Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Update! Love to All!

Hope everyone is safe during Hurricane Sandy! We don’t have internet connection today, so we haven’t been posting. TheGirl signed up to volunteer during the relief efforts at shelters across the city. Proves that you don’t need a super guy in your life, you are each your own hero because you have something to give. Peace and Blessings!

Addendum to Chapter 3: Home is where….

Addendum to Chapter 3:

Meet Jon. This chapter only scratched the surface of who he is and his background. But hopefully you, the readers, will come to know and understand Jon and Sabrien; and why their relationship took such an unusual path.  Despite his seemingly white bread all-American (perfect/normal) background, Jon was not your average guy — he is very sensitive and copes with issues in a less than healthy way. His creativity, and inward facing intellect, which suited him in his solitary life — screamed a missing piece that his other half could not fulfill.

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Chapter 3: Home is where…

The Spirit Dies

In a few days we had plans to meet again at the station, and make our way back to Jon’s apartment.  At this point I could hardly sit through a half-day of work; let alone wait until quitting time.  Jon was excited too, but probably for much different reasons.

Text message:

Awesome, I’m going to stop by the store and pick up some stuff for tonight

He replies:

Great! Can’t wait to see you :-)

We met at a major station hub and he escorted me to his home. Now Jon is your typical WASP; White Anglo-Saxon Protestant-reared suburban boy who has probably never tasted rice and beans mélange on the same plate. At least, not at his mommy’s house…At his stop, I could literally smell the Popeye’s chicken frying in their twelve herbs and spices, before the train doors opened.  As we walked, we passed by his favorite bodega and deli shop, a place he called Yemen.  I wonder of the type of culture shock he went through when he first moved to the city a few years back. I wonder of the culture shock he went through being with me?

This neighborhood I am more familiar with from an epidemiological standpoint, as I have done some work there. It is predominantly Hispanic and on the lower socio-economic income scale with at least ⅓ of households falling below poverty lines. The trains were above ground, which in these neighborhoods not only add to the air pollution (and high rates of asthma among children) but also the noise pollution, which decreases quality of life and property values. Speaking of property values, there is a less than 20% home ownership rate.  His area had one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the borough, particularly among MSM (men who have sex with men) and IDUs (Injection Drug Users).  There were many agencies and churches on the blocks leading to his building; offering counseling, food pantry, and WIC/SNAP sign up etc…to the community.

But what really surprised me was that in this minority neighborhood, we followed a stream of blond haired/ blue eyed persons to this one newly built 3 story building that stood across dilapidated houses and an old church. It had card swipe access and security personnel at the lobby.  As many times as I have been to Jon’s building, other than the security staff, I was the only recognizable person of color in the building.

Sabrien – “Its so strange I’ve been to this neighborhood a few times…to have a brand new building and your neighbors across the street living in abject poverty”

I wonder if Jon ever considered the extent of gentrification in his adopted home town?

His two-bedroom dwelling was comfortable with a large window in the main room, where you could sit on the large leather sofa to watch an enormous TV or play foosball.  His tiny bedroom, on the other hand, knocked out all the glamour of living on your own as a twenty something year-old in New York City.

Jon – “Yep so this is it…wanna watch some TV?”

The techno genius had managed to rig an iPad to the television to access his online account to watch movies and shows as well as perform basic functions such as changing channels, volume, etc… Jon also had an intense fascination and skill at playing computer video games, I remember at times sitting next to him as he played; completely engulfed at the 3D graphics and depth (video games have come an incredibly long way since I played PlayStation) and the dexterity and deftness of his hands to type on the keyboard and move the mouse.

When I gave his game a try, I thought my years of piano playing and highly developed eye-hand coordination would surely match if not supersede his abilities. Boy was I wrong, the graphics not only made me dizzy and confused but I’m sure I may have seized at some point in the night.

Jon apparently has many great talents with his hands, aside from computer work. :-)  At one point he played drums and had played together with a few friends. And yes, he is a writer or would like to be someday. And (this is so cute!) he doodles: literally, like a second grader on a notebook of graphing paper. Like anyone uses graphing paper anymore? Lol

Passed the two bedrooms and into the small bathroom, which may have never been cleaned, laid two toothbrushes but no toothpaste; which spoke to why when Jon smiled you could tell not only was he a smoker but perhaps some neglect of care.  Both towels on the rack belonged to him, along with body wash and skin care products from Clinique, which may or may not have helped his sensitive break-out prone skin.  And in his bare but modern kitchen stood a refrigerator that only contained ice.

He didn’t live a Bachelor lifestyle; he lived a college student lifestyle. With his twin-sized cot (no bed frame) and stage curtain-fabric to block out all sunlight. His nightstand and desks were decorated with dollars’ worth of loose change, empty and half empty water bottles, and some deli sandwich paper from Yemen, and a bong.

Looking back now, if home is where the heart is, then Jon’s home had a lonely heart.  There were no pictures of him, his family or friends. His roommate, Neil**, in which they were best friends since high school is seemingly opposite. Clean-cut and mild mannered, Neil kept in shape by listing daily pull-ups on a chart, which spilled over to Jon’s column as he didn’t do any. He participated in a local team which met every week after work and seem to enjoy socializing in his new hometown of New York City.

Jon does smoke, and I didn’t realize how much until later on…he wasn’t a recreational user, but a chronic user.  You probably would have thought you were speaking to two different persons had you called Jon at 2pm in the afternoon in the middle of a work day, and 8pm at night when he is at home.

I don’t know if his best friend noticed it, as he wasn’t home so often, and they were only living together that year. I wondered if his parents noticed, since they didn’t come to visit; even when Jon moved to a new apartment over the summer.  Jon’s parents lived in the same town as Neil’s family, and his mother and sister came for weekend, and invited Jon and a guest to dinner.

But I think what is truly sad, is that Jon didn’t notice it: home is where his spirit died every night.

Next Week: Ch. 4 RabbitHole

You lose track of time when you’re down in the rabbit hole……and your mind slowly dies from the lack of oxygen. This is love: wondering around with an atrophied brain.

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Longer Preview to Chapter 3: Home is where…the spirit dies

We met at a major station hub and he escorted me to his home. Now Jon is your typical WASP; White Anglo-Saxon Protestant-reared suburban boy who has probably never tasted rice and beans mélange on the same plate. At least, not at his mommy’s house…At his stop, I could literally smell the Popeye’s chicken frying in their twelve herbs and spices, before the train doors opened.  As we walked, we passed by his favorite bodega and deli shop, a place he called Yemen.  I wonder of the type of culture shock he went through when he first moved to the city a few years back. I wonder of the culture shock he went through being with me?

Screen shot 1

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Chapter 2: Backspace + Ctrl+ Enter

Hi I’m Looking for…Naked Lunch

Sabrien – “So what are you looking for?”

You will hear this question more than once. However, unlike emails people cannot:

Backspace – Erase what you said

Ctrl – control your emotions/biases

Enter – Put something new again

Sitting next to Jon, I gazed at his profile as he contemplated the selection of drinks.

There’s no way he’s over 21, maybe I should ask to see his ID?

Luckily the bartender spared me the embarrassment. He has a very slim build and wore jeans and loosely fitted shirt and carried a messenger bag that he rested on the seat. I smiled to myself as I thought: My very own neighborhood paperboy!

I quickly looked back with feigned interest in my own drink; while clearing my mind of inappropriate journalism fantasies. I opened up with neutral banter, “How was work?…”

I studied the features of his face, not because I thought he was overly handsome or repulsive, but I had a lens of envy in my eye. We’re practically the same age, how is his skin so much smoother and younger looking than mine? Other than the lightly colored shoots of stubble breaking way for life, there was no way the average person would think this man before me had long past puberty. Other than that he was normal looking guy. As normal looking as a sociopath; then my ears perked up-

Jon – “I just want to have fuuun,” he embellished as he leaned back in his seat and looked at me with his triangle pupils. “And with someone that loves trying new things…this is my first blind date”

Looking back at his plain cheesiness, I thought his boyish and geeky manner of crooning his words shot at me like an arrow through my back. But I tried to remain calloused.

Sabrien - “You think this is a date? What kind of stuff do you like to do?”

While we went back and forth about how nervous we were moments before meeting; anxiously scouring nearby pedestrians for each other. We complimented each other on our attractiveness and joked in relief at our less handsome bystanders.

Jon – “Can I use the bathroom?”

Sabrien – “Can’t you hold it? I still have more to ask you.”

Jon – “Yes, Ma’am”

Sabrien – “Tell me more about The Naked Lunch

Jon – “…it’s pretty interesting, it doesn’t have a plot cause its different stories…”

After a bit, we took off (much to a relieved bartender) and walked around the streets a bit until we came to a hookah lounge. We made ourselves very comfortable on the love seat sectionals, this time discussing our more intimate and taboo desires.

TABOO – This show is named after you, Jon.

Let’s put him to the test…see what he can handle

Sabrien –“ I’m trying to relax, massage my shoulders”

Jon – “Yes Ma’am” as he clumsily worked his hands through my shoulder, with uneven and light pressure…

Its ok, but it doesn’t make me moan… 

He touched the base of my neck and gently worked through the curly roots that were still a bit damp from that afternoon’s shower.

Jon – “Can I kiss you?”

YES!!!!

Sabrien – “Hhhmmm…you’re nice….how about you kiss me here (I pointed to my knees) and eventually you’ll work your way up.”

I giggled in delight as he leaned over and placed two soft smooches above my knee caps. But on the way back to the train station, I realized there was venom in his saliva. My mouth dried up, I was a little disoriented, and my stomach filled with heaviness; it wasn’t nauseating, but made that afternoon’s meal the last one I’d have for a long time.

He pushed me against the municipal building as his lips and tongue invaded my mouth, neck, and ears. After a few moments he chuckled and gazed at me: his eyes were completely tantric. I called out to him but he was gone, he couldn’t hear me. So far gone…and I was falling fast behind him.

Next Week: Ch. 3

Home is where…the spirit dies

Text message:

Awesome, I’m going to stop by the store and pick up some stuff for tonight

Jon apparently has many great talents with his hands, aside from computer work. :-)

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Chapter 1: The Snob

So got your degree in history, huh? Cool, I love history.”

This is the first message Jon sent to me after adding him as a favorite to my bucket list. In the online dating world you could browse through various profiles and save the ones that interest you, so you can browse through them later. The dating site alerted him that he had been favorited and he decided to contact me: he had to pay to do that.

After some back and forth emailing he sent me his phone number and I texted him, and eventually called to hear the man behind his salacious online handle: Mr. Switch.

Hi, Its Sabrien from online. How are you?”

Jon-Hey yo, why the fuck are you calling from a blocked number, huh? What the fuck you are trying to hide? What the fuck is this?”

Sabrien –Um, are you serious, I think you need to calm the fuck down…”I thought this guy was from New England?  Is this the right number?

Jon –Eh I ain’t doing shit right now,  just came from the fucking….”

And that was pretty much how Jon and I introduced each other, a pretentious and vulgar ruffling of feathers like two male peacocks fighting for territory in the middle of mating season. Had we met in person immediately after emailing each other, there probably would have been blood spilled.

No, there definitely would have been blood spilled.

And so we talked…..about stuff, whatever I could make out between his F bombs. He went to school out of state, is an only child, C-section baby, and works as a reporter in the city.

Jon-So how did you find my profile?”

Sabrien -Yeh I was browsing people in my area, and I’m 25 about to have a birthday soon, your profile said we’re the same age….so I messaged you cause there’s not a lot guys in my age group in this area….”

Jon-I’m 24, oh I actually changed that on purpose”

Sabrien-Oh ha ha ha….so now who’s trying to hide something! You ragged on me for having a blocked number?”
Jon -Not trying to fucking hide anything, just hiding my identity”

I’m thinking: Douchebag!

Sabrien – “You know we’re in the same boat…how long have you been online?”

Not only was Mr. Switch new to online matchmaking, but he hadn’t been active for even a month before we contacted each other. Virgin and paranoid, he would continue to “ruffle his feathers” in an attempt to show his virility and “CHARM”

Jon also seemed to be a good writer and have an inquisitve nature, but you can forget about art of seduction, the guy needed to review Friendly People Skills  for Dummies 101.  Call me a pseudo-psychologist but I was his mirror; I could see underneath his façade and reflect his projections. Every time he shot, I patronized back.

So you’re actually younger than me?….hhhmmm…. I dunno,….guys your age are usually immature…did you graduate college?”

Jon- “Yeh, I went to a small…”

Sabrien – “Oh my university is top three in the state, graduated with honors…So your profile says you’re new to the scene, I guess I’m more experienced…”

After a short period we decided to meet.  I scheduled him last after a succession of dates I had lined up that weekend. Sunday before our first encounter, I had a very fulfilling brunch in lower Manhattan with a very unfulfilling date: cocky, arrogant, and yes ladies we went DUTCH (and I’m Caribbean, I don’t speak that language!). Conversation topic: “ I Hate New Yorkers. Can’t wait to go back to Boston…law school…corporate….Sh!t….”

That night, Jon had loosened up a bit and became more comfortable and low key in conversation and our banter was more natural and PG-13.

Before I hung up with him, I heard sigh of relief, and imagined him lying back on a bed or chair; maybe he took some of my stretching and deep breathing advice….

Jon – “So, 6:30…I’m excited to meet you tomorrow”

Sabrien – “Why?”

Are you sure you write for the paper and not just deliver it?

Now who’s the snob?

Preview for Next Week

Backspace + Ctrl+ Enter

Hi, I’m looking for….Naked Lunch

Sabrien — “So what are you looking for?”

Jon – “I just want to have fuuuunnn and  be with someone that loves trying new things…this is my first blind date”

Sabrien – “You think this is a date? What kind of stuff do you like to do

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Introduction: The best kept secret in weight loss…

Relationships

The way men and women relate and communicate to each other has gotten more complicated and difficult to navigate than the current U.S. Immigration laws. Especially when you’re young, naïve, and just a little bit crazy, and you find someone with the exact same attributes.

Thus, brings me to my recent experience with a young gentleman we will call Jon **. Now Jon and I are a year apart, and he works as a reporter in the city. Our first date was a blind one, and quickly hit the ceiling on an intense physically affectionate experience. Now, I admit I’m not a nun, I have been physical before early on when meeting someone, but there was something about Jon I saw in his eyes when he spoke. It was like I could see the whole world when he was talking, literally like watching a movie and seeing the world as he saw it. We talked on the phone almost every night, and texted each other every day from morning to night.

Now, for the red flags; yes every time you and your partner get into the relationship mobile, and decide to gun it at 300 miles per hour, all the warning signs pointing to the upcoming cliffs and curves may have been a blur, but you definitely saw them. You can say that I was carsick, since the night I first met Jon.  I was excited and beyond pleased when he stood up and I gave him a customary hug and he offered me his arm as we walked to local pub.  He seemed pleased too.  I thought he was incredibly handsome, polite, and boyishly charismatic.

Throughout our conversation, the pupil of his eyes remained dilated and would triangulate as he turned to sip a beer mug in between his statements. I probably remember more about his shape shifting eyes then the things we talked about; but he filled me in a way that I couldn’t eat, I didn’t need breakfast, lunch, or kick boxing. Talking to him was…my survival. This is the beginning of my weight loss diary. I broke my 5-day gym habit, and started eating out- 10pm at night at Jon’s apartment while my weight and mind began to waste away.

I met this man online, initially having low desire and expectations for anything beyond a casual friendship to develop. He on the other hand was experiencing his first blind date; possibly even the first one he managed to conjure up on his own without the assistance of a “wingman” or a “Go-to-guy” with a cocktail in hand. Our expectations, anxieties, and fantasies toed a delicate line of appeasement and contempt. It pushed and pulled at our souls between frustration, confusion, and yearning. And so began “The Reporter and The Girl: MINUS The Super Man!”

Next week’s preview

The Snob

“Yeh I’m 25 about to have a birthday soon, your profile said we’re the same age….so I messaged you cause there’s not a lot guys in my age group in the area….”

Jon- “I’m actually 24, oh I actually changed that on purpose”

“Oh ha ha ha….so now who’s trying to hide something! You ragged on me for having a blocked number?”

Jon - “Not trying to fucking hide anything, just hiding my identity”

I’m thinking: Douchebag

Jon- “I’m excited to meet you tomorrow”

Sabrien – “Why?”

http://youtu.be/I28u42WecDk

**Names in the story has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual and any similarities to actual persons, either living or dead, are merely coincidental.**

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne