Lady Problems

I sent this picture to my ex the other day, after taking it, passing by a window on Bleecker St.

It’s been around 5 months now since we broke up (since I was dumped, since she left me, what have you) and often I question the effect she still has on me.

After seeing “Puppy Whistle”, Rob Malone’s film at the Anthology, that we were both in together, I was taken on some sort of awed walk by Dan Dickerson, of the sometimes-mentioned-here PA-style Dickerson Bros, who wanted to talk about my still uncomfortable reality “fame” and how I was doing in life.

When I mentioned how hard it had been for me to see her up there on the screen like that, pretty, idiosyncratic, herself and looking me, the me in the film, with loving eyes, her arms around me, Dan took a step back on 13th St.

“Really, bro?” He asked, biting a grin. “After all this time?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “It’s probably normal if you love someone like that.”

“Shit, I haven’t felt that way since high school.” The Dickerson replied. “I mean that girl when I was 16, she really fucked me up.”

And I nodded as we walked both back to the karaoke bar, as Dan kept smiling goofily and I just questioned what it was.

For sure, looking back at my history, I’m a case of emotional and romantic arrested development, having practically hibernated throughout high school in newspaper offices and libraries in order to keep the world and my own insecurities from hurting me.

Apart from strange experiences at a multi-program camp at the age of 12, my awakening to the idea that anyone could even be attracted to me didn’t come until I was 17 and a girl stuck her tongue down my throat while we were sitting on the sidewalk in front of the old Joe’s Pizza.

This explains, or rationalizes to me how I got this way, experiencing a high-school level heartbreak at 23, but it doesn’t wrap things up, not wholly.

As I told my therapist, after the sort of introspection that comes out of not having anything listen to while walking down New York City sidewalks, the times I call out for my ex, pronouncing her two-syllable name into the air or out-loud, softly, are not the times necessarily that I want her to be near me, or that I miss her touch or the way she talked about “floppy ears”, though those times come too.

Nowadays, it’s more the times that I think about the things in my life, I’m not proud or am uncertain of, the moments I regret or my anxiety about my future or lack of direction.

The rushes, or panic attacks, where bad moments flood my eyes and I’m taken out of body back to relive a time where I made that bad decision, where I embarrassed myself, or felt shame.

I realized, I say the word “Eva” where I used to say the words “I hate my life”.

When I used to say the latter phrase, it was like a ward or a dismissal against those bad moments, a disavowal of a time I made the parents of an autistic teenager uncomfortable, or when I made a glib remark at my old, haunted job. When I think about embarrassing myself in front of my agents, or just sitting alone, feeling alone, feeling like no one loves me or wants to be with me right now. That loneliness.

I reach out for the word “Eva” in those moments like I once reached out to punish myself with dismissal.

There was a sense, especially towards the end of our relationship, that seeing her, that having her near me, that knowing there’s that someone who loves and accepts you, that knowing it was someone you felt the same about, like that could be something that could turn around a day, or an hour, or a year.

That reliance of love, on someone else’s, on that phenomenon, is both symptomatic of my low self-esteem (the “miracle” of someone I love loving me) and a difficult to break as I focus on not backsliding into self-hatred in the wake of it all and the loneliness.

Still, it’s made me more weary as I go out in the world, even more a somewhat-misogynist than when Eva would sometimes comment on my stirring-angry statements about unrequited love, about the women who didn’t return my affection, or the ones who hurt my friends (or who I perceived to).

Now, I even shy away from people who seem to flirt with me without affection, who wear it as part of their bearing, or use it for friendliness or charisma. Walking from a screening one night, an old friend tried hanging off me, hugging my neck, putting her cheek next to mine. A girl on set stroked my face as I said good-bye, gave me a hug when I wrapped shooting, asked me questions and looked into my eyes. When I went to see a show alone and lonely last night at the theater, a young lady hugged me, recognized me, put her hands through my hair and invited me over with ebullience and charm and a smile.

In summary, I felt revolted at these experiences. I feel shame when I look back at them. Partly because of my lack of quick understanding of sarcasm or irony, of intent and intentions, of a need to to be loved that feels shaken and confused by these cues. But on the other hand there’s that proximity, that feeling that the dark parts of my life might be re-averted, at least temporarily. That something might come from you looking at me that will help me be better at least for a while.

But that’s not what those people were offering. So instead, I have nostalgia, as I call out my ex’s name, once or twice, as I walk down Bleecker St.

As I take picture of floppy-eared loaves in the window of a bread-store.

As I wish for the absence of love, or whatever it is that still binds me.

As I want something to replace it, this misogyny in me.

Eva, I don’t blame you, for feeling like this was too much to bear.

***

Alright, Chadd Harbold asked if I was going to write about this and I really neither care nor understand this, but I guess let me try to explain.

Jenna Jameson called me a “fuckknob”.

How did this happen? To be honest, I don’t even really know who Jenna Jameson is (weird enough to admit that probably means it true, guys).

Here’s her Wikipedia page (apparently she is pretty interesting), but I didn’t know most of that until just now.

So, anyway here we go:

When I woke up on Tuesday, April 12th, I did what I usually do, which is check my phone, my email and my twitter (and maybe my online scrabble games).

I took a look and saw that friend, Buckwheat Groat and extremely prolific tweeter Ben Perry had tweeted something dissing someone for saying Bethenny Ever After was their favorite show.

Now, regardless of what I think about my own situation and my weirdo relationship to reality television, I am ON that show and Ben knows that and so he shouldn’t be dissing people for liking it like that.

But Ben Perry is not just a prolific tweeter but a wordy one and, given Twitter’s limit on how long a message can be, instead of writing a full rebuttal and erasing his message, I just quoted what he said with a little online frowny face.

Now, as those of you who read the blog can tell, I’m not one much for “emoticons” so my use of one here was probably a mistake, but the intent was something like “Ben, don’t do that, I’m on that show”.

And in fact Ben got that message later tweeting something like “Well, maybe she’s not so bad for liking that show because my buddy Nick’s on it.”

But Jenna Jameson did not appear to get the message and ended up calling both me and Ben “fuckknobs”.

What is a “fuckknob” you ask (and probably rightfully so)? I have no idea, just as I was somewhat weirded out by being called one.

I tried to explain to her the intent of all of this, but it seemed to no avail. She went back to tweeting about parties and LA restaurants and posting pictures of her shoes.

Ben, on the other hand, engaged in a full-out twitter blast war with her, posting salvos and earning hate from her legion of followers including one particular message from her calling him “not worth my time, cocksmoker, go watch pornstar that actually care about your idiot driven awards” for whatever that means.

A couple people tweeted in my defense. Some people on Facebook appeared to celebrate the occasion. I mostly felt confused and somewhat violated.

I felt my twitter account mostly non-offensive and was unsure if she was such a fan of the show why she called me a “fuckknob” (or even, again, what that was). Probably she couldn’t tell or remember that my account was the same as that nerdy, chubby kid on the show wearing his ratty hoodie. I don’t blame her, I suppose.

Mostly, I just wonder of the significance of it all. One girl told me I should feel honored she acknowledged my existence, while someone else asked me if I “printed out and framed” the tweet. I just asked “Why?”

But still, I feel somewhat victimized. Even if my friends seem to celebrate my “fuckknob”-ery.

As it now had entered all of our lexicons.

***

The Kimchi Truck stiffed me the other day.

I thought I could do it all, heading out on an early Sunday morning, racing myself, to finish the first type-up of a sketch for class later, all so  I could go out to the Sunday morning flea-market where the Kimchi Taco Truck was bound to appear.

All I had been hearing about this place from blogs and chowhounders were raves and awed stories of 40-minutes waits braved for a fresh collision of flavors.

But they didn’t show up. Engine trouble, I heard, or something about the battery.

Still I was pissed and unleashed a marginally tamer twitter rant against them after talking it out with my friends at the Schnitzel truck and realizing it probably wasn’t their fault.

So I waited. I bided my time. I’d tried to find moments even in this semi-jobless free-floating existence of mine that I could be set to go down to wherever the truck was early enough to avoid a line, try it out and flee back home for writing.

Today they were finally  in SoHo, I had no morning plans, no shoots or dalliances, I took a shower and was there.

And was honestly, mostly disappointed. The Kim-Cheesesteak, the much-blogged about semi-centerpiece of the truck (apart from the nominal tacos) was merely an average sized affair, with a good roll, but not enough flavor or punch to distinguish it from the clearly superior “99 Miles to Philly”, who provided me comfort food and shelter from bad love-less nights when I lived up by Union Square.

Worse though were the “Spicy Rice Cakes”, which were advertised as grilled, but were in fact wanly boiled in a pot, served rubbery in a red-glop not even warm. They made me feel a little sick even.

Still, I felt like giving the truck one more chance (and was still hungry from not eating all of the rice cakes) and tried the “Kimchi Arancini” which, in fact, were excellent.

Three small Jawbreaker-sized golden nuggets came with a red-spicy dipping sauce and a sensible bed of lettuce to cool them off and to soak up the debris.

Dipped and bitten into, the balls revealed a melange of gooey parmesan, mozzarella and some red-pepper flavor, which made them hard to eat slow.

Perhaps the disappointment and the tease of missing out on the Kimchi truck so many days led to my let-down.

But at least I grew some balls and got some there.

(sorrythatsprettylame)

***

KIMCHI TACO TRUCK

Kimchi Arancini- $4.00

Location varies (Follow @kimchitruck on Twitter)

***

BONUS- WARM-WEATHER SPECIAL

Coffee does strange things to me, even still, but I do get a hankering for a nice iced, especially to lift me out of the drudgery of an unknown day.

Jacques Torres’ Mochas are known for their cocoa-fab excellence in the ‘hood, but they’re too hot for the upcoming weather and JT won’t be sporting their impregnable “Frozen Chocolates” for at least a couple more months.

Instead, try to finagle an Iced Choco-Coffee like I did. It’s an iced coffee with their milk-brewed hot-cocoa instead of regular milk.

It gave me a caffeine buzz with a mellow chocolate pillow-y sensation walking down a sunny King St.

At the same price as a nearby Starbucks’ regular iced coffee, it could for you too.

***

JACQUES TORRES WEST VILLAGE

“Iced Choco-Coffee” (off-menu item)- $2.18

King St bet. Varick and Hudson Sts.

1 to Houston St. CE to Spring St.

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17 Responses to Lady Problems

  1. Lisa says:

    Move on. Move on!!!
    It’s spring. xxx.

  2. TLM says:

    “Kimchi” and “taco” are two words that should never be in the same sentence, let alone the same dish. You’re lucky you didn’t end up in an ER.

    “Knob” is used to mean “dick” in UK English. I guess when you’re a former porn star, there are a limited number of ways to sound literary or elevated, but using British English is one way to look down on your fellow Americans. Another would be to call everyone “darling.” But I digress.

    I know that people telling someone to just move on or just get over someone his mind is stuck on is pretty fruitless until he has come to that realization yourself. But I will leave you with a short story.

    I had a bad breakup in my early 20s. I thought the guy was my soulmate if ever there was one. We finished each others’ sentences, knew each others’ thoughts without saying a word. Until we one day had the thought that we should probably never see each other again. He was the one to say it last, though. There was a lot of drama in the relationship.

    For three years after that, however, I wandered around thinking no one could compare to him, that I would never find another person like him. No I one I met measured up to him. No one else was going to understand me like he did. Ever.

    He was apparently thinking the same thing, as he called me up after three years and said not a day had gone by that he hadn’t thought about me and still loved me. I had such mixed emotions. For three years, I had practiced this little speech in my mind of what I would say if ever contacted me. I was going to tell him off and tear him to shreds for having broken up with me, and tell him I was better off without him now. And he was going to crumble and shrivel into a speck of dust that just blew away.

    But when I heard his voice say, “Hi,” all my plans went out the window. I just started to cry. We met.

    I discovered a funny thing had happened over the past three years. I had changed without realizing it. And I just didn’t find him funny, or witty, or my soulmate anymore. In fact, I began to wonder what I had ever seen in him. Not only did we not share the same thoughts anymore, I outright cringed at some comments he made. And I was mad at myself that I had wasted three years thinking he was so great, so untouchable, so perfect for me. We ended up maybe meeting three times and that was it. There was just no chemistry anymore. He actually kind of grated on me. I later told him, “Only you could help me get over you.”

    I no longer believe there is just one person for people in the world. There are many potential partners who would be a good match, and none of them is perfect. Even in great matches, eventually something happens where you realize you are actually two distinct people. I still remember this line from thirtysomething years ago where the divorcing Nancy tells happily married Hope, “You think everything is great with Michael, and that you really know him. But I promise you, one day he will do something or say something that will shake you to your core, and you’ll wonder who he even is.” I’m paraphrasing, but it’s been over 20 years, so you’ll forgive me.

    My point is that no one partner is going to always be perfect for you, or even always understand you, and building someone up in your mind, going to that place of “if only he/she were here, they would understand,” whenever you feel bad or lonely is, in the end, a colossal waste of time, because real life is quite often very different from fantasy. And when you spend time ruminating about how wonderful, how perfect, how incredible that person was that you haven’t seen in a long time, that’s fantasy.

    Now I look back and think that that breakup is when I should have taken up surfing. Or at least taken a cooking class.

  3. Jim says:

    Hey man.

    You are awesome in ways I don’t think you fully understand. I truly hope you will learn to love yourself because you have a gift and a purity you can use to do good.

  4. yevheniya says:

    You are awesome! Really really awesome. Stop beating yourself up and look up 🙂

    I missed New York (moved to India 2 years ago), so started watching all sorts of TV shows about it, including Bethenny Ever After. Saw you on the show and tried googling if you actually blogged for the woman. Found your blog instead. This is a warped world – I am sitting in Bangalore googling a random guy who lives in New York and gets to eat things just because I don’t get to eat them 🙂 My point is – I am jealous that you get to do what I never did because I took the New York’s food abundance for granted. Happy eating!

  5. Julianne says:

    I am in NYC for 4 days this next week and staying in SOHO—I want to make sure I get some amazing food while there…top 5 recommendations?

    • feitelogram says:

      Unspecifically and without price consideration:
      Kittichai, Pepe Rosso, La Esquina (upstairs), Savoy, Torrisi Italian

      • Annie says:

        la esquina and savoy? REALLY? Went to both of these place and were definitely not anything to write home about

  6. Matt says:

    next time you feel bad about Eva, watch this vid:

    • DebbieR says:

      This video is fantastic!!! He is wise beyond his years. Nick you hang in there. I would recommend that you read Bethenny’s “A Place of Yes”. She has some very good relationship advice. Loved your new blog on the food crawl. I’m looking forward to reading more of your excellent writing!!

  7. Ryan Kay P says:

    I love your style of writing, you are truly a talented person. I love food as much as you do and if you lived in Florida we would be best friends. I look forward to reading all your posts! Thank you!

  8. Niamh says:

    Hii.I want to write a book and you give me some tips??by the way you are such a nice guy.

  9. Maureen says:

    Nick,

    I tried leaving a comment for you on your Bravo blog but it looks like it didn’t take. The long and the short of it was this; I am a 44year old woman and I want you to know that eventually we ladies grow up and realize that a smart, kind compassionate and loving guy is what we REALLY want, not some pretty boy who dumps all over us. In order for that to happen though, we have to grow up a little and learn to love ourselves enough to not accept less than someone great like you! I think maybe Bethanny was trying to say the same thing in a different way. It is when we stop seeking and desperately needing someone that we find the person who was right for us all along.

    I hope you will see the beauty in who you are and in what you have to offer both in a relationship as well as in the world. Be kind to yourself and now that lots of others think as higly of you as I do, and we only know you through the “reality tv crap”. I am a fan of Bethanny’s show, and even more so because she has introduced us to you!

    Keep being yourself, God doesn’t make junk!

    Maureen

    • Amanda says:

      I second that comment, completely. Hit the nail right in the head. Nice guys finish last, true, but they get the goods in the end. The bad or pretty boys get lots of tail, but often end up lonely.

      Stop looking, focus on you, being happy, and motivated, find yourself! and love will find you, too.

  10. Chava says:

    You are so sweet and adorable! I love all you write and look forward to reading more! You rock!

  11. Hilary says:

    such an interesting blog, Nick. you’re a SMART foodie-so rare in the industry. Seek me out if you need any relationship I advice. I specialize in chef/spouse connections but a relationship is a relationship is a relationship…

  12. “fuckknob”-ery made me laugh out loud!! Keep your spirits up your a funny guy.

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