In terms of all things love (and sex), I started 2011 on a slow (and sexless) foot. But as fate and hormones would have it, Alejandro and I couldn’t stay away from each other any longer. I had received multiple phone calls, texts, and BBM’s from him and had managed to stay strong since our one heated night back in December until this cold winter’s night. I finally agreed to see him at one of the apartment complexes he was selling on 82nd Street after an open house.
As we sat in the beautifully furnished, two bedroom apartment on the fourth floor that my fashion industry-salaried ass could only dream of living a non-rental life in, we stared at each other in between small talk of fashion week and the real estate market.
And then, just as I had expected, Alejandro turned the conversation serious as he confessed, “Bacchus, I miss you so much. I want us to make this work and give us another shot.”
It was a conversation we had had at least three times, but the strength I had once had just a few short weeks back uncontrollably dissipated. Over the next few weeks, we fell back into our old routines of Saturday night movies, I Shouldn’t Be Alive marathons, and weeknight “home-cooked” dinners a la Alejandro’s freezer. Eventually, I got that key to his apartment back—and even a drawer and a few hangers in his closet this time around so I would no longer have to do the “eat, bang, and run” routine on work nights.
Something was missing from our somewhat domesticated lifestyle, but I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly it was until one night after a long day at work and an even longer hot Vinyasa class. As I sauntered over to his apartment (as was always the case), sweaty, stressed, and downright exhausted, I texted him to inquire about our evening’s dinner plans. His reply was not one that impressed me.
I already cooked dinner for myself. Just got done eating.
I don’t know if it was from severe dehydration after sweating in a room over one hundred degrees for an hour or the stresses or work, but this answer was not acceptable to me. As I stood in line at Subway to get my own dinner since Alejandro had so selfishly forgotten to cook me any dinner or even wait for me to get home to dine with, I realized what was missing and why I was frustrated during round 343 of Alejandro and I’s go at some sort of a proper relationship—I was merely an afterthought to the man.
When I arrived to his apartment with my footlong and bad attitude, I knew something of epic proportions may go down. My birthday was coming up and I would be spending it in Dallas for work, but I had yet to hear about any spectacular, thoughtful birthday plans from Alejandro before I departed for the Dirty South. So when I asked Alejandro what his weekend plans were and his reply of a boys night out and an eight-hour real estate class did not meet those spectacular birthday plans I was hoping that he was planning on surprising me with, I realized he hadn’t even remembered my birthday or business trip because it wasn’t something that involved him.
I was done being an afterthought, a girlfriend of convenience. I wanted a boyfriend who would wait an additional twenty minutes for me to arrive home to eat, no matter how hungry he was; a boyfriend who would cook enough for two; and a boyfriend who would remember my freaking birthday. So I grabbed an empty Trader Joe’s bag, emptied out my drawer, slid my clothes off their hangers, and packed up every single item I owned that was in Alejandro’s apartment right down to the used razor on the ledge of his shower.
“Am I ever going to see you again?” he asked as I headed for the door. But there was nothing left for me to say that I hadn’t said a dozen times before, so I simply walked out.
As I headed out of his apartment building to hail a cab and return to my Upper East Side life that I had left behind in Murray Hill for far too long, the Trader Joe’s bag filled with my work clothes and hair dryer of course broke, its contents spilling everywhere.
F*cking Trader Joe hippies can’t even make a proper f*cking paper grocery bag.
I could have easily thrown in the towel and headed back upstairs to Alejandro for another bag and another conversation regarding our ever-failing relationship, but it was time for me to make that jump once and for all. So I scooped up my belongings, stuffed what would fit into my purse, and hailed a cab to head to uptown without shedding one tear.
The following night as I waited for Emily, Jenny Saurs, and Annie Smalls to meet me at Southern Hospitality for a celebratory I-don’t-need-no-man drink, I found an open seat at the bar. I turned to the man next to it to ask if it was free and I found a Zac Efron look alike sipping on a Stella.
“I like your shirt,” he commented as he looked me up and down. I looked down at the smoking skull on my tee with glee, thanking the Upper East Side gods for placing this little hot number next to me (and that I had pulled this shirt out of my dirty laundry in a last minute wardrobe change).
“I like your cardigan,” I replied, smiling. Yes, he was wearing a cardigan—but in a Mr. Rogers-meets-hipster/I’m-not-afraid-to-rock-geriatric-clothing kind of way that was damn sexy.
“My name’s Alfonso. You come here often?” he asked as he extended his hand.
Now, now I do, Fonz. Bottoms up to leaps of faith and cardigans…