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  • Writer's pictureHailo

Me & Mr. Chalamet



I wasn't entirely honest in Net Neutral on Wes Anderson. And I sort of buried the meat with that title. Yes I'm very neutral toward a lot of his films but I think the takeaway is that I sort of want to write about dating again. Call it the change in the weather, or perhaps some crazy stories that have finally aged enough to give me some space to write about them. But I want to! I think I'm realizing that the more I write here the more I work on my longer, literary works sometimes. Plus I like what we have going on. It's no fun always writing in a vacuum.


I wasn't honest in the last post because I said that he'd wanted to see me last Friday, but I should have said that we met last summer, he was really nice but a bit too indecisive for my indecisiveness, and I closed things in a very mature, bookended way (that was right around the time I finally learned how to stop ghosting people). Our first date was at a bar named after an Irish poet who looks eerily like this guy who I'm pretty sure lives in my building. We landed at this bar after trying two closed restaurants and walking around for far too long. Keep in mind I willingly walk around 40 - 50 blocks in one go at least once a month. I used to love doing it hungover on a Sunday. But my boots that day were vintage and the little nail that keeps the heel on was telling my heels that it was time for a trip to the cobbler.


We had a couple of other dates where he was an angel in spite of my lack of commitment and flakiness, and eventually when I realized, I wasn't getting any easier to date anytime soon, I called it off. But I used to walk by this Loewe billboard with this actress who he loved and said that I resembled and I started seeing someone more recently, and kept seeing them, and kept seeing them, and am still, so like any woman in the liminal space between a first date and a relationship with someone they actually really enjoy, I had to start seeing someone else.


And he was on my mind because of that Loewe billboard!! And the fact that he was so nice. I said in a post somewhere on the internet that I was ready to date someone nice. Someone commented and told me it was like being in the sun. I like sitting in the sun. Preferably in an indoor structure with conditioned air, which I find fitting for this scenario.


So now, I will recap:


YESTERDAY

My first thought upon waking was "oh no." I felt nauseous, even after my morning meditation.

(Since I've last been really chatting here I've taken up daily meditation. It has changed my inner monologue from "oh God oh God oh God" to "I have legs. I like having legs." on a loop.)


By eleven, I found myself on my knees in the bathroom of an office, afraid I would vomit in a building with no bed. So I went home.


I needed to pack. I didn't pack until much much later. In the evening, I talked about Kafka. And then I remembered that -- we will call him Mr. Chalamet in reference to his favorite movie (Did I mention he is an actor?) -- Mr. Chalamet asked me what I was doing on Wednesday a few days ago and I never responded to that message.


(I'm a big advocate of texting suitors with the strategy of many a straight men. Be concise. Have fun. Only respond to the most recent question. By about 9pm, we were in the act of maybe making plans, until, at 9:23, I realized that Sunday is Mothers Day, so I needed to go to Times Square.)


My Mother, my sweet beautiful talented Mother, swears that the almond chocolate bars located specifically in the Hershey store in Times Square are different. That they have more almonds. I thought for a moment about all the times as a teenage girl where I prioritized the possibility of seeing a boy over something with family. Now I'm viscerally the inverse. I'd choose my family over a man any day.


I'm also a firm believer that when you need to run an errand, you can always invite someone to run it with you and call it a date, but this was an errand for my Mother. I read My Mother, Myself by Nancy Friday on the train. Listened to this contemporary classical album by Celia Hollander that someone introduced me to by telling me it felt like sitting and watching the water.


I walked from some stop to the Hershey's store. Didn't wear a bra, which I didn't realize is rare north of Gramercy. Avoided eye contact. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. And I didn't want to see any furtive eyes from someone who's clearly with someone. That sort of thing happens to all of us, anywhere with foot traffic, but it will make you stop believing in love.


At the Hershey store I asked for the almond bar. A lady with black and grey curly hair took me to these little meager things by the checkout. I looked at them. I hesitated.


"... my Mom is obsessed with these ones she swears you can only get here."


She looked blank for a moment. But then!


"Oh. You mean the golden bar. One second."


As she disappeared, I watched the tourists milling about. I sort of like it uptown. There is a beautiful earnestness to tourists. They are here to observe, to enjoy. They don't want you to look at them, they're so busy looking at the city. They walk around with their gaze up, not tucked down with large sunglasses like they want you to think that perhaps they're someone famous. This reminds me of the sort of narcism we discussed throughout book club in Kafka's The Trial.


Not everything is about you. A lot of things happen in the world every day to a lot of people.


I walked all the way home and saw three different couples kissing.


The first, outside of Carbone. He had long shaggy hair that fell over his face and around her head. Their dog looked up at me as I passed.


I bought a peach from a fruit stand. The man seemed a little irritated with me as I told him I wanted one peach. But then, he gave it to me for free with a smile and a little shrug. Mixed signals. Game recognizes game.


I bought an ice cream cone. I ate it and walked past Prada.


The second, in the park. She leaned into him and his feet were kicking just above the ground, sort of like people do when they ride a bike, letting their chest hang over the handlebars and their feet leave the pedals, floating with just the momentum. Two boys pointed and them and laughed.


By the third, I thought perhaps this was a sign that I was actually supposed to see Mr. Chalamet tonight. But I'm trying this thing for a day or two where I approach my work like Martha Graham, and she was all about her craft. If you wanted to see her, you had to come to her. And she liked to watch old movies at night.


The third couple was sitting on the bench at a bus stop. He was standing, and he leaned down over her. They were still kissing after I'd passed and stopped to glance back for a moment.


My roommate wasn't feeling well. I maybe needed to stop on the way home for a few remedies. Something about nausea and a migraine. We joke sometimes and say that we are reflections of one another. Whenever I'm down she's up, when I'm up she's down.


Mr. Chalamet was going to go to a club. "You'll be home by 2." He said. I did the math in my head. Home by 2, asleep by 2, get up at 7. I should sleep more I should sleep more.


But when he told me that he was almost to said club, and not to my apartment to escort me and put his jacket over puddles and this and that and this and that, I quickly opted out. But not coldly, because remember, I ended things and softly opened them a full calendar year later and that is why he is probably so confused.


I ate. I started watching The Red Shoes. There are so many movies about older men falling in love with women who are barely old enough to be considered so. No wonder everyone in a city where it isn't too taboo has an age gap phase.


I packed. Sort of. I packed a mini keyboard, a few books, and a ton of chocolate from the Hershey store because I love my Mother, and my toothbrush. My car came at seven am, even though it was scheduled for seven o five. I love a real car service. They are sleek, sexy, always punctual, and patient even if you aren't on time.


I got to La Guardia. Got a dark roast and a sad little sandwich. I've recently gotten super into dark roast Italian coffee. And vintage Prada. I blame my Italian hairstylist who makes me a little espresso every time I'm in his chair and always compliments my shoes and guesses what they are.


(Speaking of which, he just texted me asking if I know anyone who'd make a good Maitre d' at a cute coastal hotel on Shelter Island. I told him I'd ask around. The requirements are "someone cool running a cool vibe." Hit my line.)


Then I cracked out my laptop, and here we are. A full twenty-four hours.


I missed you. <3


I have some actually insane stories I may pull from, but the present always helps me reflect on the past. I like mulling over things in real time like this, and I like the idea that our discussions have a little dictation over the future too.


For example, I have the opportunity to have a second date in either Amsterdam or Paris with one of the most interesting one-off dates I had last year. And I know I should say yes because I'm twenty-three. But should I? I don't know.


I'm going to go now. I'm getting nauseous again. I slept three hours last night.


Do you like Mr. Chalamet? He's sweet! I'm confusing! Should I open the door?


I hate nausea. Being on your knees in an office restroom is a new low. I refuse to do it in an airport stall. Vomit, that is. On my knees.


Like a dog!


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