David is sharing a booth with us at the London Terrace Street Fair on the 27th. He is cleaning house, so what better place to unload years of now unwanted stuff? We're going to store the boxes in our apartment for him since we live so close to where the street fair will actually take place.
My cell phone rings as I head for the subway. It's Larry, telling me that he's on his way to David's house and currently stuck in traffic. I don't dare ask him to pick me up because the traffic in Times Square is horrific.
I get on the N train and decide that I will take it to Lexington and 59th and walk the short distance to 56th and 2nd. I worry about beating Larry to the apartment. I don't ever like to be the first person there. It's Rule 1 of being a socially defective nimrod. Always arrive late enough to avoid one-on-one conversations that you will send plummeting with your childish sense of humor and lack of social graces.
Because I have
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," I say to myself as I trudge up the stairs to the street. Sure, you could turn around and pay another $2.00 to go back on the train, but no, Chris. You must suffer for your stupidity - and your blog.
Once upstairs, I haul ass across 57th street, dodging camera-wielding, sandal- wearing tourists at every corner, bumping into stressed-out office workers trying to get home and pissing off well-dressed socialites as I shoot past them with inches to spare.
I think about taking the cross-town bus, which would be a free transfer, but the streets are clogged with every single car, truck, SUV, mini-van, scooter, motorcycle, pick-up, tractor trailer, delivery truck, taxi and bicycle in existence.
As I whizz past expensive stores and overpriced, snooty restaurants I feel poor, homeless. I feel self-conscious, like I don't belong here. Maybe it's because I'm having a bad hair day. Maybe it's because of my old Gap packpack. Or maybe it's because of the ugly beige "walking shoes" that I'm wearing.
After an eternity, I get to the building. Larry's car is parked out front and I see that it is already loaded up. I have missed the first "heavy lifting" portion of this evening's festivities.
The perky doorman recognizes me and calls David's apartment. When I get to the apartment, I see that the door is closed. Do I knock? Do I turn the doorknob? I am so socially awkward it's just pathetic.
Finally, I ring the bell and David lets me in. It turns out that I'm just in time for drinks. I decide to lie about why I am late - if they ask.
As we sit down for drinks, I confess that I got off at the wrong subway stop and had to walk. Larry is probably wondering why I felt the need to just say that.
After the first sip of my drink, I realize that I have to pee. Even though I know where the bathroom is, I don't dare go without asking. I wait for a break in the conversation so that I can ask to use the bathroom. I don't want to cut David off as he is talking about his renovation plans, so I simply stand up.
David looks at me. "Oh, did I forget your drink?"
"No, no. I just have to pee." I say, and instantly regret not just saying, "I have to use the restroom" instead.
He tells me where the bathroom is, and adds that I should not flush the toilet. Thank God I don't have to take a shit, although I would never think to do that at someone else's house. Too much information? Alrightie, then.
David's bathroom is bright enough that you could shoot a shampoo commercial in it and not require any extra lighting. This affords me a harsh look at my face and all it's defects. I cringe at my reflection.
I pee, then flush the toilet, thinking What's he talking about? It flushes fine! As I wash my hands, I wait for the toilet to stop filling. I panic when I realize that this is the reason I shouldn't have flushed it. What if it overflows? What do I do then? And how fast will I have to pack my things after Larry decides "enough is enough with your stupidity?"
In my head, this is what I see:
When I turn around to dry my hands, I notice that there are no towels anywhere in the bathroom. The towel bar is empty. I stand there, holding my hands up as though I am prepped for surgery. I decide to wring them out in the sink and let them air dry, fully expecting my wet hands to turn on me when I try to pick up my drink.
I get back to the living room and apologize. "I'm an idiot. I flushed the toilet. I'm sorry."
David heads back to the bathroom to check out the toilet. He is oddly calm about it, where I might have sighed and said, "Jesus Christ, kid, what are you, four?"
After we finish our drinks, we get up to leave. The car is so full of boxes that I must sit up front with the seat pulled all the way forward while holding a big box in my lap. It pins me to the seatback and comes up to my chin. I have to suck in my stomach and force the box down so that Larry can see the passenger side rearview mirror. This would be a bad time for the airbag to deploy. I think. I try to avoid hitting the gearshift lever with the side of the box, sending the car into reverse at full speed and destroying the transmission as we drive down Lexington Avenue.
Rule 578 of NYC Apartment Living: Should you find yourself carrying heavy, awkward, slippery boxes up the front steps to your apartment, you will have to wait for a party of eight people who will not hold the door for you as they exit.
With the boxes in our apartment, we head out for a nice, relaxing dinner. Doesn't that sound great?
To Be Continued. (I know, you all HATE it when I do that, but it's worth it, I promise)