“Dude, clean up your fucking apartment.”
It had been a long day.
Actually it hadn’t.
It was the Monday after I’d finished by three-week improv intensive, complete with a full additional weekend of additional classes and shows and actually Monday was the first day I was actually free of any improv engagements, sketch, stand-up or the like.
I slept in, I didn’t go to bed too late the night before, I watched most of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, was amazed by the cast and took a shower in the middle. I was amazed from my Pandora Radio, yet again, not only how dark of a song “Jenny/867-5309” by Tommy Tutone was, but that no one seemed to care in the slightest whenever I brought it up.
I got to see “X-Men: First Class” with Rob Malone, who managed to out phone-usage me during the movie, somehow, but we both enjoyed it with our free Regal loyalty snack rewards, which we upsized into a summer-size popcorn and soda.
I had dinner at Le Bernadin with my now-non-quasi-roommate John Beamer, his ‘rents and mine. Drank too much wine, as the event called for it and headed home with John, who came along to catch the tail end of National Treasure 2.
I wound up in the late hours with Bobby Olsen and John both there to crash, too tired from X-Files episodes and Magic Hat No. 9s to drag their asses home and I was happy for the company anyway. It’s strange to say, but when you’re missing love in your life, it’s nice to have see a friendly face in the morning in your apartment. No kisses there, but at least a smile, or some morning groans.
But as the X-Files episodes rolled on and as I neglected to take part in the 6-pack, refunded my 5-dollars by Bobby Olsen, a conversation was struck up about the state of my apartment.
“At least you could clean the shower.” Beamer added, piggybacking off Bobby’s comment.
“Dude, this place is like a disaster. And it would be this much work to even clean the bathroom.” Bobby gestured. “A chick is going to come in here and like, call it off because of that.”
“You’re self-sabotaging, is what you’re doing.” Beamer added on.
It was a difficult situation. I was tired, burnt out on the now-hours-ago wine and I needed to be up early on Tuesday for therapy. But something about this all struck a chord.
“Look,” I said. “First of all, this is who I am. I’ve got lots of gross habits. And if the one that turns you off is my bathroom being messy, that’s probably the canary in the coal mine.”
“That’s just an excuse, Nick, doesn’t mean it’s not self-sabotaging.” Beamer replied.
“It’s like you’re admitting it!” Bobby added.
“Second of all, you motherfuckers are telling me we ALL don’t do much more grievous things here to self-sabotage in front of women?”
“Not the point.” Bobby replied.
“This is easily fixable.” said Beamer.
“Look I might clean my apartment,” I conceded, double-teamed and irritable. “But if I do it’s going to be because my apartment’s gross, not because of some fantasy relationship that would be fantasy squashed because of this.”
And it continued.
I kept trying to tell John and Bobby that I didn’t disagree with the idea of cleaning my apartment, only the idea that somehow not doing so represented some sort of self-sabotage on a grand scale, because of all the things that would be associated from the fallout of that.
If I was self-sabotaging my romantic life by not cleaning my apartment, what else that I thought was right was wrong? What was my accepted reality then?
Also, there was the issue that I told them about somewhere mid-argument.
“Listen guys, I won’t back down from this. Somewhere forged in my adolescence, I figured out that I was not going to change who I was to be accepted, that there was nothing wrong with who I am. If I want to change that’s fine, but I won’t accept that there’s something I need to do for people to accept me. They’ll take me, or–”
And it gets murky here, because I repeated the end of this statement two different ways.
“–or fuck you.”
“–or they should own that and that’s fine, I’ll move on.”
The argument started then to metamorphose from my bathroom, to my “sad tweets” and my constant sharing of my emotional state (“a result of drunkenness”, “a way of externalizing my emotions” “journal-like”) no the nature and uses of social media, back to who I was and the roots of my behavior.
“Fellas,” I told them sometime round 2:30am. “I have to go to sleep. I have real therapy tomorrow.”
Eventually, I got them down in bed, though not before Bobby quizzed me and John to find some relic of his own childhood, a Power-Rangers like show that had the world “ultra” in it, was set in a computer and “was just one guy” (after 20 minutes of searching it turned out to be this) though before we found it, we kept telling Bobby he was insane.
I remembered the rare dream before waking, or at least the end of it.
I was sitting in an elementary school hallway, in a chair, with some white light at the end of it. I was beckoned into a classroom where a teacher, who looked like one of my improv teachers who I didn’t have but knew, was quizzing elementary school children on flash-card-like facts. The only line I remember from these calls and responses was the last one.
“A metaphor.” The teacher said.
And one of the students called out:
“None other than Ra’s Al Ghul.”
And I woke up 3 minutes before my alarm clock.
When I went into therapy that day, I still didn’t have an answer.
It occurs to me now, I should just blame Andrew Parrish and be done with it.
I’ve had a few auditions in the past few weeks, though I can’t or don’t sweat them as much anymore.
They come so infrequently now that I just to accept them and let it go.
I tried to be a “fairy” in a grilling commercial, a Jack Black via John Travolta in Pulp Fiction in a Swedish Milkshake commercial and a Seth Rogen-like sociopath (ala Observe and Report) in a low-budget horror movie.
The last one was my first ever taped audition and I arrived to my manager’s office with the copy in my newly-minted solar-powered backpack and the above lunch in the other hand.
I went looking for the Bistro Truck, which was usually in the area, but was gone that day and found instead what seemed shady but ended up being interesting: a truck called “Marrakech Chefs”.
They too offered a Dijon Chicken dish with couscous and salad and I ordered it warily, but was pleasantly surprised, when I sat down to eat my lunch in my manager’s tiny office.
Where as the Bistro Truck offers a refined and more delicate version of this dish, itself a more refined version of “street meat”, Marrakech Chefs seems to offer something that veers towards more authenticity/simplicity.
Their chicken is interspersed with cooked mushrooms, with a creamy rich dijon/creme fraiche sauce on top and what tasted like an earthier couscous than I was used to on bottom. The salad, far from being the usual (and preferred) arugala with light dressing, was an unexpected mi of crispy cucumber and unexpectedly welcome beets, whose cool and sweet clarity of taste contrasted with the creamy chicken on the other side of the metal plate.
As I sat in my manager’s office, the staff around me cooed and looked down at my food.
Which is to say they glanced at it a bit and one of them asked a question, before someone else asked if I “still hang out with Bethenny”.
I finished my food and did a convincing job I think as an overweight college security-guard/sociopath.
Dijon Chicken Platter w/Coucous and Side Cucumber/Beet Salad- $6.50
Unpredictable location (Try here)