Wednesday, January 10, 2007


In preparation for school, I’ve been going through some old files from school. In the process I came across this piece I wrote for a Projects class at NYU, which recounts one of the more Carmela experiences of my life. How I’ve neglected to include it up to this point is beyond me...

It was right after winter break, Junior year of NYU. I had sworn I would get a job, and I had, making fruit smoothies for the east village for minimum wage. I was “seeing” this DJ... and when I say seeing, I mean going to listen to him spin at Beauty Bar then getting semi naked in the freezing party room in the back if it wasn’t booked that night. I need a change, so I agree to go to Mercury Lounge with Crazy Ho to see some awful Emo band after work one night.

The band is awful, just whiny and pale... they’re basically just kvetching to music. Crazy Ho goes to get us drinks, and I spot this super adorable Jew smoking up near the stage (this was back when you could smoke in bars, mind you). I bum a cigarette and we get to talking. His name is Dustin, and we exchange numbers before Crazy and I split for 2A.

Interesting postscript to that evening... Crazy Ho ended up going home with a D-lister from 2A that night... Gideon Yago, the once MTV VJ. He had a girlfriend at the time, but she decided she had to sleep with him when he referred to 9/11 as “the highlight” of his career.

About a week after we met, Dustin and I went out to dinner. I have him meet me at the art show one of my classmates is putting on on Ave B. The show consists of the student sitting in the corner, ripping pages out of a phone book, and eating them. Forty Thousand Dollars a year. Dustin meets me there. While shorter than I remember, he is adorable. A little too clean cut and a little too young, but I definitely wouldn’t kick him out of bed. We go to Avenue A Sushi. I zone out while he talks about whatever and watch Ice Age which is playing behind him.

Dustin and I proceed to play First Date. I order about half of what I actually want to eat, and chew with my mouth closed. He asks me a string of generic questions and I giggle where it seems appropriate and get sloppy wasted. What do I do? I’m a student and he works at Comedy Central. Where am I from? Scarsdale and he’s from Texas. What would my super power be if I could have one? I would read minds and Dustin would fly and by now I’m hammered.

And then he asks.... “So, what kind of music are you in to?” I run down the list, Liz Phair, Cake, etc. “Well, I am really, really really (yes, he said it three times) in to... Radiohead.” He said it and looked at me like he had just uttered a secret password I should pick up on immediately. So, I say “Yeah, they’re amazing, I have, like, all their CDs” (I have, maybe maybe the Karma Police LP if that). Dustin lights up like a Christmas tree, and I know I’ve answered correctly.

On the rare occasion I pay attention to the rest of the conversation, Dustin is talking about Radiohead. I’m only zoning back in every twenty minutes or so, so needless to say this went on for quite some time. Finally the bill comes and I’m free.

I’m about to bolt when Dustin asks “So... do you... like.... get high?” I stop in my tracks. I nod. Maybe I drool a little. “Well, do you... maybe want to go to a bar or something? Or... maybe... go back to my place and smoke?” I think he got through about “my place and smo....” of that sentence before I’m leading him by his arm in the direction of his apartment.

When we get to Dustin's place, his room mate Ryan and, oh about 9,000 of his friends are hanging out in the living room. I make some half assed introductions and make a B line for Dustin's room.

The relief I feel at making it to his bedroom is immediately replaced by shock and horror when I open the door to his room.

Even drunk, the room is terrifying. Every single inch of wall space is covered with Radiohead posters and pictures of Thom Yorke. Acrylic paintings of Radiohead covers are stacked in every corner. A giant box of magazines with articles about Radiohead takes up half of the floor. A pile of Radiohead DVD concerts sits next to the TV, a pile of Radiohead CDs are stacked next to the computer, which has a Thom Yorke screen saver. Three Amnesiac Critter stuffed animals sit on his bed. I am so, so scared.

I back slowly towards the door. My hand is on the knob when Dustin turns and looks at me and I freeze in my tracks and fake smile. “So...” he says “this is me.” “Mmmm. Mhmm. It’s, uh, very cohesive. You’ve really, uh, tied it together.” I say in a nice, calm voice. The kind you would you to try and persuade a mental patient to put down the knife. “So, Um, you wanna smoke?” Oh dear god yes. More than I’ve ever wanted anything in my entire life. “Sure”.

Dustin packs a bowl and offers it to me. This could make everything better. Or much, MUCH worse. At this point it’s really my only option anyway, so I smoke. “I’m just going to put on some music.” Dustin tells me. Mmm hmm, ‘some music’ indeed.

A few minutes later, Im far too high to move, and I figure, creeped out as I am, I may as well make the most of the situation while I’m here, I mean, he IS cute. I don’t know any Radiohead based come ons, so I just start rubbing Dustin's arm.

One thing leads to another and eventually we’re naked and, even better, no longer discussing Radiohead. I’m finally starting to relax, and can almost ignore the fact that Thiom Yorke and his lazy eye are staring at me from every visible surface.

Now, I didn’t learn much in high school, but I did learn these two things: 1) never compete with a cute, underage gay guy to see who can have the most anonymous sex, ‘cause you are NOT going to win. I mean.... even if you DO win, man, you lose. 2) You can train yourself to let hormones override fear and disgust. This is EXACTLY what I was doing right then.

It’s just about now then that Dustin goes for my belt. In stoned horror, I realize that I have a solid weeks worth of growth on my legs. This is due to the fact that as I was getting ready for this date, I thought, “Well, if I like him, I wont sleep with him tonight, and if I don’t like him I won’t want to sleep with him at all.” Instead of thinking “I’ll probably just get hammered and want to do him anyway”. AMATEUR mistake!

Realizing if I don’t have sex with Dustin right now, I never will... but my standards of hair maintenance are extremely high, so I excuse my self and shave my entire body in his bathroom using Dustin's razor which I try to ignore is the same exact hue as the cover of OK Computer.

The sex was surprising good.... but then again, when is sex with totally fucking crazy people NOT good? Afterwards we laid on his bed for a while, listening to an advance release copy of Hail to the Thief. Dustin asks if I want to borrow something to wear. I hadn’t planned on staying but I say sure. He hands me boxers and a tee shirt.

Once dressed I look down and realize with horror that the shirt he has given me has a gigantic picture of Thom Yorkes head on the front of it. “That looks great on you.” Dustin says. He puts his arm around and says “You’re amazing.” I start to say thank you, when I realize he's directing this comment to Thoms face on my chest. “I like you so much.” Oh my god! He’s not even talking to me. I think I’m going to cry.

With that, Dustin starts kissing me again. He takes my shorts off, but all but smacks me when I attempt to remove the shirt. It was so fucking creepy, I should have left... but I didn’t. I stayed for round two and snuck out while Dustin slept, cuddling one of his Radiohead pillows.

I went home, took a scalding shower, wept and chain smoked while listening to Creep until the sun came up.

Needless to say, we dated for five months, and he’s still my friend on Myspace.