"Are you sure you want to go to this party?" Podcast Penny asked, "There are going to be no prospects there."
Sober Sandy and I shrugged. I'm kind of wondering if there are prospects anywhere in the city, so it hardly mattered whether we were going to stay in Hell's Kitchen or attend Glam Band's after-party in a Brooklyn loft. Judging from their last concert and party, I expected lots of gay boys, college students, hipsters, or a combination thereof. We piled in a taxi, and during the ride I thought about whether I should keep going and take the car home, finishing the night just before 1:00am with a live show, a few glasses of wine, and some light socializing, or keep on going.
"Screw it, let's check out the party."
During the ride, Podcast Penny mentioned the older business man she has just begun a fling with. Sober Sandy mentioned a married man she was trying to not to think about.
"Yeah, married guys, bad news." I shook my head. "That's never even an option for me. It's so annoying, too, because I swear, every good-looking guy I have seen on the subway in the last month has been wearing a wedding band."
Penny and Sandy talked about guys for a bit.
"Sounds like I'm the only one without anyone lined up," I quipped. Not in a boo-hoo way, but a a state-of-the-nation way.
"Nobody at all?" Sandy asked.
"Nope. Haven't been on a date in months. Which is fine, I've sort of expected this dry spell. I'm not really out there."
The loft was already brimming with party-goers, adding to the expected crowd a couple of burlesque dancers who later performed (fans, tassels, titties, the whole shebang).
I saw an attractive man a few feet away, kind of a taller version of Seth Green, and straight-looking (though lord knows I don't have the best gaydar). As soon as I registered his cuteness, a girl came over, sat on the arm of the couch beside him, and leaned over to say something in his ear. A girlfriend. Of course. Better to turn my attention to the bar.
I talked to Glam Drummer about his self-proclaimed lack of heart ("the wires in your chest are what help you keep the rhythm, right?" "Right!"), complimented Glam Singer's everlasting eye make-up, and discussed the bean dip with a legendary rock journalist (I wanted to ask him about Bono, like so, so much, but played it cool).
"Want to go smoke a cigarette?" Podcast Penny asked.
Down a corridor, the loft became more of a warehouse, with large tables covered with planks of wood and mysterious tools propped up everywhere. A metal gate was pulled halfway up to reveal a fire escape with two stairways, one leading up, the other down.
Seth Greener was sitting on the down staircase with the girl, who had a mini-Gina Gershon thing going on. He was even more attractive up close, and I couldn't get cranky about his cute coupleness with Mini-G, because they started chatting with us, and turned out to be total darlings.
We talked about Glam Band and how much fun they are.
"We try to see them as often as we can," said Mini-G.
"It's my second time seeing them and I thought tonight's show was even better than the last one," I grinned.
"Yeah, I remember seeing both of you," said Seth Greener.
We talked about the merits of living in Manhattan, the outer boroughs, and Jersey City (where the two resided).
"I could never live in Manhattan," I shook my head, "Because sometimes I just.. well, hate people. And you really can't get away from them in Manhattan."
Seth Greener laughed and nodded in agreement.
Back inside, Glam Band were finishing up an acoustic set. I made another drink and Sober Sandy came over, showing Podcast Patty and me some moves from her cardio striptease class.
"You should show those girls how it's done," I pointed to the evolving dance party in the open part of the living room.
I found myself standing alone, at the edge of the crowd, observing the party around me. Seth Greener was close by, and I peripherally caught him looking over at me, a few times.
Off limits, I told myself.
"What are you drinking?"
I looked down into my cup, at the dark red liquid, and had to think for a moment, partly because I couldn't remember, and partly because I was surprised he was chatting me up. At first I thought it was friendly conversation, but there was something a little more to it, I just knew.
We discussed the pointlessness of liberal arts degrees and living abroad and he was charming and funny and oh-so-confusing, because what the hell was the deal with him and Mini-G?
"I think we're going to call a car soon," Podcast Penny came over, looking vaguely apologetic.
Phew, saved by the car.
A Justin Timberlake song came on.
"You can't leave now," Seth Greener said, "They're starting a Justin Timberlake dance party."
"Do you think there'll be a dance-off? That would be awesome." I watched the hipsters get their groove on.
"I do have a soft spot for Justin," Patty admitted.
"See? You can't go," he turned to me, "Do you want to go smoke a cigarette?"
"Sure," Before I could think about it, I got my coat and we made a mad dash for the fire escape.
Outside, he sat very close to me, and we looked at the creepy alley below us filled with car parts.
"That is one creepy alley," he commented.
"It sure is. But it's creepy in a perfect way. I want my creepy alley to have at least one fender and loose hubcap piled against a fence."
"That's the kind of place you go to get killed. Would you want to go down there? Because I wouldn't."
Suddenly, the creepy alley was hilarious.
"No, I definitely wouldn't want to go down there, either. Given the choice between going down there and staying up here, I'll choose up here, thanks."
We laughed and laughed and laughed. Then we did the thing where our heads leaned in and--
Am I going to go to hell for this?
--I let him kiss me. Four things went through my head:
1. I really miss kissing. Kissing is so great.
2. This is nice, but kissing is so much nicer when there's emotion behind it.
3. I wonder if Mini-G is his girlfriend. Maybe they have an open relationship or are shopping for a threesome or something (which I would in no way be down with, being neither bi nor curious).
4. I should probably find out this guy's name.
We made out for several minutes, during which I tried not to set anything aflame with my cigarette. As with Neighbor Neil, the kissing was a bit awkward in the beginning, then we found a groove and our mouths were in synch.
"What's your name?" I asked, when we finally came up for air.
He told me, but I'm going to keep calling him Seth Greener (because it's fun).
"So was that girl your girlfriend?"
"No, she's my roommate."
Oh! No hell for this girl, then.
We kissed some more, and I felt him shivering beneath his t-shirt and suit jacket. Much as I'd like to take the credit for it, I'm pretty sure it was due to all those Arctic winds blowing about.
We took the action inside, into the warehouse/woodshed.
"I have to go," I said, trying to pull away.
"In a minute." He pulled me into another kiss and another, laughing as we tumbled onto a pile of lumber.
My phone beeped. Had to be Penny.
"I can't have my friends leave without me."
"In a minute," he said again.
The kisses became more intense and just as it was getting really hot, I pulled back.
"I really have to go."
No numbers exchanged, which was fine, because that's better than waiting for a call that might not come (I hate waiting for them to call). I did like him and would have seen him again (I'm trying to do this thing where I try to get to know a guy a little before kissing him), but he's five years younger than me, and as I said to Sober Sandy earlier, I prefer if there's only one struggling artist per couple, that being me.
I finally made it downstairs.
"Somebody's lipstick is non-existent," Sandy raised her eyebrows.
"I can't believe I got kisses. I really didn't expect it. What a nice surprise."
"Are you going to blog about this?" Patty asked.
"Of course! I haven't kissed anyone since Neighbor Neil. I'll have to come up with blog names for the two of you."
We tossed around possible names. "Podcast Patty?"
"There's someone I don't like named Patty."
"Podcast Paula?" I wrinkled my nose, "I don't like that name. I'll think of something better."
"Are you going to put this conversation in your blog?" Sandy asked.
"Maybe... Can I just say I still can't believe I got kisses tonight? I don't even care that he didn't ask for my number."
"He'll probably see you at the next Glam Band show. He did remember you from the last one," Patty pointed out.
He did, didn't he.