Monday, December 12, 2005

Bless the FDNY and how I will never date again

“Hi Shannon, it’s Jennifer your landlord. Please call me back immediately, I need to speak with you to understand why the fire department was at your apartment on Friday night. Actually, thinking about it, I am really perturbed at you guys and maybe we need to discuss another living arrangement because it seems this apartment is not the right fit for you guys.”

The message, almost verbatim, left on my cell phone this afternoon, while I, instead of hearing her phone call, ran around my apartment throwing on clothes and taming the hair that curled in my sleep. Hoping that the cute boy who slept over last night sitting on my living room couch doesn’t see too much of haggard, unwashed, un-made-up Shannon, hoping that he continues to watch the movie on the Sundance channel instead of noticing me checking out my ass and making sure my PJ pants look as good as the $150 jeans that I wore when I met him at the bar.

Oh the awkward next morning when someone you actually like sleeps over, and you try to maintain the candle lit mystery in the light of day.

“Holy shit, what a fucking cunt! She wants me to move the fuck out?! Let her try” I say out loud to nobody, only wanting the sound of my words and anger to reassure myself that I will not be fucked with. My girl power moment interrupts his watching of the awful movie.

“What happened?” He asks.

“It was my fucking landlord! I am calling this crazy fuckin’ bitch back,” the words tumble out, tinged with the LI accent that slips when I get angry and drunk.

I storm away, not fully explaining anything, and go into John’s room where I hastily dial the number, with shaking hands, tired of fighting with the building’s owners.

If you are reading this on the East Coast, you know that Winter has hit NYC. The extreme cold has left its artic mark, with perpetual snow and ice covering the streets, serving as a reminder to the city’s inhabitants of the season.

John comes home on Friday night, tired after a long day of walking up and down Broadway, the faux-mall of NYC. He tells me that he is so desperate for a job that he has even hit up J Crew. Willing to sell clothes to the over-indulgent preppies in the middle of the tourist shopping center. I’m half-way to drunk when he comes home, having already started on the 6 pack in the fridge.

He walks over, to the couch, telling me about his day and interrupts his own thought process:

“You know what? I am going to finish sealing the air conditioning hole. It’s fucking cold!”

He cuts the insulation as I sit on the couch drinking beer and enjoying the reversal of roles.

With the air conditioning vent sealed better than it was before, John is filled with a sense of masculine pride that only home repairs can give a man.

“You know, my room is fucking freezing, could you help me move some of the furniture so I could turn on the heat in my room?”

I grudgingly get up, pound my fourth beer, and think to myself, ‘how is it he has gone through the middle of December without heat in his room’? With the empty beer bottle on my coffee table, I walk over to his room and help him move his bed so he can access the radiator in his room.

John takes off the grill, crouches down to the radiator’s wheel and begins to twist the heat on. Mid-twist, the wheel and the valve it was connected to come off in his hand. He stands up, with it in his hand, looks at me, and asks,

“Uhm…do you know if this is important?”

We both laugh and call the building owners slumlords. Fucking douche bags.

We decide to take out the trash, clean up the apartment, and get ready for our prospective ‘hang outs’ aka, the boys who will end up in our beds by the end of the night.

Going back to our apartment from taking out the trash, we are confronted with a putrid odor at the base of our stairs. We go up anyway, not giving the stench a thought, but noting how it intensifies as we continue up the stairs. The flight our apartment is on, we see the light haze of smoke, and smell qualifies as a stench. We open the door, and like a scene out of backdraft, smoke and steam rush out the door. We can’t see the inside of our apartment, only hear the squeal of the heater emitting steam.

“Holy fuck! We broke our radiator!!” I scream.

John runs into the room, trying to see if he could put an end to the shooting steam.

“Shannon, come in here and give me a hand!”

“No!” I rush down the stairs, “I am scared! What happens if the radiator explodes?! Open up a window!”

“I am trying but I need your help,” he says.

Hearing a rukus, the neighbor on the second floor opens her door and asks us what is wrong, as she sees the smoke and steam shoot out of the apartment.

“Should I evacuate the apartment?” she asks.

“No, we broke the valve to the radiator and the steam is shooting out. Do you know who we can call?”

“Go upstairs and grab the landlord.”

I run up the stairs, freaking out, while John is inside dealing with a rogue radiator.

I bang on the landlord’s door and of course, he isn’t home. The night when we do want him meddling in our business and he can’t fucking be home. I call the emergency numbers to the building owners and leave messages, all to no avail.

I run down the stairs to my apartment, and see John, standing with the door open, covered in a mixture of sweat and steam. “I can’t get this to turn off.” He says, with alarm filling his voice.

Tears well up in my eyes, and I am preparing to knock on all the doors in order to evacuate the residents. I think we are about to cause a major fire in my building.

The neighbor with common sense suggests that I walk over to the fire house located a block away, and go and grab a firefighter.

I throw on my sneakers, and run to the firehouse, getting there panting and out of breath. I timidly knock on the door, and then open it.

“Excuse me? Hello?”

I look around and find the dispatcher.

“Uhm, I hope I am not bothering you, but we seem to have broken my radiator and there is an incredible amount of steam and smoke filling our apartment, and if possible, could you send someone over to check it out?”

“Hold on.” He says, and rushes to find a guy.

The firefighter accompanies me back to my apartment. He goes in, walking up the stairs, expecting to find a little bit of steam, and 2 overly anxious kids.

“Holy shit! This is bad. Go back to the firehouse and get me my light and my tools.”
He says this, and then crouches down to the fire position that we are taught when we are in elementary school. Low to the ground, and try not to breathe very deeply.

I get back to the apartment with 2 more fire fighters, both of them in agreement with the first that this is a shitty situation. Actually, they have never seen anything this bad. Fire mitt, flashlights, and tools, and a little prayer, the steam is turned off.

We thank the firefighters. I call my mom, shaking, and craving a beer.

As I am on the phone the landlord comes in on call waiting.

Before I can even say ‘hello’ he raises his voice, “What do you mean that there were fire fighters at the apartment?”

We bicker back and forth,. I lose my cool. He is coming over in half an hour.

Fuck, both John and I are supposed to hang out with some boys tonight and we have Captain Kill-Ass-Gettin' coming over to lecture us.

We get ready for our dates. He comes over. John and him begin to bicker. I try to play conflict mediator, using the skills I learned when I was 11 years old and a geek giving up her lunch period, trying in vain to help my peers solve their own problems. It didn’t work when I was 11 and it sure as hell did not work tonight.

Frustrated and anxious: “Hey guys, listen up. John, you have a date at 11. My date is arriving in the next 15 mins, and I am sure you, Mr. Landlord man…well, it’s a Friday night,” I say this, dressed fucking hotly. Hair blowed dried straight, my 4” heels offsetting the satin skirt quite well. It was obvious I was looking good in the hopes of ass.

The landlord chimes in, “Yea, me too. I was going up to Westchester and she was cooking me dinner [looks down on the ground], [quickly changes subject] so about the apt...”

Mr. Landlord man, its obvious that you were not going to get ass, in the same way that me and John were slated to get ass that night. I’m sorry, someone making dinner at 10pm? You wearing slacked out cords to go to this special dinner? Stop acting like Corky (the kid from ‘Life Goes On’) and admit that you are jealous of our sex lives.

He leaves. Our respective dates come. Both of them are males, both of them sharing the same name, and both ended up in our bed the next morning.

A note to my readers:
The events listed above are 100% true. Both guys who I saw this past weekend know about the blog, although they promised not to read it (hhmmm….let’s see if that will happen). I just want you guys to know, that I am putting myself into a hole, by making it public knowledge what a quasi-virginal slut I am, and am another step closer to not being able to date in NYC. Here is a word of advice. When you exchange pics with someone off of the internet, do not send them to your myspace profile to see your pics, especially because that is where your blog link is located. Because, when push comes to shove, my journalistic/writer integrity means more than any happiness that regular non-mechanical sex could bring. Please say thank you by forwarding this link and linking me to your own blog.


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