This is a wee story about a the first night I spent on my annual trip to visit A. in NYC for 4th of July. I thought it would explain a lot, for much more to come...
I arrived to LaGuardia after the most amazing flight - great visibility and a smattering of cotton candy clouds in perfect perspective as we descended. It set the mood for the weekend. A. met me at the airport looking resplendent in a sundress and vintage wicker purse. We took a cab to her house and caught up on boy matters.
We lounged and danced to Beyonce in her gorgeous, sunny, oversized (for New York) bedroom and S. called to say she had been wandering Park Slope and would meet us for a beer. We met at the one local place A. never took me to, and after half a sip of beer I understood why. S. was with her German philandering ex-boyfriend, which we couldn’t quite understand, and we settled in the sunny patio to enjoy the afternoon. Almost immediately a mother and baby were at the table next to us, her finagling with her top-of-the-line stroller, trying to fold it into position - so she can enjoy her beer while the redheaded child plays on the concrete between the afternoon drinkers. I have friends who have babies and like beer, but I was just planning on lighting up a cigarette when she sat down. It is, after all, New York, and the patios belong to the smokers in my opinion. A. insists we light up, her being a smoker by proxy when she’s around me, and despite my uncomfortable feelings around smoking near babies, we do so while craning in the opposite direction. A baby-call has been given throughout Park Slope - the patio quickly fills with more 30-ish parents and more and MORE babies. Strength in numbers I guess. S. has to go to work at any rate, so we adjourn to the more hip, and decidedly baby-free, Great Lakes bar.
A. likes to describe the night as being full of phases - to explain how we could be at this one bar for 10 hours. First there is the A. and E. hanging out phase. In which we just chat and natter away like old ladies, staying on and off topic to our heart’s desire. J. appears and hugs and greetings go all around (another phase completely). We talk of her work at MTV and A. and J. exchange “living in New York” anecdotes, them both being recent transplants. J. comments towards a young blue eyed man waiting at the bar - “now THAT is a nice piece of ass.” We all turn to inspect this “piece” and agree that he’s cute. Not that I would ever see him as a piece of ass but he had a certain wholesome/hip/boyish thing going on. I went to put some tunes in the fabulous jukebox only to be beaten to the punch by said “piece.” He offers to let me play the last few of his choices. I choose some Le Tigre, and then some more Le Tigre, excited to see it in a jukebox. A. wanders by and whispers in my ear - “be careful, that's J.'s piece of ass.” Right. Ok, well, come meet my friend will you? A. and I introduce C. to J. and excuse ourselves to go outside and have a smoke.
C.’s friends also join us in the mix - there’s a bigger guy with a great smile and a sarcastic sense of humor. There’s D., a smallish Asian boy with a shy demeanor and hipster haircut. On the fringes are an Englishman and another famous local. I choose D. as my interest of the night. A photo shoot of sorts begins - C. in A.’s hat and matching bag, A. looking adorable at the bar, group photos and individual photos and photos of the floor, apparently. It seems as though A. and C. have made a connection, and J. has found some unrelated French dude to talk to. I walk up to A. and ask, “do you mind if I make out with this boy here?” Of course she didn’t mind, she was confused why I’d ask. I ask the shy boy, after not having much conversation with him yet, “so do you want to go around the corner and make out?” Yes he would. We round the corner and begin acting like a couple of whores on the sidewalk. He’s soft and silky, and instantly taken with me for some reason. We sit down on the sidewalk and make out some more. He kisses my neck, which was OK, then asked me to kiss his. It seemed strange, this request, a little bit too much making-out-by-numbers, but I acquiesced and then said we should go inside and drink our beers. I still have priorities.
Its a social madhouse inside. More picture taking happens. I join J. outside to meet these men she’s talking to and one of them grabs me by the arm to make a point, and my bar-fight urge is flicked into gear. Luckily, D. anticipates this and steers me towards the outside wall of the bar so we can sit down and make out some more. He touches my arm, sweetly, and often, and sighs. “Why do you have to live in CHICAGO?” he asks. I parrot him, “why do you have to live in New York?” I politely reply. He says he has a confession to make, he is actually seeing someone. I reply that it was OK because I had an internet date for the following evening.
J. insists that the weird French guy and the guy who grabbed my arm are going to walk her to the train. I’m concerned- give them 30 questions - and swear I will hunt them down if anything happens to her. I watch them walk off and see French guy take J's hand. Sweet.
Back in the bar it seems as if its closing time but they let us stay - D. and I feel free to make out on the couch now because of the lighter crowd and lessened traffic flow. I take his number and ask if I can call him if my date is a disaster. He seems to look forward to the prospect. I notice that A. too is making out with C., the piece of ass, so I know its been a good night.
We bid the boys goodbye and head back to the apartment up the street. A. is always amazed at the time of night (morning) I keep her up until. Well, I’m in New York, and can hardly be surprised at our behavior. We have one last cigarette on her stoop, laughing about the night, and soon fall into bed. One night down, two to go.
xxoo, E 1/11/05