By the time I got home after my thought-filled drive, I decided that perhaps I should rethink the whole ‘date Jen’ thing.  I mean, she obviously had no intention of being exclusive.  Otherwise, why would she have done such a thing right in front of me, other people…what is she crazy?  A ho?  I thought about it constantly for the next several days.  We had such chemistry when it was just the two of us.  How could she possibly not see that and choose to pursue me and only me?  The way I’m posing these questions right now is exactly how preoccupied I was with the whole situation.  My brain was in overdrive.  I really liked this chick and I was kind of pissed about it.  The last thing I needed was any type of distraction.  I had an audition on my plate that week.

And I got it.  One of several, but I had an in and I decided that the best way to move forward was to move up and out.  I moved to Orlando to work with a large company I probably shouldn’t mention on this blog…but you’ve probably heard of it.  It rhymes with Snizney.  I have very fond memories of Orlando…the unofficial Gay Day @ Snizney where gay people flocked once a year to ride the rides and each other…random weekend shopping trips with my now ex…concerts…clubbing…and now I got to live there.  How cool was that?  Very.

I went into work the next weekend feeling pretty optimistic about what lay ahead for me.  I was moving on, and soon.  Plus, I conveniently rationalized that Jen could still very well be interested in me, she just didn’t know how to communicate effectively.  Right?  For shits and giggles, just agree with me.  I felt obliged to cut her some slack for the other night and work toward what was only destiny.  We would be great together.  And then I got to work only to face some earnest advice.  News had already spread that Jen and I had quite the night out and some grinned, poked fun.  I felt a little giddy.  I had already been nicknamed “Jen’s girl” over the past few weeks: one, because I talked about her fairly often and two, Tampa’s not that big and this industry makes it even smaller.  Jen was also well-known.  Too well-known.  I was given the ‘semi-royal’ treatment every time I visited across the street, certain clubs and recogniziton would dawn on peoples’ faces I didn’t even know, once they realized who I was.  It was weird, but it was kinda nice.  And then the warning from a peer at work.  Be careful hanging around Jen.  I asked her what she was talking about.  Just be careful.  She’s into things that you probably don’t want to be around.  I thanked her for the advice.  Once again, I had a lot to think about.

For the record, I’m a true Taurus and if you don’t know what the most common Taurean trait is, well, here you go: stubborn as hell.  I hate admitting when I’m wrong.  Over the years, I’ve grown up and can admit fault when appropriate, but I analyze it to death before I do.  At that time in my life, I didn’t rely on my gut instinct as much as I should’ve.  I was completely baffled as to what I should do.  Jen and I had talked a couple of times that week and were planning to hang out that weekend so I figured I’d get a read on what was going through her mind as well.  That was only fair.  But I chickened out.  We spent some time together, but it wasn’t productive as far as relationships go.  I decided that I just needed to get my head out of the clouds (or out of her ass depending on how you looked at the situation) and focus on myself and my career.  Orlando beckoned.

Moving to a brand new city and knowing absolutely no one is a daunting endeavor, but exhilarating.  I had my own place for the first time and I was looking forward to making better decisions.  My next move: a trip to New York for an audition.  I didn’t have to go in to Snizney until Sept. 12 so I had time to fit in a gig if I could get it.  It was for Missy Elliott and the MTV Music Awards.  Hip hop was not my strong suit but I figured, what the hell?  I called my former not-quite boyfriend turned good friend, who now lived in New York as a media specialist for an advertising firm.  He agreed to let me stay with him for my audition and possible gig, which would last a couple of weeks if I was hired.  Excited is not the word for how I was feeling.

I bought a one-way ticket, not sure how long I’d need to stay.  This was my first time to New York and I just knew it was going to be great.  And it was.  Everything from not knowing where the hell I was supposed to go, getting yelled at by the airport shuttle driver to almost getting run over and killed by a speeding gang of taxis on Broadway – yep, it was everything I had ever heard about New York.  It was loud, hot, sticky, people were abrasive, it was crowded, people were abrasive, it was dirty…but it was fabulous.  I met my buddy at his job, 51st and Broadway (I think) and it was great to see his familiar face.  He took me to have the best pizza, then he took me to his place he shared with 2 other roommates.  Riding the subway was pretty awesome, but I don’t know if I could do it everyday.  At least not back and forth from Brooklyn.  His place was very New York.  Three stories, older but full of character.  I liked it, but it could definitely have used a woman’s touch.  That first night we sat on the roof, watching the lights of the city and I kept thinking how beautiful it was.  My next comment gave me chills a couple of weeks later and still does to this day.

“It looks like the planes are about to fly into each other.”

Yeah, I know, it does…was his reply.

I went to bed that night feeling kind of antsy.  So much so that I gave him a nudge and he was like, really?  I figured why not, I couldn’t sleep anyway.  The next morning I woke up early and so nervous I couldn’t even eat, but I made myself scarf down something.  ‘J’ (I know, not very creative but both him and Jen’s name actually start with J and I don’t feel like coming up with something clever right now) had mapped out my route for the morning to get to the studio for my audition.  It was very sweet of him and just the kind of thing he would do.

3 subway trains and 5 blocks later, I was early.  Go figure.  I sat in a quaint little coffee place, Snarsnucks, had an iced chai tea and tried to collect my nerves.  I watched the street full of people going by in a blur.  Everyone was in such a hurry!  I was able to pick out other dancers: they carried the typical dance bag with a scarf hanging from it (studios tend to be cold at first), hair in a bun, tights showing underneath their shorts…it was straight out of that movie, CenterStage.  I decided to head on over.  Once there, I tried sprucing up.  Try being the operative word.  The hot subway had flattened the curls in my hair, my make-up was melting off and I was blowing soot out of my nose.  Who could audition in this state?  I did the best I could and went in to the cattle call.

Okay, so remember how I said hip hop was not my forte?  I mean, I could do it and make it look good, but not right after learning it…which is what an audition is.  I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.  I did okay and didn’t get that ‘thanks for playing now get out’ tap on my shoulder, but I didn’t get the job either.  But no regrets.  The butterflies were gone and a brand new city awaited my attention.  So I wandered for the rest of the day…did some shopping, toured Union Square, strolled Park Avenue, didn’t get mugged, thank goodness!…looking back I felt like Carrie Bradshaw before I knew who Carrie Bradshaw was.  (for those of you who don’t know…Sex in the City?  Hit HBO show?  Six seasons, two movies?  If you don’t know, don’t bother looking it up.  You’re late.

I met up with J and we went home.  He took me to a great dinner and then out dancing.  At a lesbian bar.  Didn’t I say he was a sweet guy?  I decided to use up my dancing energy on their dance floor.  The manager tapped me on the shoulder (Am I getting kicked out for dancing too much?  I thought)  She wanted me to get on the platform and dance for the crowd.  Her words, “Make these women dream about you tonight”  Wow.  I may not have gotten the job I auditioned for but by the end of the night I had a new job offer right in front of me and even some tips in my pocket.  Unfortunately, I had no intention of moving to New York, but according to her, it was a standing offer.  Awesome.  And there was no denying my elation…yeah, I still got it.

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