I went into this weekend world weary and just plain tired. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. Talking late into the night, making friends, writing, taking in the collective wisdom of hundreds of years lived in this city. And thus it was that I went to class at UCB on Thursday afternoon devoid of energy or mirth. And of course, that makes me think of Billy Joel.
I have a performance on the 21st. I’m not broadcasting it to anyone because I’m not burning my people on a 101 performance when I need them to see a million other things I’ll be doing.
I got caught in the rain after class, so I strategically ducked into Macy’s on 34th. That place is so awful. Filled with things I’d never buy. But the people watching is choice. I spent almost three hours there. I was exhausted. I bought a coffee at the Starbucks on the 1 1/2 floor to stay awake before going home. I wasn’t sure I would make it on the train, but getting a car in the city during a rainstorm is about as possible as going on Tinder and finding a single gorgeous foreign man with good real estate in the city and a creative job.
Before I left I went to the cellar to use the bathroom. There were half a dozen homeless women trying to sleep in chairs and on benches. They were soaked through and dripping on the floor. My eyes welled up before I could control it and I ran into a stall and cried. It was the most wretched thing in the world to see. These women were bundles of fabric drenched in rain with nowhere to go and more tired than I could possibly have been. If I had the money, I’d have bought them all dry clothes and coffee. But I didn’t. All I had was about $74 to my name and a long weekend to get through. Sometimes the futility of life and the cruelty of circumstances just washes over me and I feel sucked under. How does the phrase go? But for the grace of God go I? I washed my face in the sink and wiped it dry on my sweatshirt.
I must have lost my Metro card in the bathroom. I had to shell out $22 at the station to get another one. A mild indignity, but when every penny counts, it’s frustrating. I chose not to be angry or sad. I just made my way home, listening to 90’s Brit Pop to keep myself awake.
Friday night was spent in Crown Heights. First an unexpected dinner and free drinks courtesy of the good people at Ming River Baijiu. Free always tastes good. Especially when you have $52 to your name for the weekend. I met this force of nature named Kennedy. Beautiful and fierce. The moment I saw her I felt something. Like effervescent bubbles in my fingers and toes. Hopefully I get to see her again.
At Maddie and Erica’s place later, I swiped on Tinder a few times for the first time in I don’t even know how long. June? It was mostly a distraction for fidgety hands. I don’t want to be dating strangers. Not even for the good stories. I don’t want strangers. I know exactly what I want but it seems like such a long shot. I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about that here, though. Sometimes writing down the words makes them so real, and hope is currently a scarce commodity.
Anyway, I found myself at Franklin Park at 2 a.m. I was dead by 10 p.m. but I didn’t want to go home. All the fun things seem to happen to me under the cover of night. My phone lit up with a Tinder alert. Some stranger who wanted to meet up. Normally I do at least a cursory inquisition of the subject before I meet up. I don’t ask questions like, “Are you going to kill me?” I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about how smart they are. Their taste in music. Their philosophical outlook. Their ability to converse in a natural way.
I did none of those things. I just left the bar on and headed to Wall Street at 3 a.m. and made my way to a cush condo on the 10th floor of a fancy schmancy building. I had to be announced.
I’m so glad I went. I spent the wee hours and some of the bigger ones entertaining a brilliant artist who was in the middle of a marathon painting session. I don’t want to spoil it for myself by telling you all the details, but suffice it to say that it was the perfect capstone to a magical night. I guess I should also comment that no hanky panky was had. It was all above board.
How do you follow up a night like that? By video chatting with the Israeli, getting dressed in high goth and going to a vegan dinner at a queer people of color (QPOC) dinner to support farms in Puerto Rico and a documentary on Monsanto. Then back to Alfie’s in Bushwick for second dinner of Mac and cheese and coconut custard pie.
The weekend isn’t over yet. I’m exhausted and I need to sleep for a couple of days. But I have the Joy Mangano/HSN sketches to finish and some gardening to do.
Does a candle have a third end? Because I think I’m burning that one too.