July 27, 2010

because I thought she was cute

I let B coerce me into biking to Bedstuy again with the promise of having my bike tuned up by her boyfriend who we were meeting up with there. Which was entirely overdue considering my left brake fell apart in my hand midway there. I'm not as careful as I should be biking around the city, but I'm definitely not okay with a missing brake.
We made it to the meeting spot, a modest bar with mismatched antique furniture and a dilapidated ragtime feel to the decor. The populace looked about the same-- ripped up jean shorts, greasy t-shirts and those little biker caps hiding unwashed hair. It has been so humid all week, it's like walking through peanut butter. I'm delirious with thirst after the bike ride and I'm pretty sure my eyes can't focus. Boyfriend is talking to a similarly-clad dude at the bar. They are both clearly schwasted.

We greet them and ask for water. There's an absinthe thingy on the bar with a glass of slotted spoons and a sugar bowl. I play with the sugar cubes, sticky with the humidity. The other man is boyfriend's housemate. His eyes are half shut and his mouth is slow, but he's not what I'd call unattractive. He can barely form a sentence. Occasionally he will be struck with a bolt of lucidity and exclaim, "Ok, I'm back!" But only for a moment.
He has asked my name four times now. I've begun changing it at this point and contemplating the pros and cons of an absent short term memory. He seems to be having fun with it.
There's a garden in the back that we sit in until we run out of drinks and money and go back to Boyfriend's house for a bike tune-up. His drunk roommate yanks my back tire as we walk our bikes the two blocks over and I balk every time. I'm not amused at this but not too annoyed to miss the intentions endearing to my playful sensibilities either.

"Do you wanna watch Seinfeld in my room?" He offers once we're inside, watching Boyfriend go to town on my bike gears.
"I hate Seinfeld," I reply bluntly.

His response is to yank the laces from my sneakers. Okay, I get it now. I take the string from the floor and pretend-strangle him with it, but soon let go when I suspect he was into it. Weird. I also feel sheepish realizing I'm probably playing into the courting technique of a 32-year old alcoholic BMX biker. But I always enjoy messing with alcoholics. Mostly because they don't remember it the next day so it's clean slate of mischief.

"There's something on your face," he would say and touch my nose. "It's still there, hold on." I'm pretty sure it was a patch of dry skin. I've been blowing my nose a lot from allergies and I'm prone to dry skin. The idea that this drunk dude is picking at the dry skin at the tip of my nose is weirding me out right now. Also the fact that he is half muttering, half grumbling a narration about it makes it really weird.

"There, got it," he said triumphantly. "Cute as a button."
"Uh, thanks," is all I can think to say.

"So there's nothing I can do or say that's gonna make you wanna come upstairs with me," he says directly at my face. 
I kind of just shrug my shoulders and make a crazy face, which is what I do when I'm uncomfortable or awkward feeling. "Ooh, cut to the chase!" Boyfriend laughs, and B shakes her head.

"Meh, I guess not," I say.
"Ok then. I'm going to bed," he says and does just that.

I wonder, how rarely does anyone ever just cut to the chase?