Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This morning I woke up in a sunny yet now rainy Amsterdam with a smile on my face, a song in my heart and love for all mankind, only to discover that not even I am immune to terrorism. Yes, I have a sordid story involving a selfless victim who thinks only of others (that would be me), a plotting ex girlfriend from the days before I stumbled gracefully out of the closet (that would be Julie - I thought of changing your name, but instead decided to let the court of public opinion pass judgement upon you) and one sweet, unassuming sister (Ava, who has made an earlier appearance here in my little corner of cyberspace)... It's a deeply personal story and I wish to share it with all of you...

Picture if you will, a smaller and much more innocent version of myself living just outside Boston, living my little life and just trying to get through high school while at the same time trying to decipher sentences like "Pahk de cah in Hahvahd Yad en wahk te Johdan Mahsh". Little did I know, but a series of events was to unfold that would haunt me over 20 years later... I, an lowly Junior got invited to the Senior Prom by none other than that black widow in training, Julie. Of course, what at the time seemed to be a simple invitation to her last dance of school was, in retrospect, just one of the many subtle actions taking place in a highly complicated stalking process. Being the selfless person that I am, I said yes and immediately set out to get myself kitted in a tux. Being 16 and not yet aware that the only acceptable colors for men's formal wear are either black for during the day or midnight blue for nighttime, which looks blacker than black does, I decided to go for the tux which would best match Julie's dress. Grey and pink. Pink and grey. a disastrous combination no matter how you say it. I had at least learned from the previous year, when I wore a powder blue tux complete with big ruffled shirt and big, dark blue bow tie - a mistake I have never since made.

The problem with being 16 and having to go formal is that there are always photo-ops, and at the prom you have to get your picture with your date, all decked out with obligatory boutonniere and corsage. As my parents were footing the bill, I spared no expense in the carnations I got for my Julie, who between the invitation and the prom had become something of a girlfriend. She would drive me home from school and we would kiss a bit in her car - she was older - and then I would go home and redecorate my room with my Marilyn Monroe and James Dean posters, making sure my Sophisticated Girls beach towel I bought on my first trip to New York got prime billing when someone walked into my room.

I was a perfect gentleman at the prom. I didn't try to have my way with her... Ok, so I was interested in Joe, but that's bside the point. 16 year olds will go for sex whenever and wherever they can. Don't really care how they get it, just bring it on and keep it coming, baby. I was not like that. I got through prom with my virginity intact - although I'm not sure if I should be proud or not... Why didn't we have sex? Why didn't I get pulled across the threshold, through the door of experience, into the livingroom of life and placed on the sofa of manhood with a remote control in my hand?

Now, 20 years later, Julie is now living in California and getting ready to move to Denver. So once again, I feel compelled to offer my assistance in any way I can. My sister Ava lives in Denver and I offered to introduce Ava and Julie so that her move would be smooth and she would integrate easily... I sent an email to each of them explaining my selfless act of facilitating a potential new friendship and that is when Julie pulls out her grenade launcher and smashes the very foundation of my life...

I open my mail this morning to find a message from Julie to Ava, offering to show her not only the prom pictures, which in my recollection were fantastic and has obviously been airbrushed, but also the day after pictures when I was wearing a toga at the beach.. well, not so much a beach as a pond. That woman has bribed my sweet little baby sister with propaganda and false witness about her loving and devoted older brother (which is clearly in violation of at least one of the 10 commandments) in exchange for bar listings and invitations to parties. Is that what my life and pride are worth? A cocktail at the Paramount?

Julie, I hope you are happy.

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