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Live From The Friend Zone: Down And Blacked Out In A New York Minute

Live From The Friend Zone: Down And Blacked Out In A New York Minute

Read Part I, Part II, and Part III.

There’s an overarching school of thought, at least among my male contemporaries, that men and women can’t be friends. That if a guy is friends with a girl, it’s because he wants to have sex with her. I find this simply untrue. There are plenty of women in my life whom I have zero interest in inserting my penis in to. I have long-term female friends whom I consider something of sisters (of which I have zero blood sisters which may explain my need for female friendship, but I digress). I find some of them attractive, objectively. And yet, I do not have sexual thoughts about them. I’m sure I did at one point, in the days of our youth, but now that thought legit gives me the heebie-jeebies.

And so with that in mind, I can see why a female friend would have reservations about getting romantically involved with a male friend. But it’s not like I’ve known Mia for years. We didn’t go to summer camp together. We did not meet in Hebrew school. We met six months ago; on the grand spectrum of friendships, I’d say we don’t really know each other all that well.

I can see another argument for keeping me as a male friend, though. And you’re all acutely aware of it. It’s the attention. Having someone in your back pocket that at the drop of a hat will come grab you from the airport or take you to the hospital or come and fix the leaky drain in your apartment because that’s a completely reasonable thing to ask of me, the guy who grew up spoiled in the ‘burbs, and not the super of the building. The guy who cheers you up whenever you’re feeling unlovable. A huge fucking beta. I could very easily slip into this person.

So I should stop everything. Just put down the phone and check in on Mia in, say, a month or so. Legit just be a friend. Hang out once a month for old time’s sake but leave it at that. Because if I let myself stay on her hook too long, it’ll begin to disintegrate my Y chromosome.

But I’ve also watched too many rom-coms in my life to know that women say they want to “marry their best friend.” I’ve met too many old timers who say to always marry the ones that you have fun with, that keep you laughing, because when you’re old and saggy, that’s really all you’ve got.

For me, Mia is the rare combination of someone who I never get sick of when we hang out, and someone who I still find outrageously attractive. At this point, I’m not a close enough friend with her to think it’s weird to want to sleep with. And in ten years when we’re both single and use each other as marriage backups a la Phoebe Buffay? I can’t guarantee I’ll still be in that position because at that point I might think of her too much like a sister.

And that’s why Boston Max, maybe the biggest idiot in a Blue State, was just going to go for it.

* * *

I woke up covered in blood. Blood everywhere. I looked down to find my knee looking like it had just lost a battle with a hack saw. And my sheets? The linens in Fallujah were probably cleaner. Now, everyone knows I think sheets are the biggest scam out there, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend way too much on my bougie ass thread count. So you could say the morning was off to a rough start.

What made it even rougher? I had no idea what I did from roughly nine o’clock the previous night, to now. But, I knew Mia was involved.

I’m a guy that can handle my liquor on most days. I’m built like a DIII fullback, and most of the time I’ve got a hollow leg. Not to sound like a complete douche bag. But… BUT… I’ve got a bad habit sometimes of not eating enough before a night of drinking, and that generally is when shit falls off the rails. Welp, we rushed off the farm without breakfast, spent the whole afternoon on a bus, and then when I got home I basically napped until around dinner time. In a highly rare moment of not being hungry, I forgot to eat all day. Not one calorie. That’s on me. I’ll put my hand up to the referee and take the foul. I started crushing some rosé, and a bottle in, I switched to beers. A lot of them. My last memory was being in line for a bar.

And then I woke up to the first scene of Saving Private Ryan all over my bed. It was clear to me that in some way or another, your boy had taken a digger onto the pavement. But how? And, where did I leave things with Mia?

I immediately checked Snapchat for clues. I had one Snap, from 3 a.m., sitting in a friend’s apartment, with Lyla, and a pic of my knee looking like it had just taken mortar shell shrapnel, with a caption saying: “I didn’t deserve this.” Interesting.

I immediately went to Lyla’s Snapchat.

Oh, sidebar – I should have mentioned this a while ago, but it slipped my mind and was reminded to tell you freaks when the peanut gallery started chirping me to bang Lyla: remember the brunette from Israel in Part I? Yeah, that’s Lyla, and she’s probably a closer friend of mine than Mia. Okay, now you’re all informed.

Lyla had a Snap of me with blood pouring from my leg. I was standing on the curb and screaming in the general direction of a bar. There was another snap of me incoherently ranting about the savages who threw me from the bar like I was Jazz and they were Uncle Phil. Ah, I see what happened now. I’ll admit, 26 is probably on the older side of being acceptable to be thrown outta the bar, but it’s only the second time in my career (technically third but the first two came on the same night from the same bar, long story), so I’ll charge this one to a younger, more well-behaved version of myself.

Panic began to set in. What the fuck did I do at that bar to warrant a Lou Pinella ejection and, more importantly, what the fuck was my behavior like around Mia?

With my hands over my eyes, barely peeking through like I was watching a horror flick, I opened my texts.

Boston Max – Sunday, May 28, 9:17 p.m.: Me and my buddy are thinly of going somewhere in the LES. What’re your plan

Mia – 9:18 p.m.: Noice we’re going to kind regards we think

Boston Max – 9:19 p.m.: Where’s that!

Mia – 9:31 p.m.: Les!!

Boston Max – 9:44 p.m.: We should meet up *basic bitch emoji*

Mia – 9:48 p.m.: YEA BAE

Boston Max – 9:50 p.m.: Cool let me know when you’re there we’ll swing by

Mia – 9:50 p.m.: YAY

Okay, I sort of remembered texting this while I was done crushing the bottle of rosé and digging into a rack of nearly frozen Coronas. I’d give myself a pat on the back for not sounding too incoherent. I needed more clues. Not so much clues about how or why I got kicked out the club, but more like, where did I leave things off with Mia, you feel?

Mia – 11:15 p.m.: We’re at no fun
Mia – 11:16 p.m.: It’s not great
Mia – 11:16 p.m.: Bht you can come
Mia – 11:16 p.m.: Haha

Boston Max – 11:19 p.m.: Hhhmmmm
Boston Max – 11:19 p.m.: I think we could probably make that happen

Mia – 11:30 p.m.: Weee

And that was it. No more clues. No more memories. Nothing. I had zero idea what happened at the bar. I spent the day in full on Scaries mode. The Monday of Memorial Day Weekend is a top Scaries day of the year as it is, but throw in the fact that I had no idea if I bungled my night? Recipe for disaster. I contemplated going up to my roof and drowning myself in the pool (#rooftoppoolhumblebrag), but thought that suicide before Tom Brady retired was a dumb life choice.

I ended up going to see Baywatch with Moxon because the only thing that could reasonably distract me from myself was staring at Efron for two hours. Right before the movie started, I shot Mia a text and completely shut off my phone.

Boston Max – Monday, May 29, 6:55 p.m.: Had fun last night, at least I think so; can’t reallyyy remember…Hope you had a nice end to your wild MDW

When I got out of the movie (criminal that it only has a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes), Mia has texted me back.

Mia – 9:13 p.m.: OH I DID!
Mia – 9:13 p.m.: Mass dancing
Mia – 9:13 p.m.: Today I didn’t leave my apt

Then a little back and forth about our days, MDW Scaries, and what we were both binging on Netflix. Then I mentioned I hadn’t eaten in two days and could use some inspiration. I asked what she ate, and then she just hit me over the head with a bombshell.

Mia – 10:47 p.m.: PASTA

Yup. That’s right. Boston’s Boy had just got one-worded. I was crushed. I put my phone away with Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” playing through my head as I reached for the bottle of bleach on my desk. One worded? I realized then that I must have been an idiot the night before. Said something or done something. Or maybe Mia got some attention from other boys at the bar and realized that she didn’t need me to be the emotional tampon. The beta male. The best friend.

And there I was, realizing that this whole time I was being a massive idiot. Thinking so brazenly that somehow, I was going to pull myself out of the depths of The Friend Zone and somehow join the ranks of the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team and the 2004 Boston Red Sox. What an IDIOT. What a LOSER! You have no idea what an idiot is. For I am Boston Max, Lord of the Idiots.

I decided that I was done texting Mia. If she texted me, fine. If she wanted to hang out, fine. Ball was in her court. Plus, it was the beginning of summer, and there were so many more girls with whom I would attempt to tremulously navigate through The Friend Zone with.

And then Mia went to Europe.

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Boston Max

Spending my retirement fund at Trader Joe's and trying to remember to check my mailbox semi-regularly

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