Best. First. Kiss. Ever.

A wish that came true.

A wish that came true.

It happened again! The goddamn universe and its mysterious ways! I swear to God, I can’t make this stuff up.

So the reason I asked Zach about kissing in the first place was that I had gone out on a date last weekend and when the time came to make my move, I didn’t, and got a perfunctory peck-on-the-cheek consolation prize instead, but it was totally cool because I really liked the woman and knew that I’d eventually have another shot at it. As it happens, she lives just a few blocks away and we made a plan to see each other soon.

We started emailing in the beginning of the week and it was filled with all of the usual witty, flirty, semi-charming banter (which I will kindly spare you here) and the upshot was that we’re going out again on Friday night.

Full disclosure: one of the reasons I kinda, sorta in a completely innocent, non-scumbaggy kind of way wrote yesterday’s blog was so I could send it to her as a kissing ice breaker, admitting my history of apprehension and other assorted squirreliness, and lo and behold, she liked it! I believe her exact words were “You’re making me crazy.” To which I responded “GOOD!” She then sent me another email that said, “By the way, you should.” And I immediately sent one back saying, “I fully intend to.” And we exchanged some flirtier, kissier emails that made us both smile, to say nothing of feeling like we were in a John Hughes movie.

Now here’s where the goddamn universe comes in: I went to the local Rite-Aid late yesterday afternoon because I was out of kitchen garbage bags and Arizona Diet Arnold Palmer (I am the George Clooney of Park Slope) and I’m standing on line at the checkout, listening to that Kendrick Lamar song I love, and guess who walks in?

That’s right! Like I said, I cannot make this stuff up.

She looked at me and I looked at her and for a few surreal moments, it was totally disorienting like we were in each other’s dream because just a few minutes ago we were emailing about the logistics of our first kiss (I’m also the General David Petraeus of Park Slope and, as you well know, my own biographer), and now we were face to face and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth.

“This is so crazy,” she said and started to laugh.

“I think we should kiss right here,” I said, and we were both smiling hard yet acting a little bit shy.

“I have stage fright,” she admitted and looked away for a second as her beautiful face turned slightly red.

“So do I!” I said. “I think everyone does.”

“I’m actually here to buy toilet paper,” she said. “Sexy, right?”

“Tell you what,” I said. “Lemme check out and I’ll come find you.”

She was shopping in the back, near the stationery section. “Do you think they have birthday candles?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I said, “but let’s kiss.”

And we did. Right next to the Christmas ornaments and Dark and Lovely hair care products, under the glaring yet strangely romantic fluorescent Rite-Aid lights, we kissed and then paused for a moment to look into each other’s smiling eyes and then gently kissed again and began to breath heavily and then paused to drunkenly smile at each other and then sweetly, juicily, tenderly kissed one more time until someone on the store intercom ordered a cleanup on aisle Larry.

Best. First. Kiss. Ever.

The Stupid Game of Life


Where the hell is Millionaire’s Mansion?

My last girlfriend believed that if you really wanted something in life, all you had to do was ask the universe for it. I’m not talking about fantasies of winning the Powerball jackpot or having a three-way with Penélope Cruz (um, wait, that one was mine) but rather, asking for things that were somehow attainable. She’s one of the most diligent people I’ve ever known and has certainly reaped the benefits of her hard work. She just believes in her heart that it also doesn’t hurt to get a little help from the great beyond. “If you put it out there,” she’d say, double-bubbling with optimism, “it will come back to you.”

Now whenever I’ve tried to put it out there, the universe generally stomped on it with its stiletto heels (I see Eddie Izzard as the universe) and it hurt like a motherfucker. Maybe that was because I’m one of those people who believe that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is — everything is totally random.

A year or so after we met, either because of the cosmos or randomly, we broke up. We’re still friends and were talking recently about her theory of asking the universe for relative shit, or as I like to call it “playing the stupid game of life.”

She made a few interesting observations. We were chatting about my father-in-law, Marty, who I wrote about the other day, and she asserted that maybe he was the father who I always wanted (because God knows, I certainly didn’t want my own), and here was the universe giving me something that I desperately needed without me even asking for it (except for that one niggling detail of Marty now being dead – thanks for nothing, idiot universe!)

Not only was she right, but the truth is that I had always asked for it, maybe not out loud, but certainly in my thoughts and whatever passed for bedtime prayers, ever since my father went to prison when I was four years old. Twenty-five years later when I married, Marty came into my life and filled the hole in my heart.

I had always wanted to be a writer, she further affirmed, and had put it out there ever since I was in kindergarten and it has unmistakably come back to me. And it’s not at all random because it’s the only thing I ever wanted to do with my life and the universe listened and that’s why you’re reading this now instead of me yanking out your appendix or embezzling your 401k.

“You also always wanted a hot writer girlfriend. And the universe came through for you again. Big time!” she finally reminded me. “If you think about it, the universe has really given you everything you’ve ever asked for.”

She was right.

Funny Ways

Shelley’s good advice.

The universe works in funny ways and by funny I mean incredibly sad.

I got two emails this morning. The first was from a colleague bringing news that his elderly mom had died peacefully in her sleep last night after three rough weeks in the hospital. The second was from my former therapist, Shelley, saying that her 85-year-old father, who had been ill with pancreatic cancer, also passed away this weekend.

“Larry, I hope you find peace in some way,” she wrote. “My father was full of life until a month ago. Don’t waste a minute.”

Shelley always gave good advice, and I’m going to heed it by not checking my email for the rest of the day.

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