9 – American Born Chinese – Epilogue

Picture-77ABC Julie and I met up again at the next year’s conference after vowing to keep it friendly.  Our affair became more passionate, but no less impotent.  We vowed love, and of course we vowed secrecy, although Tareq and Jason knew.  I don’t care to recount that affair save one chapter.

That year, Tareq brought his buddy Sasha to the conference, who unbeknownst to me had also fallen in love with Julie when he and Tareq had visited New York City.  There are stories to tell of that trip, one of which is that Sasha held Jason’s hand as they walked the streets after the male friend Bengali fashion.  Jason  talks about it all aglow even today.  He felt so deeply accepted by Sasha that day.

Julie, however, wasn’t aware at all of his feelings, nor was she interested in him, but we had to play it carefully lest he suspect us.  One night, we decided to go out dancing at a club called the Harlot Club, located in the heart of downtown and SOMA district.  I was dressed with every bit of fashion of the time I had.  I wore a corduroy hooligan, a military shirt (sleeves buttoned and rolled), straight fit jeans, and black army boots.  It was a gothic sort of club where the fashion wasn’t flashy, except for the go go dancers up on blocks around the club.  I was lean and mean, physically, that year.  Julie had noticed the musculature and had liked it.

There was a line, and people were being turned away, but I was prepared.  I was going to be the cool guy in the movie who got everyone in.  There was a cover, but that wasn’t getting people in.  I had a crisp twenty ready to go with an extra one just in case.  The group (Jason, Tareq, Sasha, me, and Julie), were mulling in the street trying to figure out if we should go somewhere else.  I, having no experience but with 120% confidence at that point in the progression of my illness strolled up to the stereotypical big black dude at the door, and said “What’s up, boss?  I’ve got five here.  Check out the hot Asian.”  He took a look at her, I handed him the 20 then he grunted and waved us in.

When we got in, I was cheered on by my friends.  Sasha, in particular, was enthusiastic.  He had developed a bit of a fascination with my way of doing things.  There’s a picture of us all on the street patio of a bar, and I’m sitting feminine cross-legged, elbow rested on the table, wrist limp as a rag.  He said, “Man. See?  I wish I could be that cool, but I just can’t relax enough.”  I treasure that moment.  No one had ever called me cool before.  By the way, Bengali men are WAY cooler than you would ever expect.

In the club, I volunteered to buy the first round of drinks since I was on a cool roll.  I had a pocket full of unspent company money from having eaten at the treat of the conference and sponsors all week.  When I led the cocktail waitress with our drinks to the crew, Julie and Sasha were on the dance floor.  It turned out that Sasha was a much better dancer than I was.  I was a little jealous, but I was confident that she would be coming home with me so I didn’t sweat it.  Instead, I chugged my Jack and Coke, set it down and made my way to the other side of the club and found a beautiful mixed race (black/white) girl with green eyes to dance with.  She was very young, but I’m often mistaken for 5-10 years younger than my age.  We danced close and I was a little turned on, not just sexually but because I was with one of the sexiest women on the floor.  I was still getting used to clubs, girls, booze.  I felt like I was in a dream, but was different than Vegas. Now I was in control.

But then something happened.  Something so quiet and slight.  I had placed my wallet in my front pocket for safety and I caught her trying to lift it out by the corner.  I yelled, “What the fuck?” and walked away to find my friends.  Not finding them, but not really looking, I went to a front room which looked like a medieval jail.  It was the smoking area and cool air blew in from the street through the barred window. I lit up a cigarillo and stood by the window to cool off.

I was the only one in the packed room smoking a cigar and I somehow managed to distinguish myself with it.  I had not become a cigarette smoker, yet.

One guy squeezed in next to and said, “Hey man, what are you smoking.  That shit smells awesome.”

“Just a cigar.  I don’t smoke cigarettes.”

He struck up a conversation with me, although I don’t remember what about.  After I put out my smoke, I turned to leave.  The place was packed and there was no way to get to the door without very close contact with a few people.  I few steps in the direction of the gate to the dance floor and I came face to face with a tall, curvy blonde.  She looked me down and put her lips up next to my ear and said, “Oh my God, you are so fucking adorable!”

I wasn’t sure what she meant by that.  My dad is pretty fucking adorable, too, and not in the way that revs a 23-year-old’s engine.  Then she put her arms around my neck to dance with me.  I stepped in close and wrapped my arms around her waist.  Her dress was loose and very thin satin and I found no evidence that she was wearing any underwear.  If she was it was a very delicate thong.  It was one of the sexiest moments of my life.  Her body was both light and voluptuous. I could feel my pants tighten as we pressed together. We made small talk in each other’s ears, as I smelled her perfume.

I was fairly certain that I could’ve taken her back to my hotel right then.  She would drop her friends like a hat, and I would drop my….but, then there was Julie.  Not only would I be cheating on my wife, I would be cheating on my ABC Julie.  On one hand, I was so aroused by this woman’s body and not by Julie’s (damn! and incredibly hot), on the other hand, I knew nothing about this girl.  I’d never had a one night stand with a stranger.  I knew that people did it all the time, but I also knew that if I left, Julie might go home with somebody else….like Sasha.

I told the blonde, that my friends were expecting me, and she protested in some sensual kind of way, but I left regardless.

As we were all gathering up to leave, I found myself alone with Julie.  She kissed me passionately.  I could taste the martini on her breathe.  Her tongue was still cold from the ice.  She pressed herself tightly to me, but all in a couple of seconds before anyone saw, then we made a quick plan to meet up at my hotel.

Our affair continued for months online and on the phone.  My wife never figured it out.  I later told her after she found out about another one…several other ones.  I told her in order to convince her that parting was the only way to go.

To this day, I think about that blonde girl and what might have happened.  Would I continue to stay on my roll of cool.  Would I have all the right moves.  Would she stay the night with me.  I can even get off thinking about her and what she felt like in my arms.

That night, before we all split, Sasha called me chalu in Bengali.

“You know what that means, Daniel?  You are cool.  You were seriously cool tonight the way you got us in, bought us drinks…man.  I wish I could be like you.”

And I wanted to part by saying, “And I’m going home with the hottest girl in the club:  Julie.”

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