My Story So Far…

Closed on the big deal at work so now I have some time to update the blog. This is where things stand after about three months of the Project:

1. Scott has turned out to be a really cool roommate. He’s like a college roommate, only we’re not in college. It’s nice having someone there when I come home and a default person to do something with on the weekends. Scott met Gunther the other day and now Gunther has Scott convinced that he can make money on eBay like Gunther does, so Scott is thinking about quitting his job at Take a Bao and just trading shit on eBay between auditions. I guess it could work but Gunther seems a lot smarter than Scott.

2. Marny has become increasingly cold to me. First off, she didn’t like the fact that I’ve been working long hours the last two weeks. I think she thinks I’m cheating on her. I wish. Like I have time to sleep around, even if I knew any other women who wanted to sleep with me. Scott thinks Marny is being passive aggressive and what she’s really mad about is that I never reciprocated about the “I love you.” I told him she only said it once and that there’s no way she could be making such a big deal out of that little moment.

3. I haven’t seen Elevator Girl since our lunch but I have emailed her a few times to complain about being at work at three in the morning. We have a good casual friendship going and she’s even opened up to me about her boyfriend, Adam, who’s a heart surgeon. Great, like I can compete with that! Still, I’m going to try to have lunch with her again this week so we’ll see how it goes.

4. Monica and Gunther broke up. I couldn’t believe it when Scott told me. I thought they had what it takes to go the distance. Kind of undermines my faith in relationships. But Scott says that Gunther said “they still love each other, they’re just not in love anymore.” Sounds like there’s something else going on there. I wonder if I can still be friends with Monica.

5. I met three new strangers, even while I was working those insane hours. First, there’s the cleaning lady in our office, Maria. The cleaning crew only comes in at night so I’ve never met them before, but Maria is really nice and she’s got a son in Afghanistan, and two other sons in high school.

Palak is our contact for the bank in India. He’s working on the deal with me so technically not a stranger, but I’m counting him anyway. Palak likes vintage Heavy Metal and thinks nothing’s gone right since Ozzy left Sabbath.

Finally, I met a blind girl named Daphne. She’s a new intern at work. I have a million questions about how she goes through life, but I’m afraid to ask them because I don’t want to seem insensitive. Plus, she’s probably explained things so many times, I don’t want to make her repeat her life’s story. P.S. Daphne is gorgeous and even though she’s blind, she knows it. A lot of men must have told her over the years.

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?

Marny, Meet Amanda. Amanda, Marny.

Went to the movies again with Marny today, this time to see “The Expendables” (the quid pro quo for “Going the Distance”).

We stopped by to see Scott who has to work at Take a Bao this weekend. I told him I looked at his lease and I’m not sure what he can do to prevent his landlord from evicting them. He thanked me anyway and gave us some free s’mores. 

Then, as we were leaving the food court, we saw Amanda. Yeah, that Amanda. My girlfriend from last year.

She smiled and said hi in a big cheery voice but I could tell she was really eyeing Marny. I found myself suddenly holding Marny’s hand and pulling her in close, subconsciously saying, “Yes, she’s with me.”

Now Amanda is pretty, but more in a cute way. She’s short and I guess you’d say “spunky.” But Marny is very pretty and tall and looks like maybe some sister of hers could be a model. Amanda was surprised. She said I looked good. I didn’t return the compliment. I just introduced Marny and said, “Good seeing you.” Then we took off.

As we walked away and I explained to Marny my history with Amanda, I should have been on top of the world. I mean, isn’t this every guy’s fantasy? To have his ex see him with a much hotter girl? But seriously, sometimes I think I can never just be happy–all I was thinking about was, I wish I was there with Elevator Girl instead. Then she’d really be jealous.

A Favor for Bao Guy

Apparently I owe Scott for hooking me up with Marny because he emailed me and asked if I could help him look over his lease. For some reason he thinks I’m a lawyer even though I told him I’m a banker.

(My business card clearly does not say “lawyer” anywhere on it.) Maybe I told him I was a paralegal in New York and he thinks that’s close enough.

His roommates had a big party last month and they broke the Direct TV dish on the roof. Don’t ask me how. But the landlord is trying to evict them even though Direct TV is willing to fix it for free. So now I have to look over his lease and send the landlord a letter or something so they don’t get evicted.

On the one hand, this is really annoying. The last thing I want to be doing is looking over a lease. If I wanted to be a lawyer I could have stayed in New York and gone to law school. On the other hand, I should be flattered that he thinks I’m the best person to handle this. And that we’re close enough friends to ask. After all, isn’t this what I was looking for when I started this whole thing?

Party Girl

I went to that party at Scott’s friend’s apartment in North Hollywood. First of all, what a dump. How do people live there? I live in Brentwood where it’s literally ten degrees cooler, and by the way, it’s not much more expensive.

I know people who live in Santa Monica who pay the same as chumps in the valley.

Anyway, the party was at this director’s apartment. I use the term “director” loosely, as he has “directed” one short film starring Scott, and it’s about a guy who stops a mugging/rape only to find out in the end that it’s really just a cat and I guess he imagined everything else. I won’t go into detail about how bad the film is.

The party was mostly actors and I will say that actors are a pretty attractive bunch. There were a lot of cute girls there. I didn’t know anyone other than Scott so I made a beeline for him. He introduced me as his “lawyer friend” and I had to keep correcting him since I am a banker, not a lawyer. But he was already too drunk to make the mental note and continued calling me a lawyer.

I met a few people through Scott, including one really hot “actress” named Marny. I met a few other people on my own, asking a lot of open-ending questions. The one thing I learned was that it’s hard to make it big as an actor. That’s all anyone talked about. Auditions, callbacks, getting an agent. I saw “Swingers” a long time ago and it was exactly like that. I think when people found out I couldn’t help them they kind of lost interest.

So I went back to Marny and listened to her talk about a screenplay she’s writing about two women who rob banks and kill other women’s cheating boyfriends (real subtle). To be honest, it made absolutely no sense but I listened and nodded thoughtfully. This went on for a long time. Before I knew it, the party was breaking up and she was just finishing the story.

I figured maybe I’d get her number and call her sometime but suddenly, she says, “You want to go somewhere else?”

I was like, sure. So we went to some bar and had a few drinks. Then, when I really thought the night was over (it was like 4 am), she says, “Do you want to come back to my place?”

To be honest, I was shocked. I was literally speaking only 5% of the time. How can that be interesting enough to invite me back to her place? But I guess she just really likes people who listen.

We went back to her place and well, you know. Sunday morning was kind of awkward but I kissed her goodbye and said I’d call her.

All day yesterday I was thinking about two things: (1) should I call this girl? I mean, I didn’t really find her interesting. But she was very attractive and I think I’ve earned a meaningless physical relationship. On the other hand, where is this going to go? It’s going to end badly if it even begins, so why be an asshole and pretend to like her? On the other, other hand, I did say I’d call her…

The second thing I kept thinking about was Elevator Girl. I mean Michelle.

Bao Guy Redux (Compliments, part 2)

I saw Bao Guy (Scott) at lunch yesterday and decided to count him as one of my compliments for the day (I know, he’s not really a stranger, but I saw him, so what the hell).

I had seen a short he did on YouTube (he forwarded me the link after I saw him last time) so I had something nice to say.

“Hey, what’s up, man. I saw that video. You were great in it.” He actually was pretty funny in it, even if the video itself looked like it was shot by a retarded monkey with cerebral palsy.

He really appreciated the compliment. And guess what? He invited me to a party at the director’s house this weekend. I played it cool, but I was actually pretty stoked. I just hope the director isn’t the one mixing the drinks.

Bao Guy Has a Name

It’s Scott.

I was back at the mall getting lunch at the sushi place and the guy spotted me.

“Hey, sweet and lo guy. Come back for more plumberry tea?” He obviously remembered our one and only conversation and called on it like normal people do.

I explained I was waiting for sushi and he made some joke about me being a traitor. Then I said, “Hey, I’m Fletcher. What’s your name?”

Turns out when you tell people your name they usually tell you theirs in return. We talked for five or so minutes until my buzzer buzzed and I picked up my sushi. I learned he’s up for a guest starring role on some new sitcom.

Scott seems like a cool guy. I bet he knows a ton of people and that I’d hit it off with some of them. Not sure how to become “friends” with him and get into his life without seeming gay. Is that weird? I don’t know how to make friends anymore. Too bad we can’t just have our moms schedule a play date. I’ll have to ponder this. How to take our relationship to the next level.

My friend Dave from college is in town this weekend, so at least I’ll have something to do.

Bao Guy

Sorry, I had to work late.

Anyway, so we’ve been working hard on this big deal and I went over to the mall to grab lunch to go. I got a salad at Take a Bao and I got their plumberry iced tea. It’s really good.

I’m waiting for my salad but I’ve already got my tea and I’m thinking, “This guy doesn’t look busy. I should strike up a conversation with him.” Of course the key is to be casual, not too interested like I’m a psycho or trying to pick him up.

So I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how to break the ice when it hits me. It’s sitting right there in my hand.

“This tea is really good. But what’s a plumberry?”

Turns out, they get that question all the time and the answer is really uninteresting (it’s tea with a blend of plums and berries).

But I didn’t let that stop me. I mentioned that I took the last sweet & low packet and they need to refill it. Which suddenly jogged this memory in the back of my brain, and I don’t remember how I segued here, but all of the sudden I launched into this story about this dumb-ass girl from back when I was a paralegal in New York.

We’d go to lunch and she’d put like literally six packets of sugar in her tea. Of course, it would just sit on the bottom because of basic chemistry: Sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold water. I tried to explain it to her, that they make sweet tea by heating up the tea first, dissolving the sugar, and then cooling it. The supersaturated sugar stays in solution and the iced tea stays sweet. It’s straight out of high school chemistry. But she would just say she likes it that way and dump a pound of sugar into the already-cold iced tea. You could literally see it sitting there on the bottom taking up an inch of the glass.

So the Bao Guy thought that was a funny story. I found out he was an actor. We didn’t trade info or anything. I didn’t even get his name. My salad came out and that basically put an end to the conversation. I took the bag and all I said was, “Have a good day.”

Still, on the walk back to Constellation, I felt awesome. I felt like a people person. Are me and Bao Guy gonna be BFF’s? Not too likely. But that’s not the point. I talked to a stranger. I made a connection. And for such a small fucking thing, for the rest of the day I had a huge smile on my face.