I was nineteen years old when this happened and knew nothing about guys. Hell, I had never even had a boyfriend. I was blissfully struggling through my first year at NYU. It seemed nothing was working. In studio I struggled to find my place amongst the untalented big mouths who were told their entire lives they should be actors when really they were empty cans making lots of noise. And then there were the goody girls who I kind of bonded with, but they were so squeaky clean they lacked dimension. Lest we not forget the sluts who were actually not that good looking, but guys like the easy test, right? Oh and then there were the favorites who ironically don't have careers now. And of course the weed heads. I couldn't get into weed. Didn't like the smell, and while I have always liked Scooby Doo
, only in small doses.
It seemed guys didn't like me. My first week in school I went on a date with a guy who sickened me by telling me of all of his sexual adventures. I began to understand the protagonist Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar even more. If this was what dating would be like I wanted to overdose on sleeping pills and never be found. And then I made out with one guy my second week of school. I had never made out with anyone before so this was big. But he didn't brush his teeth which made me want to never make out again. Of course in there I kissed Ben, a visitor from England who is still a huge fan and speaks to me. But Ben had to return home. So for the rest of the semester I was left with either guys telling me they would call me and never did, or a lot of gay men who just wanted to chill.
That screwed up semester I ended up with a crush on my gay RA who was nice enough to speak to me after I was having a bad week. I just wanted a hot guy to pay attention to me. After all, at nineteen I was struggling to find my place and losing my footing fast. I looked at some of the girls who I went to school with. They were from rich families. While my dad was a lawyer we were not Astors by any means. Hell, a kid on my floor had a maid. Some were just really outgoing when it came to men and I wasn't. Talking to guys scared me. The few times I had kissed a guy made me want to use mouth wash. Some were really experienced and I really wasn't. And of course some were so talented and I was just strange.
So as I struggled to find my place I developed several strange habits. One was chain smoking. I thought being a bad girl would attract men and it did for a minute. Chain smoking alleviated the anxiety attacks I felt as I went up against my bitter wench of a scene study teacher that semester. However I was a jogger too. The smoking began to kill my cardio and the habit was expensive. Needless to say that did not last long. While Mae West chain smoked in all of her movies, she was a clean liver in real life. Smoking is an awesome prop and looks sexy on film, but in real life it is merely the tool of a nineteen year old moron trying to look cool. Tool being the operative word cause I certainly was one in those days.
That semester I discovered how brave booze makes a person. I had started drinking on Friday nights with my friends. Usually the gatherings were segregated to beer which I detested the taste of. However one week someone brought whiskey and I realized I loved whiskey. I loved how Jack Daniels took my anxiety away and it suddenly became easy when it talked to men. I was no longer April Brucker who was socially awkward and wore fake hair. I was no longer the weird girl with puppets. I was no longer that lost soul trying to find her place among the NYU frosh class. I was brave.
One day I met a hot transfer student at the library. I was living on coffee that day. Part of it was a failed bid to lose weight. Part of it was because my mind was so tired from being dizzy all the damn time because it was just going. His name was Tom. I remember he was from Rhode Island where my brother Wendell was living. We spoke for a half hour and exchanged numbers. I really liked Tom and wanted him to be my boyfriend very badly. Looking back, he was probably just a guy who wanted easy ass and he thought, "This chick is crazy. She will probably give it to me."
Well being nineteen and out of my mind Tom became the perfect man. I liked the fact he was a great listener. At the time I was on a kick with Cancer men and he was a water sign. He would be sensitive to my needs. I began planning the wedding in my mind and naming our children because as I said, at nineteen women are insane. Meanwhile these are the things that scare men forever. Looking back, these thoughts are not only cukoo for coca puffs but scary as hell. As in restraining order scary but I was a stupid kid. I was harmless. I was infatuated. And I had his number. Tom had told me when he took a girl out he brought her flowers and treated her well. I wanted flowers, I wanted to be treated well. The summer before I had worked as a lifeguard with dirty old men all wanting me. They wanted a mistress. None of them offered to bring me flowers! This was the most I had ever spoken to a guy. Gad zooks!
Friday night arrived and so did the whiskey. A girl in my dorm brought it along with the guy she was dating who had just gotten out of jail. I know, great decisions, right? She later flunked out that semester because she just didn't show up for a midterm. You really should show up for those things. I recommend it if you want to PASS. Anyway, we were getting trashed and we were talking. I brought up Tom and our convo. This girl who I will call Jen recommended that the only way to win a guy was to tell him how you felt.
As I proceeded to get trashed I chased my whiskey with a beer. Don't mix your liquors, that is a bad idea. And then someone offered me some coke spiked with something else. Things began to blur and my phone was in reaching distance. So that is when my liquid courage did the talking. I picked up my phone, dialed Tom's number, and stated the following: "Hi Tom, this is April. You met me at the library. I just wanted to tell you that I am in love with you!" With that I hung up the phone.
I drunk dialed several other people that evening, mostly to come and pAArty with us. Nothing drastic. After getting massively shitfaced I ended up somehow losing my shoes in Washington Square Park and puking in a trash can. The people I was partying with were nice enough to help me home. I do believe my shoes turned up somewhere the next day though which was good.
The next morning I woke up and could not remember what happened. I just knew whatever transpired had been a massive amount of fun because I had the most unfortunate hangover. While the next before I had felt brave and sexy, today I felt like hell. Translated, Jack Daniels and I were in an abusive relationship. My roommate who was a major pot head looked at me and asked if I was alright. While I had gotten trashed, she did this all the time. I told her I felt like death and she got me a glass of water.
I made my way to the dining hall and saw I had dialed a number of people on my phone. And I saw Tom's number. I didnt remember calling him and I had not remembered what I said. After several cups of coffee and a chat with Hunter, security guard and part time Pentecostal Preacher, I called Tom. I left him a message telling him I drunk dialed him and apologized. There was no memory of what happened, but also I just hoped I hadn't gone on a rant.
Well Tom called me back while I was showing the vomit of the night before off of myself. He said in his message, "Hi April. It's Tom. You didn't say anything bad.......(pause).....actually, you told me you loved me. Hope you're okay." Click.
I never heard from Tom again. And whenever he saw me he avoided me. I didn't understand what I did wrong. I had simply drunk dialed the man. As Tom avoided me I spilled my guts to my straight RA who was always a listening ear as well. After finishing my tale of woe he put his hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye. Chuck was a Queens Boy and one of the few Republicans at NYU. Cool as hell he sometimes drank with us. While it pissed off Monica the crazy Puerto Rican RA who was the beer Nazi, Chuck was the one bringing the beer.
This is how our exchange went:
Chuck: Seriously, you said that?
Chuck puts his hand on my shoulder
Chuck: April, you never say that to a man, especially when you just met him. That is the fastest way to lose a guy. As a matter of fact, that is a lesson in how not to get a man.
Me: Will he ever talk to me again?
Chuck looks away, looks at me, and shakes his head.
Chuck: Probably not. April, just don't do that again, okay? I like you and want to see you happy. And when a girl comes on that strong a guy wonders if after this encounter he will keep his penis. I know you aren't crazy, just a little, you know, lost in this area. So no more of that, you hear?
Needless to say I saw Tom a few more times during college. Once he was with a new girlfriend who was a chubbier but less insane version of myself. And then a few more times in passing. Each and every time he had a new and exciting excuse to bolt. The good thing is though, I learned my lesson. I have never since done that to a man and my life has been much smoother. The crazy thing is, most people want to be that young again. I say, "Nah." Nineteen is scary. You have the brain of a moron, an adult body, and yes, the state can stick a needle in your arm.
I ran into Tom recently. He is now dating an Asian woman and seems quite happy. Tom was at the corner store buying some stupid item. We exchange some small talk and I hit it off with his gal. However Tom needed a quick excuse to bolt. He said they were on their way to the theatre and pulled her arm. As they this was their exchange as I heard it. And here I will call her Daisy.
Daisy: We aren't going to the threatre. You said you were burned out on acting. We are going to dinner in an hour. I really liked talking to her.
Tom: I know, but she is completely out of her fucking mind. The less contact the better. She called me drunk one night and told me she loved me.
Daisy: Holy shit.
It totally hurt me to hear that but whatever. I also learned another lesson at nineteen. Men suck. And oh, their rejection is God's protection. I also learned to get to know someone before you fall in love. Oh and then while we are on the subject get to know that they aren't a total assweed before you pick out the wedding locale.
I have been doing well as of late. Maybe he should have stuck with me. But then again, he can choke on that shit when he sees my book on Amazon and sees my face on TV.
Ha ha ha!
AprilI Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery GirlPaperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-BookE-Book available on Kindle and NookAudiobook available on itunes and Audible this Springwww.youtube.com/aprilthestarrPortion of proceeds go to Greenpeace