After refusing to pity-fuck Michael (my Straight Faggy Friend), it seemed we would both benefit from spending a little less time together. Avoiding him was easier than I anticipated. A typical Parsons graduate, Michael lacks the interpersonal skills necessary to initiate hanging out with girls he finds attractive unless he does it online. After ignoring his intermittent “hi”s on Facebook for a while, I took him up on his offer to see some band I’d never heard of in Bushwick on a Friday night. 

We walk up Essex to Delancy and catch the J into Brooklyn. We have next to nothing to talk about, despite not having seen each other in so long. When we get off somewhere along Broadway, he mentions we have to walk the last few blocks to the venue. What Michael meant by “venue” was a converted apartment space above a bodega. After paying ten dollars to some shrimpy artfag at the top of the stairs, we walk into the main room. There’s couches against the far left wall, clustered beneath an open window I could only describe as “prison-sized”.  

After taking a look around the room I light a cigarette; I doubt anyone here gives a fuck about someone smoking. Within minutes I’m slicked in sweat, my tshirt clinging to my back uncomfortably. There’s no air conditioning, only a small fan pushing air in through one of the small windows overlooking the street.  

I turn down Michael’s repeated offers to buy me beer, mouthing “WATER!” while pantomiming chugging from a bottle. He makes a pouty duck face and rolls his eyes before wandering to the back of the room. ‘Was date rape on his agenda for the evening?’ I consider this briefly, then let the thought go. The show is infinitely more enjoyable during the spaces of time Michael is gone, in line for drinks while I leaned against a support beam in the middle of the room, getting flicked with sweat from the bodies slamming around next to me.  

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For weeks all I heard about was Straight Faggy Friend’s woman problems. It was always the same, the age-old “I like her, but she gets scared and pushes me away” type shit. Four weekends in a row I played backup to the plans she canceled last minute before I felt under-appreciated enough to decide I had to get real with him about the situation. We were sitting on the couch at his place, chain-smoking in the spare bedroom on the low end Chinatown.

"She was super flippant about it, all ‘I don’t make plans, babe.’ All I hear when girls say that is ‘I don’t want to commit to anything’. And that was fine, you know? But then why would she exert all that energy to try to get me to hang out?"

"I dunno, could be one of those ‘do you want me? Well you can’t have me’ routines."

"She’s not the only girl hitting me up. Her loss."

I laughed, holding the straw from my cocktail between my finger and thumb to keep from stabbing myself in the face with it. “Ah, but she’s the one you’re sitting here talking about. So it’s clearly working.”

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