So today is the day when I finally get to hang out with Dirk, in high hopes that he will be the chosen gay in my friend collection. That he will supply me with ample amounts of gossip, regular stimulation, and be ready by the phone for my every little need. I am so excited I could pee myself! Oops, I may have just a little.
I am dressed and ready to head over. I heard somewhere that gay men have this incredible way of seeing through people, but that if one is wearing an impeccable outfit, these powers diminish. So I decide I need to get Dirk caught up in my ‘web of wardrobe’ (courtesy of Jonathan).
Dirk and I are both signed up for the Glen Cove High School's Homecoming Dance Committee. Today we decorate, so I am thinking I must not only look chic but be somewhat comfortable. Ripped jeans, converse and my Prada polo in black will have to do. I am getting quite vain I realize.
Jonathan is in the City for two days, and after my fight with Cindy, I felt like I needed a little space and “me time”, so last night Gertie-bitch-cat and I stayed up until 1am watching Making a Murderer. That shit was fucking crazy and at one point I grabbed Gertie and held her tightly and started to pet her fur so veraciously that pieces of it started coming out!
I was anxious and mad at the television and the injustice of it all and took it out on my cat. She promptly scratched me and put me back in my place. I will probably be trying to win her over with affection for the next month. We were just starting to get somewhere in our relationship too. Oh well, she is a little grouchy asshole anyway.
It’s time to head over to pick up Dirk for some decorating fun and, hopefully, drinking possibilities afterwards. I get to his house and it’s nothing special, very simple but charming. Located close to the high school about five miles from my house. It’s pretty much a perfect day on Long Island. About 75 degrees with a light breeze. I knock at his door. He answers it, wearing a pink Polo, bright green shorts and a scarf around his neck. He does not disappoint.
I step inside of his home and I am in shock. To my right, small cat figurines. Porcelain. Stacked on shelves. There must be a hundred at least. Hanging above his fireplace is a portrait of a cat, large, too large for the wall space.
“Come in, love. I will be out in a minute, I just have to find the right shoes.” Dirk lures me into his den of cat-dom. But I’m not really listening because I am fascinated with his decor. Cat cookie jars in the kitchen, cat salt and pepper shakers on the dining room table, and to top it all off, one large cat statue sitting in the corner of the living room. Odd looking, and white. I realize that I may be in a serial killer's house. I mean, who decorates like this? Plus I was under the impression that gay men had impeccable taste.
I walk around his living room looking for any signs of actual cats. There are none. Dirk walks briskly back out into the living room, humming a tune which I don’t know. But instead of trying to explain any of his crazy cat decorations, he simply looks at me and says, “Ready, doll?”
I take a deep breath and reply, “Sure, let's take my car.” I scramble out the door and Dirk locks the door behind us.
We drive and we listen to some Britney Spears (but of course we do!). I then decide that I should just come out and say it.
“So Dirk, the cat stuff, what’s up with that?” And there I go again, instead of thinking through how to say something, it just comes out as a sort of straight forward vomit of syllables.
“Oh, yes, I love cats. It’s like the best, don’t you think?” He is laughing and looking out the window.
“Right, totally.” I say. “Do you actually own cats?” I prod.
“Oh, I’m allergic,” he says with a frowny face, looking over to me dramatically. “That’s probably why I am so obsessed with collecting them. They are so damn cute and I just can’t help myself.” Right then he sneezes. He pauses after the third sneeze and looks over at me. “Wait, do you have cats? Because I am having some sort of allergic reaction!” Dirk is getting hysterical.
“Yes, I do, but it’s not like she ever gets in my car or anything.” I am looking over at Dirk right now and he is actually holding his hands around his own throat. “Are you OK?” I ask.
“You have cats, the hair must be on your clothes. I can’t breath!”
What the fuck is happening right now? There is no way he is that allergic to cats.
“Pull over, Emily! I can’t breath.” He is being very dramatic.
“Dirk, I’m sure you are fine.” I am looking at his face as it turns red.
“Pull over!” He yells at me, and so I do, right there by Rigby Park, one mile from his house. He grabs the door handle, and in no time he is laying on the road next to my car.
What the fuck is this guy about anyways? Jesus, not how I wanted this day to go. I run over to his side of the car and he is gasping for air. He unbuttons his Polo and points to his pocket.
“What, Dirk? What is it?” I am sitting down with him now partly thinking this is him being insane and partly thinking that I just killed my first gay man.
“Epi…pen” He squeaks.
“Oh, Epipen. OK gotcha! I’m on it.” I am trying to talk myself through the fact that I have to stab this guy with a fucking pen right about now. I grab it out, take off the lid and ask, “Where?”
“In my leg!” Dirk is screaming at this point, holding his throat and gasping for air. I stick the man. This man who is so allergic to cats that one strand of cat hair on my clothing makes him beg for his own life. This is ridiculous, I think.
His breathing returns to normal and we are both sitting in shock, next to my car which is still running. Dirk sits up and folds his legs into his arms. He takes a few deep breaths. I sit silently, not knowing what to say. I barely know this guy and I have already tried to kill him.
“Do you need to go to the Hospital?” I ask, creasing my eyebrows together, trying to put the lid back on the pen which I just used to save this well-dressed man's life.
“No, Emily, hospitals terrify me. Just take me home and I will rest a bit.” He then looks at me and grabs my hand. “You saved my life and I will never forget it.” He seems so sincere. All the while I am waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out of the fucking bushes.
“Dirk, you should probably tell people you are deathly allergic to cats. What if I had taken Gertie to the vet in my car or something? You would have died right here on the curb in front of Rigby Park. That is not how you want things to go down, my friend.”
Dirk smiles and tries to stand. He nods his head and I help him into the car. I have never seen someone with an allergic reaction like this before, but then again there are many things in Glen Cove I have never experienced. I guess I will be decorating the Homecoming dance by myself. No booze with the gay. No sultry conversations or witty banter. For a moment I think of Derek. Yes, him. Old boss Derek. He was always good for a laugh, whether I was laughing at him or with him. Lord knows he would never pull this sort of shit on me.
I drop Dirk off at his house and wave goodbye.
“Call me!” He says as he shuts his front door.
No, thank you, I say to myself. I think I will stick with Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s for a while.
I get to the school to decorate and I am late, so of course when I walk in with all of the other rich-bitch mothers stare at me. I wave awkwardly and take a seat in one of the metal folding chairs and join the conversation. Well, not actually join. They are making lists of who will do what, and what colors we need and so on. I am already bored. I need entertainment.
Right then the gym door opens again and I turn to look, wondering what pathetic soul, such as myself, would dare to interrupt this sacred meeting.
It’s Cindy. I am pleasantly surprised. She sits down in the empty seat next to me.
“What are you doing here? I thought you signed up for the Harvest Festival,” I whisper.
“Two words: cat-allergy.” Cindy looks deadpan straight ahead and pretends to be listening, but I know she isn’t because this shit bores the crap out of her too.
I don’t know how she found out about Dirk, or how she knew that I might need a friend right now, but that’s because I’m not even close to being as badass as Cindy is. She is like The Godfather, but hot and tall and maternal. I lean my head on her shoulder and pretend to listen too.