I'm not in New York right now, I'm not even in NY state.

Keil invited me to spend the long weekend out in PA at his parents' house and acreage, and I accepted. Seriously, we're really far out here, and I am (fortunately?) without cell service. On the drive out from Philly we stopped for gas and I checked my phone for what was to be the last time for several days. I had been busy sending people pictures of my new tattoo and was expecting a few responses, but what was in my inbox when I unlocked my phone?

"Want to have brunch tomorrow?"

What the fuck.

I should probably give you some background.

Obviously, I am no longer dating musicians. Although I definitely don't have any kind of expressed rule about it, I tend to pick partners from the world pool of creatives even when they are not musicans, read: designers, screenprinters, architects, and yes--wordsmiths, painters, and indie-film makers. Of the latter I was recently dating two, but then...well, then it just petered out with one of them. I was routinely unappreciated and flat out criticized too many times for me to really want to put to much effort into it, so when he told me he was getting more serious with someone else he was seeing I thought it a perfect opportunity to let this one go forever. I mean, he essentially dumped me, right?

That's what I had thought. But he didn't dump me--he had the balls to try and fucking backburner me.

Not familiar with this term? Backburnering is when you don't think you want to see someone anymore, but for whatever reason you're not quite sure--maybe they have a really great book collection or the sex was really great--so you leave your parting somewhat open ended so that you retain the opportunity to revisit that later. I have backburnered people tens of times over the years with mixed results: both Nick the Writer's, Wood, even Chase for a time--but I have never let anyone of so little consequence backburner me. Ever.

So what happened with the girl with which it was supposedly so serious?

Who kinows? Maybe this girl got sick of being fucking judged all the time by someone who is far too old and far too foreign to have so little common sense or willpower. Look, this is all just speculation, and yeah. If I really wanted to know what was up instead of inventing some story in my head that makes me feel better about myself I would have just asked. I didn't ask. I think that speaks volumes.

I did reply, however. I sent back "No, sorry, I'm out of town for the long weekend."

Not that he would do this and not even that he would care even if he did do this, but when I replaced my phone back into my back right jeans pocket I immediately wondered what Keil might think if he read this string of text messages saved in my phone that had just grown by two. When a couple minutes later I felt the telltale vibrating and read some common reply that I don't remember exactly but likely went something like "we should do it another time," I did something that might have been unthinkable a few years ago. Had the sex been great? Yes. And he was pretty hot, tall, successful, and had an accent that left snail trails in my panties; all pretty perfect criteria for a solid backburner, right? But way out here or back in Brooklyn or even in my hometown like we will be next week it has been Keil who I make plans with and buy plane tickets with and kiss sweetly on street corners in the moonlight and it's him whom I miss when he's not around. I'm not going to get into a semantics debate here, but regardless of who Keil is or is not to me there was something telling me that the least that I could do for him was not let anyone else disrespect me so blatantly as to backburner me.

Do brunch some other time? No. We really shouldn't. I decided to keep it simple, and replied in kind.

"Look, I'm sorry, but I don't think we should be hanging out anymore."

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go now. There is a very handsome man seated next to me that I haven't stared at for no reason in hours.



For Becky: "I'm Sweeter Than Equal."


I love Cake, that's no secret. I really do love actual Cake—just last weekend a girlfriend and I retired from a marathon day of drinking to Coronas and Mexican food off the Graham L, and after seeing all the confections queued in the pastry case on the way in, leaving without some became impossible. My choice? Well, choices actually. I had to get something called Rainbow Pastry that tasted like a mix between marzipan and God—but the real winner here was a slice of six layered german chocolate with white buttercream frosting Cake. Mmm.

Now I also love proverbial Cake, but that's the idea: by definition I have to love it as that's what I've decided that it means.


Cake is all of those things that you wait so patiently for, those things you probably shouldn't have that you still want so, so bad. Cake is a surprise. Over the years your tastes may change, but Cake adorns your fantasies from the day of your first birthday when most North American kids are handed thier first fluffy slice; you may think Cake is trivial but that's only because you can't remember that day when it was the first time you had it. There was a day when it was the sweetest thing you'd ever tasted, when try as you might you couldn't help but keep it from your cheeks and eyebrows in a desperate attempt to put as much as possible in your mouth, and your young life was forever changed.

I only know one person who dislikes literal Cake, and that is my niece, Lex. She prefers ice cream, and that's just fine because proverbial Cake can easily be ice cream. Ice cream, lovers, fast cars. Airplanes.

No wait--not airplanes, not exactly. Cake is like that first step out of the terminal, yes. It's like after you've been through baggage claim and gone to the bathroom and stepped past those automatic doors. At FTL there's that instant rush of humidity and at O'Hare the wind picks up and at Dulles! Dulles just might be the oddest place to disembark from an airplane. It like: here you are, you've made it, and this here is a whole new place from where you were a few hours ago. Even when you are returning it's a surprise, a boon, a new world devised, in that moment, just for you. It's Cake.

The flight? That's not exactly Cake. You've likely earned that flight; you've saved your money and vacation days, you've picked a destination, you've scanned the internet for the perfect outbound and return. It is your reward for a hard day's work, the weekly grind, the long winter. This flight is your choreographed escape, it's your version of “chillin' on the front porch after runnin' ball”, and that's why folks: that's why the flight is Lemonade.

While Cake comes to all that are patient, Lemonade describes those things that we earn, we fight for, that we deserve more than most. If Cake is that extra errant cherry sunk deep into a Manhattan, then Lemonade is the Maker's Rocks enjoyed after a shift bartending. It's the jump from the deck of a sailboat, it's pressing the lobby button in the elevator, It's the much deserved calm after the storm. Lemonade is your reward for being right, correct, scrappy and persistent. Cake we enjoy, but Lemonade is what graces the tips of our tongues when we run into our exes and when we are at our high school reunions. We brag about Lemonade.

And why shouldn't we? Lemonade is the reward that divides us. It can't be sipped without some scars; it separates the winners from the complacent and that's exactly why it's so fucking sweet. Lemonade is only for those who know which fork to use at the grown-ups table and when to skip all of them in lieu of an early dessert.

Becky, this is a hugely elaborate lead in to a very simple truth: next Thursday I will fly to the West Coast for the first time in a year and a half and will be welcomed with open arms and ears waiting patiently for tales of New York. And what I'm saying is that this flight is just the first of many tall glasses of Lemonade that I have so rightfully earned in the last six months. 

It's our scars, Becky! They make us. They make us better.

It seems like nobody understands so often because not many have taken the time or been given the opportunity to earn their stripes, but we have. Our rewards await us Becky, and they are in the frostiest glasses and drizzled with honey, they are mixed with muddled lime and mint, shaken with the finest Kentucky bourbon, they are sparkling and crafted with the lemons that are always so plentiful when you have so few options.

And the Cake that we are awaiting?

Cake awaits those that are patient, those that believe that it's coming. This weekend will find me far out of the city, lips pursed around the tines of a heavy handled fork that will take several long dips from the many layered Cake that is, right now, my favorite variety. I will only be home for a scant few days before I set out to enjoy this very same Cake in my fair hometown.

So which is better, Cake or Lemonade?

Does it really matter when you can have them both?


309 Wilson Ave #3R
BK, NY, 11237

p.s. -- Garrett Dutton once said, a very long time ago, that should he "make it"--in his instance this meant becoming a financially successful musician--that he would have the script word "Lemonade" tattooed on his bicep. He kinda made it since most know him as G. Love, and his arm bears this very tattoo. I've earned the scars that were handed me, and I think it might be time to make some new scars of my own. The fact that I'll cross the Delaware into Philadelphia on Friday seems to render this week oh so very auspicious for such specific pursuits. --M

p.s. -- 5.26 edit:
Yup. That happened. I love Philly.


The Purge Part 9: Secrets.

This is a post about purging secrecy.

Like I said in the last post I've been very busy and very sick and so have not been posting much. A bit of a cop out, yes, but I thought I'd use the relative lull in readers to come clean. For every one of these purge posts there's just a little something I left out that was either seemingly boring or I couldn't bear to actually put on the internet. I cleaned my apartment today, and I think it's time to clean my glass house. Of its closet skeletons.


Part 1.
What I failed to mention is that I am terrified that I will never find that kind of love again. Furthermore, I am even more terrified that I will find it, bear a child, and then be, for whatever reason, left alone with that child. Sometimes I fear that this will happen in a foreign country. This makes it hard for me to date a guy from the UK (which I do).

Part 2.
Okay, so yes, I am seeing the boy described in this piece again. We went on hiatus for six weeks or so while I figured out how to take care of myself without him. I never said that I didn't actually think I could take care of myself, nor did I say that I actually thought we'd never see each other again. He can still stand me which seems insane, but hey, what are you gonna do. His name is Keil, by the way. He's not the British one.

Part 3.
I wrote this in bed one night after changing my sheets. I was not alone in it. Michael was there too, and after an hour of laying about in my bed talking about how insane he gets when he's been drinking, I asked him if he was planning on kissing me. He did. I was naked in minutes. This was three weeks after I swore that he'd never so much as see my bed again. Here's the kicker--after that night, he dropped me, not the other way around. Did he plan the whole thing just to have the chance to dump me? I like to think so sometimes because as long as it was calculated to exact vengeance then I can totally respect that.

Part 4.
Seriously, my boobs look horrible.

Part 5.
Jenny. Rich. Keil.

Part 6.
I once wrote that I was finally willing to let my friends die if the choice was between their death and me saving them from suicide. I'm not sure if I meant it at the time, but I fucking mean it now. I fucking dare you to try and call me before you kill yourself. I have taken that phone call/letter/email one too many times in my life and I do not suggest that you chose me to reach out to in this event now--because I will seriously fucking let you die.

Part 7.
And we also work together. Oops. But I threw away all my black nail polish, so I should be fine.

Part 8.
They are green again this week, because I really need a good week.

One more of these, guys.



Before you chastise me, let me explain first that I have been incredibly sick--and not just with the normal stuff, but also with a horrible flu-turned-bronchitis that is finally, finally waning. I know that it's been 10 days, but here I am, triumphantly returning all sparkle-eyed and optimistic.

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with Lisa relating the details of some seriously high-voltage sex that I had had a few days before, and as soon as the "amah-zings" had left my mouth, she countered with a "wait, is this the filmmaker?" Yes. No. There's two of them.

"Wait," this is Lisa, "So you're dating two guys, and they're both filmmakers?"

Yeah, I guess so. I mean, that's the simple version.

"There she is. That's my girl; that's our Slutty-Slutty Bang-Bang who left her heart in San Francisco."

There are a few stories here, but the one that is sticking with me the most is that I don't have a whole lot of free time. I work a lot, and with the remainder of my time I usually take to sleeping, being sick, trying to hang out with my friends occasionally and, oh yeah: picking up even more shifts at work. This doesn't leave a lot of time for dating, and what is supposed to be actual, traditional, dates turn quickly into late night rendezvous' that end swiftly in my bed.

Now, I'm not complaining. Exactly. I am, however becoming very aware that at this rate it could take me several years to actually get to know these men. That kind of begs the question: what exactly is it I'm doing here? I'm beginning to surmise that what I'm logically looking for is getting lost in my sheets somewhere. The problem with this, I suppose, is that I don't really give a shit.

Happy Bone Sabbath.

p.s. -- More soon. --M


The Purge Part 8: The Patch.

This is a post about purging cigarettes.

That's a lie.

Quitting smoking again was easy. I wasn't really smoking that much anyway, at least I never made it back up to the pack-to-pack-and-a-half a day that I indulged in from 13 to 29. At most, I was still only up to about 10 a day, and most days about 5 or less. I've spoken of this before, how on Christmas day I didn't know who to be anymore so I decided to be who I was the day before I met Chase, and the smokes came back too. First it was looseys from the corner store and then whole packs down in Georgia where they run a mere $4.50. Then I did the ungodly and switched brands--from the Camel Lights that I had smoked for 16 years to American Spirit Yellow's. But things have been settling down and settling in; this whole ten part purge exercise has me more astutely differentiating between who is authentically me and who I became for all the wrong reasons; but quitting smoking, as it seems, is one of those things that Chase demanded I do at the top of his lungs that I actually still value. It just so happens that it doesn't suit me anymore.

Knowing that makes me kind of sad.

But this post isn't actually about cigarettes. I guess it's about coming to the point where I'm wrapping up this series and I'm supposed to have one huge moral prepared to tell everyone and I'm still not quite sure what that is. It should be something about...how I'm better! Sometimes I'll be doing something inane like coming up from the train or buying an apple and I'll realize that just a few months ago I was incapable of this activity, that I've been patched back together with therapy and pills and friends and family and the seams are receding; I'm forgetting about the scars these days. But this post I'm writing now isn't the one that was in my fingertips when I woke up at 4:30 this morning and it's not even the one that was in my head at Gallery this afternoon and there are definitely things I'm not saying and I'm struggling. I'm struggling with being authentic.

The cigarettes? Gone. But the secrets?

I'm getting there. Let me paint my toes a few more times.


p.s. -- They're green this week, and it has been a good week.