I will never know what it is like to be young and rich, like cocaine and loose women, do you party, dance-your-ass-off rich. Rich like call for room service and pay whoever brings down my five-hundred dollar bottle of champagne to tell me I'm a star or let me dress them like like an adult baby. C'mon kid. I'll give you a hundred bucks. Nobody has to know.
I made out with someone who was on cocaine once. It was Easter Sunday, the year I decided not to have dinner with my family anymore. It always turns into a fight anyway, like the year my mom asked us to say grace, which was ridiculous because not one of us has ever been to church in our lives. I think she fell asleep watching a marathon of sitcoms on PAX TV, the deceptively Christian network, and woke up believing she had another family, one that was moral, chaste, and prudent. She asked us to say grace, and when nobody volunteered, she asked again, like we hadn't heard because we were each very involved in a private prayer of our own, and not that we were ignoring her. So I said, “Thank you, God, for this bountiful feast, which Christ died bleeding on the cross for.” And then I put my hand in the cranberry sauce and wiped it across my face like an Easter warrior.
Well, nothing was ever the same after that, either screaming over whose job it was to thaw the corn, or dead silence, which, even though it sounds like it would help with digestion, actually makes you feel like you have a chestnut lodged in your esophagus. So, that Easter, I stayed in bed until five, opting out of our traditional family group-hate, and went to karaoke.
The only place open on Easter was Lit Lounge, this dank cave on the Lower East Side that always looked like there should be a college geology major giving guided cavern tours and telling you to watch your step. I had just sang “Ballroom Blitz,” and it turned out to be a real show-stopper. Maybe it was drugs, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit, but everyone lost their minds dancing, the whole room orange and swaying, lit up like amber waves of grain. Some photographer was taking my picture and asked my name. I handed him my business card, xeroxed and laminated for free at my job, something I had for no real reason because I don't do anything in particular. He looked at it- FEMME FATALE OF KARAOKE- threw me against a wall and started making out with me. I couldn't figure out why my face suddenly went numb, like I had been watching TV and didn't realize I was sitting on my lips and tongue the whole time. My heart was racing, but I chalked it up to soda and the excitement of making out with somebody I didn't already know.
My friend Dave was the only person I knew there. He was older, Canadian, and a CEO of a company that made things that glowed in the dark. He was pretty weird, but we bonded while singing “Hot Legs” by Rod Stewart once at another karaoke.
“Do you know that guy?” he asked, laughing and astonished at what a monumental creep I had become in a manner of minutes.
“No,” I said, feeling my face to make sure it was still there. “Isn't it great?”
Five minutes of song. Sixty minutes of glory and sloppy, cardiac-stress. Two hours of looking up facial paralysis on WedMD. Those days have passed me by, if they ever really existed. No chance now of becoming the sort of person who wears iridescent pantsuits, stilettos, and acrylic nails with the pinkie extra long, spending money like it's not even mine. Oh, it's not that far, but let's hop in a cab anyway. Money's no object but a burnt hole in this manicured hand, and everything is gonna be all chocolate covered strawberries from here on out, baby. Now, would you be a dear and pass the mirror?