Monday, December 9, 2013

Water Works

August in New York. The city drips off itself. 
SAM (31) and JESSIE (30), both drunk, kiss outside Sam’s apartment door.

JESSIE: You were so good tonight with my friends. They loved you. I got hot watching you make them laugh.

Jessie kisses Sam then puts her hand to his forehead.

JESSIE: Oh no, you feel warm.

Jessie backs up and looks at Sam.

JESSIE: I think this little boy needs a visit from the nurse he’s been waiting for.

Sam is ecstatic. He can't open the door fast enough.

They enter Sam’s TINY studio apartment. Sam grabs Jessie’s ass but she sways his hand away.

JESSIE: Ah ah ah, sick patients can’t touch until the nurse says so.

SAM: I’m a naughty naughty rule-breaker.

Sam puts iPhone on a dock. Marvin Gaye’s "Sexual Healing" plays. 
They look at each other and laugh.

JESSIE: Now get ready for your exam while I slip into something more, nurse-able.

Jessie gives him a sexy look as he walks into the bathroom. 

Sam peels off his sweat-soaked shirt and jumps out of his shorts. 
Mid-pee, he sings in a thick Yiddish accent:

SAM: And when I get that feeling I want sexual healing, sexual healing oh baby...

Sam rinses with mouthwash. Whilst gurgling, he wets his hands and puts them in his pants and washes his balls. He sniffs his armpits, applies deodorant, then spits out mouthwash.

SAM (loud, but into the mirror): The patient is ready!

Sam exits the bathroom and sees Jessie passed out, in her SEXY NURSE COSTUME. 
He sighs in defeat, shrugs his shoulders, then puts a blanket on her and kisses her cheek. 
Sam changes music to RELAXING OCEAN SOUNDS then lays next to Jessie.

Sam is lying face-down, spread eagle, taking up most of the bed. He peacefully sleeps, then groggily opens his eyes. He quickly turns on his back, panicked. He feels downward to his underwear. His hand and eyes reach his crotch at the same time. He covers his mouth to stifle a mortified gasp. His boxers are soaked.

Deep breaths, then he carefully turns Jessie over and tries to remove a bedsheet under her but it won’t budge. He slips out of bed and runs to the bathroom and quietly closes the door. Sam peels off his soaking boxers and throws them in the sink and rinses them off. He stands, naked, STILL DRUNK.

He exits the bathroom, puts on a new pair of boxers, then looks at Jessie. He’s fucked. 
Sam grabs his laptop and sits in a kitchen chair. He Googles “24-Hour laundromat, Park Slope”.

NUGGET (adorable small orange kitten) walks over and MEOWS as he rubs against Sam’s leg. Sam ignores Nugget and is now Googling “adult bedwetting”, “male incontinence”, “unemployed guy in his 30s who wets the bed”. Nugget brushes Sam’s leg again. Sam closes his laptop then does a ‘face in hands I’m hopeless slouch’. Nugget meows.

SAM: Shhh, you’re gonna wake her.

BAM! He grabs Nugget’s TWO water bowls and empties both in a sink. He wets his hands and pats water near Nugget’s privates.

Sam then unplugs the stereo, TV, and DVD player and hides the chords deep behind the cabinet.

SAM: (excited whisper) Genius!

He unplugs the fan aimed at Jessie, then carefully gets into bed and unplugs / replugs the clock radio. Sam softly nudges Jessie.

SAM: Hey gorgeous wake up. Nugsy Wugsy had an accident. 

Jessie doesn’t move. Sam nudges her again.

SAM: Hey beautiful, Nugsy Wugsy peed the bed.

JESSIE (one eye open): No he didn’t.

SAM: Yes he did.

JESSIE: I’m a veterinarian. Cats don’t pee in beds they have litter boxes.

SAM: Baby, the sheets are wet let me get new ones so you can be comfortable.

JESSIE: I WAS comfortable.

Jessie feels around the bed.

JESSIE: Holy shit they’re soaked.

SAM: Told you, Nugget had an accident.

JESSIE: Kittens aren’t puppies they don’t have accidents. (Beat) It’s blazing in here why is the fan off?

SAM: Heat blackout. All the electronics went out. 

Sam points to the alarm clock BLINKING 12:00.

SAM (sadface): Sorry about the fan. Wish I could afford air conditioning.

JESSIE (sympathetic): I know baby, you’ll get a job soon.

Jessie looks around. 

JESSIE: Where is Nugget?

SAM: Maybe hiding. Probably ashamed.

JESSIE: Cats don’t get ashamed.

SAM: I’d be if I were him. Truth is, we don’t really know the guy. You found him alone, abandoned on a dark street in Jersey and I adopted him because I love cats.

JESSIE: He was your first cat.

SAM: I love him like a son. Maybe he had a rough street-life and can’t deal.

JESSIE Sammy, cats are my specialty. I’m telling you cats don’t pee in beds.

SAM: All due respect baby, you just graduated from vet school and it’s possible you haven’t seen everything there is in the infinitely beautiful feline universe. Look, both his water bowls are empty.

Sam points to Nugget’s water bowls as Nugget walks over. Jessie picks him up for an impromptu exam: presses his stomach, inspects his anus, squeezes his nuts, all the fun stuff. 
Nugget looks confused, like the suspect of a crime he didn’t commit.

Sam removes the wet sheet and puts on a clean one.

SAM: Is he wet near his Nugget parts?

JESSIE: Yea. But that’s not unusual because cats clean themselves so much.

SAM: Seems weird, but you’re the vet.

JESSIE: I don’t see anything wrong with him but I’ll bring him to the clinic later and run some tests.

SAM: What kind of tests?

JESSIE: Full blood and urine work-up. Best case it’s nothing. Or could be a kidney stone which is rare for kittens but happens. Worst cast it’s an urethral tumor and we’ll surgically remove it and that can cure his incontinence.

Jessie puts Nugget on the floor.

SAM (trying to keep his cool): Maybe we should let it slide the first time.
(Sam now in a baby voice) He’s a wittle scawred Nuggetface. Maybe I’ll give him some extra wovin’ and he’ll be fine.

Sam picks up Nugget and brings him to bed. They mingle awkwardly like forced gym class partners on the rope climb. Jessie gets into bed and they both pet Nugget.

JESSIE: Awww. You’re the sweetest boyfriend in the whole world and Nuggetface is the luckiest kitten to have you as his dad.

Sam leans over and touches Jessie’s ass in her Nurse Costume.

SAM: There’s another patient in this bed that needs an exam...

                                                                                  FADE OUT.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Double Jeopardy

"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”
--Lily Tomlin

My 4th grade girlfriend recently moved to Los Angeles. We’re more akin to siblings now than anything and I’m thrilled she’s living only 2 minutes away, 4 with traffic.  She moved in with the love of her life, her new amazing girlfriend.

Last week 4th grade girlfriend and I had drinks.  After an hour of repeatedly interrupting each other to ask the other more questions about their life, out she burst “there’s something serious we need to discuss.” 

My crime - I made a rape joke during a recent Passover seder and offended her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s younger sister visiting from the Midwest.  Bright red and sweating, I threw up my hands in the air.  What can I do to make this better?  Send an email, write a letter, make a phone call, stop by the house, send a truckload of flowers, buy a pony? 

4th grade girlfriend said “I know you’re a hopeless romantic and you worship women and would never intend to say anything mean but you made a rape joke that didn’t land well.” 

What percentage of rape jokes land well?  Since July 2012 when Daniel Tosh bungled a gang-rape joke to a heckler, hundreds of diagnostic articles arose about what’s permissible rape humor.  This isn’t one of those pieces.  Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Peretti, some of the greatest comics have made rape jokes that land perfectly.  Naturally, I’m not them. 

I asked what the joke was but she said neither of them could remember but of course recalled its offensiveness.  I scoured my brain, nothing.  Was it a joke about raping a woman or using rape as a verb in the context of something else?  4th grade girlfriend questioned why I was asking.  Because I’m in the longest drought of my life and occasionally masturbation feels like rape, like the authorities have been notified, like my dick already filed a temporary restraining order against my hands and it’s all downhill from here.  To self-pacify, I tell myself chances are it was a self-rape joke.  Fortunately 4th grade girlfriend laughed, sympathized about the drought, but nonetheless and allthemoreso reprimanded me about why the concept of rape is sufficiently offensive in any context. 

She said it’s fixable with an apology email and by telling her girlfriend that she tore me a new asshole about my behavior.  Being torn a new asshole was the last phrase I’d use in a missive apologizing for a failed rape-joke. 

Then I learned that 4th grade girlfriend’s girlfriend is super protective of her younger sister and younger sister is a 30 year-old virgin hypersensitive about anything sexual. 

I sent an apology email later that night and hardly slept because the guilt was overwhelming.  I confessed to myself that my humor sprints from the sacred to the profane in nanoseconds, but my intention is never ever to make someone feel shitty about their life or offend anyone.  I tossed and turned and felt so guilty I couldn’t even masturbate.  Ok, I tried, unsuccessfully - but it felt like every woman there knew about the rape joke.  They all talk.

I slipped into a deep abyss of contemplating what sex meant to me.   I re-made my list of every woman I’ve ever been with.  Did I treat them well?  Was I as obsessively generous a lover as I think I am?  Did I ever make a rape joke to any of them?  Have I ever had a rape fantasy?  How do I treat animals?  When was the last time I cried during a romantic comedy?  How’s my relationship with my mother?  It went deep, and pathetic, and I ate pretty much everything in my house to stave off slipping even deeper into a shame spiral.  A chocolate bar, leftover pizza, half a piece of salmon, popcorn, spoonfuls of peanut butter and a tall glass of vodka DO NOT REDUCE SHAME SPIRALS.

4th grade girlfriend’s girlfriend accepted my apology but still doesn’t know what the joke was. It’s not like I can ask her.  What if it’s some of my best material? 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Need Lasik

Had to break up with my Optometrist today.  I've been going there for about 7 months to order contacts and every month the same thing happens:

NOTE: It’s all Russian workers with THICK Russian accents and the company has an old school manilla-folder filing system

SALES CLERK (Early 30s, female): Hello ‘Modern Optometry’ can I help you?

ME: Hi, I'd like to order another box of contacts please.  I’ve ordered with you guys before.

SALES CLERK: Yes, what is your name please?

ME: Nathan Firer, F as in Fox, I-R-E-R.  

SALES CLERK: What is first name again?

ME: Nathan.  N-A-T-H-A-N.  


ME: No, it's Nathan. N-A-T-H-A-N.


ME:  No, it’s Nathan, N-A-T-H-A-N.  N as in nonsense, nobody, nothing. Nathan, N-A-T-H-A-N.

SALES CLERK: Ok Mason, what is last name?

ME: It's NATHAN not Mason.  N as in negligee, neonatal, Narnia, none of your business, N-AT-H-A-N.  My last name is Firer.  F as in fox, I-R-E-R.

SALES CLERK:  Ok, sorry, Nathan what is last name?  

ME: My last name is Firer.  F as in fox, I-R-E-R.  

SALES CLERK:  Nathan Sear?

ME:  Firer.  F as in fox, I-R-E-R.  F as in fox, fish, fat, fornicate, fire as in your building is on fire unless you get my name right.

She totally doesn't get the joke.

SALES CLERK:  Ok Nathan hold one second please.

She puts me on hold for 20 seconds then returns.

SALES CLERK:  I cannot find your file have you been here before?

ME:  YES I'VE BEEN BUYING CONTACTS FROM YOU THE PAST 8 MONTHS AND THIS CONVERSATION HAPPENS EVERY TIME.  You've met me probably 7 or 8 times before.  I know what your jewelry looks like and that you have blonde hair and great teeth and the TV on the right side of the store is hung up on the wall and it’s always on the same channel and there are 4 chairs in the waiting room all with red covers.  Yes I’d be an amazing detective and YES I AM IN YOUR FILES.

SALES CLERK:  Ok hold one second please.

She keeps saying please but it matters less and less each time.   
She puts me on hold for 20 seconds then returns again.

SALES CLERK:  Are you sure you’ve been here before I cannot find file.  How do you spell last name again please?

ME: (laughing but annoyed) You’re very polite but the pleases aren’t helping find my files.  I’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE.  This might be my 9th time if you find my file.  My last name is…

Same routine above but more hysterical, with a feeling like I’m being recorded for an audio-version of Candid Camera. 

SALES CLERK: Ok hold one second please…

NOTE: There are 2 female Sales Clerks.  I’ve spoken with BOTH the past 7 or 8 times this happened, then eventually they find my file and order my contacts.  I go to the store days later, SHOW THEM MY NAME ON MY ORDER FORM, laughingly pointing to the name then to my face then again to my name then my face again.  It’s always a sweetly comical moment between us and they laugh and say sorry this won’t happen next time. 

Then today - this SAME conversation happened.  So I told her (nicely, laughing through my teeth) that I'd like to take my business elsewhere and can they fax over my prescription.  

The Owner got on the phone and this happened:

OWNER (Russian male, late 50s, thicker accent):  Hello who is this?

ME: Nathan Firer.

OWNER: What is your name we will find file?

Same condensed version of above conversation happens with first and last names.  Owner comes back on the phone 20 seconds after I’m on hold.

OWNER: We cannot find file.  How do you spell last name?  Have you been here before?

ME: Listen, no offense, but I’d like to take my business elsewhere.  Can you please fax over my prescription. 

OWNER:  It is not my fault you don’t know how to spell your last name.  How can I help you if you spell last name wrong.  You say S as in Sea but you should say F as in Fox. 

ME: So that means you DO KNOW my last name then?

OWNER: You spell with an F or an S?

ME: An F as in….can you just fax my prescription over please?

OWNER: Sure, no problem, you can take business elsewhere.  I will fax over.  Not my fault if you don’t know how to spell last name.  Life difficult if you can’t do that.  Good luck. 

Moments later I got my prescription faxed over. 
Sad thing is I’ll miss the hilarity, kinda.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lagerfeld Shmagerfeld

My fashion sense is for shit, which is strange because I lived in New York for years so you’d think some of that style would’ve sunk into me like the cool osmosis of a contact high.  I’m a jeans & t-shirt guy, or button-down to give me some sense of semi-accomplished man.  Sometimes I feel like an orthodox Jew who wears the same thing everyday with no sense of what decade we’re in.  Rumor has it that Einstein streamlined his wardrobe to free his mind to ponder the ponderous and not get weighed down in materialism.  Other than that, not much we have in common.  

I’m a deeply menacing 5’5” (5’6” with Jewfro) with an average build, yet shirts nor pants fit upon purchase.  Every item must be hemmed to fit my laughably non-standardized human body.   This makes shopping a challenge. 

I’ve usually stocked up on t-shirts at The Gap, mainly because the 3 for $20 is a bargain during unemployment stints.  Or perhaps because I clumsily rationalized that t-shirts “hand-crafted” in Asia, by Asians, are closer to Jew-size.  That was before American Apparel made shirts that feel dreamily akin to an afternoon on a floating Maldives cabana after making love with a beautiful fiancĂ© for the 9th time with the glow of her perfect infinite smile laced deep into my soul.   I’m single, can you tell?  

Gap t-shirts fit so well I dared extend my range to the jeans.  I asked this cute sales girl why the 31W / 28L combo is such a rarity?  Cute Sales Girl said I shouldn’t compare myself to others “because I was handsome and perfect for my size.”  The movie in my head took a twist and I thought if we fall in love I could piggyback on her 40% discount.  Then she said you should try Gap Kids – the boys jeans might fit better.  How I went from her bedroom to stroller in 3 seconds still astounds me. 

Adult male MANnequins at The Gap looked cool, put-together.  They knew how to layer and were always looking off into a vague nearby paradise.   But they glared at me like I snuck into the party.  The BOYequins in Gap Kids were friendly, adorable, like the perfect miniature husbands that wives and moms dream to have. 

In Gap Kids, I noticed my brain beseech the BOYequins for the sartorial counsel I was missing as a single guy without a lover.  I wanted to believe that moms shop there because they have enough control over their little boys to costume them the way they wish they could their husbands.

{Confession: I’m currently a single guy who has a list of childrens’ names in my wallet because everyday I dream of being a dad - but this story was a while ago when getting laid was higher priority.}

Like a non-dog-owner in a dog park, sometimes it got a bit weird.  
Most conversations with the Gap Kids moms started like this:

MOM: How old is your little boy?

ME: Um, I’m actually here for myself.

MOM: Really?  But you’re…

ME: An adult, I know. 

To smooth out the awkwardness I’d ask a question about layering, if denim really does match with everything, or with one mom this happened:

MOM: How old is your little boy?

ME: Um, I’m actually here for myself.

MOM: Really?  But you’re…

ME: An adult, I know.  (Beat)  How do you feel about zippers versus button-fly jeans?

Of course my innocent inquiry went misunderstood.  She felt ambushed, as if I was preying upon her in neutral territory like the innocent waterhole that is Gap Kids.  As much as my Youporn search terms might indicate I dig Milfs, on strict principle I never hit on married women.  

A million times worse, one mom bizarrely fretted over the specter of the criminally fucked up P-word (pedophilia).   Because I was in Gap Kids looking for boy-jeans?   I was mortified until an older saleswoman came to my rescue and told me that some of these moms are irrationally overprotective and she was surprised that that mom didn’t have one of those allegedly child-friendly leashes on her kid.  I don’t have any children (that I know of) but I’d instantly fire the putz that licensed the patent on those leashes.   

Yet a few moms pitied me because it was “cute” that I was in Gap Kids, as a grown man, trying on kids jeans.  A few even generously opined on how the jeans fit after I tried them on in those little dressing rooms built for little kids NOT GROWN MEN.

Overall, I felt like I Gary Coleman’ed myself in search of the perfect fit.   After two shopping sessions on separate days and many memorable conversations later, thankfully kids jeans don’t fit.  Gap Kids wasn’t the denim Shangri-La I dreamt of.   At 37, my jeans saga persists and I’m still stuck somewhere between any jeans store and the nearest tailor shop. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The k

So this happened at a party, again….

ME: How’s your night tonight?

STRANGER:  Good, I’m having fun but I can’t drink too much because I’m running a 5k in the morning. 

ME: That’s awesome, a 3.1 miler.  Wise choice, not drinking too much.

STRANGER:  Yea, it’s a 5k for charity.

ME: 3.1 miles for charity, very noble.  What’s the cause?

STRANGER: I’m running a 5k to raise $2,500 for children with brain cancer. 

ME: 3.1 miles for a great cause!  You’re one of the good ones.

STRANGER: Yea, lots of people running the 5k in the morning.

ME:  You mean lots of people running 3.1 miles in the morning.

STRANGER:  Yea, a 5k.

ME:  Like I said, 3.1 miles…

And this will continue ad barfeum until I somehow get that person to admit, confess, concede, that a 5k is 3.1 miles and a 10k is nothing more than 6.21371.

OCD, ADD, ASPD, there’s a casually clinical continuum of manageable madness we all possess beneath our skulls.  We’re all diagnosable in some way, of some thing, to some one in any moment in time.  In this circumstance, OCD.  ADD is another chapter I’ll hit soon enough if I don’t interrupt myself in this very sentence which I haven’t yet so far but I could so soon very soon very very very soon but I digress.... 

The K correction, this unstoppable Larry Davidesque reflex howls out no matter where I am or who I’m with.  I could be on a first date with my future wife, in a pitch meeting with the head of some network (years from now), or Skyping with God and still I can’t block the impulse.

GOD:  Nathan, listen, I’ve given you a great family, friends, women and opportunity, you have time on your hands, you’re a healthy guy, why not raise money for childrens’ leukemia and run a 10k?

ME: You mean a…

The K bothers me.  Perhaps it’s because people use the K to make it seem like they’re doing more than they are – especially when raising money for a noble cause.  Maybe there’s a valid sociological reason for it.  Maybe not.   

I ran 2 marathons (26.2 miles) yet never bragged about how the 41st kilometer near destroyed me.  I buy my milk in gallons, soda in liters, marijuana in ounces and cocaine in grams.  Ok, David Duchovny on Californication said the white horse rides in on grams.  Without doing a full report on the metric v. imperial system of measurement, I still think all those wonderful people raising money for charity are wise for drinking less at a party the night before a 3.1 miler. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dusting off the past

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."
--Steve Martin

And with that perfect genius above, of seeing things as they are, I share a posting from years ago that oddly enough made Best of Craigslist in the early 70s.

Dust Ball for Sale - Needs Good Home
I was cleaning my apartment yesterday and I found a dustball. As conditioned, I walked over to the garbage and threw it away. Then, moments later, I sat on the floor of my apartment, starring at the dustball, musing into the particles that were once part of my life. I wondered: whose hair is that, Amy or Julia or Guinnevere, do they know it's missing? I wondered: maybe some of that dust is skinflakes from some stranger on the subway who had a baby yesterday, or entered rehab, or learned how to masturbate, or finished a dissertation, or won an award for Best Grandpa and got a coffee mug with his initials on it? I thought: it's not just a dustball, it's a collection of memories - it's life. I thought again: why throw this away when I could sell it to someone on Craigslist who might either not have any dustballs of their own for whatever reason or to a serious dustball collector.

It's a really really pretty dustball, the kind you might see floating by and wink at you or even on display in a museum one day. I am not predicting any such fame for this particular dustball. That would be wildly foolish and truly uncharacteristic of me. I will say that this dustball, of which I have not yet named (in hopes of a future owner who will do the honor), can easily be placed in a coatpocket or small purse. It is waterproof, loves to dance salsa, able to take long walks without complaining or getting tired, and will listen to you when you think all your friends are too consumed with the velocity of their own damn lives. This dustball will never lie, never fake an orgasm, and never ever tell you that those black pants you love make you look fat. If you're patient, it will tell you stories about the good times and remind you that no matter how bad it gets, you will never be alone as long as you share your life with dust.

Measurements: 1" by 3", 0.09 ounces, muilt-colored (predominantly greyish).

$2.37 OBO 

Breaking the Seal

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique.  Just like everyone else."
--Margaret Mead

Thanks Margiebaby, you said it all.  So that's how it began - this blog, a shout in the wind to find a home for words light enough to be swept away then possibly heavy enough to sink to the bottom of a small dark hole called  

If anything, my mom can visit 14 times a day then call me to lambast Margaret as a liar, a crook, and declare that I alone am the most unique being of all.  I'll let those two fight it out.