If I still lived in the East Village I would have a day like I had yesterday every day of the week. It was fun, but I wouldn't want my life to be like that all the time. But maybe you would.
I got into the city around noon and went to one of those little manicure places to get my eyebrows waxed. I've started going to one where there is a minimal amount of interaction with the woman doing the waxing. I like it that way. The pain almost becomes peaceful.
I was supposed to buy new running shoes next, but I decided to blow it off and go to See Hear instead and buy some new comic books. I walked in to find some sort of film crew - I never did figure out why they were there - and an old business associate, Jason, formerly of Ocean 7, who was chatting with the guy working behind the counter.
I haven't seen Jason for a year and a half, probably the last time I was on an extended vacation. He's kind of hard to miss - he's about 6'4, skinny, and he's from New Zealand. Yesterday he was wearing a leather biker jacket and roller blades, with a ukelele in a bag on his back. I think he needed a haircut. He's very sweet and smiles a lot.
He told me that he and the counter guy, Ted, were in a ukelele band, Sonic Uke. I told them that as far ukelele band names goes, theirs was the tops. I pushed Ted to predict a resurgence in ukelele music, although I can't recall if it was ever at the forefront of the music scene in the first place.
He asked me what was up with me, and I was embarassed to admit I wasn't working yet again. Also I told him that I was putting out the little book in December, and he said to his friend at the counter, "Hey Ted, maybe you can sell Jami's book here."
I thought that was a good idea myself, and Ted promised to look at the book if I brought it in and decide if he liked it or not. That would be pretty cool. I like that store. (Ben, you'd like it too.) So it was fortuitous that I ran into Jason, and it put me in a good mood. I bought two Love and Rockets.
After coffee and a bagel at Cafe Pick Me Up I decided to have a beer. It was 1:30 PM. I had plans to meet Robbie at 2 PM, but I really wanted to crack open a beer and a comic book so I went to Sophie's, where I thought it would be quiet. A couple of regulars - unemployed artist types in their thirties - sat around discussing art and literature and bullshit and I mostly tuned them out until they couldn't remember who wrote Fahrenheit 451, and I offered Ray Bradbury. They all turned around and smiled at me. One of them fell instantly in love with me, I could tell, but I ignored him. I drained my beer and headed to Sidewalk, for their two for one happy hour that runs from 2 PM to 8 PM.
Robbie was there already, seated at the bar, charming the bartender. No surprise there. He can't leave the ladies alone. He and I had briefly dated this summer until I was forced to dump him because he was, albeit forthrightly, dating four other women. I still like Robbie an awful lot but he kind of grosses me out at the same time. But, like I said, he's totally honest about everything and, once we stopped sleeping together, became a good friend to me, so I let it slide.
We watched the alcoholics around us eat their daily lunch of colored drinks as we got our personal mid-afternoon drunk going, going, and gone. Sidewalk does quite a business with a drink special like that. I hope I never go there again.
It hurts my head now just thinking about it all: beer and then vodka drinks, tales of electrocution at rock shows in Nashville, ex-girlfriend stories, ex-boyfriend stories, one night stand stories, food and family discussions, more vodka drinks, those little yellow chips that say "Good For One Free Drink" that the bartender would slap down after every cash exchange, a brief makeout session - the kind where there is nothing to prove except that it was just as good as you remembered, and then, finally, an excessive tip to the bartender.
The day could have ended there and I would have been fine, but Robbie insisted I go to this poker game happening on 2nd Avenue. We stopped to get hot dogs at Crif Dogs, an establishment I would recommend highly, except for the fact that there is no bathroom there so you're forced to go into the completely creepy (Would it kill them to crack a light in there?) Openair two doors down.
I had been promised that it would be fine for girls to attend this poker game, but you know, this was really a boys-only event, so I didn't stay long. I think it was mainly a lot of guys who worked in music, and they had brought a bunch of Popeye's Chicken, and were playing old Soul Asylum and Wedding Present records. There was a guy named Crazy Glenn there, and everyone called him C.G. He told me he ran a punk rock zine but made his living off of playing poker. Everyone had a nickname, except me, so they decided to call me "New Girl," which I really liked. In fact, when I left, ten dollars poorer an hour later, they all said, "Bye, New Girl!" and told me that they needed more of the "smarter sex" to attend their game, but you know, I really think they were lying. They were sweet, but that game was not for girls - they would have had been serving KFC instead.
I really, really could have gone home then, but I had made plans to meet Catherine and Alli for a birthday party at Pianos, this huge new joint with weird interior design, and when I say "weird" I don't mean good artsy weird, I mean bad mish-moshy weird. It wasn't horrible, but I didn't get it. They had camouflage pillows, and it was dark in there. Why would you want your pillows to be hidden? And they were scratchy too. Those pillows bugged me. Still they have a nicely sized performance space there, two big floors, and, I am assuming, all of the appropriate licensing, so I think the potential is high for sucess.
I drank more because my liver was already dead and buried so what did it matter? I asked some of the guys I knew there if there were any decent men they could fix me up with, and they suggested all the guys I already know that I would never date, so then I drank some more. I wasn't trying to kill myself, but I felt like I needed to finish what I started.
And then it was midnight. People sang "Happy Birthday." The cake was cut and served and people passed joints. The DJs were playing ironic music with a good beat but no one was dancing. I decided no more men and no more drinks and no more socializing in the city.
I landed with a thud on my doorstep fifteen minutes later, but didn't sleep well with a half day of drinking in my gut. I woke up at 6 AM and watched a movie called "Diary of a Sex Addict" starring Rosanna Arquette and Michael Des Barres and Ed Begley, Jr. A lot of the fucking was hidden by the camera and it was mostly about saying very, very dirty things. So I just closed my eyes and listened to them fuck and waited for the sun to rise.