I thought for sure that I was doomed to failure.
I'd been scanning Craigslist for days, trying to find the elusive apartment that fit within my price range but was also located in a neighborhood where I wasn't likely to get stabbed on a grocery run. The City of Fate is an expensive place, and $500.00 a month is roughly worth an unfurnished four-by-ten-foot bedroom on the second floor of a crack house.
At least that's what I thought.
I had just come across an apartment that was only $700.00 a month (a bit more expensive than I would have liked, but still workable) and was asking Gay Writer for advice when my situation suddenly changed.
"Hey, do you know if this is in a good part of the city?" I asked in a Facebook message in which I included the address.
"The Land of Empresses?" he responded. "No."
He seemed to take pity on me, the clueless 23-year-old from Southern State, because several minutes later another e-mail came through.
"Look," he said. "Worst case scenario, you can just live with us."
"Seriously?" I asked. "How much would you need for rent?"
Gay Writer is thirty years old and the son of one of my father's best friends. His successes as a magazine contributor and small business owner have given him the financial wherewithal to live on the Island, the exclusive and upscale center of the City of Fate. The Island is an icon of American innovation, a powerhouse of economic might, a nexus of fashion and taste and art and entertainment.
As of June 3rd I will, for the price of $600.00 a month, call it home.
"You're only paying $600.00 to live on the Island?" Beautiful Cousin asked. "I can't believe that."
"I know, right?"
"That wouldn't even be a lot for an apartment here."
"Their place is gorgeous, too. They're super gay, so it kind of figures."
When I arrive in the City of Fate in a little more than a week, I will be the guest not only of Gay Writer but also of his husband.
The idea of two men being married (and, what's more, of their marriage being legally recognized) is still a bit strange for me, not because I have any objections to it (obviously) but because I've simply never seen it before. I just hope that my presence in the home of a married couple isn't awkward.
I would like to be out a good deal of the time on weekends, but I know nobody in the City of Fate save Beautiful Singer, whom I met last year while on the set of a television show.
Speaking of which, now is probably as good a time as any to confess that I did not have an exclusive audience with a record company last September. The truth, just as unlikely, is that I was a contestant on American Idol.
Now, I know that I deceived you. I know I was dishonest. My only defense is that I was pretty much compelled to lie. I went to the audition with every intention of blogging about it, but I held off because I didn't want everyone to get excited only to be let down if I were rejected. Once I made it past the first round I should have been clear to celebrate all over the blogosphere, but I'd scarcely taped that plastic number to my stomach before they had me locked in a confidentiality agreement so tight that I could have practically been sued for saying the words "American" and "Idol" together in public.
I still wanted to share my experience with you, though, and so I thought of a plausible deception of roughly equivalent significance.
Anyway, Beautiful Singer and I met at the first audition and stayed in contact until we were both eliminated in the fourth round. Just in case you're thinking of rewinding to earlier this season and looking for a massive head of blonde hair, don't waste your time; I never appeared on television (though my father, for reasons I cannot begin to understand, did). What goes on behind the scenes is much different than what is seen on the screen and many of the contestants are not featured on air at all. I'll have to dedicate a post to it some time.
So, hopefully in Beautiful Singer I'll have a friend. Literary Agent also assures me that there will be plenty of interns for me to mingle with and I'm looking forward to that as well.
That's pretty much where I am right now.
Thomas and I are leaving for Grand Ma Normal Family's home in Native State tomorrow that I may take advantage of the one likely opportunity I'll have this summer to visit with her. We'll return to Southern State on Sunday or Monday, and then next Friday I'll board a train and head for a world different than any I've ever known.
It's something I await with great excitement.