Last nite was the sultriest it's been in ages. I went to meet S. at Diner but the bartender told me she was next door at the oyster place. She & N. were sitting outside wearing all black & looking terribly good looking & brown-skinned & it felt like we were in the Mediterranean with the tables all bumped up against each other & the talk & laughter heavy in the air. It was very hot & we sat there drinking clear icy things & S. ordered a plate of soft shell crab & when A. showed up he took a bite of it, swished it in his mouth for a moment, got up from the table & spit it out into the street. I thought about how all of us had been single years ago & then we'd all been in love & subsequently had our hearts broken or broken someone else's or a little of both & then here we all were single again as if none of it had ever happened. I liked it that way & my heart felt happy. At the end of the evening we were drunk & A. announced he was finished with cigarettes forever. "Anyone?" he said, holding up the box of Camels. "Sure," I said, extracting one from the pack. Then he gave it to S. & said "Destroy these." There were only about 5 left & with her right hand S. crushed the box slowly, closing it in upon itself, turning it into crumpled cardboard full of flattened paper & loose tobacco. "Oh..." I said, staring. I don't know if A. will smoke again or not. Either way it was a great dramatic gesture, like grandly spitting the crab out onto the street rather than ejecting it coyly into a napkin. I only wish I had rescued more than one.
Friday was pool game after pool game after pool game. At O'Flaherty's with old friends Dave et al I was playing just okay but by the time I got to Anna's bday at Moonshine I had gotten my groove decisively back. I made bank shots I had forgotten I knew how to do & then I even won at Buck Hunter & when I ran into my friend Philip at Coney Island on Saturday he said "What's up hustler?" At Coney Island Laura & Mary & I had to be the last ones to arrive on the boardwalk. The salt air was getting chilly & I had 3 ciggies left in my pack & I was determined to space them out over the evening. There were plenty of people still traipsing around in bedraggled mermaid costumes & thick crusted body glitter & askew sailor hats but the parade was long over. We were getting hold/cold flashes because the temperature had dropped so much out there by the water but inside Cha Cha's where the band was playing it was stuffy & hot & our skin got clammy. My throat started hurting & I ended up giving one of the carefully rationed ciggies to Phillip because I didn't even want it anymore & by the time I got home I was definitely Sick. Sunday I woke up sicker still but took a Tylenol Cold & slept for ages. I woke up once to answer the phone but the conversation was dreamlike, it was Polly she was at the Brooklyn Brewery she said I wanted to tell you I saw Chelsea Clinton today. I said I love Chelsea Clinton. Polly said She was very blond. Are you OK? So I told her I was sick & she let me go even tho I would have liked to have been well enough to meet her for beers & run into presidential daughters. Later I managed to go into the city for dinner & was subsequently resuscitated by vitello scaloppine con limone & lots of olives but now I feel like utter shit again & I want to go home & that is all.
Yesterday I went into panic mode over my blog comments & got rid of them momentarily. I tried to reinstate them but they seem to be all screwy now. I mean just in case anyone noticed. Today I was walking to work & listening to "Oh Yoko!" from the mix Melly made me & the sun was shining & I was feeling tired & happy & empty-stomached & distracted & I was waiting at an intersection for the light to change & John Lennon was singing in the middle of a cloud & suddenly I felt a rough hand on my arm. I looked over & there was this man glaring at me & trying to tell me something. I took out one of the earphones so I could hear what it was. "That truck was backing up," he said, gesturing at a giant lumbering dirty truck a couple of feet away. It didn't seem to be moving, but I guess it had just stopped. "It almost hit you," he said. Normally I would have been grateful to such a person but for some reason this particular man seemed so angry, like he couldn't stand that I was obviously this iPod-wearing space cadet who couldn't even be fucked to pay attention to city traffic & so had forced him to intervene on my behalf. So instead of saying thank you I said "Sorry." Because I felt like I'd just about ruined his morning. & then I crossed the street in the wrong direction to get away from him. & put the earphone back into its rightful place. In the middle of a cloud I call your name...
Last nite was more like it. First I came home to a package of 5 awesome CDs from my boo. Thank you Melly! Then between the 2 of us Polly & I managed to get ourselves invited to 2 quite swanky parties with copious free liquor, on a Tuesday evening no less. The first one was in a giant loft right by Nobu on Hudson... dark cherry floors, beautiful paintings, bookshelves stacked to the ceiling with the most perfect books & one of those rolling ladders so you could easily reference a volume on the highest shelf. The party was in honor of someone from Polly's creative writing program who'd written a screenplay for a movie that just came out. I sank into despondency briefly after meeting so many accomplished young writers. "I'm such a slacker compared to everyone here," I complained. "& even if I were to write all day every day it wouldn't matter, because it would just be terrible anyway." I half didn't realize I was saying this out loud. "What?" Polly said. "What? No." After that we stood by the window & talked about all the fancy parties we went to when we first moved to New York & how for one reason or another we never find ourselves in those situations anymore. Not long after that we took the train back to Brooklyn & I bought a pack of cigarettes & we stood on the corner of North 7th & Bedford lighting them. "Zablozki's?" Polly said. I nodded. I was listening to my voicemail. My friend DB had left me a message but I couldn't hear what it said so I called him back. "Listen," he said. "336 West 37th Street, right now. Open bar, band, lots of drunk people you know." So Polly & I were back on the train heading west again. It was only 11 after all. & then we were up on the 11th floor of this building & there was DB & his girlfriend & there were some of my best friends from boarding school & there were more wood floors, more giant windows with more spectacular views of the city & the darkened sky & the long open bar stretched out like the altar of it all. At the end of the nite they played Ca Plane Pour Moi, which I've been listening to obsessively all week & my non-accomplishment depression dulled & receded a little & we took the train home later & except for the cigarettes I only spent $2 all evening, which has to be some kind of record. For me I mean.
And so! I am not avoiding you on purpose, little blog. Things are fine, fine, fine. I am going thru a period of hibernation. No more the whirl of social engagements, bars to frequent, drinks to drain, witty conversation to produce & hungover mornings in which to blog about it. Not this week, anyway.
This week I am staying in & making CDs for faraway friends. I am going very slowly thru Nadja, which I started only yesterday. I am trying to write a sestina. I am cooking at home from Japanese recipes. I am taking my vitamins.
Actually I am taking prenatal vitamins. Not because I am trying to make my body a more hospitable place for a fetus to live. I'm taking them because a once-pregnant, now-mommy friend of mine told me prenatal vitamins made her hair grow at a phenomenal rate & that is exactly what I'm hoping will happen to me. Then I heard from another friend that it's only the natural hormones produced by pregnant women's bodies that cause this accelerated-hair-growth phenomenon. I'm continuing with the vitamin regimen in spite of the evidence against it. Besides it's funny to go to the drugstore & buy prenatal supplies & a pack of cigarettes at the same time. You know the pharmacist is just dying to intervene on the fetus's behalf. Only you know there is no fetus.
I am going thru Nadja very slowly because it is full of sentences like this: "As far as I am concerned, a mind's arrangement with regard to certain objects is even more important than its regard for certain arrangements of objects, these two kinds of arrangement controlling between them all forms of sensibility." & that's only page 6. I'm up to 44 so far, but only because there are lots of pictures.
Sometimes drinking can be totally awesome but on the other hand sometimes I wonder if my friend Joe doesn't have the right idea with his week of detox (ending tomorrow). There is nothing lovelier than wiling away an afternoon with an old friend you haven't seen in ages drinking frosty concoctions with the A/C going & the sun shining & catching up over stacks of wedding photos & all that, but why does it always have to end with me wolfing down a greasy falafel or something & not remembering the walk home? & then waking up at 4 in the morning dry-mouthed & nauseous & checking my call log to see numbers I have no recollection of dialing? I hate it when that happens.
On Friday I hung out with Joe because my extreme strapped-for-cashness conicided with his stoic on-the-wagonness & also because we are friends & so anyway I went over to his place & he ate a deluxe sushi assortment from the money he'd saved from the detox & I made cocktails from a bottle of Ketel One he had lying around the house & some grapefruit juice I splurged on at the bodega. So really, which of us had the better evening? Well, it turns out that the answer is neither of us, because we watched an episode from a collection of 1970s-era after-school specials I'd gotten as a birthday present. We thought that it would be funny & kitschy but actually the episode was sad as hell & had a terrible moral lesson at the end if there was even a lesson at all & it plunged the 2 of us into the blackest depression which was only partially lifted after no less than 3 episodes of the Family Guy on DVD. The after-school special was about this little kid named Mouse who has a penchant for writing things on walls (see above) & it gets him into trouble with the school bully, Marv Hammerman. The whole point as far as I can tell is it that eventually Mouse stops running from Marv & he gets a pretty bloody beating, so I guess the lesson there is that violence is A-OK. Meanwhile Mouse's mom is the worst parent ever because she keeps telling him to watch more TV, is convinced her son deserves said beat-down & the woman ought to be murdered for her taste in wallpaper alone. & in a bizarre twist Mouse has to take care of this man in his building who just suffered a stroke & is basically a zombie. So Mouse is leading this poor old zombie around & then just taking off & stranding him there in his own drool whenever the bully shows up. God that made us sad. In happy news, Laura is moving into my apartment in July & I think maybe I'm going to get to Rome after all. Stay tuned, ragazzi. That is tutto for today!
I finally got a bunch of Austin pictures together for the blog. Please enjoy.
Here are your hostesses of amazing funtimes, Kato & Melly, at our favorite Austin watering hole, Club de Ville. We are seen here in a rare moment sans queso.
Here are Ben & me at Trudy's, about to enjoy their famous Mexican martinis. The best part about this picture is that right before it was taken I told Ben to get his water glass out of the frame & "try to look cool," for some reason. I don't know why I said that but Ben & Skot made fun of me unflaggingly about it all weekend. So of course when the photo comes out my eyes are closed & my water glass is prominent, not his. I'm so uncool.
Here we have Melissa looking rather desperately in need of an intervention. Actually some bitch at the wedding reception bumped into her on the dance floor & covered her in Chardonnay, but Melly, in maid-of-honorly fashion, very politely said nothing & went on with her evening. She loathed that dress anyway & she was a wee bit drunk.
I love how happy Skot & Melly look here. I didn't notice until I saw this picture that they are one of those couples who look alike. Maybe it's a recent development. Either way it's super cute-o. Behind them is our friend Christine in an awesome cleavage-baring dress.
These little babies are Skot's parents' cats, Shakespeare & Sophie. They have been shaven to withstand the deadly Texas heat. They rule. They were so cute I literally could not look at them without laughing. I'll spare you the other thousand photos I took of them tho.*
& lastly here is myself in front of the awesome trailer at Shady Grove. Between the white-trash accoutrements, the "HI Y'ALL" sign above the door, the smoking cigarette & the slutty outfit, this picture is very Britney Spears, n'est-ce pas?
*For more kitties click here, here & here. Do it. Kitties are rad!
Earlier I was sort of depressed because looking for a new roommate is not fun. I was filtering in all the emails from craigslist & everyone who wrote somehow managed to sound simultaneously younger & more accomplished than I am. There were 23-year-old law students, 25-year-old gallery directors, 20-year-old sculptresses whose boyfriends have great apartments they'll probably be staying at most of the time anyway, & on & on like that. They did sound like decent roommates tho so I invited them over. & it turned out last nite we had a flurry of applicants up to our place, one after the other, & they were all -- save one horrible one -- completely perfect & charming & normal. "I wish we could take them all in," I said wistfully to Joel when they had all gone. "& think of our rent...!" The best part was that my friend Laura just moved here from Chicago & if she doesn't get this other place that's a really great deal she will be moving in. Under the guise of just being a friend over for a beer Laura got the grand tour along with a little graphic designer who had just moved here from Toronto. The little graphic designer gave us these laminated business cards she'd had made & seemed very enthusiastic about being in New York. "So like, what kind of music are you guys into?" she wanted to know. "I don't know, stuff, everything, whatever," I said, with my best Williamsburg-weary look. "Probably the same music everyone else around here listens to." "Yeah, we love indie rock," Laura deadpanned. The little graphic designer didn't know what to make of that but she was very excited about the possibility of moving in. "Will you let me know even if you don't pick me?" she said. "& if you don't pick me but you hear of another place like this one will you let me know? Or, you know if the person you pick doesn't work out or something will you let me know about that too?" she said. I looked at her laminated business card again, touched. "Sure," I said. "Sure I will." & that's the story on the new-roomie front. They were all awesome. Except the horrible one, who was pretty horrible.
Something evil bit me about a million times when I was in Austin. My ankles have these red itchy welts on them. They are sort of like mosquito bites but bigger & more torturous. I think it's because I swam in Barton Springs, in the water where children & dogs & people with scarily long dreads swim too. I must have built up some sort of hippie immunity when I lived there but it's definitely gone now. Then again Melly is welty too, & she didn't swim in the Springs.
'Tis a mystery, I suppose.
Is anyone else loving Christian Slater's recent bad behavior? I wonder what other bodegas he frequents. Even tho he is sort of lame lately I would never call the cops on him. If he was nice I might even let him buy me a slushie. Yum!
I just finished an English muffin. I think it was the first thing I've eaten in five days that didn't involve queso. That's because I suddenly found myself in Austin for the long weekend. Spur of the moment Melly called me on Friday afternoon, a bit drunk from margaritas at Trudy's. "You have to be here this weekend," she said. "Can you come tomorrow? I'll put it on Skot's credit card." A couple of clicky transactions & a phone call to my boss & the next morning at 5 a.m. I was in a car rushing to La Guardia in dark lanes empty of traffic thinking about how it had been five years since the last time I was in Austin. Five years away makes it a place before major heartbreak, a place of promise & potential & the last part of my life that felt like a step on a straight path. A place before even this silly blog. I sat in the back of the cab holding Austin in my heart like Buk's bluebird, wanting to protect it just the way it was but impatient to be there again too. Anyway Melly was at a luncheon of sorts when I arrived so I had some time to myself at first. I told the cab driver to drop me by the University. I left my bags at By George & set off to wander around in the blazing heat sweating in my black shirt & under the strap of my bag. I walked down Guadalupe & crossed over to the campus side, trying to remember the names of the buildings on my own & then checking the signs to see if I was right. I walked in the shade of the live oaks, I circled the tower, I went down a great staircase & stumbled upon Speedway, the first street I lived on in town, & five years seemed like an eternity away. But then Skot & Melly showed up & everything was just the way it had always been. M & I went to Curra's to catch up. We sat there with a mound of queso & a dollop of guac between us, not to mention margaritas & a plate of enchiladas chiapas, licking the salt off the rims of our glasses & getting misty-eyed & more than a little drunk. Anyway thanks to Melly's amazing spontaneity & Skot's credit card with actual funds available, I had a perfect weekend in one of my favorite cities ever. Mexican martinis at Trudy's? Check. Queso catfish at Shady Grove? Check. Way too many drinks at Club de Ville? Blasting Bales of Cocaine late nite with Melly? Smoking a joint in the car between bars? Spontaneous Leslie sighting on the drag? Check, check, check, check! Anyway I'm back to mountains of work. But I'll post pics when I have them. Unfortunately there aren't any shots of Leslie, but I think they're still pretty good.