Like all interesting stories, this one starts at the end. I'm sitting on the Q train at 4:30 in the morning telling a crack addict about the night I'd had. She felt sorry for me.
Yesterday I drove to Brooklyn to see my family and participate in a birthday celebration for my uncle. The evening was well planned out, and I was expecting very little to happen in the way of unusual. My family can be very straight and narrow.
The dinner at my cousin's house went as planned. Holiday gifts were passed out and pleasantries exchanged. All of the men filled our required roles of staring at the Giants game and grunting. A good time was had by all.
Around 9:30, my Uncle told me we'd be going to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan. Dizzy's is a hip jazz place where the best New York musicians come to play. My Uncle knew the director, so we would get in without a problem. We drove to Manhattan, eager to hear some good jazz.
Before going into the club, we decided to drink Red Eyes, a mix of espresso and coffee. I'm usually only on my game if I've had some serious caffeine in me. My uncle downed his quickly while I nursed mine, hoping it would carry me through the night. Little did I know it would need to carry me through the next morning as well.
At 10:30, we went to Dizzy's, where a hot jazz trio was jamming. My uncle's friends were there, and I was sorely disappointed that most of them were retirement age. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was hoping for a few girls near my age. Nevertheless, the music was really good and so I ordered an Apple Martini and tapped my feet. Everything was going as planned.
After the first set, the bar was cleared out. We were allowed to stay because we were guests of the manager. I continued to drink my martini and talk to the older ladies. The second set began and the crowd was visibly younger. I was pleased to see many attractive ladies in the crowd.
I kept catching the eye of a gorgeous woman who I later found out was a friend of one of the women my uncle brought. She came over to me and we were introduced. Flirtations proceeded well. Drinks were ordered and life was great. She had this delightful southern accent that tickled my ears. The way she said that "the apple martini tasted like candy" was particularly great. I was wondering what I had done to attract such a pretty girl.
The jazz band was hot. After 1am, some famous New York jazz players began drifting in. At one point Wynton Marsalis came in and jammed for a bit. I offered to buy him a drink at the bar, but he just smiled and looked at the beautiful girl hanging off my arm. Manhattan can be so cool.
Cut to 3am, we are sitting in a sushi restaurant on 88th street. My uncle has long since packed it in and gone back to Brooklyn. He whispered in my ear that he'd leave the door open should I need to come back. The girl and I were feeding each other sushi. This was a bad idea. Sushi makes me sick. So does too much alcohol and long subway rides. The math isn't too complicated.
At 4am, I brought her back home where she kissed and hugged me, telling me to feel better. I was left on 45th street, every bodily function needing to be taken care of. The Port Authority has bathrooms, but only the ladies bathroom was open. Societal decrees get thrown out the window when you're desperate in the early hours of dawn.
The Q train was as empty as I expected at 3:15. I plunked myself down on a seat feeling disparaged. The rather nice crack addict sat next to me, asking if I would please by her a soda. Instead I inundated her with everything that had happened to me that night and some things that hadn't. The ride was long but I was thankful for the company. Her advice was that when I woke up in the morning, I should find Jesus. I politely told her I would and hoped she would get clean real soon. She smiled, took off her shoes and began rubbing her feet.
At 5am, I stepped off the train and dragged myself 10 blocks to my uncle's apartment. The doorman stared at me curiously before saying "Oh, you must be Brett. I've been expecting you."
Thanks Uncle Peter and happy 60th birthday.