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Dancing Queen. "I gave all my savings to the mafia so they wouldn't kill him"

I'm sitting at the bar at the Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa with a Puerto Rican woman who is just oozing sex. I decide to go old school on the cocktails and order a Manhattan. Why not? Today is my birthday! Something out of the ordinary beckons!

This is probably my 6th date with Ms. Dancing Queen since we met a month and a half ago and surprisingly we haven't slept together. Why refer to her as Ms. Dancing Queen? Because she was a club kid in the 90s and her favorite activity is still clubbing. But we can work around that. The two of us have been planning my birthday celebration all week and it's been a long time since I had a great birthday. I have a very comfortable suite booked on the penthouse level, and Ms. Dancing Queen arrived with her baise en ville (overnight bag) smelling like the Creed perfume counter at Neiman Marcus. It's going to be a perfect night.

I knew she was a wild one when 30 minutes into our first date she proudly declared herself bisexual and said she wouldn't be opposed to a threesome. I don't know what made me ask her out in the first place. Well, in fact, I actually do know.

*****

I decided to open up my dating "range" after a few bad dates with women who appeared (in their digital profile anyway) to be solidly within my desired demographic. The last one was the clincher. I drove The Vessel north to some town called Katonah to meet a photographer — Ms. Kodachrome — at her local restaurant. Dinner was pleasant and she carried on decent conversation throughout. After dinner, I excused myself to the bathroom and when I returned, two friends of hers walked into the restaurant and appeared at our table. Ms. Kodachrome made it seem like an extraordinary coincidence.

The two friends, who were both apparently widowed, stood with their backs to me chatting away with my date. They both had dark hair, dark eyes and dark olive skin, and the way they hovered over my table reminded me of crows, those big black birds. Somehow they thought it was appropriate to interrupt my dinner and convince my date to go to a singles bar with them — right there, right then. My date seemed amenable to the idea. It was becoming painfully obvious that I wasn't invited.

Whether this was staged or not, only the women know. But it did conveniently occur after I paid the check.

Sitting there feeling like an idiot, there was nothing for me to do but play with my phone. I checked a few sports scores and made one final effort to contribute to the conversation but was totally ignored. Given my curious nature and the situation, I decided to google "crow behavior" and the following passage turned up "A group of crows is called a murder. Murders of crows will ban together and chase predators in a behavior called mobbing."

Not only was this behavior incredibly rude and insulting but the bit about murder and mobbing triggered a near panic attack. What sort of omen was that? I had to bugger off immediately. I quickly excused myself and jumped into the sanctuary of The Vessel and headed south to the friendlier terrain of the Upper West Side feeling enormous relief.

Soon after that harrowing experience, I matched with Ms Dancing Queen and we met for drinks. At the time I thought of it as a warm-up game, a scrimmage to keep my dating chops sharp. I was merely taking a break from dating smart, sophisticated women; the kind I envisioned myself having a future with. Our initial meet and greet over drinks led to dinner and then a delightful make out session.

Dates with Ms Dancing Queen were never conventional, but they were alway fun. We went on a scavenger hunt to find special shampoo because her teenage daughter convinced her it would be trendy to dye her hair gray. That brilliant idea lasted a week. One night I took her to an off-off Broadway play where we somehow made friends with the actors and partied with them afterwards. Then there was her family barbecue in The Bronx. Women in super tight dresses prepared food while the men drank whiskey. Ex-wives mingled with ex-mistresses, it didn't matter; everyone got along. The music was good. The food was good. Her relatives really liked me.

Ms Dancing Queen was so much fun that she started to grow on me. I decided to spend my birthday with her and canceled a dinner invite from a close friend.

*****

Here we are, at the Roxy Hotel bar on my birthday. There's something irresistible about a woman wearing a white dress shirt, tied at the waist, with the top 3 buttons opened. It's part of her standard look, along with with tight jeans and ankle strap sandals. I'm staring down her tits and my god, they are glorious. Then, just as we order our second round of drinks, she wants to talk about something...

"I need to talk to you about my ex-boyfriend," she says.

"Didn't he do some bad stuff? Wasn't there some horrible incident that led to a bad breakup? Didn't you get over that a year ago?" I ask.

Ms Dancing Queen takes a gulp of her drink. Her mouth is moving and words are coming out slowly.

He was a drug addict. —That's not good! There was a gambling problem that spiraled out of control. —Now that's baggage! He wound up owing a lot of money to the mob and one day some nasty dudes came banging on the door looking for him. When she answered the door they told her to empty her bank account immediately or she'd never see him again. So she handed over her life's savings. —Am I in a Martin Scorsese movie? The ex-boyfriend called last night begging her to get back together.

AND SHE'S AGREED TO IT!

This was supposed to be my perfect birthday. Here I am, in post breakup mode, with my ideal rebound relationship going up in smoke. Two months ago I was unceremoniously decoupled, without warning, and against my wishes, from a woman I had strong feelings for. You can't feel sorry for yourself at this moment. Keep on rolling.

We go to Raoul's on Prince Street for Colorado rack of lamb and beef short ribs. There is a bottle of Grenache from Languedoc-Roussillon on the table. I swirl the wine around my glass. I have to salvage something out of this night, and by salvage something, I mean sex. It's going to take a special mix of charm and bullshit to pull it off, and given the gross injustice of the situation, I decide that I shouldn't be held to the usual moral standards. The universe owes me this one, and I'm going to cash in.

I look her in the eyes and say "I just want you to know that I like you more than anyone I've met in a long time. A quality woman like you is so hard to find. Go do what you have to do with your ex-boyfriend. I understand. If it doesn't work out I'll always be here waiting for you."

She looks at me with tears in her eyes and says "you're such a great guy!"

Back at the hotel I undo the buckle on her ankle strap sandals and give her a foot massage. As I peel off her clothes, layer by layer, I tell myself to enjoy the moment for what it is. All other thoughts are blocked for now. Cure the soul with the senses, or whatever advice Oscar Wilde left us with.

Women like this are bred for sex, like English Foxhounds are bred for hunting. Ms Dancing Queen instinctively gives me a blow job. INSTINCTIVELY! My ex-GF had no such instincts whatsoever. She did have a nose for spreadsheets though.

I'm lying next to her in a post-orgasmic afterglow. She's fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder. The lights of lower Manhattan are flickering through the window. In the morning she'll get up early and go back to her boyfriend. I'll never see her again.

In good health, wine, and tequila,

— JJF


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