Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Odds & Sods

I've been out every night for the past five days. I'm crabby and exhausted.

The weekend was fairly quiet. Tim and I brought old-fashioned Catonese food to a shut-in friend who feeling peckish and requested it. I live frighteningly close to Jade Mountain, which has been on Second Avenue since 1931. I have not been a patron that long, however. I do remember it years ago in a more Hollywood-ish decor of Chinese red and black with lanterns. Now, it's more 70's lavatory, but not in a good way. It's been owned by the same family since the dawn of time. If there is anyone out there who wants to recreate a late 50's/early 60's Jewish Sunday night dinner, I suggest they head there. If you know what I'm talking about, you know the drill: Egg Rolls, Wonton Soup, Spare Ribs, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Pistachio Ice Cream. After that meal, you can roll over and not pretend to play dead. It's a killer. Anyway, our pal requested it, and we brought a huge bag of it to him. You could have used that bag in your workout, it was so leaden. Tim fixed me several bourbons and soda, and then we ate while our friend entertained us with his collection of MGM musical outakes and bloopers. Who knew that the pendulum on the clock in the stairwell in Meet Me in Saint Louis stops swinging as Judy passes it? I certainly didn't!

Sunday, I hit the Dugout as usual. Suffice to say, it was less than stellar. Again. The weather's too nice. There's other places to go. Tim cashed out before 9:00. Ah, well. At least he got a good night's rest before he headed upstate for a family visit.

Monday I had dinner with my sister. We had some things to discuss, a family matter we've never talked about, but have finally had to address. It was rather nice, but also scary that we hadn't done dinner without husbands, boyfriends, parents and significant others in 33 years. I pointed out the fact that the last time we had a solo dinner, she had just moved out of my mother's house, and I had just come out. We were both on my mom's shit-list and needed to strategize. It was nothing quite so dramatic this time. I had a very odd relationship with our late father, and she was finally asking questions. I was happy to oblige with answers. Perhaps I'll blog further about this at some time. I don't know.

Yesterday, I had dinner with L. He was hired to be my intern back in 1987, when he was 17, and I was 33. He's been in my life in some capacity ever since. He's had a very rough row to hoe, as they say down South. I would have thought that my own foibles in my 30's would have presented him with an object-lesson primer in what not to do, and how not to do it. But unfortunately, he had to learn all those same lessons, plus several of his own, himself. He's still searching for his place in the world, and all I can do is show him it can be done, you can come through great difficulties and not only survive but grow strong. At times it seems like he's grasping for unhappiness with both hands.

We had dinner on Avenue A and then walked through Thomkins Square at dusk. The park was full of fireflies, sending off sparks of light beneath the trees hanging low in the dark, adding a bit of glamour and mystery to the steamy evening.

We had some refreshments at the Phoenix, which was quiet except for a handsome, young and very drunk man, who completely fell apart in the 30 minutes we were there. I played Bob Mould and Garbage on the jukebox and as we left the gentleman in question fell under the bar. Poor child. "You look like you're having a good time", L. had said to him when he was still somewhat coherent. "I'm actually miserable", he replied. Clearly.

We headed over to Nowhere for Big Lug. I'd only attended Big Lug when it was in residence on Saturday nights at the Dugout, and that set-up just didn't happen for me. While I enjoyed some of the music played, I resented being forced to listen to Neil Diamond, followed by the Osmonds singing "One Bad Apple". I lived through that shit on the radio. It isn't cute or clever or nostalgic to me. It's just awful. Last night the music was quite a bit better. So was the crowd. Less Metrobore. I mean bear. One attendee showed up in a leather CHIPs uniform. He looked rather dapper, but it was sweltering, and I question the etiquette of really serious leather at 9:20 PM on a Tuesday night in a bar on East 14th Street. He seemed to take a liking to me, but it was a school night, and I was otherwise engaged.

I'm getting ready to head up to the Cape this weekend. Got myself organized, just need to pack. Work is stressing me out to the max...lots of odds and ends to clean up between now and Friday. I haven't gotten any reading material, but I'm thinking of re-reading Colette. Cheri and The Last of Cheri. I have a feeling that reading about the final passages of Leah's life among the rich, idle and beautiful will somehow pertain to the not-so-secret inner struggle I've been going through this year. In the second volume, she has come to terms with aging, given up her frivolous, beautiful life and has even taken to wearing sensible shoes and tweed. Her last admirer, once vain and cruel, is being driven to the edge of sanity by images of Leah as she once was, but is no more. If you see a tall, older, bearded man walking down Commerical Street in a houndstooth coat with suede elbow patches, it could very well be me. Be kind. I'm having a crisis.

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