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New York City

In Which I Mentally Prepare
The temperature of my excitement fluctuated wildly in the weeks before the trip. At first, I dreaded going to NYC for a whole weekend, assuming Sam would try to make me drink to excess (and as stated earlier, I'd not spent so long in NYC or with Chuck, and my last interaction with him involved Sam inviting him to my apartment at 5am after a night of binge drinking, and had him continue drinking and being loud and waking me and Ch. up, and kicking him to the curb). I avert the heavy drinking these days, so the dread waned. In the days leading up to it, the dread became more generalized - spending a weekend far from home, will I have enough money (Thanks to Sam, I actually spent very little money), and what do I wear/bring - that kind of stuff. I made a detailed and illustrated list of what to put in which bag, which helped immensely, though I did forget black eye shadow.

In Which We Arrive and Knock Stuff Off the To-Do List
Off the train, a driver took us from Penn Station to East Harlem, and the drive was more "Crazy Taxi" than I've ever experienced, weaving through the traffic like a snake on the prowl. I have to commend anyone who can take command of the sardine-tin that is Manhattan traffic.

When we arrived at the apartment, we settled in, then rounded the corner to a nice little hipster bar for a couple drinks and some fries. Hit a bodega for morning food on the way back. I got to pet a sweetheart bodega kitty.

Saturday, we hit the streets to Bryant Park to see the giant lit-up Xmas tree and meet up with Sam's sister and nieces. Sam couldn't keep her face out of the phone and walked at a snail's pace in the middle of the sidewalk, which drove me insane and I had to keep telling her it's a straight walk and she doesn't need to look at her phone's map constantly. Sam and Chuck made fun of me for walking at the same speed the locals walked. I didn't understand. We knew where we were going, we weren't stopping elsewhere, and what's the problem with walking at a normal pace? I hate being a tourist. If I want to look around or check my map, I step to the side and don't take up space on the sidewalk.

Bryant Park was okay, but we got over it quickly. We got some nice photos by the giant tree, a frozen fountain, some ice-skaters, and the spooky spire, but didn't stick around. We asked a local where to get a drink around here. She said she didn't know anywhere around here, but then turned back to us and said, "except," with a huge list of bars around the block. We saw a giant shamrock, but decided something that obvious will probably have shitty food, so we kept going two doors down to a less conspicuous Irish-American pub for a drink and a bite. We got ready for the Krampus party in the bathroom.

In Which Krampus is Almost a Total Bust
We arrived a little late for the Krampus party, but that's what you do in NYC, isn't it? We got to the location, I pinned in my horns, and saw a large room with a small crowd of people up front. Probably no more than 20 people, though there was a concert upstairs (separate event). We felt really underwhelmed about the whole ordeal (my lackluster attempt at curling my hair didn't work, which underwhelmed me even more), but then saw a familiar face at the bar.

Well... we saw the back of someone's head, and instantly recognized him.

Voltaire. No fucking way.

I always hope to run into him (or his ex Jayme, who I was just texting earlier in the night). But I never actually expect I would. Now I can knock "see Voltaire in his home town" off my bucket list. We had some awkward chat. We had some real-talk outside. In the middle, we took pictures, and introduced him to Sam and Chuck. Chuck was embarrassingly star-struck and interrupted Voltaire mid-sentence to loudly "whisper" to Sam that she should take pictures of them having a casual conversation like they're old friends. "You know he can hear you, right?" I felt really embarrassed of Chuck. Tip of that iceberg.

I lamented the smallness of this party and asked Voltaire if he was going to the Nightmare Before XXX-Mas party, which I heard about from Jet (who he was surprised to know was also from Rochester), and he said he'd go eventually. I feel like I brought him an annoyance in Chuck and he disappeared without saying goodbye, which made me a little sad, but I'm okay about it.

In Which I Am Briefly The Life of the Party
The Nightmare Before XXX-Mas party was held at Stimulate on Avenue A (I was a little saddened to find it on A, as I always thought it was on Delancey - a little too near a statistically dangerous area, which swayed me away from going to the Voltaire/Bella Morte show a couple months back). I felt a little woozy from too many cigarettes on the way over, so we went to the Spotted Owl (also on Ave A) where one of Sam's friends works. For a small bar, the place was packed. The speakers blared 90s music, and everyone treated it like a well-lit dance club and Karaoke bar.

Sam's friend had a large catering tin of home-made mac & cheese, which she shoveled into my mouth a few times before she handed it to me and went outside with Sam. I followed behind, but found myself suddenly extremely popular with everyone because I had a tray of mac & cheese, and I proceeded to fork it into the gaping mouths of anyone who wanted any. My horns came off and were passed from head to head. Two bartenders and a bald man in a red onesie danced around with them on.

In Which We Weren't Stimulated. Then Were.
Chuck desperately wanted to get out of there and head to Stimulate. He wouldn't shut up about it. So we walked a few blocks over. Passed a club called Pyramid which was having a 20-year anniversary 80s party. We put a pin in that and kept going. Found Stimulate, and I went inside while Sam and Chuck smoked (since that's why I felt sick, I decided to stop smoking for the night). I paid. I walked in. I walked out. I didn't go back in.

This party had fewer folks than the Krampus party. No side rooms. No sign of Voltaire. Shitty music. $13 bucks down the drain.

We backtracked to Pyramid and found home. Sam and I danced. We got up on the stage and wrote in the request book. We had so much fun. We laughed and danced with each other and other people. We even found a basement level that played gothic industrial music. Like the old Vertex back home, and Piranha. I miss that place. We had so much fun. Until...

In Which The Night Is Ruined
Chuck got way too drunk. He got really rowdy and overly aggressive. Sam gave him a Xanax but it didn't help matters. We hoped it would make him pass out. It just turned him into even more of an asshole, except he stopped being able to produce whole words and sentences. His hair was a huge attraction to the locals, though, so people ignored the aggression and wanted to take pictures with him and hang around him. But Sam and I were very pissed off.

I had to get between him and a couple of people he kept grabbing. Not inappropriate grabbing (except once, but he was so gone, that was just unintentional). He latched onto people with the iron grip of a raptor. It hurt. He hurt us. At one point, he ripped off my horns, which were goddamn attached to my hair with pins, so he got a few chunks of hair, too. He'd dive-bomb between me and Sam, or either of us and whoever else we were dancing with.

We hated him then, but attempted to have a good time in spite of him. When the lights came on at 4am, we bonded with some cool folks outside while Chuck grabbed at people, presumably trying not to fall down, while Sam got a pizza from next door to bring back to the apartment. In the uber, Sam and I stayed silent. Chuck started rambling about women and shaved pussies and having kids. He was making words and sentences again (sort of), but still making no sense. I imagine this is what it's like when Brian is at his worst point in his schizophrenia. Chuck hugged me as if somewhere deep down, he knew he'd ruined the evening. Then he took a mostly-empty pack of cigarettes, held it in front of my face, and crushed it, then dropped it on the pizza box. What the fuck.

At the apartment, Sam sent me and the pizza directly to the bedroom and we locked the door behind us. She Facetime'd our friend Troy. We ate pizza and chatted with him, while occasionally going out to the living room to yell at Chuck. His apartment indiscretions included busting into a box of cereal and getting it all over the floor and couch, busting into my English muffins like a goddamn rat and destroyed them (while only actually eating one out of the 6), polishing off Sam's friend's sherry, knocking bottles over while trying to polish off other bottles (we cut him off and moved the bottles into the bedroom), blasting music and dancing through the apartment, loudly mumbling to himself, and telling Alexa (the Amazon bot thing) to fuck off. At 6:30am, Sam took Phone-Troy to the bathroom where she had a bath, and I finally went to sleep.

In Which a Wild Troy Appears Just in Time for Me to Leave
In the morning, I heard Sam's phone buzzing, and I knew it was Troy, so I texted him. He just touched down at the airport. He actually flew down here. Saturday morning, he left a note with his roommates that he was going on an impromptu adventure and tried driving down, but had car trouble just before the halfway mark and had to turn back. He forgot to tell his roommates he decided to fly down, so (after we packed up my bags to get me back to Penn Station, and abandoning Chuck at the apartment for the day), I took a picture of him and Sam in the uber and sent it to Brendan, prompting an immediate phone call in disbelief.

Before getting me to Penn Station, we stopped off at Obscura and shopped around. Also walked down to The Bean, a coffee place I know Voltaire always goes to (I knew he wouldn't be there - way too early for him). Good coffee. Strong.

By the end of my time there, I wished I could stay longer. I might go back down for a day-trip by myself.

In Which We Took Pictures

The company, the matching boots in Business Class, and the view from the apartment in beautiful East Harlem.

Some sight-seeing

Bryant Park

Ball-playing at the tree and fountain

Voltaire, my darling

People wearing my horns
(that young boy went home with them, because I thought they matched his jacket too perfectly).

Proof of Troy


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2017 08:53 pm (UTC)
Those boots. OMG.
Dec. 19th, 2017 03:12 pm (UTC)
They're the most comfortable boots I've ever owned. These are the ones, but they are plus-sized.
Dec. 19th, 2017 08:34 pm (UTC)
They're gorgeous. They'd be a vanity item for me. They don't actually suit any items of clothing I have, so they'd just sit there looking gorgeous on the shoe rack. Makes me remember my high school days :D
Dec. 19th, 2017 11:17 am (UTC)
Cwor, look at the size of that bauble.
Dec. 19th, 2017 03:13 pm (UTC)
It's a big'un.
Dec. 22nd, 2017 05:40 am (UTC)

What a lovely adventure! We've all been Chuck once or twice, don't worry!

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )