Garage Guy

I was leaving the parking structure in Santa Monica on Saturday night after seeing a movie with Marny.

(We saw The Town. I thought it was stupid and obvious, Marny liked it). It was late and there were no cars behind me so I started talking to the garage attendant in the booth.

“Hey, seen any good movies lately?”

Hey looked at me like, “Who, me?”

I continued, “We just saw The Town. It was okay. But I’m really excited for that Due Date movie. That looks funny.”

He bit. “Yeah, movies mostly suck these days. I don’t know the last time I went to the movies.”

“But you work right here. Did you see Inception?”

“Yeah, that shit was cool.”

I confessed, “I didn’t understand what the hell was going on, but it looked cool.”

Marny put her hand on my arm and whispered, “What are you doing?” That brought me back to reality where people don’t talk to the garage guy.

I wrapped things up. “Next time I go to the movies, you should come with us.”

He laughed and said he would if I bought the popcorn. I didn’t get his name or his info or anything so it was just one of those things you say. But if I see that guy again, I will follow up and really invite him to go to the movies.

P.S. Now Marny thinks I’m a little odd.

Elevator Girl

I finally emailed Michelle and asked her to lunch. I figured it would seem more casual to do it as a spur of the moment thing. So fifteen minutes after asking her, we were at the Houston’s in the mall having lunch.

I know this is going to seem like a shitty thing to say after my last post about my girlfriend telling me she loves me but I have decided that I love Michelle. I don’t know how I know, I just know.

It’s not that she’s mesmerized me with her beauty. I mean, she is beautiful. She has long, curly brown hair and an amazing smile. But it’s more than that. She’s so easy to talk to. I’m funny around her. I find myself liking myself when I’m with her (well, at least in my eighty minutes of interaction so far). It’s just a natural connection.

It’s exactly what I was talking about with Marny. With Marny everything is awkward. She doesn’t get my jokes. She doesn’t get me. With Michelle, we’re just on the same page without even trying.

Of course, there’s one problem. Well, two actually. Michelle was quick to mention her boyfriend.

“Hey, I love your suit. My boyfriend has almost the same exact one.”

I laughed. “Wow, only ten seconds into lunch and you already let the boyfriend bomb drop.”

She laughed.

I don’t care if this sounds incredibly lame but I’m going to marry her one day.

Olive Juice

Last night Marny told me she loved me. I was pretty freaked out.

I feel like I started this whole Project to improve my life, pop the bubble of isolation, make friends, and connect with the world. And in two short months I’ve made huge strides. I’ve got a guy in my apartment complex I hang out with. Taken steps to meet Elevator Girl. Hell, I’ve got a roommate coming in a few days!

But when I look back on that post where I talked about wanting a girlfriend, I feel like I was looking for something else. I like Marny. Don’t get me wrong. But we just don’t connect on some deeper level. It’s weird when you’re in a relationship and you think the other person is feeling the same thing you’re feeling only to find out that their experience has been completely different.

She loves me? Seriously? I thought she was joking when she said it. (Don’t worry, I didn’t laugh or anything.) How could she have those feelings for me when mine for her are so pedestrian?

Then it occurred to me that just as people have subjective interpretations of the relationship, maybe people just have subjective definitions of love. Maybe what I consider love is a totally foreign concept to Marny, a fantasy of lame romantic comedies and Renaissance poetry. Maybe her life experience has just made her more practical and she settles for what’s in the realm of possibility.

Or maybe Marny is just needy and was hoping I’d say “I love you, too.”

Newspaper Guy

I woke up really early this morning because I have a conference call with a Managing Director in the New York office. So when I stepped outside of my apartment, I bumped right into the guy delivering my newspaper. He was startled, and even more so when I said, “Hey, what’s your name?”

He said, “Is there a problem with the paper?”

“No, nothing like that.”

“You missing a paper some day?”

“No–”

“You call the paper?”

“No! Look. It’s just, well, you deliver my newspaper every morning and I don’t know your name. I don’t want us to be strangers.”

He looked at me leery. “Hector.”

I shook his hand. “Fletcher.”

“Okay. Have a good day.”

And then he took off, probably to tell all the other newspaper delivery people to avoid my apartment because I work for the I.N.S.

It’s too early to talk to strangers.

Two’s Company

I have a new roommate. Well, not yet.

But next weekend Scott’s moving in. It’s only for a while, till he finds a new place.

So why did I say yes? I thought of plenty of good excuses to say no that would probably not offend him (and some readers sent in some of their own), but the truth is, I couldn’t justify saying no with the mission of this Project. I’m trying to be a people person. I haven’t had a roommate since college because I liked being alone, but now I don’t like being alone so much and maybe it’ll be nice to make a connection with another guy. You know, make an actual friend.

I talked to Gunther and Monica about this weekend and Monica especially agrees that living with someone else–especially someone you don’t get along with 100%–is a good test of maturity. Besides, Scott already hooked me up with Marny, and though that’s probably not going to last forever, Scott knows a ton of people.

Bao Guy Takes an Unforeseen Twist

I just checked my voicemail. Scott is in fact being evicted at the end of the month and he asked if he could stay with me until he finds a new apartment!

WTF?!

I know we’ve become friendly and I’m dating his friend’s friend Marny. But we don’t know each other that well, do we? And how does he know I have a two-bedroom apartment? Maybe Marny told him.

I haven’t had a roommate since college. Why would I? I hate people!

Now if I say no, he probably never talks to me again and neither does Director Guy. And maybe even Marny. But I can’t live with some dude I hardly even know. I can just see myself putting fucking post-its on my leftover pork fried rice saying “Fletcher’s.”

I get back from Seattle later today. How the hell am I going to get out of this?

Slew from Seattle

I’m in Seattle on a deal and I talked to a bunch of people so far.

1. Guy my age at the airport gate waiting for our flight:

“Going away or coming home?” He was coming home to Seattle after visiting his long-distance girlfriend in L.A. We talked about how they fight over who should move and get a new job.

2. Fat lady sitting next to me on the plane (in business class): “Read any good books lately?” She said, “Yeah, I’m trying to read one right now.” Yikes.

3. Cute girl checking me in at the hotel: “So what’s fun to do in Seattle now that Kurt Cobain is dead?” She directed me to the concierge.

4. To the concierge: “Do people really ask you to send prostitutes to their room?” He looks around for a second, then says, “What are you looking for?” I tried to explain that it was just theoretical but he made it seem so easy, so I ordered a high-priced call girl.

Just kidding.

Three-Legged Dog Girl

I met a girl today in my apartment complex who was walking her dog. The dog was a French Bulldog (so she told me) and he only had three legs. I’ve seen her walking this dog a few times before and I’ve never stopped to say hello, but today the dog came up to me and starting humping my leg, so I felt like the time was right to break the ice.

I said, “Wow, this really brings back the memories.”

She pulled him off of me and laughed. “You have a dog?”

I said, “No, but I did some hard time a few years back.”

She looked at me kind of shocked.

“Just kidding. I’m Fletcher. I live in 1305.”

We talked for a while about her dog (François). He didn’t lose his leg in Nam, he was born that way. The girl’s name was Polly. She was not super hot by any means but I told her I’d see her around. And that if François wants to hump me again, he’d better buy me dinner first.

My Friend Timmy: The Real Story

I got a lot of emails questioning why the lady was so mad that I talked to her kid if all I did was ask where his mom was.

Well, the truth is, I kind of edited what happened a little bit because I was embarrassed about what really happened. But what the hell. The blog is semi-anonymous. Here’s what I really said:

“What’s your name?”

“Timothy.”

“Where’s your mommy or daddy?”

No response. Then, for some reason, I thought it would be fun to try to have a real conversation with a six-year-old…

“Where do you live?” He gives me his exact address. “Wow, do you tell strangers the alarm code, too?” No response. “Well, it’s a nice neighborhood. Do you go to school?” Yes, he’s going into first grade next week. “What’s your favorite color?” Red. “Do you like dogs or cats?” He likes rabbits. “What’s your favorite ice cream?” Cherry Garcia (figures, we’re in Brentwood). “What do you like to do for fun?” Play knights and dragons. “Do you have a girlfriend?” No. “Do you like gladiator movies?”

The last question was clearly me just amusing myself, but that’s when his mom showed up and I’m pretty sure she overheard it. Again, like I said, it never even occurred to me that I would seem threatening to some kid’s mom, but I guess I am a 28-year-old creepy guy asking her kid about ice cream and girlfriends and gladiators. So in retrospect I’m lucky she didn’t call the cops.

I just don’t interact with children that much. Or ever. I forgot what the boundaries are. So better off just to make a bright-line rule: no talking to fucking kids!

My Friend Timmy

At whole foods buying some dinner last night and a little kid maybe six comes up and stands next to me.

No parent in sight, just standing there looking at me. I say, “Hi, what’s your name?” He says, “Timothy.” I say, “Where’s your mommy or daddy?”

And all of the sudden, his mom comes rushing over and grabs Timmy away from me. She looks at me like I’m a registered sex offender. Like I was luring him into a van with promises of ice cream and puppies.

It’s weird, I still think of myself as someone who could theoretically be abused by some pervert, not as the pervert himself. Totally freaked me out to be looked at like that.

So, new rule for the Project: no talking to underage children.