M$. INTERNATIONAL

                                                                          ( MAD ABOUT A BOY )

“Sooo....what ya old ass gonna do for your birthday tomorrow?” Ayumi said with a girly grin.
“And please do not say nothing! Because then your gonna seriously depress me Phoenyx! How can a person not drink, smoke or get laid? You are an anomaly!” She proclaimed loudly while standing in front of the bathroom mirror adjusting her fake lashes. “I don’t know and it doesn’t even feel like my birthday for some reason.” I said in a nonchalant and tranquil tone. I was just ready for this night to conclude. We had one more set to do and the crowd gave me no life so I wasn’t looking forward to working for the applause. I sat on a pleather bench with my feet up just chillin for as long as I could before the dreaded call time came. “Maybe I will treat myself to some Haggen-daz and a movie, we’ll see.” I thought aloud.
“Alone?” Ayumi exclaimed with an over exaggerated body turn towards me. She was dramatic like that. “I know what I’m gonna do! I’m gonna get you your very own dildo! Yeah you would like that wouldn’t you?” Ayumi shouted with way too much excitement. “Dildo? Really...Ayumi?” I asked un- amused. “Oh damn...I almost forgot. There’s this guy out there checking you out real hard Phoe! I mean he look like he got love in his eyes. Did you see that white boy out there with the orange short sleeve polo shirt on? You know I’m not crazy about white guys but he was something to look at twice.” Ayumi stated in a dead-serious tone. I was silent and acted a bit aloof about it but secretly I knew exactly who she was talking about. I saw him looking and it was true, he looked like he lost something where I was standing and wanted desperately to come and get what was his. “ Umm, I think I know who you talking about but I’m not sure.” I replied coyly. Ayumi looked at me through the mirror like she knew I was lying but she was soo concerned about fixing her fake eye-lashes that she couldn’t hold interest in my phoniness for long. “Dammit! I don’t have time for this shit today!” Ayumi screamed. “ Sometimes these damn lashes go on soo effortlessly, and other times I feel like I spend more time messin’ with them then playing the damn piano. This shit is time- consuming!”
She looked like a barbie doll with those fake lashes on, but she didn’t really need them. I looked at my watch and realized that we only had about a minute left before call time. “We gotta go girl, you look fine, so either take off that left lash or put some heavy mascara and pencil on your right eye.” I commanded whilst standing up and re-positioning the waistline of my pants. I was looking pretty good tonight I must say and as long as my first bday pics were of me looking like this, I was good to go. Ayumi grunted and ripped off the faux eye-lash that it took her over 10 minutes to put on.
I knew that feeling of wasted makeup moments and it was definitely one of defeat. We walked out together and both put on a smile as we joined the band to set up for our last set on stage. He seemed closer than he was before. The white boy in orange seemed more eager to be seen and to get my attention. He was skinny and tall just like I like em’. He had a lil facial hair but not gorilla. I can’t do the itchy ass beard and bumpy shave shit. He clapped for me after every song I sang and he smiled every time I looked his way; A little too thirsty for my taste but it was flattering.
“Ladies and Gents’ all the management staff and our live band Foreign Xchange, would like to wish a special birthday to Phoenyx Novelle!” Shouted the GM Danny into the mic. “We love you Phoenyx!!” D said as he came over and squeezed me so tight that I lost my balance.
I was blushing and tearing up a bit. “Phoenyx you are amazing and we are soo grateful to have you here with us. Enjoy your special day and don’t be afraid to be bad!" Danny concluded with a tipsy chuckle. I’m not really big on the warm and fuzzies so I tried everything in my power to keep the show moving and get the attention off of me. Ayumi could sense my discomfort and started to play the birthday song so everyone could sing along and get back to the setlist. I gave her a subtle look of gratitude and smiled as the crowd joined in for my bday serenade. Shortly after, the show was finally over and I could see white boy in orange eager to approach. It was like he finally had an “in” with me and would use my birthday to his advantage.  

“Hey beautiful! Happy birthday!” said white boy in orange. “ Thanks.” I replied while cleaning the head of my microphone with an alcohol pad. “I know you hear this all the time but your voice is incredible. Really nice to listen to.” He said while awkwardly moving closer to me.“Thanks again, umm?” “Clark. My name is Clark....and you are......Phoenyx? Right?”

“Yes, great memory”. I said with a slight grin.“So can I buy you a drink or something? Unless you have plans and can’t spare a moment with a big fan.” He said boyishly.

The show was over and I was already thinking about that ice-cream and movie date I had with myself. And just as I was about to shut him down he did something that every girl enjoys. He took my hand and let me lean on him as I came down from the stage in my too damn high neck breaking stilettos. “Thank you Clark....and yes.... let’s have a drink.” I replied gladly.
Clark smiled and allowed me to lead the way and choose where I wanted us to sit.
I’m the kind of girl that likes a quiet atmosphere so I convinced him to sit with me in the lounge area of the club where most people went to watch t.v. Lucky for me it was pretty quiet and empty in there. Clark pulled out my chair and summoned a barman to take our order.
“Phoenyx what would you like to drink?” Clark politely inquired.
“He knows what I want.” I said while smiling at James the barman.
“ What would you like sir?” James asked Clark.
“ Ok...um well, I will have whatever Phoenyx is having then.”
James and I laughed at each other as James collected the drink menu from the table and made his exit.
“I really do hope you have good taste Phoenyx because I’m so polite that if I don’t like it, I’ll still drink it anyway.” Clark admitted nervously.
“ So, where you from Clark?” I asked while kicking off my stillettos under the table.
“New Jersey.” He answered.
“No way Clark, I’m from Philly.”
“Seriously Phoenyx, that’s insane. I knew there was something about you that I liked.
I went to Penn State!” He boasted as if expecting a treat to be thrown in his mouth and a head pat.
“ That’s pretty cool! So how did you end up over here in Asia?” I asked.
“ Well long story short, I’m a businessman. I’m first an investor and secondly, I teach people in poor countries how to build a better lifestyle with the resources immediately available to them.”
Now this guy looked all of 24 years old and here he was telling me that he was both the young Warren Buffet and Mother Teresa. As I processed Clark’s words, James entered the lounge area and served us our drinks. “Two “Phoenyx’s” right here for you both.” James said slyly.
“Wait a minute, this drink is called “The Phoenyx”? You seriously have a drink named after you?” Clark asked in disbelief.
“ Taste it!” I demanded kindly.
Clark looked at me and then looked at the slightly red colored fizzy drinks in front of us. He was more excited about the name than actually tasting it.
“Ok, here goes.” He grabbed his drink and signaled for me to grab mine to toast.
“Pleasure to meet you Phoenyx and to drink a “Phoenyx” with you, Phoenyx! Cheers!”
We both took a sip and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“What...no alcohol??” He asked with confusion. “Or did they forget to add it in mine? Can I taste yours please? And...Don’t worry I won’t put my lips on your straw, I promise.” He assured me.
Clark took a sip of my drink and realized that “The Phoenyx” was nothing more than a shirley temple without the cherry on top.
“Well I gotta say I wasn’t expecting that!” He said while laughing. “Do you not drink alcohol?” He asked in a serious tone. 
“Enough about me Clark, tell me more about you and how you help poor people better their circumstances.” I insisted.            

“Ok, well...there’s this machine that I am investing in that can convert a certain type of natural material into something that can provide a stable and solid housing foundation for people who are living in poorly built living quarters. It’s all natural and wide spread in certain parts of the world so costs will be affordable and a better quality of life, guaranteed. I’m still in the fundamental stages of it all but it’s growing interest is very promising and it looks like this project can be launched much sooner than I initially estimated. Pretty cool stuff right?” He inquired.

I was speechless. This guy who stared at me the whole night whom I was all too prepared to give the cold shoulder to is actually doing something in the world to make it a better place. I don’t have the slightest clue why, but I became increasingly uncomfortable in his presence. Nope.....Stupid. Stupid is the word. I felt stupid. Like, all the time and money I spent on clothes, shoes, gadgets and wigs could have all gone to investing into something that made the world a better place. Instead I became another consumer of useless material that only contributed to the worlds pollution problems. “ You look bored Phoenyx. Am I boring you?” He asked nervously while sipping his watered down Shirley temple sans temple. “Not at all Clark!” I asserted. “I am truly fascinated by your line of work! Most guys like you are too busy chasing women and getting into trouble at your age. You gotta be in your early 20's right? I asked wide-eyed and forcefully. He shrugged and nodded yes.     I looked at him like he had the lost map to the fountain of youth and asked,                      

“ Soooo....how did a guy like you end of trying to save the world?" 
“ Well...I wasn’t always the guy you’re getting to know now. I think honestly speaking it was my lack of friends and girlfriends that forced me to stop trying to get my own desires and focus more on others. I was the guy growing up that didn’t get the girl or the attention. I knew that I was way too scared to commit suicide so I lost myself in academics. I studied everything and anything I could get my hands on. I was fascinated by science and history. As I got older I started to get into weight lifting and decided to try and build the physique that would be impressive to women. I couldn’t keep the weight on if I paid myself to and oddly enough, I noticed that I could make girls laugh pretty easily and not just at me. So if I made the right girl laugh, She would hang around me more and maybe even date me. I became the skinny goof ball that got laid once in a while. I met my ex my first year in college and it was her that got me really interested in giving back. Even though we didn’t work out, she is still one of the most compassionate and selfless people I know.
So to simply answer your question, She inspired me.
“Tell me more Clark.” I demanded while starring deeply into his eyes.
“What do you want to know?” He asked curiously.
“Whatever you don’t mind sharing. I got time.” I replied.
We talked and talked until the bar manager Stephen turned on the lounge lights and alerted us that it was closing time. We left the club and found a nice bench outside that we sat on and talked some more. Clark asked me if I thought that there was only a fixed amount of energy in the world. He taught me about Darwinian Fitness. He confirmed my belief that mankind is not meant to be vegetarians. He even told me that the only big difference between us and animals is that we cook our food. The sun finally came up and I was lost in a whole new world. He started talking about investing in the bitcoin business and that’s when I had to throw in the towel.
“You look soo sleepy Phoenyx.” said Clark. “You need anything...Coffee?”
“ I had a real blast talking to you. Especially on my birthday Clark. Thank you.    
How long are you in town for?” I inquired.
“ Two more days and then I’m headed to Morocco....Can I walk you somewhere? Or call a taxi for you?” He asked politely. “ No, no, I will be more than fine.” I don’t live far from here. Clark told me that he was a libra and I have libra in my seventh house of partnerships so this connection was in the stars. He seemed perfect. Like he was somehow not really of this world but just passing through.
“ Hey listen Phoenyx, I know we just met and all but if you are interested to come back to my room and hang out.....Or...”He hinted with a grin.
And then suddenly, the lights came on and he became all too mortal. My imagination stopped dead in its tracks in that moment. I no longer cared about the hours and hours we spent talking about life.
In that moment he was a man who saw a women he wanted to get back to his hotel. I had hoped for something with more substance like for him to insist that we have lunch together later this evening so that he could then listen to me talk for hours and hours about my life and the experiences that made me the person I am today. I had hope...until I didn’t. I respectfully declined the invitation and started towards my walk home. “Goodnight and good-morning Mr. Clark." I muttered sarcastically. With all of his wisdom and high ideals, at the heart of it all, he was a man looking for some “feels”. Surely, the thought of birthday sex with a humanitarian hottie seemed excitingly virtuous, but I couldn’t help but think that everything I was doing outside of building more value and learning how to make the world a better place was futile. Poor guy, He was trying to flatter me with his amazing stories of adventure and esoteric wisdom, only to be going home by himself this morning.

“Clark, I think you’re amazing and this has been a wonderful birthday gift just sitting and talking with you.” I yelled while walking away backwards. “And, if I don’t see you again, don’t stop what you’re doing, the world needs more people like you in it.” He looked at me and smiled.
As I walked away pondering the meaning of his presence in my path on my birthday, I looked back to see him standing there quietly watching me walk away.
”Hey Phoenyx, I wanted to ask you something.” He said as he walked up slowly towards me. “Yeah Clark, what’s up?” I said while trying to conceal a yawn.
“Umm, that girl who was on the stage with you last night...is she single?”