MonDATE: Bisexuals, and the Right to Privacy – Part One

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Him: Hello, are you Michael?

Me: Yes. You’re Sam?

Him: Yes. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Me: You too, Sam, I like your shirt.

Him: It’s Hollister.

Me: I like it anyway. Wanna take a walk?

Him: A walk? That sounds so weird and creepy, in the middle of the night.

Me: Is it? I just don’t really want to go drink right now. I’m trying to shed the winter layer.

Him: But isn’t a bar… Safer, somehow?

Me: We can stick to Colorado – it’s well lit. I’ll try to resist the urge to take you to a park and chop you into small pieces.

Him: That’s what I meant when I said weird and creepy!

Me: Let’s operate off the assumption neither of us is a murderous sociopath?

Him: You don’t seem like a sociopath to me.

Me: Thanks, man! I like your attitude!

(We walk for a while, chatting. I find out things about him. He’s in medical school. He’s into extreme sports, hiking, and surfing. He seems nice enough, and he’s no dummy. He’s read most of Kurt Vonnegut, so he gets points.)

Him: So, I guess you’re wondering why I’ve contacted you?

Me: I guess I am, now that you mention.

Him: I wanted to ask you a question. Do you mind if I ask a personal question?

Me: No, I guess not, as long as you don’t mind not getting a full answer, depending on the question.

Him: Haha, fair. Fair enough.

Me: What’s the question?

Him: Well, I have a few questions. Firstly, are you bi-sexual? I read your site for a long time and I always assumed you were gay, but now you’re married to a woman, and what’s the deal? Is she a lesbian? Does she need a green card, or whatever?

Me: Oh wow. I thought personal question meant something like ‘boxers or briefs?’

Him: No. You clearly wear briefs. I’ve seen your Instagram.

Me: Fair enough.

Him: Are you bisexual?

Me: Let me ask you a question. I’ll answer yours, but let me do the rudest thing and follow up a question with another question. Does it matter?

Him: What?

Me: Does it matter? The difference between me being Gay or Bi? Or even straight?

Him: What do you mean? Of course it matters. Of course .

Me: How so?

(There is a pause. He looks confused.)

Him: Do you realize, I’ve read you for years?

Me: No, I usually go into these meetings pretty blind. When I meet with people it’s much more likely they’ve lurked or stalked me, whereas I might only have a brief email and a fuzzy photo to go on.

Him: But how can you do this? You talked about Gay dating, alienation and minority rights for years. How do you just get to marry a woman and continue on like nothing happened?

Me: Because nothing happened. I got married. It was pretty important to me, in the scope of my life, but in the grand scheme of human events, it’s not even a blip on the radar. It’s just a marriage. Most people do it at least once.

Him: But why a woman? Are you Bisexual?

Me: Again, I don’t see how that matters. It’s clear that I’m definitely a member of the LGBTQ community. Right? And, consider this: you haven’t told me your sexuality, yet you seem to think it’s fine to pry about mine and my wife’s?

Him: I’m Bi.

Me: Okay, good. I’m Queer.

Him: What does that mean? In what sense?

Me: It means I am as Gay as Kurt Cobain.

Him: What about your wife?

Me: She’s whatever she is.

Him: Stop. This is frustrating.

Me: This is nobody’s business. One of the perks of marriage is people stop prying about who does what, when, with whom, and how.

Him: But I’m curious!

Me: Well, that’s flattering. Are you openly Bi?

Him: What?

Me: Do people know you’re Bisexual?

Him: Some people do.

Me: Your family?

Him: No. My brother knows, I think, but by and large, no.

Me: Your work friends?

Him: No. I don’t want them thinking I’m weird, or off.

Me: Your friends from school?

Him: No.

Me: So, pretty much, just the people you have sex with.

Him: You make it sound sad.

Me: No, you make it sound sad. You’re the one who made those choices.

Him: It’s just what happened. I’m a victim of circumstance.

Me: You’re what? 28? 27?

Him: I’m 30 this year.

Me: Okay, well, welcome to the club. I’m going to say something, and I hope you don’t get offended.

Him: Are you going to call me a Jerk?

Me: I don’t do that anymore, Jerk. Just kidding. No, just this: There’s no such thing as a victim of circumstance. Not really. I believe life is a series of choices. It’s in the art of choosing we discover what kind of man or woman we become. If you don’t like your circumstances you have a right to make a different choice. It might be more difficult to make a courageous choice. It might, in fact, be stupid to make a courageous choice. It might make your life more of a struggle to make an honest choice, or to have enough integrity to look your family in the eye and say, here’s what I am – here’s how I was born and here’s the way things are for me. I’m sorry you feel differently about how I should live my life, but then again, my life is the only thing that is arguably entirely mine – and I’m the one who has to live it.

Him: What’s that have to do with the way the world is?

Me: To say you’re a victim of circumstance is a bit misleading when you’re the one creating your own reality.

Him: That’s arrogant. That’s incredibly arrogant, and I knew you’d say something like that. I knew you’d come up with a way to make me being down low about my sexuality my fault. My sexuality doesn’t define who I am anymore than my liking baseball defines who I am. Why do I have to make a huge issue of who I’m sleeping with? Doesn’t my mother deserve a good birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving without me ruining everything by talking about sex with dudes? Why are people so obsessed with where I’m putting my penis? It’s nobody’s business.

Me: And yet, you’re so very obsessed with where I’m putting mine.

(There is a long pause. He starts to speak, then stops, then looks confused.)

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

Stop. Be still.

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Him: Are you okay?

Me: No. Obviously.

Him: Stop. You look tired. Stop. Don’t. Don’t hug me. You always try to hug me.

Me: I need affection. Please hug me.

Him: Stop. Fine. Yes. Here. Hug me.

Me: Thanks. Let’s lie down?

Him: No, I’m not here for that. I’m here for you.

Me: I’m fine.

Him: You’re not.

Me: I am. I’m fine.

Him: No, Michael. You’re not. You’re not fine at all. Some very traumatic things happened. You’re trying to act like you’re fine, but you’re bouncing off the walls. Be still.

Me: I can’t. I don’t. I don’t have time for being still, not for one second. I have so much to do.

Him: Why am I here? Why did I come over here? Do you know?

Me: Kiss me.

Him: Stop. No. Stop.

Me: I need affection. Hug me again.

Him: Okay fine. What happened?

Me: Lots of stuff.

Him: How was LA?

Me: It wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be.

Him: Are people mean?

Me: Uh. Some of them are, yes. Extremely.

Him: You mean at the Network?

Me: No. I mean other comedy types that I thought were my friends.

Him: How was the Network?

Me: They were nice enough.  I had no idea what I was auditioning for. I had to stay in my hotel room for three days straight while they grilled me about who I was. I was isolated. I quit my job, lost Alex over it, and I got so exhausted that I might have showed too much ‘realness’ in the final interview.

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Him: Wait, you lost Alex over it?

Me: He was terrified of being alone for six weeks. Maybe he just didn’t really love me to begin with, though? Soon as he said yes to moving in with me, the smiles stopped.

Him: He stopped smiling at you?

Me: Yes. He would look for reasons to provoke me. He wouldn’t smile. He wouldn’t eat food I made, even when I knew he’d skipped dinner. I got a few promotions, and career advancements. He wouldn’t show up to celebrate them.

Him: Wow.

Me: He left me right when I needed him most. He left during the hardest callback process of my life. Whywouldyoudothattosomeone?

Him: Michael. Slow down. Things are fine now, right?

Me: Sure?

(long pause)

Me: I hate this so much.

Him: Stop.

Me: Lie down next to me.

Him: Stop.

Me: That’s why you’re here.

Him: Stop. Stop pacing around. You’re crawling out of your skin.

Me: Why did he do this?  I hate this the most. I told him I didn’t want a relationship but he kept at it. He kept coming over.

Him: You need to be still. People play games. They don’t even know they’re doing it.

Me: Somewhere along the line he stopped smiling at me. Started making me beg for affection. Cruel. I had to work so hard for every morsel.

Him: That’s how us Asian boys act when we don’t get monogamy.

Me: I offered him monogamy.

(pause)

Him: You offered him monogamy?

(pause)

Him: What did he say?

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Me: He told me it was too late – that I should have wanted monogamy the whole time. That I should have known when I met him. I told him the next time he tries to change the mind of a grown man, expect it to take much longer than 8 months.

Him: Hm…  That doesn’t sound right. That sounds like an excuse. Maybe he’s just a kid? Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants?

Me: People are cat-fishing me now, online. They’re making up fake profiles in order to say cruel things. Why is everyone so awful?

Him: Stop. Be still. Okay. Lie down. I’ll lie down with you.

Me: Kiss me?

Him: No. Just lie here with me. I want you to be still. It’s okay to cry, but don’t move. Just be still. I’m going to touch your face a little.

(he touches my face. tears slip out of me. we are quiet for a long time.)

Me: (whispered) He tricked me. I don’t trust anybody now. He took that away.

Him: Stop. You trust too much anyhow.

Me: No. Not anymore.

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(long silence. i am still. my diaphragm shakes.)

Him: Stop.

(long silence. tremors build inside me.)

Him: Still. Be still.

(long silence. i control the tremors)

Him: Good. Still.

(i turn away. i am still. i breathe, but not too deep. he starts to snooze. he has no idea i’m still crying)

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-3

L.A. Story #3: Where’s Your Voice?

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Him: It’s steep. I told you not to wear Converse, Michael.

Me: Eh. I’ve hiked the Adirondack trail in Converse. I bet I’ll be fine.

Him: I forgot to tell you how steep it is. Where’s my car?

Me: I don’t know?

Him: I took a photo of the street signs. It’s okay. I know how to find it. Don’t worry so much?

Me: I wasn’t – Fischer –

Him: I’ve been here for 6 weeks, Michael I know how to get around.

Me: Okay.

Him: Don’t walk over there! It’s really steep! What if someone came up and pushed you?

Me: I’m four feet away from the edge. Also, if someone pushed me that person would be a murderous sociopath. I prefer the company of narcissistic sociopaths, personally.

Him: This is way deeper than it needs to be. Look at the canyon!

Me: I’m looking. It’s beautiful.

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Him: Look around – do you see any recognizable faces?

Me: Yeah. Everyone sort of looks like everyone else. Part of that is conformity, probably. Part of that is surgery, probably.

Him: Do you know that to be true?

Me: I’ve been in town four days, three of which I was sequestered by Network.

Him: So you’re just making blind assumptions.

Me: I’m just making jokes.

Him: Well, people could be listening.

Me: Good. I think my jokes are funny, sometimes.  Maybe they’ll give me a dollar? You’ve only been here three weeks, by the way.

Him: Doesn’t mean I’m not careful what I say and when.

Me: Let’s yell really loud into the canyon and listen for the echo.

Him: OMG no! Is that Aubrey Plaza?

Me: No. Aubrey is prettier than her. Also, she’s gabbing away. Aubrey listens and judges.

Him: How do you know?

Me: I might’ve been on an improv team with her, once upon a time.

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Him: REALLY?

Me: Who can remember? Ancient history.

Him: Introduce me to her!

Me: She’s not here! But that’s Gus Van Sant.

Him: Let’s get a photo with him.

Me: I’m joking. That’s not him. He lives in Williamsburg. That’s a Pilates instructor that takes screenwriting classes on Thursday afternoons.

Him: Michael, people could be listening to you!

Me: They should be listening to you. Are you singing?

Him: I don’t sing anymore. I want to write television and that’s the only thing I care about.

Me: You have a lovely voice. Frank and I had our eye on you. You probably would have made a team.

Him: You’re not my teacher anymore, Michael. This is Los Angeles.

Me: Yes.

(pause)

Me: It certainly is, Fischer.

(pause)

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Me: Even at Peg’s apartment you wouldn’t sing. Even just in front of the dogs.

Him: I don’t know about my voice. It has problems.

Me: It’s a legit musical theater voice. You have a great voice. I want to hear you sing my songs.

Him: Could we make money selling songs?

Me: We certainly could.

Him: How’s that done?

Me: I imagine you go over to Gaga’s house and sing her a song you wrote on your uke.

Him: That’s too twee. Also she writes her own.

Me: That’s true. Gaga has actual writing talent. But quite a few pop stars don’t.

Him: People could be listening.

Me: Fischer.

Him: What?

Me: You’re my friend.

Him: So?

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Me: So, I know this is L.A. but let’s just pretend this is New York, for a sec? Let’s just pretend, Fischer, that it’s totally okay to just talk without getting incredibly paranoid Stephen Spielberg might be listening to us. He has bigger problems than two homos talking philosophy. Trust me.

Him: It’s not the type of conversation you have on Runyon Canyon.  I think that’s Omarosa.

Me: It’s not. It’s Michelle Obama.

Him: Really?!

Me: Who cares?!

(pause)

Me: I think it’s Serena. No – Beyonce. No – Miley. It’s Miley.

Him: Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: Why did you stop singing? Where’s your lovely voice, Fischer?

Him: I don’t. I don’t want to perform.

Me: If you want to sell a song, you gotta sing a song.

Him: I just want to write.

Me: All the best comedy writers I know perform all the time.

Him: I don’t have to. Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: You’re right. I’m going to run the rest of the way.

Him: What? Why?!

Me: We have to remind ourselves to do brave things, sometimes, Fischer. Otherwise we wind up moving to Hollywood with a beautiful voice – and then become too shy to even sing.

Him: What? Stop! Don’t!

Me: See you at the bottom of the canyonnnnnnnnn!

(I run away, singing, and flailing my arms. Fischer looks mortified. Paris Hilton is amused, then annoyed. Also, she wasn’t there at all.)

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Kevin Allison, Dale Cooper, Adam Gardiner – Episode 1

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Me: What’s being a porn actor like? What about your fans?

Dale: Well, actually most of what I do now is basically research and reading. I have a wish list that my fans can sort of provide my reading material for me. The wish list is very common for adult films, for fans to get things for the actors. I only have books on there. It keeps me very busy reading and writing notes.

Kevin: Wow! Where are these ‘wish lists?’

Dale: It’s on Amazon. I actually feel kinda bad – there’s a really awesome communist bookstore in Baltimore called Red Emma’s. (Shout out!) I was hoping to get them to be the purveyors of the books, but them being a small business…  they can’t. You can’t argue with the convenience of Amazon.

Me: If you get any bigger will you put cars on your list?

Dale: I made a decision to just have it be books.

Me: Yeah, but those things grow and change and evolve as you grow as an artist!

(laughter)

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Dale: Well if anyone out there has a couple thousand dollars lying around they don’t need!

Me: There you go! NOW you’re being a capitalist! So, Kevin – you’ve been able to sort of ask the universe for something and get it on your podcast, right?

Kevin: Yes indeed. RISK – the whole idea is that people come on and tell stories that they can’t tell anywhere else. You couldn’t tell them on NPR or you’re not even supposed to share in mixed company – some of the stories are really emotional, some are X-rated and some are just… ridiculous!

Me: Ha!

Kevin: I have told a few stories about my recent explorations into kink and there was an episode several months back where I said, oh, let me just put this out there: I would really love a naked Asian housecleaning boy.

(sheepish laughter)

Me: AND YOU GOT ONE!

(more laughter)

Kevin: And I got one. Now you have to understand there’s a context here. BDSM service kink is common. There are a lot of people who are into cleaning your house and getting a sexual charge out of it. The Asian part – that was just part of my own personal, you know…  I’m attracted to Asian guys.

Me: You and I share an appreciation for Asian faces and bodies.

Kevin: Well I felt bad, because it sounded like I was saying… you know, ‘I want an Asian to come clean my house.’

Me: Did it? Because, if you were into gingers and said that no one would blink, right?

Kevin: Right. Right, right. What I meant was I would like someone who was into this sort of thing to contact me. A kid from Malaysia did! He was 23 years old… was going to be a student at Parsons. He was like, I’m moving to the States, I’m super into this, I saw you also on the BDSM sites. Let’s start having Skype sessions and talk about how we can make this happen! And… he did move in with me about a month later, and you know what? I was too… damn… nice.

Me: Oh!!!

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Kevin: Once he moved in with me, I was like – here is a 23 year-old student who is new to the United States and I just started encouraging him. I was like, you know, I’m poly – you should probably give dating guys your own age a shot. I just kept encouraging him to do nice things and I think I dropped out of the zone of being mean and domineering.

Dale: You weren’t fulfilling the sexual needs of your Malaysian slave boy.

Me: “I didn’t come all the way from Malaysia to get a mommy, now let’s make with the butt smacks!!!”

(laughter)

Kevin: Well that’s the thing. When it comes to kink, I’m very good at improvising. I’m good at going into the scene. We were enjoying sex together, but otherwise I wasn’t a 24/7  hard ass asshole to him and I think he grew bored with me.

Me: Can I ask a question?

Kevin: Yes.

Me: How clean was the apartment?

(laughter)

Kevin: That’s the other thing; it was purely practical. I’m terrible at keeping the apartment clean!

Dale: And he was very good at it.

Kevin: Yeah, and I know a lot of ProDoms who are women, who – there are straight guys lining up out the door to clean their apartment – who pay them! Who pay the women! So I’m like, why should I be paying a Latina woman down the street, when I can find a dude who gets off on it?

Me: Right. To qualify, you live in a [predominately] Latina neighborhood?

(laughter)

Me: I wanted to qualify that Kevin doesn’t think….

Kevin: I actually do have a Latina woman who cleans the apartment now.

(pause)

Kevin: And there’s no sex involved.

(laughter)

Me: At least, not yet.

(laughter)

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-4

Copycats

IMG_3907comic/actor julia weidman   photos by tommy ka

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

At least, they say that when you’re making fun of them.

This guy isn’t making fun of me, but he’s copying me, for sure.

I was annoyed when I found out that he was baking semi-nude, but then I watched the video.

It’s well produced, and this guy really knows how to ice a cake. Also he is a mutherfucking stud.

Respect.

Enjoy the cake slut video, if you’re into copycats. I guess I’m into copycats, now!

Rats.

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More Colby Keller

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Me: Talk about overcoming shame about your body?

Him: Eventually you realize [porn] is not having sex with someone you want to have sex with. It’s a job. It took me a while to get past those anxieties. Now it’s like, maybe I’m concerned with how my body is positioned for the camera.

Me: (to the photographer) Adam, speak to this. A model must be both aware and unaware of their body at the same time. True or False?

The Photographer: Yeah, but it’s about their generosity too. Of spirit and the quality of person that they are. It’s not about looks. When you’re good at it it’s because something generous about yourself translates. There’s something shared that you experience in the person. Caught in a moment. That’s the engaging part of a photograph.

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Him: I think you really have to let go, and that’s a difficult thing to do.

Me: You shoot high fashion right?

The Photographer: I shoot – I don’t call it high fashion, but I do shoot highly commercial work. The thing that I became really good at was always photographing somebody in a way that they were flattered by, and kind of built them up and made them feel better. Somebody said that I try to look at people the way they would look in the eyes of someone in love with [the subject]. I’ve been very lucky.

Me: There was a moment in the shoot where you made us switch aprons. What was that about?

Him: Just to reassert myself as the alpha male.

(laughter)

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Me: That’s the thing about being gay that I love. There can be four gays in a room and we know that each of us will have our moment to be alpha. With straight guys that would end up as a fight. It wouldn’t – there’s always one guy in a group of straight guys who’s a dick but ‘that’s his thing.’ Straight guys have that issue because they can’t [have sex with] each other. I wish they could! Wouldn’t they be perfect?

(laughter)

Him: Some of them do.

Me: How did you come to pornography?

Him: I just graduated college and curious and had trouble finding a job. I submitted pictures one night thinking they would tell me no, and they said yes. I felt like I had to do it, because it had happened.

Me: Just to let everyone know, he’s getting a hug from his boyfriend right now.

Him: You know, like when you’re afraid of heights and you climb a mountain. I had to do it.  I had to push myself to that point.

Me: Why did you like to do it? Because you like to push buttons. You like to fuck with your mom and dad.

Him: No! It’s not about that. I like to fuck with my self, and challenge myself.

Me: Would you agree Karl Marx?

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His Boyfriend: Oh of course. He hates nostalgia, and sitting on his laurels intellectually. He’s always looking for something new. He’s so focused on challenging himself artistically and intellectually. That’s why I fell in love with him. He’s so good at working against it. Entropy is always the enemy.

Me: Entropy is always the enemy and it always wins eventually. So we have to fight it.

His Boyfriend: While we’re here we have to fight it, but he’s a great person to ride behind, because he’s constantly pushing against it.

Me: I fucking love that.

To be continued…

More Colby Keller here.

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-1

Showtime

Her: But he always does that. Haven’t you noticed?

Me: Does what?

Her: Won’t say yes to your idea. His is always better. You haven’t noticed that? He has NO RESPECT for the work.  We’re trying to improvise a show here! Doesn’t he? I mean… Fucker. I know he hates me.

Me: Of course he hates you.

(long pause)

Her: What?

(long pause)

Me: Nothing.

(long pause)

Her: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: Nothing.  He’s Kyle’s best friend. He thinks you’re the devil. You can see that, right?

(pause)

Me: Let’s just get ready for this show. Huh? He’s funny. You’re funny. No bigs, right? Let’s change the subject.

Her: Let’s go into this grocery store.

Me: Why? Do you need something?

Her: I’m a little hungry. We’ve got 20 minutes to kill before we warm up. Come on.

(we enter the store)

Her: Ooh! Look at this. Marshmallows! Yummy right? Pretty. Don’t you want to eat them?

Me: I’m full, but you should get some if you’re hungry.

Her: No. They’re made of cow hooves. I just remembered. Don’t you think he’s a little bit of a steamroller? I mean, he just powers through scenes. There’s no subtlety.

Me: He’s a big player. He plays big. What do you want? He’s fucking hilarious.

Her: See. That’s what bugs me. He gets rewarded for doing bad improv. He doesn’t support. Oooh! Look at this melon.

Me: It’s a watermelon.

Her: But doesn’t it look great? He’s a dick.

Me: He’s not a dick. You can’t buy a whole watermelon right before we do a show.

Her: Why not?

Me: You won’t be able to cut it open. He’s just super aggressive with his moves and so are you. It can cause friction.

Her: I’m not aggressive!

Me: You are. It’s a good thing, remember?

Her: I’m not aggressive like he is.

Me: I mean…

Her: I’m not! Am I?

Me: Yes. You’re aggressive. We all have our shows where we’re barreling through. I have to remind myself to slow down. What about a granola bar?

Her: I don’t want a granola bar – ooooh, look at these pickles! They look so good!

Me: When did pickles become 11 dollars?

Her: They’re artesianal.

Me: They’re cucumbers.  Are you hungry or what?

Her: Whydoyouask?

Me: Jeez. I dunno, Ellen. I guess because every time you’re stressed out over a show you take me to a grocery store and look at food items you don’t purchase.

Her: Is that weird?

Me: A little. I mean, especially knowing you had an issue with anorexia.

Her: I usually eat some bread and cheese in the morning to make sure I have some protein inside me.

Me: That’s not reassuring. I’m sorry to tell you this, but yes, we’re all aggressive sometimes. And yes, Carl hates you. You broke his best friend’s heart. You had an affair with one actor in the show, and then you had an affair with another, and you expect everyone to just get along, when both men loved you.

Her: I LOVED THEM TOO. I’m not a monster in all this!

Me: I’m not saying you’re a monster. I’m saying, people can’t always put their feelings aside and do the show.

Her: I can.

Me: Can you?

Her: YES. I’m a professional. He’s not. I’m only aggressive in scenes with him!

Me: That’s not true, but even if it was – how is that you putting your feelings aside?!

Her: He hates women! He doesn’t do that with you, does he? He can’t stand an assertive woman improviser, that’s what it is.

Me: That might be part of it. You’re aggressive onstage.

Her: Assertive.

Me: AGGRESSIVE. And yes. Comedy is full of immature boys that condescend to women. Please don’t start crying. We have to do a show in ten minutes. Come on. Let’s go.

Her: (still crying) Why does everyone hate me?

Me: They don’t… because they’re jealous of you. You have a big talent and it’s intimidating to them. They probably don’t even know they’re jealous of you. You’re a force to be reckoned with. Look, we all love each other, even when we get jealous. We all love being here, and respect each other.

Her: How do I know you’re not just saying that because we’re going onstage right now?

Me: You don’t. You just – we have to trust each other. I’m on your side. Okay?

Her: I guess.

Me: I’m sorry I brought this up at the wrong time. I was a jerk for doing that. Will you eat something?

Her: No.

Me: Okay. Let’s go. It’s showtime.