Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I’ve spent the last 14 weeks dogsitting. That’s why I haven’t been blogging; I blog out of a desire to connect, and despite
being dogs, Walter and Kenny have met every one of my emotional needs. In addition, I’ve been trying to keep from being self-absorbed, and the only thing I’ve wanted to write about until last night was my recent discovery that there’s hair on my toes.
But last night I went on a date. We went to see 20 Feet From Stardom.
In truth, calling it a date is an overstatement. Sitting with Charlie was like sitting with a casual acquaintance, or maybe some hot badass I met 20 years ago at the Rat. This is simultaneously completely accurate and completely wrong; Charlie is both hot and a badass, but 20 years ago he was in elementary school.
I met him at my favorite bagel place the day after I arrived in Boston; he was working the counter and I was getting ready to binge on carbs. “Hello,” he said when my number was called. “Can I help you?”
“Why yes,” I thought but did not say.
Instead of buying the four sesame wheat bagels I’d planned on, I got crafty and ordered every variety of bagel available in the orthodox conclave of Brookline, Massachusetts. This gave me triple the time to engage in meaningful conversation, and as he gathered my bagels, we talked. I discovered that Pulp Fiction and The Godfather were in his Top 10 and that he liked A Tribe Called Quest — his obviously solid taste (being similar to mine), in addition to his obviously solid body, was more than enough to fire up my previously dormant desire for male companionship. If you know what I mean.
We didn’t exchange numbers. Instead, I did what the kids do and found him online. I tweeted him, and he tweeted back. My favorite part of our exchange happened after I got older-woman bold and asked him out. “What do you want to do?” I asked. “We can do whatever you’d like to do :-),” he responded, which was exactly the right answer.
In retrospect, I should have suggested we meet in a dark alley instead of at the Coolidge Corner Theater, which was showing 20 Feet From Stardom, a cool ass documentary about cool ass back up singers. By the time the movie started, I’d discovered that he was not only hot, he was whip smart and charismatic. Sadly, none of that mattered 20 minutes into the film, when he compared David Bowie to Scott Weiland. (I’m not saying that Charlie has bad taste in music; I’m pointing out that sometimes the generation gap is insurmountable. That said, I’m thankful that I had the option of tuning out any further Charlie-to-me commentary: I leaned left whenever he leaned left, and was therefore able to avoid the possibility of a conversation in which he compared Darlene Love to Rihanna.)
Fortunately, he understood the magnificence of Merry Clayton’s vocals on “Gimme Shelter,” which was enough for me to get over my snotass music thing. Unfortunately, it was irrelevant. It may have been because I shouted “ORK BOY!” when one-time Del Fuego and current musicologist Warren Zanes was onscreen, but I doubt it. I think Charlie figured out I was twice his age and/or had hair on my toes, and he shook my hand and said “Nice to meet you” before fleeing at the conclusion of our non-date date.
I soothed myself by going home and scouring YouTube for clips of Lisa Fischer singing with the Stones. This was a mistake for two reasons. The first is that “Gimme Shelter” is a relentless earworm, and it kept me up until I erased it by repeatedly singing my original composition, “The Dog Song.”* The second was far more debilitating. I impulsively watched a clip of Fergie singing “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger and U2, and this is something I can never unsee.
I can accept that I may no longer be comfortable at my favorite bagel shop, but abandoning the fantasy of a summer fling with Charlie is harder to digest. Then again, as my sister pointed out, I’ll be in Boston for three more weeks, and the possibilities are plentiful. “After all,” she said. “Bruegger’s Bagels is just up the street.”
*”Walter is a very good dog (yes he is!)/Kenny is a very good dog (yes he is)!”