I am sipping a beer at some bar/performance space/hip scene. The guys here are dancing as if they are trying to feel the music and not move to the beat. Some of the girls here are making out with one another in a, "I'm straight, but look at me! Look at me!" kind of way. There's a very anti-popular, apathetic vibe going on. I feel like I'm in a reality show entitled, "People who don't care about not caring, and don't care what people think about them not caring about not caring, but who really truly really care a lot." I try not to speak to anyone. I'm afraid I'll reveal how much I loved Sex and the City, which would be a fatal move amongst a non-Cosmo drinking crowd. I feel like I'm not wearing enough eye-liner.
Why am I here? Oh, that's right. I was supposed to be seeing a movie and then at the last minute there was a, "wanna go see my friend's friends's band?" change of plans. Everyone around me is shouting at one another.
"AREN'T THEY AWESOME?"
"YEAH, THEY'RE SO AWESOME!"
"HIS VOICE IS AWESOME!"
Maybe awesome is synonym for flat.
"Mindy, I gotta piss and then we'll leave."
I don't know how much longer I can date a guy who says things like, "gotta piss" and has friends of friends who sing in bad bands. I am standing by myself. Two minutes go by, feels like fifteen. I scan my surroundings trying to look engaged and not like a girl standing alone at a bar. There's a guy taking pictures of his friends with a digital camera. Some girls start posing for him; some are lifting up their shirts a little. I think I've just witnessed the beginning of "Punk Rock Poser Chicks Gone Wild." I am approached by a guy who obviously believes that deodorant is just for the masses. He shouts in my ear while simultaneously knocking his head against the air to the music.
"You look like you're one of those bitchy girls."
I have no idea what he means. Am I scowling? Do I look mean?
"Are you Jewish?"
I don't know whether to do be offended or not. Was his bitchy girl comment directly correlated to his question about my religious affiliation? I respond with,
"This band sucks!"
He doesn't hear me and proceeds to ask me what I do for a living. I really don't feel like having the whole, "'tell me joke, what else do you do, what's your backup?' conversation, so I answer him with,
"I'm an actress on All My Children."
"That's sick! Who are you?"
I get nervous; I've never seen the show. Yet, I'm guessing he hasn't either.
"I play Cassandra. It's a reoccurring role."
Cassandra is my go to name for everything. When people ask me someone's name and I don't remember, I just tell them Cassandra. When men who I would fear sitting next to on the subway ask me my name at a bar, I tell them Cassandra. There are a handful of men throughout this city that think my name is Cassandra to this very day. I've been Cassandra the law student, Cassandra the waitress/poet, Cassandra the visiting tourist from Australia, Cassandra the vegan palates instructor, and Cassandra the bisexual, environmentally conscious rabbinical student.
"You're a soap actress? Right on!"
I suddenly feel guilty, but then take another look around. Nobody here has any clue who they really are anyway. So, for the next five minutes, I will be an actress with a reoccurring role on All My Children.
"Hey Alex man, this chicks on All My Children!"
Alex turns around. His eyes find me through wisps of greasy hair. He stares me up and down and then informs me that,
"Soap Operas are for the unenlightened masses."
I shoot him an encouraging smile.
"You're so right. I've covered the mirrors in my apartment. I'm ashamed to look at myself, I'm not worthy of my reflection. Do you want my autograph?"
Surprisingly, he does. I'm in the middle of signing autographs when my "'date' returns from the bathroom. We leave shortly after, and I tell him all about Cassandra as we wait for the subway.
"Why do you do that? That's so fucked up."
"Why do you take me to bars where girls wear raccoon makeup and flash each other?"
Then we make-out among the rats and a skinny white man playing "No Woman No Cry" on the accordion.
No, bad Mindy! Bad! I am supposed to be ending things with him tonight, not making out with him underground. I've been trying to end things for weeks now, but we can't seem to have a conversation that lasts long enough. Maybe I'll just keep this up a little longer. Yet, what if he really likes me? I remember how awful I felt looking some guy in the eye who regurgitated some rehearsed speech about being busy and knowing right then and there that he didn't care at all. What if this guy is some male anomaly; some fragile, open book of emotion yearning to be read? I can't feed him that speech. What if my indifference scars him for the rest of his sensitive life? I can't be responsible for that kind of pain.
Why is he such a good kisser?! Maybe I shouldn't end things just yet. Men are in physical relationships with women they don't connect with all the time. So, should I feel guilty about having a casual, completely physical fling with a non-conformist, environmentalist, who happens to have arms that make me want to take off all my clothes and save the planet? Yes, but I'll feel guilty next week. I've had a hard day on the set of All My Children. I deserve this.
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