Typical Evening in NYC

When a day begins with pancakes and a glass of Jameson on the rocks and ends with getting punched in the ear at a bar restroom in New York City you begin to wonder why you’re ever allowed out in public.

It was the morning of the St Patty’s day parade in Syracuse, NY.  I headed to my friend’s house around 830 am. We’ll call him Pot Hole (he smoked a lot of pot and turned out to be an asshole so we’ll shorten it up for convenience). I was meeting Pot Hole and some other friends there for breakfast before the parade. By 9am I already had a couple shots in me and 1 delicious pancake. Myself, Pot Hole and the others were ready for a day of whiskey and dancing. But I got a call from my friend Mollie around 10 telling me I was going to NYC with her that day to watch Syracuse play at MSG in the Big East basketball tournament. I won’t make up a name for Mollie because I think in the spirit of it being a St Patty’s day story it is appropriate there is a ‘Mollie’ in my story. Anyways, I decided to head downtown first and partake in the festivities for a bit first but was really excited about my new plans for the day. When I got downtown I immediately lost Pot Hole and the rest of my group. I have some issues when I drink. I wander, I pay attention to no one and nothing, I don’t listen to anyone, and I follow any group that looks fun. This usually ends with me losing my group, making new friends, and waking up 2 hours from my original destination with no car and 27 new phone numbers with names like “Mark plaid shirt” and “Alex blonde hair”. But on this occasion I actually found people I knew and decided to hang with them for a few drinks before heading to Mollie’s to begin our adventure.

After 4 hours of driving and some hard core 80’s ballad singing and fist pumping we were in the city. We had booked a hotel on the way down, so when we got there we checked in, got ready and headed out to the bar to meet the guy we were buying the tickets from. After getting the tickets we worked our way up to the bar and ordered up our first shots of the night and 2 Bud Lights. Because it’s NYC the total for that came to roughly $30. So it was time to start working the room. When a shot costs $9 its time to find some dudes. And by dudes, I mean wallets. With each guy our names and jobs became more and more interesting. I normally like to go with my usual, Gillian E Dubbs II, a marine biologist trying to save the Beluga Whale from what I believe to be the Lockness monster. I like to stick with Gillian, and just play around with the job. I have at one time or another been Gillian the local commercial actress, Gillian the painter who has an upcoming show (this is a fun one because I actually give them a time and place to go to see “my work”) and Gillian the Brit. I don’t give a job with that one, I just ramble on and on about anything I want to as an excuse to practice my British accent. These are all of course aliases I only use if I have no interest in the guy whatsoever past him buying me a drink. If it is a guy I’m actually interested in I’m Amy, emotionally unavailable and only in town for one night. Either way, it works out. That night I was still partially decked out in St Patty’s day gear so I went with some fun Irish names. I think at one point I was McGillian Maggie O’IrishGuiness-stein. After a couple hours of those shenanigans it was game time. We walked to the garden, got our seats, and made friends with the beer guy. We let him know we would be loyal customers all night. And what we meant by loyal customers, is that the guys behind us we were going to get to buy us drinks would be loyal customers.

It was a good game, we ended up losing, but still a good game. It was now 10pm and I had started drinking in Syracuse at 9am. I knew nothing good was going to come of this. We walked to a bar called Local after the game with the guys who were buying us beer the whole time. The least we could do to repay them was to continue to allow them to buy us drinks at the bar. I’m not sure how long we were at that bar, but we wanted to go back to Stout. It was apparently our new favorite place ever.

When we arrived Mollie realized she had lost her wallet. We traced our steps back to Local and MSG after ditching the guys but didn’t find it. So we went back to the hotel. I was washing up in the bathroom and when I walked from the bathroom to the room I found Mollie completely passed out sprawled across the bed, phone in hand, shoes on, and a whole mess of items scattered around her.  There was a camera, a brochure, some papers, a few $1 bills scattered around making her look like a hooker, and I swear I’m not lying…a spoon. I distinctly remember a spoon. I said to myself right there and then that I would find this poor hooker’s wallet so she had a place to put her $1 bills and her spoon. So I left the hotel on a search for the wallet. I went back to Local to look around and I decided to go check the bathroom. I was in the bathroom when a whole group of girls came piling into the bathroom yelling and fighting with each other. So here’s another fun fact about me, I have this problem where I don’t always realize when I say something out loud that most people would just say to themselves. This happened to be one of those moments.

“Let’s all be bitches and fight in the bathroom.” I said at an obviously loud volume and sarcastic pitch.

I barely finished saying ‘bathroom’ and one of them punched me directly next to my ear.  She didn’t even have the common courtesy to let me finish. I was going to also mention how classy it was to fight in the bathroom, but she cut me off by punching me in the head. So I did what my instincts told me to. I turned around, swung my fist like a scared 6 year old girl because I don’t know how to fight, punched the first girl I saw and then ran away screaming, also like a scared 6 year old girl. I ran out of the bar, still screaming, possibly more of a whimper at this point and decided I should probably head back.

I was defeated. I left the hotel on a mission which I had failed miserably at. The girl who punched me was apparently wearing a ring so I was also bleeding slightly. Defeated, cold, bloody, drunk and hungry I did what any self respecting Italian would do. I found the nearest pizza place and ordered a slice. As I walked back to the hotel eating my pizza, noticing my jaw click every time I chewed, I realized the utter ridiculousness of the whole day. So I just started laughing. I wasn’t even scared that I was a young female walking the city streets at 3am by myself. I mean honestly, who was going to mess with me? I was bleeding from the head, eating pizza, staggering around the streets laughing at myself. I probably looked like a drunk hobo on a meth binge.

When we woke in the morning we started talking about how crazy the night was. I very dryly and briefly stated what happened to me after she fell asleep stating I got punched in the head. She is used to me saying things that aren’t relevant to anything going on so she shrugged it off with an “oh, ok” not actually realizing what I had said. I rolled over and she looked up and saw the cut on my face and jumped up asking what happened. To which I repeated at a louder volume and enunciated very carefully, “I-got-punched-in-the-head.”

We packed up and before heading home, decided we would hit up China town to replace her real Coach wallet she had lost with a fake one made by Chinese children in the backrooms of restaurants on Canal St. If you have never been to Canal St just picture a typical NYC street but with 100’s of Asians screaming brand names at you and giving you a “come hither” look that puts a bit of fear in you. They say things like “pretty white girl get pretty bag” and they will repeat that phrase over and over again getting increasingly louder until you buy it. And that’s when you begin to wonder if their English vocabulary exceeds anything other than that phrase, American dollar amounts, and designer names. We did some shopping there, and then escaped China Town before more of the vultures attacked with perfumes that will make your skin burn and rings that will turn your skin green, and possibly make your fingers fall off.

The drive was another beautiful day, sunroof open, songs blasting, us singing perfect harmony in our minds to American Pie and Benny and the Jets. It was quite a trip, we had booze, laughter, guys buying us drinks, adventure, crazy bar bitches, illegal Chinese immigrant children making bags for us…a spoon. Life doesn’t get any better. But when we got back to Mollie’s we decided to make a pact:

Next trip to the city Mollie was not allowed to bring a wallet and I would wear a helmet.

Your Porch…Is My Porch

“Officer, my friend Mollie is still at the bar. I am 77% sure of this. If you take me there I can probably find her if you let me go back into the bar.”

This is not how I planned on spending the end of my Friday night. But hey, when buy one get one drink specials are involved you never know. The night started at my before mentioned friend, Mollie’s house. Quietly enough we had a few beers with friends before going to a bar I had never heard of before. We were supposed to be doing a bar hop about an hour away but decided we wanted to be lazy alcoholics that night, not ambitious ones, so we stayed close by. The bar was only about a mile or so down the street from her house.

From the outside it looked like someplace I would go in a dream if I wanted to hang out with Roseanne Barr and a drunken fisherman who would take me out on his boat after for some PBR and sushi he bought at a gas station. On the inside it was surprisingly not bad. There were still plenty of women resembling Roseanne in certain lights. Which obviously only meant one thing; I would have a much better chance of leaving with a guy who’s not eating $1.99 sushi and offering me PBR because they were all already taken by the various Roseannes. Little did I know, that by the end of the night the only guy I would be with would be the officer putting me in the back of his cop car. Maybe I should have just hit on him. Maybe I did. Your guess is as good as mine. It turned out it was a decent spot inside with a pool table I could lose on, a dart board I could win on, and a dance floor I could make a fool of myself on. I fully intended to take advantage.

My drink of choice at that time was Captain and Coke. My drink of choice that specific night was double Captain and Coke. Along with every other drink anyone wanted to buy me. We all headed to the back to play darts.  Perhaps one or seven shots were mixed in there somewhere as well. As we were playing darts that feeling hit me. We have all experienced it. “I wonder if I am standing straight. I am pretty sure I’m swaying wildly right now. I should try to act normal. Wow, I’m fucked up. No, no I’m not. Come on, just act normal or everyone will know I’m already drunk.” Because of course at this point no one could tell I was drunk from the fact that I had already downed enough alcohol to make David Hasselhoff say “slow down”. But of course, we all still try at this point to blend in and be normal. This is when you start leaning on things to try and stabilize yourself, laugh when other people are laughing even though you’re not even involved in the conversation, start focusing way too hard on how you’re walking to the point that everyone can see the concentration on your face, (and you still don’t walk that good) and over enunciating everything to sound not drunk. Which of course all of these things do nothing other than make you look even more drunk than before.

I can’t tell you exactly what occurred after darts. I can tell you that once I get an idea in my head there is no stopping me. Once I get an idea in my head when I have been drinking, you might as well go home; there is definitely no stopping me. I can also tell you I like wandering from time to time. I will just get something into my head that makes me think, “Yeah, I should leave and go do that.” Whatever that is…I never know.

Mollie helped fill me in a little on her side of the story. Around midnight she started asking everyone if they had seen me; no one had. She looked around and couldn’t find me, and assumed I had left. As she started to really wonder what had happened to me someone came up and asked if she was Mollie. “Who’s asking?” was her response. They responded with the unfortunate, “Your friend Amy is in the back of a cop car out front.”

Soon before that, I had apparently decided it was about that time, that time for me to leave and conquer whatever it is that needed attending to immediately. I vaguely remember concentrating on walking in a straight line. I did this by focusing on the white line on the side of the road. It wasn’t going well. You know it’s bad when even you are laughing at yourself because of what a drunk asshole you look like. But then you quickly stop laughing because you realize what a drunk asshole you look like.

After that it’s a little blurry and the next glimmer of insight I had on the night was lying down on some sort of bench. It was extremely uncomfortable and I wasn’t quite sure where I was, how I had gotten there, or why I had gotten there. This bench just so happened to be on a porch…belonging to a person…that I did not know. I had left a bar that I was having a great time at, with people I know and like hanging out with, to walk away and find a bench that wasn’t comfortable and was on someone’s porch who I didn’t know. The next thing I remember is a cop waking me up. The people who own the house found me outside sleeping. I can only imagine some of the things going through their heads. I only regret one thing about this entire night, and it is that I didn’t get to see the look on their faces when they discovered me. Let’s fast forward to once I am in the back of the car.

“Where you coming from tonight?”

“That hick bar.”

“What bar is it?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never been there before. It’s right down the street.”

“Do you even know where you are right now?”

“Touché. We may not be down the street anymore. Wait, my friend lives on Lake road, or Lake something. I know we’re by a lake…right?” I said extremely proud of myself.

“Lakeshore Road?”

“Sure, that works.”

“Are your friends still there?”

“My friend Mollie is still at the bar. I am almost 77% sure of this. If you just take me there I can probably find her if you let me go back into the bar.”

“You are not going back in the bar.”

“But I have a tab open.”

He didn’t find this amusing. We figured out where the bar was and when we got to the bar he told me to sit there and wait. So I sat and waited and looked to my right to see Mollie standing there, arms in the air laughing and shaking her head in utter confusion. I flashed my pearly whites and gave her a “Hi Mom!! Look at what I’m doing!” smile and wave from the back of the cop car.

The officer let me out of the car and told Mollie to take me home. I then told him not so fast, I still have a tab and I am not letting Roseanne mooch off of my MasterCard.  No tickets, no handcuffs, just a good old ride back to the bar from the cop. I have to assume he just didn’t feel like filling out the paper work for “dumb drunk girl sleeping on bench on stranger’s porch”. I was obviously harmless. A hot mess, but harmless.

We went back into the bar to get my tab. I was greeted by a dozen people who I didn’t know, giving me high fives and offering to buy me drinks. This excited me because that cop totally ruined my buzz. Mollie convinced me it wasn’t the best idea to stay which I agree with now, but at the time I really couldn’t understand her logic. So I got a few more hugs and high fives from fellow drunken strangers and then we were off.

We got back to Mollie’s she shared with me that she was offered a job there as a bartender, which she took. I didn’t know how to take this. I wasn’t sure if it was good news or bad news after the night I just had. And then I came to my senses and said of course its good news.

The next morning Mollie came out to the couch where I was sleeping and could do nothing but smile, laugh a little, and shake her head as she sat down next to me. I only had one thing to say with a goofy hung over smile on my face with smeared make up and bench head.

“You’re working tonight….right?”