late night Q line - Monday September 10 2001

During lunch I walked up 7th Avenue all the way to 34th Street, the same street as the Empire State Building. A terrible thunderstorm kicked up while I ate a slice of meatball pizza, and when it let up I caught a subway back to 18th Street from Pennsylvania Station.

In the evening, Gretchen went out to see Mary Purdy's comedy show and I was left alone by myself. My old housemate John came over and we decided for no particular reason to paint the town red, more or less. We took osmosis-release amphetamines and walked down to O'Connors on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Due to the threat of continued heavy rains, few people were in the bar. There was one girl with reading a book and drinking a Budweiser, so that's what we decided to drink. People seem to be less interested in upscale beer here in New York. We talked about a variety of things, mostly the fact that it's impossible to start a company unless the stakes are high enough for the danger of failure to be great enough for those taking a risk to work hard to achieve success. Hobby companies rarely succeed. Consequently, he's looking for a real job. He dropped a few hints that he was considering moving back to Los Angeles, so I did what I could to nip this ridiculous impulse in the bud.
After we wearied of O'Connors, we walked over to Flatbush and 7th Avenue, the twinkling skyline of Manhattan visible in the distance. The skyline from Brooklyn is a mirror image of the skyline John can see from Hoboken. From Brooklyn, the twin towers of the World Trade Center are to the left and the rest of Manhattan all the way up to and beyond the Empire State Building is to the right. I thought briefly about whether the towers of the World Trade Center were little plugs of a massive building that would one day entirely cover the Earth to a depth of a hundred stories, its vastness necessary to accommodate the trillions of people who will people the Earth once the Christian Fundamentalists take over and criminalize birth control and abortion.
Our evening was far from over, so we caught the Q subway into Manhattan. Almost immediately my bladder hit full capacity, but I was on the worst possible train. The Q runs slower than most trains and has an aggravating way of stopping for no particular reason several times between stations. I was desperate enough to attempt to get between the cars and piss out onto the tracks (avoiding the third rail!), but on this train the doors between cars were locked.
I couldn't make it beyond Canal Street, so that's where we got out and I immediately ducked into a doorway and pissed out the headwaters of a substantial river system.
We walked north into Chinatown, using the distant Chrysler Tower up in Midtown to guide us. Chinatown reeked of rotting sea food, especially in front of one shop, where whole spoiled fish, each about 18 inches long, were tossed unceremoniously onto the sidewalk.
After stopping at a grocery store to provision ourselves with Cool Ranch® chips, M & Ms and bottles of non-alcoholic beverages, we continued all the way into the East Village, ending up at Coyote Ugly, our favorite piece of shit bar in that part of town. I immediately ordered a Budweiser for John and "the shittiest whiskey you got" from the lady bartender. She smiled and got me a shot of Jack Daniels. The place was rowdy, but not as much as last time. No one was dancing on the bar and the waitress was a little too interested in a young gentleman with a backwards baseball cap upon his head. They disappeared into the back for a time, leaving the bar completely unattended. When I wanted my next shot of whiskey, John attempted to sneak me a drink, but was immediately busted by a gentleman at the bar. The lady bartenders of Coyote Ugly have a great many male lackeys.
Unfortunately, Coyote Ugly was devoid of unattached young ladies. As John noted, "The hottest chick in the bar is that Asian guy over there."
We hit the streets and attempted to hang out in a few other bars. But it was late, so we mostly kept walking, eventually ending up at the Union Square subway station. From there we went out separate ways, John heading back to Hoboken via the PATH trains at the World Trade Center. I caught the Q back to Brooklyn. I sat beside a cute girl who had her feet up on the seat directly beside me. Her shoes were white strappy things revealing her not-especially-attractive painted toenails. The shoes were scuffed with little black streaks from hundreds of miles of New York City walking. I looked into her eyes briefly and she sighed, stretched, and moved her feet closer to my thigh.

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