The Long Walk
Riding the elevator down alone, I stared at myself in the blurry reflection of the doors. Tried to make my spiky bed head flatten with a lick of my fingers and a matting down stroke. Brushed the lint off my shirt. Wiped the crud out of my eye.
Exiting through the lobby I nodded at her doorman, gave him a giant smile that implied “I know you’re wondering and, yes, yes I did.” Which meant that the next time he saw her he’d give her an equally giant smile that implied, “Oh I know, you dirty, dirty slut.”
I got outside and tried to find my bearings. Where the fuck was I? I should really get a compass. An urban compass, now that’s not a bad idea. Is this the…Gramercy?! How in the hell did we get back to here? Was it a cab? Surely we didn’t walk. Totally don’t remember that. Luckily I do remember more of the night. Bits and pieces, like a highlights package, “The Plays of the Day,” running through my head.
I headed north. I headed what I thought was north, uptown. I was in that euphoric state after a night of solid, but not super heavy drinking where it’s early enough that you’re still at the tail end of being drunk but you’re not one iota hungover yet. You’re lucid but you’re still walking on air. Other things had added to my euphoria as well. You know it won’t last long before the hangover begins and drunkenness subsides, dehydration and starvation, and pain and misery, but for now: this is as good as it gets.
How was I gonna get back to Hell’s Kitchen? Cab it? Naw, I probably blew $100 last night as is, no need to blow more. And it’s nice out. Look at all the folks dining at sidewalk cafes. I’ve always admired those New Yorkers that have the gumption to get up early on a weekend, shower, get dressed, and then go and eat a meal. At a restaurant. Certainly never been my M.O.
My ears heard my name being called but my mind knew that I was not in a neighborhood, not in a time or place where there would be any one who could possibly know me.
I finally turned. My god, it was my friend Justin, drinking Bloody Marys with a guy and a gal I didn’t recognize. I walked over to their table.
“What are you doing over here, Justin?” Justin lived in Park Slope.
“You know, the whole tourist thing. These are my two friends from back home, Krissy and Moore.”
I politely nodded at them, wondering how exactly one could do the ‘whole tourist thing’ in Gramercy. What exactly was there to look at? Trust fund bitches in giant glasses?
“A better question…” Justin smiled at me knowingly, looking me up and down, “…is what are you doing in this neighborhood? Why, you live in Hell’s Kitchen don’t you?” Justin was one of those people that was able to mock you with every single thing he said no matter how seemingly innocuous.
I politely nodded and Justin started cracking up.
Krissy was confused. “What? What? I don’t get it.”
“Well won’t you join us for some Bloodys? They’re unlimited til noon.”
“You know, I can’t, look at me. I’m disheveled.”
“What, you look fine.”
“But I’m not really a Bloody Mary kinda guy. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be a Bloody Mary kind of guy, but I’m just not.”
Krissy laughed. I wasn’t trying to be funny. My mouth just saying words my mind produced.
“They have unlimited Mimosas and Bellinis too if those are more your speed, partner.”
Justin wasn’t going to let me get me off the hook that easily so I figured I might as well join them.
“Eh, what the heck. I could use a little hair of the dog, turn the ol’ engine over, huh?”
Justin nodded, “That’s more like it.”
As I sat next to Krissy, my jeans bunched up like an accordion, ejecting the potent smell of my had-sex-last-night dick from my lap right up into my nostrils.
The waitress came over. “Wouldja like a menu?”
“Naw, that’s fine. Assure me your Hollaindaise sauce won’t kill me and I’ll have some Eggs Benedict. And as long as the Mimosas are unlimited, bring me two.”
“Eggs Benedict and some Mimosas. How frou-frou,” mocked Justin.
The daft Krissy was still perplexed. “I still don’t get what’s going on…”
The waitress quickly fetched me two flutes of Mimosa and I tipped one back straight down my throat, I’m not sure if the liquid even hit my tongue. And, still feeling euphoric from my past night in that way where you feel like you can do anything, say anything, your actions have no consequences, I turned to Krissy…
“Krissy, I don’t know where you’re from but I assume they have the same vernacular as we have here. You guys have stopped me on what is known as a ‘walk of shame.’ That is why I’m in a neighborhood I don’t belong to. Why my hair is a mess, my clothes disheveled, lint all of them, sleep crust still in my eye, why I smell…odd. A mix of sweat, perfume, water-based lubricant, and bodily secretions. It is why I should head home to shower and sleep, and not be seen for the next several hours.”
She looked at me, embarrassed. Embarrassed for my condition, for what I’ve said, for what she had to hear me frankly say, I am not sure. She finally spoke.
“Well I like how your hair looks right now.”
And I liked how my morning had already been kicked off.
The unlimited morning cocktails were drank all the way down to 0.01 seconds left on the shot clock. Hey, if you’re gonna set a time limit on unlimited alcohol, you better be ready to fetch a ton of them as the deal winds down. At least when you’re dealing with me and my dipsomaniacal friends. Our now drunken odyssey led us to a Murray Hill dive with $6 pitchers of cheap beer and 10 cent wings which led to Sutton Place and $3 32-ounce frozen margaritas and soon it was midnight and the four of us were shitfaced and in an UES bar drinking overpriced gin and tonics and struggling to stand up.
Long had I forgot how disheveled I was. Some 30plus hours without a shower, my facial scruff darkening in like a kid’s makeupped on beard line for his Halloween hobo costume, my body odor abhorrent as it tried to eject alcohol and junk food through its pores which mixed with sweat and other gross fluids already on the surface level. Shit, I hadn’t even brushed my teeth since like 8:00 PM yesterday come to think of it. Should I go grab some gum at a corner bodega? Order a shot of Creme de Menthe and gargle? Naw, I was long pass the point of caring about the avatar I presented to the world. To the drunken youths surrounding me.
I just wanted to go home. I could barely keep my eyes open, I was teetering on my bar stool. Slurring words. Had I even slept last night? I felt like I was in a sleep deprivation experiment. Yet, Justin refused to let me leave. “You gonna be a baby and go home before closing time?” Peer pressure always works on me. I’m such a sucker when my drinking manhood is called into question.
Fine, then if that’s the case, I’ll pursue your friend. And indeed the pursuit seemed reciprocal. As the day had progressed Krissy was seemingly getting more and more into me for whatever reason. It’s almost counterintuitive how women like a man they know has just been with another women. The more recent the better, though, they usually like a shower in there somewhere. Feeding frenzies exist for a reason and the stink of the alpha male in the jungle just makes the other primate chicks more in estrus. By golly, I was going to do this.
I was going to do this!
The sun came through the Venetian blinds scalding every other inch of my body in long horizontal stripes like I was behind jail bars made only of heat. I looked at the clock on the cable box. 6:05 as in ante-meridian. I turned over to the girl beside me. She was a brunette. Unless we’d visited a middle-of-the-night hair salon for a quick dye job, she was not Krissy. I didn’t recall meeting her. I didn’t recall talking to her, commuting to this home with her, undressing with her. I quietly slipped on my clothes which by now were nothing more than dirty, stinky laundry. I slipped out of her bedroom.
I exited her apartment but she didn’t have an elevator. I walked five stories down and she didn’t have a doorman. I got outside. There was not another single soul in the street. Where the fuck was I? Avenue C?! Good lord, how did I get in Alphabet City? I should really shower. I should really sleep. Man this is going to be a long walk. I hope I don’t run into any more brunchers I know.
6.7% ABV from a 750 (bottled April 22, 2009)
Victory’s WildDevil was one of my most anticipated releases of the early part of 2009, and despite the fairly high price compared to most Victory products, I was pumped to try this one. I let it sit for a few months, wanting it to get funky, but last week I could wait no longer. Unfortunately, WildDevil is now one of my bigger disappointments of 2009.
To my understanding, WildDevil is simply Victory’s semi-glorious Hop Devil IPA with Brett added. I love Hop Devil, I love Brett in beer, this should be a no-brainer masterpiece, right? Not quite. A medium smell of Brett, hops and more pine, much less funkier than I expected. A sizzling carbonation, with a tartness on the mouth, taking away a lot of the fresh hops goodness. I liked this beer less and less the more and more I drank it. And I had a whole big corked-and-caged bottle to get through. This beer just made me mad. Every sip of it made me want either a fully committed IPA (Hop Devil) or a fully committed Brett explosion wild ale. Commit goddammit! This beer teaches an important life lesson: don’t hedge your bets. Make up your mind, pick your path, and go for it. Waffling in the middle accomplishes nothing.