Tuesday, March 23, 2010

barf city, usa!

[Prefatory Note: I'd ask you to forgive how tardy, but who's keeping track round here anyway?] 

We had such plans, New York and I, back there in earlier Marches.

There was to be a proper good visit with Ol' Mazzy Bear (the Lindsay kind!), weather of the gorgeous sort, as there'd been all the week prior; sandwiches - all the goddamn sandwiches; all sorts of art and not just the MS Paintings; laughing at umbrellas; brunch and hobos; etc, etc, etc.

Things started going dreadfully awry when, that Saturday afternoon 50 miles outside of the city, el capitano de continental flight #you'rescrewed comes o'er the talkbox to say (almost totally verbatim!*):
No, no - ain't no way we're landing just yet. Not with things and visibility being what they are. Sure maybe you've been checking the weather all week and seeing sun and lightness and 60s and shit, but today? Today is fuckawful and there's no way we can put a plane down in such apocalypse. So fuck your plans and also, fuck your nausea. We're doing this the hard way.
*not verbatim
With one hand on the barf bag and eyes to the heavens, I dryheaved my way an hour through some vicious circling until onward to the ground, safely, and without once resorting to public upchuck; remained, as ever, optimistic, hopeful that such turbulence out of the way, only good times lie ahead. 

Crawled into taxi, relieved to be on solid ground: BQE to Meeker, and take me to the faces. Backseat television offered the latest weather update. Of course, think I, but follow up, even still, everything will be okay. I did take a photo of the forecast on my digicam so I could share it with you here (NB my own trip shaped Saturday through Monday):

no joke.

The rain seems sideways and I've never been so thirsty in my life, but Brooklyn's soon and you know the chorus: Everything Will Be Okay. 

After some hours of hellos and updates and smiling, after a half block of cheese (spoiler alert: bad idea) and even after learning everything about South African Ninjas and their terrible dances (I'm only going to tell you once, NO), we decide on the Lower East Side and bao and some bar it doesn't matter really what it's called I call it Paradise Cove and we lose an hour and two rounds of hiccups and home for some laughs and I never could have in my very limited wisdom have imagined what would happen the next day.

We were not okay, Mazzy Bear and I. Whatever it was, it was not okay. I'd venture a guess to say we lost at least 10, 12 thousand pounds of dignity and bodily fluid between us. It was, at times, a lot like this: 

And at other times, something more like this:
dear god of my choosing, are you there? fuck you.

Not a hangover at all but something far more insidious, stomach bugs, sent to Williamsburg specifically to destroy us. There laid I in a bed not mine in a walk-up in Brooklyn in a city I've done more than my fair share of mocking, convinced I would never again feel okay; an entire Sunday, godless, restless, shaking, my friend in the next room, failed by antidotes and Vita Coco. A picture of perfect self-pity; in retrospect, hilarious. Oh but at the time.

I didn't actually, but wouldn't it have been funny if I'd kept saying to myself, Sweet jesus. Do not let me die in Brooklyn.  In reality, I was saying things more along the lines of, You're awake again. Do not think of anything. Anything you think of will make you hurl. Don't think. Don't think. Double filet o fish with cheeseOHFUCKOHFUCKRUNBITCHRUN.


Right, but the take-away here, the lesson maybe, is that there are axioms about best laid plans for reasons I'll happily believe make sense and that the best of people, the ones you fly across states and sometimes countries to see, are always - despite whatever bile and headaches and temporary shitstorms - worth the miles traveled, the inconveniences and tiny catastrophes endured, the discomfiting displays of humility and grotesquerie, always. Taking ill simultaneously was certainly a damper on what may have been a stupidly fun weekend, but I defy you to tell me a better way to solidify your mutual comfort and trust with a person than to empty your personshell of all fluid and pretense, to cast aside all aspirations toward radness and lovability and to be the funky mess of a human being you are when you are alone and unadorned and to feel, even still, that care and empathy and warmth and just some fucking friendship, you know? That's the good stuff. Lord take away my metabolism, my dignity, or my immune system, just let me keep these kids. 
Hearts and shit. Immodium 4eva. 

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