Friday night started out like most others. I try not to go out on Fridays. It’s my night to stay in, watch YouTube videos and sing along.
Jon ventured out onto the roof to get a gander at the city in her star-spangled glory. He came in pretty quickly because he’s scared of Heights and the only way down is on a rickety fire escape that is probably clinging to the exterior by the sheer power of rust.
We started watching this horrible Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy movie that gaslit us with five minutes of funny followed by an hour of terribly unfunny. We wouldn’t finish the film.
We heard a voice. It came from Jon’s room. From his window. A man entered from the fire escape. He was running from the cops. I wasn’t scared. I didn’t feel threatened. Just annoyed. But annoyance could wait because I had to get him out of my place without him hurting Jon or me. or the cops hurting anyone.
I gave him water. I cleaned the cut on his hand with hydrogen peroxide. I called him an Uber (he gave me cash) and when it wouldn’t come directly to the door, I walked with him down the street a block to make sure he was gone. Someone who knew him took it from there.
On the way back to the apartment, I asked the crowd that had gathered at the bodega what I’d done and if I was safe. They said yes and that I’d been a Good Samaritan.
Jon was quiet and maybe a bit shook, completely understandably. I asked the third floor neighbor to come up and talk me through what had happened and also just as a way for Jon to see that everything really was ok. She said there’s been a fight out on Marcus Garvey, that the cops had arrested the wrong guy, that the guy who ended up in my apartment had escaped by running into the trap house next door, into the backyard and up the fire escape.
I really was ok but I didn’t want to be sitting at home with these thoughts, so I called up Mikey and proceeded to get good and drunk. I told him to take care of me and make sure I got home safe. I can ask that of Mikey. I would never ask that of anyone else but him. He has this very protective masculine bear vibe that I dig.
I ended up passing out on his couch. At one point he covered me with a blanket and told me he loved me. I felt it. I felt safe. I felt at home. He kept his word.
As for Tyler, his little brother is in town and Ty wants to recruit him into the rag tag army of Michiganders he’s slowly assembling in Brooklyn. He said we should all go out on Monday, and as it was Labor Day and I hadn’t any plans, I said yes, on the condition that he pay for everything.
It’s a little odd, conceptually speaking, that Ty wants me to hang out with his 21-year old brother and said brother’s 24-year old girlfriend. It sounds bizarre when I say it like that, right? And not even so much that I couldn’t talk to these youngins. But if they knew I was 104, they might wonder what the hell I’m doing palling around with Ty.
I’m glad I didn’t overthink it. It was quite possibly one of the loveliest days or nights I’ve ever spent in this city. And I’ve had some real bangers.
I met Tyler on his stoop for Tigers baseball radio and Modelo beers. It’s easy to fall into baseball and beer with a Michigander. I did it as a profession from the ages of 17-32. There’s got to be something said for that. I don’t know what.
Tyler looked especially pretty on that stoop. If Mikey exudes dirtbag masculine mafioso vibes, Tyler has a dirtbag casual sophistication. Sophistication through the lens of Midwestern working class. It’s the X factor. The je ne sais quoi. He’s a weirdo for sure, and my kind of weirdo at that, but so self-assured.
We ate Mexican candy and listened to the game. We walked to the corner to hear a live band play. Ty’s brother was at IFC in the village watching a movie, so we had to figure out something to do. First we looked at theaters to see what was playing. Then venues to see if anything live was going on. And then we started googling to see if we could find any live mariachi. He called a bunch of restaurants but there was no live music to be had.
If you Google “live mariachi NYC” you’ll see that there are many mariachi groups here for hire. Ty got the idea of hiring a band to play in front of the stoop. Maybe even for his birthday at the end of the month. He callee a few numbers and I spoke to the women. $580-$600 an hour is what it costs to get a band from Queens to play in Brooklyn. We talked about spreading the cost. And how many hours. And where we would have the party. But we were still no closer to actually doing anything and the mosquitos had become violent.
I suggested the pier on Christopher Street, site of a revelation or two in the past, for a view of the sunset over New Jersey. We packed a couple of Modelos in my Prada bag and caught the train. And then jumped off that one when it stalled onto another at Barclays. And then to another until we arrived on Christopher. I showed him where the 🦄 used to live. We crossed the West Side Highway and then there we were. No plans, just spontaneity and a little trust. Oh, and a conversation in Spanish.
The lawn was covered in picnickers. The boardwalk with joggers and strollers and rollerbladers. I guess a lot of people had the same idea. He pulled the beers out of my bag and we toasted. We talked about porn and tango and the damage current culture does to brains and the Twin Towers falling.
Ty had mentioned never having eaten at a French restaurant and also wanting a martini so we went on the hunt. We went up one street and down the next. He was searching for a mood. Dark. Nice. No food. No Bros. It’s harder than you think. And at one point I tripped on the sidewalk and fell hard on my knees. I think I scared him a bit. I was fine though.
We found a pretentious speakeasy in Chelsea and ordered two martinis (gin for him, Belvedere vodka for me) and talked some more. This time about Halloween and his plan to stay in Puerto Rico this winter and maybe me coming out for a while to join him.
He rolled cigarettes and we smoked and stared up at Vega, high in the sky. His brother and gal pal got out of the movie, so we left and met them at Johnny’s.