I Know We’re Cool

Last Sunday night, after squeezing into a pair of leather pants and a goldfish-inspired sequined t-shirt, I made my way to Monster Bar for Eileen Shapiro’s book signing.

Her new book, “Precious Little Devils,” just came out, and I wanted to expand my repertoire and write a book review. As my boyfriend was working that night, I invited one of my best friends, Southern Belle C.

You might remember C—I’ve written about him before. We briefly dated, and I hit him in the face during sex. Ring a (southern) bell?

We got to the bar and saw Mike, publisher (and magic man) of Get Out! magazine. He ordered me a margarita—one on the rocks and one blended, as he wasn’t sure which I preferred. Naturally, I drank them both.

I got my copy of “Precious Little Devils,” made my way to Eileen and got it signed. C fell in love with her just as much as I have—with her electric pink hair and electric personality, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her.

2016-0729-Ian-Michael-Bergeron_0226_pp_pe1We stayed at Monster Bar for a while, drinking margaritas, having our picture taken and telling Eileen how in love with her we are. I looked at C, laughing and slapping my arm, and wondered: How did we get here?

C and I have answered the age-old question: Can exes really become friends?

I remember when he first moved to the city, years ago, and we briefly dated. I remember hitting him during sex, which was really the final straw in our relationship. I remember almost a year later, he texted me out of nowhere the day I had an STD scare—as if he knew I needed someone to talk to, as if we were cosmically connected somehow. I remember when he took me to his future-boyfriend’s art show in Chinatown.

How is it that we can laugh about everything now? How is it that he became one of my closest friends?

I honestly don’t remember how it happened. I’m sure a lot happened between our breakup and becoming friends, but I don’t remember the moment—and there’s always THAT moment—when I realized that we were going to be friends. It just happened, slowly, organically, and before I knew it—well, we were drunk at Monster Bar and talking about our boyfriends.

We finally left, and halfway to the train it started to rain. Southern Belle C grabbed my arm and pulled me under the nearest awning, where we waited it out. Under different circumstances, it could have been entirely romantic, but instead I just felt happy we had gotten to where we are.

C went home to his boyfriend, and I took the subway uptown, playing Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” on my iPhone. “And I’ll be happy for you, if you can be happy for me … After all that we’ve been through, I know we’re cool.”


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