I received a call from an ex-lover who was now seeing someone I was friends with from the past.
“Freddy, how are you doing?” Hearing her voice conjured memories of sex in the stairwells where we both worked, bathroom sex in restaurants, and rooftop sex in the middle of a rain storm. What the voice did not bring back to mind was the lunacy and evil, wicked scenes we played out in her apartment or on a bench in Central Park when she scratched my face.
“Hey, how are you, Pauline?” I was instantly excited.
“Doing great. I am seeing Joel, as you know. He is such a sweetheart!”
He was actually a backstabbing asshole, but that’s not important, yet.
“That is great. He is a great guy.” Yeah, right.
“So, the reason I am calling…I have a very good friend of mine who I think would be perfect for you.”
Suddenly, scenes from Central Park and blood running down my face rush through my mind.
“She is very pretty, smart, and very interested in you.”
“How does she know me? Do I know her?”
“I told her all about you, silly. Plus she saw your picture on Myspace or something and she thinks you’re cute.”
“What’s her name?”
“OK, it cant hurt, right? One date. Give me her number. I’ll give her a call.”
So she gave me her phone number. I ended up leaving a voicemail for her to call me back on my cell phone.
I had plans to go to a Met’s game that night to see Pedro Martinez pitch. I was supposed to go with a friend, but he backed out last minute, so I ended up going alone.
In the sixth inning, my cell phone rang just as Chad Tracy got a base hit off of Pedro. It was Lilith.
“Hi Freddy, I got your message.”
“Where are you? It’s so loud.”
“I am at a baseball game—the Met’s.”
“Uch, I hate baseball, it’s so boring. Although I love Derek Jeter.”
When someone says they hate baseball, it irks me. Saying they love Derek Jeter is like pouring salt on the wound.
“So, how about we get together on Sunday?” I said, changing the topic.
“I can’t on Sunday. How about Tuesday?”
“Tuesday works.” She gave me her address, and we agreed that I would pick her up at seven PM.
Tuesday, June 6th came around, and I got to her building at 6:59. at 60 minutes past six o’clock on June 6th, 2006, I went in to buzz her bell—her apartment, of course, being 6 F (F being the sixth letter of the alphabet).
She came down and she was wearing a red jacket with black slacks. Her hair was reddish blond and I was shocked. She was hot. Smoking hot.
I opened the door for her. She smiled and said, “Hello, thank you.”
She had a soft, Russian accent and a smoky voice.
“I picked this restaurant to go eat; Il Forno in Little Italy. Does that sound good to you?”
I tried making small talk to try and get to know her, to make her laugh, or to just sell myself to her. I was turned on by her scent and her looks. Her voice had a raspy quality to it, as if she had been screaming or smoking too much.
“So, do you work?” I asked.
“Of course I work, what do you think, I just sit at home and wait for men to call me?”
“No, of course not. I was just asking to…”
“I am kidding,” She laughed. “I design women’s clothing for church groups across the country.”
“No it’s not.” She responded as if she was defending something. “It’s tedious and boring. I barely make any profit on it. It sucks.”
“So, don’t do it.”
“How will I pay the bills? Oh, I’ll wait for Prince Charming to come and rescue me? Is that how you envision all women to be like? Sleeping fucking beauty?”
“Relax, I am not saying that. I was simply saying to choose your customers as you wish.”
“I am sorry—I get heated up sometimes.”
“I can see.” That was scary. I thought to myself, maybe I should change our plans to a closer location to eat, like 7-11 on Coney Island Avenue.
“Listen, I just got out of a relationship with this dude who basically was the devil wearing an expensive suit and driving a Porsche. He romanced, wined and dined me, and took advantage of me because of my beauty. He brought me to parties, award shows, and banquets. He used me as the magnet to bring the gold and silver his way.”
“Gold and silver aren’t attracted to magnets, I dont think.”
“So you are calling me a liar? Do you know Lucifer?”
“His name is Lucifer?”
“I said, ‘Luther.'”
“No, I don’t believe I do.” 7-11 seems very inviting right now —but then again, so does Bellevue Hospital.
“Well, it’s over now. I threw him out the window.”
“Out the window?”
“The proverbial window. You know, a metaphoric way of getting rid of someone.”
“I am getting kind of tired. Do you want to stay in Brooklyn, head on to Park Slope? I know a great sushi place there.”
“OK, I like raw food.”
“Like human flesh?” I didn’t say that.
We drove in a couple of minutes of silence and ended up at the Sushi place on 6th Avenue. As we ate, we both had some Sake, and I admit to getting a bit tipsy. As I paid the check, I remarked that I didn’t think I could drive at that moment.
“I think the sake got to me,” I said.
“You dont expect me to drive, do you? What am I your chauffeur?”
“No I wouldn’t want you to drive. There is, however a broom over there. You think we can jump on it and you can take me home?” I didn’t say that either.
“No, no, of course not. Come, let’s walk to the Starbucks and a cup of coffee should do the trick.”
“I don’t want coffee!” She screamed.
I jumped. I got scared sober.
“I am fine to drive, let’s go.”
“Are you trying to kill me?”
“You are killing me, lady.”
“Oh am I? Maybe I should throw you out the window, as well.”
“Sounds like a good idea, but the way this date is going, I may jump out the ‘proverbial window’ or whatever you called it.”
She was quiet and I noticed she was silently crying.
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean that. I had too much to drink and—”
“Don’t.” She pushed me lightly. “Don’t.”
“I am sorry. Let’s start again, OK?”
“Start again? You want me to hit alt, ctl, and delete and restart?”
“Well, no, but, let’s give this, I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”
“It’s done already. You can’t unring a bell.”
“OK, want to go to 7-11?”
“What?” I swear what happened next was freaky.
“Kidding. Listen, you are an intelligent person. Very pretty and stylish.” Her head turned up towards me. She looked me in the eyes and smiled.
“You think I am pretty?”
“I don’t think, it’s a fact. You are structurally beautiful.”
“Is that all I am? Pretty, attractive, structurally beautiful?”
“Kind of crazy too, to be honest.”
This is when it happened.
She looked at me, her eyes focusing on me in anger, and suddenly her eyes turned red. I was stunned and could not react. I stood there as she turned and walked away from me, a red glow surrounding her as she the distance grew. I stood there for what seemed like an hour, frozen by what I had just witnessed.
Maybe it was the sake, maybe it was the stress, or maybe she was the fucking devil in disguise. All I know is when I called Joel to let him know what had happened, he told me that Paulina had broken up with him and had disappeared; phone was disconnected and she was nowhere to be found.
It all began on June 6th, 2006, at 60 minutes past six o’clock with the temperature in the 60s (you can look it up). #MyWorstDate