Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Talk HIm Up

Alicia has been seeing a guy.

ALICIA: He's not a friend or the ex of a friend.

At least some people are listening to me.

ALICIA: I can't wait to tell you about him.

Although soon, I won't be listening.

ME: Alicia, I need you to not talk about him.
ALICIA: You're kidding, right?

Why do people always ask me that?

Alicia and I were eating lunch at the Steeple, where I was still in a quandary over the "no dating ex's of friends" rule. It seemed like in a state as small as Rhode Island, steering clear of degrees of separation would be harder than it...okay, well I guess it's pretty obvious that it would be difficult.

ALICIA: Hey! Back to me!

While I pondered, I decided to give Alicia her latest lesson.

ME: Alicia, don't be that girl that only talks about the guy she's dating.
ALICIA: But I'm excited about it!
ME: Is that all you're excited about?
ALICIA: Kevin, I'm a paralegal. I eat take-out. I see seventeen movies a week. Yes, that is all I have to be excited about, sorry.
ME: I just think when you talk about a guy a lot, somehow, he senses it.
ALICIA: You mean you think he can feel me being clingy even when he's not here?
ME: Straight guys are funny like that.

That night I took Alicia out for AJ's birthday party, and had her put her conversation aversion skills to the test. Not only did I not want her to talk about the guy, I was hoping she could improve her chatting overall.

Here's how she did:

AARON: So Alicia, what have you been up to lately?
ALICIA: I've been reading up on Iran, fascinating country.
AARON: Wow, good for you.

I told her, when in doubt, mention Iran. Nobody wants to know anything about Iran, but people are impressed when you say you're interested in it.

AJ: Hey Alicia, been seeing anyone new lately?
ALICIA: I might be.
AJ: Ooohh, deets?
ALICIA: He's a great guy. I don't want to jinx it. How have you been?
AJ: Well--

The turn-around, always works.

ANTHONY: Hey Alicia, I hear you went out on a few dates with my friend Steve.

God, everybody really does know everybody.

ALICIA: Kevin, you didn't prep me for this.
ME: Go with your gut.

She turned back to Anthony.

ALICIA: Tell me he loves me.

Remind me never to tell her to go with her gut again. Next time I'll have her go with a kidney.

ANTHONY: I know he thinks you're really cool. I don't know if--
ME: She was kidding--haha--someone refill the chip bowl.

I took Alicia out onto AJ's fire escape.

ME: Alicia--
ALICIA: I know, but I can't help it. I'm excited. And I'm never excited. Why can't I just be excited about being excited?
ME: It's fine to be excited about a new relationship, but you don't want to alienate your friends by forgetting they exist just because some new flashy boy came along.
ALICIA: I wouldn't do that!


ALICIA: Okay, yes I would.
ME: Just like anything else, it's all about balance.
ALICIA: So I promise to try and balance, I can gush a little.
ME: Oh what the hell, it's a birthday party after all.

Five minutes later...

ALICIA: So I think his right toe is supercute!
AJ: Where's Iran?

That's why we save 'Balance' for the last lesson.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Date the Ex of a Friend

My last lesson was on dating friends.

ANTHONY: But that's not what I did!

This time we're taking on dating ex's of friends.

ANTHONY: Okay, so that's what I did.

(I promise, it doesn't get too confusing.)

Anthony was on the outs with one of his buddies, because he'd started shacking up with his friend Ram's ex.

ME: Ram?
ANTHONY: From his football days.
BRAD: Maybe I should meet this get a better handle.
ME: On him or the problem?
BRAD: I'll abstain from answering that.

Anthony met up with Wes, Ram's ex-boyfriend, at Prisms one night, and the two had ended up--you guessed it--going home together.

ME: Gee, I can't imagine why your friend would be mad.
ANTHONY: That's what I said!
ME: That was sarcasm.
ANTHONY: Why can't I date him? They're not dating anymore.
ME: This is where I go to the 'What Would the Straights Do.'
ME: What do you think would happen if a straight guy found out one of his buddies was dating his ex-girlfriend?
ANTHONY: He'd get f**ked up.
ME: Exactly. So why is it okay for a gay guy to do the exact same thing?
ANTHONY: Because...
ME: Should I get your sippy cup or are you going to give me an actual reason?
ANTHONY: What are you getting at, Kev?

Here comes the big rule, ladies and gentlemen.

ME: You shouldn't date someone your friend has dated.
ANTHONY: Kev, we live in Rhode Island. Everyone's dated everyone. If I can't date someone one of my friends have dated, who the hell am I left with?
ME: You're left with friends who don't hate you.
BRAD: And way less laundry to do once you take the sheets out of the equation.
ME: Remind me never to bunk with you for any reason.
BRAD: Oh, as if.

I was convinced that Anthony was just exaggerating, but neither he nor Brad would let this one go. They took me out to Slice to illustrate their point.

ANTHONY: See? I've either dated or been friends with someone who dated everyone here.
ME: You can't be serious.
BRAD: Actually, I'm in the same boat.
ME: God, you two are--Wait a second.

I looked around the room.

Friend Dated
Friend Dated
Friend Dated

ME: Wow.
ANTHONY: So are you gonna take back that rule?
ME: No, I just need a new angle on it.
BRAD: While you're getting a new angle, I'm getting a new drink.

There has to be a way to make this rule work.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Date a Friend

At first, I was all for it.

AJ went on a few dates with a guy he's been friends with for a few years. It seemed like a huge step forward that he was connecting with someone he already had a solid foundation-ship with, and for a short time, I couldn't have been prouder.

Then I remembered it was AJ I was dealing with...

So I Facebooked.

Doby (Yes, Doby, like Tobey and Dobby combined) is, I have to say, a disaster.

There are photos of him at every cliched gay vacation spot you can think of making out with any number of guys, and right alongside him is my little protege, AJ.

AJ: It just hit us.
BRAD: Gonorrhea?

We were all at Brad's apartment having a few drinks before going to a movie.

AJ: No--Love!
BRAD: You'd have been better off with the gono. At least it's curable.
AJ: We've been friends for all this time and then BAM! Love.
ME: And you think you have something real to build a relationship on?
AJ: K-Brock, I've already seen him naked. WMCTB?
BRAD: Non-abbreviated?
AJ: What more could there be?

Oh, amour.

ME: AJ, dating friends can sometimes be a bad idea.
AJ: I know, I know--it can ruin the friendship.
BRAD: It can also ruin furniture if you break it off over red wine.


BRAD: Another story for another time.

Doby met us at the movie. From the moment I saw him, I knew he and AJ were perfect together.

DOBY: Oh my God, these fat people in front of me were NOT walking fast enough. That's why I'm late. Who's buying my ticket?

Which was exactly why he had to go. I was trying to cultivate a new AJ. Doby was hard-core old AJ. He was the "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" to my "Saved by the Bell."

I could see he was a bad influence during the movie when he shouted out--

DOBY: That bitch is gonna DIE!

And AJ responded with--

AJ: Totes going to die!

Now, this would be bad enough during a horror movie.

DOBY: Ooohh, she looks NASTY bald.

But we watching My Sister's Keeper.

BRAD: Cameron Diaz really needs lipo.
ME: Great. I'm seeing a movie with Catty, Bitchy, and Queen.
BRAD: I'm the Queen, right?

After the movie, I offered to drive AJ home. I let Brad deposit Doby in whatever dumpster he crawled out of for the evening.

ME: AJ--
AJ: I know, it's not going to work.
ME: I just can't believe you ever thought it would. He brings out the worst in you.
AJ: But he doesn't judge me, K-Brock. Every guy I like does. They know all about my reputation and they won't get over it.

That's when it hit me. AJ felt trapped by his past, and dating Doby was a way of saying screw it, let me just hug the damn past.

AJ: Nobody else will even give me a chance.
ME: If you promise to...let Doby down easy...I might be able to help you with that.
AJ: For riz?
ME: Proms.
AJ: Exclamation point!

Oh God, now I'm talking like him.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Dumb It Down

Aaron is intimidated.

AARON: He's completely unimpressed by my intelligence.

...By stupidity.

He met a new guy who he really liked, but it became evident pretty quickly that this guy was no...uh...

BRAD: He's an idiot.

Thank you, Brad.

The three of us were having dinner at Andrea's discussing Aaron's dilemma.

BRAD: There is no dilemma. Why would you want to date someone dumber than you are?
AARON: Isn't it just as shallow to discriminate against someone because of their intelligence quotient as it would be to judge them for their looks?
ME: That's a very good point, Aaron.
BRAD: Plus, you think he's hot, right?
AARON: Oh my gosh, totally hot.

Herein lies the problem: How do you stay smart if you're dating someone--

BRAD: Moronic.

--not quite as smart as you are?

AARON: Should I try to make him smarter?
BRAD: What are you going to do? Enroll him in an Art History course?
AARON: It wouldn't matter anyway. It almost seems like...he doesn't mind...being...not so bright.
ME: He probably doesn't. Sadly, at this period in our history, gay men are the social equivalent of Valley Girls.
BRAD: Bummer.

I know, definitely not rad, man.

AARON: So what should I do?
ME: Just be yourself.

Go-to, cliche advice, I know. But it works!

AARON: He doesn't want to see me anymore.

...Okay 'works' is a general term.

AARON: He says he doesn't 'get me.'
ME: And by 'you,' he means--
AARON: Anything I say. He says it's like listening to a zebra talk.
ME: Zebras don't talk.
AARON: I'm sure he knows that. I mean, I wouldn't bet on it, but--
ME: Aaron, if he can't appreciate you for the smartass you are, then forget him.
AARON: Is it bad that I wish I had dumbed it down just a little?
ME: Why?
AARON: So I could have gotten to sleep with him. I hear dumb guys are, like, wicked good in bed.
ME: I'm going to hang up now. Go do some math.

I hear fractions are the new cold showers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thou Shalt Leave More Than a Tip

I have so few joys in life--

Game Shows
Good Books
Googling Myself

But now I was ready for another Heavy G.

My 25th Birthday.

BRAD:  Congratulations, you're old.  Where's the booze?

What better place to celebrate than Cheesecake Factory?  And what better people to celebrate with than Brad and my Merry Band of Proteges?

AARON:  So Kev, is this going to be another test?
ME:  What do you mean, Aaron?
AJ:  Come on, we know you wouldn't get us all together and not teach us some dumb lesson.
ANTHONY:  Is this going to a challenge about eating better?
ALICIA:  Developing our culinary tastes?
BRAD:  Picking what wine to serve with...more wine?
ME:  Okay, I give, but the challenge is a lot more fun than that.

That was when the waiter appeared.

WAITER:  Can I start you all out with drinks?
ME:  Actually, could you come back in a minute?
WAITER:  Sure thing.

He went on his way, and I divulged my challenge.

ME:  I want one of you to get the waiter's number.

They all looked dumbfounded...which is sort of their default look, but nevertheless...

AARON:  What?
AJ:  You want us to--
ANTHONY:  Get Pretty Boy's number?
ALICIA:  But aren't we supposed to be learning to be--
BRAD:  Not slutty?
ME:  That's the point.  I want you to get the number without being too overt.
AJ:  Uh...
ME:  Obvious, Anthony.
AJ:  Maybe it's obvious to you, but that doesn't mean I know what the word is.  I don't have an English--Oh, it means 'obvious,' doesn't it?
BRAD:  This should be rich.

Alicia raised her hand.

ALICIA:  But what am I supposed to do?
ME:  You're joining in.
ANTHONY:  I'm not into that.
ME:  I mean, you're going to try and get his number too.  I did a little research before I came tonight, and it turns out Jerry--
AJ:  His name is Jerry?  Like Tom and Jerry?
ME:  --He goes both ways.  So y'all have equal opportunity.
BRAD:  I'm going to need more wine.

I could see that they were going to need a little push.

ME:  Hey, none of you have to participate.  If you think you can't get the number---
AJ:  Whoa, who said 'can't?'
ANTHONY:  I could get his number.
AARON:  Yeah, he's not that hot.
ALICIA:  And I'm wearing my deceptive bra.

That was easy.

AARON:  What do we get if we get the number?
ME:  The rest of us buy your dinner.
AJ:  Really?
ME:  And mine, because it's my birthday.
ANTHONY:  We'd have to pay for two people?
AJ:  Oh, it's on now.

Let the games begin.

Player #1:  Aaron

WAITER:  What will you be having?
AARON:  What would you recommend?
WAITER:  The swordfish is good.
AARON:  Have you...eaten it?
WAITER:  Uh, yeah.
AARON:  I see...
WAITER:  So do you want it?
AARON:  The swordfish?
WAITER:  Yeah.
AARON:  No, I don't like fish.
WAITER:  Okay.
AARON:  Do you hate me?
WAITER: I should come back.

Wow...just wow.

Player #2:  AJ

WAITER:  How's your salad?
AJ:  It's fantastic.  Want to try some?
WAITER:  I actually can't do that.
AJ:  Sure you can.
WAITER:  No, I can't.
AJ:  Fine, be like that.
WAITER:  Okay.  I'll be back later to check on you.

AJ caved a little early.

Player #3:  Anthony

WAITER:  How's your meal?
ANTHONY:  Great.  Hey, don't I know you?
WAITER:  No, you don't.
ANTHONY:  I swear I do.
WAITER:  Pretty sure you don't.
ANTHONY:  You ever go to Tago's?
WAITER:  Never.
ANTHONY:  Boo Boo's?
WAITER:  Nope.
ANTHONY:  How about Dazzle?
WAITER:  Is that even a place?
ANTHONY:  This steak sucks.

So much for the 'Don't I know you?' approach.

Player #4:  Alicia

WAITER:  Would you like dessert?
ALICIA:  Would you like a lady tonight?
WAITER:  I'll bring the check.

...Choo Choo...Choo Choo...CRASH!

AARON:  Well, that was a disaster.
AJ:  At least we're not buying two dinners.
ME:  What makes you say that?
ANTHONY:  Kev, that was horrible.
ALICIA:  Mortifying.
AJ:  We failed you, K-Brock.
ME:  Oh, absolutely.  But you're still buying two dinners.
ALL:  Huh?

They all looked down towards the other end of the table.

BRAD:  Sorry guys.  I guess he likes the strong, silent type.
ME:  Or he's a drunk looking for a co-dependence partner.
BRAD:  Either way, I'm glad I got the lobster.  Cheers!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Thou Shalt Believe in Kevin Broccoli

At first, I thought something had happened to Alicia.

BRAD: Kevin, you need to get here--now!

I could hear her crying in the background. Not unusual, but I still didn't waste time getting to Slice--where Brad, Alicia, and the other boys were waiting for me.

BRAD: Anthony couldn't come?
ME: I just left him. We were doing a crash course in why you shouldn't date your father. What's going on?
AJ: There's a shitshow going on inside.
ME: Beg your pardon?
AARON: Kevin, this guy set up--
VOICE: Allow me.

I turned around to see--who else?--Tommy, looking quite smug.

ME: Organized another circle jerk, Tommy?
TOMMY: Not quite. Didn't you see the banner?

Hanging above Slice was a banner that read "The Anti-School for Boys Party." Underneath was a photo of Alicia with a mustache drawn on her face.

No wonder she was crying--it wasn't even initially a flattering photo.

ME: This party's over.
TOMMY: What are you going to do?
AJ: We're going to go crack some heads.
ME: No, we're not. We're just going to--
TOMMY: I don't think you're going to do anything. No clever moves here, Kev. Inside that place is a large group of people--all of whom dislike you very strongly. They don't think you're cute. They don't think you're funny.
ME: They don't like to read or construct proper sentences?
TOMMY: Laugh all you want, but I know that underneath that smiling exterior, you're terrified of the idea that I can fill an entire club with people who hate your guts.
ME: So what? You think I'm just going to let you have this little assfest?
TOMMY: I don't see what choice you have. I believe this is called checkmate.
AJ: Nooooo, Checkmate is the club in Boston that--
AARON: Shut up, AJ.

I had to admit it. The idea of going into Slice and facing all those Broccoli haters...

I didn't think I could do it.

Then I looked over and saw Alicia, weeping and ruining her make-up, and I knew I had to do something. I couldn't back down after I'd spent all this time building up my proteges.

ME: I'm going in.
ALL: What?

Brad immediately tried to talk me out of it.

BRAD: You can't do this! I would have brought a video camera!

Okay, maybe "talk me out of it" was a bit--

AARON: Kevin, can't you call for some help?
AJ: Yeah! Get the Bitch Brigade in there to shake things up!
ME: No, this is something I have to do by myself.
BRAD: Really?
ME: By myself--and with Alicia.

The poor girl practically leaped off the curb.

ALICIA: Kevin, I'm not going in there. Did you not see--
ME: Alicia, we have to do this.
ALICIA: No, we don't! You made me swear off gay clubs, remember?
ME: Leave it to me to break my own rules then.
TOMMY: This could scar the girl, Kevin.
ALICIA: Kevin, no!

It was time for a battle speech.

ME: Alicia--and Aaron, and AJ--there are going to be situations that are just like this one. Scary, uncomfortable, times when you feel vulnerable and unsure of yourself. I won't always be able to be there when those times come around, but that doesn't mean you can run. It means you have to believe that even though I'm not there in person, I'm still there, because I believe in you guys. When you stand up for yourself, when you face people like Tommy here, when you walk into a room and everybody tries to push you out with their eyes, you look right back at them and you say with yours--'if you want me out of here, you're going to have to grow, come out, and say it.' It doesn't matter where you are or what you're up against, I'm right there with you, and so is everyone else who cares about you. Do you understand?


AJ: Not really.

New tactic.

ME: Angels in the Outfield?
AJ: Amazing movie.
ME: Remember how the angel wasn't really there, but they made Tony Danza think it was by having everybody in the stadium flap their wings?
AJ: Totally.
ME: While me and Alicia are in there, I need you guys to be flapping your wings.
AJ: Got it.
BRAD: I'm thinking there was head damage involved in your childhood, AJ.

The time had come.

Alicia and I walked into Slice, hands interlocked, ready to face whatever was inside.

It turned out to be...

Seven people.

ME: Uh...I'm confused.

Tommy came in right behind us, looking crestfallen.

TOMMY: A lot more people wanted to come, but it's a Sunday, so--
ME: So apparently, they hate me, but they all have to work tomorrow.
TOMMY: Pretty much.
ME: And all you could get were these seven?
TOMMY: Some of them are just here because they're club rats.
ME: Interesting.
TOMMY: But when I told them about you they agreed that you sound like a jerk.
ME: Well, that just breaks my heart.

Tommy went off to get a drink--and hopefully a ladder, to take down the banner.

ALICIA: So what do we do now?
ME: Now, we dance.

I ran back to the door to tell the others to come in, and what did I see?

BRAD: Anthony brought some ammunition.

Anthony and a small group of people all wearing "Protege" t-shirts--flapping their wings.

ME: God, I feel like Tony Danza.
BRAD: I wouldn't say you're that big a failure.

You know what? Neither would I.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Make Room for Daddy

I knew this would happen.

ME:  Anthony, tell me that's not him.
ANTHONY:  What?  You don't think he's hot?
ME:  For someone born pre-Vietnam, sure.

Anthony was about to introduce me to his new boyfriend--Gregory.

We were seated at Andrea's waiting for him to show up, when a guy old enough to be Anthony's father walked through the door.

Sure enough, that was the new boyfriend.

ME:  Anthony--
ANTHONY:  Kevin, age ain't nothing but a number.
ME:  You know who says that?  Pedophiles.
ANTHONY:  Kevin--
ME:  Now I know why he's late.  He was trying to figure out where to park his white van.

I was being a little bit meaner than usual.  The whole situation with Tommy was stressing me out, and I wasn't sure what to do about it.

ME:  I'm sorry, Anthony.  I shouldn't be so catty.
ANTHONY:  So you approve of him?
ME:  Absolutely not.  I'm just going to be more civil in my disapproval.

Gregory came over and we all had our introduction.  Then we sat down.

GREGORY:  So Anthony tells me you're something like his--life coach?
ME:  I prefer the term 'know-it-all.'
GREGORY:  You're clever.
ME:  Is that a bad thing?
GREGORY:  No, it'll keep me on my toes.
ME:  As long as their yours.

I bantered with him all night.  Anthony just sat there beaming at him.  When the evening was over, I walked Anthony back to his car.

ANTHONY:  So you don't like the two of us together?
ME:  No, and I also don't like peanut butter with onions.
ME:  The two don't mix--unless you're Fred Savage in Little Monsters.
ANTHONY:  Who's Fred Savage?
ME:  See!  You're even too young for me--let alone him!

We had reached my car.

ANTHONY:  But I like him.
ME:  Why?
ME:  Have you ever noticed that whenever someone says they like someone nobody ever asks why.  That's why so many people end up dating people they're wrong for and for such long periods of time.  Because nobody ever just asks--Why?  Why do you like this person?
ANTHONY:  I just do.
ME:  Do you have a lot in common with him?  Do you have long, never-ending conversations?  Do you find yourself physically attracted to him?
ME:  Or do you see a meal ticket with his own condo?
ANTHONY:  That's not fair.
ME:  All I did was ask.  If the answer's unfair; that's on you.

That was when my phone rang.

ME:  Hello?
VOICE:  Hey, Kevin?
ME:  Uh, yes.
VOICE:  I hope you don't mind.  I peeked through Anthony's phone while he was in the bathroom.
ME:  Gregory?
ANTHONY:  Gregory?
VOICE:  You got me.

I hit speakerphone.

ME:  So how can I help you, Gregory?
GREGORY:  I thought maybe we could hang out sometime.

Before Anthony could speak, I put my hand over his mouth.

ME:  Aren't you seeing my friend?
GREGORY:  I think you can tell we don't connect really well.
ME:  Does he not push your wheelchair fast enough around the corners?
GREGORY:  You don't actually think I'm too old for you, do you?
ME:  I think I see lots of attractive older men every day.
ME:  You're not one of them.
GREGORY:  I'm not your type?
ME:  Any man who tries to date a guy younger than him so he can control him, snoop through his phone, and try to hook up with his friends is anything but my type.
GREGORY:  So you're not interested in grabbing a drink?
ME:  Only if I can pour it on that cheap jacket you wore tonight.  Good-bye.

I hung up.

ANTHONY:  I can't believe that just happened.
ME:  This is why I like Andrea's--it's right near the Ben and Jerry's.
ANTHONY:  Let's go.

Over ice cream, we talked out a plan for Anthony's future dating life.  It felt good to be productive, and we parted laughing, which is always nice.

Then came the text message--

BRAD:  We have an emergency.

Gregory was not going to be my only problem tonight.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Hear It Through The Grapevine

I wanted to teach A.J. how to deal with rumors.

AJ: Did you tell people I pulled a knife on someone?
ME: Nooo, I told Brad to tell people that you pulled a knife on someone.
AJ: Why?
ME: Because I want to teach you how to handle gossip and other forms of verbal nastiness.
AJ: Didn't we already go over that with the Dick Clique?
ME: I think it's time you had the advanced course.

Within minutes, it was all over the blogs--okay, maybe making that plural isn't altogether honest.

"AJ Goes Cra-Zay! Pulls Knife on Prism Patrons!"

Rhyming AJ with Cra-Zay? That's the best they could do?

AJ: This sucks! Now everybody thinks I'm cra-zay!

I was at AJ's apartment, which was shrouded in black--allegedly for the demise of his social life.

ME: That means now is the time to address the rumors.
AJ: By cutting you for starting them?
ME: No! By going out and having fun.
AJ: How does that help anything?
ME: Because people expect someone who's done something wrong to hide, kind of like what you're doing now.
AJ: And I'm not going to do that?
ME: No, you're going to go out and show that you didn't do anything and make people reconsider their point of view.
AJ: Man, I'm too tired to change perspectives.
ME: Tough. Put on your dancin' shoes, Johnny. We're going out.

As soon as we walked into Prisms, the atmosphere got tense. People dodged out of our way. There were whispers everywhere. It was like showing up somewhere with Shannon Doherty.

AJ: Kevin, people are staring.
ME: You're an exhibitionist. You should be enjoying this.
AJ: What's that mean?

Remind me to make AJ's next lesson one on vocabulary.

ME: Okay, let's dance.
AJ: But shouldn't I say something?
ME: AJ, in times like these, it's impossible to stop the spreading of a rumor by denying it. You have to just go on living life and let it die by starving it of any attention.
AJ: Kind of like Heather Graham's career?
ME: There you go!

We started to dance, and before long, people were coming over and talking to us.

RANDOM GUY #1: Hey, is that rumor true?
RANDOM GUY #2: Did you really pull a knife?
RANDOM GUY #3: I knew that was a lie! I've seen you punch guys out, but a knife? That just doesn't make sense.

Soon, all was forgotten.

ME: See? Just by acting like everything's fine, everything is.
AJ: How do you know how to do that?
ME: I grew up in a partly Irish family.

That was when I looked across the room and saw Tommy approaching.

ME: Uh oh.

He looked pleased--never a good sign.

TOMMY: You know, I know a better rumor than the one you started.
RANDOM GUY #1: Who's this guy?
TOMMY: The one about the four hot messes who failed at being transformed by a washed-up small-town gay socialite.
RANDOM GUY #2: Isn't that on the CW?
AJ: Kevin, who is this guy?
ME: This is an old friend, AJ.
TOMMY: Hardly. AJ, if I were you, I'd drop out of Kevin's little school.
RANDOM GUY #3: School?
TOMMY: It's about to be shut down.

With that, he walked away.

AJ: Kev, what was he talking about?
ME: Nothing, AJ. Don't worry about it.

But even I wasn't convinced.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Be a Doormat

Aaron has a problem.

BRAD: What else is new?

Every time he goes out, he seems to get stepped on over and over again.

AARON: Kevin, it's horrible. I'll be talking to someone really cool and then this guy comes over and totally slams me.
ME: Pick a new verb.
AARON: He makes fun of me.
ME: Gotcha. What's his name?
AARON: Tommy.

Oh fan-fucking-tastic.

Take a look at how I met Tommy.


Good to know he's back reeking havoc on the general populace.

ME: Aaron, how do you keep running into everyone I don't like?
AARON: It's a large pool of people to draw from?

I invited Brad over Aaron's house so we could come up with strategies for taking down Tommy.

ME: You just need to level him. If he starts spouting those catty lines at you, you spout right back!
BRAD: The word 'spout' is really disturbing me.
AARON: I thought you were against being catty?
ME: I'm against AJ being catty, because he's already so good at it people know not to mess with him. They don't know that about you yet, and you don't want a reputation of being a doormat.
AARON: But I'm not good at putting people down.
ME: It's not about putting him down. It's an opportunity to raise yourself up.
AARON: You mean like saying--Hey Tommy, God loves you.
BRAD: I better get more wine. It's going to be a long night.

The next night at the club, Brad and I hung back while Aaron found a chance to talk to a guy at the bar. Sure enough, a few moments later, there was Tommy.

BRAD: He's cute.
ME: He's crazy.
BRAD: All the cute ones are.

I wasn't too worried. I'd given Aaron enough quips to fill up a Noel Coward play. Tommy said something, then Aaron replied and the guy he was talking to laughed. Tommy was instantly crestfallen and walked away.


...Of course, he walked right over to me.

ME: Wait, the judges are deliberating on that score.

He was smiling, but I could tell he wasn't pleased to see me.

TOMMY: Hello Kevin.
ME: Hi Tommy, how are you?
TOMMY: Not thrilled. I see you're back in action with another little blog.
ME: Just a little project, nothing major.
BRAD: We're hoping to get it on HBO right after Stupid Vampires and Stupid Therapists.
TOMMY: Do your little proteges know that you're blogging about them?
ME: Nice try, Tommy, but I'm much more honest about stuff like that then I used to be. All of them know about the blog and they don't mind.
TOMMY: Really? That's great. I wonder if everybody would feel that way.
ME: I guess I picked the right four people then.
TOMMY: No, I meant everybody in the literal sense--as in EVERYBODY.

I felt my blood run cold. It's fun to think that people read what I write, but if more people in Providence knew about the blog, it would completely defeat the purpose of what I was doing.

It would be like bringing vodka into Promises.

ME: Tommy, I'd appreciate--
TOMMY: I'd appreciate reciprocation if you want me to stay quiet.
BRAD: Well look at Dr. Seuss.
ME: Stop, Brad.

Tommy was really smiling now--a rat practically fell out of his mouth.

TOMMY: I'll be in touch.

He walked away, this time for good.

BRAD: So much for not being a doormat, huh?
ME: Apparently you didn't hear the doorbell.

There's a wolf at the front door.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thou Shalt Get Shitfaced


BRAD: Now we're talking.

I don't do it, but I do know that a lot of people make horrific social blunders while intoxicated.

BRAD: For instance, I befriended you while drunk.


I decided to have the proteges get a little tipsy and then interact in a social setting. I admit, it's a little like the Cheat Locker on Dance Your Ass Off, but if my tiny birds are going to learn to fly, they better learn to do it after a few cocktails.

AARON: Kevin, I've been trying to cut back on my drinking.
ME: Anthony!
AJ: Let's suck some back!
ALICIA: He's talking about drinking, right?

We all went out to a bar where nobody would know us--some place called Cruel or Crass or something with a "Cr-"

BRAD: Crabs, maybe?

From the looks of the place...maybe.

It took a few drinks, but pretty soon, I could see devastation looming on the horizon.

ALICIA: I should call that guy I slept with who pretended not to like me afterwards.
AJ: I should call that hot guy who licked whipped cream off me at the carnival.
AARON: I should confess my love to someone.
ANTHONY: I should throw up.
BRAD: I should have sterilized my bar stool before sitting.


ME: Okay kids, here's where we take all that bad drunken energy and turn it into something positive.
ANTHONY: By throwing up?
ME: Nooo--drinking and doing stupid stuff is just like any other addiction. You have to replace it with something else.
AJ: Like what?

Take it away, Miss Knight.

ALICIA: Mmm...LA...grew too much for the man...
AJ, ANTHONY, and AARON: Too much for the man, he couldn't TAKE it!

Drunken karaoke. Harmless fun, and really entertaining for those of who stay sober enough to watch it.

BRAD: I need another drink.

To each his own.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thou Shalt Lose the Hag (Part Two)

You did notice the "Part One," right?

After all, A.J. may have needed to lose his hag, but another one of my proteges needed to lose their hag status.

ALICIA: But I love my gays!

This was going to be like prying a pill bottle away from a Connecticut housewife.

ME: Alicia, nobody's saying you can't have gay friends. I just think that certain aspects of your personality need adjusting.
ALICIA: Like what?
ME: How often do you ask one of your gay friends to make out with you?
ALICIA: Not counting when I asked you an hour ago?
ME: Need I say more?

Alicia and I were hanging out at the Wild Colonial--one of the many places I was trying to get her to take to that wasn't a gay hang-out. She was doing much better, but she still had a long way to go.

ALICIA: So what rules should I be following?
ME: No calling yourself a hag.
ME: No watching Will and Grace marathons on a Saturday night with some queen who couldn't get a date.
ALICIA: I could reschedule it for a Tuesday.
ME: No.
ALICIA: Kevin!
ME: No arguments. Now take out your phone.

I could see the fear in her eyes. She knew where this was going.

ME: I did this with my friends two years ago. It's terrifying at first, then incredibly liberating.
ALICIA: What is it?
ME: We're going to do--a phone purge.

I knew I should have brought the restraints.

ME: Alicia, you have some wonderful, supportive, lovely people in your life.
ALICIA: I know.
ME: And then there's everybody else. Those are the people I want out of that phone.
ME: Because your life has become a crashing helicopter, and that means it's time to jettison the dead weight. Now take out the phone.

She begrudgingly brought it out, but I was already seeing tears form.

ME: It's time to remove some numbers.
ALICIA: Be gentle.
ME: Everyone who has let you buy them more than twenty dollars worth of drinks when it wasn't a special occasion in honor of them.
ALICIA: Does having a hard day at work--
ME: No.
ALICIA: Well there go the "G"s.

We proceeded to take out the other moochers, the troublemakers, the snobs, the sneer-ers, the druggies, the freaks, and everybody in the Dick Clique.

ME: How do you feel?
ALICIA: I have seven numbers left in my phone and two of them are family members.
ME: Congratulations, Alicia. You've just left Hag Country.

That was when she burst into tears.

Tears...of healing.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thou Shalt Forget to Regret

Anthony made a mistake.

ANTHONY: A big mistake.

A rather big mistake.

ME: It can't be that bad.
ANTHONY: I slept with Brad.

Oh sweet Jesus made of red velvet.

ME: I'll call you right back.

I got Brad on the phone ASAP.

BRAD: Hello, Kevin.
ME: Don't you--um--Hello me! You slept with Anthony?
BRAD: It just happened.
ME: How? Were you both at a naked party and just happened to bump into each other?
BRAD: We were at a seedy bar. We were sloppy drunk. Gaga was playing. It was just one of those situations where all the pieces fall into place.
ME: Apparently that wasn't the only thing falling into place.
BRAD: Ew, don't be crass.
ME: This is a huge setback for Anthony.
BRAD: The boy wanted to have a little bit of fun. If you beat him over the head for it, you're going to lose him again.
ME: Good-bye Brad. I'm defriending you on Facebook.
BRAD: You wouldn't dare!
ME: Temporarily. Just to teach you a lesson.
BRAD: Great. I guess I won't be able to read any more of your witty posts about life.

You know what I hate about cell phones? You can't dramatically hang up on people.

I drove over to Anthony's apartment, where Aaron and AJ were already waiting for me.

AARON: He's really upset.
ME: Brad was that bad? I mean, I know he's no Mario Lopez but--
AJ: He thinks you're going to kick him out of the club.
ME: The club?
AARON: You know, what we have.
AJ: The Proteges.
ME: Guys, it's not a club. I'm just trying to help you.
AARON: So we can't wear the t-shirts then?
ME: There are t--never mind.

I knocked on Anthony's bedroom door, and he let me in--the room still smelled a bit like Brad--a mix of expensive cologne and cheap values.

ME: How you doing, slugger?
ANTHONY: Let me have it.
ME: Have what?
ANTHONY: The speech. I know you're going to give me a speech. So just let me hear it.

I contemplated sitting down on the bed, but god only knows if they remembered to put a catch-blanket down.

ME: Anthony, this process is a lot like a diet.
ANTHONY: You're saying I'm fat and I need to diet?
ME: No, I'm saying when you mess up you can't get down on yourself. You just have to do better next time.
ANTHONY: It's just hard. I think I'm doing so well and then--
ME: You sleep with Brad.
ANTHONY: And as soon as I did it I was like--What the hell?
ME: Look, maybe I'm too hard on you guys. I don't want you to think that you can't screw up. I've screwed up. I've screwed up more things than I've gotten right.
ANTHONY: And you get over it?
ME: If it weren't for mistakes, I'd be boring. I'd rather be anything than be boring.

Anthony smiled. It was then that I noticed he was wearing a 'Protege' t-shirt.

ME: Anthony, take that off.
ANTHONY: Kevin, please, I already hooked up with someone once this--
ME: No, that's not what--never mind. Let's all get dinner.

The boys and I went out and had a great time.

It was then that I realized maybe these proteges were actually becoming my friends.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thou Shalt Lose the Hag (Part One)

I've said it a thousand times.

AJ: But Dina's my hag!

Apparently I need to say it again.

ME: It's time lose the hag.
AJ: Kev, we're best friends.
ME: Let me ask you the following questions.
AJ: Okay.
ME: Does she say that when you're thirty if you're both single you should get married?
AJ: Uh...yeah.
ME: Does she try to be overly affectionate with you to a point that's verging on discomforting while playing it off as sheer goofiness?
AJ:, does she hang all on me and stuff?
ME: Yes.
AJ: Then year.
ME: Has she ever straight-up cock-blocked you?
AJ: OMG, totes.

Here's the big one.

ME: Has she ever referred to the two of you as Will and Grace?
AJ: Nooo!
ME: Hmm, perplexing.
AJ: We're Jack and Karen--realsies.

We have a hag, ladies and gentlemen.

ME: AJ, it's time to renegotiate this friendship.
AJ: How come?
ME: Because if it was any more unhealthy it would be covered in bacon and butter and frying in a pan.
AJ: You don't have any hags?
ME: No, I have girlfriends. Girlfriends who have boyfriends. Girlfriends who would be offended at being referred to by what the dictionary describes as--

1. an ugly old woman, esp. a vicious or malicious one.
2. a witch or sorceress.
3. a hagfish.

AJ: There's a hagfish? That's phenom.
ME: Let's have a talk with Dina, shall we?

The three of us got together at Starbucks for an intimate conversation.

AJ: Kevin says I need to snip you from my tense.
DINA: He told you to get a vasectomy?
ME: Good. I'm not the only one who can't understand a damn thing he says.

When Dina figured out what I really wanted, she was...upset.


...Okay, maybe I was downplaying that.

ME: Dina, you can't say that you like being called a hag.
DINA: Why not? It's a term of endearment.
ME: Hey, why stop there? Why not have him call you a crone too?
AJ: I kinda like that. Miz Crone.
DINA: Hahaha, I love you AJ.
DINA: What?
ME: When you said that, you meant it.
DINA: Yeah, so.
ME: Not in a friendly way. You really love AJ, don't you?

Dina started to say something, and then just nodded.

DINA: I can't help it.

We all just sat there in silence.

AJ: This is totes awk.
ME: Maybe you two should talk. I'll go walk up and down Thayer. It'll be like I'm back in high school again.

When I returned, Dina was gone.

ME: How'd it go?
AJ: We're going to take a break from each other for awhile. Dina needs to start reconfiguring her image of herself. She has really low self-value, and I think she's been living vicariously through me.

. . . . .

AJ: What? You don't watch Tyra?

Hey, whatever works.