Friday, May 16, 2008

Part Three: Out on the town.

Friday I slept in a bit, and when I woke up it was raining AGAIN. Sigh. So I read for a while, showered and blew my hair dry and styled it. When I dried my body, I was grossed out to find that my towel had smeared me with cat fur. In fact, I gagged a little. I grew up with cats in my house, but I never experienced anything like this. It took me a while to get all the fur off, but I managed it somehow. (The next time I needed to shower, I used Jenny's lint roller and rolled both sides of each towel.)

Then it was time to meet up with Madrid for her b-day celebration at Fat Black Pussycat. You know, recently I’d been feeling a bit guilty for leaving my students at I.S. 318, but hearing Laura, Madrid and Madrid’s co-workers talk about their troubles at work cured me instantly. That night I ended up playing two games of darts (the second and third times I’ve ever played). I lost both times, but it was fairly close. Only the bullseye eluded me. I gave Madrid her present, a pair of earrings. I think she really liked them, and Laura liked them so much that she requested a pair. I take that as quite a compliment, since she is a jewelry artiste extraordinaire.

We then went for Thai food a block away. We had duck soup spiced with cinnamon and star anise. It was incredible. We talked Madrid into staying out a little while longer for beer at Vol d’ Nuit.

Then she baled, so Laura and I went to Union Square for Chocolates by the Bald Man. It was raining again, but the line was long. While waiting, we gazed into vats of churning chocolate (see photos at left), and sipped samples of hot chocolate, sweet and dark and rich as a melted candy bar. While we were waiting, who should appear but Riza and her boyfriend Aki! New York is amazing that way. There are millions of people in the city and the city is huge, but you run into people all the time in random places. They thought they would join us, but they had to take off for a show they were seeing (Fuerza Bruta) before the table was ready.

I don’t remember what Laura got, but I got Mexican hot chocolate in “the signature hug mug.” It was satiny-rich hot chocolate with a tingle of hot pepper.

The hug mug is oblong and must be cupped in your hands, hugged, to be drunk. We got a text from Riza: “Most of the guys here are gay. They’re hitting on Aki.” Well, he is adorable. Later Ryan texted, assuming we were out dancing: “Are you grinding with some guy?” I told her to reply, “Where are you standing that you can see me?” That gave her the giggles. Ryan and Carolina were hosting their school’s senior class cruise. We wanted to meet up with them, but we were tired and afraid it would take them a long time to get together with us, so we gave up and went home. Sigh. Then I realized I was scheduled to meet up with Tom the next day, but we hadn’t set up when or where.

I texted him: “Any ideas for tomorrow?” His reply: “Not really. Life’s weird right now.” Since I pay by the text, but had plenty of minutes left, I called him to get the scoop. Voice mail? Grr. I left a message asking him to call me to set up our get-together. Then a thought occurred to me: “Life’s weird right now.” I’d heard that exact line before…Blake Wilner, London, 2001. We first met in NYC in 1999, but since then had been pen pals with flirtation. When I got to London, we stopped by a bar where we met a girl named Lou. Then, once we were at Blake’s apartment (where he had offered me a place to stay) he informed me that he and Lou were living together. Say what? That’s shady behavior. Who moves in with girl, but doesn’t tell his friends he’s moved in with a girl? Shady. I didn't think Tom was being shady, but it was possible he didn't want to hurt my feelings.

With this in mind, I texted him: “The last time a guy said that to me, he had a girlfriend, but didn’t know how to tell me.” Brrring!

Tom called instantly to inform me of what was actually going on. Basically, one of his friends got drunk and wanted to drive, so Tom and all of his friends had their hand full trying to talk him out of his keys when I first texted. Tom sounded pretty with-it when the conversation began, but then…I think he called me a nun? “What did you say?” Tom replied, “I have no idea.” I realized that he was drunk. “Yeah, I’m drunk. You didn’t notice before now?” We decided to make our plans the next day.

“I may call you very early,” Tom said.

“How early are we talking?”

“Obscenely early. Earlier than a person would get up if they didn’t have to. Today I was up by 5.”

“Oh,” I replied, “Well, I might sleep through that. If I do, just leave a message and I’ll call you when I get up.”

The next morning, I woke up, had some yogurt and took a shower, did my hair and makeup and got dressed, then called Tom at 9. I woke him up. Hee.

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