The Singer

by whatsthatyousaymrsrobinson

I would like to speak frankly for a moment about the brutal reality of being single in New York City.

Yes, you have all your own hair and teeth and are not completely repulsive to members of the opposite sex. You’re in shape. You dress well. You can present. 

You are funny and whimsical. You are up to date on current events. You can bullshit at length about art and music and the North Korean missile crisis and the geopolitical ramifications of regime change in Syria.


The singer is much younger than me. Way, way younger. And I’m fascinated by her, not just because she’s fascinating, but also because she’s female.

I don’t have many female friends. I never have had. I can count my close female friends on fewer than the fingers of one hand. I don’t know why this is, but it’s been that way forever. I have male friends lined up out the door and around the street.

My female friends I can count on fingers.

In very many ways, I relate to men. When they’re my friends.

Female friends make me nervous. I don’t know what to do with them. I feel embarrassed and clumsy. Like there’s some club that I never figured out the rules to, that I never spoke the language of. Maybe it’s because I never had sisters. I don’t know.

It’s weird. Because my father raised me to be hail fellow, well met.  And I am my father’s daughter. I can meet anybody. You met me, you would like me. I can do likeable. I can do it in my sleep. Hell, I can do likeable drunk, one hand tied behind my back whistling Dixie. Standing on my head. Balancing spinning plates on distal limbs.

But for most of my life, I have never had any female friends. Scratch that, I have had few female friends.  Very, very few.

Men like me. Men I’m relaxed around. Women, for the most part, I find a lot harder.

The singer likes me. The singer is tough. And I mean that as high praise. She’s a tiny thing. She weighs probably about as much as one of my legs. She has seal black hair and pale skin and eyes the color of icebergs that float in cold oceans. You don’t forget her eyes. You don’t forget her voice. She has a big, big voice. You hear her sing and you wonder where it came from. Surely not from that tiny body.

And she likes me. She has sought me out on more than one occasion. I would not have sought her out, because she would have made me nervous.

As I said, men I can do. Women, not so much.

The singer is a good conversationalist. I can talk to her about stuff. And it’s interesting to hear her take about being single in New York. Being young and beautiful, and successful, and wanting something quite specific. The singer is articulate about all that.

She has different attitudes to what I had at her age. At her age I would have wanted a husband and a solid commitment. 

Casual sex would have been, for the most part, off the table. I would have wanted something durable.

The singer wants none of that. The singer wants a cute guy who looks French or maybe Spanish, anyway definitely western European. Light skin, dark hair, dark eyes. A lot like her, in some ways. She wants that western European guy to be an excellent kisser and to stick around, kissing her, for, oh, I don’t know, more than two nights. Six weeks, maybe. Six weeks is a good length of time for a fling, we have arbitrarily determined.

At the very least, she wants to get a song out of the liaison.

Yet she does not seem to be able to achieve it. (Except for the song part.)

Which I find puzzling. Because there’s nothing about the singer that says, and again I mean this as high praise, warm and fuzzy. There’s no clingy in this equation. She’s razor sharp, cool and modern. Anybody with moderate intelligence would see this. And she’s beautiful. And she wants somebody, not to put too fine a point on it, that she can kiss, and then she can fuck. And have fun with. For longer than 48 hours.

Yet she can’t achieve it. In fact, some idiot of the French persuasion had the lack of grace to stand her up quite recently. I don’t think he even made the 48 hour mark.

This I do not understand. I don’t understand why a man gets to be so churlish to a woman who doesn’t want anything from him.

So I’ve been saying all this time about how I like men and I don’t understand women. But that’s not entirely true. Because I understand exactly what the singer is saying. And I don’t understand why some idiot would treat her in such a way.

Why stand her up? At the very least, why not just be a man and call and say, oh, I don’t know, “Sorry, won’t be able to make it, tragic luge accident, and all that.”

Still trying to figure this out. Because none of the men that are my friends would do that. My father wouldn’t do it. Neither would my brothers.

Yet there are men out there who do.

That I do not get. That’s the part of being a man that I do not understand. It doesn’t seem polite for one thing. It’s not brave for another.

I like men. But that’s the part about men that I don’t get. The non-manly part.