Sorry Girls... He's Single!

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The first time I met Eric Schaeffer—in the first few minutes—he reached down and caressed my ankle beneath the dinner table. There was no context for the ankle rub; it was in mid-conversation about our thoughts on the media and whether or not he should send back the grapefruit he ordered. I laughed, charmed, wondering aloud if he was checking to see if I had “cankles.” I wiggled my sexy foot in his direction, highlighting the fact that it was indeed likeable, if not lickable.

I saw my first Eric Schaeffer movie back in 1994. It was his third, called Fall, in which he plays a cabbie who engages in an affair with a supermodel, and that is exactly what I did while watching—I fell in love with him. He was my supermodel. Coming from New Jersey I’d come into the city every weekend and sit in the Angelika seeing two, sometimes three, movies a day. I’d only pay for one; that is how we Jerseyans roll.

I knew nothing about Eric, but seeing him on the big screen, he became my Prince Charming—the man against whom I’d measure all subsequent paramours. I quickly rented his first two movies: My Life’s in Turnaround and If Lucy Fell. How handsome he was with his hair falling into his eye and how fashion forward of him to sometimes hold it back with girly headband, super secure with his sexuality!

Years passed and I went to see Wirey Spindell, Never Again and finally, Mind the Gap, each giving me more of a glimpse into the life of my dreamboat. Each time, the crush would get reinforced, and I wondered what it would be like to actually know this man. His creative work seemed biographical so I assumed at least major parts of himself were projected on screen.

When Starved—a Seinfeldesque sitcom dealing with the eating disordered—came out on FX, my friends and I sat around watching, laughing our asses off. “Someday, friends, I’m going to date this genius of a man,” I’d say, and get met with eye rolls. Not so much because they thought it impossible for me to meet him, but more so because they did not see what I did in him. Eric in a suit. Eric eating Nemos. Eric getting a colonic. All of it turned me on.

His particular fascination with excretions spoke to me. Being a woman who is no stranger to poop stories, having published a few of my own on, I imagined Eric and I someday falling love, showing each other our bowel movements—the most intimate of acts in my estimation. I got butterflies just thinking about it.

Alas, I got married in 2004, and not to Eric. It was short-lived: a Post-it marriage, if you will, lasting only nine months. In the first few weeks of dating we talked about what celebrities would be on our Top 5-to-Bang list. Of course, Eric was my No. 1. Imagine my surprise when William, the ex, said his friends—a band called Marry Me Jane—did the music for If Lucy Fell! Here I was suddenly two degrees of separation from Eric.

My husband and I bought Fall on eBay for an obscene price. We both loved it and My Life’s in Turnaround the best. I tried fruitlessly to have him contact his friends who knew Eric.

When I divorced, one of my first dates was a blind date with someone who saw me on Friendster. Over Indian food he discussed his audio design projects. I’m not sure how we got on the subject, but it turned out that Eric had contacted him about doing audio on a film project. I gushed to my date that I was in mad love with Eric and couldn’t believe he actually had his number and contact information. My date jealously refused to give it to me or discuss Eric further, saying Eric was an “asshole.”

Because of that I vowed never to date him again.

So far, two close calls over 13 years, but still no meeting.

A few months ago my ex-husband alerted me that Eric had a book out called I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single and sent me the link to Eric’s blog and MySpace page. I immediately sent Eric a message on MySpace asking if I could take him out to coffee, saying I was his biggest fan and left my number. Minutes later I was speaking to him on my cell!

I was lulled by the musical quality of his voice, the exact voice I had listened to on the big screen. We quickly talked about our shared views on politics, religion, relationships and our collective neuroses. He asked that I get in a cab and go to him. Since it was nearly midnight, I declined. I told him he was more than welcome to come to my neighborhood instead and he refused. “Another time,” I said, playing hard to get. You didn’t think I’d just fawn all over him, did you? A girl has to play a little hard to get, even with a celebrity.

I hung up and he had emailed me within minutes saying he changed his mind and would hop in a cab. See? He was reasonable. Subsequently he left me two phone messages repeating the offer, but I was sleepy and a-titter with replaying my conversation with him. I’d waited this long; I could wait a bit longer.

The next day I awoke with that waiting-for-Christmas feeling and he asked me to meet him at a diner on the Upper West Side.

He was sitting there waiting and I stared into the pond of his eyes and wondered what fish swam beneath. He threw obscure questions at me. He asked me if I fuck on the first date. (I don’t.) He asked if I have had an HIV test. (I have.) Do I work out? (Barely, but I like to tan at the pool.)

We walked through his neighborhood arm in arm and he asked that I walk him home. “You want to be the boy?” he asked, just as he had of Amanda De Cadenet in Fall. “Yes, Eric, I do,” I thought to myself, feeling my figurative dick growing.

Once in Eric’s apartment, I surveyed the place. More and more I grew to realize Eric was not some oddity, but a New York Everyman—a man of plain white T-shirts, old sneakers and a ripped couch. How endearing! This was not the man discussed by Internet haters. He was a simple man who didn’t put on airs, content to watch Sports Center and do the daily downward dog. This was not the freak I read about massacred in cyberspace, but just a man, more creative than most, secure in who he was and unabashed about getting attention and love.

He climbed on me on the couch and kissed me hard. Things were swirly from there and moved too fast—hands up my skirt and down my blouse—so I got up and was ready to make my exit. I was the boy in the relationship after all. Just like he wanted. But not before he had a hissy fit at my quick departure. My mistake, I guess, for telling him that a man who throws bitch fits deserves a dildo shoved down his throat and one up his ass. Um, he liked the idea. A seed was indeed planted.

The next day we went to Central Park and people-watched. We talked to passersby, who didn’t know enough to never make eye contact with your fellow park goers.

We mock-interviewed people about what the sexual bases were, Eric contending that first base included dry humping. I contended that first base was merely French kissing, second being touching above the waist, third, touching below the waist and fourth actually sex. Eric adamantly insisted that first base included dry humping, second was anything you could do over the body over the clothes, third was a blowjob and fourth was actual intercourse. It became such a heated debate he actually filmed us talking about it for his upcoming documentary based on his book tour.

We parted at the park, with him refusing to kiss me goodbye, being a bitch of a girl. Being the boy, I slouched away and grumbled, “Cock tease!”

Our next date he asked me to come over wanting to bake brownies for me. “Baking brownies” was clearly a euphemism for “touching you where you go to the bathroom.” I walked in and again was taken aback by the quick and urgent kissing and the lack of baking ingredients. I pulled him into his bedroom and told him, “Here’s what we are going to do. You are not going to touch me. You are going to sit there and shut up and let me lead.”

Testing the waters, I dipped my toe—quite literally—into his mouth. He sucked my feet and licked their dirty bottoms. I face-fucked him with my foot with such fervor I wondered if I’d dislodge a tooth. My other foot’s big toe went up his ass. He was in ecstasy; I turned my man out. A woman needs to know how to keep her proverbial pimp hand strong in a city of faux fedora-wearers.

Fully clothed I lay back and told him to get naked. He complied, my foot still in his mouth, my other toe flirting with his asshole.

“If you gag and vomit I will force you to lick it up,” I commanded.

He nodded his head and said a simple, “Yes, Kelly.”

This was fun. I liked him. We understood each other.

Next I told him to jerk off onto my feet. He did, completely excited. Once done I made him lick every last drop off.
I kissed him then and he tasted sweet.

In his post-coital bliss I joked with him that he was indeed what he ate. The man who was addicted to chocolate Nemos had actually turned into a Nemo. Ah, Eric, my sweet little Gregor had metamorphosed into his favorite treat.
We joked and relaxed and then ate Nemos and ice cream like two naughty children. We walked onto his balcony and stared at the big city we both loved and yet had both, at times, despised. The city looked back—the biggest voyeur of all—windows of buildings, heavy unlidded, unblinking eyes. We listened to the cars below while the dirty stars strained their ears but the clouds were too thick to hear through.

I asked him why I hadn’t seen any articles about his new book. He explained his publishing company’s publicist had left. I offered to try to garner him some press. (I am a publicist by trade.)

In interviews, I suggested he sit next to me and answer the reporter’s questions, only to have me then stick a ball gag in his mouth and tell said journalist, “What Mr. Schaeffer means to say is…”

Our working relationship worked. In between scheduling reporter meetings, we’d text pervy messages to each other.

“You deserve to drink my piss,” I’d type.

“When, baby, when?” was the reply.

While we went out a few more times after that, he was busy and then left on his nationwide book tour for nearly a month and while out of town began filming his documentary. I was busy, too, working, and still into someone else I had dated whom I just couldn’t quite forget…Eric and my relationship morphed into more of a friendship and professional one. We settled into infrequent communications referencing less piss and more prose.

I know the details may seem murky, but modern relationships seem to be more and more that way these days—watercolors that bleed into each other with no distinct end.

In all honesty, the fact that there was no “breakup” is another reason why I still like Eric so much and think so highly of him. Sure, we found each other attractive, but there was more to it than that. At least on my end. I genuinely liked him. Still do. I think we both have a great respect for each other that began to overshadow something as frivolous as lust. The physical connection waned, the mental one waxed.

Eric Schaeffer is certainly no monster. He is a perfectly normal and acceptable date—a bit more honest and wieldy than the typical and staid investment banker, but far more special.

Being a single woman in Manhattan, I have come across far worse. I was broken up with by a man recently by his quoting the fake-Vonnegut speech “Wear Sunscreen” without a hint of irony. “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.” Ugh.

I have gone out with a man who brought his pit bull on a date and proceeded to drink a beer he stole from the Korean deli on the street. I dated a man who told me I had a pole so far up my ass that it was coming out of my throat. I dated a man who tried to pick up a 15-year-old and proudly told me he had fucked his Trinidadian, herpes-ridden bisexual secretary over the copy machine.

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