Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have all night -- part four

I slept most of the day away. When I wasn't sleeping, I was crapping. Beer, blow and smokes do that to me. Around 4 p.m. I decided to get out and get some air and blow the stink and funk off me. I grabbed my laundry and headed to the place on 104th between Broadway and Amsterdam.

Fortunately I picked a good time. The place was pretty empty and I had my pick of the washers. I snagged one near the front and got some quarters from the woman behind the counter. While she was getting me my change her little girl came out from behind the counter with a ball she was bouncing. It slipped out of her hand and rolled over to me. I picked it up and held it out to her but she took a look at me and ran back behind the counter to her mother. Smart girl. She could smell satan on me.

I handed her mom the ball and headed back to my machine. After I dumped the Tide in and some Clorox 2, I pushed the quarters in and closed the lid and waited. A few seconds later I threw my clothes in and then headed out the door. I needed grease and there was only one place to go -- Sal and Carmine's.

There was no line which was rare for a Saturday. I got one cheese and one pepperoni. I didn't want them heated up. Sal and Carmine's was best lukewarm. I wolfed down the slices while reading a Daily News that someone left on the counter. The headlines screamed about a Columbia coed who was raped on 114th and Riverside the other night. It was the third rape in or around Riverside Park in the last couple months and everyone was starting to get paranoid. The story said she'd been at Cannon's, a bar I frequented often at Broadway and 107th. She'd last been seen leaving with a guy who the police had not hunted down yet.

I skipped the rest of the story and moved to the letters to the editor page which were full of the usual rants. Then I hit the sports section before finishing my meal and hitting the deli at 101st for a cup of coffee. Then I headed back to the laundry and put my clothes in the dryer and took a nap in the back on one of the chairs. When I woke up, the clothes were dry and I threw them back into my bag. Usually, I folded them there. I'm a creature of habit. This time I took them home and threw them and myself on the bed.

The pizza and coffee had lifted most of the hangover. The crash wasn't that bad this time. I figured I'd stay in and watch TV, but around 9 p.m. I got antsy and remembered that I still had some beer and other goodies. Normally, I didn't indulge two nights in a row, but I figured I was on a roll and when you get on a streak you keep playing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I have all night -- part three

I got woken up by the garbage trucks making the Saturday pickup. I always thought it was cruel and inhumane to pick up garbage at 7 a.m. on a Saturday but numerous calls to the 3-1-1 line to suggest an alternate day had fallen on deaf ears.

The first thing I noticed when my eyes opened was that I was still on the roof. My pants were back on and there were scattered beer bottles all over the place. The next thing I noticed was that I was alone. Then begin to wonder if I was alone the whole time and everything from the night before -- most importantly the blowjob -- had been a figment of my imagination.

I pushed myself up and looked around the roof. At my feet, a bottle of Corona still had some life in it. I'm not a morning drinker. I had always used that as proof that I wasn't a real alcoholic. Of course, I conveniently overlooked the fact that I usually went to sleep around 5 a.m. when making that assessment.

This time though I made an exception to my rule and took a swig. Then I took out my pack of cigarettes and was relieved to see I still had four left, which would get me through the next couple hours. I lit one and started to put the pack back in my pocket when I figured a little extra jolt before my morning coffee couldn't hurt.

I walked over to the door thinking about the night before and her red hair and stockings that were torn from the ground on the roof. I got to the door and there was note under a rock in front of it that said, "Until next time, Dani." I was also glad to see she left the door ajar because I really wasn't up to trying to climb down the roof and onto a neighbor's fire escape.

Not wanting to be a complete pig, I walked back over to where the damage had been done and grabbed the empties and put them in the shopping bag. Then I finished my smoke and grounded it out on the roof.

I made my way back down the stairs with both the empties and the four bottles we didn't get at. I walked into my apartment, put the beer in the fridge and the garbage by the door. I tried to remember what else happened on the roof and when she might have left and, most importantly, how I was going to find her again.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I have all night -- Part Two

Two hours later and we're stumbling up the five flights to my one bedroom. On the third floor, she took off her heels and ran past me. I was not going to chase after her. Somehow I didn't think the sight of me wheezing up the last two flights after her would be an aphrodisiac. Plus, I had two six packs in a bag and I was more concerned about their safe arrival than I was my own.

"Hey," she yelled.

"Yeah," I said back.

"Is the roof open?"

"Don't know, never tried it."

I heard her give a hard push followed by a little shout of glee. I guess that sign promising a loud alarm was a croc.

"No alarm?," I asked while climbing up the last flight of stairs to the roof.

"Guess not," she said.

"What if there had been?"

"We'd be running back to your apartment."

I walked up to the landing, pushed her heels to the corner and went out on to the roof. It was dark and I'd never been up here before. It had a pretty good view of east, west, and north but not south. My building was on 105th between West End and Riverside and the big buildings on the south side of the street limited the view to a few other hi-rises and, off in the distance, the Empire State Building.

But uptown hasn't been totally destroyed and the moon was bright. It was cold on the roof but not too windy. I grabbed a couple of Coronas out of the bag and popped them open with the opener I kept on my key chain. Then I grabbed the lime I bought and sliced it open with the pen knife that I also kept on my key chain. I squeezed the limes into our beers, licked the juice off my fingers and walked over to the southeast corner where she was staring out into space.

"Here," I said as I approached not wanting to startle her. She turned and grabbed the beer and took swig, put it on the ground and then returned to her view.

I took a swig and then pulled out a cigarette and fired it up. I took a deep drag, looked up towards the moon, and blew some smoke into the night.

"I can't believe you never came up here before," she said.

"What can I say. I lead a simple life."

"It's so nice."

"Yeah, well I'm pretty sure they don't want us up here."

"Well, it's too cool to waste."

She turned back towards me, grabbed my cigarette, took a drag, exhaled and handed it back to me. Then she put her arms on my shoulders, leaned up and kissed me softly, sucking on my lower lip for a few seconds before leaning her body into mine. It didn't take long for me to overcome the elements. She kept kissing me while pushing me backwards into the wall where the door was then she started to undo my belt. A second later and her hand was inside my pants and another second after that and I wasn't in them anymore.

I tried to put my free hand around her but she used her free one to push my arm back. Then she dropped to her knees. A feeling of warmth like nothing I'd ever experienced before surrounded me. Normally, I try to set records for endurance, but in this case I figured the odds that I'd ever be in this situation again were so long that for once I'd sit back and enjoy something rather than resist it. Plus, this wasn't costing me anything so I didn't need to worry about not getting the full hour. I took a drag off my cigarette and exhaled into the cool air. A few seconds after that my knees began to shake a little as her mouth tightened around me and took everything I had.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I have all night -- Part One

I flicked my cigarette out before I walked back into the bar. I now had to strain my memory to recall the days when I could enjoy a brew and a butt at the same time.

Like everything else I loved about my city, those days were long gone. New York had moved on and I was still stuck. More and more I felt like a relic of a different era. I was a good ten years older than everyone else in this place. I was on the verge of crossing the line from mysterious older guy to pathetic pervert.

But I still had a few years left. At least that's what I tell myself before I head out the door. A few hours later and I wasn't sure if I had many days left. I looked around hoping someone would look back. The only thing I saw were my dark eyes in the mirror behind the bar telling me it was time to leave.

As always, I ignored my eyes. Refused to see what they were showing me. I pounded my beer, knocked it on the bar and waited for a fresh bottle to appear in front of me. When it did, I took a swig and then headed to the bathroom.

I looked in the mirror as I took out my pack of smokes, reached inside and fished out the little plastic bag. Another promise was about to bite the dust as I put my key into the bag and pulled it out slowly with a tiny pile of powder on the end. I moved that key like it was a tong lifting a prize out of a game. Then I lifted it to my nose and sucked it up. I repeated the process with my other nostril and felt that little rush and then the drip in the back of my throat. I flushed, put my baggie back in the pack and headed back to the bar where I took a swig from the fresh bottle.

"Is that your book?" I heard a voice ask.

I turned sharply and saw that a redhead was sitting on the stool next to me. She had long hair that hung across her face, covering one of her eyes. She was wearing a black turtle neck, black skirt, dark stockings and black pumps. I only felt like I was from a different era. She looked like she just walked out of the 1940s.

I looked back at the book on the bar. It was Fante's Ask the Dust. Yes, it was mine.

"You reading it, or is it just a prop."

"A little of both," I said. "I've already read it."

"Does it work?"

"Not really," I said, sniffing up to try to get a little more of a lift.

"You have a cold?"

"Not really," I said as I pulled my pack out.

"You going for a smoke?"

"Yeah, wanna come?"

"Sure," she said. She slid around on the chair and stood up. She was just the right height. Came up to my shoulders with her heels on.

We got outside and I handed her a smoke and pulled out my zippo and gave her a light.

"You're old school. I like it."

"I'm not old school, just old," I said while lighting my cigarette.

She exhaled through her nose and smiled.

"You don't look that old."

"Old is a state of mind and my mind is in a state of senility."

"Maybe you need to be jolted back into now," she said.

"What's your name."

"Danielle, but everyone calls me Dani."

"Nice to meet you, Danielle. I'm JB."

"JB what?"

"Just JB," I said while taking a drag.

"Well, just JB, lets go back in and finish our drinks."

"I may not be finished for awhile."

"That's OK. I have all night."

We'll see about that, I thought to myself as I held the door open for her.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memories of Christmas Past

Another cold night
Everyone tucked away inside

Not me

I'm at Tap-a-Keg getting high.
And you're standing by my side

That was the Christmas Eve I remember most

Hoping that the right mix will give us escape
Praying that we get through the night
Holding each other tight
Letting the booze tell us lies

And when we're done doing it to each other
We'll cling tight in our bed and hope we don't wake

But the next day we will and it will be Christmas
Alone again