Pageant: Where the Kissings Never Stops



109 E 9th St, NY, NY 10003

Neighborhood: East Village

My friend Jake is no head turner. He’s too skinny and short for most girls, including me, nonetheless he pulls chicks all the time. He’s a continuously evolving enigma. Whenever I see him he has a new girl. His luck began changing immediately after high school once he got into promoting clubs. He never stepped foot in a club prior to his promoting career, yet he really conducted himself with such ease and confidence he appeared as the club owner wherever he went. Girls started noticing him more once he ran around the club asking every girl if she wanted another one of the same, as if he ran the whole op.

Jake is not a great friend of mine, his attention spans tops at 4.5 minutes and we never really have anything to say to each other. Yet according to the standards of New York City life, we would be considered “close” considering the frequency in which we bump into each other.

Last night I ran into him at a crowded dimly-lit bar on east 9th street. He saw me before I saw him and grabbed me by my waist. “Hey!” He said, directly into my ear. I’m always slightly disappointed to look up and see Jake, not my dream Mr. Right. It was good to see him, I was approaching the point where I wanted to leave, the decor was hurting my eyes, I could hardly see two feet in front of me, and my friends were restless as well. “How are you!” He smiled at me, the same way any guy would who wants to make a girl feel extra special. I turned to my friends and motioned to them. “You guys remember Jake, right?” They nodded, unimpressed. They’ve never particularly found Jake interesting; then againthey are not from The City and don’t realize how important it is to never burn your bridges, you never know when you’ll need to use someone, and always always always be friendly. Nonetheless he gave them both kisses on the cheeck as I stood back and watched the scene. He didn’t know either one of my friends from holes in the walls. He couldn’t place either their name of their face when I pointed to them, nonetheless he reached over and gave them both kisses. Being not from The City my friends were obviously taken aback by this. “So,” the conversation went dull as it always does with Jake. “Where did you come from?” Ah, the typical fall-back conversation for any New York City scenester in no-conversation-hot-water.

I started looking around and above Jake’s head, desperately searching for other people to talk to as it was painfully obvious this one was over before it even began. “We came from,” I pretended to forget the name of the new popular hot spot we just emerged from, hoping to set myself apart from the rest of the herd that I flocked in here with, “we came from Bar None.” He shook his head in approval, this way okay’ed by him. You have to be careful with this question. Though it may be tempting to truthfully respond to such a question with a name of a lesser-known bar you just came from, if you give them name of an unknown, you become one yourself. The rules are this simple. He looked at my drink. “Can I get you another one?” I had about two sips of my Cranberry-bog and wasn’t even thinking about my next sip from this watered-down crap, nonetheless my next drink. I shook my head, and then smiled to my friends. I believe that because they are not from The City they have a harder time accepting and following the rules. They have a difficult time determining the right time to jump in and life boat me, they don’t know how to save their own selves from dreaded conversations, they just kind of stand there and wait for people to approach them. This is rule #2 which is a definite no-no; never look like you want to be talked to.

I soon fell into the prey. “So, where are you going now?” I hated asking him because I couldn’t care less, but we were really stumbling here and I needed something to say fast. Anyways, we were both too polite to walk away from each other. He motioned with his finger to some place I had no energy to follow. “Float.”

“Promoting there?”

He nodded. “You should come.”

Infamous words. I did go to Float once, an enormous dance stage with flashing lights, beautiful waifs, lines out the door, $8 drinks and $20 just to get in. I dragged my friends there once promising them a “night they won’t soon forget.” We left around 12:30, threw in a movie and heated up last night’s lasagna when we finally got home.

“Do you guys want to do Float?”

Ugh. They broke rule #3. They weren’t engaged in conversation. The follow-up to rule #2 is that you must always appear to be fully engaged in conversation though you have absolutely nothing to say. If you appear talkative, you appear less interested in talking to anyone else, thus more appealing to be approached by the opposite sex.

They both looked at each other and shrugged. Of course they didn’t want to go there, I didn’t want to go there. It would be the same shit at Float, just the three of us standing together next to the bar bashing every waif that came our way with an arm-charm wrapped around her.

“Sure, whatever.” I shook my head. I took that as a no, and gave Jake the news. He seemed really interested. “We’re not going to Float.”

“To where?” He was looking above my head, motioning to some guy at the bar behind me. “Where?”

“Forget it,”

He gave me a kiss, excused himself to my friends, and approached his friends hovering around the bar.. At least he followed the appropriate rules for saying goodbye.

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