Tuesday, May 16, 2006

All the Rest of It


It was the doorbell buzzing that got me out of bed, but I’m pretty sure I was awake when it rang. The night before I’d been having nightmares. Jay came in and dumped his bag on the floor and put his suitcase in the corner. He looked fit and energetic, skin clean and hair trimmed and teeth that beamed white behind his smile. We stood facing each other and letting the silence settle for a second. Then I reached out and embraced him and could feel his hard chest against mine and then cursed myself silently; I need to work out more often. I obsessed over it quick and privately.

I’m a soft, flabby bastard. It wouldn’t hurt to do some push-ups ya know? It’s not like I work or go to school or meditate or sleep or do anything at all for that matter. I’m sure I can spare 20 minutes out of my hectic schedule of writing emails and reading emails and smoking weed and watching porno to do a sit up or a Pilates tape or maybe just a few calf stretches. Its pathetic, I just sit there. I hardly even change from my pajamas until after a normal workday would be over and done. I’m two slices of bacon away from dumping my girlfriend, putting up a profile at eHarmony.com and watching syndicated episodes of “Family Feud” all day. Christ. Someone pass me the peanut butter.

Then we got on the subway and went to Williamsburg. We ate an omelet at a diner that looked like a trailer on the outside but had three floors and a patio when you really took notice. The waiter looked like a movie star and he wore peach plaid pants that only went down to his shins then flared out like bell-bottoms above his pointy brown leather boots. The place was empty except for one other waiter, a girl, who looked like an extra from Flashdance. We got our own booth and talked about the music they played. It was old soul and doo-wop from whatever era it was the diner stayed stuck in. I thought it was timeless and catchy and it provide a good soundtrack to breakfast with a friend.

We went to a few record stores but didn’t buy anything, then we went to a few clothing stores and left empty handed from those too. Eventually we went to a friend of his apartment that over looked the Williamsburg bridge and had a private elevator. There was a balcony that only fit two people and gave me vertigo when I smoked a cigarette. He also had a large bedroom and a back patio and a stainless steel refrigerator and when I asked him how much was rent he politely divulged that I couldn’t afford it and offered me a glass of water or tea. I declined but really, when I think back, I could have taken that glass of water. I fiddled with my belt buckle and made nervous jokes of which dude laughed at just about all and when Jay muttered Hey we should probably make our way to the city I threw on my shades and said, -Lets go.

We went to the lower east side and cruised all the boutiques and I bought a few designer shirts for the right price, tax-free. We got bored and went to a bar where we traded rounds of scotch and soda. Another friend of his showed up and then my L-boogie. We all chased a few more back and then I went outside for a smoke, L-boogie in tow. Outside with his girlfriend was Kiefer Sutherland and we tried not to point, then we grabbed everyone else and brought them all outside and collectively gawked clumsily. Then we went to a restaurant and ordered two carafes of red wine and calamari and steak and seared tuna. We gawked at Mike Meyers and giggled and blushed and when the check came I didn’t have to pay a dime.

The next day we all went to the Yankees game where they lost but Posada hit a sweet home run. It started to rain but then the clouds got shy and we all drank lager and ate hot dogs in a slow warm wind. There was no relish in Yankee stadium. What’s the deal with that? We all speculated that maybe it was Babe Ruth, another curse left in his wake.

Maybe he didn’t like relish. Maybe he found his mother or father in a compromising position with a pickle, and banned any pickle related condiment from being served in the park. Maybe it was the smell of relish that he loathed, maybe it reminded him of an old aunt that died when he was a child, an aunt who smelled of pickles on account of a cream she had to use for her blood circulation, an aunt that liked to make young Babe smell her finger after she was finished in the bathroom, an aunt who never had children yet insisted on breast feeding when she babysat, even though Babe was 12 years old, an aunt that he would always remember yet wanted so deeply and desperately to forget, so he forbid the one sweet, pickled delicacy that would remind him of her from the park. Or maybe we just didn’t find the right vendor, who knows, but it was weird.

When we got home I was drunk and the television couldnt sober me. Someone fed me a beer then a joint and I lit the cigarette on my own. We called a car service and the line was busy, then we called it again and it was busy still more. We watched a funny clip on the internet, then we called the car again. This time it rang and they answered and five minutes later we heard the horn honking. Jay grabbed his bags and said thanks and started dragging his things downstairs. I went to get my coat and as I was leaving remembered I had forgot my cigarettes so I went back to get them then doubled back to the dooor but by the time I got outside he had climbed in his ride and exited. I didnt even get to say good bye.

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If you want to be ice cool you’ll you clock this scribbling I found on some notes from a different kitchen, they’ll give you the score on grime and the Americas, then you’ll check out this new album from thom york of radiohead, and you’ll have a glass of wine.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.