In an interview this week, Nick Cannon said that people should not be making fun of Amanda Bynes about her mental health issues. ‘Yo, you hear about her momma though,’ he added.

The Misunderstanding

Jess leaned in. “By the way, um, what’d he say?” She asked in a voice that was lower and more conspiratorial than the situation required. God, she loved brunch.

"He said he can tell I ain’t missing no meals," Nicki answered, leaning in as well.

Jess’ jaw dropped.

Nicki nodded, knowingly.

"No way." She’s messing with me, Jess thought.

"Yes way." Nicki was not playing around.

"Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he said that. To your face," Jess exclaimed. Who does that? Just make your mean comments to your friends later, like a normal person.

"Believe it. He did." Nicki had a hard time believing it herself. It was rare to find people who were that straight forward now, even if they are paying you a compliment.

"Like, at what point in the evening did he think it was okay to say this to you?"

"In the car."

"In the car?! Are you kidding me?! On the way there?!" Jess was astonished.

"Yup," Nicki said with a nod and a smile.

Jess felt so bad. “You must have ended the night right then and there. Right in the car.”

"Mm-hm," Nicki answered. They sure as fuck had.

"Oh my God," Jess said. "What an ass."

"Right?" Nicki glanced adoringly at her own derriere behind her. She owed it a lot.

"And then he bought me Balmain," she added.

"He bought you lo mein?"Jess asked, too excitedly. This might just change her whole outlook on the guy.

"Yeah."

"Wait, what’d you say?"

"Lo mein. He bought you lo mein."

"Oh. No. Balmain. He bought me Balmain."

"Oh." Jess was very disappointed.

"Like clothing."

"So… I guess you did miss a meal, then."

Hi, can I rent a child so that I can go see Frozen on ice? No? What about a midget? No? Well, excuse me, but maybe ‘Party City’ isn’t the best name for your store. Good day.

"You know what’s interesting, though, is that spin-offs used to be very successful," she said to a group of people who disagreed that it was interesting. "Like, very successful."

No. 6, or the Untitled Hilary Swank Project

Kyle was walking up Washington St., thinking, ‘Wait, where am I going again?’, when he saw something that made him stop dead in his tracks. He walked up to her.

"Excuse me, are you…" It couldn’t be. "Are you Hilary Swank?"

She smiled shyly as she put her phone away, tabling the email she’d been writing.

"Yeah. Yeah, that’s me."

Oh my God, Kyle thought.

"Oh my God," Kyle said.

Hilary didn’t know what to say, so she smiled and shrugged.

"I love Million Dollar Listing," Kyle yelled.

This caught Hilary off-guard.

"Oh, um, me too," she replied.

Now they were both confused.

"I like Fredrik sometimes… And Luis other times… And Ryan sometimes too," she mumbled.

"Oh, no, no, I love Million Dollar Baby. That’s what I meant," Kyle said, realizing his mistake.

"Oh, thanks."

"You’re, like, so good in it!"

"Oh, thanks."

"And Clint Eastwood. And Morgan Freeman! Amazing. So good."

"Thanks."

"God, I can’t believe I’m standing here with Hilary Swank."

"Ha ha. Yup." How long did she have to stay not to stay to not be considered rude? She wondered.

Kyle began to laugh quietly to himself.

"What’s so funny?" She asked.

"It’s just… I was thinking about… Nothing."

"No, what?" She insisted.

"I was just thinking about that episode of The Office."

She stared back at him blankly.

"The American Office," he offered.

"What episode of The Office?"

"Oh, you know. The one that you’re on."

"I was never on The Office."

"No, you weren’t on it on it, but you were, you know, on it.”

"No, I don’t know."

"The one where they, um, discuss you."

"They discuss me? How so?"

"Whether you’re, like, hot or not." He winced as he said it.

"Whether I’m hot or not?!"

"Yeah, you know. Just ‘cause sometimes you can look a little butch."

"I’m a butch?!"

"No! No. I don’t think so, it’s just that some people think that, sometimes."

"There’s a whole episode about this?"

"Well, I’m sure there were other story lines."

"What were they?"

"I dont… I don’t know."

"Well, what do they decide?"

"What?"

"Am I hot or not?"

"Oh, I don’t really remember… Um… I think you’re hot."

She stared at  him. They settled into an awkward silence. Kyle saw this as his opportunity.

"So listen, do you think I could send you my spec-"

"I have to to go," she said, sounding hurt and angry.

"Oh, okay," he said to her receding figure.

Damn it, he thought. He’d blown it.

As Hilary walked away, a huge smile spread across her face. Fuck that guy.

Not Anymore.

She felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She whipped her head around, but no one was there. She wasn’t supposed to be here.

She thought it might be okay, but she was mistaken. She didn’t belong here anymore.

Everyone was staring at her. She could feel it. They could tell she was different. They were keeping their distance for now, but she could feel them closing in on her. They’d sniffed her out. They didn’t want her here.

"Dammit, Kelsey. Why do you do this to yourself?"

She’d been drawn in by the glamor, the promise, the… familiarity. This place has once felt like home to her. I guess you really can’t go home again, she thought.

She took one last look around and sighed deeply. She knew where she wasn’t welcome, and she wasn’t welcome here. Not anymore.

It’s a weird thing when you realize you’ve outgrown the Junior’s section.

Well, Henry

"I’m nervous. I never do this sort of thing."

He laughed nervously. A little too loud maybe.

"Yeah, me neither."

She was lying. She did this sort of thing all the time.

"I mean, it’s kind of weird, right?" He said like he was her co-conspirator in some big fucking secret.

"So weird!" she replied, chasing it down with a big swig of beer.

It wasn’t that she liked blind dates. She didn’t. It’s just that people were always trying to set her up, because she has a womb and all, and sometimes it’s just easier to say yes.

"So, Allison, what do you do for a living?"

"Well, Henry," she started, regretting it instantly because she knew she sounded like an asshole. She couldn’t help it. "I work in the costume department of a Broadway show."

"Oh, so you like design the costumes?"

"No. No, no, no, no. I just like, fix the costumes if they rip or anything, and make sure they look good, and they’re clean, and stuff."

"Oh, wow. That’s really cool."

"Yeah, it is. But I have to be in Time’s Square a lot, so…"

She genuinely liked her job, she just didn’t know how to talk unless she was complaining.

They settled into silence. Allison looked over at her date expectantly while he took a sip of his red wine, oblivious. He was going to make her ask. Dick.

"So, what do you do, Henry?" She asked with all the sweetness she could muster.

"Oh, I’m a youtube sensation."

Allison paused.

"A what?"

"A youtube sensation."

"Like you work for youtube? Like, you’re a coder, or something?"

She applauded herself for not having said some shit.

"No, no, no," he said with a condescending chuckle. "I upload videos on to youtube, and they’re quite popular."

"Oh." What?

"You’ve never seen one?"

"Um." She took a sip of her beer. She hadn’t. "No."

"Oh, that’s strange."

Was it? Allison thought. She shrugged.

"Yeah, they’re pretty popular."

"Um, what are they of?"

"They’re just of me playing the violin."

Allison found herself oddly disappointed. “Yeah? Just you playing violin?”

"Yeah. Well, me and my friend Carmine on the viola."

She was back in with that revelation.

"Alright. So what do you guys play? Classical music? Or, like fiddle? Fiddle music?"

"No, we play Lana del Rey."

Very much back in. Very much back in.

"What?"

"Yeah, we arrange Lana del Rey songs for strings. We’re Violina del Rey. I can’t believe you’ve never heard us before. Don’t you take the subway? You seem like maybe you don’t"

Allison was offended. Was this fruit trying to tell her she wasn’t a real New Yorker?

"No, I take the subway."

"You seem like you cab it a lot."

"Nope."

"Or ride a Citi Bike. Please don’t tell me you ride a Citi Bike."

"No. I take the fucking subway." Jesus Christ.

"Oh. Well, then you should have seen us. We play on the subway all the time."

"I don’t-I have headphones, so…" She shrugged.

"Oh."

Allison took a sip of her beer, digesting all of this new information.

"So you only play Lana del Rey songs?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. Okay. Isn’t that kind of, um limited?"

"I mean, she has so many great songs."

"Yeah, I guess, but she only has, like, two albums, right?"

"And some singles," Henry added quickly.

"Yeah…"

"I mean, we have been branching out and trying some Lorde songs, though."

"Well, that’s good," Allison said before polishing off her beer. "You’re still sticking with that name, though?"

"Yeah. Definitely."

"Okay."

"It’s punny."

Ugh. “Alright.”

"You don’t think so?"

"No, I do. I guess I just think that other names might be, um, punnier." She choked on the last word. "Especially if you’re not only doing Lana del Rey anymore."

"Oh, yeah? Like what?"

Bitch, Allison thought. She’d think of something.

"I don’t know. Viola Davis, maybe."

She pronounced Viola like the string instrument. Henry stared back at her. 

"I mean, that’s pretty good," Allison insisted.

"Yeah, it’s alright."

"What are you talking about? It’s super punny. And it’s quirky. And clever."

"It’s alright. It’s more of a verbal pun, though."

"What does that mean?"

"It means you have to say it out loud. It really wouldn’t work on paper."

"Sure it would. Sure it would. If you put it in the right context. People would get it."

"Plus it looks exactly the same as her name. So that’s confusing." He had her.

"Whatever," Allison said grumpily.

Henry laughed. “Listen, do you want to get another round of drinks?”

"Um." Allison checked her watch. She really couldn’t tell time on it because it didn’t have any numbers. Just four dots. It made her look important, though. "Sure, why not?"

With a nod, Henry left to get them more drinks.

This date had turned out very strange, Allison thought. She probably wouldn’t go out with him again.

Unless he asked. Maybe.

A Fictionalized Account of a Conversation Charlie White Has Probably Had

"So, you’re an ice skater?"

Charlie bit his lip, trying not to let his frustration show. Every time, he thought. Every time.

"No, um, I’m actually an ice dancer."

Silence. For a brief moment, Charlie thought he might actually be free.

"What’s the difference?"

Charlie sighed. He knew it was going to be a thing.

"Alright, so ice dancing is sort of like pairs figure skating."

"I’ve seen that. My wife put it on one day, and, at first, I was like, hmm, I don’t know about this, but then I was like, whoa. That’s pure athleticism right there. I mean, my God. The jumps. And the throws. That’s tough. That’s tough to do."

"Right, so ice dancing’s a bit different. It’s a lot more movement based."

"What does that mean?"

Charlie clenched his fists out of sight. He should be better at this by now.

"So, I guess what we do is we, um, we take inspiration from the music, and we create a series of movements that accompanies and enhances the piece."

That sounds right, right?

"It’s very sensual. Passionate. Like dancing," he added, just to be sure.

"Oh, so it’s sexual, this ice dancing. It’s sexy."

"Um, I guess. I mean, sometimes, yeah. Not always though. We actually have an ice dancing pair on the American team that’s a brother-sister pair."

"Ugh, that’s nasty. Damn."

Charlie laughed and backpedaled. “No, no, no, what I meant was that ice dancing isn’t inherently sexual. It’s just about two people moving together as one, while still maintaining their individuality to better one’s self, the other, and the pair as a whole. On ice.”

He’d gotten a little lost in the middle there, but he thought he’d pulled it together nicely by the end.

"Wow, okay. You still do the tricks though, right?"

"Um, sort of."

"You toss that Disney princess around?"

"Not really. I mainly just lift her."

"Alright, lifting her. That’s something. You do the jumps?"

"Yeah, we do jumps."

"You do the, uh, the axels? The triple sow cows?"

"No, we really, um, we mainly do twizzles."

"Twizzles?!"

"They’re like spinny jumps," Charlie clarified with a mutter.

"Okay, twizzles. Alright. Okay."

Charlie nodded, left with nothing else to say.

"Wow. Well, that’s really something. Really something. Ice dancing. Wow. Good for you, man."

"Oh, thanks," Charlie said, embarrassed by all of it.

"Really something. So listen, we’ll send a guy out tomorrow between the hours of 10 and 5 to fix your cable box."

"Awesome. Thanks so much."

"Don’t mention it. Don’t mention it."