Monday, April 11, 2005
weekend: beers and costumes
My roommate Ben will shortly be leaving New York City and returning to his hometown of Seattle. I've lived with Ben for the last two years (and with my roommate Brian for the last three); last year in the Lower East Side and this year in the Upper East Side. But soon, starting June 1, it will be just Brian and I left in NYC, two losers trying to make it in the Big City, one uncomfortably in love with the other, and one clinging on to the last vestiges of his heterosexuality for dear life.
Though Ben is leaving NYC in a few weeks, he's viewing his last days here more like an inmate waiting to be released than a college senior coming up on graduation. We've asked Ben numerous times if he wants a party or anything, and he always says that he doesn't want to do anything special, which is good, because Brian and I are just too lazy to plan anything like a party. I mean, c'mon. I barely have the strength to wipe my heinie after pooing and Brian spends four/five days a week in a robe and slippers smoking Marlboro Lights and complaining about the extended daylight hours.
While at work on Friday (Ben and I work at the same firm, though in different capacities) I was on the phone with Ben, discussing our plans for the evening, when he said, "I think I'm gonna stay in tonight to save some cash, but I want to have at least twenty beers." I laughed and thought it was a good plan - Brian, Ben, and I are all very broke right now - but assumed that he was being facetious when he said he'd drink at least twenty beers. Though it'd be a big night, drinking twenty beers between pre-gaming and going out isn't that big of a deal, but to sit an apartment on a Friday night and put away twenty beers in one sitting is another thing entirely. I thought Ben was exaggerating.
By the end of the night, it was actually 23 beers and a glass of wine. Brian and I were astounded, not only because the dude had 24 drinks, but also because at the end of the night he looked like he could drive a car or go to work for eight hours. You'd never guess that Ben had just drank (almost) a case of beer in about six hours. It was spectacular.
[Though amazing, this still isn't the best drinking performance I've ever seen. That honor goes to my buddy Steve, who at the ripe old age of 17 once drank 28 cans of Schmidt's and a bottle of NyQuil. Though while Ben could have gone to work after his performance, Steve went down to the bay at 4am, passed out, and nearly drowned when the tide came up and over him, but hey - he was only 17 at the time.]
Ben can flat-out drink, and for this (and possibly only this) he will be missed. I introduced Brian to Ben, and one night they hung out when I was out of town. They had plans to go out, but instead got wasted in my old apartment (when Brian and I lived with a third person, a girl). Brian was so impressed with Ben's drinking ability that when Ben would get up to use the bathroom, Brian would actually write down how many beers Ben was drinking. That, my friends, is respect.
On this Friday, by the end of the night, Ben had had his 23 beers, and all told there were 54 beers drank and a bottle of white wine between Ben, Brian, and I. And yes, we are all single. As I reflect on this, I wonder what my parents, relatives and friends at home would think about this. Many of them see my living in NYC and think it exotic and exciting. And yet last Friday night I sat in a 10x12 living room and got shit-housed with two other dudes. Then I ate two orders of onion rings, passed out for a few hours, and woke up at 6:30 in the morning with such tremendous heartburn that I contemplated going to the emergency room, before drinking a half a bottle of Pepto Bismol and taking some Xanax and falling back asleep. Jason Mulgrew in NYC: so exotic, so exciting.
And that was Friday.
On Saturday, I went a friend's birthday party in NJ. Normally, I don't like house parties, as I spend most of the time standing around, feeling awkward, thinking of things I can steal from the host's bathroom (nail files, clippers, etc), and trying with all my might not to have a sudden urge to poop. However, the hosts of the party put an interesting spin on this one: show up dressed like your favorite rock star. As my first wife, a lovely little Mexican broad who I'm pretty sure is now deceased, would say, "Muy interesante."
Though I love Halloween, at first I dreaded the rock star party. I realized quickly that something like this would require work, something, like making friends with black people, I'm really not interested in. Another problem: I have a beard. This limits my rock star-likeness, forcing me to choose between a handful of musicians, namely George Michael (though I'd relish the opportunity to be flamboyantly gay for an evening, I'm way too fat and not good-looking enough to pull him off - no pun intended), Kenny Rogers (too much whiteness with the hair), Jerry Garcia (warmer, as I'm pretty sure I could pull off a fat drug addict, but I just wouldn't feel right), etc. And so I was stuck.
[I then tossed around the idea of going to the party as the Pope. Sure, he's not a rock star, but how great would that have been? Amidst a sea of Axl Roses, John Lennons, and Peter Ceteras, in comes the Pope. But alas - that would have required the most work of all, so that idea was scrapped. I think I need an assistant or some shit to help me out on stuff like this.]
However, divine intervention came, as it usually does, in the form of a leisure suit. Way back in high school in 1996, my buddy Madden went to a garage sale where for about $2 he picked up a bunch of stylish '70's clothes, among them a very large leisure suit. I was just as portly then as I am now, so Madden gave me the leisure suit because "[you're] the fattest guy [I] know." A bona fide leisure suit, all mine, just because I'm chunky. God I love being fat.
For years, this leisure suit has come in handy in a pinch. I've worn it to countless dance or '70's parties, as well as on one Halloween, when I shaved my beard (save the moustache) and went out as my dad in 1977.
And it did not disappoint this weekend, as I wore the leisure suit, bought some cheesy sunglasses, rings, and necklaces, wore my shirt open for everyone to see my chest hair, and went to the party as a sleazy record producer from 1978. It was a big hit. Sure, I basically ripped off an former Halloween costume, but no one at the party knew that. And if you tell them, I'll fucking kill you.
And the upshot of wearing the rings and necklaces was that it led to some attention from the ladies. Not because I looked good, but because said ladies wanted the jewelry. If I were smoother, I could have parlayed their interest in my jewels (ha!) into at least a decent conversation, but no, something like that is way beyond my ability:
Girl: "Hey, can I have one of your rings?"
Me: [overly excited] "Would you like to go out on a date???"
Girl: [standing in silence, looking confused/disgusted with her friend by her side] "..."
Me: [still overly excited] "You know, maybe coffee or something? Really I'll do anything. I just would love to talk to you."
[Girl and friend walk away]
Girl: "Can I wear one of your necklaces?"
Me: [rigid, robot-like, like Brick in "Anchorman"] "I work in New York City and make a good living."
Girl: "Um, ok."
Me: "I'm going to get promoted in September. I don't have any sexually transmitted diseases."
Girl: "I have to go to the bathroom."
And that was Saturday.
And now all I have to do is make it through another week. To be honest, it doesn't look good. So, crap.