men who I’ve dated, I’ve asked myself: how did I ever date that jerk or dirtbag?”
“You are spot on. Many of us have said to ourselves: ‘How could I have been so stupid?’ or ‘Why didn’t I see it?’ or ‘What was I thinking?’ ” I responded.
“I can really relate. So, here’s my story. I was on again, off again, with a guy for the past year. He was an actor and was working at a small wine bar in the East Village. But during the day, e was always out on auditions. I went to all his readings and off-off Broadway shows and even read lines with him late at night, at the end of his wait shift.”
“I actually know many actors and actresses because I’ve been volunteering for a small not-for-profit theater and film company to learn the ropes. I’ve always wanted to be a screenwriter and to produce movies from my own scripts. I am afraid to ask what his name is since I just might know him,” I said.
“I think I might have seen his headshot somewhere, but I’ve never met him.”
“He definitely has the looks of a leading man, and that’s why I fell for him so quickly. I told him I loved him after three months and he seemed to want me as his girlfriend, but he never said it back. Every time I showed any real interest in him, he would back up and find ways to distance himself. But, then, when I would start to back up, he would come forward saying that he really wanted a relationship. Each time he was entirely convincing, but somehow he’d end up backing away again.”
“Actually, I have come up with a name for this type. I would say that Travis is a ‘dancer type.’ ”
“What is a ‘dancer type?’ ” Jennifer asked.
“The ‘dancer’ only feels comfortable when you are not serious in the relationship. Jane was a dancer type. If you get serious and want to take the relationship to a higher level, the dancer type moves back. If you move back, then they come forward, sort of like a dance. I believe that these types of people do want to be in a relationship, but they are in denial of the fact that they are actually commitment-phobic.”
“Why are you such an expert on this?”
“Because I just got out of a relationship with another ‘dancer type.’ Her name is Evelyn and we did this back-and-forth dance like I just described. She was totally focused on making it as an investment banker and never had any time for me,” I explained.
“So, were you in love with these two women you mentioned?” Jennifer asked.
“Yes, I was. I have been deeply in love three times.”
“The first was with Jane when I was in uni, the second one was when I was in my twenties and now Evelyn.”
“How long did things go on with Evelyn?” Jennifer asked.
“And how did it end?”
“After all this going back and forth, I realized that I was feeling the same withdrawal symptoms that I had felt with Jane. It took a while for it to register, but I realized that I was in love with Evelyn because she reminded me of Jane, my first love.”
“And how long ago was that?”
“It was about a month ago. What really helped me to get over it was helping out a woman friend of mine who had trouble with her boyfriend who is a notorious cheater. After seeing her follow my advice, I thought I should practice what I preach. So, I finally ended it.”
“Good for you!”
“Evelyn recently contacted me, but I knew she wasn’t the right person for me and I told her that I just wanted to be friends. She was shocked that I didn’t want to continue the dance and tried to get me to change my mind, but I stuck to my guns.”
Jennifer looked down at the table and was silent a few moments.
“Is anything wrong?” I asked.
“I’m sorry to say this Montoya. You are a great guy. But listening to you, I have to admit that I am still in love with Travis. I don’t think I could start a relationship with anyone.”
“I realize we got into a heavy conversation for a first date,” I said.
“I know, but this conversation makes me recognize I still have really strong feelings for him.”
“It’s sad to say, but I think people really have to hit rock bottom with a ‘dancer type’ before they can decide it’s over and move on,” I asserted.
POSTSCRIPT: I later learned that Jennifer went back to Travis and they were married six months after her date with me. They were divorced three months after that because he cheated on her. When she demanded to know why he cheated, his answer was that she was smothering him.
July 10, 2015:
FRIDAYS feature the character Frank. Want to know more about Frank? Come back on Fridays and click HERE to read more about him.
The Date Auction
(FRANK and Tara)
It isn’t every day that a woman tells you that she’s going to be up for sale to the highest bidder. Tara had gotten involved in a charity event organized by the Asian Americans for Hope to benefit the American Cancer Society, and this year their fundraiser was to be a date auction.
Tara seemed a bit anxious about it, having asked me, “What if no one bids on me?” or “What if I only get a really low bid? Or worse yet, what if some weirdo bids on me?”
I knew that although she was normally self-confident, her mind seemed to be going into overdrive regarding this. The fear of being embarrassed and humiliated seemed to drive Tara’s insistence that I come to the event as her protector. My job was to be there to drive up the bidding and to save her from being forced to go on a date with some creepy, questionable guy. She was asking me to spend my hard-earned cash on her to spare her from embarrassment. The things you do for friendship. But I also knew that the money would be going to a worthy cause since I had an aunt who had lost her battle with breast cancer less than two years ago.
The auction took place at a restaurant on the Lower East Side. What most of the restaurant patrons that day did not know was that in the lower level, men and women were waiting nervously to be auctioned off. Think about it. When you get down to it, literally putting yourself out there to have a price tag stamped on you is not an easy thing to do. You’ve got to take it in stride, and try not to take any of it too personally or seriously.
As I walked into the room I saw Tara immediately. She was dressed in a loose-fitting purple dress that managed to hug her curves and show off her slim figure without being too revealing.
“Hey Frank,” she said waving at me looking a bit nervous.
I walked over and kissed her on the cheek, “So, how much is this going to wind up costing me?”
Tara looked a little more relaxed, “Come on Frank, you know how much I really appreciate your being here for me and doing this. It’s all for a good cause.”
I was glad to see her more at ease. I paused and looked around. It was a full house, with a quite impressive turnout. The room held a lot of attractive women. The men, I was not so sure about.
A man dressed in a gray suit and a red tie got on the microphone and started to quiet down the crowd. “Good afternoon, everyone! My name is Mike. How is everybody doing today?” The crowd quickly quieted down as Mike continued, “On behalf of the American Cancer Society, I am very pleased to be your host for this event. All the proceeds raised today will go to charity. We have some handsome guys and beautiful women for you to bid on. The top bidder will get to go on a dream date... and all it takes is a little bit of cash. So, don’t be shy. Assisting me today will be the lovely Ashley Green. And, no fellas, she isn’t for sale.”
It seemed to me that this guy Mike definitely had a natural stage presence because he knew how to work the crowd.
Ashley was wearing an eye-catching red dress, “Hello everyone. Welcome! Are you all ready to begin?” She paused for reaction from the audience. “Come on, you can clap louder than that!” she encouraged the audience. They responded with cheers and applause. “Now, that’s more like it!”
“Who is our first lady for sale?” Mike asked.
“Our first lady is Yvonne Channing,” responded Ashley. “She is a Gemini, likes to play tennis, loves to travel, and is looking for a guy who is adventurous.”
A pretty twenty-something year old woman walked up to the front of the room wearing a pink T-shirt and tight jeans.
“Don’t be shy, Yvonne. Tell the guys why they should buy you,” Ashley said encouragingly.
Looking rather bashful and as if she’d been put on the spot, Yvonne hesitated and then finally responded. “I have a good sense of humor.”
“Anything else?” Ashley asked.
“Well...” Yvonne struggled to figure out what to add, “I’ve taken up cooking, so I can cook dinner for you if you buy a date with me!”
I leaned close to Tara and whispered in her ear, “She is cute, but she seems a bit timid and unsure of herself.”
Tara looked at Yvonne and nodded. “You want to bid on her?” she asked.
Still close to her ear, I whispered again. “My money is spoken for. I can’t bid on her and then on you, can I?”
Tara gave me a quick look. “You have a point. Maybe you should stick around to the end and try to talk to her.”
Mike interjected, “A home cooked meal! Guys, you can’t do better than that. Who wants to make an opening bid?”
Surveying the crowd, Mike said, “Can I get 25 dollars? 25! Can I get 30? In the back, 30 yes! 40? Going for 40? Yes, 40! 50 dollars? 50? Yes, 50! 60? Anybody for 60? 60? Okay, 50 going once! Twice! Three times! Sold for 50!” Ashley walked over to the guy to collect the money and have him write down his information on a prepared card.
“We are off to a great start! Okay, now ladies, it’s your turn to bid!” Mike said as Ashley returned to the front of the room.
“Yes, ladies, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is Dom. He is an Aquarius; he is a film buff and likes to go hiking.” Dressed in khaki pants and a polo golf shirt, Dom leaned into Ashley’s microphone and said, “Hello ladies!”
“So, Dom, what would you like the ladies to know about you? What will a date with you be like?”
Ashley held her microphone in front of Dom as he thought of what to say. “Well, I am really into wine tasting and fine dining.”
Mike turned to Ashley, “A night of fine food paired with the right wine and Dom. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it Ashley?”
“It sure does. Do we have an opening bid?” Ashley asked the audience.
“Let’s start at 25 dollars,” Mike said to the audience. “Okay, 25 dollars, to the lady in blue sitting in the front.”
I looked over at the lady in the blue. She looked like a classy, elegant lady. I’d bid on her if she were up for auction.
“Do we have 30?” The audience was silent. “Again do we have 30?” No hands were raised.
Ashley raised her hand, “I’m not sure if I can do this, but I’ll take him for 30.”
“Come on ladies! Are you going to let Ashley have him? How about 35? Do I hear 35?” Mike asked.
A guy in a gray T-shirt sitting with a bunch of his guy friends grinned and raised his hand, “Ok 35 to the gentleman in the gray T-shirt. Do we have 40? 40 anyone?” One of the guy’s friends mockingly punched him in the arm and laughed as he raised his hand, “Alright, 40 to the gentleman in the green shirt sitting beside the man in gray,” Mike announced.
Oh man, I felt bad for Dom. I’m sure it was all in good fun and maybe the guys were just trying to help drive up the bidding, but what if no one else bid on him?
“Well, this is an interesting turn of events! Hey, it’s all in good fun and in the name of charity, but ladies, are you going to let Dom get away?” asked Ashley.
“That’s right ladies, how about 45?” The woman in blue, who had made the initial bid, raised her hand. “Yes, 45 to the lady in the front wearing blue. Going once, going twice. Sold!” Mike exclaimed.
“Next, we have Sherry,” Mike said as a tall woman dressed in flower-print summer dress walked up. “She is a huge movie buff, loves the theater, and has a soft spot for musicians.”
“Guys, if any of you play any musical instruments, now you know the way to Sherry’s heart,” Ashley piped in. “So, Sherry, tell us, what can you say to convince the guys to bid on you?”
Ashley handed the microphone to Sherry, “Well… I can’t really cook, but I can bake cookies. Yes, I will bake you cookies if you buy me.”
The bidding went crazy. Sherry fetched 80 dollars. After Sherry, they auctioned off another guy, Gene. He did a little better than Dom. He looked pretty fit and he didn’t seem like he was just some meathead. When he said he knew how to give Thai massages, it didn’t sound like a cheap come on at all. In fact, it drove the bidding up. He received the highest bid of all the men that night, at 75 dollars.
Finally, they had saved the best for last. Okay, I am a little biased.
“Next, we have Tara Reynolds,” Mike said to the crowd.
Tara smiled at me and walked up to the front. Good choice for the dress she picked. The deep purple color really suited her and it showed off her great legs.
“Tara loves art. She loves going to the Chelsea art gallery openings and dancing. Let’s start the bidding at 25 dollars. 25 to the gentleman in black. 30, do I hear 35?”
Ashley interrupted Mike, “So, Tara, why should someone bid on you?”
“I can bake cookies, too, but I can give you something even sweeter for your lips,” Tara said playing to the crowd. “I am a good kisser!”
Mike responded. ”How lucky are you guys, a second woman who will bake you cookies! Cookies and kisses! Let’s start at 40 dollars! Can I get 40?”
I raised my hand.
“Yes, we got 40! Can I get 50 dollars?”
A guy dressed in green polo golf shirt raised his hand.
“How about 55?”
The man in black who had made the first bid raised his hand.
“Yes, 55! Tara, is there anything else you can add to why they should buy you?”
Tara flashed a mischievous smile and said, “I have a Playboy Bunny costume!”
Mike screamed, “Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?! Baked cookies and a Playboy Bunny costume! Can I get 60 dollars?”
A guy in a suit seated in the rear raised his hand. Tara seemed to enjoy the competition and I wondered how high I should bid for her to feel like she got a high-enough bid.
“60! Great! Can I get 70 dollars?” The suit again raised his hand. “70! Can I get 80 dollars? 80? Hell yes!” Mike raised his hand, “I don’t know if I can do this, but I’ll do 85.” Mike seemed to have gotten caught up in the bidding war himself. ”85 now. 90 anyone?”
I raised my hand, “100,” I said.
“100 to the dapper gentleman sitting up here in the front.” Again, he went to Tara. “Any last thing to say that would make someone bid on you?”
Tara put her right hand on her right hip and leaned to the left, “I will bake you cookies in my Playboy Bunny costume.”
Mike was excited, “Guys! Cookies made and served to you by a Playboy Bunny! Can I get 110 dollars?” Gene, the fit guy who had gotten the highest bid of all the men on auction, raised his hand.
Back and forth it went between Gene and the suit, until the suit finally gave up. Gene was at 175 dollars. I raised my hand to outbid him. The final bid was 200 dollars. After Ashley came over to collect my donation and fill out some paperwork, Tara came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek and a big hug.
POSTSCRIPT: By the way, she never did bake me cookies in a Playboy Bunny costume. I teased her about false advertising. She said she was a little pissed at me because she had wanted Gene to outbid me. How was I supposed to know that? If I were psychic, I could’ve made a lot of money in the stock market.
July 11, 2015:
Did you know that within the pages of Metropolicks are quite a few visual surprises? As the book unfolds over a three year period you'll find a photo intermission section at the end of each year featuring photos of the gorgeous models from the Metropolicks photo shoot. Come back tomorrow to see one of the photo inserts featured in the book!
Time for a photo intermission
July 12, 2015:
As promised here's just one of the many photo inserts from Metropolicks featuring all 15 models from the Metropolicks photo shoot. Within the photo intermission sections of the book- we've got some more eye candy for you! But you'll have to look inside the actual book to see all of them. Come back on Monday for the next chapter featuring Montoya.
Meet the Models From the Metropolicks Photo Shoot
July 13, 2015:
It's MONDAY, which means we'll be featuring a chapter about the character Luana. Want to know more about Luana? Come back on Mondays and click HERE to read more about her.
I was enjoying my freedom again now that I had finally decided to move on from Gianni. After Montoya befriended me at Juan’s birthday party, I realized how obsessed I had been with Gianni and that I had been grasping at straws at the end of the relationship. Meeting Montoya had restored my faith in men. He showed me that there were a few decent men who weren’t after just one thing.
I have always been very free spirited, but somehow I had forgotten all that after I got involved with Gianni. Looking back on it now, I realized that I had gotten totally hooked on him. We were incredibly compatible; both of us had high sex drives and we quickly became inseparable. Gianni would come and go as he pleased. Sometimes he came over to my place in the wee hours of the morning for a quickie before both of us went to work.
He was always surprising me by dropping by or asking to see me at odd times; it could be any time of the day. Sometimes, we secretly met in the middle of the day. That is what made our relationship so hot. It was unpredictable and consuming, but it also sometimes made it difficult for me to plan my social calendar.
Occasionally, when I was already out, he’d interrupt by calling or texting me, announcing that he wanted to see me and we would meet somewhere. I usually found a way to duck out of whatever I was doing or to get away from whomever I was with. I knew exactly what I’d be getting and I just couldn’t get enough of him. There were steamy phone calls and suggestive text messages that heightened the anticipation leading up to our next rendezvous. I knew what I liked and wanted so when I found a man who met my needs, I was insatiable.
One thing that I had loved to do before Gianni was to go out clubbing alone. For me, it was completely liberating. When I went out on my own, I always knew very clearly if I was just out to have a good time by myself or if I was going to be open to the possibility of bringing someone home at the end of the night.
I enjoyed going to clubs alone. That’s when I met some of the most interesting and beautiful people. There were dancers (exotic, modern, ballet, you name it), models, artists, and actors. One of the most memorable was a former gymnast/acrobat who performed nightly, hanging up high from the ceiling. There were also young, highly successful, independently wealthy men—the ones for whom success had come so early that they had never had a chance to play around in their twenties, and a decade or two later, they still didn’t want to grow up. They were perfect to have a good time with. Of course, I often got propositioned and sometimes it was hard to refuse. But I knew what I was doing and if I was going to go home with someone at the end of the night. Most of the time, it was the man of the night who’d end up being the casualty. I was the one who wouldn’t want to see him again unless he really impressed me.
Tonight I had met Bruce, a big, beefy bouncer who had been flirting with me all night. Gianni had been texting me all night and I’d been ignoring him.
“I’m going home now and you’re coming with me,” I told Bruce. “I know the owner. I fixed him up with one of my girlfriends a while back so I can get you out of your shift early.” The cab ride home was a delicious blur. I couldn’t tell what combination of fingers, lips, and tongue or other body parts he was using, but whatever it was that he was doing, it nearly sent me over the edge.
By the time we had gotten to my apartment, I realized that I had lost my panties and tried to maintain some sense of decorum as we walked past the doorman. But once we were in my apartment, we went at it again. I immediately unzipped him, uncovering his generous package and went to work returning all the favors he had done for me on the taxi ride home. Bruce stopped me and started kissing me with one arm around me. His other hand gently reached behind my ass and in between my legs, which he knew was already bare. I lifted my dress and we positioned ourselves toward each other. As he entered me, my phone started ringing, heightening the urgency of moment.
“Keep going! Keep going!” I screamed not wanting Bruce to stop. Bruce continued thrusting and then I came but Bruce had not. After we stopped, I reached into my purse, which I had dropped near by to look at my phone. Gianni had called.
“Babe never mind who called. Let’s pick up where we left off,” Bruce said.
“Yes, I think it’s time to move things into the bedroom,” I said to Bruce as I started removing my dress and walking toward my bedroom.
In the bedroom I got on top of Bruce, slid him inside of me, taking the driver’s seat and started grinding him. Suddenly, we heard pounding on my door. It was Gianni demanding that I let him in. Fortunately, I had put the chain across the door just in case, as a precaution, when I had closed the door. All night Gianni had been sending me frantic text messages demanding to see me and asking where I was.
Gianni was now outside of my door yelling, “Luana, I know you’re in there and you’re not alone. Open the door!”
I stopped grinding all of a sudden as I heard the lock to the front door of my apartment turn and then the door smacking against the chain that restrained Gianni from entering my apartment. “Damn it! It’s my ex. We broke up a few weeks ago and I know he’s going to make a scene.” I got off the bed and went to grab a robe.
“Hold on, don’t do anything just yet,” Bruce said to me as he got up to look for his boxers.
Gianni screamed, “Luana, you’d better let me in here or I’ll continue yelling at the top of my lungs and I’ll start talking about things that I know you wouldn’t like me to share with your neighbors! I don’t care who hears me or if someone calls the cops!”
I wouldn’t put it past Gianni to do something like this. He was shameless. All the lies, the cheating, the deceit, it had all been too much for me. I had been in open relationships before, and they had worked, but they required complete honesty about everything, which Gianni was simply not capable of. If only we had really been in an open relationship, in which I knew where everything stood, then, maybe it could have worked and things would not have gotten to this twisted state. I lived life by my own rules, and had nothing to hide, but I didn’t want Gianni yelling and disrupting all of my neighbors. So, I went to unchain the door and let him in.
“Gianni what is all this madness about?! I have someone here. It’s over. You don’t own me,” I announced.
“Did you do this to me?!” Gianni demanded holding up his smart phone.
I looked at it and saw the website Montoya had recommended. I smiled knowingly.
“How dare you do this to me!” He pulled back his arm to punch me, but I squatted down to duck his punch. I’d learned this in my kickboxing class. ‘Drop and duck’ was a safe, unexpected move if someone was going to try to hit or choke you. Gianni’s hand smashed straight into the wall making a dent.
Bruce had gotten his boxers on and now stood between Gianni and me. He shielded me and towered over Gianni who was now clutching the hand that had punctured the wall. Giving Gianni a stone-cold look, Bruce said, “Look, the lady has asked you to leave. I think you’ve done enough. Don’t make me personally remove you.”
I looked over at Gianni from behind Bruce and said, “Yes, I put all the details of what you’ve done and your photo on that website for all the world to see. I did it to warn all of the women you have messed with in the past and present… and the countless others that there could be in the future. I don’t want you to hurt anyone else like you’ve hurt me.”
“Luana this is ridiculous! You can’t leave this up there. What if my business partners somehow get wind of this?!” Gianni protested.
“Well, that’s not my fault, is it? You made your bed and now you must lie in it,” I replied.
“Listen buddy, I think you’ve done enough harm tonight. Do I need to show you to the door?” Bruce said to Gianni.
“No, I’ll show myself out,” Gianni said as he walked toward the door and left.
“Sometimes I think that men like that should come with warning labels. That’s why I decided to expose him on the Internet,” I explained to Bruce.
“I think you know how to take care of yourself just fine,” Bruce said.
“Well, I’m glad that you were here when Gianni showed up. I don’t know how I really would have handled it if I were home alone,” I looked at Bruce, took his hand and said, “Now, let me take care of you,” and I led him back into the bedroom.
July 14, 2015:
It's TUESDAY, which means we'll be featuring a chapter about the character Tara. Come back on Tuesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
TODAY we also introduce the character Roxanne. Want to know more about Roxanne? Click HERE to read more about her.
Finding the Right Timing
(TARA and Roxanne)
Frank and I were having one of our regular Sunday brunches at the City Bakery when Roxanne Shapiro walked into our lives. I had gotten up to get some cutlery, leaving Frank sitting all by himself at the table. When I returned, there was Roxanne with her mass of curly blonde hair and matching bubbly personality, sitting in my seat chatting up Frank. However, I could tell that Frank was not interested in her. He doesn’t usually like women who come on too strong, or are too forward.
Our Sunday brunch ritual started after I moved into my own apartment in Manhattan after getting my MBA from Columbia. I had met Frank when I was a teenager going through my awkward stage and still wearing braces. My first encounter with Frank was one day at my father’s office. Frank had just started working at my father Nick’s luxury car magazine. My father had taken an instant liking to Frank when he interviewed him. The fact that Frank was a fellow alum, having also graduated from Princeton didn’t hurt. He said that he saw something in Frank, so he took him under his wing.
For several years they worked together. Frank really knew cars, and loved them so much that he decided that he wanted to open up a luxury car dealership. Within a few years he had raised enough money from investors, including my father, to open his own luxury car dealership. With Frank's determination and charm it quickly became very successful. So he left the magazine and opened up a few more dealerships. Frank sometimes still works with my father on stories for the magazine, by providing vintage and exotic cars for photo shoots. My father now regards him as a peer. I had heard so much about Frank from my father. When I was getting ready to move into my first Manhattan apartment, Frank offered to help me with the move. To thank him, I took him out to brunch. Frank and I had an instant rapport that first Sunday brunch. It was almost like we were family and Sunday brunches became a sort of regular ritual for us. I knew that my father would approve of our friendship and suspected that my father liked knowing that Frank was somehow keeping a watchful eye over me.
As I approached the table, Roxanne didn’t miss a beat and I soon found myself looped into their conversation. Somehow, I couldn’t quite figure out where I’d seen her before. Then, I realized that I had seen her on TV, reporting from the scene on some local news event. I immediately liked Roxanne’s boldness and upbeat attitude. I would learn that she was direct, like Frank, who would always give it to me straight whenever our conversation turned to the subject of who I was dating.
Nothing ever happened between Frank and Roxanne. But, Roxanne and I had exchanged numbers that day at The City Bakery and soon the two of us became close friends. We’d often go to events and mixers—just the two of us single girls. She was a member of the 92nd Street YMHA (the Jewish equivalent of the YMCA) and invited me along to some of their single events as her shiksa wing woman. She was funny, smart, and independent. Only a few years older than I was, she was in her mid-thirties, but she definitely looked much younger.
She was one of those types of people who had no qualms about walking up to complete strangers and striking up conversations with them. Amazingly, she could chat people up on just about anything—trivial or controversial. I suppose that’s what made her such a good television reporter. Her youthful attitude charmed people, and it was hard not to become engaged in conversation with her quick, friendly banter. She always seemed so genuinely excited to meet and talk to new people.
Roxanne told me that she had been engaged once. She had been with her fiancé, Cole, for eight years, when her life changed forever on the morning of September 11, 2001. He was on one of the top floors of Tower One for a meeting when it happened. She went into shock and disbelief when she learned this from his boss. As she mourned Cole’s death, she took a leave of absence and became very socially withdrawn. It was hard for me to imagine her like that.
When a couple of weeks had passed, her informal mentor Donna Drake and several of her fellow co-workers, encouraged her to go back to reporting. Roxanne is one of the most strong, resilient women I know. It is remarkable how optimistic she is considering what she went through. I’ve met her very friendly mentor Donna who is now hosting her own show called LiVE it UP! on FOOTPRINT.tv. The show features stories of inspiration, hope and motivation, of which Roxanne is a prime example.
At events Roxanne never needed to have someone by her side and that’s why we were such a good team. We would “divide and conquer.” Since she knew how to talk to people, she was THE best wing woman! It also certainly didn’t hurt that she was a local celebrity of sorts.
I’d heard about a screening of short films shot in Southeast Asia and invited Roxanne to join me. Growing up, I definitely went through various phases. As a child, I just wanted to fit in and be like the other kids at school. Then, in my teens, I wanted some definitive answers about my roots but hadn’t been able to find anything out about my birth mother. So, I dropped it and stopped looking for answers in frustration. But, recently I started to be curious about Southeast Asia and my roots again. As I thought about it, I appreciated how my parents had made an effort to share with me what they knew and had experienced of Thai and Cambodian culture.
Roxanne and I were at the movie screening after-party when she said to me, “Tara, he’s looking over at you. Give me your business card.” And before I knew it, Roxanne had handed my business card over to the man who had been looking at me. As Roxanne stood beside him, she waved me over. I had no time to be nervous and had no excuse to prevent me from going over to talk to one of the most handsome men I’d ever met. At more than six-feet tall, he was tall for an Asian guy. He was clearly in great shape and had the looks of a Hong Kong movie star.
“So, Tara, do you always have your agent here to do your bidding? Very impressive to say the least since you have a celebrity wing woman.”
“Her talents are invaluable. You know my name already, what’s yours?” I asked smiling.
“I’m Terence. Unlike you, I don’t have any representation at the moment, but I hope that we can cut out the formalities and go-betweens. No offense to Roxanne here. After all, it’s thanks to her that we’ve now been connected.”
As we talked, I learned that Terence Liu was an aspiring filmmaker. He had been vacationing in Cambodia a year ago when he had come across the Nomi Network’s efforts to eradicate sex trafficking in Cambodia and other parts of Asia. “Nomi” was the pseudonym of a young girl who had been a victim of child sexual exploitation. Now, he was making a short documentary about the Nomi Network.
I told him about my amateur experience behind the camera, which included experimenting with the making of a video log of my travels through Europe. After completing an MBA in Finance at Columbia, I took a month off to travel before starting my job search.
Initially, I’d planned to travel with a few friends, but one of them got a job offer, which required her to start immediately after graduation, and the other woman ended up going to Hawaii with her boyfriend who’d been pestering her to go away with him for a while. I was disappointed but happy for my friend who got her dream job and what about my other friend? It’s a good thing that she decided to go to Hawaii because her boyfriend ended up proposing to her on the trip. I found a third person to travel with me, but when she canceled, I was left feeling a bit dejected and rejected.
Tired of having my travel plans derailed by others, I resolved to travel alone. My parents had given me a camcorder to document my trip. While traveling, I’d kept a short-lived blog of the trip under the alias, Budding Europhile so that my friends and family could follow along with me online. Every few days, I’d visit an Internet café and write a post for my blog. Along the way, I shot a few short video clips, and when I got home, I edited and assembled them into a video log of my trip. This stirred my appreciation of documentary films. The blog has been dormant for a few years now since I hadn’t bothered to keep up with it once I’d returned from my trip. As we continued chatting, Terence shared some of the ideas that he had for documentaries that he’d like to shoot.
On the subway ride home, Roxanne declared, “I think he’s going to call to ask you out to dinner.”
When I got home, I checked my email and was surprised to discover Terrence had written me saying that he’d checked my blog about my European travels and that he’d continue to read more later. He must have remembered and googled my alias name, Budding Europhile. He wrote:
I am warning you ahead of time that I plan to ask you out. So, if you don’t want that to happen, this is your chance to enter the witness protection program.
I thought it was endearing, so I promptly wrote back:
Thanks for the heads up but I’m fine with you finding me, so here is my cell number.
Over the next few weeks, we exchanged a few light-hearted emails. A week and a half went by without any word from him and I started to wonder. Then, he emailed me that his wallet and phone had been stolen, along with his identify. So, he couldn’t call me as he had been dealing with this emergency. In the same email, he told me that he’d made reservations for us to have brunch on the coming Sunday at a restaurant that happened to be a block away from where I lived. He had remembered what neighborhood I lived in! Since he had emailed me about the brunch on Saturday, just the day before, I texted him back to confirm our date, thinking that that would be the most direct and immediate way to respond.
When I didn’t hear back from him that night, I felt a bit uneasy. But the following morning, I went to the restaurant and waited, and then I waited some more. Thirty minutes passed. I wondered where he was. I left him a voicemail and also sent him a text asking what happened to him. He lived in the Bronx. Maybe there was a delay with the Manhattan-bound trains in the subway? Maybe, he was running late? Finally, nearly an hour later, I left and walked home. I wasn’t angry, just confused because he had been very consistent and direct about his intentions all along.
When I got home, one of my friends rang me asking me if I’d gotten any of his text messages. That’s when it dawned on me, and I realized what had happened; there had been a HUGE miscommunication. My text message function was broken! Sure enough, I realized that I had not received any new text messages in the last twelve hours, and the ones I’d written probably hadn’t been delivered.
I checked my email and sure enough there was an email from Terence sent that Sunday morning, written just a few hours before the brunch date. It read:
From: Terence Liu
To: Tara Reynolds
Are we still on for today? You haven’t given me a green or red light.
I responded to his email explaining that I had answered him by text message, had waited for him for an hour at the restaurant, and then asked if he still wanted to meet later that day. Not long after, he called.
“Hi, I’m sorry I can’t meet now because I’m on call at the support desk today. I was supposed to work, but when we made plans to meet for brunch, I made arrangements to switch my shift with a co-worker. But, then, when you didn’t confirm, I decided to take the shift back so that my co-worker didn’t have to work on the weekend for me.”
I understood what had happened, but I was still disappointed. To top it all off, I was about to leave the country to attend a friend’s wedding in Australia in two days. At this point, it all seemed a bit absurd, but it also seemed as though there was this unspoken obligation to still make the date happen.
So, we made another plan to meet on Monday for lunch near the hotel where he worked. It was the day before I was to fly to Australia. I’d planned a two-week vacation since I figured that after traveling all that way, I should take advantage of it. I’d arrive in Sydney a few days before the wedding, with enough time to get over jet lag, attend the wedding, and tour around the city. Next, I’d be going on to the Great Barrier Reef for some scuba diving, and then I’d to fly off to Ayers Rock where I’d spend a few days trekking and camping in the outback, before returning to Sydney to fly back to New York.
I had a lot to take care of at work before leaving the next day, so I ended up arriving a little late for our lunch date. When I got there, he wasn’t there. Trying not to feel too dissuaded, I promptly called him to let him know that I was at the restaurant. He picked up right away and said that he’d be right over.
Despite all these false starts, it was one of the most perfect first dates I’ve ever had. There was no awkwardness or superficiality; the conversation flowed easily. We just talked about ourselves and the experiences that made us who we are today. He told me that he had always been a film buff and that it just seemed natural to study film in college. For him, films were a powerful form of storytelling.
Soon after graduating, his mother had gotten into a car accident, so he decided to move back to Taiwan to take care of her as she recovered. Afterward, he took the opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia. Upon returning to New York, he continued to work on film projects and met Robin Adams, one of the co-founders of WILLiFEST, the Williamsburg International Film Festival. Terence was now involved in the production of WILLiFEST, which he described as a film festival, which put the “fest” back into film festivals. I found myself wishing that we had had this wonderful date a few weeks earlier, not now when I’d be getting on a plane to go halfway around the world in less than twenty-four hours. I felt as if there was so much promise for this budding relationship.
However, I soon found myself in Australia. During my first few days there, I stayed with friends in Sydney and was able to IM and exchange a few emails with Terence. But, it became difficult to stay in touch with him due to the time difference as I traveled around the country. I was in the outback and scuba diving so I didn’t always have access to the Internet. Timing was not on our side.
When I got back, I tried to reach Terence. Not wanting to take any chances with text messaging or email, I called him but he didn’t pick up so I left him a voicemail. It took him a few days to respond. Finally, he wrote me an email saying that he had accepted a job working for a new television channel in L.A. and was now living there. He suggested that we keep in touch on Facebook. But, I realized that my moment with him had passed. Sometimes, relationships are a matter of timing, and sometimes, the timing is out of our hands.
July 15, 2015:
WEDNESDAYS, feature a chapter about the character Nine. Come back on Wednesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
Always Wear Clean Undies
Jake Halliwell, a friend of Tara and Montoya, was more than six feet tall, blond and attractive, but you wouldn’t stop in your tracks for him. His personality was what made you take notice and boy, did this guy have personality. I found him to be rather self-absorbed but in a very charming and entertaining way; he’d talk and talk and talk, almost exclusively about himself. He was quite intriguing. His air of confidence probably came from his being a venture capitalist who had made a lot of money. He was the type to say something just to be provocative, but sometimes he was somewhat insightful. Our first conversation went something like this:
“So Nine, I can tell right off the bat that you are the type of girl who doesn’t sleep around.”
I smiled, “Really, how can you tell that? Maybe I am a total slut?”
“No. I know people and you are a waiter.”
Still smiling, I said to him, “Sorry, buddy, I’m not a waitress. I am an attorney. Your insights are failing you.”
“I meant—you wait for sex. You are the type who needs the guy to be hopelessly in love with you first before you sleep with him. Am I right? Come on, tell the truth,” he said as if trying to get me to confess.
“Well, yes, I guess you could say that.”
“But, I also know that women like you who ‘wait’ are the best kissers. You burn with lust like a cat in heat and when you make out, it is with raw passion,” he said as if he were impressed by his own words.
“If that is your way to get me to kiss you, I think you are playing the wrong game,” I kidded back.
“No game, just total honesty. Now, I bet honesty isn’t a game you are used to getting from men,” he said obviously flirting with me.
This led to our first date, a movie. I was pleasantly surprised and amused that he could actually shut up for the length of the movie, though the movie was only an hour and a half long. On the way to dinner after the movie, he talked endlessly about what he thought of the movie and once again, it was hard to get a word in. I followed Jake as he walked in between two parallel-parked cars to cross the street, but I tripped and my knee gave out. I heard a pop. I fell to the ground and blacked out for a few moments.
When I regained consciousness, I felt a sharp pain in my leg and saw that I had popped my knee. As I looked up, I saw that a crowd had gathered around me and someone was calling 911. Jake, however, was not there. My skirt was hiked up to my boobies exposing the G-string I was wearing underneath for the entire world to see. I was lying on the side of my good leg. I couldn’t see if my G-string was covering my privates, but from the way a teenage boy was gawking at me, I could tell they probably weren’t private anymore. I was just glad no one had their cell phones out taking photos.
Jake, in the meantime, had been so wrapped up in his own commentary about the movie that he walked one entire block before noticing that I wasn’t walking beside him. Now, if that isn’t self-absorbed, I don’t know what is. Eventually, he noticed and backtracked to where I was. When he got there, he was shocked to see what had happened and said, “Nine are you alright?”
“Do I look alright? And where have you been?!” I yelled back at him.
“Step back, people!” he yelled, “There’s nothing to see here,” and he said as he gently pulled my skirt down to cover my ass, and when the ambulance arrived, he went with me to the hospital. Of course, he talked nonstop on the way to the hospital.
I was in a knee brace and walked with crutches for three weeks. Jake wanted to go on a second date, but I told him no thanks. He was entertaining yes, but so focused on himself that he didn’t realize that I, his date, was lying on the street with my privates exposed for the entire world to see. I was afraid that photos of me in a G-string would turn up on Facebook. Thank God, as far as I know, nothing has shown up. As my mother always told me—always wear clean undies, but in this case, I’m not sure if it really matters when you’re wearing a G-string.
July 16, 2015:
THURSDAYS, feature a chapter about the character Montoya. Come back on Thursdays and click HERE to read more about him.
One of the myths about Asian women is that they are submissive. While I don’t know how it works between men and women in Asia, I think this myth is absolutely not true. At the age of twenty-six, I fell in love with Mai. She was Vietnamese, the same age as me, and a phenomenon in bed—definitely a force of nature to be reckoned with. Mai was free spirited, fun, and energetic. She was fiercely independent and already had two children from a previous marriage.
We met in London when I was in the joint law degree program between Harvard Law School and Cambridge University. Our relationship was pretty serious. In fact, I had met her two children and they liked me. After graduating, my heart was set on moving to New York City and I went as planned. But Mai’s entire support network was in London—her parents, her friends, and her kid’s friends. Long distance relationships have never worked for me. I actually have no stomach for it. A long distance relationship gives neither party any happiness. There’s just too much longing and no satisfaction. It results in what I call the “five-finger blues”—in other words, satisfying your needs yourself so as not to cheat with someone else. Unfortunately, Mai basically gave me an ultimatum saying that if we were to have a future together, it would have to be in London. I know this may be hard to believe, but if Mai and her kids had moved with me to New York City, I would probably be married right now.
Most of the women, who come from all corners of the globe to make the Big Apple their home, are among the most competitive, independent, aggressive, and ambitious women in the world. It’s either that, or they will have to soon learn how to survive in this big city. I thought that Mai would have had no problem adjusting to life in New York. However, it was not to be. Yet, Mai and I have stayed in touch and I see her, her kids, and her new husband whenever I visit my parents in London.
About a month ago, I was at my friend Piper’s birthday party for her five-year old son. It was held in a section of the Boat Basin in Central Park. Piper had hired a clown to shape balloons into animals and other objects for the kids. She also arranged for an ice cream bar with every topping imaginable where you could make an elaborate ice cream sundae concoction, or just get a plain old scoop of ice cream.
As I approached the ice cream bar, I noticed a stunning Asian woman. She was dressed simply in a white tube top and very short shorts, which showed off her slender figure. Her long, dark hair fell off the side of her long neck as she licked ice cream off an ice cream cone. The ice cream was quickly becoming liquefied in the summer heat. “You really need to lick it before it melts,” I said as I approached her from the side with some napkins in my hand, I saw that what she was having actually looked more like sorbet. The way that she was dressed, she looked like she belonged in a sexy K-Pop video.
“Thanks for coming to my rescue,” she said taking the napkins from me. “I’m trying not to make a mess here, especially since I’m wearing white,” she paused. Then, seeing that I didn’t have an ice cream cone she asked, “So where’s your ice cream?”
“I was going to check out all the options at the ice cream bar, but, then, I saw you and your little meltdown situation happening. I think that even with these napkins you need to act fast before there are any fatalities.”
“I don’t think there’s time,” she said struggling over the cone, which was now dripping. “I’m going to have to go in for a bite,” she said with a suggestive smile and leaned in toward her ice cream cone.
“I’d like to know what flavor that is considering the way you are devouring it. That actually looks like sorbet, not ice cream.”
“Yes it is a combination of mango and raspberry sorbet, but I actually wanted to get a scoop of green tea ice cream. Unfortunately they don’t have any. Have you decided what flavor you’re going to have at the bar?” she asked motioning to the ice cream bar.
“That’s too bad because I like green tea ice cream too, but now I think I’m going to have to get the same as you. Yours looks so good.”
“I’m Soo-Jin. What’s your name?” she asked as we walked over to the bar.
“My friends call me Montoya,” I said. “Could you give me a bit of the mango sorbet and the raspberry sorbet together in a cup?” I said to the server. As he handed me the cup with a spoon, I turned to Soo-Jin and said, “This way it won’t melt so fast.”
“So Montoya, where are you from? I hear a British accent but Montoya doesn’t sound like an English name.”
“I was raised in London but I’m half-Spanish and half-British.”
“So, do you consider yourself white or Hispanic?”
“Obviously, I can hear your British accent, but I’m wondering if you can also speak Spanish?”
“Sí, por supuesto,” I responded.
“So, I take it that means yes, you do speak Spanish,” Soo-Jin said.
“And what about you, Soo-Jin, that sounds like that might be a Korean name.”
“That’s a good guess. You must have a lot of Asian friends to know that.”
“Yes, I do know many Asians. As a matter of fact, I met Piper at a Lunar New Year’s party, hosted by the group Asian in New York.”
“Sounds like an interesting group and event, I’m going to have to look them up,” Soo-Jin said.
“Yes, you can look up their website or find them on Facebook, of course. They run a lot of great events throughout the year. What’s interesting about the Lunar New Year party is that I learned that although a lot of people refer to it as the ‘Chinese New Year,’ many other Asian countries celebrate this holiday, hence the term, ‘Lunar New Year.’ I believe the Lunar New Year is celebrated by Koreans, right?”
“I grew up on Long Island and I know that more and more Korean Americans are celebrating it these days, but I’m not so sure that people in Korea do. It’s nice to meet a non-Asian guy like you who seems genuinely interested in Asian culture. Last night I was out with some friends when a Caucasian guy tried to pick me up by asking if I was allowed to date outside of my race. When he said that, I just cracked up.”
“If he hadn’t of blown it with that line, would he have been your type?”
“I haven’t actually dated any Caucasian guys, not that I’m not open to it. I’m curious, although I think that my parents are traditional. They’d like me to end up with a Korean man.”
She agreed to go out with me and our first date was to a little candlelight tapas place where I found out that her long neck was indeed tasty as we made out in the corner table of the restaurant. A few dates later, she invited me up to her apartment, which led to a make-out session on her couch.
As we made out, Soo-Jin reached her hand down to unbutton my pants. Soon she was unzipping me and as she moved down, she said, “I think it’s time to figure out what flavor you are.” Then she started lightly licking my shaft up and down and then started using a combination of her hand and mouth together. Her motions became faster until she brought me to orgasm.
A few moments later, I started to remove her clothes and discovered that she was wearing red, see-through panties, which I removed. Then, I started to go down on her. She started to moan as I spread her legs further apart to give me room to use my fingers. I began stroking her in a come-hither movement while I continued licking her. After her first orgasm, I didn’t stop and continued until she had her second orgasm. At that point, I raised my head to see if she still wanted more. “Don’t stop,” she said. So, I continued and after the third time she climaxed, she was spent and ready to fall asleep.
I felt like Soo-Jin and I were becoming an item, so I brought her with me to my friend Lucy’s dinner party. Lucy hosted these quarterly dinner parties in her gorgeous loft apartment near Central Park. The parties were always quite impressive since she was a master of food preparation and presentation. Usually she invited eight people—four couples. Since Soo-Jin didn’t drink, I warned her that most of the beverages that Lucy served at her dinners would be alcoholic. So, she brought a bottle of green tea to have something else to drink and to share with the others. I brought a nice bottle of port.
When the evening arrived, Soo-Jin and I were running late so I called Lucy to let her know and told her to please get started without us. When we arrived, everyone was already seated at the table, which was full of several platters of food. Each dish looked like a miniature piece of art. I immediately joined the table and Soo-Jin sat beside me, hastily putting her green tea on the floor. Soo-Jin tried to participate in the dinner conversation but was a bit preoccupied because she had to respond to emails from work on her phone.
She was a financial analyst covering the Korean and Japanese markets and trading had started since it was already the next day over there. In between emails, an unexpected development came up requiring her input and attention. Finally, she excused herself to make a phone call in the living room and then returned to join everyone for dinner.
The next day, Lucy called me to tell me that the other couples had complained afterwards that Soo-Jin hadn’t shared her green tea.
“Are you serious?!” I said raising my voice unintentionally but then realizing this, I lowered it to try to reason with her, “Lucy, there wasn’t any room on the table for the green tea when we got there and no one asked her for it.”
“The other couples also thought that Soo-Jin was rude for texting at the table,” Lucy complained.
“She was answering emails for work and who are these arses anyway to question what she is doing at the table? Why weren’t they friendlier to her?” I said feeling annoyed about the whole situation.
Needless to say, Lucy didn’t see my point of view and I was banned from her dinner parties. I never did tell Soo-Jin about the Lucy situation. Besides, my relationship with Soo-Jin came to an end soon after all this, when Soo-Jin told me that her family was going to introduce her to a Korean man. I will always remember how great Soo-Jin was in bed. I guess I am still looking for someone like Mai, only this time on the same continent.
In the dating pool of New York City, people can and do like to experiment. You could say that dating is like sampling a variety of flavors in an ice cream shop before choosing one. Or for those who can’t decide, you could always get a double or triple scoop, depending on whether you’re willing to do the extra licking. The choices can seem endless in this Metropolicks that we call New York City. Some like vanilla, some prefer chocolate, and some, like me, like green tea ice cream—but don’t worry—there’s enough ice cream for everyone.
July 17, 2015:
FRIDAYS, feature a chapter about the character Frank. Come back on Fridays and click HERE to read more about him.
Blakely Turnbull was from one of the oldest and wealthiest families in New York. Her great, great, grandfather had started a small haberdashery in the mid-1800s that became a major national chain of department stores. The chain went belly up after it was sold to a competitor, but the family retained their great wealth by diversifying their investments into television and radio. Blakely was well known on the New York social circuit. I met her at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera.
While I wasn’t a fan of opera, each year I would attend to meet interesting people. Even among all the gentlemen in tuxedos, I tried to stand out in the crowd and it worked with Blakely. Blakely is fifteen years older than I am, but we had never dated. Yet she always flirted with me, and I was always obliging. Blakely, in turn, would invite me to many exclusive social events.
At a private party in her massive apartment on Park Avenue, Blakely introduced me to Misty.
“Misty, this is a man you just must know. Frank Branigan is the owner of several major car dealerships in the tri-state area. Watch out Misty, he is quite the ladies’ man,” Blakely said giving Misty a knowing look.
I looked over at the rather petite Misty who had blonde hair and a curvaceous figure. Suddenly, I realized who she was. Misty had gone triple platinum with her first album and was known for her provocative music videos. She was also known for her highly public love affairs in the ten years since she had become a household name.
“Pleasure to meet you, I really like your music videos,” I said acknowledging my recognition of her.
“You are a very lucky man, Frank,” Misty said as if to share her thoughts aloud.
“How is that?” I asked.
“I am in-between boyfriends and you just happen to be at the right place at the right time.”
“How do you know if I am interested or available?” I said pretending to be indifferent.
“Yes, I heard about you. That you would play hard to get. Word on the party circuit is that you are great in bed.”
“Who am I to disagree with the word of the party circuit?” I responded with a laugh.
I knew Misty would be in Manhattan for a few weeks before she was going to shoot another music video in L.A. So, I had to move quickly. On our first date, I took her to a Broadway musical. Outside of the theater the paparazzi were waiting for her. They immediately surrounded Misty and me. I was barraged by the endless sound of camera shutters clicking and flashes going off as they started snapping photos of her. Her bodyguards pushed the paparazzi back to clear the way for her to get into the awaiting limo. Misty dropped me off at my apartment, and gave me a long kiss good night.
“To be continued,” I told her before exiting the limo.
The next day, Nine called to tell me that she had seen a photo of Misty and me in the tabloids. I took it in stride.
On the second date, Misty brought me up to her SoHo penthouse. Her personal chef prepared a meal for both of us. After the meal, she took my hand and led me to her bedroom. I unbuttoned her blouse and started lifting her skirt.
“So, let’s see the package,” she playfully demanded as she unzipped and dropped her skirt.
I undressed and Misty clapped her hands.
“Okay Frank, what do you intend to do to little ole me?”
“Take off your thong and you will find out,” I playfully commanded.
I started French kissing Misty and slowly made my way down her body, licking her nipples and then her inner thighs. As I went down on her, Misty started moaning and panting until she had an orgasm. In return, Misty started to give me a blow job. Then, she reached into the drawer of her nightstand for a condom. I told her to turn around and we did it doggie style. This time, we climaxed together and collapsed on the bed. Afterwards, Misty reached into her nightstand again, took out a cigarette and lit it.
“I really am not a big fan of cigarette smoking,” I told her.
“No problem, I only smoke one cigarette after a good lay. And that was a really good one.”
“Well, I intend to give you many more good lays, so I guess I need to get used to that one cigarette a night,” I quipped.
The next week while she was in Manhattan, I escorted her to a series of A-List only parties. I took my vintage Jaguar out of the garage so that I could personally drive Misty around in style. I had had enough of her bodyguards. Finally, it came time for her to go to L.A. for a video shoot. While she was away, I called her daily. When the video shoot was over, I headed to the West coast to spend the weekend with her at her Malibu home. Unbeknownst to us, as we walked along the beach, the paparazzi took photos of us.
The following week, she had to attend a music awards event in London. After that, she headed to Paris for a charity function, and finally, she ended up in Milan for a fashion show. Every weekend, I flew to each city to be with her. Altogether, I had left Manhattan for four weekends in a row to see her.
Over dinner in her SoHo penthouse, I thought it was time to discuss the subject of her tumultuous life. “Misty, you lead a whirlwind life and I am trying to keep up with you, but honestly I don’t know if I can keep up with you for your upcoming tour. Also, I just want to punch the paparazzi who keep shoving cameras in my face.”
“What do you want me to do? Slow down?” Misty asked somewhat defensively.
“Well, actually, yes. You’ve been a big success since you were eighteen. You have more money than most people can dream of. Why not slow up a bit?”
“Frank, you don’t understand. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a child star. I can’t stop now. I am in my prime. You don’t know the music business like I do. The public is fickle. If you drop out of sight for a while, the public goes for the new fresh face.”
“You are twenty-eight years old and I am forty-one. I am not as young as I used to be. I don’t think I can chase after you on a world tour. Not unless I leave my business and become your personal escort,” I said.
“Why not do that? I would love to have you on the road every day with me,” Misty said enthusiastically.
“Don’t get me wrong, you are great. But I need a certain amount of normalcy in my life,” I responded realizing that my time with Misty was near an end.
“I’m sorry Frank. But right now, my career comes first,” Misty said sadly.
POSTSCRIPT: I saw Misty six months later when she was performing in concert at Madison Square Garden. She gave me backstage tickets and when I went backstage to see her, I also met her new boyfriend, a multi-millionaire entrepreneur.
July 18, 2015:
Now that the weekend is here, it's time for another photo intermission. Aside from the photos of gorgeous models, we have another visual surprise within the pages of Metropolicks. Come back tomorrow to see!
Time for another photo intermission
July 19, 2015:
In addition to the photo inserts after each photo intermission, we have a specially commissioned artwork that was created by artists Jennie Yip and Claudine Lee in the book. The artwork was inspired by the title chapter of Metropolicks, and appears in that chapter, which we shared on July 16th. If you've read the chapter you'll understand what ice cream has to do with this chapter. If you'd like to know more about illustrator, Jennie Yip watch our interview with her by CLICKING HERE. You can also see the work of artist Claudine Lee on her website HERE.
The Metropolicks Artwork
July 20, 2015:
It's MONDAY, which means we'll be featuring a chapter about the character Luana. Come back on Mondays and click HERE to read more about her.
TODAY we also introduce the character Katia. Want to know more about Katia? Click HERE to read more about her.
From Russia With Sex
(LUANA, Montoya and Katia)
Montoya and I were sitting in the Roof Dining Room of the Yale Club, a clean modern space with high ceilings and grand arches. Across from us was one of my best friends, Katia Romanov, a svelte, bosomy brunette in her thirties. Katia always looked polished and put together. Her nails were flawlessly manicured just as her hair was always perfectly coiffed. The three of us were sharing a bottle of red wine and some appetizers.
“Gianni showed up at my door, late at night, but I had a big, muscular bouncer with me that night. I can’t believe how desperately he was begging me to take him off the website you gave me,” I told Montoya and Katia.
“So, that’s how you finally got rid of him?” Katia asked in her Russian accent.
“Well, actually, at first I put him on the website because I wanted other women to be forewarned about him, but after he showed up at my door, I took him off of the website because I could see why he didn’t want people he worked with to see it,” I explained. “And, then, I told my doorman to never let Gianni into the building again. The doorman didn’t know that we’d broken up. In the past Gianni was always coming over and so the last time Gianni showed up at my door, he just gave Gianni my spare key without even thinking about it. As I was talking to my doorman about what had happened with Gianni that night, we got into an interesting conversation about all the crazy things he’s seen over the years.”
“I’ll bet!” said Montoya intrigued.
“What stories does he have?” asked Katia.
“He told me that there’s this one woman in the building who always seems to come home at 4 A.M. on Saturdays, barely clothed and drunk. It’s like clockwork, he says. She always looks like a wreck and her private parts are barely covered up! But, on any other day of the week, she looks very prim and proper and behaves as if nothing of that sort ever happened!”
“Sounds like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde,” Montoya said.
“Oh, and of course, there are always the crazy things people do in the elevator. One couple basically flashed the camera in the elevator before going at it. As a prank, the doorman rang the fire alarm to see if that would startle or stop them, but it seemed to have the opposite effect on them as they just went at it even more furiously!”
“Elevator sex, been there, done that,” said Montoya.
“Yeah, and then there’s this one annoying person who seems to always lose his keys and get locked out of his apartment. Oh, and even stranger, there’s this person who once mistakenly came over to the building thinking he lived there, but it turns out he was at the wrong address. However, he still periodically comes over pissed drunk, claiming that he lives in the building.”
“Always something interesting in the life of a doorman,” Montoya added.
“Well, I gave the doorman some extra tip money and told him to make sure that Gianni was not allowed in the building again. I am finally, finally ending this bad, bad, bad relationship! Looking back on it now I realize that when I discovered that Gianni was bedding other women, sometimes on the same day as we had been together, I was furious. For a while, I felt entitled to do the same thing, which accounts for the sexual advances that I had made toward you and Frank the first night we all met,” I said looking at Montoya. “I think I was addicted to Gianni and the relationship that we had. But, I am over it now. And it was all thanks to you. Thanks for talking some sense into me.”
“You did a really good deed. God will bless you!” Katia said to Montoya.
“I am very glad I was able to help you,” Montoya replied. “And Katia, I didn’t think you were religious.”
“I am similar to Luana. Not religious, but I am spiritual.”
“I just did my part. Luana had to do the really hard part by setting boundaries with Gianni and sticking to them. People like Gianni will always test others’ boundaries. But, she is holding her ground,” Montoya said.
“Now, Luana, you need to think about what kind of man you are looking for next,” Katia said adamantly.
“Please, I just ended a relationship. I don’t need to make any plans just yet. No relationships.”
“What about you and Montoya?” Katia asked. “You seem to both get along great,” Katia said looking back and forth at both of us.
“Our timing is off. I am on the rebound and I think he is too,” I responded looking over at Montoya.
“Might I remind you ladies—I’m sitting right here. But, seriously, I went out on a date with someone recently and I found myself talking about my exes,” I said taking a sip of my wine. “And, yes, I also realized that I am still a bit on the rebound, too.”
“So, at the moment, I think we are meant to just be friends. I do feel that we are kindred spirits in a way and it would be good to have a real male friend to talk to and confide in,” I said as I put my hand lightly on Montoya’s.
“Of course, it will be hard to not think of you in a sexual way. You do realize that,” Montoya responded.
“Well, this will be a first for me, and it may be hard to not think of you in a sexual way either,” I said coyly as I leaned over to give Montoya a quick kiss on the lips.
“I’m not totally convinced about this friendship thing going on with the two of you,” Katia said breaking the sexual tension between Montoya and me.
“So, what about you Katia? Any boyfriend?” Montoya asked changing the subject.
“Of course, you can’t have a body like this and not have a boyfriend,” Katia said laughing.
“Well, I am glad to see that you are humble as well as spiritual,” Montoya jested.
“I always have a boyfriend and I am always the one doing the breaking up. Women these days don’t get it. I think if I am having sex with a guy, he should be grateful. He should pay. Why should I be doing things for him and not get anything in return? It isn’t fair. So, of course, my boyfriends have to pay my rent, buy me things, and take care of me.”
“Sounds very materialistic. No?” Montoya responded.
“Not materialistic. No. I could have any guy I want. So, he should be grateful and do things for me. Why am I doing for him and pleasuring him and he doesn’t do for me? That’s not fair,” Katia proclaimed.
“I love the Russian mentality. Very practical,” I chimed in.
“American women. Why go to bed with someone and be used by these jerks? Get something out of it. Why is it so unfair? You’re not going to see me feeling down about any guy. They may feel sad that they didn’t treat me right and let me get away… look at what they are missing?” Katia boasted.
“What is your boyfriend like?” Montoya asked.
Katia laughed. “Dumb, very dumb. I don’t mean stupid. He went to an Ivy League school and makes a lot of money as an investment banker.”
“You mean he is dumb because he doesn’t get it that you are subtly controlling him?” Montoya asked.
“See, you and I can never date. You get it.” Katia laughed again. “I need a guy who I can train like a dog. Who’ll roll over when I tell him to roll over, and control him but who doesn’t realize that I am controlling him. Why do men become rock stars or CEOs? It is because then they can easily get a hot woman who is great in bed. Trust me! Behind every great man is an even greater woman!”
“I think Evita Peron would agree with you,” I kidded.
“I need a guy I can handle. Make him do what I want, when I want and him never knowing who is pulling his strings.” Katia took another swig of her drink, and then popped the cherry into her mouth.
“So, not From Russia with Love, but from Russia with sex?” Montoya said as Katia removed the cherry stem from her lips, which she had managed to tie into a knot with her tongue. Seeing this, Montoya and I both laughed.
Then, Montoya said, “With such a skilled tongue, it’s no wonder you have men wrapped around your finger. So, are you planning on getting married to this current boyfriend?”
“Maybe. But, I am always on the lookout for an even dumber and richer guy.”
I listened to the exchange between Katia and Montoya, feeling amused.
“If all Russian women think the way you do, I’d be afraid to date them. I don’t know if I want to eat milk bones and wear a dog collar for the rest of my life,” Montoya joked.
“You don’t know what you are missing. It is worth it.” Katia said, swirling the drink in her hand.
July 21, 2015:
On TUESDAYS we'll be sharing a chapter about the character Tara. Want to know more about Tara? Come back on Tuesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
How Big is Big?
Connor and I were going at it on my couch. Connor was tall, fit, and a professional soccer player. I had met Connor through Ned, who was an ex-lover of Luana. Ned was the type of person who was the life of the party, and you never knew what outrageous things he’d say. According to Luana, Ned was quite above average in size. After Ned had introduced Connor to me, he blurted out that Connor was exceptionally well endowed. He knew this because he had seen Connor in the men’s locker room of their gym. If Ned thought that Connor was huge, that was really saying something. So, I was immediately curious about Connor.
I wondered just how big he was. As we stopped kissing, I looked down at his crotch. And it looked like it was about to burst, so I started unbuttoning and unzipping his pants. But before I could undo his pants, Connor reached behind my back to unhook my bra. Then, he lifted my blouse to kiss my breasts and reached up my skirt, his fingers exploring.
“Let’s move it to the bedroom,” I said taking Connor by the hand leading him away from the couch.
In the bedroom Connor unzipped my skirt, which dropped to the floor and then he removed his pants and boxers.
“Oh my…” I gasped. “Ned was right, you are huge! That has got to be what… ten inches?” I asked.
“Eleven inches,” Connor said correcting me. “Can you guess the girth?”
“I’m afraid to guess.”
“Four inches,” he said with obvious pride.
“Wow. I don’t think I have ever seen a specimen like that. Let me take a closer look,” I said as I playfully pushed him onto the bed. I bent over and started licking his dick and tried to put it in my mouth, but gagged.
“Let me just work on the tip of it,” I said and then I stopped. “Can most women fit that?”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure you can handle it,” Connor said reassuringly. “I will go at your pace.”
Connor stopped and reached into one of the pockets of his pants and pulled out an Extra Large condom. He put it on and I noticed that it didn’t cover his entire dick.
“Relax, lay back,” Connor said as he started to go down on me. I felt his tongue filling me up and started moaning. Connor then started to move upward as he kissed my stomach, then my nipples and finally making it up to kiss my lips. He pressed himself against me indicating that he wanted to enter me. As he did this, I took a deep breath, but then the pressure was too much to bear.
“I can’t right now. Give me some time to get used to it. Maybe we can try again later.”
We cuddled and fell asleep in each other’s arms.
The next morning, I awoke. As I looked over at Connor, I saw that the sheets between his legs had formed into a tepee. I knew what that meant and feeling up to the challenge I said, “I think I’m ready now.”
I reached into my nightstand for some lubricant. Connor leaned over and took the lubricant from me.
“Let me do it.”
Connor started kissing me, as he tenderly rubbed my butt. Then, he moved his hands toward my inner thighs. As he felt me start to relax, he began applying the lubricant, using his fingers to prep me for what was to come. We made out for a few moments more and then he put on a condom. He started gently thrusting and the lubricant made it easier this time. I moaned with pleasure but as he started thrusting harder and deeper, I started screaming, but not out of excitement. “Wait! Slow down! That hurts!”
“Sorry,” Connor said and then resumed at a slower pace going gradually harder and deeper.
“Ouch! Sorry, Connor but you keep hitting my back wall. Can you not go in all the way?”
“Okay. Why don’t you get on top?” Connor suggested as he turned onto his back.
I climbed on top of him and slowly eased part of him inside of me, “Oh that’s much better. Much better.”
Soon I started moaning again and after a few minutes I screamed as I climaxed. But Connor didn’t.
“You didn’t come?” I asked afterward.
“No. I need to thrust faster and deeper.”
I looked at him with some sadness. “Sorry, Connor. You’re such a nice guy. But I think you’re just too big for me.”
That was the end of Connor. I realized that though it was good for me, and I had satisfied my curiosity, it wouldn’t have been fair to Connor. Sometimes you have to know when to cut the bait.
July 22, 2015:
On WEDNESDAYS we'll be sharing a chapter about the character Nine. Want to know more about Nine? Come back on Wednesdays and click HERE to read more about her.
The Scarlet V
Frank couldn’t tell, and I know that he is a very insightful guy. But, he couldn’t tell with Yvonne or with me. I used to think that people could tell by just looking at me. They could tell that I was a virgin, like I was wearing a scarlet letter of some type. I imagined myself being like the lepers in The New Testament screaming in the streets, “Unclean! Unclean!” announcing my presence and warning others of my condition.
However, in my case, I would be screaming, “Clean! Clean! Prude! Prude!” forewarning others. I didn’t exactly set out to become a twenty-six-year-old virgin, it just happened. I have always been a Good girl with a capital “G.” The Bible is very clear about not having sex until marriage and I wasn’t going to give it up to just anyone. I would have to be married to a man before having sex with him.
Being an Air Force brat, I didn’t always have a lot of stability, but the strong Christian values that my parents instilled in me have kept me grounded. As a child, we moved to a series of places, before ending up at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to stay close to my parents. Being an only child and knowing that they would miss me, I went to Wheaton College, a Christian college in suburban Chicago. I would go home every weekend.
After college, I went to the University of Chicago Law School, also staying close to home and visiting my parents on the weekends. While in my first year at law school, my father was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and he and my mother moved to the Washington, D.C. area so that he could work at the Pentagon. I guess they both realized that I was finally mature enough to leave the nest and be on my own.
For my second summer in law school, I decided to go to the East Coast to be a Summer Associate at a corporate law firm in Manhattan, where Montoya was already a Partner. He was the one who did my on campus interview, and later became a mentor to me. After I graduated, the firm gave me an amazing offer, so I decided to move to the Big Apple to make my mark in corporate law. I was to report to someone else but Montoya continued to be my unofficial mentor.
My parents were not worried about me since my older cousin, Trent, who was already living in Manhattan promised to look after me. The first week I arrived in New York, Trent introduced me to several of his friends. One of them was Belinda. She was ten years older than me and she owned a well-known art gallery on Prince Street. Tall with big boobs, she would always dress fashionably, and in a sexy way, showing a lot of cleavage.
“I’m glad that my cousin Trent arranged for us to meet,” I told her when we first met.
“Nine, I think I need to keep you under my wing. You definitely need some looking after,” Belinda said protectively.
Belinda would bring me to all the big parties and I would hobnob with celebrities at all the clubs. I usually limited myself to two glasses of wine a night since I didn’t want to get too tipsy. At these parties, I met a dashing up-and-coming male model, a rap star, several hedge fund head honchos, and more actors and actresses than I could count. But every time I thought I made a connection with one of these celebrities, Belinda would butt in and make a point of saying that I was “her innocent little sister.” Some people deciphered the code and realized that meant I was a virgin, or inexperienced at the very least. It used to bother me as if there was something wrong with me.
Then, I found The Journey Church and attended one of their growth groups and really liked it. Half a year later, I was co-leading a Journey growth group. Every growth group met for thirteen weeks to discuss a Christian book and at the end of each meeting, the group members shared prayer requests. Part care circle and part book club, it helped me to make some good Christian friends in New York.
At The Journey Church, it was not only okay to be a virgin; it was respected and admired. Because of the acceptance I got at The Journey, I no longer felt insecure about being a virgin, so I finally broke ties with Belinda. She was angry and told me that I needed to grow up. But the thing was, I didn’t need to grow up. I had outgrown her, and I didn’t need to be under anyone’s wing any more.
July 23, 2015:
On THURSDAYS we'll be sharing a chapter about the character Montoya. Want to know more about Montoya? Come back on Thursdays and click HERE to read more about him.
Sexy for a Day
(MONTOYA, Nine, and Luana)
Esme was only going to stay with me for the weekend. She was the girlfriend of my cousin, Carlos, who lived in Ibiza, which some would claim is the “partying capital” of Spain. Carlos and Esme were both really into the Ibiza club scene. In fact, that’s how they had met. Carlos was the son of my father’s brother. While I grew up in London with a Spanish father and a British mother, Carlos had grown up in Madrid and both of his parents were Spanish.
When I went to JFK airport to pick Esme up, I spotted her immediately even though I had not met her before. Carlos had told me to look for the sexiest woman in the airport, and he definitely wasn’t exaggerating. She was sex on a stick, with lovely long legs and two perky melon-sized... uh you get the picture.
Carlos himself was a good-looking guy at twenty-five years old, but having Esme as a girlfriend was hitting the jackpot. I’d say she was about a natural C cup with long wavy black hair, brown eyes, and curves in all the right places. But the kicker was her flawless face. Dressed casually in a T-shirt and jeans, wearing no makeup, she looked like a teenager, though she was twenty-one.
Esme was to stay in my spare bedroom. Most of her weekend she wanted to visit museums, since she was into art. So, she went to the Met, the MOMA, and the Frick. But on Saturday night, I had invited her to go with me to Nine’s annual Halloween party. She had been throwing the party in her flat for years. I have always loved Halloween in New York City. It was the one day of the year that women who were normally conservatively dressed, all prim and proper, would be scantily clad in some Halloween outfit. They would be sexy for a day. And there were always some women who pushed the envelope wearing outfits that showed off some of their naughty bits.
Esme had said she would meet me directly at Nine’s flat. Approximately forty people were in Nine’s Union Square apartment dressed in various Halloween costumes. Frank was dressed as Count Dracula, Tara was showing a lot of leg as the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, and Nine was dressed in a short little angel costume complete with wings. Roxanne was dressed as Little Bo Peep, which seemed apt because her dress was so short and low cut that every time she bent over; it was as if she was giving all the men a free peep show.
Luana was wearing a blonde wig and dressed as Eve (as in Adam and Eve). She had a very realistic looking serpent wrapped around her bare shoulders with leaves strategically placed to cover her private parts. Katia came dressed in a flight attendant’s uniform that had a plunging neckline revealing her ample cleavage and the words “Fly Me” embroidered on the breast pocket. I was dressed as a New York City cop in a full navy blue uniform, complete with a fake badge and police baton.
When Esme came into the apartment, she was wearing a long coat so I didn’t initially see her Halloween costume. But when she took off her coat, I was shocked to see her wearing a micro-thong bikini and not much else. The thong was literally one blue string in the front that didn’t cover up her vadge and rode up her bum in the back. On top she had two gold badges strategically placed to cover her nips. Her torso and vadge were covered in glittery navy blue body paint and she wore a matching cap and a pair of handcuffs on her left wrist.
“What in heaven’s name are you supposed to be?” I blurted out when I saw her.
“I am a New York City cop like you, partner. Can’t you tell from the handcuffs, my badges, and the blue cap?” she asked innocently.
“This is America, not Ibiza,” I responded.
She was essentially nude and was the center of attention the entire night. Several women rolled their eyes at me as they walked past us. Frank patted me on the back as he gave me a wink and a sly smile. Tara was busy talking with some guy dressed as a Samurai. But Nine looked absolutely furious. Luana was the only woman who was friendly to Esme and talked to her most of the night comparing exercise regimens. I felt as though I had to keep an eye on Esme that night so I spent most of the night talking to both Luana and Esme. When Esme excused herself to go to the restroom, it gave me a chance to talk one-on-one with Luana.
“I know that tonight most people’s eyes are on Esme and her scandalous costume. But your costume doesn’t leave much to the imagination either,” I said admiring her strategically placed leaves, marveling at how they had managed to stay in place all night.
“And I like a man in uniform,” Luana said suggestively. “There is something so authoritative about a man in uniform.”
“Interesting that you say that because I feel like I am Esme’s bodyguard, keeping the men here from messing with her. I promised my cousin, Carlos, that I’d look after her.”
Esme came back to join our conversation. As she turned around, both of us saw an obvious hand print on her bum where blue glittery body paint had been rubbed off. Luana and I exchanged looks at the sight. Luana laughed, and I almost laughed, but it didn’t seem right to do so.
“I think you should dust her butt for fingerprints to find who’s responsible for that,” Luana said to me still laughing.
Hearing Luana laughing, Esme turned around and said, “What’s so funny?” She was completely oblivious.
“My dear, you have a handprint on your arse. It looks like some of your body paint there has been rubbed off. I don’t know who the offending party is, and I don’t want to get into it, so I think it’s time to go home,” I said firmly to Esme.
I went to get her coat and put it over her shoulders to cover up the offending evidence. Then, I said my goodbyes to Luana, Frank, Tara, Katia, Roxanne, and Nine. Esme and I went straight back to my place since she had a flight the next day. The following afternoon, I took her to JFK, to see her off and on her way back to my lucky cousin, Carlos.
Later that same day, Nine texted me saying that she wanted to meet me for a drink. We agreed to meet at Terra Blues in the Village. I told her to meet me at 9:30 that evening, which would give us a chance to talk in-between the blues sets at the club. When I saw Nine, I could tell that she seemed to be upset with me because she only gave me a hug, but no kiss on the check as she usually did. As soon as we sat down, she blurted out: “Why did you bring a nude underage woman to my party?! You’re lucky you weren’t arrested!”
“Wait a minute! She wasn’t underage. Do you think I’m mad as a hatter? She’s twenty-one.”
“But she was nude! Nude! In my apartment!”
Nine surprised me with her strong reaction. “I saw other women rolling their eyes at me probably thinking who was this woman that I’d brought to your party? But, they weren’t furious like you. Why are you so upset?”
“Why?” she repeated.
“Is there an echo in this bar? Nine, yes, why?”
“Well, first of all, no one would have said anything to you about it because that would have just caused a scene. Besides, you shouldn’t be with anyone that young.”
“I wasn’t. I told you at the party when I introduced her to you that she is my cousin’s girlfriend,” I insisted.
“I know,” she seemed to be at a loss for words for a moment. Then, she added. “But other people at the party didn’t know. You have no business being with anyone that young, you’re thirty-six years old! Why are you with all these young chicks? At least, be with someone near my age.”
“Seriously, my dear, what is the difference between someone who’s twenty-six like you and a twenty-one year old?”
Again, she was furious, “There is a world of difference between a twenty-six year old and a twenty-one year old. That’s five years of maturity.”
“Nine, I don’t see the issue at all unless you’re telling me that you don’t want me to date anyone younger than you. Is that it?”
“Well, yes. Yes. Don’t date anyone younger than me. It isn’t right! They’re jailbait. You could wind up in jail!”
“Nine, my dear, I have never been with anyone underage. Are you jealous? Nine, I thought we always had a sibling-type relationship?”
“We do! We do. It isn’t jealousy.”
“I can see why any woman would be jealous of Esme,” I said trying to diffuse the tension between us. “But seriously, I think that your name is fitting because I don’t believe that any woman is a perfect ten, and the closest any woman can come to perfection is a nine,” I said finally feeling like I was no longer under attack by Nine. “And love, you are definitely a nine.”
“Maybe it is similar to a divorced dad who is now dating someone as young as his daughter. It isn’t jealousy. It just makes me feel uncomfortable.”
“Hey, I’m only ten years older than you. I’m hardly old enough to be your dad,” I kidded.
“Okay, you’re more like an older brother to me.”
“I get it now, love, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I won’t date anyone under twenty-six years old from this day forward. You mean the world to me.”
Nine gave me a big hug as she said, “Thanks Montoya. I love you.”
“Love you too,” I said hugging her back and giving her a kiss on the cheek.
July 24, 2015:
FRIDAYS, feature a chapter about the character Frank. Come back on Fridays and click HERE to read more about him.
There's Someone for Everyone
To blow off some steam after a long, stressful week, I had gone to the gym to play some racquetball. My cell phone rang as I was getting dressed after taking a shower.
“Hi Nine, what’s going on?” I asked.
“I was wondering if you could do me a favor. Montoya was supposed to help me with something this coming Friday night, but he is working on a big case and he had to unexpectedly fly to Chicago.”
“Okay, what’s the favor?”
“I was going to go a speed dating event, but you are only allowed to attend if you bring someone from the opposite sex. Can you go with me?” Nine asked.
“Speed dating? Geez, I don’t know.”
“It would mean a lot to me, Frank, if you would go with me.”
“Well, it wasn’t that long ago that I bid on Tara at a date auction. Am I going to have to fend off unwanted suitors for you, too?”
“No, it’s not like that. You’ll have a chance to meet someone, too. It’s all been taken care of. Montoya and I have registered for the event, so you can just take his place. Hey, I’ll also treat you to a few drinks afterwards.”
“Okay, I will give it a whirl,” I replied.
Two days later on a Friday night, Nine and I found ourselves at an Upper West Side bar where the tables had been lined up in one long row. The men sat on one side of the tables and women on the other. Each couple had five minutes to get to know each other. After everyone had had a chance to meet, we were asked to list the five people who we liked the most. Then, the host compared everyone’s top five choices to see if there were any matches.
I had already talked to four women when I ended up sitting across from a pretty woman in her twenties who I instantly recognized.
“Hi, my name is Frank and I know that your name is Yvonne Channing.”
“My name tag only has my first name on it. How did you know my last name?”
“A few months ago, you were in a date auction for the American Cancer Society, right?”
“Wow. Your memory is impressive. What else do you remember about me?” Yvonne asked.
“You are a Gemini, who loves to play tennis and to travel. You want a guy who is adventurous and you just learned how to cook,” I responded.
“That is so amazing! How in the world did you remember all of that?”
“I never forget a pretty face or her personal information.”
“Well, if I made such a big impression on you, why didn’t you bid on me?”
“I was there for my friend, Tara. She asked me to bid on her, but she was the last one to be bid on and you had left by then. She was worried that no one would bid on her or that some pervert would bid on her. So, since I could only bid on one person, I couldn’t bid on you.”
“You must be a really good friend to do that for her.”
“I’ll say. I was planning on talking to you at the end of the event, but you left early after the guy bid on you. Was it at least a good date for you?” I asked.
“Actually, it wasn’t a good date at all. He was something of a jerk.”
“It isn’t often you get a second chance in life,” I said warmly. “Let’s not tempt fate a second time. Forget these cards. You’re the only one here I am interested in. Hang around to the end of this event and let me take you out to dinner.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Yvonne said happily.
At the end of the event, Nine approached as I was talking with Yvonne, so I introduced her to Nine, “Yvonne, this is my friend Nine. I came here tonight as a favor to her.”
Yvonne shook hands with Nine, and then she turned and said to me, “Are you always such a hero to all your women friends? Helping out damsels in distress?”
“Frank is a knight in shining armor.” Nine put her hand on my shoulder and said to me, “You’re a true gentleman.”
“So, are you vouching for him?” Yvonne asked Nine.
“Yes I am,” Nine said smiling.
“Frank has asked me to have dinner with him.”
“Frank, I still owe you a drink but let’s do it some other time so you can have dinner with Yvonne.”
I realized that Nine was bowing out gracefully so that I could spend some more time with Yvonne. “Thanks, Nine, I’m glad you dragged me out to this event,” I said.
“Have fun,” Nine responded as she put on her jacket and got ready to leave.
I took Yvonne to a new trendy restaurant that was close by. At the end of the date, I gave her a single sensual kiss on the lips. The second date we went to a jazz club and again I gave her just one single kiss at the end of the night. On the third date, I took her to dinner at a cozy, candlelit Mediterranean restaurant. It was the sort of place that really enhanced the mood for romance.
After we ate, I leaned in to whisper in Yvonne’s ear. “I usually make a move before the third date, but you seem very shy so I didn’t want to rush into anything,” I said putting my hand on her hand.
“I know. You are a special man.”
“Is it okay if I make a move now?”
Yvonne didn’t say anything. She just nodded and smiled. I leaned in and started kissing her gently, then moved to her neck and back to her lips. We made out for about half an hour.
Then, Yvonne looked at me with a serious look on her face. “Frank, I hope you go very slow with me. I haven’t been with many men. I can’t take you home tonight.”
“That’s okay,” I responded.
We had been dating for about a month, when I started to reach under her dress as we were sitting in a cab one night, but Yvonne stopped me. Seeing the frustration on my face, she leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Frank, let’s go to your apartment.”
“I thought you’d never ask.”
“You will be gentle with me won’t you?” Yvonne asked sheepishly.
“Without a doubt,” I said reassuring her.
Once we were in my apartment, we started making out on the sofa and then I led her into my bedroom. On the bed, I started removing her clothes as we continued to make out. When she was totally nude, I removed my clothing and went to a dresser drawer to take out a condom.
“Frank, I have something important to tell you.”
“You have a special position you like?” I wisecracked.
“I have no positions at all. I have no experience at all. I am a virgin,” Yvonne said with a look of seriousness to her face.
“You’re serious? A virgin? How? You’ve never been with a man?”
“Never. I go to Catholic mass every Sunday. I am a devout Catholic. I’ve waited a long time. But I think I am ready now, with you. I just thought you would want to know that before we did it.”
I sat on the bed and put the condom to the side.
“What is it Frank? Did I do something wrong?” Yvonne asked nervously.
I turned to her and kissed her on the forehead. “No, you’ve done nothing wrong. I grew up Catholic but I am now an agnostic. I’m not devout at all. I haven’t dated anyone devout for a long, long time. And a virgin! It’s just that I take that very seriously. To be someone’s first is a big deal. Why me as your first?”
Yvonne covered herself with the bedcovers. “You are such a gentleman. I want a really good guy to be my first.”
“I’m not that good. As a matter of fact, some would call me a ‘player.’ The longest relationship I’ve had in the last four years has only been three months. You should be with a guy who can commit to being in a long-term relationship with you and I don’t think that guy is me,” I said in a sad tone. “There is someone out there for you.”
Yvonne looked at me with tears in her eyes, “But, I want you to be my first.”
“I can’t. I’m sorry. I was burned four years ago by a real bitch of a woman. I don’t think I have recovered yet from that. I don’t want to hurt you.”
I went to the bathroom to grab some tissues and handed them to Yvonne to wipe her eyes.
Yvonne got dressed as I put on a robe. I walked her to my door and gave her cab money.
Later on, I text messaged Yvonne to make sure she had gotten home all right.
As I tossed and turned that night, I thought about my conversation with Yvonne. I heard my own words to her; ‘There is someone out there for you.’ And then I thought about one of my employees, Luke, who I knew was a devout Catholic.
The next day I called Yvonne, “How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Embarrassed,” Yvonne responded.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” I reassured her. “Listen, there is a guy who works for me who I know is also a devout Catholic. He is really a good guy. From what I know of him, he is not the type to date around a lot. But of the few past girlfriends he’s had, I believe that they have all been Catholic. That’s important to him. I think he would be a better match for you. Would you mind if I gave him your phone number? Do you trust me to do this?”
“Yes, I do. Okay I’ll give it a try. Thanks so much for doing this for me,” Yvonne responded.
“And please, don’t view last night as a rejection. Look at it as a blessing in disguise. Luke is the name of the man I want to introduce you to. I will tell him about you and that I think you would be perfect for him. Knowing him the way I do, I know for a fact that Luke will call you this weekend. I promise.”
“You won’t tell him about last night?”
“Of course not.”
“Okay, you can give him my number,” Yvonne said.
I learned that the next day Luke called Yvonne and they immediately hit it off on the phone.
Even though it had been over a month since the speed dating event, Nine had been insisting that she take me out for a drink as she’d promised. Besides, she wanted an update on what had happened with Yvonne and me. When Nine and I finally met up, I told her what had happened with Yvonne.
“Can you believe that? A virgin in Manhattan? She has to be one in a million.” I said.
Nine gave me a serious look.
“What? Did I say something wrong?”
“No, you didn’t. It’s just that there are probably many more virgins in New York than you think. I go to a church with over a thousand people. There are also many other churches similar to mine. Then, there are all the Catholic churches. I am assuming there are probably thousands of virgins in New York City. Virgins are not as rare as you think,” Nine asserted.
“Well, since I don’t date devout Christians or Catholics, I don’t run into them that often,” I said.
“But I have to say Frank, that what you did was fantastic,” Nine said with tears in her eyes.
“Hey. Hey. Why the tears?” I asked putting my arms around Nine, giving her a hug.
“It just makes me very glad and very proud to say that you are my friend. Most guys wouldn’t have done what you did. You really are a knight in shining armor,” Nine said proudly.
POSTSCRIPT: I stayed in touch with Yvonne. Six months later, Yvonne and Luke were married. They had both agreed to wait until their wedding night as husband and wife to be together for their first time.
July 25, 2015:
It's the weekend and we didn't want to leave you hanging. Remember Roxanne and Katia?
Well, now you can read about them on the weekends. Today we're sharing a chapter from Metropolicks that features ALL of the female characters that we've introduced to you so far: Luana, Tara, Nine, Roxanne and Katia. To learn more about any of these characters click HERE.
The New Hunter Gatherers
(NINE, Luana, Katia, Tara, and Roxanne)
The five of us had gathered for a girl’s night out on a chilly Valentine’s Day. It was the perfect weather for hot pot at Sik Gaek, a Korean restaurant in Woodside, Queens. I had suggested the restaurant based on the recommendation of my friend Cindy Zhou, who ran a foodie blog called Chubby Chinese Girl. Cindy had said that dining at Sik Gaek would be a truly unforgettable experience. And we were about to learn why.
The drama that had played out between Luana and Gianni right before Tara and me at Juan’s party was now a distant memory. Since then, Luana had broken up with Gianni and had become a part of our circle. Luana had invited Katia, and Tara had invited Roxanne.
We ordered a bottle of rice wine while we waited for the seafood hot pot to arrive. The center of the table had a built-in gas range. The hot pot, basically a pot of broth, was placed right on the gas range. Next came a large bowl of seafood, which was to be placed into the hot pot once the broth had started boiling. In the bowl was a giant squid still slithering about; there was also a lobster, a crab, and several other things that were all moving in slow motion. The bowl seemed alive with creatures. It looked like a scene out of the movie, Alien, with Sigourney Weaver.
But here there was no big mama alien; these were just little baby aliens. The roles had reversed. Instead of aliens hunting down humans and taking over their bodies, we were the hunters and ready to stuff ourselves with these edible little aliens. Our server, who was wearing plastic gloves, took out a pair of little scissors and started cutting the tentacles off the squid. The squid watched in horror as its tentacles were severed one by one. When only the squid’s head was left, the server cut that into three parts. The lobster was next, after witnessing all of this; it seemed to be trying to escape out of the bowl. Poor thing, it didn’t make it. First to go were the claws, then the tail. Finally the little guy was cut in half—right down the center. Into the pot he went with the squid. Next was the crab. After five minutes, practically everything in the bowl had been transferred into the hot pot.
Some bits and pieces remained in the bowl. I couldn’t stop staring as I noticed one of the squid’s severed tentacles still clinging onto the bowl for dear life, and said, “I have never ever had food that fought back. I can see why some people become vegetarian.”
Tara took photos of the bowl with her iPhone. Our server instructed everyone on how to use the dipping sauces and scooped the tentacles from the hot pot while they were still moving. Roxanne was already tipsy because instead of the rice wine, she has been downing soju. Her trademark mass of blonde curly hair contrasted with her flushed face. She fanned herself as the steam from the hot pot floated over the table. Her loose blouse almost fell off her left shoulder.
“It seems like people in New York are always looking around to upgrade, and men especially always try to date out of their league,” Roxanne complained.
“You mean like upgrading from coach to first class? What’s wrong with that?” I interjected.
Roxanne continued, “Well, the other day I was at the Harvard Club’s annual beer fest and this old, old guy comes up to me. He must have been at least eighty years old. He started talking to me and soon it was obvious that he was trying to pick me up.”
Katia spoke up, “Can’t blame a guy for trying. I love a dirty old man. They know how to treat a lady well. Big spenders.”
“No, I’m angry,” Roxanne responded. “How could he think that he had a chance with me? Eighty years old! It’s insulting! He’s looking at me like he’s starving with desperation, like he’s looking into a bakery window and I am the most decadent cake in the window.”
“So, he finds you attractive? Isn’t that a good thing?” asked Luana.
“No, you aren’t getting it. It’s all about leagues. Men and women are both guilty of it. Those who are eights want a nine and all nines want a ten. There are even some sixes or below who are trying to get nines and tens! I mean, be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment or rejection,” Roxanne continued with her rant.
“So, if you are an A cup, you secretly wish you were a B cup. And all the B cups want to be a C cup. Is that what you mean?” I asked.
“No, that’s not what I’m talking about Nine,” Roxanne responded.
“I think what Roxanne is talking about is level of attractiveness. It’s like how some men and some women always go for the model types,” Tara explained.
“Right! I told this guy…“I am not your cupcake! I may be the most decadent cake you see in the window, but I am not for you!” Roxanne continued.
“And what you are saying is, how dare this guy think that he is even close to your league?” Tara asked.
“Exactly!” said Roxanne.
“The problem with men is they aren’t satisfied with just one cupcake,” Luana added.
“Are you saying that either everyone is trying to date out of his or her league or that no one is ever satisfied with who they’re with? That’s a pretty sad state of affairs. Remind me not to talk to any of you whenever I am depressed about my dating life,” I said joking.
Katia interrupted, “I think that in New York, especially, there are so many options that men and women are always just looking to upgrade.”
“And the grass is always greener on the other side. If people are married, then they wish they were single. And people who are single want to get married,” Tara added.
“Listen ladies, I will give you the best advice you ever got,” Katia said with an air of authority. “There is nothing wrong with dirty old men hitting on you. It’s not about leagues; it’s about money. But, if you are going to go for an older guy, don’t go for someone who is in his fifties or sixties or seventies. Go for someone old, I mean really old. They have to be in a wheelchair, with a walker, a cane, something that lets you know they are one step away from kicking the bucket. I mean someone in his eighties or nineties. If you go for someone under eighty, there might still be some gas left in the tank and they will still want some action every once in a while. You need a guy who might have a heart attack or a stroke just from seeing you get naked in front of him.”
“Look, I don’t want a guy for his wallet. I want a man with a hard dick and a strong sex drive. But too many guys are um mala,” Luana responded.
”What does that mean?” I asked.
“That’s a Brazilian expression for a suitcase without a handle. I guess the closest analogy would be a drag—the guy is a drag—like a suitcase without a handle. O cara e um coitado. The guy is a loser. He doesn’t get the job done, or know how to satisfy a woman. Those guys, they should just have a big letter ‘L’ tattooed onto their forehead as a warning to all women everywhere,” Luana proclaimed.
Roxanne spoke up. “If anything gets tattooed on the guy’s head, maybe it should be how good he is in bed.”
Luana and Katia high-fived her.
I interjected, “I don’t have a lot of experience with sex, but I do with kissing and making out. To me, a guy will never get far if he doesn’t know how to kiss.”
Tara added, “There is no way a guy can be good in bed if he doesn’t know how to kiss.”
Luana chimed in, “I’d agree with that.”
“It is a damned shame when a good looking guy slobbers all over you or sticks his tongue down your throat,” Roxanne added.
“So, would you agree that a good kisser makes up for average looks?” Tara asked.
“I really need them to be cute before I even kiss them,” I responded.
“It’s all about their money and their generosity. Not the size of their dick, but the size of their wallet. As for a man’s kissing,” Katia paused “and other techniques, well, that can be taught,” Katia said as she took a swig of the complementary cucumber juice that the server had brought to the table.
“No, I have my own money. I want a man who knows how to use his equipment! I don’t want some selfish, self-absorbed jerk, nor will I stand for someone clueless and inexperienced. He should know how to please a woman and want to please a woman in bed. There are just too many amateurs running around out there,” Luana proclaimed.
“I want them to be madly in love with me. I will take love over kissing, having sex, or money,” I told the group.
“The other day I was with this guy,” Luana spoke up. “He was average in size, not huge or anything, but he was so passionate, it made the sex so hot.”
“It’s like they say, it’s the motion of the ocean, not the size of the ship, but you do need a minimum-sized ship to even make a wave in the ocean,” Tara said.
“I talk dirty and I scream in his ear... ‘Give it to me! Give it to me!’ ” Katia chimed in. “Makes them hard and produces buckets. Everybody wants to be wanted.”
“So, swallow or spit?” Roxanne wisecracked.
“I like taking a little in my mouth to show the guy that I accept him, but not swallowing massive loads,” Luana responded. “I like pulling his legs apart and putting my head in between his legs and grabbing both of his hands as I give him the blow job of his life. That way, he is totally at my mercy and he can’t use his hands to push and pull my head up and down.”
“So many guys think your head is like a seesaw in the playground. Keep your hands to yourself and I will give you a blow job that you’ll never forget,” Katia declared.
“Wow, you ladies are so open!” I said amused by all the revelations and advice I’d heard.
“There is nothing to it. Just enjoy having it in your mouth. Act like it is the best tasting lollipop you’ve ever had. Lick it, suck it, and kiss it. Also, tickle and suck the guy’s balls and he will be groaning in ecstasy,” Katia instructed. “What’s harder is teaching a guy how to give oral sex to you. God! Men and their fragile little egos! They don’t like to be instructed. Make use of your tongue, be creative, get in there and enjoy it! Lap it up and drink it like it’s an oasis in the middle of the desert! But, if a guy doesn’t want to go down on me, I will pull my panties up and be out of that bedroom faster than you can say ‘lousy lay.’ ”
“That’s right ladies, it’s time for men to stop being cavemen when it comes to pleasuring a woman. Show ’em how it’s done, tell them how it’s done, and help them to improve on their technique. You’ll have a better time. Think about it this way, even if you don’t end up with him, the next woman will thank you for what he’s learned,” Roxanne added.
We ordered another round of drinks and I suggested a toast, “Here’s to women and to us finding the men who deserve us!”
July 26, 2015:
Today's BONUS content is a chapter featuring Katia is written in what we call a “he said, she said style.” To learn more about her click HERE.
Katia was looking for an upgrade. Katia was still with Donovan, the investment banker, but their relationship had gotten stale. Lately, she had been feeling like she was not getting enough time with Donovan, which seemed ridiculous because she was effectively living with him, even though she had her own gorgeous 3,500 square foot apartment on the Upper East Side. Katia had gotten the apartment as part of the settlement in her divorce a few years ago.
In my mind, I have always kept my options open. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been on the lookout for a dumber and richer man who’d be able to maintain my lifestyle. I didn’t want to waste any more time with Donovan, so I had started booking back-to-back dates with several different men.
Today, I was going to have a drink with Brad before meeting Donovan for dinner. Brad, an attorney, who I had met through Montoya, was the rugged outdoorsy type. He had recently moved from the West Coast to become chief legal counsel for a hedge fund. When we had met, he seemed very taken by me and immediately asked to see me again.
I was looking forward to getting to know Brad a bit more. The night we met, we had had a great conversation about art and interiors. He was a beginner art collector and having just moved to New York, he was thinking about how to do the interiors of a Tribeca loft apartment, which he had just purchased. As we talked, Brad realized that I had expertise in art. That’s when I told him that I was an art dealer. At the end of the night, Brad said that he’d like to meet again to continue our conversation, but I thought that was just an excuse for him to see me again.
Today I was dressed in a white body-hugging dress, which revealed my curves and one of my bare shoulders. As I walked over to Brad, he stood up to greet me.
“Hello babe. You look gorgeous,” he said as he kissed me on the cheek.
“Hello darling. So nice to see you again, too,” I said.
Brad pulled out a chair for me at the bar, “What would you like to drink? Oh, I know, a glass of Dom Pérignon for the lady. I’ll have a scotch on the rocks.”
I looked at Brad and thought, it’s too bad I’m going to have to keep this short since I have plans to meet Donovan for dinner later. I hadn’t seen Donovan in weeks. But this could be interesting. It was like a little fishing expedition to learn more about Brad.
It turns out, Brad had modeled, been a semi-professional tri-athlete, traveled the world, and now he was looking for a different sort of a challenge professionally. He had a very competitive nature. Brad asked what my life had been like in Russia, which led me to tell him about my childhood in Russia. My family had lived hand to mouth, and I had vowed that I would find a way to get out and make a better life for myself.
As the conversation progressed, I realized that I needed to pace myself, so I said to Brad, “Darling, I have to be somewhere at eight, so, I’m sorry that I’m going to have to watch the time and might have to cut this a bit short.”
“Sure, no problem,” Brad said. “So, about my loft in Tribeca, I have the whole floor to myself, but I’m planning on doing some renovations on it first, especially with the bathroom. I want to upgrade all of the fixtures and to put in a nice big bathtub that’s big enough for two and for a nice relaxing soak at the end of a long day. I’m also going to have some rewiring done since it’s a prewar building. With your expertise, I’d love to have you take a look at it and do the interiors. We can talk about your fees later. I want to make it feel like a home fit for a king.”
I did not like this sudden shift in gears. I thought that this was supposed to be a date, not a business meeting.
Brad continued, “There are some restrictions on what I can do with it, of course, being a pre-war building and all, but I’d definitely want to preserve the apartment’s character, so you should help me to furnish it and make it feel like home.”
“Look, darling, that’s not what I do. I’m an art dealer, not an interior decorator and no offense, but you wouldn’t be able to afford me anyhow. I only work with very exclusive clients who make it worth my while.”
I looked at my watch to check the time. It was about 7:30 P.M. “Oh, look at the time! It’s been such a pleasure chatting with you, and as you know, I must get going now.”
Besides having a curvy hourglass figure, Katia is a woman who knows about art. I knew this soon after we started a conversation. It’s been a while since I’ve had a conversation like that about art. I am an avid art collector, but I was impressed by her knowledge. She talked about some of the art pieces that she had used to decorate her own apartment and how she had helped a friend of hers to renovate and decorate his apartment. Clearly, she had impeccable taste. I had just bought a loft in Tribeca and realized that I could really use her expertise. And, if I could give business to a friend of a friend, all the better.
So, I immediately asked her for her contact information so that we could meet again. I figured that we could have a friendly drink after work and I could tell her more about what I had in mind for my apartment. When we met for a drink, I got to know her a bit better and learned what makes her tick. I suppose the struggles she had as a child growing up in Russia are what’s motivated her to make a better life for herself here in the U.S.
Then, when Katia said she had to be somewhere at eight, I realized I should get down to business, and that I’d still be able to meet up with Corrine later on. I was surprised at how Katia reacted when I asked her to do the interior decorating for my apartment. Her demeanor completely changed. She was obviously offended by the idea. I know that she’s more of an art dealer, but I didn’t think that she’d react this way. By contrast, Corrine is so much more easygoing.
I hopped into a taxi up to the Upper East Side, to meet Donovan for dinner, but he had not yet arrived. He was in some board meeting after which he said he’d head straight over to the restaurant to meet with me. It was not the first time he’d been late meeting me. With anyone else I normally wouldn’t put up with this. It had not been like this in the beginning of the relationship. He had doted on me and had always been punctual, but now things had changed. I’ve been with this man for a year already, I thought to myself.
One thing was for sure, I did feel secure; Donovan’s money gave me a sense of security. Money was my security. It was the one thing that I always felt I could count on. As for love, well, I’m not so sure about that. People change, life changes; love isn’t always enough, and it doesn’t always last. If things didn’t work out, having money is a good consolation prize. At least money makes dealing with many of life’s problems a little easier. I’d learned this from my divorce.
Donovan does take care of everything for me. When he’s not around, I am free to do whatever I want, no questions asked. But I like companionship not just the feeling of having someone else take care of me. I certainly have enough money to be comfortable on my own, but if I ever got married again, I’d have to give up my alimony. So, I’m looking for a man with money who is happy to take care of me, able to maintain my lifestyle, and be my companion. But lately, I’ve been wondering if Donovan is that man.
The maître d’ greeted me and immediately escorted me to a table Donovan had reserved. I knew that Donovan would show up eventually, but, until then, I would have to wait. The wait staff brought me a glass of Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Donovan. From the table, I could discretely observe what was going on around the restaurant and at the bar, since I was hidden from the view of others.
As I sipped my drink, I saw Brad walk in through the entrance by the bar section. Of all the places he could’ve gone to grab a drink, he had to end up here. What were the odds of this happening? Before I even had a chance to wonder what he was doing here, a tall, striking, blonde woman, tall enough and thin enough to be a runway model, walked in through the same door. Brad saw the blonde, immediately stood up, and walked over to her. The two embraced warmly. As they did so, the woman seemed to be whispering something in Brad’s ear. They looked at each other, laughed, and then leaned in to kiss. Brad took the woman’s hand, led her to bar, and pulled out a chair for her. As they sat at the bar, they gazed deeply at each other as they talked.
Now, it was clear. My meeting with Brad had really been strictly for business. Apparently, he had also had a date lined up for later that evening. And from the looks of it, it was not something casual. I had completely misjudged Brad’s intentions. As I sat waiting for Donovan, I started feeling more and more annoyed. It was as if I were being played for a fool for the second time that night.
Downing the rest of the Dom Pérignon, I decided that enough was enough. I got up and walked out of the restaurant. So what if Donovan arrived and found me not there? Who knows what time it would be when he finally arrived. He has kept me waiting plenty of times and even canceled on me before. But, I don’t need to stand for that. Let’s see how he feels if the tables are turned. In the past he’d apologize by lavishing some expensive items on me, but I was tired of it. In the cab on the way back to Donovan’s apartment, I decided to send Brad a text message with the name and number of an interior decorator with whom he could work.
Back at the apartment I started gathering all of my things. I emptied my walk-in closet, took all of my jewelry, and called a car service to transport me and my precious belongings back to my own apartment. Before leaving the apartment, I wrote a note for Donovan and left it on his nightstand. The note said:
I do like money, and a life of luxury, but what I really need is more than just that.
Then I locked the door behind me and gave my key to the doorman. I asked him to give it to Donovan when he saw him next.
Corrine and I had agreed to meet later on the Upper East Side. So, it worked out that Katia had to be somewhere at eight. Corrine is quite a stunner. I had met her after she did a runway show for my friend, an up and coming fashion designer. Corrine and I have such amazing chemistry and we, of course, ended up back at her place at the end of the night.
I’m glad that in the end Katia came around and was kind enough to send me a referral for an interior designer who I might be able to work with.
When I arrived at the restaurant, I was surprised when the maître d told me that Katia had already been there and left. The nerve of her! I work my ass off for her and this is how much she appreciates it? After paying for the bottle of Dom Pérignon that she had ordered, I hailed a cab to go home. Once home, the doorman told me that Katia had left her key for me, and when I went into the bedroom, I saw that there was a note on the nightstand. I read the note and couldn’t believe what I was reading. That bitch! How could she do this to me after how well I have treated her?! After I’ve showered her with expensive jewelry and gifts! In this city, it won’t take me long to find someone else who appreciates what I have to offer.
July 27, 2015:
Happy MONDAY! Start off your week with a chapter featuring the character LUANA. Come back on Mondays to read more about her and click HERE to learn more about her.
The Open Door Policy
One of my exes gave me the nickname of “Luanatic.” It was a play on the word lunatic. He said I was crazed for sex. But, I disagree. When it comes to dating, I have an open door policy. I simply like having variety and trying new things. As long as I know it won’t kill me, why not give it a shot? To me, variety is the spice of life.
Also, I don’t care what color you are. I’ll mack with black; I’m down with brown; I’m mellow with yellow; and I’m all right with white. I’ll give most men a shot, especially if I’m in the mood, tipsy, or horny enough that night. But, most importantly, it depends on whether I am attracted to something about you—be it your smile, your laugh, your eyes, your personality, your intelligence, your looks, or simply that big bulge in your pants. Also, I’m not one of those people who’ll regret my past explorations. To me, all my past experiences have made me the woman I am now.
I’ve been with all shapes and sizes. There was this fat guy. He wore horn-rimmed glasses and had a zany sense of humor. I told him he needed to get into shape and he responded back that he didn’t consider himself out of shape. He said that he was round and that round was a shape, wasn’t it? Come to think of it, I’ve heard that line before. Don’t we all have a cousin who’s said that? Funny guy, the fat guy, but I only had sex with him one time because I was worried I would give him a heart attack.
On the other spectrum of things, there was an eighteen-year-old who was very energetic, and eager, but he came too quickly. When that happened, I actually considered teaching the boy a thing or two, not just for my own benefit, but also for his future lovers.
My first time in a threesome happened in the closet of a club in the East Village. I was kind of drunk and I took this guy and his friend into the closet there. Let’s just say that I made sure that they were satisfied and then they were more than ready to return the favor to me a few times over. I guess it’s true what they say; it’s good to give before you receive. My gay girlfriend, Sheryl, had always wanted me to become bi, but instead of coming out of the closet, I ended up going into one—with two guys no less.
Finding men isn’t very hard at all. If you’re available, they’re available. Trust me, even if you are very overweight or unattractive; there is a man out there who wants to have sex with you. The problem is just weeding out the married ones who are lying about their marital status. I sometimes like to frequent the Meatpacking District. It’s quite a people-watching scene. It is the place to see and be seen. There, you’ll find a bunch of young things in tight little dresses shivering in the cold because they refuse to wear coats in the winter.
I’m proud to say that my tits can still compete with the best of them. In the summer I sometimes don’t wear a bra, which is especially effective when I’m waiting in line to get into some hot club. As soon as the bouncer would see my two beautiful nipples, the door would open for me every time. And then, there are the cougars out on the prowl. Someone, pulzee tell the cougars, especially those who’ve gone on to being prehistoric saber tooth tigers, it’s time to retire. I say that now, but I wonder how I will be when I have gotten to their age.
When it comes to meeting men, some women like mixers and parties, and I’m okay with some of that. Some go for speed dating but that really isn’t my cup of cappuccino. Others like birthday parties since it’s a great way to meet friends of friends. That way, you can rest assured your friends have already vetted the guy. As matter of fact, I love it when a friend of mine has already slept with the guy and I can get a review or rating of him. Why waste time with losers and guys who are bad in bed? A woman needs a screening process.
But, I think that the opportunities to meet someone are all around us—whether it’s waiting in the checkout line of a grocery store, walking your dog in the park, or maybe chatting with your next-door neighbor. You don’t have to be like me, but, if you’re open to it, you’ll see that there are more opportunities around than you think.
July 28, 2015:
It's TUESDAY! So it's TARA's turn for a chapter. Come back on Tuesdays to read more about her and click HERE to learn more about her.
Falling Too Hard Too Fast
I was back in the hair salon with Sassy for a haircut. As Sassy combed through my hair, I asked, “So, how’s it going with your guy?”
“Oh, it is going so well! I think he is a keeper. We have been inseparable. And, he’s still as attentive as ever. I think we are going to move in together! What about you? You seem to be quite pleased about something,” Sassy said cheerily.
Sassy was right. It was uncanny how she could sense how I felt about the man I was dating at the time.
“Well, I don’t normally do this, but I just slept with someone who I had a drink with the other night!” I confessed. I had not told any of my friends about this recent development, but Sassy was not in my immediate circle of friends, so it was safe to tell her.
“Oh! Who is he? How did you meet? Do you see any potential?” Sassy asked.
“Actually, he is someone who I have known for years. We have always had this flirtation but never acted on it. We have a lot of friends in common. He was in town this weekend for a visit from Hong Kong,” I explained.
“I see, so now what?”
“Well, uhm it kind of just happened and afterward he told me that he’s in a relationship with someone, but he knows that she is not the one.”
What I didn’t explain is that I had spent the entire weekend with Reid. Our coupling felt so natural, as did his holding my hand as we walked to brunch the morning after. As we ate and talked about what each of us was looking for in a relationship and about our past relationships, he reached for my hand several times and looked deeply into my eyes. I felt as though we had both bared each other’s souls and that what we had experienced was not just a tryst in the bedroom.
He told me very frankly about his relationship situation. The woman he was involved with was from a very well-connected family in Hong Kong. They had been living together for a while now. Their lives were so intertwined, but he felt that she was not “the one.” Then, he had asked me how I felt about him already being in a relationship with someone else. I didn’t know what to say or if I had the right to say anything.
On the last day that we were together, Reid told me that if I ever needed anything, I could always go to him, even though he was going back to Hong Kong. He told me that he came to New York several times a year on business and I actually started to consider for a moment whether I could become involved with him. After all these years, we had finally ended up in bed together and things seemed to just fall into place. I had not told anyone about this. It was best to keep it a secret, especially since he was already involved with someone else. Reid and I also had many friends in common, and if news of our tryst ever got out, the rumors would have spread like wildfire.
Sassy stopped cutting my hair, “Hey, you should have fun, nothing wrong with that, but be careful with this guy. I don’t think you should be getting your hopes up. I don’t like how this sounds.”
As Sassy blow dried my hair, I thought about what she had said.
A few days later, I hadn’t heard from Reid. I knew that he had several business meetings lined up during the week. He mentioned that was the purpose of his trip. I also knew what day he was leaving to return to Hong Kong. Somehow, a part of me still hoped to hear from him or to say goodbye in person. I felt conflicted because deep down, a part of me wanted him, but I also knew that it could never be. On the day that Reid was to leave, he didn’t call or text. I cried that night because I knew that I had no right to miss him as much as I did at that moment. So, I sent him one last text message, which said:
9:57 P.M. Thanks for being so real and open with me in the time that we were together. Now I will miss you more than I probably should.
I cried because I knew that I would miss him, not just because I knew he was leaving, but because I had already decided that despite it all, I could not and would not be second best. I would not get involved any further, because if I did, that’s what I would be, second best. I did not want to take someone else’s leftovers.
Ultimately, I knew that I would not be able to bear sharing him with anyone else. It would just tear me apart to be stuck in a waiting game or wondering where his affections were and playing by his rules. Better to suffer the pain of loss now I thought—rather than enduring what would probably have been a long, drawn out, and emotionally draining affair.
And I knew that I wouldn’t want to be in the other woman’s shoes. I wouldn’t want to have someone doing that to me. It was the greatest amount of heartache that I had ever felt in such a short period of time. I had never fallen for someone so hard, so fast.
July 29, 2015:
On WEDNESDAYS we'll be sharing a chapter featuring the character NINE. Come back on Wednesdays to read more about her and click HERE to learn more about her.
The Four C's
When a woman in New York City sees a good catch, she really has to jump on him, so to speak. That was the case with Ragnar. We met at what is called “Pub Night.” Several members of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church formed an unofficial bar night, emphasis on the word unofficial. The group was co-organized by my friends, David Chan and Will Chao. I’ve known Will for years and have always thought that he literally was one of the nicest guys on planet earth. Every month the group met at different bars.
This month the group met at Arbor Bistro in the West Village, which was partly owned by another friend of mine, Nicole Chen. Nicole was only in her twenties, but already was co-owner of this quaint and cozy restaurant. I saw Ragnar talking to a very pretty blonde woman. I got a drink and slowly walked over edging myself closer to them. Up close, I could see that he was even more handsome than I initially thought. He was about 6 foot 4 with striking good looks, an athletic physique, and a tight butt. The blonde woman was giving me a sideways glance and I could tell she wasn’t happy with how I’d positioned myself so close to him.
“I really enjoyed my stay in Israel. It is God’s country. You certainly feel the presence of God there in a tangible way,” Ragnar said to the woman.
“I’m sorry for overhearing, but I always wanted to go to Israel. Is it really true that people feel God’s presence there?” I interjected while flashing Ragnar my pearly whites.
“Most people do. There is something called ‘the Jerusalem Syndrome.’ Have you heard of that? Oh, I’m sorry. My name is Ragnar and this is Ashley,” he said as the blonde named Ashley gave me a look, which said go away.
I held out my hand for both of them. “I’m Nine, it’s a nickname. It’s nice to meet both of you. So, what is this Jerusalem Syndrome?”
“Interesting nickname. The Jerusalem Syndrome happens to people all the time when they visit Jerusalem,” Ragnar explained. “People feel the presence of God and many times they react emotionally to it. For me, I didn’t cry, but my two friends who went with me, each burst into tears. When I asked them why, they couldn’t explain it.”
As we talked more about Israel, and Ashley gave me more frustrated looks, Ragnar and I exchanged business cards. Originally from Norway, he was an investment banker, Christian, and well to do. Now, this was a real catch. I contacted him two days later and said that we should get together for a lunch on Saturday to discuss more “spiritual things.” I figured that would get his attention.
We did meet for lunch at a cute little brunch place in the West Village. Over lunch as we talked, I found him even more attractive, but not only on the outside. I really wanted to see him again, so I suggested that we go to an Off-Broadway play called The Screwtape Letters, based on C. S. Lewis’ book by the same name. He agreed and we went together. During the play, I leaned into him a few times to whisper my thoughts about the play. Ragnar commented on my perfume and started looking at me in a way that told me he was interested in me.
At the end of the night, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and asked to see me again. The next date was a kiss on the lips. The following ended with a passionate kiss goodnight. Then, sometimes we would make out in his place or mine, but we never went too far. I finally had a Christian man with integrity.
But, then, Ragar would text me to cancel our dates at the last minute. The first time he said that he had an important client in town. On another occasion, he had a late night meeting and couldn’t see me. Ragnar was even more time pressed than the average corporate attorney like me. At first I took it in stride, but then I started wondering whether he was really that busy or if I was just not important enough to him to be a priority. I started second guessing myself as to whether I was being too demanding of his time or if I should be more understanding.
Our first actual fight was a month into dating. He had canceled on me yet again, at the last minute. I had bought tickets for us to attend a special not-for-profit gala. He offered to repay me for the tickets, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was me feeling unimportant and as if I was the only one trying to make the relationship work.
At a wine bistro in the Upper East Side, we met at about 11 P.M. just one hour before it was closing. “You are being unreasonable,” Ragnar argued. “You do realize that I-bankers have to work long hours all the time.”
“But I see you make time for other people in your life. Of course, I know that I-bankers have extremely demanding schedules, but it always seems like it is my events that you cancel on, not your friends or the events that you really want to go to. I still haven’t been able to introduce you to any of my close friends,” I responded.
“I will be more than happy to see them when I have the time. But this week isn’t good for me.”
He had said, “This week isn’t good for me” four weeks in a row. It reminded me of the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, because he kept repeating the same excuses and it was like I was reliving the same day over and over again.
Finally, I got frustrated and said that maybe we should stop dating for a while. I thought this would make him change his priorities, but he seemed very content to hold things off with me. I guess my plan backfired since I had just offered him a way to escape. We continued texting each other and eventually the relationship ended through lack of attention, delays, and cancellations. From this, I’ve learned that time is a very precious commodity in New York City. It is the one resource that cannot be recovered. Once you lose it, it is gone forever.
In a short amount of time, I had started to develop feelings for Ragnar. He was an incredible catch , but it seemed like the good catch had managed to get himself out of the net. I had lost him as the old expression goes "Not with a bang, but with a whimper." I had finally found a man who had the three C's: cool, cute and Christian, but now I realize there has to be a fourth “C,” which is commitment- commitment to making our relationship a priority. Searching for the perfect man is like search for the perfect diamond, which has to have the “Four C's.”
July 30, 2015:
It's THURSDAY so let's see what Montoya is up to. Want to know more about Montoya? Come back on Thursdays and click HERE to read more about him.
More Than I Could Handle
(MONTOYA and Tara)
I have had many women with strong libidos, but none could compare to Gemma. She was young by my standards, at twenty-six years old. As I had promised Nine, I wouldn’t date anyone younger than her, and Gemma was exactly Nine’s age. Gemma was a brunette, originally from Los Angeles, with fair skin and several body piercings including one in each nipple. The best one for me was the one in her tongue, which enhanced her blow-job skills.
Since she was living at her aunt’s place on Staten Island, we often ended up back at my flat. So, I decided to just give her a set of keys. Gemma made herself at home immediately cooking up a storm. I never cook so my kitchen never got as much action as it did as when Gemma was around. I didn’t mind. She was an amazing cook. I have never seen my fridge so full of food and leftovers. It was as if she was preparing for the apocalypse.
She was quite the sex kitten or more like a sex tiger. She was always in the mood, so we often spent the whole weekend holed up in my flat, not that I’m complaining. I had a sneaking suspicion that she cooked so much so that we would never have to leave my flat. We’d have sex, refuel on her cooking, and go at it again. Sometimes as I slept, I felt Gemma giving me some sort of a blow job or hand job to the point of getting me hard; then, I would wake up to find her riding me in the woman-on-top position. I had to constantly remind her to put a condom on me.
Last week, I came home from work, took off my suit and went to my closet to hang it up when I realized that half of what had been in there was now gone. Then, I went to my dresser to get a T-shirt and discovered that half of the drawers had been cleaned out.
“Gemma, what did you do with half of my suits and my T-shirts?”
“I did a little spring cleaning; besides, it’s time for a new wardrobe for you. I bought you some replacements.”
I was not completely surprised that she had done this. She ran her own business as a personal organizer, and she viewed my flat as a work in progress. She did have quite a knack for organizing spaces. At her suggestion, I had rearranged some of the furniture in my apartment and it did feel much more spacious afterward.
Lately, she had been obsessively organizing everything. First, it was the food in the fridge. Each container of leftover food she’d prepared was carefully labeled to indicate its contents and the date. Then, it was my personal objects. She alphabetized all of my books by the author’s last name, organized my wardrobe by color palette, and then organized every item in my kitchen.
“I appreciate what you are trying to do, but you can’t just do this sort of thing without telling me, or more importantly asking me.”
“It’s okay. You can thank me later. It’s all been taken care of. I donated everything to Goodwill this morning.”
“Donated everything to Goodwill?!” I repeated her words back trying to take in what she just told me.
I thought about the first suit that my Mum had bought me when I graduated from uni. I’d worn it to my first job interview; it was also my first Armani suit. My varsity T-shirts were also gone. Everything was gone. She had crossed the line. I had given her a set of keys for convenience sake and she had interpreted that as me giving her power of attorney over my flat. It felt like she was taking over my life.
So, I told her as gently and firmly as I could, that she had gone too far. I didn’t know what she was going to do next. I couldn’t trust her. I asked her to give me back her keys to my apartment. She did not take my suggestion well. She had tears in her eyes as I suggested that we take a break from each other for a while.
I had been so wrapped up with Gemma that I had missed out on several events and was late on returning emails and phone calls. People wondered where I had been. But, I didn’t want to say that I had entered a sex-crazed Bermuda Triangle of sorts where I was fed and shagged repeatedly. Not a bad way to go, but not something you want to publicize.
Once I got my keys back, I responded to a text from Tara who was wondering where I’d disappeared to. That made me realize that I’d really let things get out of hand. So, I got in touch with Tara and made plans to meet up with her a few days later.
Tara agreed to meet me uptown at a bar in my neighborhood and that’s when I told her that Gemma and I had broken up. When Tara heard this, she asked, “What’s the problem? She was super cute. The two of you seemed good together. She cooked for you all the time, reorganized your flat, and even picked out a new suit for you.”
“She’s just too much,” I confessed.
“How so?” Tara asked.
“I know it is a crime to say this, and some would say that I’m ungrateful, but she was so sex crazed that I couldn’t keep up with her,” I explained.
“I can’t believe you’re admitting this. Come on, you are in your thirties. That is hardly old. How old is she?” asked Tara.
“Ha ha. Look out! And they say that women reach their sexual peak at forty. Let me get you a drink,” Tara offered.
“Sure, I’ll have a gin and tonic.” Tara waved down the bartender as I continued, “Night and day, all the time she wanted it.”
“You must feel so used,” Tara said with mock sympathy.
“Not used, but tired,” I said.
The bartender placed my G and T and a vodka tonic for Tara on the bar in front of each of us.
“Well, it’s not just that, the strong libido was welcome most of the time but,” I paused, “she’s a biter.”
“Hmmm, well, that’s certainly not the kinkiest thing I’ve heard,” said Tara.
I finished sipping my drink and put it back down on the bar, “The first time it happened, I thought she was just excited, but then she kept doing it and then she asked me to bite her back!”
“Really?” Tara exclaimed. “How hard did she bite? Was there any blood involved?”
“Yes, it’s like she literally wanted to take a bite out of me. It kind of gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘You want a piece of me?’ ” I joked.
“Well, I guess she really thought you were yuuuuummy,” Tara teased.
“This is no laughing matter. I have some serious welts and scars now.”
“You don’t think that you could just humor her every now and then? It doesn’t seem too hard. And now you know precisely what she gets off on. Maybe you could ‘convince’ her to return the favor and entertain some of your fantasies,” Tara suggested.
“Well it’s about more than just humoring her. When we first started dating, she asked me to take a blood test to be tested for STDs. I had no problem with that. I thought she was just being cautious, but it turns out there was a specific reason she asked me to do that.”
“Oh…” Tara said, her voice trailing off.
I continued, “Well, after the test results came back and I told her, she said that she was glad to know that she could be totally uninhibited with me.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” said Tara.
“That’s what I thought, too. At first everything was great. The girl liked it rough, and then one day she was so excited that in the midst of it, she bit me. When it happened, it really seemed to drive her wild. She asked me to pull on her nipple piercings and to bite her. I did bite her nipples pretty raw a few times because she told me to keep going and not to stop. Then, there were other times when she would bite me so hard that I bled. Another time she started licking this scrape that I had gotten after playing soccer. She said she wanted to soothe the wound. She seemed obsessed by it. She would say things like how she wanted to share everything with me blood-to-blood and how she felt so close to me. And, she felt safe with me now that we’d both been tested.”
“She sounds like a vampire!” Tara said.
“That reminds me of this one time we were just bumming around and watching The Bachelor. She loved that show. Well, one of the girls in the house had these fang-like teeth. I mean it was noticeable. When the bachelor noticed it, he kind of played it off saying that he could see she had some vampire fang thing going on, and he thought it was hot. Gemma thought it was hilarious and she asked me if I thought she’d look hot if she got some work like that done to her teeth.”
“Oh, I think I know the episode you’re talking about. Yeah, we never got to find out if her teeth were real or cosmetically done,” Tara added.
“That reminds me, one day, after I came home from a long day of work, and she answered the door in a skimpy red negligee,” I said reimagining the scenario. “I soon discovered that there was nothing underneath. She was so hot. But when I leaned in to kiss her, she smiled and I saw that she was wearing some fake fangs!”
Tara gasped, “Really?!”
“Yes. Getting back to the story... I told her to take them off—the fangs I mean, well the rest of what she was wearing did not stay on for long. As things continued, I tried to stop her from biting me all the time. I even tried not to be as rough with her during sex. But she would just sulk about it and say that the sex was not as hot as before. I told her that I wasn’t really enjoying all her biting.”
“So, in the midst of all this I take it that you had given her the keys to your apartment?” asked Tara.
“Indeed. One day I came home and half of my clothes had disappeared because she had donated them to Goodwill and reorganized my closet. So, I asked her for my keys back.”
“Well aside from all of the biting and rough sex, it sounds like she really invaded your space,” said Tara.
“More like she took over my space.”
“I’m sorry to hear you had to go through all that.” Tara smiled and looked at me and said, “There is seriously never a dull moment with you around.”
July 31, 2015:
TGIF! It's FRIDAY. Start off your weekend with this racy chapter featuring the character FRANK. Come back on Fridays to read more about him and click HERE to learn more about him
Men Who Love Blow Jobs and the Women Who Love Them
Like most men, I have always loved it when women give me blow jobs. After all, that is probably how a lot of guys are first introduced to sex. If you think back to your firsts—in high school or even college (for you late bloomers)—there was that initial feeling of excitement the first time you got close to touching a woman’s tits, even when she was still clothed. But that was nothing compared to the first time you put your hand under her blouse and reached up under her bra to actually feel her nipples.
I also remember the first time I started stroking a woman’s bare legs. Her name was Prudence and she was the hottest girl in my high school. We were making out in the back row of a movie theater. She was wearing a miniskirt and as I started stroking her legs, I realized that she wasn’t wearing any pantyhose. I finally got the nerve to put my hand between her legs. I kept feeling around with one hand while stroking her inner thigh with the other. I made it way past her panties and as my fingers explored her, she became wetter and wetter.
I put her hand on my dick, which was hard by now and pressing against the inside of my jeans. She started to rub my dick. Then, I looked around to make sure no one was looking, as I unzipped my jeans. Prudence and I looked at each other in the dark and she knew exactly what I wanted. She leaned over and pulled out my dick, which she started licking up and down and finally put it in her mouth. Even though she had acted coy, she seemed to have done this before. She didn’t stop until I was ready to explode. I felt like pounding my chest, like King Kong on top of the Empire State Building. There were a lot of firsts that day—it was my first time exploring between a woman’s legs, my first blow job, and my first semi-public sexual experience.
So began my love of blow jobs. Every man probably has a story like this or remembers his first one. Blow jobs are always good and even better when they happen at the most unexpected times. I guess that’s what made Speedy so hard to resist.
One of my exes, Dee Dee, was always one to push the envelope. I was in Las Vegas on a business trip with her, and I swear, there’s something about Vegas and hotel rooms that just puts you “in the mood.” Of course, we could not keep our hands off of each other and, things were getting hot and heavy in the room when my cell phone alarm went off reminding me that I had a video conference call scheduled.
As soon as I realized this, I quickly put my shirt back on and got onto the video conference call. Dee Dee, however, decided that she was not through with me yet. So, she got down in front of my chair and started giving me a blow job while I was in the middle of the video conference call. I don’t think anyone caught on when I exclaimed “Yes!” upon hearing that we’d made a multi-million dollar deal. They had no idea what pleasure there was behind that “yes.”
My favorite blow jobs have been while driving. I love driving long distances with miles and miles of open road ahead of me. And of course I like driving fast, especially driving through those S curves in the road. That takes some skill and it’s such a thrill. Putting these two things together— the sensation of speeding along a highway while getting blown—it makes me feel like the king of the road. It might sound dangerous, but I’m always in total control and focused on the road while driving. If I know I’m going to be drinking I just won’t drive at all, so I haven’t gotten into any accidents or had any dangerous close calls. But, I did have a different sort of “close call” once. I was driving upstate with this girl, Betty, who I was seeing at the time. For much of the drive, I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other up her skirt. After making her sopping wet, she moaned and screamed until she couldn’t take it any longer and came.
I looked over at her as she rested. Then, she gave me a sidelong look, winked at me, and said, “Okay, now it’s your turn.” She leaned over to unzip my pants and return the favor. She put her mouth on my dick and rubbed it with her tongue as she started slowly going up and down. She was really good at giving blow jobs, maybe a little too good because before I knew it, I heard a siren. My heart started racing as I thought, oh great that’s just what I need, to get pulled over by a cop. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw an ambulance, which was a relief. So I slowed down to yield to the ambulance and pulled over. Then, Betty “finished her job.”
Now that I was with Leah, I couldn’t wait for her to give me a blow job. She was fantastic—a real lady who was elegant and sexy at the same time. I took her to all the best restaurants in town but she also liked to cook for me at home so that I could also spend time with her daughter, Shanti. The three of us would have dinner together on Saturday each week at her place. After Shanti was all tucked in, it was “bedtime” for Leah and me. Nothing was off-limits in the bedroom, except we had to be quiet for Shanti’s sake.
I would buy Leah the sleaziest of lingerie outfits for her to wear like crotch-less body stockings, see through teddies, risqué outfits from Agent Provocateur, you name it. In the bedroom she was as wild as she was elegant in public. Outside of the bedroom, she was discretely provocative in her phone calls, voicemails, and texts as she would repeatedly give double entendre messages filled with sexual innuendos and outright blatant dirty talk. She kept me in a heightened sense of anticipation every day. All day long I looked forward to leaving work and seeing whether she would fulfill the acts she promised in her messages. Every man’s dream, a lady in the public and a wild woman in the bedroom.
The first time Leah and I had sex, I started by going down on her. Then, I kept giving her “the look.” Women recognize this look. You know, when a man motions to his dick and tries to telepathically inform the woman to suck his dick. Well, Leah just wasn’t getting my subtle hints. I tried to gently move her head to my dick. She pulled away and went to French kiss me instead. Finally I said, “Suck me.” She ignored my request and moved on top of me and we had amazing sex. Finally, as I lay in bed afterward, I just had to get the issue out in the open.
“I really like it when a woman gives me a blow job,” I informed her.
“Yes, I could tell from all the not-so-subtle hints,” she responded. “But I don’t really do blow jobs.”
“What? I thought all women do blow jobs.”
“Well maybe, I don’t want to spoil you yet,” Leah said playing coy.
The second and third time we had sex, I went through this ritual of saying, “Suck me,” which she ignored each time. That’s when I realized that we had a big problem. I didn’t know why she wouldn’t give me a blow job. She could tell that I was getting frustrated, so she reached into her nightstand, pulled out a mouthpiece and showed it to me.
“What is that?” I asked.
“I have TMJ and I usually wear this mouthpiece at night while sleeping, which prevents me from grinding my teeth. I didn’t want to wear it the first few times we went to bed. But, now, I think you should know about it.”
“So, that is why you don’t want to give me a blow job?”
“It’s not that I don’t want to please you that way, but I need to be careful. When I was with my ex, I’d give him blow jobs but it caused me some pain and led to a major flare up. It was so serious that I actually had difficulty swallowing and eating.”
“I don’t want to risk something like that happening again. And I didn’t want to start things off by setting a certain precedent or giving you false expectations.”
“I don’t see why you didn’t tell me this before.”
“I’m sorry. I guess I’d been kind of avoiding the topic. I knew that I’d have to talk to you about this. I hope that you can accept that I might not be able to give you blow jobs as often as you like. But, in the meantime, I think that we should experiment with some different positions and ways to put less stress on my jaw.”
“I like the sound of that.”
It definitely kept things interesting between the two of us. Leah tried giving me a blow job a few times but she would stop short of deep throating. That was fine with me because whatever she was doing, it turned me on, and we’d finish off some other way. She started to get creative with her hands and lots of lube. I was like her patient and willing “test subject” and it paid off. She somehow managed to use her mouth, lips, and hands in a way that felt very much like a blow job. She was amazing and she literally blew me away.
August 1, 2015:
It's the LAST weekend of the 30 Days of Metropolicks and we'll be sharing some more BONUS chapters with you about Katia and Roxanne. Today's BONUS chapter features Katia. To learn more about her click HERE.
Try It, You Might Like It
While at the Princeton Club for an All-Ivy event, I noticed a very good-looking man who was surrounded by several women. It was a black tie event and many of the women looked older than he was. I went to get a glass of champagne and moved closer to where he was to be able to get a better look. He was really sexy, with dark hair and a ruggedly masculine toned athletic build. He noticed me when I turned and gave him a full view of me. I leaned over as I put some pate on a cracker because I knew that would accentuate my cleavage, which was exposed by the plunging neckline of my evening gown. He seemed to stop in mid sentence as he looked across the room mesmerized by my breasts. He excused himself from the women surrounding him and started walking straight toward me.
“You seem to be Mr. Popularity tonight,” I said to him as he was now standing beside me.
“Yes, I am a regular at these All-Ivy events, so I've met several of the ladies here before,” he said looking down at my chest.
“But, you, I definitely would have remembered,” he said with a charming accent as he continued staring straight at my chest.
“I’m glad you appreciate the view, but many men say my face is worth looking at also,” I said laughing slightly.
“Oh! Pardon me! I didn't even realize I was doing that,” he said somewhat embarrassed and now looked up at my face.
“No problem. I have come to accept that my girls get all the attention,” I said in amusement.
As we talked I found out that he was originally from Australia and worked in Manhattan as a commercial real estate agent. He was the totally athletic type. He had run a few marathons and done a few triathlons. And every year he also rode in the Tri-Borough Bike Tour. Obviously, he was in great shape and very outdoorsy, and he was really sexy. Oh, did I say that already? But I thought, what would we ever have in common? He had some money but it didn't seem like he had made it to the top rung of the ladder in his field. He seemed too laid back and not as ambitious as the men I’ve usually dated.
He suggested a picnic in Central Park as our first date. I guess the look on my face told him that wasn't such a good suggestion. I am not exactly the outdoorsy type. So his second suggestion was to take me to a Broadway show. Now that was better, the man was already learning.
At the expensive Japanese sushi restaurant he took me to after the show, he said, “Now Katia, as you know, I am very proud Aussie and an outdoors man at heart. Let's do a picnic in the park as our next date.”
“Darling, I really don't like the idea of having a date in the dirt,” I responded.
“Just try it. How about you pick the place one time and then I pick the venue the next time. We can alternate.”
I thought to myself, God! This is one of those men who believe in a 50/50 relationship. I am going to have to wean him off that right after we have sex.
We made out a little in front of my apartment building as he had walked me home that night, and then he got in a cab. The next day Cameron called and again he insisted on taking me to a picnic in Central Park the following weekend.
“Have you ever had Aussie food?” Cameron asked on the phone call. “Don’t worry, I won’t prepare anything too out there like bush tucker. And I promise there won’t be any kangaroo or crocodile.”
“What’s tucker?” I asked wondering if this was some Australian term that I hadn’t heard of before.
“Bush tucker or bush food. I guess I really need to educate you about Australian food. Bush food is what the Australian aborigines would eat, like indigenous plants, nuts and berries, and sometimes witchetty grubs,” Cameron explained.
I felt like I could feel him smiling on the other end of the phone. I didn’t know whether to take what he said seriously or not, but I found myself reacting to what he said. “Grubs?! You mean like worms,” I said cringing.
“I’m just pulling your leg; I promise there won’t be any of that. Besides I can’t easily get my hands on those things since they are all indigenous to Australia. I’ll take care of everything, you won’t need to lift a finger, just show up!” Cameron said enthusiastically.
I half wondered if we had been in Australia instead of New York City, would he have really tried to introduce me to some of this odd sounding Australian food? He was really sexy and I wanted to see him again, so I thought, let me get this out of the way and then I can educate him as to how he should really treat a lady.
The following Saturday Cameron and I were supposed to meet at the entrance of Central Park West and 65th Street. We were going to have our picnic in Sheep Meadow. As I approached 65th Street I recognized his muscular silhouette from a distance. He spotted me and waved.
“Hi Katia! It’s so nice to see you again,” Cameron said as he gave me a sensuous kiss on the lips. He was carrying a backpack and dressed in a green Billabong T-shirt and khaki pants. I could definitely picture him surfing back in Australia. I was also dressed casually in a red, wide scoop-necked top and skinny black jeans, but in a way that highlighted my best assets, of course.
“Thanks, it’s nice to see you too.”
We walked into Sheep Meadow and found a spot under a tree. Cameron pulled a blanket from his backpack and laid it down for us to sit on. Then, he started laying out plates, on which he placed an assortment of fruit, vegetable sticks, crackers, and toast. He also pulled out a few jars of different spreads, plastic utensils, and cups.
“Did you actually prepare all of this yourself?” I asked trying to be polite, but thinking that he shouldn't have wasted his time and could have just gotten it catered.
“Would you like something to drink? How about some sparkling water? I have raspberry flavored and lemon/lime.”
“I’ll take some of the raspberry,” I said as Cameron poured some into a cup and handed it to me.
“Are you ready to try some Aussie food?”
“This is an Aussie favorite. It’s as Australian as peanut butter is American,” Cameron said as he held up a dark colored jar with a yellow label and lid.
“Oh, I’ve never had that. What is it?”
“It’s called vegemite. Just put some of it on a piece of toast,” Cameron said opening the jar.
“Can I see the jar? Is it some sort of a vegetarian thing?” I asked him.
He handed me the jar. I took a spoon, scooped a bit out of the jar and put it in my mouth to taste.
“Oh no, that's not how you eat it!” Cameron exclaimed.
I soon discovered why he said that. It was extremely salty, and didn’t taste like peanut butter at all! I almost wanted to spit it out, but figured that wouldn’t be too ladylike to do that, so I reached for my cup and took a few gulps of sparkling raspberry juice to wash it down.
“You need to put it on thinly, on a piece of toast. This is how you make it, first put some margarine on a piece of toast and then put a thin layer of vegemite on top,” Cameron said demonstrating. He made one for himself and one for me. “Here try it and let me know what you think.”
But it was too late. I had no desire to have any more of it. “No thanks, I think I’ll pass,” I said. “What is that stuff made of?”
“It’s made of fermented yeast,” Cameron explained.
“That doesn’t sound too appetizing. Yeast is only good for two things. Making beer and bread.”
“Well it is basically a byproduct of the beer making process.”
“Knowing that doesn’t exactly make me want to try it again,” I said helping myself to some grapes.
“Come on you haven’t even tried it properly.” Cameron bit into a piece of his toast and continued, “Are you sure you don’t want to try a piece of this, just take a little bite?”
“No that stuff is vile and it smells nasty too.”
“I’m wounded. Don’t you know that you should never say that to an Aussie?” Cameron said.
“I feel like it’s like bad medicine. It tastes so horrible. It’s like what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Except that with medicine you endure it because you know it’s good for you, but I don’t think that vegemite is going to be curing me of anything.”
The date went downhill from there. We tried to have some polite conversation and Cameron tried to get me to try the vegemite a few more times. I made a few sarcastic comments in response as a joke. Then he told me that his idea of a romantic getaway was to spend a weekend roughing it out in nature, sleeping under the stars, without modern conveniences like running water or electricity.
He thought that getting back to basics would be a good test of character and compatibility. I suppose it would be something to able to tolerate someone else’s “au naturel” scent after a few days of not showering, but that’s not a test that I want to be put through. I want to stay in a five star hotel, not a tent in the middle of nowhere. I knew I wouldn’t be able change him enough to suit me. So even though most women would think I was crazy for letting this hunk of a man get away, I decided not to see him again after the picnic. I would rather be with someone who wants to feed me champagne and caviar, not witchetty grubs.
August 2, 2015:
Today's BONUS content is a chapter featuring Roxanne. To learn more about her click HERE.
Grow Up Already
I was in a rush. I had taken a little too long to get ready and was now running late. It’s funny how a dress that’s made you look and feel completely fabulous in the past could, on some other day, just seem not quite right. I was having one of those days. A closet full of clothes but nothing seemed to work. After trying on a few things, I decided to go for the tried and true, a little black dress, but when I put it on, it just seemed to lack some oomph. After scouring my closet, I discovered my royal blue dress. It had been one of my favorites but I’d forgotten all about it. This dress was a classic and always made me feel good. It showed off my curves without being too revealing and brought out the blue in my eyes.
The air was chilly as I stood on the corner of Central Park West and 59th Street. It was much colder than I’d expected. I stuffed my hands into my coat pockets and hunched over bearing the cold, waiting for the light to turn. A white kid dressed in a jean jacket carrying a backpack stood beside me, with his hands in his pockets hunched over mimicking my mannerisms. Noticing him out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look over at him as he said:
“It sure is cold tonight. So where are you going? Can I come along?”
The light turned green.
“You’re funny kid,” I said as I stepped into the crosswalk. He was just a baby-faced kid. I looked over at him wondering how old he was.
“You’re not going to tell me? Maybe I’ll just follow you then,” the boy said as he walked alongside me.
“Oh, be my guest,” I said while laughing inside. What would the kid do once we arrived at a bar where he’d be carded and not allowed to enter?
“So, I guess I’ll just follow you home and then we can get in bed together and cuddle?”
“In your dreams kid. Don’t you have somewhere you should be going?” I said, feeling a bit uneasy.
“Oh, there’s the subway station. I’m going to take it home,” the boy said walking off in the distance.
What was that all about? How random, I thought. I was not sure how to feel about the whole thing. It was seriously odd. I did attract younger men sometimes, but this was ridiculous.
My thoughts turned to Oliver who I’d met a few weeks ago at a speed dating event at the Penn Club in midtown. Now, he was a man with a capital “M.” Mmmmm, mmmm, mmm.
The flirtation between us had started that day immediately when Oliver had said to me, “I find people fascinating. You think you know someone but then you realize that you really don’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I only recently discovered that one of my friends, who I’ve known for years doesn’t like chocolate.”
“Who doesn’t like chocolate?” I had said suggestively in response to Oliver. He had laughed, getting the subtext of my comment.
He was gorgeous, and from the limited time I had spoken with him, it was obvious that he was very well read and full of all sorts of trivia. Oliver’s complexion and facial features reminded me of one of my friends, Vince, who was part African-American and part Native American. But, Oliver was definitely cuter. He also had this delightful little dimple, which appeared on the left side of his face each time he smiled or laughed. I love men with dimples. I’ve always had a weakness for them.
At the end of the speed dating event, we ended up being a mutual match, and were given each other’s contact information. So, we continued to correspond via IM and email. Oliver had teased me about what my favorite type of chocolate was. Soon, we were discussing everything from reality TV to art history. He seemed like the type who could talk with practically anyone about practically any subject. Maybe I had met my match.
As I arrived at the bar, my thoughts turned to seeing Oliver again. I stood there scanning the room looking for him, but he was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, I heard a man’s voice calling, “Roxanne.”
I turned around to see a wiry young man with freckled skin, red hair, and horn-rimmed glasses. At first I was confused, then I realized where we had met. “Oh hi. Were you at the singles speed dating event two weeks ago?” I said slowly, trying to conceal my disappointment that he wasn’t Oliver.
“Oh, don’t pretend that you don’t recognize me. I love your sense of humor. I’m Oliver. We met there and have been exchanging emails ever since. I was so glad that you agreed to meet again,” he said, his voice cracking. “Come join me. What would you like to drink?” Oliver motioned to a seat at the bar where there was a glass of beer.
“I’ll have a glass of your house red, thanks,” I said now remembering that there had been two Olivers at the end of the speed dating event. Obviously, there had probably been some sort of mix up with the contact information that I had been given. Realizing that I had actually been emailing and IMing this other Oliver, I decided to stay just to see where things would go. He was not at all who I was expecting to see. But, we had had some meaningful discussions over the past few weeks. Fishing for clues to jog my memory about our conversation at the speed dating event, I asked him, “So, I was wondering, what was it about what I said or what we talked about at the speed dating event that made you want to see me again.”
“You said that you were lonely and desperate, and I decided to take pity on you,” Oliver said, his voice rising and falling like an adolescent boy’s.
“Excuse me?!” I said wondering if this was his lame attempt at humor. I was not amused.
“But, seriously, you remind me of my ex-wife,” Oliver said as the pitch of his voice rose and fell. “And I have a weakness for blondes.”
I felt as if I was dealing with a prepubescent boy. I raised my glass and took a big sip, “Now, that doesn’t quite sound like a compliment.”
“Oh, come on. Don’t be like that. I brought something for you,” Oliver said, his voice cracking.
Oliver took something out of his jacket pocket and handed it to me. It looked like a chocolate bar except that the outer wrapper, which would have had the brand name on it, had been removed.
A Ghirardelli bar would have been nice. I wasn’t even expecting a Lindt bar. But this chocolate bar, I didn’t know where it had come from. Just when I had thought, this date could not possibly get any worse, it did. Who gives someone a chocolate bar that looks like it’s been already partially opened without an outer wrapper? I handed the chocolate bar back to Oliver. I was not impressed.
“What? You don’t like it?” Oliver said, his voice squeaking. I thought you really liked chocolate. You said a few times in your emails how much you like chocolate. You said you didn’t necessarily have a preference for dark chocolate.”
“Listen, Oliver. I don’t think this is going to work out. I thought you were someone else.”
“I don’t get it. I’m the same guy you met at the speed dating event and that you’ve been emailing these past two weeks.”
“No, I mean I thought you were someone else completely different, even while we were emailing each other these past few weeks. There’s been a mistake. I was expecting to see someone else entirely today,” I said feeling annoyed. “I’m sorry, but I have to leave now.”
I slapped a 20-dollar bill on the bar as I got up to leave. I couldn’t sit through any more of this, listen to Oliver’s voice, or wait for it to change. As I walked toward the subway, I thought, what was up with all the prepubescent boys today? One had literally tried to pick me up and then I had found myself on a date with a man who sounded and acted like a prepubescent boy.
August 3, 2015:
It's the LAST week of the 30 Days of Metropolicks! Here's the LAST chapter featuring Luana that we'll be sharing. Want to know more about her? You can read up on her by clicking HERE.
Men, You Can’t Live With Them or Without Them
Finding a really good lover is one thing but finding a good lover who also can be and wants to be a good father is like trying to win the lottery. Any man can father a child, but being a dad is an entirely different story. Would the father of my child be a dad, in other words, would he be there for the diaper changing, midnight feedings, school plays, dance recitals, or PTA meetings?
What makes a good father for your child? I think that most women want these basic qualities in a would-be father—someone kind, caring, and responsible. We ladies really want someone who looks like a male model and who has the qualities of a good father.
I’m not so sure that I want a husband though, since I have already done the marriage thing. After Miguel and I got divorced, he decided to go back to Brazil and I moved to New York City to make a fresh start and it has been quite a ride! I’ve never had any trouble meeting men and have never been alone for very long.
For some time, I have been thinking about trying to have a child again. I’ve been out with some men who I thought had the maturity necessary to be a good father, but they seemed so old that I was afraid that they might die of a heart attack while we were in bed together. I work out seven days a week, so to have sex with me; the man really has to be able to keep up with me.
Then, I thought about just having a man around for sex and asking him if he’d like to father a child. That would be fine. I would handle the rest of the responsibility. I started dating very young men in their early twenties, well at least twenty-five, that seemed like a good age, and not too young.
I met Gabriel, a very charismatic, blond graduate student studying for his Ph.D. in economics at New York University. He was very fit and I found out why; he enjoyed swimming and playing squash and tennis. Soon, we became lovers, but we were really more like friends with benefits. He told me that he had been married once. He had married his high school sweetheart before he even finished college. Now, he wanted to be free to experiment and experience other women. I had been thinking about asking him to father a child with me, but with no strings attached.
Gabriel was working on a big research paper, so knowing that I wouldn’t be seeing him, I went off to a wine tasting. There I met a good-looking, blond man, Michael, who was from Iceland, but trust me, there was nothing icy about him. He was quite a hunk and very young. He told me he was twenty-four and had recently graduated from law school. I liked him immediately. In the middle of our conversation, he got a call from his office about some legal case he was working on and had to excuse himself. It happened so fast that I forgot to ask him for his business card or to offer him mine. And, then, I didn’t see him again that night.
So, I decided to try my luck with the “missed connections” on Craigslist. I sent the following message:
We didn’t get a chance to exchange business cards or phone numbers tonight, so I am trying to find you here. I am the hot brunette in her 30’s and you are the hot blond man in his early 20’s. If you see this, please respond back. Would be good to get together for a coffee.
I got back this response:
I think I am the one you are looking for. I definitely think you are who I am looking for. We met briefly tonight at David’s bachelor party. We had talked about going to a swinger’s party sometime soon and I called you a dirty, dirty girl. How about proving that to me now and giving me a call :)
At the end of the message was a phone number to call. Ai, me deus do ceu! I can’t believe this crap! I immediately recognized that the cell phone number belonged to Gabriel. So, instead of working on his research paper, he went to a bachelor party and met a brunette in her thirties at the same time that I met Michael, the hot blond man in his twenties at a bachelor party. He must have thought that my Craigslist ad was from this woman.
I know that Gabriel and I were not exactly exclusive, but seriously, what are the odds of this mix-up? I took it as a sign that this relationship was not meant to be. So I forwarded him the email message in response to my Craigslist ad, which I knew was actually from him. Then, I texted him telling him to check his email. He called me immediately, but I let his call go to voicemail.
“Luana, someone must have hacked into my computer! Not sure how that happened! Trust me, I would never do that to you!” he said in his message.
I didn’t respond. He emailed me and texted me multiple times over the next two hours. I still didn’t respond.
The next day, he sent a dozen roses to my office, but I didn’t respond. Did he really think that I’d be dumb enough to believe him or to forgive him? Besides, whomever was going to be father to my child had to be smart enough to realize that I had written that ad myself, which meant that I was trying to reach out to another hot blond. Eventually, the emails from Gabriel stopped.
Michael never did respond to the “missed connections” ad I posted. Right now, I’m thinking, I will be better off with a sperm bank donor to father my child. Who needs a real father for my child? I make enough money. I just need a hot man for sex. He can keep his sperm.
August 4, 2015:
It's the LAST week of the 30 Days of Metropolicks and the LAST Tuesday featuring a chapter about TARA. Want to know more about her? You can read up on her by clicking HERE.
The Non-Date Date
Minh and I were having Sunday brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. We were long overdue for a girl chat session. The waiter brought Minh a pot of decaf and an open-faced turkey tartine sandwich. He brought me a vegetable quiche and a pot of regular coffee. It had been awhile since I’d seen Minh and I had something on my mind.
“The other day, I was on what I thought was a date, but the way it played out really leaves me wondering,” I said to Minh.
“So what happened?” Minh asked as she reached to take a sip of her coffee.
“I went to the Thursday night Chelsea art gallery openings with the Art Lovers Meetup group that I belong to and afterward some of us went for dinner and drinks together. That’s how I met this guy, Richard. I didn’t think much of him at the time. He was this white guy of average looks and height, but he seemed nice enough, so I exchanged business cards with him at the end of the night. That night, he texted me saying that it was really great meeting me and that he wanted to keep in, touch,” I said.
“Oh, that’s nice… if you’re interested, that is,” Minh said.
“Right. Well, then he started to text me daily saying things like ‘Have a great day!’ or ‘Hope you’re having a great day!’ or ‘Home from work yet?’ Sometimes he’d text me little personal weather reports telling me that ‘the weatherman says there’s a chance of showers, make sure you have an umbrella.’ ”
“That sounds a bit annoying.”
“Well, I thought it was kind of kind of cute and thoughtful actually. We exchanged a few friendly, flirty text messages,” I explained.
“Okay, so, get to the punch line. I know that you somehow ended up on a date with him, right? Did he finally pick up the damn phone and call you?” Minh asked trying to get to the point.
“Right, the text messaging went on for a few weeks and it was starting to get old. But, then, Richard suddenly emailed me saying that it had been so long since he’d seen me and that he’d like to get together. He said something about wanting to go to an art fair in Chelsea over the weekend. I had received a message that the Art Lovers Meetup group was planning to go and I thought he was referring to that. So, I asked if he was planning to go with the Meetup group.
“He responded that he didn’t want to go in a group or to be rushed and that we should make it a date, just the two of us! I told him that I already had plans to have dinner that night with a friend visiting from D.C. but that my entire afternoon was free. He wrote me a few more emails to reconfirm our date and said that he was really looking forward to finally seeing me again.”
“Great, so he finally actually asked you on a date,” Minh paused. “Though, it was over email.”
“Yes, and the date, which was last Saturday, turned out to be such a non-event, I don’t even know what to call it.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, I was supposed to meet Richard at noon at the art fair, but I was running late, so I called him to let him know I’d be fifteen minutes late. When I got there, he wasn’t there so I texted him. He answered back that he was at another gallery and said he’d walk over. I waited and when I saw him, he seemed happy to see me and said, ‘You look lovely’ and gave me a hug. We walked into the building where the art fair exhibits were and were promptly told that there was a 10 dollar entrance fee. I was putting away my sunglasses and assumed that Richard would pay for me since it was a date after all.”
“I saw him take out a 20 dollar bill, and as he handed it over, he looked over to me as he took back his change and said, ‘You have ten?’ ”
“That’s ridiculous! I can’t believe he didn’t pay for you,” Minh said surprised by this.
“I was a bit stunned and said, ‘Yes,’ took out my wallet and paid for myself. So, then we went in together and started looking at the exhibits. It was a bit awkward.”
“Oh, you think?”
“Yeah. And not just that, it’s often kind of awkward in these sorts of situations. I mean knowing how to pace yourself. Going to an art gallery or museum on a first date is probably not a good idea. How do you know how closely to walk with someone or how much space to give him? And some people like to linger as they look at different pieces.”
“I see your point,” Minh said waving her fork slightly as if to emphasize or note what I had said.
“Richard went ahead a bit looking at things, but I took my time going a bit more slowly, at my own pace. At some point, I was basically going through the exhibits by myself; then, I saw Richard again and he asked if I had seen anything interesting, so I mentioned a booth of artists from Taiwan that I’d heard about. So, we went to look at it together.
“But, then, he went off again and we lost track of each other once more.” Minh nodded as I continued, “I looked around for him. I thought how hard could it be to find him? I mean the building that the art fair was in was basically a straight, long space. It’s not like it had a complicated layout with different rooms or sectioned areas. So, when I reached the end of the exhibit I walked back to the front entrance to see if I could find him. Then, I thought that maybe if I stayed in one spot he’d eventually find me. As I was walking around, I heard some guy giving a presentation about digital porn. So, I thought, I’m curious and this is as good a spot as any to stay put at.”
“Oh, and what would you have done if Richard found you listening to such a presentation?”
“I wasn’t thinking about that, but I suppose it would have led to some interesting conversation. Anyhow, getting back to the digital porn presentation, which by the way was very good, the guy had this whole slideshow showing porn that everyday people are creating online.”
“Really?” Minh asked while raising her eyebrows. “I’d be a bit embarrassed to stand in public staring at that sort of stuff. It’s kind of hard to not look at it and be curious, but I’d rather keep that sort of thing to myself.”
“It wasn’t the type of porn that you’re thinking of. Nothing hardcore. His message was that regardless of one’s shape, size, color, age, race, or physical attributes, there’s someone out there who wants you or fetishizes you. There are fetishes for everything. And not all of them are what you’d necessarily consider sexy or kinky, like for example, a sock fetish. Did you know that there are people posting photos of just their feet in socks online, for their throngs of admirers? It’s not about nudity, exposing any skin or body parts at all.”
“Oh… I was picturing something like what you’d see at the Museum of Sex.”
“No, it wasn’t like that at all. When the guy was done with his presentation, I realized that nearly twenty minutes had passed! I walked around some more to see if I could find Richard. Then, I texted him and even tried calling him, but he didn’t pick up. I didn’t know what happened to him.”
“Seriously? Why wasn’t he looking for you?” Minh said.
“Exactly. So, I left him a voicemail telling him that I was leaving. Later on that night, I also wrote him an email saying: ‘I didn’t know what happened to you. I couldn’t find you, but I figured that you could have tried calling me if you were wondering where I was. But you didn’t. That left me in a kind of awkward situation. So, I just decided to leave.’ And I ended the email by saying, ‘There’s no need for any explanations, or apologies and no hard feelings.’ ” I paused, “I didn’t want to leave things so awkward and I figured this would give him a chance to explain himself.”
“So… did he ever respond back?” Minh asked. “It’s just so odd that he disappeared on you.”
“Nope, never heard from him again,” I said.
“Tara, you are too nice. How do you put up with these guys? You went way of out of your way, emailing him afterward. I wouldn’t have bothered to do that. I mean it’s like he stood you up in the middle of your date!” Minh said feeling outraged. She always feels bad hearing about what I’ve gone through with some of these date duds.
“I suppose, I do wonder why he disappeared.”
“Maybe he was upset that you had told him you were busy at night and just limited it to seeing him in the afternoon?” Minh suggested.
“I can’t see how he could be. He was the one who suggested the date. People have afternoon first dates. Some first dates are just a coffee or a drink, or just a breakfast or a lunch. I don’t need to spend the entire day with him for it to be a date.”
“You never know. Maybe he was not happy that you were late. And maybe that’s why he made you cough up 10 dollars for your own admission to the art fair.”
“Well, that’s a possibility but he’s the one that said it would be a date. I mean give me a break! That’s such a passive-aggressive way to deal with things. And, then, to pull that disappearing act?! What’s up with men? Do any of them know how to behave around women anymore?” I asked with some frustration.
“I guess they don’t.”
“I am not upset about it. Well, maybe I am a little disappointed. I am so confused by the male gender,” I said.
“It sometimes seems like they are a different species, a totally different animal,” Minh agreed.
I continued, “I don’t know what to say about what happened with Richard. I’m calling it the non-date date. Why did I even bother with this guy? I didn’t really think much of him at first, but then he was persistent. I guess that I was also kind of bored since I am not really seeing anyone special now. I thought I’d give him a chance.”
“I think you should be more picky about who you give a chance to from now on,” Minh advised.
“Well I won’t be giving anyone a chance for a while since I’ve decided to go to Cambodia with the Nomi Network for a few weeks. I need a distraction from this latest dating slump and I’ve always wanted to go to Asia.” Then, I added. “But, on the bright side, that day at the art fair, I did learn a lot about digital porn.”
August 5, 2015:
It's the LAST Wednesday featuring a chapter about NINE. Want to know more about her? You can read up on her by clicking HERE.
The Closure Myth
(NINE, Luana, and Frank)
As Luana and I entered the Armani café on Fifth Avenue, several heads turned in our direction. Located within the multilevel Armani store was a full bar and restaurant, which attracted an upscale crowd. Luana liked to go there to check out the male models who frequented the café. In the past she had even picked up a few of them. We ordered some drinks at the bar and took a seat at a table.
“I know how busy you are, Luana. Thanks for meeting up with me. Seeing you has already lifted my spirits. If anyone would have some sound advice for me, I knew it would be you.”
“No problem. I get to help you out while being able to check out the eye candy around here,” Luana responded. Then, she asked me, “So is this about Ragnar?”
“Yes, it is. I am trying to get closure from Ragnar and to figure out if I could be like Montoya, and try to remain friends with my exes,” I explained.
“Closure is something everyone needs or thinks they need when a relationship comes to an end,” Luana responded.
“I wanted your advice because of everything you went through with Gianni. You finally moved on and I need to learn how to do that.”
“Whatever advice I can give you, it’s my pleasure.”
“Last night I saw Ragnar at a MOMA event. He was polite but distant. I told him that I missed spending time with him and suggested that we have lunch or dinner to catch up. He said he was too busy with work.”
“I know that isn’t what you wanted to hear.”
“You’re right. So, now, I am feeling hurt again since I have spent so much time fretting about him. And after all we’ve been through, I think I am nothing more to him now than an acquaintance. We went out for three months! That is a long time as far as relationships in New York City go,” I complained.
“So, do you really think it’s still possible that the two of you could be friends?” Luana asked.
“No, I am not anywhere on his agenda. Right now I’m feeling discouraged about the whole thing. I thought I could try to get some version of closure from him, but he seems way too aloof. He just doesn’t get how frustrated I still feel,” I said.
“It’s probably best for you to avoid him for a while,” Luana advised.
“It’s so disappointing that when I finally found someone who I thought was a really great catch, the problem was that he loved his career more than me. When we were dating, I knew that he needed to devote time to his career, but he didn’t even call me daily or seem to miss me. One week could go by without me hearing from him, but you’ve heard me say this before. I think I’m rambling now.”
“You’re not rambling, just being human. I know you think I am the one to give you advice on this, but, actually, I think you should get a male perspective on this. You should ask Frank,” Luana suggested.
“Frank? Not Montoya?”
“Not for this situation. Frank would be better at ending relationships than Montoya. Frank is the guy to talk to.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Frank will be able to get into Ragnar’s head better than Montoya or myself. Trust me,” Luana said confidently.
Later that week, I met up with Frank for a bite to eat at a little Japanese restaurant in Midtown East. I told Frank about the last time I had bumped into Ragnar to see what he would have to say about it.
“Don’t let other people bog you down with their bull crap! This guy sounds like he has moved on and I believe you should also. He isn’t worth it,” Frank said after taking a swig of his beer.
“So, I shouldn’t try to stay friends with him?” I asked, curious to hear Frank’s reasoning behind this.
“Sometimes it is hard to be friends with someone you once dated. Maybe he is thinking you want to start up the romance again and is distancing himself,” Frank responded. “You know I care about you, Nine. You need to shrug this guy off and soon you will be back in the saddle again.”
“You think so?”
“I know so,” Frank said with conviction in his own opinion. “It is a waste of time to brood over him. You need to stop agonizing over this. Maybe, one day you can be friends with him, but not right now.”
“I’ve already have stopped calling him and emailing him,” I said.
“That’s good. Remember, it’s his loss!”
“I know. The book is definitely closed. But, I might bump into him at a pub night event organized by David Chan and Will Chao. Will is a mutual friend of both of us and I don’t want to cause a scene at one of his events,” I said worrying aloud.
“If you bump into him at a party, there is no need for a scene, a fight, or even any contact at all,” Frank advised.
“You mean, I shouldn’t even give him a hug?” I asked.
“Why do you feel the need to give him a hug? But, if he goes to hug or kiss you, then respond. But never—and I mean never—be the initiator. Right now, you should avoid him and he will soon realize what he is missing. You also need to think about why you are doing or not doing something. In other words, none of it should be a ploy to get him back. Sometimes we don’t realize that’s our motivation behind things, especially when we are still not really over someone yet.”
“But, I don’t want to do something that will hurt him,” I explained.
“Don’t worry about hurting his feelings, clearly he’s not thinking about yours. You need to think about yourself first and to protect your own heart. Getting closure or the need for closure from someone else is a myth. You need to come to terms with it on your own. Now, that is easier said than done. I speak from experience. Remember, you are the only one who can give yourself closure when it comes to Ragnar.”
“Thanks so much Frank. Would it be okay if I be the initiator now and ask you for a hug and kiss?” I asked teasing him.
“That is the best idea you’ve had all night,” Frank responded teasing me back.
I gave Frank a big bear hug and kissed him on his cheek.
POSTSCRIPT: The next time I saw Ragnar at a party, I started to walk toward him to greet him, but then I thought about what Frank had said and stopped myself. Instead, I went to get a drink and started talking to other people at the party. I didn’t initiate any contact with him. He looked at me across the room several times during the party, trying to make eye contact. I never met his eyes as I continued talking to other people. Finally, I decided to leave the party early without greeting Ragnar. Later that night, I felt a pang of sadness in my heart for what might have been, but I knew it was better this way.
August 6, 2015:
It's the LAST Thursday featuring a chapter about MONTOYA. Want to know more about him? You can read up on him by clicking HERE.
Cracking the Whip
Filled with biker types in dark leather jackets, stoned out of their minds, and the types who looked like they were into having sex down and dirty, it was one of those dive bars in the city where they seemed to only serve one type of beer, in this case, Pabst Blue Ribbon. It also had a smelly, god-awful loo.
My friend, Todd, had asked me to go out with him to this bar that would make most dive bars look posh. As I stepped up to the bar, I nearly tripped over this lump on the floor. When I looked down, I saw that there was a guy encased in carpet with a sign that read: “Please make my day and step on me. Thank you.” Talk about being a doormat, but I guess it was okay with him since he got off on that sort of thing.
As I looked around, I noticed there was some sort of oddball fetish theme going on with men and women dressed in black leather or vinyl. And as if the human doormat was not enough, I saw a picture of the devil in glowing neon lights hanging on the wall. Midgets in bikinis were dancing at one end of the bar. At the other end, men were lined up to stuff dollar bills into the G-strings of women who were crawling on top of the bar. Women in skimpy black vinyl G-strings were sliding up and down the stripper poles. It seemed like a lewd three-ring circus.
As I looked down again at the guy wrapped up in the carpet, I felt like I didn’t fit in at all. Who knew that literally being a doormat could be a career? Little did I know that the show had not yet even begun.
A woman wearing some sort of a metal outfit and what looked like a chastity belt seemed to appear out of nowhere. She took what looked like a buzz saw and applied it to her chastity belt, creating sparks that shot out of her metallic pants. The crowd clapped and cheered. Next, a fire dancer shimmied around the bar, as she blew fire out of her mouth. Todd wanted to stay, but I had to get out of there. I was on my way out the door when I felt someone grab my arse.
“Excuse me!” I said turning around to see that a woman had her hand on my bottom.
“Why, did you do something that I should excuse you for? You want to apologize to me?”
She was hot. She was wearing a black G-string with black tape covering the nipples of her exposed boobs. She wore five-inch heels, heavy make-up, and fake orange and purple colored hair extensions, but I could tell she was actually pretty under all of that.
“Do you mind letting go of my arse?” I asserted.
“Your arse? Hey, limey, aren’t you in the wrong neck of the woods? My name is Lilith.”
I learned that under all that make-up she was, indeed, pretty. She had come to New York from New Mexico to make it as an actress. She was in her early twenties and had blue eyes and brown hair. To make ends meet, she was a bar-top dancer. We had sex on the first date. I made sure that I wore a condom even when she gave me a blow job and for once, I didn’t try my special oral sex moves on her since I had no idea where her vadge had been. After the third date, I realized that while there was a wild intensity that attracted me to her, she wasn’t exactly the girl to bring home to meet the parents. She cursed like a sailor, and often went without her knickers. Okay, well the last thing wasn’t bad, but when she went commando, she’d cross and uncross her legs exposing her vadge for anyone to see.
After I hadn’t called her for a week, she started texting me continuously. I had been busy at work, so I wasn’t really lying when I told her that I was busy. But it was a convenient way to avoid her and not hurt her feelings. However, Lilith was not the indirect type and she wanted to talk in person. She kept texting and leaving me voicemails, so finally, I agreed to see her.
She asked to meet at a bar on the Lower East Side. When I saw her, I decided to tell her the truth. “I really have been busy at work. But the truth is, Lilith; it just doesn’t feel right between us. But we should still be friends.”
“Ok Montoya, I understand, but I really just want one more for the road,” she said as looked at me coquettishly. “My apartment is right next door. Let’s just do it one more time. Then, I will feel better about being dumped,” she said in a matter-of-fact way.
“I wouldn’t say it is being dumped. I really like you and want to stay friends. I just don’t see it working out long term for us.”
I remembered what the sex was like with her. One thing I did know for certain was that she really knew what she was doing when it came to that. So, I took what she said at face value and I went back with her to her fourth floor walk-up for the first time. The studio apartment was weird and somewhat ominous with black walls and purple and red light bulb fixtures and an extensive whip collection prominently displayed on the walls. There was a poster of the 1973 film, The Exorcist, right over her bed. I moved in to kiss her after she closed the door, but she turned her head to the side and motioned me to sit on her couch.
So, I walked toward her couch but instead of joining me she locked the front door and leaned against it as if to block me from leaving.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“You aren’t leaving here. You are my prisoner and you’re not leaving unless you admit that you only used me for sex,” she said firmly.
“Are you out of your sodding mind?! I’m your prisoner? I thought we were coming here for sex,” I said in disbelief.
“You are my prisoner!” she yelled.
“Lilith, move away from the door. This is a sick joke.” I said as I stood up and walked toward the door.
She grabbed one of the many whips hanging off of the wall and cracked it right beside me, “Sit the hell down! If you try to move me out of the way, I will punch myself in the face and tell the police that you assaulted me,” she said glaring at me.
I sat down and assessed the situation in my mind. I knew she was weird, but I had no idea that she was capable of this. As I sat on the couch, and looked at her without saying a word, I wondered what she’d do next.
She started screaming at me,“Talkkkkkkkkkk! Talkkkkkkkkkk! What the hell is wrong with you? Tell me you that you just used me for sex! Tell me! Tell me the truth!”
After one minute of her screaming her bloody head off, I finally realized the only way out of the room was to tell her what she wanted to hear, that I had used her. I collected my thoughts and finally said, “Lilith” in a calm voice.
But she angrily interrupted me, “Well, finally you can actually speak!”
“Lilith, you are right. I used you for sex.”
She looked at me for at least two minutes without talking and barely blinking, just staring at me with piercing eyes. It was as if she were trying to pierce deep into my soul to determine if I was telling the truth.
“I have been busy at work and I need to leave now to get some sleep since I have an early meeting in the morning. So, maybe can you move from the door so I can head home now?”
“As long as you ask politely, your wish will be granted. You can leave,” she responded.
“I’m sorry I hurt you. Please open the door and let me go.”
She stood up and moved from the door. But as I walked toward the door, she seemed to change her mind and tried to close the door again. I pulled the door open and bolted down the four flights of stairs.
Out on the street, I looked for a cab. Lilith had chased after me and when I got in the cab, she entered the cab from the other side.
I told the driver to take me to my Upper East Side apartment. She glared at me in the cab without saying a word. I don’t think she blinked once. It was like a scene out of the movie Silence of the Lambs except this Hannibal Lector was a female bar top dancer. As we arrived outside of my front lobby, I got out of the cab and Lilith followed me.
“Lilith, I have a doorman and he will be my witness that I didn’t punch you in the face. If you follow me into the lobby, I will tell the doorman to call the police. Go home. Please. Go home,” I pleaded.
“Screw you!! I don’t need you!! Get the hell out of my life!!” she said as she turned and started walking down the street away from my lobby.
I walked into my lobby and went up to my apartment. Inside my apartment, I sat on my bed and kept thinking about how close I came to winding up in serious trouble. Then, I couldn’t get to sleep. I should never have dated her in the first place. It’s like I was looking for trouble. That’s the last time my little brain does all the thinking. I’ve always prided myself with staying in touch with all of my exes, but not this time.
POSTSCRIPT: One month later, Lilith had gotten a part on a new television series. And a year later, she had become famous. I had a laugh when I saw on TMZ that her manager had quit on her claiming that Lilith had locked him up in a room for a few hours. Lilith denied any knowledge of the incident.
August 7, 2015:
Here's the LAST chapter we'll be sharing during the 30 Days of Metropolicks. But we do have one LAST surprise for you, so come back TOMORROW to see it!
Fridays feature a chapter about FRANK, and if you want to know more about him you can read up on him by clicking HERE. But this is not the end.
In This Life and the Next
Leah was lying in her bed with me. We were caressing each other’s bodies after having just made love. Her daughter, Shanti, was in the other room asleep, so we talked quietly keeping our voices down.
“Do you think that we knew each other in a previous life?” Leah asked.
“Another life? You believe in reincarnation?” I responded.
“Of course, I haven’t talked to you much about my spiritual beliefs, but my entire family is Hindu.”
“Well, I was raised Catholic, but I haven’t been to church in years, so I guess you can say I am a lapsed Catholic or maybe even an agnostic. But really, maybe I might even be an atheist. When I read the newspaper and see all the evil in the world, it makes me wonder, where is God?”
“Well, when it comes to evil, I really do believe in karma. To me, karma makes a lot of sense,” Leah shared.
“Not sure if I believe in karma, but I do believe in ‘Instant Karma’ as John Lennon sang about. I believe that what goes around comes around.”
“So, do you believe we were a couple in a previous life?” Leah asked again.
“I am not sure. Maybe.”
“I think we were a couple. I think I know you. Really know you. Like in multiple lifetimes.”
“Wow. That is deep. A couple as in married?”
“Yes. When I make love to you, it feels so familiar—like we have done it thousands of times.”
In the subdued light of Leah’s bedroom, I looked into Leah’s eyes for a long time.
“What?” Leah asked.
I then said, “I have an idea. Shanti is on vacation from school all summer. I run my own business, so I can take off whenever I feel like it. You like the water, so let me take both of you on several long weekend trips to the Caribbean. It will give us a chance to all get to know each other better.”
“That would be great,” she said excitedly.
I knew Leah had an affinity for water. The city she grew up in, Goa, was right by the ocean. Now in New York, she lived near Riverside Park with a good view of the Hudson River. Leah and I planned three weekend getaways during the summer, one for June, one for July, and one for August.
Our first destination was St. Maarten as the Dutch call it, or Saint-Martin, as the French dub it. The island is divided into the side owned by France and the side owned by the Netherlands. Both sides either have topless beaches or allow you to be topless, but the French side has the only officially nude beach. While Shanti went on a glass-bottom boat excursion for kids organized by the hotel, Leah and I went to the nude beach on the French side. Leah had on a one-piece swimsuit, but I peeled off my swimsuit to let everyone on the beach get to know me better.
Our next weekend trip was to Bermuda, the land of pink beaches. It had less nightlife than the other Caribbean islands and was populated by the descendants of real pirates. Despite this, it was a very calm and serene place. On the first day at the beach, Leah put some pink sand in an empty water bottle to bring back with her and Shanti made a pink sand castle.
On our last trip in August, we went to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, an all-inclusive resort. It had a lagoon surrounding the hotel, which was actually an aquarium where you could swim with the fish. But unlike the movie, The Godfather, the plan was not to die when you “swam with the fishes.” There were large manta rays and Leah was ecstatic about swimming with them. I watched and took photos of Shanti and Leah in the aquarium lagoon since I had never learned how to swim. When both of them emerged from the aquarium lagoon, they were giddy from the experience. Afterward, Shanti slid down the giant water slide at the aquarium. For the adventurous, the hotel even had a shark tank.
After dinner, when Shanti was asleep in the adjoining room, Leah said, “I want to get into the shark tank.”
I responded, “Well that is kind of scary, but I know you love the water. That would be a great experience for you. Whatever floats your boat.”
“I want you to join me,” she said hesitantly.
“Are you crazy?” I said laughing. “You know I don’t know how to swim. I thought we were getting along great as a couple.
But, I think if my girlfriend wants me to drown to my death that shows there is a problem with the relationship.”
“Wow! That is the first time you called me ‘your girlfriend.’ ”
“Well, uh, yes you are definitely my girlfriend... but not sure how long that is going to last with me drowning or maybe being eaten by sharks. Sharks!” I repeated in disbelief.
Leah responded, “It is totally safe. They give you one of those helmets and an oxygen tank attached to the helmet. You climb down a ladder and walk, not swim, walk on the bottom of the tank.”
“You do realize I can’t swim?”
“Of course, but it is perfectly safe, I read all about it. There are three men with you as you climb down the ladder and they stay with you in the shark tank.”
“And if one of the sharks decides to bite my dick off, are they going to protect me? Really?”
“It is safe. Trust me,” Leah reassured me.
The next day, I stripped down to my swimming trunks and Leah to her one-piece swimsuit before we each put on our wetsuits. Shanti was busy elsewhere at a program for children.
“Are you okay Frank? You seem to be sweating up a storm,” Leah said focusing her attention on me with a look of concern.
“Yeah, this wetsuit makes me feel like I’m in a sauna,” I replied.
“Are you sure it’s not nerves? Trust me, I wouldn’t bring you down there if I thought the shark was going to try to bite your dick off,” Leah said laughing.
We waited for one group to exit the tank before going down along with another couple. After receiving instructions from one of the guides, Leah descended the stairs about 30 feet into the shark tank. I followed right behind her. The sharks swam about 10 feet above us in the tank. I was trying very hard to keep my head level because if you looked down, up, or sideways, the water, which was just below my chin, would come up into my nostrils.
One of the guides handed me a sea urchin and gave Leah a starfish and motioned for us to hold them up and pose for a photo. We walked around the bottom of the tank holding each other’s hand. There was a strong underwater current that bumped against us making it hard for us to keep our balance. I held onto Leah’s hand for dear life the entire time. After about fifteen minutes, it was time to surface.
While taking off my wetsuit, I proclaimed, “That was the most romantic thing I have ever done.”
“Really? You were holding my hand really tight down there,” Leah replied.
“Yes, I was scared for my life and yet I was holding your hand the entire time. Then, I started to feel calm and I felt a little of that past life thing that you were talking about.”
After dinner at the resort, Leah took Shanti back up to the room and tucked her into bed. Through the hotel’s front desk, she had gotten in touch with a babysitter who she had met and judged trustworthy enough to look after Shanti for the night. Once Leah had given the babysitter instructions, she and I went to get a drink at one of the bars at the resort.
At the bar, I drank a glass of white wine and stared at Leah.
“What? You seem to be doing a lot of this blank staring lately,” Leah remarked. “The glassy-eyed look doesn’t make you look good,” she said joshing me.
“I love you,” I said and then kissed Leah on the lips.
This was the first time I had expressed my feelings so directly to her. Leah paused and after a few moments she replied, “I love you too, Frank! So much!”
And then I asked her, “If—it is just an if—if we were thinking of really being serious, would you expect me to convert to Hinduism?”
“It means a great deal to my family and, I guess to me also.”
“What would that involve?”
“Well, to start with, I try to read the Bhagavad Gita at least once a week. I know that I should read it more often. It’s also called the Gita, and it contains some of the most sacred Hindu scriptures.”
“Okay, can you get me an abridged translation? I’d better see what I am getting myself into,” I said making a joke.
That evening, again in each other’s arms in bed, Leah kissed me passionately. “I think you and I are soul mates. I love you in this life and the next,” Leah said between kisses.
“I think you might make a believer out of me,” I said. “I love you too.”
August 8, 2015:
As we end the 30 Days of Metropolicks, we'd like to leave you with one thought or image. Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed the ride!