Saturday, April 09, 2005

Chicken Man on the Planet of the She-talkers

The exes are coming out of the woodwork lately.

I'm friends with nearly all my exes, as is David. In fact, a couple of years ago we simultaneously went on vacations with our exes (he to Edinburgh with his previous partner, me to Las Vegas with Mr. Ex and his family, whom I love.) We're oh-so-modern.

So I just heard from another ex ... well, he just barely fits this label, since we moved very quickly from dating to "let's be friends." He's a great guy who, when I met him, had just quit his sales job to pursue his dream of working in television. He finally broke into the business, working on one of those shows where they grab you off the street and forcibly give you a makeover. He's moved on to something on a different cable network which is more documentary oriented. His quote: "It's not reality TV, so it's actually more real."

We'll call him Reality Man, even though he wasn't working in TV when I met him. His name for me: Chicken Man. This is penance for relating the Skeksis/pudding story.

We were hanging out at my apartment and decided to order grilled chicken from a place around the corner ... really great Greek grilled chicken that comes with pita bread and a couple of sides. I picked up the phone to order and clicked into my "phone voice." The minute I hung up, he was teasing me about my voice suddenly dropping an octave when I got on the phone.

Now, I have a naturally fairly deep voice, plus all that drama school trains your voice further ... plus I have had a lot of phone-intensive jobs. It's not quite an FM DJ voice, but close. So, I can't help it.

He was mocking me mercilessly... "Uhhh, yeahhh, I need some chicken, and uhhhh, yeAAAhhh, extra sauce uhhhhhh." And thus I became Chicken Man.

Of course, I had always mocked him for being a she-talker.

When we were first dating, I expressed my doubts to my friend Julie. "I don't know ... he's from the other division of the tribe. From the Planet of the She-Talkers."

You know, the guys who call everyone "she." He was telling me about someone where he worked, "Oh she is such a pain in my ass" and it took me half an hour to figure out that this She was some guy named Brad (or something like that. Brad, Bruce, whatever.)

I'm a guy. I prefer "he." I made that known.

A week later, Reality Man said, "I told everybody at work what you said ... that you don't like being called 'she.'"

"And what did they say?"

"'She needs to get over herself!'"

After our brief relationship was over, every so often I would get together with Reality Man and hear about his latest romantic adventures. On one random Tuesday, he waxed rhapsodic about the Broadway choreographer he'd met. They were soulmates; they had bonded instantly and were never apart. Reality Man was already making plans to sublet his place in Chelsea and move into Choreographer's Central Park West apartment.

This sounded great; I'm always happy when my friends are happy.

"Oh my god, . So when did you guys meet?"


As in, last Friday. Well, he was always enthusiastic, which is a good thing.

It ultimately didn't work out, as Choreographer was apparently coked out of his mind on a regular basis. But Reality Man has moved on; he's never without a boyfriend for long.

His enthusiasm and my reticence were at odds when we were dating. I had some basic rules in place: for me, it takes three dates to figure out whether someone is worth getting to know further; it takes three months to really begin to get to know someone (that's about as long as a person can successfully fake being something he is not, and all the real stuff begins to come out); and at some point you have to spend 24 hours together to see if you drive each other insane.

He jumped to saying "love" pretty quickly. I can't.

"Well ... I can't say 'Love' right now."

"Oh, come on. You can too."

"No ... but I can give you an L."

That's as far as I was able to go; three months was a long way off. Reality Man would tease me, asking for an "O" ... but I was firmly stuck at "L."

Just a couple of weeks after we began dating, I went off to do a show somewhere. Reality Man gave me a little bag of presents - just small things from Chinatown street vendors - one for every day I would be gone. The last one?

A little wooden O.

Well, we never really made it to "O", much less "V", but we have stayed friends. He is energetic and passionate about what he wants to do in life, and also hilariously funny. I am so thrilled for him that he's been actually pursuing his dream. So many people would not have had the guts to make it happen, and he has.

She's got it going on.


Blogger Sherry said...

Why have you not written a book about all this yet? I'd so buy it.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Hanuman1960 said...

Me too! You Go!!! :P

3:44 AM  

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