Friday, June 4, 2010

The Big Queasy

I had the whole thing planned out in my head. My LA friend Brian (aka BOC) was in town and just this morning, I had communicated on Facebook with NY-based Brian Babst and it was working out that both of them would be at The Park tonight. This was kismet. I would write about our fabulous evening out on the town. I even had an amazing title: The Life Of Brians. It was all so perfect. Though, as always, my life once again didn’t work out the way I had planned.

BOC and I have known each other for seventeen years, but since I moved to New York in 2001, we have rarely seen each other. The late rise of social networking has made it easy for us to reconnect and talk more which has been great. I have always liked Brian a lot. And over the years we have worked together and played together and experienced life so there was no reason for me not to be excited to see him. We planned a quick bite at Vinyl before heading down to The Park where his friend Rodney was meeting him and my friend Erik was meeting me (and presumably Babst would be waiting).

While at Vinyl enjoying my usual Thai ice tea and Cobb Salad, I bit into something that, in the moment, I thought tasted moldy. In my excitement to catch up with Brian, I ignored the thought and kept going. But ten minutes later, doubled over with cramps in the Elvis bathroom, I realized that my first instinct was correct. But so what?! We haven’t seen each other in years. People are waiting for me. I haven’t updated my blog in two weeks. I need to go. And so down to The Park we went.

Rodney met us out on the sidewalk, temporarily fascinated by the crowd at the straight club next door to the crowd in front of The Park. Once inside I discovered there was no coat check for my backpack. I hate bringing it everywhere but my laptop is in there and how am I supposed to blog on the train home without it? So I lugged the backpack and Brian and Rodney upstairs and as we climbed the stairs, I wasn’t sure if it was me getting sicker or what but I could keep the temperature rising. The upstairs bar was like a sauna and for the first (but certainly far from the last) time that night the place was described as “hot as balls.”

Apparently, “hot as balls” is the new “stay classy” because I couldn’t stop hearing it. On the plus side, it kept what I had heard on the stairs from ringing in my head all night. Two guys passed us on their way down and one of them turned to the other and bleated, “I had no idea it was so old here.” I expected to find the dance marathon scene from the Golden Girls waiting for me once I got in there but it was as it always is. I tried not to take what they said personally, especially in light of what I learned a few years ago on an episode of the Law & Order: the older you get, the harder it is to tell how young or old someone else is. Maybe they are all old at The Park but I am so old myself, they all look young to me. I might not be a credible witness, just in time for Law & Order to not be around to ask me if I saw something.

Matty was there with Andrew and they were moving through the bar at a breakneck pace. I assume trying to find some air conditioning or a place to collapse from the heat. Andrew gave me a sweet long hug or maybe he just fainted for a minute there. I’m telling you it was really hot! Hoping to regroup myself as the heat made me feel worse, I escaped to the bathroom in the basement figuring correctly that it would be the coolest part of the building. On my way back up, I ran into Bradford in a three piece red suit no doubt borrowed from Nicholson’s wardrobe as the Joker in 1989’s Batman. He was ranting about finding the elusive Jesse Cozart, who I myself had just seen upstairs a few minutes early. I pointed Bradford off into the right direction and tried to hold it all together a little while longer.

I finally ran into Brian Babst, which had been my hope. Babst didn’t seem as impacted by the heat, perhaps because it seems like every time I turn around he is on some tropical island or equatorial banana republic working on his considerable tan and punishing his liver. I really wanted the two Brians to have some kind of important encounter that I could build my writing around, but it never happened.

The heat finally got the better of me. Standing with BOC, Rodney and Erik, I suddenly had the urge to start vomiting. That was it. Time to go home. I told BOC I was leaving, and he said, “Me too. I don’t want to be out too late. I’m just going to finish this drink.” I couldn’t wait that long. I didn’t even care if it seemed rude. I had to run out of them with barely a moment for a proper good bye. Better to be seen as hostile than be that guy who threw up all over the entire Fire Island synchronized drinking team.

Once I got outside and had some fresh, cool night air, I started to feel a little better. The queasiness didn’t really go away but at least I didn’t think my body was going to explode at any moment. Oh well. It just goes to show how little control I have over what happens in my world. I really just have these little adventures and write what happens. I wish I had to the power to mold them into exactly what I want, but sometimes, the mold itself takes control and The Life of Brians gets put on the back burner for another time. Perhaps when it isn’t as hot as balls, and I am feeling better.

1 comment:

BOC said...

DH - I hope you are feeling better. I got food poisoning during my last visit to Michigan so can TOTALLY relate to the sudden and on-set urge to HURL your guts out. On that last trip I was up all night at my Mom's ridding my body of the Ceasar salad that started it all...
See you again soon, I hope.