People Come Into Your Life for a Reason is a sappy poem, but rings true. Especially when it pertains to Party Girl.
Party Girl's the one who stands out in a crowd. She's pretty, perky, wise, sassy, funny, the Belle of the Ball. That's when she's in her element. She's au courant of the hottest, best, underground restaurants, clubs, mixers, social events. You just can't go wrong with her. Hanging out with Party Girl, you're guaranteed a terrific night out, meeting interesting folk from all corners of the globe.
"Where in the world did you meet her?" asked Chicory, an acquaintance from Tarantula Arms where I resided for two and a half years. I liked to tell people I attended finishing school as my former neighbors taught me the finer arts of decorating, design, gourmet cuisine and bitchiness.
"We met at a seminar."
"Well, she's simply fab-u-lous," acknowledged Chicory before disappearing from my living room along with all my guests at a cocktail party I hostessed.
In seconds, I discovered the definition of fabulous which entailed twenty people huddled in front of an open kitchen window smoking pot.
"WTF?" I screamed at Party Girl in the center of this group, head cocked back emitting machine-gun laughter. "This is a co-op where I'm President of the Board! My neighbors have the scent of a bloodhound! I'll get fined hundreds of dollars."
You see, dear Reader, in comparison to her, I'm a buzzkill. Party Girl lives the hedonistic life for which I vie, yet couldn't do to myself as I've too much self-respect. We swiftly parted ways.
Seven years later, I bumped into her in Soho.
Sadly, she wasn't as entertaining as ten years' prior. First off, she hit forty and the heavy-duty drugging, drinking, binge eating and general mayhem showed, no longer hidden by youth. The voluptuous body turned to sagging fat, the pretty face ravaged and weathered and her staccato laughter sounded rather mechanical and tired. Never the fashion goddess, her appearance was even more unkempt with soiled, stained and ill fitting clothing.
She still had the spark. As I lived upstate, I made plans and met her in an UES bar where she cried the blues.
"Of course, I'm involved with an emotionally unavailable man," she informed me, an ability we both shared as I've over thirty years' expertise in this domain. "This one has been on and off for a year. Sometimes he'll pop up and stay for a few days, then he'll hide for weeks."
I listened without volunteering advice. For I discovered people will only do what they want to do and, in the process, want to feel good about following the wrong path. I know firsthand.
Several weeks later, I invited her to spend the weekend with me at the cottage. In preparation for her visit, I hosed down my place and set up the guest bedroom with fresh linens and towels. She brought her stash and we hung out the first day watching Monkey Boy, my version of an inappropriate man, stalk me by boat, bike and car. The following morning, I woke early and made a giant breakfast consisting of a pot of coffee, pancakes, fresh fruit and yogurt. She stumbled in and sat at the kitchen table to give me a recap of the past several weeks.
"I had unprotected sex with the emotionally distant guy and got knocked up. It was a tough call," she stated. "Well, I waited two weeks to heal and then had sex with him again. Unprotected."
"What're you crazy?" I said. "You just had an abortion! Your body can't go through this again." I shook my head at her irresponsibility.
While eating, she laughed ruefully. "That's the end. While he was in the shower at my place, a woman called on my phone and asked to speak to him. It was his live-in girlfriend. I had to throw him out."
"Bully for you!" I said.
"Yeah. I kinda went off the deep end, doing so much coke with this drug dealer guy that my nose bled for two days." She took a toke of her joint right at the table. "But, I'm making changes."
The first change was a therapist. Then, she went on a drug and alcohol-free diet. And a diet. Last, she kept away from that guy. Rather, he stopped phoning her. All this was going the right direction and I truly supported her.
Four months went by. Then, I was faced with a dilemma. "Listen, can I crash at your place in two weeks just for the night?" I had to drive to NYC for all day doctors' appointments and one the following morning in Westchester.
"Sure," she said. "It'll be a blast. I'll be hostess with the mostess just like you. I'll make you a good breakfast before you leave, like what you did for me."
Now, when people make comparisons, it gives you a view of how they perceive you. Let's say I was unprepared for what awaited me.
After several conversations over the course of two weeks, confirming date and time, we met for dinner. Afterwards, we returned to her apartment. That was a rude awakening. Never known for being a housekeeper, Party Girl did nothing to pull out all stops and whistles for me. The place was FILTHY.
Did I happen to mention it was F I L T H Y?
"I've a bit of a mice problem," she said with nonchalance as I looked at the disgustingly dirty combined living room/kitchenette where dishes were pilled in the sink growing algae and mold. I went to the bathroom and nearly threw up. This was bad beyond belief and I was stuck, tired, late at night with a few drinks in me and no disposable income for a hotel.
Re-entering the living room, she threw a sheet at me to place on the living room sofa, a few feet from her bedroom and across the apartment front door. Right before scuttling into her bedroom, she said, "Oh, by the way, that guy phoned me while you were in the bathroom. He's coming over in a little while."
Her apartment overlooks the FDR overpass. Luckily, the traffic noise rebounded in her apartment. I was woken up for a few from her front buzzer, the steps into her bedroom and thankfully that was it. The next morning, I woke up with her hovering over me.
She giggled. "Did you hear us last night?"
Grossed out, I stated, "No, the traffic noise was too loud to hear anything."
Disappointed, she said, "Listen, it takes me 45 minutes to get ready in the bathroom and I'll be in there in ten. So you better do what you have to now."
I jumped up, washed and put on my clothes. She stood in front of her door waiting for me to leave.
Before I left, I said, "Listen, I don't get why after four months you decide last night to sleep with him while I'm over."
She smiled. "Good cock is hard to find and even more difficult to pass up."
"Listen, the drugs, the drinking, the binge eating, the filth, the inappropriate men are gonna kill you. You're way too old for that shit." I said many other things in a calm voice about how fucked up it was to invite me over in filth and treat me in such a way after I treated her with the utmost respect, kindness and hospitality.
She simply smiled at me.
It didn't matter. I was done with Party Girl.
I've no fucking clue why she was in my life, but I did learn this poem:
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