Should auld acquaintance be forgot?


January 5, 1994

I was alone on New Year’s Eve. The thought of being by myself was so painful I went to Times Square. Spending New Year’s Eve alone in Times Square is pathetic. When people ask what I did, I tell them I went with a friends and got separated in the crowd. It’s a lie.

I stood there alone in a pen for over three hours. Nobody said a word to me. I was surrounded by 200,000 happy people but felt unwanted. I teared-up a few times. It was 25 degrees outside. At 9:30 I went to a payphone and called the apartment to see if anyone left a New Year’s message on the answering machine. Hoping for a message that I knew wouldn’t be there.

I looked across the street and saw a big party on the second floor of a hotel. I watched it for quite a while. People were dancing and drinking. There was a giant wall of glass that afforded them a fantastic view of the street, the ball and the commoners. The women were all very, very pretty. The men were terrible dancers. One girl danced in front of the window, as if for the crowd below. She had long blonde hair, wore a baseball cap and cutoff jeans with black spandex. At one point, a guy came up from behind, threw his arms around her and they embraced. They kissed for a long time. How do I get to be that guy? How do I get to be anyone but me?

On New Year’s Day I went to Klinger and Fun’s Day-1 party. I called to say I’d be a little late and Klinger said, “Well, don’t come after 6:00 because Fun and I are going to the movies.” It was Fun’s crowd. I like them. A couple of interesting gay guys. Ray. Some girl from Philadelphia. Mostly strangers. I know how to work a crowd. I had them all laughing. Fun kept pulling me aside and pointing out the available women.

Mimi walked in. A while back, she told Klinger not to mention my name. I’m still not sure what I did. It hurts. I liked her. She was with her boyfriend, a good-looking artist who has a flat in Chelsea and a house in the Hamptons. Apparently, there’s trouble in paradise. Klinger told me she can’t stand the sight of him and wants to move out. He’s dull and only talks about himself and his work. Artists. You know what you’re getting.

She walked up to me and we talked for a while. She looked great and wasn’t the least bit hostile. It was nice. She asked me if I was still writing and I got woozy. She always made me want to try harder. Or at all.

On the way out Fun followed me into the hallway to give me further intelligence on the single girls. I told her about Mimi—things that Klinger doesn’t know about how mad I was for her. She said, “Well, you never know what can happen.” I’m tired of hearing that from well-meaning people. I know what can happen. Nothing. Fun said she’d gather some phone numbers and call me but I can’t think of anything that’d be a bigger waste of her time.

I went to the Upper East Side after work yesterday to visit Ann. I was wearing my jacket and tie. She handed me a cordial as soon as I walked in the door like we’re fucking Ozzie and Harriette. We made out for a while. She’s absolutely daring and will do anything sexually but she’s germ phobic and doesn’t want my finger inside her. When my hand probes the inside of her thigh, she clenches up. “Tongues and cocks only, please,” she says. I have to vigorously wash my hands before the festivities can begin.

She took my hand and walked me over to the baby grand by the window. I asked her why the shade was drawn. It’s such a great view. She said some guy walked up to her on the street and said he watches her from across the way through binoculars. She sat on the piano bench and undid my pants. I said we should go to bed and she thought that was a pretty good idea. We left a trail of clothing from the piano to the bedroom, like in the movies.

We got under the covers and it was nice. She always shaves her legs when she suspects I’m coming over. We rolled around like two puppies. She likes when I spend time kissing her nipples. She said not everybody does that. For all her expertise, she doesn’t kiss well. She’s amazing and acrobatic but she can’t kiss. Her mouth is too stiff. Laura could kiss. I miss her.

She ducked under the covers and continued where she left off in the living room. I picked her up (she’s light) and set her down for the main event. She had a tremendous, noisy orgasm in fairly short order. I can always tell when it’s authentic and when it’s for my benefit. Her body both confirms and betrays her. Just before le grand finale, she gets kind of quiet and closes her eyes, like she’s concentrating. Her body tenses and she squeezes me with her legs and yells. Her chest flushes red. I asked her if she was okay and she said she hadn’t had sex in a week and it had built-up. Wow, a whole week. Imagine that. What an amateur.


There are strict house rules. Under no circumstances are the cats allowed on the bed. So, of course…

45 thoughts on “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

  1. NYE, the most over-rated night of the year, i do love how your young self wallowed in misery and self-pity lol!! and of course for all the misery a few days later you go to the Upper East Side, get handed a drink and then walked to the grand piano for an impending hummer and somehow life wasn’t good? then into the bedroom with a woman well versed in the arts and yet that young man still seemed slightly disappointed, pure comedy, good stuff sir.

    No cats on the bed? haha!! good luck with that one, cat’s make the rules for you not vice-versa, as a crazy cat lady i know these things, fine looking felines you have there my friend.

    • It’s a classic, old timey, self-pity wallow that can only be rooted in New York. You can simultaneously have everything and nothing, but focus on the nothing. NYE used to be a big deal to me. A fresh start. If forgive myself for every stupid thing I did over the past 12 months, which was considerable. The thought of being alone really bugged me.

      Cats run the show, alright. They always will. It’s what I love about them. Dogs? They do what you tell them.

  2. The loneliness of being in a crowd like that can be awful. But it really only exists in the mind. Just like New Year’s Eve. Sorry, just woke up and the coffee’s not ready yet.

  3. Sounds like your life was actually pretty good, even if you were alone on New Year’s. I agree with other commenters here that it’s overrated; as an introvert I’ve always found it somewhat difficult. It always amazes me how we can look back and see so clearly that the things we were criticising ourselves for were often undeserved while the things we should have been criticising ourselves for were unnoticed or unacknowledged.

    I don’t have cats now but I will always look at cute cat pictures!

    • Funny, but when your busy being tragic you tend not to realize how great things are. What a waste of time! Although, I tended to be super-dreary in my journals. Things weren’t quite that bad in real life.

      I kind of always liked New Year’s Eve. It’s a useful tool. Cats rule.

  4. NYE in Times Square would be on my bucket list when under 40. Having sexual pleasures with a UES light weight, always on the bucket list. Well written in the Harlequin Style. The cat pics brought be back to reality from fantasizing, part time Player.

    • I didn’t really understand the appeal back then but I didn’t have anything else to do. I remember it vividly, even though I remember very little. Once is enough. I would not recommend it. It’s mostly pretty boring.

      I toned it down to a Harlequin style. The original entry is much more blue and graphic. I don’t know what I was trying to achieve. It’s not my style. And nobody wants to read that. It’s uncomfortable.

  5. “Harlequin style” that’s it exactly! LOL As you know my birthday is NYE, so it’s never been about anything other than ME, no matter whee in the world I was! 😉 xoxo

    Cats make me sneeze, so I’m delighted to just see adorable pics of yours! 🙂

    • What a singular joy to have a New Year’s Eve birthday. Can you imagine your poor mum and the doctors? No midnight toast for them!

      I think there’s a pill you can take to cure you of the cat sneezes. Might be worth looking into.

  6. You’re never as lonely as in a crowd. That brought back memories of when me and Kirsty lived in London before the children were born. I’m pre-destined to be happy, but there were moments in that city of 8 million people, where I thought I’d go mental if I didn’t get back home (i.e., Lancaster).

    “Well, you never know what can happen.” I’m tired of hearing that from well-meaning people. I know what can happen. Nothing.” I get that all the time. And “there’s someone for everyone.” No there isn’t! As well-meaning as it is, it makes me feel even more loveless than I did before the subject came up.

    Excellent post Mark, not a single unessential word.

    • Amen, brother. It’s what I found so fascinating about Manhattan. An island of 1.6 million lonely souls. It sounds dreary but it isn’t. There’s something poetic about it.

      I like that people are optimistic and have a desire to comfort. That’s why they say things like that. It comes from a good place. And do you know what? It’s true!

      Thanks, tons, for your kind words about the writing. It means a lot to me. I care about this idiot blog so I’ll take whatever praise comes my way.

      • I don’t think it’s about laziness, it’s about building up a head of steam and starting when you and the material are ready. Do you know there’s a movie script writing app?

        I did update my name, finally.

  7. I have to say, the Times Square NYE party never really had much of an appeal to me – freezing your ass for three hours just to see a big ball falling down for 10 seconds? As far as holiday crowds go, Independence day at least offers longer-lasting fireworks and the weather is usually more tolerable.
    My best NYE story was being so bored at a New Years party that I went up to the hotel room alone to watch TV. The best thing that was, I guess, was Full Monty, so I ended up watching that. And as the characters were finishing up their big striptease show, and just pulled up their hats to reveal their (Ann-approved) appendages, though with their backs turned to the camera, that was the moment when the HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! yells came from downstairs.

    • Going to Times Sq any time of year is usually a mistake. Especially so on New Year’s Eve. It was the act of a desperate man. I couldn’t stand the thought of being alone in a room. Now, it’s all I ever want. See how things change?

      Independence day has better food, too.

      I was having a romantic interlude and the radio was blasting the New York Philharmonic performing one of Beethoven’s more bombastic symphonies. We reached the penultimate moment of ecstacy just as the philharmonic finished. I gasped my last gasp and the audience erupted into wild applause. My paramour started laughing hysterically, understandably do.

  8. I would have spent New Years with the acrobatic shitty kisser with the no-hands vagina policy. I may have also invited the guy across the street to come by and watch in person. The BALLS on that guy to admit that he spies on her! Wow.

    Those crazy bedroom antics before our cats took over our beds . . .

    • She was not available to me that night! I wasn’t the only pony in her stable. I was hard luck Charlie.

      She thought the guy spying was lying to her but he described the inside of her apartment. It was creepy. New York is creep town.

  9. kono nailed it! but i’ve gotta say, i’d prefer being completely alone in a crowd of happy strangers than at an intimate dinner with someone i don’t want to be with. “I don’t want to sit across the table from you wishing i could run” <– the last 5 years of my marriage. to a good human. i just didn't want to be there.

      • If one day you confess that this is all actually from your head and never happened, I’m either going to drool in jealously or track you down to make you explain yourself. Or both.

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