Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Bachelor, the Princess, and Gitty

Editor's Note: Blogger Ate My Original Post

Damn upgrade! The new blogger software looks cool, but it's filled with bugs. It ate my entire post. One page worth of some of my finest words. But now, I must start over from the beginning.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Wait... that wasn't it. Here we go.
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.
Nope, still not it.
He was an old man who fished alone.
D'oh. Still not it.
Happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in it's own way.
Can you sense a theme here? One last time.
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
OK, I'm still stuck. I can't recall any of my previous post and tried an old writer's trick to get back on track. It didn't work. Of course, the literate minds of my fourteen readers know that the last five lines were actual beginnings of real books. Do you know what they are?

Contest Time? Let's have a contest. Tell me the correct titles and authors, be the first one and I'll give one of those books and an autographed copy of my novel, Blind Kangaroo (and if you have read it... I'll give you a Pauly painting.)

OK, back to where my thoughts drifted away and blogger shit out my post like bad cafeteria meatloaf. Let's start over one more time.

I woke up in a pissy mood yesterday. I like where this is headed. The existentialist in me took over my life, hijacked like a fundamentalist terrorist. I was mired in one of those, "What does it all mean?" brooding moods... where the only thing on my mind was: we live in a Godless universe and I am meaningless, so what's the point being a writer?

Yeah, I probably should be shot because I woke up and I didn't want to write. (I begrudgingly wrote a short story anyway, and when it comes out, you'll see the heaviness of my mood.) I just wanted to be... and not have to do. Does that make sense? I didn't want the responsibility of having popular websites, and adhering to strict deadlines for my literary magazine and another magazine that I'm attempting to whore myself to (And for what? $75 and a small blurb in a flashy poker magazine that will only get me laid once or twice. Maybe three times max if I get her drunk enough?), and jaded by all that other behind the scenes bullshit that makes the life of a writer not as fun as you would think.

And worse, there was no desire to fire up Party Poker and play online for a few hours. Huh? Say it ain't so, Pauly! I didn't want to gamble. Yeah, I didn't even want to think about poker. Did I finally hit the wall? Two passions of mine made me sick to the sight, thought and smell, and coupled with the bad taste in my mouth that I woke up with about the futility of being a writer, I slowly slipped towards launching into a serious bender.

Normally, when I get into these dismal ruts, when a dark cloud of doom and misery follows me around for days, I recognized that the only way to break out of the existentialist nightmare was to hit the poker tables in Las Vegas. But I just got back from Vegas last month and lost most of my bankroll, so Vegas was out. I guess I would have to go on one of those old fashioned benders, the ones when your family calls the police because you haven't returned their calls for days, and you wake up a week later with a random, knocked-up, naked, high school girl in a soiled bed in a $19-a-night motor inn in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with an ugly tattoo on your forearm, with an oddly placed rash on your inner thigh, your cell phone and right shoe missing, with a pocket full of credit card receipts, and a splotchy memory peppered with jagged flashbacks of what you thought was you having the time of your life flickering through your mind, in between clutching your pounding head and yaking your guts out in your bathtub. When in doubt... drugs, sex, and rock and roll. That's what Steve McQueen would have done. Elvis too. Hemingway? He would have drank three bottles of Port and busted out the shotgun to have some serious fun trying to blow up baby deer that sauntered by his porch. Old Poppa knew how to quell the demons. We could have gotten into some serious hijinks together.


Fortunately, an old friend came back into my life. And sometimes you have those awkward moments when seeing old friends for the first time. There's the forced reaclimation period that sounds more like a job interview or a first date, than two old college buddies shooting the shit over a couple of Guinness drafts. Alas, with Gitty, it wasn't like that. Within seconds, it was a cliche... just like old times. If I didn't know any better, Gitty's life could be a sitcom, like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld. I told him he should quit his job and write and become a stand up comic (just like Ugarte... two lawyers with great comedic timing). Right away, he launched into a story that had me laughing my tits off. It involved a towel and a bottle of shampoo... and I won't tell you all about it, because only Gitty can tell the story and do it justice, but the gist was he ruined a towel of some girl (the younger sister of one of our fraternity brothers) who was nice enough to let him crash at her place for the week, while she's out of town on business... and he was desperately trying to get in clean, in hopes she wouldn't notice. Old school hijinks. Gitty.

The last time we saw each other was a Jodd's bris. And before that the draft at our fantasy football league. Since then, he got divorced and is a free man. Which of course pleased me to no end, because he's the type of guy who never reached his full potential as a person because his wife was the type of controlling person who stifled the best parts of his personality. Sprayed? Neutered? Perhaps, but he wasn't the same person we knew he could be. And now... he's back on track to self discovery and enjoying life. He has control of his life again, and I could see the light in his eyes. And the best part, is that I get to have our long conversations again... how we used to remark about people and society, because just like me, Gitty has keen observational skills. And his intelligent commentary on the lives of New Yorkers was humorous, poignant, and dead on. I missed those nights when I used to sit in his old apartment, the dubious 8E with Senor and Girtz (and as Gitty described it... a small shithole, with a dog, Pauly eating poundcake, and one random Israeli cousin crashing on the couch.) Those were some great days, and yeah life is a series of changes, and those days were now nice memories, but it was amazing to catch a glimpse of that life once again.

Gitty invited me to hang out with some of his friends at their apartment, the ever comfortable 12F, a place where he described I'd get sucked into right away. The occupants were three 20something women, whom Gitty described as "really cool chicks". And he was right. It's been a while since I met three down to Earth, solid New Yorkers. Real people... none of these annoying hipsters that drove up all the rents, that pollute the subway with their iPods and PalmPilots, and overcrowd the bars I used to like to hang out at. No way did they fall into that category of putrid poseurs. In some weird acid flashback, it seemed like 1999 all over again... sitting on the couch, partying, and talking over the TV... with Gitty steering the humor. Everyone was nice and friendly. They were fans of the Tao of Pauly. Yep, they read my blog prior to meeting me. And as my readers know, the booming popularity of my poker blog has thrust me into cult status... so bizarre that I just log onto Party Poker and within minutes, I'll have people from all over America and Canada (and even the Poker Penguin in Auckland) watching me play. I've getting used to meeting new fans, but it's still weird, because they know more about me... than I do about them and it was the first time in a while that I met a fan of the Tao of Pauly. It was nice to be known and not because "I'm that poker blogger." Although a few times during the night I had to pause and utter, "Ah, that's right. You read my blog."

Anonymous, no longer, am I. Sounded like Yoda, I did? So do they want to see their names on the web? Do I make up nicknames to use on the blog to protect their privacy? But I realized at heart, people are whores for attention. They like getting blogged. I do too. It's awesome when I see people writing about me. It makes em feel all warm and fuzzy inside, just like a shot of vodka. Alas, (alphabetically) Andrice, Jenny and Monika read my blog... and I knew nothing about them. Sounded like an ambush by the Viet Cong. Was I being set up by a ring of Chinese organ thieves?

I still have my kidneys. And my sanity.

The Bachelor

Right away, Jenny was kind to hand the remote control over to the guest (that was me) and she was into basketball, so she made sure we kept checking in on the score of the Minny-Sacramento game. We ended up watching a fair amount of the last episode of The Bachelor. I have never seen the show, and they gave me the low down. It was down to two girls. And Jesse (the backup QB on the NY Giants) had to pick between two girls who actually agreed to be one TV and humiliated and made fun of by talk show hosts, disc jockeys, and pothead bloggers, along with millions of culturally bankrupt Americans to see. The choices were two blondes... although I'm sure they weren't real blondes. Tara, a 23 year old was contractor from Oklahoma who shoots guns with her Dad. The other was a 21 year old law student from California.

Gitty thought Tara looked like Britney Spears or Debbie Mopentopulous (from The View). Tara was the better looking of the two (but then again, you give me a choice between Budweiser and Coors... I have to pick Budwesier) but Jessica was the bright girl. I like bad girls (documented in a rant on my poker blog). I also like smart girls too. And young law students give off an independent vibe, which is better than a textbook case codependent, neurotic, clingy, emotional wrought female (I have known quite a few from personal experience.) I would have picked Jessica. Before the final talk... Tara was a mess. She couldn't hold her mud. And stopped the limo to blow chunks along the side of the road. She was wreck. Man. How did she make it that far? Never underestimate the power of a fantastic blow job. It was obvious when she got dumped that the Psycho Chick was about to emerge. She took the offensive and launched into one of those "You led me on..." speeches. Been there, on both sides. And it was just a matter of time before she busted out Daddy's shotgun and took aim on one of Jesse's shins. She's the type of girl that gives women a bad name. She's the crazy woman your doorman warns you about that's been hanging around outside waiting for you to come home from the Knicks game. She's the type you leaves suicide messages on your voicemail. She's the type of psycho chick who calls up your Mom and tell her you like getting three fingers shoved up your ass during 69. Yeah, those types of girls ruin Presidencies.

Monika showed me her pet, Stevie. He was a cool little bugger. I got to hold him a couple of times. Haven't seen a pet like that in sometime.

The Princess

And Andrice had the coolest name I heard in a long time. A true original. My first Andrice. The story behind her name is an amazing story. I'm waiting for it to come out as a movie. A young Greek woman named Andrice fell in love with a sailor. Her family was wealthy and she was supposed to marry the son of another prominent family. But she hated the man and that family. The way they abused their wealth made her sick. Her father arranged that her lover would be shipped out on a job, then murdered and killed at sea. When she discovered the plot the night before her wedding day, she walked over to the highest cliff on her island, and as the sun rose, she threw herself off and onto the jagged rocks below. She could never give herself to another man and courageously chose suicide over forced marriage. For centuries the tale of Andrice, the Virgin Princess with a Heart of Gold, wooed many tourists to visit the site where she might have made the final leap.

It was cool to meet some of Gitty's friends. But my night was not over. I met up with Haley and some of her work friends who took her out. And we all partied to dawn, before eating French toast at the Manhattan diner, in my attempt to erase any thoughts of why I was in a pissy mood to begin with.

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