It stands to reason, somehow, that a wholesome afternoon would be followed by a spontaneous evening of debauchery. The upshot?
3:01 – Ethan and I walk (ok, stroll) along the Hudson to the 70th Street Pier. He learns the word “boat,” and proceeds to use it successfully all afternoon. Yes, women do notice him and smile at me. No, it’s not why I offered to baby-sit.
3:46 – Ethan climbs on, runs along, jumps off, and giggles at every item on the playground. I try and keep up, but have quickly broken into a sweat, in part from the exertion, and in part from anxiety that he will hurt himself. He takes about four falls, shakes them all off, and keeps up the frantic pace.
5:16 – I run into Steve Rosenbaum and his wife Pam Yoder on The Promenade. Chris worked for their company, Broadcast News Networks, in the early nineties. One of my first jobs out of Syracuse was babysitting their three-year-old who is now fifteen. They moved to New York City in 1994. Chris dismantled and rebuilt their Avids, which he ran. I followed. Small world.
5:33 – I ask Ethan if he needs me to change his diaper. He shakes his head “no.” I give him a bath. He occupies a solid ten minutes filling a shampoo bottle with water, pouring it into a small watering can, then pouring out the watering can, and doing it all again. I sit on the floor leaning on the Diaper Geanie grinning.
7:01 – Ethan, now wearing his footed, racecar sleeper, takes the Wired Magazine out of my hands, hands me “Richard Scary’s Big Book of Words,” and climbs into my lap with his bottle. We read.
7:30 – I set out from the Upper West Side for the East Village. Four subways later (1/2 to 2/3 to N/R to what I’d hopes was the F/V but ended up being the B/D), I’ve overshot my station. I walk from Grand Street. In a thunderstorm. The sky is dark to the northeast, but bright orange to the southwest. The digital blips and beats of Mum’s “We Have A Map Of The Piano” is the perfect accompaniment to raindrops on my umbrella.
8:18 – Dough takes the stage at Arlene Grocery. In addition to digging their performance, as always (they’re really much better as an original band than they are doing my bidding as my backup band, but that stands to reason as they bring four sets of inspiration to the table instead of one, which, of course, makes keeping that band together that much more difficult), I get some good ideas for my next record: t-shirts, logos, that sort of thing.
9:52 – Tony, Chris and I are engaged in conversation by a Jameson’s Whiskey Girl, who is doing some sort of promotion. I refuse to be sold, or discuss anything bought or sold, so instead interview her as to how she got the job, and what she really wants to do with her life. (She’s an aspiring Broadway actress who needs the work.)
10:22 – Walking up First Avenue with a slice of pizza and a big smile, I run into publicist/friend Dani Lovette (who, ok, I went on a few dates with and think is mega-cute) outside of Lucky Chang’s. Small world.
10:39 – I walk into Beauty Bar, increasing the median age by at least five years. I run into Jonathan and Rachel. I start a tab (I never start a tab), and order a beer.
10:52 – Alyssa, the birthday girl, shows up with her friends Amelia and Deena (who, ok, I went on a few dates with and think is mega-cute). Deena leaves fairly promptly saying, “You’ll take care of Amelia, right?” Amelia is 24-years-old and, well, drop dead. I move on to a dirty martini and somehow sustain an intelligent conversation.
11:43 – Amelia leaves. I return to Jonathan and Rachel. I debrief them on my lost hour with the beautiful blonde when…
11:44 – Willo rounds the corner and runs smack into me. We hollar and hug like long-lost old friends, except I’ve never met her, just her website. I hang with her and her friend Sarah. They do shots. I close out my tab. We walk to…
12:03 – Lit. Willo’s meeting another Internerd friend, Brian, who looks awfully familiar. The music at Lit is pretty bad. In fact, Lit is pretty bad. But there’s some playful girl-on-girl action nearby, which entertains, and I’m reveling in the chaos. “How do you know Willo?” Brian asks at least twice. It all comes together when he suggests we go to Misshapes. “I’m not sure they’ll let an old guy in a corduroy blazer past the rope.” “Sure they will,” Brian says, “I’m friends with the owners.”
12:57 – I pass through Misshapes velvet rope with Willo, Sarah, Brian, and his friend Eric. Any second, I reason, I will run into Brian and my mutual ex. Small world.
1:56 – I love Misshapes. I love the tiny, crowded dance floor, and the wall of white lights — like stars. The DJ, who alternates between nostalgic pop (too bright, no bass), LES hipster rock (better), and dance tracks (eh) plays Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” I am dancing with myself. I decide that’s my cue.
2:07 – I pass Gigi’s apartment as I walk home through the West Village. Small fucking world.
2:22 – I text Heather from the cab. “It’s wicked stupid late. I’m wicked stupid hammerered.” (Yes, with an extra “er.”)
2:47 – I climb the five flight of stairs and collapse into my apartment. I sit on the shag rig in front of the blue glow of the television and eat a Bocca Burger with lettuce and carrots bathed in Ken’s Italian Steak House Dressing. Delicious.
5:57 – I wake up on the shag rug, walk upstairs, and climb beneath my gray flannel sheets.
9:57 – The upshot? I wake up hung over, wrung out, and just a little bit sad. I write “Dark Blue.”