Ladies’ Night

So I’m trying to figure out whether writing on this thing will help attract women or hinder me.

Classically, when I try to be honest with my emotions, it’s always a bad thing with women.

Example: A story I tell to most of my friends upon meeting them.

When I was in eighth grade, I was a poet. Not a real poet, I suppose. I guess I just liked rhyming things.

In the way that rap offered some white suburban kids a sort of freedom or rebellion, I guess, poetry offered me a similar sort of thing in my nerdy, Jewy way. I remember offering up poetic translations in my Latin class, often perplexing the teacher, who tried to explain to an overzealous young Nicholas that as artistically meretricious as the translation might be, it wasn’t what was called for in the assignment.

I tried my poetry in different venues, egged on by my validating artsy summer-camp experience where my topical poetry made me the bard of the 13 year-old art crowd. My poem, “I hate couples”, an expression of teenage angst if such a thing does that particular phrase justice, was particularly well received.

What was not so well received was the poem I gave to Lindsay Eisenkraft in the eighth grade. Having just read Catullus’s short but meaningful “Odi et amo” in Latin, I was consumed by my own eigth-grade lust. Lindsay was pretty, witty and sexual, something rare for those times. She was always seen around with other guys. Such a woman exuded perfection to me, experience and intellect, wit and beauty. Yet I hated that I saw her with the grubby, upper-east-side boys with better skin but less noggin than yours truly. And so I wrote her my own version of “Odi et amo”.

I don’t have it still, I don’t think. But what I do remember of it are two things.

The approximate translation of the poem- “I hate and I love and I do not no which, but whichever way, I burn.”

And the reaction she had and repeated for the rest of that year- “Stay ten feet away, at all times”.

The other story is much shorter.

I remember walking a girl home from a Mountain Goats concert once.

It was when I had just gotten in to music. I had resisted for so long. Music to me was Weird Al Yankovic and the Beatles- the parodic and the classic. Finally, one day, when my sister was gone on one of her trips, I took stock of her musical taste and like a theif stole what I could and claimed it for my own.

Not all those bands lasted, but I retained a lasting love for The Mountain Goats. The band was one of those misnomers– The Mountain Goats was just one person, really: John Darnielle. But his nasal, whining voice and tales of “video games in a drunken haze” and being “seventeen years young”, struck me at a time when I was more in to stories than chords.

Anyway, concerts were another new thing to me then, but even I could tell that The Mountain Goats concert I went to was pretty lame. This was not the Black Lips concert my friend Jonny-Jon-Jon had taken me to, which involved moshing, vomit and heavy loads of alcohol-induced spitting– this was a bunch of people nodding their heads, clapping and singing along: a loserfest.

From this loserfest, I ended up walking a girl home. By that I mean we talked awkwardly on the subway about our lives. I showed her the way to her home.

I forgot to get her number.

I decided to try something.

New to music, I made a mixtape, well a mix-CD; a playlist. I titled it with her name. I ran to her doorway where I had dropped her and even though I couldn’t get in, I slid it under the door with her name, her first name, the only one I could remember.

The songs ranged from The Trachtenburg Family Players’ “Mountain Trip to Japan” to Skeeter Davis’ “End of the World” to some Bruce even, I think. At each song, I thought about how I could show someone who I am. How I could sequence this and compact it and it give it to someone and they would, they would… get me.

I said I slipped it under her door– I didn’t. I waited until someone came in to the complex and gave it to him and told him my story and asked him to put it in the mail vestibule so that maybe she might find it, which he did.

And I left with a feeling of accomplishment, out of breath, exuberant.

And it would be a great story, but I never heard from her again.

Maybe a blog is something that just is.

But it’s funny to think.

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One Response to Ladies’ Night

  1. Lindsay says:

    My dearest Nicolas,
    After my roommate discovered your blog post googling me I became aware of a certain segment of said blog entitled “ladies’ night”. I was not aware until roughly 30 minutes ago that I was the subject of your eighth grade lust. At the time I was unaware of the poem’s true essence and thought in my eighth grade mind, surrounded by fair-skinned, upper east side beauties, that the poem didn’t mean you wanted to do away with me but instead that you wanted to DO me. Unfortunately for you, my response was that of a very frightened and confused adolescent. I apologize for my response of “stay 10 feet away from me at all times” and have amended that into a full fledged restraining order. Just kidding. I’m sorry that I shot you down so harshly but next time you might want to write something a little less threatening and a little more hallmark.

    Odi et amo: quare id facium, fortasse requiris. Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior

    Best,
    Lindsay E.

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