They say one is their own judge and jury for decisions of this scale, but I found myself drudged and dreary instead. It happened on the first night, dreamt about a ghost, her dead spirit, not really a four-leafed clover type sign. I figured it was a sign that said I could be happy with my decision, but the dead thing part meant my happiness was extorted, unlawfully gained according to the judge and jury.
The company-supplied goons dragged me to a night at an old stale ale-serving tavern, KISS played on the jukebox, in fact, one of the patrons paid for the entire album of Smashes Thrashes and Thrills to be played. Themed as a dirty dive bar complete with unpaid accidental stuntmen who flew across the air because they either A.) Incorrectly answered a trivia question of little importance, or B.) Stared at the wrong girl. There weren’t any girls. I had to sneak obsessive notes like I was writing an SOS on my raggedy napkin that looked to have been employed by someone’s, A.) Nose, or B.) Someone’s asshole that may require immediate medical attention.
Before I had realized it, I had successfully blacked out, and woke up on a centrally placed bench In Central Park. I was warned not to be here after dark. I remember vaguely about how I got here, but distinctly remember brown tinted ale being shot into a smudge covered glass mug from a tap that might as well have been an old tired camels penis. The difference was the solution that hailed from the actual wrinkly camel dick had a higher probability of tasting better. Several KISS albums and shots of Jim Beam later, you kind of catch on that this is a recipe that takes you mentally, emotionally, and physically to places you don’t want to be.
I stiffened up on the bench and my senses became sharp when I heard someone steal my lines from behind me. “Hey man, can you help me out?” Muttered the ebonic voice. I quickly contracted the muscles in my legs and ran like an, A.) An Olympic trackstar at the sound of the pistol, B.) A herd of gazelle in the barren lands of Africa at the sound of a hunters rifle, or C.) Like anyone when they hear a .38 being fired in the distance in Central Park after dark. Subsequently, option C). Turned out to be real I think, but I definitely didn’t feel like a walk in the park to solve that minute mystery. I just poetically hauled ass.
When I finally reached that 65th St. Transverse in the middle of the park, a guardian angel came in the form of a yellow taxicab, I popped in and screamed at the driver to take me to The Standard in the meat packing district and the tires screeched just like it does in the movies. When we got to 9th I realized that I had already been mugged, most likely when I was slurring ” Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle from Monty Python’s the Life of Brian (from the scene where they’re all being crucified before the end credits), too delerius to even know I was being mugged at unnecessary knifepoint by two agents of the shadows. The sympathetic cabdriver stopped the cab, got out and physically threw me out and graciously didn’t stab me or hold some kind of petty weapon to my face like a dusty red brick or half of a vintage 7up bottle, thinner yet more unrecycled and sturdy. I was in front of Burrito Box on what I think was next to W. 57th st. and not thinking, I sprinted in the general direction the cabbie was driving. I didn’t know where the hotel was exactly, but I was sure I’d see it sticking about 20 floors above ground eventually. All I knew was that I’d see it from A.) The Empire State Building, or B.) the Hudson River. The second one seemed easier to do because the former, (with my luck,) probably meant I’d have to jog about 30 miles in circles trying to get up there at this hour.
Those boyscout meetings I never went to and fear of not talking to strangers finally served me some good, I stumbled into the lobby covered in sweat, smudges, and twigs and saved myself a world of explanation to the receptionist because she recognized me as the guy with the drepressed looking brown luggage suitcase she swore she saw in the movie “Blow.” She gave me a spare keycard and sent me on the way up with a paper cup of blue Gatorade, because it had electrolytes that athletes sweat in those commercials. As soon as the light on the electronic lock turned green, I turned the handle and leaned on the door to just fall inside. Instead of crawling into bed like a normal person, I crawled into the tub, (which was next to the bed,) and ran the water, because I was probably covered in germs with Latin names I can’t pronounce. I turned it into a bubble bath, removed my bubbly dirty clothes from inside the tub, disregarding the soon to be unhappy maid, took a deep sigh and eased my gaze out the window to stare at the view I had over the beautiful, now eerie city. Then there she was. The ghost that started this whole mess was staring out the window with me and without a sound. I blinked my eyes real tight and she was gone, just like that. I suppose I’ve just had (D.) an exhaustively strange night. I’m going to pack and leave the following afternoon, and say, I’ll miss you, New York.