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Wednesday, February 16,2005

First Date at Phony Island.

. . . . . . .
"There's just one thing I need to tell you," I said to Pete, the producer of the daytime tv dating show, "I already have a girlfriend, and I'm just doing this for material."

"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that, and you're never going to mention it again. So, where do you want to go on your date?"

"Uh… Coney Island?"

Coney Island in April is a very weird place. The exoskeletons of the stilled rides hang beneath the chilly sky like dinosaurs remembered from childhood trips to the natural history museum. You recall them as being a little more spectacular and a lot less spooky.

Fortunately, with tv shows, there's no awkward moment wondering which chick in the bar is your blind date. The six people pointing video cameras at her are an instant giveaway. Pete had artistically positioned her gazing out at Staten Island, the sea breeze, redolent of brine and raw sewage, blowing back her shocking red hair.

"You must be Carrie," I said.

"Finally! Thank fucking god!" she spun around.

"Sorry," she apologized. "The preliminary interview was so goddamned annoying. I mean, I just came out of a three-year lesbian relationship. Whaddaya wanna know?"

"Um... What are you doing on a tv dating show?"

"I'm actually bisexual."

I was starting to like this chick.

Carrie and I got on rather well. We rode the go-karts, went on the Wonder Wheel and bonded while counting the sex acts we'd like to perform on Andrea the production assistant. Of course, when our "date" aired three months later, Pete and his crew had edited all that out and re-made us into a PG-rated idea of what artsy types in New York are like, with lots of close-ups of tattoos and leather jackets and my shaved head and her tongue piercing.

Evolutionary psychologists would have us believe that men aren't made for monogamy. (And that's not considering my thing for tattooed, crazy bisexual girls with tongue piercings.) Of course I thought about calling Carrie, but here's how it would play out: I'd innocently invite her for a cup of coffee to, oh, maybe discuss the Marquis de Sade. One thing would lead to another, and she'd soon be tied to my bed while I ran to the corner bodega for ice cubes, candles and a Chihuahua. Sure, the sex would be great, but my girlfriend of three years might not be happy.

Instead, the moment I got home from Coney Island, I ceremoniously burned her phone number in the sink. Sometimes, you have to remember to differentiate between what's real and what's not.

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