Friday, January 07, 2005
standard thursday night, actually
Last night I worked until 9pm, which is the latest I've worked since retiring from the legal assistant world. I went out to meet some buddies for a few beers in order to cool off, before going home and beating off.
I'm usually reticent about going out straight from work. This is because I'm a big fat guy who sits in a small hot office all day long sweating like, I don't know, something that sweats a lot. So by 5:30, I'm usually a little ripe. At the very least, my white undershirt is soaked nearly completely through, and I have some handsome pit stains through my work shirt (the sweating is so bad that if I know I have a big function to attend right after work, I will bring an extra undershirt to change into before I leave for the event - and yes, I am single).
I got to the bar and sat down, and the beers were calming me down after the rough day. However, the bar was overly warm and I continued sweating. I went to the bathroom to get some paper towels to stick under my armpits, to try to stop the massive sweating before it gave me pit stains the size of my head (and yes, I am still single).
However, when I got to the bathroom, I saw it was too late. It was useless to put the paper towels in my pits because they had already soaked through, so that I had plainly visible sweat stains seeping out of my armpits. Fortunately, the bathroom had an air dryer in addition to paper towels, and the dryer had a rotate-able head/nozzle. So I was able to position myself just enough that my nozzle was shooting warm air on my armpits, drying me up but at the same time essentially baking my pit-stained shirt.
And of course, my buddy Scott walked in on this scene. Scott knows all to well about my troubles with sweating, and immediately doubled-over and started cracking up. I tried to play it off like it was nothing, but there's really nothing you can say when your buddy catches you in a bar bathroom positioned awkwardly over a hand dryer, drying your sweaty armpits.
I mean, fuck.
[And a tangent: it's never good for a guy to go out boozing when wearing khaki pants. I don't know how this happens, but no matter how careful I am, I always wind up with lil' drops of pee all over my crotch, painfully visible on the khaki pants. In addition to the spare undershirt, I should keep a spare pair of dark pants in my office , so that after urinating I can whip my bird around without a care in the world, rather than carefully shaking it dry and placing it slowly back in my pants and still getting pee on myself. Damn it.]
After a few beers, I left the bar. I was tired from a busy day, and I was tired of hearing, "Hey dude - you peed yourself" every time I came back from the bathroom (which was a lot, since it's widely known I have a bladder like a three year-old girl's).
One of the perks about my job is that if you work past 8pm, you can call a car to take you home, and do so on the company. Since I had worked past 8, and was close to work, I called one, so that I didn't have to take the subway all the way from downtown up to the Upper East Side, a journey that would have taken at least 45 minutes and resulted in me pissing myself on the train.
The car came, and the driver was a nice Asian guy, who spoke not a single word of intelligible English.
I love immigrants. Seriously. Our ancestors were all immigrants at one point (unless you're Native American, but if you're Native American you're not reading this, because the two of you are both drunk in my basement right now). They worked hard and came to America to secure a new life for their families, and generations later, here we are: reading/writing a story about some dude peeing himself on the internet.
So I respect immigrants for coming to America to find a better life. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to leave your homeland to come to a country like the US, where decent people spend years working sixty-hour weeks in mills so that they can re-do the interior of their trailer, while people like me fall ass-first into high paying jobs, turning their income into vodka money and buying $120 worth porn from videoage.com because they had too much to drink last night and are very, very lonely.
Anyway, back to the driver of my car. I usually talk to the drivers of the car, because I'm bored, and on this night I was feeling a little drunk and talkative. So after getting in and saying, "Hi - 95th & 3rd, please", I asked him how he was doing. He said something, but I couldn't understand it because his English was bad. No big deal, I thought, and politely slumped back into my seat.
As we got close to my building, at about 92nd & 3rd I told him, "That'll be the far right corner on 95th and 3rd." He looked back and smiled, and I again reclined. As we approached the building, I noticed he wasn't slowing down. When we were half a block away, I leaned up and said, "Yeah, right up here on the right will be fine" as he zoomed through the green light and past my building.
At this point, I was completely flustered. This guy shot straight past my building and was heading to Harlem, doing 35mph on 3rd Avenue. I was stammering, "Wait...that was where I wanted to get out...hold on...no, just stop the car..." He was looking back and saying something I suppose, but I couldn't pick it up.
At 101st and 3rd, I finally got him to pull over. I tried explaining that I wanted to get out at 95th & 3rd, but he was simply not getting it. I could have gotten further in this endeavor with a well-trained dog, and definitely a dolphin of moderate intelligence.
After two minutes of pointless conversation between two people who had no idea what the fuck the other was saying, I thanked him, got out of the car, and walked the six blocks back to my place, in the cold, wet weather.
I know that English is a hard language, and I know the guy's just trying to make a living - but really, how much English do you have to know to be a driver? Sure, you have to know the geography of the city, but we're talking a minimum number of words here: left, right, straight, stop, Brooklyn, numbers and street names, etc. It's like someone coming into my office and saying, "Did you get my email?" and me staring back blankly for a solid five seconds before burping. Or having my boss ask, "Jason, did you get that presentation together about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?" and me looking puzzled and asking, "Nice to meet you?"
At any rate, it was an eventful night, a night like most nights, filled with sweat, piss, and misunderstanding. And thank god it's Friday. Have a good weekend, and tell someone you love them. Especially me. Because I could really use it.