Hi, my name is ACG. My blog is Anonymous City Girl. I live in Philadelphia. On Sunday, I had plans to come into New York. I had a brunch date with some guy I met on Jdate. I wanted to make a weekend out of it, but I wasn’t sure where to stay. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable staying over at my date’s place. After all, I’m not that type of girl. Or at least I’m not that type of girl since March.
I was chatting with Neil about my trip, when he said, “If you want, you can stay the night in Queens with us!” I immediately said yes. I figured Neil was safe. After all, he lived with his mother, and I’ve always had questions about his sexual orientation. I’m not even convinced that the “photo” of Sophia on Flickr is really his wife. I’ve seen that same photo in an advertisement for a penile enhancement pill in my brother’s Maxim magazine.
Neil picked me up in Chinatown (I used the Chinatown bus from Philly). We had a great lunch at some cafe in the Village, and then we took the subway into Queens. In Forest Hills, we went to the movies and had some dessert at a bakery. Then it was time to head into Flushing — I was excited to see Neil’s apartment in Flushing. While New York City has many famous sites — the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, I have little interest in visiting those tourist traps. They “mean” nothing to me. But imagine the thrill as I gazed at some of the actual locations that I knew so vividly from reading my favorite blog, Citizen of the Month! There, right in front of me, was the famous supermarket where a car crashed into a window two weeks ago and Neil was there to take eyewitness photos. I saw the pizzeria which has the photo of Fran Drescher. I stood in awe, taking multiple photos, of the ACTUAL McDonald’s where Neil goes in the morning for his cup of coffee! I could almost see him, scribbling away at his latest post on the back of a napkin. And who can ever forget his wondrous stories of this McDonald’s — the customer who called the cashier a “bitch” after she gave him change of a dollar in nickels or the inept franchise manager who is so stingy she only gives one ketchup packet to each customer.
But what most captured my imagination was being able to meet Neil’s mother — in person.
“It feels like I already know her from reading your wonderful blog,” I told Neil as we went up the elevator. “What should I call her? Elaine? Mrs. Kramer.”
“No! Never call her that,” he said sternly. “You must call her Mother Kramer. And you must never look her directly in the eyes when you address her.”
His warning seemed odd, especially after we rang the doorbell, and it was opened by a kind-looking woman with an open face and white curly hair.
“Hello, Mother,” said Neil, meekly, and he hugged his mother. I thought the hug went on a little too long for a mother and son, as Mother Kramer pulled her thin son excessively close to her large bosom. There was an intimacy to the embrace that made me uncomfortable.
Since Neil seemed distracted, I decided to introduce myself.
“Hello, Mother Kramer. My name is ACG.”
She ignored me, and slowly closed the door, locking it with a chain.
The rest of the night went relatively smoothly, mostly because I was left alone in Neil’s old bedroom. I was not offered any food or drink, and I did not see Mother Kramer again. Neil’s room was comfortable, although it seemed strange that so little had changed throughout the years. When I moved out of my childhood room, my parents quickly tossed out my furniture and turned the space into a “entertainment room.” Neil’s mother kept his room looking like a shrine. An old Aerosmith poster sat unevenly on the wall, the edges fraying and the scotch tape yellow. A trophy for “Third Place, Queens County Spelling Bee” sat prominently on the dresser. Hanging from the doorknob was a pair of Neil’s first baby shoes. Every report card from the 1st Grade to 6th Grade was lined up on one of the shelves of the bookcase, stacked like dominos, next to what seems to be every Curious George book ever published. In the corner of the room was Neil’s actual baby crib, displayed like a relic at a museum. As the air-conditioning blew its cold air, the old wood crib would rock slowly, as did the mobile of Muppet characters hanging from the ceiling, which played a Muzak version of “Seasons in the Sun.” I shut the air-conditioning, despite the heat, because the ghostly sounds were freaking me out.
I opened the door to get some fresh air, and I could hear Neil and his mother arguing in the kitchen, or rather Neil being berated by the domineering woman.
“Who is that girl?” she demanded.
“She’s just a friend.”
“They never want to be JUST friends.”
“She’s just a blogger. I don’t even know her that well.”
“That’s exactly what you said about Sophia, and look what happened?! Do your really want another gold-digging floozy sinking her claws into you?”
“But Sophia… and ACG… are not like that!”
“All women are like that. I tried to warn you about Sophia, but you didn’t listen. All women want you, Neil. Don’t you see. You are special. You are very special. You are my one and only. They all want to take you AWAY FROM ME!”
“Mother, I love you. No one can ever…”
“You want me to move to Florida, don’t you? Then you’ll take this apartment and make it your own. Bring in some sleazy hootchie mama to suck you dry. I saw the way you were looking at ACG’s cleavage!”
“Shh, Mother. Keep it quiet. She’ll hear.”
“Did she give birth to you, raise you, wipe your little heinie when you were little? Did she ever make you Kraft Macaroni and Cheese from the box?”
“Of course not. She doesn’t love you. No woman can love you like I do. These sluts just want you for your body. To use you for their sordid, sinful, sexual desires. But only I really care for you. Are you hungry?”
“Sit down, Neil. How would you like me to make you some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese right now? Or some Chunky Soup? Would you like that Neil?”
It was at this point that I quietly shut the door and the lights, and tried to go to sleep, unsure how much of the “truth” behind Neilochka I should reveal to his readers.
Truth Quotient: 12% — ACG did stay over Saturday night. My mother did make me Kraft Macaroni and Cheese last week. All women do want me.
(sorry, ACG. But I said I was gonna write it!)