Tuesday, January 09, 2007

the history of mornings


A few days ago a friend gives me a call and ask if I want to grab a bite to eat that evening. My pockets are pretty skint so I politely decline and suggest we meet up for drinks afterward. This sounds like a plan and we make loose arrangements to hook up somewhere in the city later that night.

He’s from Chicago and owns a record label I’m distributing. I’ve known him for a few years. Met him over the phone when I was selling records back in San Francisco. Hung out with him one windy night on a stop through while traveling across the country on the way to Manhattan. He’s a cool cat, I dig his kind.

We met up in Soho at a tiny Irish bar that’s known for pulling proper pints of Guinness. It was me, him, his girlfriend, and her friend, a nice Japanese gal that was a budding fashion designer. We warmed up over some spirits, he and I speaking intently over glasses of scotch and vodka about the state of the music industry, the girls still leaning into each other, mouths over their cocktails, sharing secrets it seemed about god knows what. Then headed back out, towards the village.

We end up at Max Fish, a bar slash art gallery in the lower east side. It’s about 2am at this time. The place is surprisingly not packed for a Friday night. We slid up to the bar and I ordered us a round. Every few minutes I sneak out and smoke a cigarette. The street is noisy and boisterous and the security keeps telling people to move out from in front of the bar. People keep saying yeah yeah and waving their hands and letting their smoke fall from their lips into the gutter. Sometime my friend joins me, usually when he does I bum a smoke from him instead of rolling one of my own.

At some point the ladies struck up a conversation with this guy at the bar. He had a twitchy nose and his jaw wouldn’t stop moving and he had his hair pulled back into a small ponytail like I imagine an Italian tourist would do. When I snuck out to burn another my friends girlfriend followed along, outside under the street lamps I noticed she had a soft, humble beauty about her that was at once sexy while being wildly innocent. She told me the guy at the bar said he was an art dealer. She said he sold Jackson Pollack’s and Mark Rothko’s to the rich. She said he also chartered private planes to the even richer. She said she thought it was all bullshit. I said I don’t know. You never can tell in New York. Then we went back inside.

After last call we all huddled on the corner out in front of the bar. The art dealing private jet chartering guy with the Italian tourist pony tale comes up to us, his nose twitchier then ever and his jaw absolutely manic. He asks if we want to go back to his place. He has a studio around the corner. He pays two thousand a month for it. Its small, but it has wine and beer and alcohol. We fall in line and head to his place. Its just 3 of us now, 4 all together, the Japanese fashion designer bailed out after the second shot.

At his place the cocaine is revealed, but I'm the only taker, as my friend and his girlfriend, as they put it, don’t party like that. This somewhat embarrasses the art dealing private jet chartering Italian tourist hairdo guy but after a couple lines with me he forgets what he was nervous about and his jaw goes into overdrive.

I chime into conversation, which is moving at a rapid pace from topic to topic, while taking large gulps of Spanish wine and standing on a deck that overlooks downtown. I catch only snatches of what he’s saying, and piece together that he lived for a while in Beverley Hills, was raised in Santa Fe, and has a best friend named Shian that fronts a rock band in Hollywood. This all sounds familiar so I ask a stupid question.

Does Shian have a brother named Nevada?

The art dealing dude loses it. See, one of my best friends is Nevada, I met him way back when. While was heavy into raving, still in my teens. And I met his brother Shian a few years later, while he was visiting San Frandisco, when I was still less innocent. So it turns out that one of my best friends is the brother of his best friend. The coincidence is remarkable. I would actually be stunned with the news if crazy jaw jet charterer weren’t freaking out enough for the both of us. He immediately gets on the phone and starts calling people out west, screaming into the receiver at whoever would answer that they WOULD NEVER GUESS WHO HE WAS STANDING THERE WITH. It was about six in the morning at this time. Most people didn’t pick up the phone.

After the initial fervor of that realization died down, which wasn’t for another hour or so, we all decided to go home. Or in my friends case, to their hotel. When I left I didn’t get art dealing ponytail guys contact info. I don’t know why. But the next morning when I woke up I felt that the world was a lot smaller.

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there are some very strange products available. this one i find sort of clever, while being funny and completely absurd. this one i find kind sort of funny, while being bizarre and kind of cruel. thank defective yeti for the links.

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: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.