I think I speak for everyone when I say it's time to bring a little levity back to this space, for the sake of springtime and all things scared.
I know I've been a bit of a drag lately, wailing on about the women who've hurt me and turned me into this (some might say vaguely masochistic) monster that I am.
But that's what the winter does you to in New York: It locks you indoors with little more than your fuck buddies and Corona-coated mind for company. Months of glassy-eyed introspection can result from it.
Allowing yourself to recall such moments of despair also sparks some lighter, long-suppressed memories to surface. By "lighter memories," I mean the ones you tell yourself to forget in the moment but end up looking back on oddly fondly.
For me, these are my one-night stands.
I've always been the kind of person who reminisces with a certain "aw, shucks" affinity at his one-night stands, especially the most bizarre ones.
They've enthralled me, horrified me, flipped me every which way and have made for broken nights, weekends, vacations, semesters and years.
Some were ill-advised. Some spawned unintended consequences. But they've never been mistakes.
So many people subscribe to remaining mortified by their brief brushings with promiscuity. So many convince themselves to amortize the memories as rapidly as they can.
I've never understood this impulse. Like all experiences, they'll always remain a part of what makes me me, and I'd prefer not to run from them.
I never regretted them and never felt ashamed of them (except this one time deep in Miami Beach with the world closing in, but that's another story).
We all have our escapes, and one-night stands are mine. There is true beauty in two people locked in a salacious short-term agreement, transacting nothing from the other but a shared need for some modern adventure — life addicts consenting to a sexual sprint down a highway with no signs and the speed limit suspended for the night.
True beauty, yes, even if sometimes you have to squint to see it.
We've all got stories, and these are some of my most ridiculous. Buckle up. Let's take a stroll down memory lane.
To the girl with a photo of Drake printed on her pillow,
You were not the best I ever had.
To the exchange student who insisted we try on the beach because she'd already stuffed her hostel room four people past the legal limit,
Why didn't we think of bringing a towel?
To the girl who called me "the worst person she'd ever met" right before pulling off my pants,
Relax. I'm someone's son.
To the girl who stole my watch, hot sauce, Fruity Pebbles and a carton of eggs,
If I'm ever back in NoCal, you better keep an eye on your protein bars.
To the stranger who told me mid-way to choke her and squeeze her like toothpaste until she popped,
To the girl whose bed I vomited a small sea of Jose Cuervo onto early one New Year's Day,
That was the quickest resolution I'd ever failed at.
To the stripper in Quebec who was convinced I was Ben Affleck's cousin,
I'm sorry I did that. It was wrong. That said, you have an amazing apartment... and an iPhone... with Google. Thanks again for breakfast.
To the Mardi Gras parader who kidnapped me on Bourbon Street, stuffed me and three of her sorority sisters in the trunk of her CR-V and dumped me on one of the most dangerous streets in America at dusk,
Thanks for the ride.
To the girl who blew my friend and I simultaneously in the back of a cab speeding down Third Avenue,
I really appreciate you covering the tip.
To the girl who helped pop the air mattress I'd be living on in the jungle late one Cinco de Mayo morning,
Maybe it was the rum, but I felt very connected to you. I don't think it was only the rum. It was probably a cocktail of circumstances. You had a freshness to you, a vitality endemic to the tropics. And you didn't mind sharing it.
Someone once told me they'd fallen in love with every woman they'd ever met, whether it was for 10 minutes or 10 years. You made me understand what he meant. We were beautiful, and that was perfect for that moment in time.
We agreed to try to ride it out, prolong it as much as we could. We resolved to beat the night. I often wonder if we succeeded.
To the girl who ambushed me on a pinball machine a week ago in Brooklyn,
I meant to text you, but you left a digit off the number, so I literally couldn't. Maybe it was on purpose — I don't know. When you're that many IPAs deep, it's tough to tell.
It's a shame because I had an amazing time. You deserve someone who can play up to your level.
To my best friend's girl,
We probably should have never stopped in Memphis, but I'm glad we did. It kills me every day that we did, but it would have killed me more, never seeing you like that, never truly knowing you.
Don't worry. The secret is going to the grave with me because I love you. You are both the reason for and the one thing that could save me from all the others.