Angela, the one night stand
I dumped my girlfriend of a year-and-a-half for the chance to sleep with Angela Gabriele. Angela was a grocery clerk at Brooklyn’s Natural, an organic health food store around the corner from the warehouse I was living in over the summer. This meant no kitchen and no shower. It also meant that I was deceiving my Hassidic landlord, who told me in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to live there. I didn’t care though. I was too busy illustrating a graphic novel. I was inspired by the filth and squalor.
Angela and I would exchange long stares, smiles, and the occasional quip each time I stopped in at Brooklyn’s Natural to buy beer, which was between eight and 15 times a day. Having no refrigerator of my own, I would buy one bottle of Pabst at a time.
One afternoon Angela asked me what I did with all of my empty beer bottles at home. I told her I was working on a piece of conceptual art for some multimedia collective. That seemed to further her interest. (In reality I would hurl the bottles from the top of my roof at night onto an adjacent basketball court. The broken glass on the courts seemed to keep the neighborhood kids from shooting hoops early in the morning. This in turn allowed me to sleep late).
Later in the week I brought her a mix CD with songs by the Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello and Eazy-E. Angela smiled. The tension between us intensified. I bought Pabst all afternoon.
The following day my landlord discovered that I was living in the loft. He informed me that I lived like a pig. He then threatened me with a sawed-off baseball bat, which he produced from beneath the passenger seat of his minivan. I had to be out of the loft by the end of the week. I didn’t know what to do, so I loaded up my Nissan pickup truck and decided to head for Canyonlands National Park in Southern Utah, where a friend of mine lived in a ranger’s station. I stopped by Brooklyn’s Natural and told Angela that I was leaving for the desert in the morning and I might never be back.
Angela and I made love that evening on top of beds of lettuce and other organic produce. Before I left we agreed to stay in touch and see each other again when I returned to Brooklyn. Later on, somewhere near Kansas City, I realized that Angela was the first one-night stand in my life that had gone right. I decided that I wasn’t going to fuck this one up and threw the Pabst wrapper with her number on it into the Missouri River.
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