times were fabulous. times were tough.
times were fabulous. times were tough.
Not to shatter the illusion or anything, but I actually have a pretty simple life about half the time. I get pretty turned on by domesticity, not because I feel somehow destined for it as a woman (what?) but because, just like sex and partying and being a thug, it’s something I genuinely enjoy. This is heightened around the holidays. When I moved out of my parents’ house five years ago I realized I had taken for granted the elaborate ceremony my mother constructs for every single national celebration–from the Christmas to the Fourth of July to Kid’s Day, a holiday she made up for us when she was a single mom. Once I realized how hard it is just to take care of myself, I developed the utmost respect for anyone of any gender who can juggle a career and a social life and doesn’t sleep in a pile of garbage every night.
While much of this year has been about exploring what New York has to offer in terms of moneymaking and entertainment, a large part of it has also been about self discovery and improvement. In a city where you are inundated with (often unwanted) stimuli as soon as you leave your apartment, it’s important to have a comfortable apartment to come home to. And when you’re surrounded by strangers all day every day, it’s important to be comfortable with yourself when you’re finally alone.
I know…Y SO SRS?!!
What I’m trying to say is, last week I spent most of my free time dustbusting. taking pictures of cats (87 in one week–I counted), looking up Thanksgiving recipes, listening to Norah Literal Jones and writing meditations in my journal to keep the vibes posi and strong.
Here are some of the highlights.
By the time Danksgiving Eve had rolled around my positive energy was so high that I was convinced to go to The Woods for the first time in months and actually had a lot of fun! Later someone told me it was lesbian night and it all made sense. I’m not going to recount the details…just play this video I accidentally made on the cab ride home.
I’m not sure if I was still drunk the next morning or what, but I was in SUCH a good mood I bought a bouquet of flowers to bring to dinner, talked to my mom on the phone for an hour about how much I love her, and spent the rest of the day folding all my love into a serious home-cooked meal at Winston and Hannahs for our guests, Beth, Megan, Linnea and Syma (all while popping 800 mg ibuprofens to stave off my hangover).
(Winston made a REAL turkey! It was a big moment for him. From what I hear it was really good…I made a vegan roast that potentially no one enjoyed but me *DIVA SHRUG*)
(The most important ingredient in ev er y thing)
(Kiss da cook! Also idk what it is about aprons but they always slide between my boobs all wonky like this)
(The finished product! See that giant empty bowl on the corner? That’s what I ate out of. And yes, I finished it all.)
Yeah yeah, so I’d made a huuuge deal about how much partying and drinking I was going to do on Danksgiving. But really I had three beers, ate my dinner and passed out in my brother’s bed. Still though, I felt really accomplished. It’s amazing how rewarding it can be to successfully complete one adult thing from time to time.
Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back until Christmas. Or until my next fuck-up. Whichever comes first.
Now usually I don’t do this but uh…(smoke inside, that is. but everyone else does it here and it’s THE WEEKEND and I’m by myself on my computer so…party. Also I spent the whole day doing yoga and looking at recipes on Pinterest I AM A DUAL PERSONALITY)
It’s been so long since I’ve been up front about my antics with you guys. As in, so long that I am about to tell you stories from October while currently planning my XXXmas party. Maybe I was sleeping on them because, well, October wasn’t the cutest of months and I am only now recovering. But I think…I think I’m ready.
It was the week of October Something, and Moe and Bradford, being the ONLY MEMBERS OF TEAM BIG THINGS THAT CARE ENOUGH, came up to visit me on their fall break. We kicked off the celebration by going to Wreck Room, a divey, Carrboro-esque bar with car seats as booths and graffiti scribbles everywhere and regular live noise-pop.
Reuniting feelz so good, y’all. Pretty sure this was a “pinkies out for Bernie Mac” moment.
Of course I started the night a little overconfident and splashed a 4 dollar beer in my eye right of the bat.
No night is complete without some casual adult breast feeding and a little street-anal.
The next day is when things started to get a little strange. By this point in the month I had somewhat successfully balanced my new job at the salon with drinking 40s at Winston’s and hosting visitors from home. I’d had the job for about two weeks, and although the ins and outs were still a little confusing I was getting the hang of it. I had almost forgotten that a few weeks before, in a frenzy to find fast cash, I answered a craigslist ad to be a bodypainted server/model at giant a masquerade Halloween warehouse party. I had sent them my picture because I thought it would be somewhat funny, and they were offering $1000 for one night of “work” which, let’s be honest, I’ve kind of done for free on multiple occasions. I’d be kidding myself to think I was above it, right?
By now they’d gotten back to me, “they” being this dude’s assistant (the guy owns a hotel or something and has had some small hollywood roles). They asked me to come by for an interview, which I had scheduled right after my interview at the hair salon (it ended up working out great because I wore a slutty black dress for “versatility” and it may have been the only reason I got the job at the salon. My boss is a straight man). The interview consisted of me waiting around for 20 minutes and then going up to the empty penthouse of this dude’s hotel and talking to him for five minutes about the size of my breasts and my level of comfort with toplessness. I thought it so was bizarre at the time, sitting on the patio of the 11th floor with the Empire State Building looming behind me and interviewing to be a go-go dancer. But I thought, “there’s a first time for everything” and “yolo” and “$$$$” and “who cares?” The man offered me drinks and food about 50 times to my decline. He told me about the different positions, one as a cocktail waitress that gets paid $500, and one as a “party masseuse,” which is a girl that walks around the party body-painted (with panties on!) and massaging people on ecstasy. Those are the girls that get paid $1000. That’s the one I said I wanted.
“We’re going to need a few photos of you,” he said. He meant topless photos. I gave him a nervous look at first and then shrugged. “I understand if you’re not comfortable,” he said. “But don’t worry, these pictures aren’t going anywhere. I have thousands of naked pictures on my laptop.” “So do I,” I said. What’s another person with a topless photo of me at this point? He departed and went downstairs, leaving me in the room with his assistant. She told me to strip down to my underwear, which was just a thong. I took my dress off while she checked her blackberry. Then, on the back of my application she wrote the number 27 in permanent marker. 27, my same number from the Miss National Pre-teen of North Carolina pageant I did when I was 11, where I won first place in sportswear modeling but fifth overall due to my “age inappropriate” glamour shot photos (I sat in fake sand with my legs open. I was wearing makeup and knee length shorts. I was 10. It shocked the southern masses). Having been made to feel like a slut for the last 12 years of my life, damned if I’m ever going to be ashamed of my body at this point. I held my number and did a series of poses for the assistant, slipped my dress back on and skipped out.
Now it was the “callback,” and I went back to the hotel to find the other girls, none of whom looked older than 19, waiting nervously by the elevator. I immediately became Stripper Mommy and tried to engage everyone in conversation to pump them up. “I heard there’s going to be an open bar!” It sort of worked. I made friends with a girl from the Philippines who didn’t speak much English which seems to be a running trend lately. Slowly more and more girls arrived, and before I knew it at least 100 of us were standing in a line, signing waivers and being forced to give up our cell phones. Here we go.
Once we got up to the penthouse we were all supposed to take off everything but our thongs to be bodypainted. All the girls were fun and hilarious, and most of them were comfortable with the idea. We undressed on the patio and went back to the main room where there was a DJ and the open bar I had hoped for. There were only four bodypainters and about a million of us, so for the first hour everyone was just standing around semi-awkwardly, chugging champagne and looking at each other’s tits. I was making jokes left and right and befriending this baby hippie who was telling me about her latest dubstep festival. I couldn’t stop laughing and staring at everything. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen, by far. Sponsors from somewhere were walking around scouting who they wanted to represent their brands at the party. The owner of the hotel was walking around with his two tiny dogs and all white ensemble as if he does this every week, which he might. Photographers were snapping photos and one woman was making a video of the charade. A funky girl that looked like a thuggish Tila Tequila was getting a ravey blue Tarzan tanktop painted onto her perfect body by this sexy new-age black man with gauges. I never once saw the bottom of my glass.
As the girls and myself started getting drunker and drunker I started having more fun. I was surrounded by 100 friendly, super confident babes that loved their bodies. This never happens, and it was not what I had expected at all. The DJ was playing all the songs drunk girls love, from “Ur Luv is My Drug” to “Call Me Maybe.” Before I knew it all the ratchet girls had formed a giant krump circle, their asses never more than 6 inches off the ground at any given time. When “Single Ladies” came on, Baby Dubstep Hippie shocked everyone by jumping in the circle and doing the entire choreo start to finish. I have never seen a room full of women this excited in my life.
Finally I got painted, a bikini top in the shape of apples even though I never liked red on me much. We took group photos and I smoked cigarettes while looking around cautiously as the owner started taking girls aside to chat with them privately. “I’m not here to be anybody’s girlfriend,” I thought, and said, multiple times that night. I put my name on the list for the highest paying position and left. It was midnight on a Thursday and my friends were in town…hello…I’m going out.
Before I left I took a picture of my apple tits and instagrammed it. I won’t post the picture here. I like that it’s ungooglable for now and it’s a great reason for you to follow me @catdookie.
When I left the hotel I went to meet Bradford, Moe, Emma and Lamonday who were out for CMJ. I am lazy and bad at finding stuff like this to do because I don’t care enough, but when Moe’s in town I am always on the list for something. Tonight it was the Spin party, with AraabMuzik, Chromeo and MNDR, which, whatever. There was another open bar, which always earns points, and the douchey crowd made it easy for me to skip the line for the bathroom by showing them my apples. I won’t say this was a low point for me, because I’ve been really low before. It certainly wasn’t the best party either, but I was having a good time. Just your average night, I suppose.
Just to give you an idea of how thrilled I was by the atmosphere of this event. They were handing out promotional trucker hats made of paper.
Obviously I ended up having some fun that night.
The next day Hotel Dude’s assistant called me and told me I had to come for my second callback that night if I wanted the job. She told me the other girls and I would meet Dude at the hotel bar at 10 and then go to “the loft space,” which I thought meant the eventual location of the party. I said yes even though I had work the next morning at 9:30, because it sounded like this was “my only chance” and she said it would only take until 1 am. When I showed up at the hotel there was only one other girl waiting, an adorable Brooklyn native that barely grazed 5 ft. Dude was overseeing a nightclub act and had his bartender serve us unlimited beverages. I told myself I’d only have a few drinks, but we were waiting for a while and the drinks kept coming one after the other. The girl and I talked about our brothers and she showed me pictures on her blackberry of the food she’d eaten recently. I asked her how she found out about this job and what she thought the “second audition” was going to be like. She wasn’t sure, and we both started feeling a little off about the whole thing. Where were the other girls? Why were they taking us to a second location? Where even was this second location? We established our limits (no bottomless, no touching) and decided to ask Dude to his face what he had planned for us. He very candidly explained that the “audition” would consist of us going to go to his apartment, getting naked, and “massaging” him. Girl and I looked at each other. I’m no hooker, and if I was do you REALLY think I’d work for free? Heeeeeell nah. We walked.
I felt a little sordid for what was really the first time in this whole process. Partly because I was out 1000 bucks and the whole world had already pretty much seen me naked. But mostly because I was bummed that what I had approached as a fun, sexually freeing experience rejecting the stigma of nudity had ultimately turned into the run-of-the-mill exploitation anyone else would have assumed. I got free drinks out of it and had a lot of fun, so I don’t feel like I lost much. Hey, I’ll try almost anything once, but I drawing the line at prostitution. And, like, crystal meth.
“Come with me,” the girl said as she grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the hotel lounge. “I know some people.” Before I knew it, it was the hour I’d planned to go home and I was walking clear across town with a girl I’d just met to a club I’d just heard of for the first time. Maybe you know of Club Amnesia. It’s like the Pacha of hip hop, I guess, although I’ve obviously never been to Pacha. We get to the door at the front of a line that wraps around the block. My tiny friend gives the doorman a kiss on the cheek and we cross the velvet rope. Girl is actually Latina, but I could feel the piercing group side-eye at what must have looked like two little white girls cutting in line. “Miguel is supposed to be here tonight,” she says to me while the security guards search through our bags. I’m already wasted at this point, wide eyed and freaked out as a man twice my size metal detects between my legs.
My new best friend told me we were only drinking Hennessey and cranberry that night, and I was happy to oblige as I was not yet used to getting paid every week and temporarily thought I was rich. Because I’m a complete idiot I offered to buy the drinks. She gave me some money for tip, but I ended up spending $80 on four drinks. I was having fun for a few minutes, maybe even hours, and then everything went sour. I realized I had work in 6 hours at my brand new job and I was wasted and getting dry-raped in this intense-ass club. I think I tried to make out with Girl which was a no-go. Miguel very well could have been performing and I would not have realized. I was gone. I waved goodbye to my friend and darted out the front door, towards the street and into the back of a cab.
The thing is, when you catch a cab in Manhattan and tell them you live in Bushwick you ALWAYS need to be giving specific directions to the driver. CASE IN POINT my ass was so drunk that night I told homie to take the Williamsburg bridge, rattled off some cross streets and pretty much lost consciousness until I was in a part of Brooklyn I had never ever seen before and the driver was yelling at me to get out. Next thing I knew I was crying on a street corner at 4 am, drunk and exhausted, hooded strangers walking right by me without a glance. When I first moved to New York I thought it was only a “certain class of people” that you’d find rambling to themselves in a ball on the sidewalk. I quickly realized everyone that lives here takes turns playing the part of the destitute and clinically insane. That night it was me, and not for the first or last time.
The night ended with a kind stranger driving by and offering me a ride, the sort of thing any intelligent or non-desperate person would have turned down. But at this point I would have accepted anything, and having gained a little more control over my senses I was able to direct him to my apartment using the map on my phone. I was no less than a 15 minute drive away. He dropped me off and I thanked him sincerely without ever getting his name.
That night I slept for 3 hours before getting up for work, where I was to spill an entire large coffee all over myself and get called out by a coworker for smelling like alcohol. Luckily at the salon we just spritz each other with perfume and go about our day like nothing is wrong even when it really, really is.
The next week was Halloween Friday, the first in what was to be several consecutive celebrations of the same holiday. After work, Hannah and I went to Ricky’s to snag some children’s costumes and fake blood for our half-baked zombie hospital theme: “We’ll be the surgeons and Winston can be our escaped patient! We obviously need cleavers.” If you have “the body” for it, I highly HIGHLY suggest buying children’s costumes for your next Halloween extravaganza. They are usually pretty expandable, if the arms and legs are a little short, and you save like 50 bucks. I dressed my brother in our Great Grandmother’s old nightgown which I may or may not have ruined with fake blood that may or may not be machine washable. All in all I think we came out great.
That night we met up with two aliens, a dead fox and Tony and went to one of the infamous Bushwick mansion parties. I don’t remember much besides Tony spending 20 minutes pouring Joose into my face and getting chased for trying to steal the lightup statue.
And then Sandy happened. I don’t pay attention to the weather ever, but my parents started frantically texting me something the media dramatically named a “FRANKENSTORM.” I rolled my eyes at the phone all like, “Remember the Derecho last July? When everyone freaked out and the only thing that happened was a few cool instagrams of clouds? We’re gonna be fine.” Just in case, I bought some rad candles and an ample supply of Cap’n Crunch.
Natural disasters are about sharing! Sharing cereal with your cat, or a bottle of Jim Beam with that guy you always wanted to sleep with, or you know, electricity and hot water with your friends from Lower Manhattan.
So I was kind of wrong, but not quite. Much of New York, as you know, was super fucked by Sandy. But my neighborhood, being as far inland in Brooklyn as physically poss, was largely unaffected. The worst that happened to Bushwick was that the trains were shut down for like a week, and all the white kids with internships and retail jobs in Manhattan had to celebrate Halloween together five fucking days in a row.
That Tuesday I went to Tandem, probably my favorite bar in Bushwick as it is mostly queer and generally pretty dancey and fun. I wore a pair of fairy wings and did that thing I always do where I get drunk and come out as a full-on lesbian. The jury will always be out on my sexuality, though, as it fucking should be. Unsurprisingly, I saw a Sarah Cousler imposter. If you look hard enough you can find them in every cool city in the country, maybe even the world. They try their best, but they will never be quite as good.
By the time actual Halloween rolled around, I was almost completely over it.
Almost. I sent this picture to all my best friends as a kind of holiday ecard.
Instead of going out again, I smoked two joints with Hannah and Winston and made them watch This Is It with me while I cried.
Tell me you can watch this with dry eyes.
When October FINALLY ended, election day was upon us. A few days earlier I had mailed my absentee ballot into North Carolina like a GOOD CITIZEN. The state went red but I still felt actualized enough by the outcome of the election, and the fact that I got to take this instagram
On the night of the election I watched the returns at Winston’s with two forties of Ballantine and a box of off brand mac and cheese. As soon as Ohio went blue I was sucked into a vortex of mania that led me to watching the Crazytown “Butterfly” video 3 times, convincing everyone to huff dishwasher detergent and I think eating a little bit of old spice.
I helped pick your president!!!
Since then I’ve been living the broke life as usual and trying to get used to New York’s schizophrenic weather patterns. HURRICANE! SNOW! 65 AND SUNNY! I’ve been buying lots of clothes and household items I can’t afford. I’ve been staying out a lot and working a lot, all while planning my upcoming celebrations of DANKSGIVING and XXXMAS. Every week is another fucking holiday. With my personality and New York’s relentlessness, I’ll be lucky if I ever get the chance to have a normal life.
…why do I even have a Pinterest?
When you move to New York in the summer, it feels like a vacation for the first few months. The vibes are fancy and free. Your delusions are at their most vital. Your perspective shifts with the onset of autumn when the sun starts setting at five and you haven’t made new friends yet and you spend a lot of your free time fetal and trying to ignore the draft from your window. Your patience for the city starts to wane. You resent the elderly for walking too slowly and every child that ever makes a sound. Things haven’t picked up for you as quickly as you thought. You’re still struggling to make ends meet and you’re pretty sure you will be for a long time.
Everyone tells me this same story. Maybe this is just how it goes. Maybe I need to drink more.
The greatest salvation comes when friends and ~loved ones~ visit from home. It is especially calming if they’ve never visited before and you get to see the look on their faces as they see everything for the first time. They think it’s so cool just to live here, and it kind of is, but you keep forgetting. Maybe you’ll remember this strange loneliness as the most romantic time of your life. It’s just depends on how you look at it, and if you can learn to stop being a little bitch.
Last month Sarah Sassafrass came to New York for the first time, along with Derrick, Katy and Justin. These are her photos.
So what the fuck is my problem?