I’ll stop writing in a bit and maybe I should go home – I still might have enough energy to go out. But no one will be doing anything much fun. They’ll head to the bars where the girls will be dressed up. They’ll introduce me to the other guys they know, the fellow players of this boring game. The deliberate first few drinks, the talk of drinking and of the bar itself, then of the crowd itself – this is all just me, isn’t it? I’m the only one who can’t get past what’s directly in front of my face.
If I were to accost one of these females and start talking the subject would either be “My, it’s crowded,” or “My, those shoes are swell.” In either case, I’m not good enough looking to pull off such a boring line of attack. If one of the other guys is feeling nice and has ruled out a certain woman, he might be charitable and introduce me to her. In that case I’ll ask her how she knows my friend, and she’ll say she doesn’t know – from around, she guesses. And I’ll ask her if she lives around here, and she’ll tell me the neighborhood, maybe even the specific side of the hood.
And I’ll tell her how I’ve always enjoyed that part of the neighborhood, and how is it to actually live there?
It’s pretty nice, she’ll say. Actually I’m really into it. I can’t really picture myself living anywhere else, at least at this point. I guess it’s home, you know?
Yeah, I know, that’s how I feel about my neighborhood. Greenpoint? Yeah, I like it too. I’ve been there, God, almost four years now. Hell yeah it’s changed, even in that time. I mean it’s not like I moved there in the ’90s, but you know. What do I do? Well….
And then she’ll get up, or I’ll get up, or her friend will come over, the one who sucks up all the room’s energy. The one no one can really stand. The one you wish would hook up with Alden and then the two of them could go and ride off into the sunset together.
Time to go kill some minutes in the bathroom line. Oh wait, is someone smoking weed in the backyard?
Yup, the bartender’s going back there to tell them just how oblivious they are, as the whole bar and of course the bitchy Italian neighbors with cop nephews – hell, everyone – can smell that shit. Can’t you go and do it on the street, maybe over by the BQE?
My God is this place crowded. Imagine if they cut the lights on right now. What if they somehow got stuck in the on position. Everyone would leave. No, there would be a free topic of conversation for one and all. And then someone would make a great show of unscrewing light bulbs, first scorching his hand and then taking his fucking scarf off and using that as an oven mitt. And people would cheer when the last bulb was unscrewed and everything would be back to normal, until one of the bulbs was knocked from table to floor and the packed bar was reminded collectively of the what had happened 20 minutes before. Then I’d go home, just drunk enough not to do anything in the morning the next day, and just happy enough to go and do it again the next weekend – if not the next night.