SkeeBalla'

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
1
44
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Trip End Sep 01, 2010


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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, August 2, 2010

          DAY FORTY-TWO: We rise, as warned previously, to the sound of Eitan's old roommate and her father coming in to move out the rest of her stuff.  She had been living here with her fiancÚ, who is still here, but they called it off the weekend previous and now there’re all here an in the same room.  You sense that the guy, when near her, doesn’t know what else to do but kiss her, while the girl can’t wait to get out, and we help expedite the process for all involved.  Ahem.            
            One of Eitan’s roommates has an electric razor and Cornbread uses this as an opportunity to trim off his massive boosh of hair and beard for sake of being cool in the summer; he leaves long red sideburns and a curly mustache and looks like a boxer from the 1930s.  I feel the need to up the ante, or rather to match it (you can’t beat CB’s new look), and while they’re downstairs getting bagels I give myself a little it of a 'do that I call The Omnimullet (The Beard calls it The Monklet or the Mullmonk), and I am so digging having a channel of cool air breeze over my thirsty skull.  Onwards!

            We aim to meet Alan and Sweeter at Central Park for a little kick of the soccer ball, and first stop at a shop to acquire such a rotund toy.  While there I get a call from Alan himself, saying, "Rick, you need to meet us on Lexington right NOW."  I’m like, “hey screw you, I’m in a sporting goods store,” but he persists and I get there to find Kelly Werber and her boyfriend standing on the corner, surrounded by her luggage, about to hail a taxi to China, where she’ll be teaching for the next year or more.  This is crazy, as Kelly is one of my oldest and best friends, a person who I visited quite singularly the last time I came to New York, and because I thought she’d left at least a week earlier.  Anyway, it’s great to see her, quite funny, and once she tapes her already-torn duffel bag together and we say goodbye, I receive a text message from her later, informing me that her taxi driver fell asleep on the freeway.  A good start to China, most certainly!  Good luck to her, and how cool is it that our generation is traveling so much, with such depth of intent?  I bloomin’ love it.

            Finally we hit the park, and it’s crowded.  We have to squeeze between the softball fields – watching these jokers makes me sick, as they can’t swing a bat or throw a ball, yet take themselves so seriously – and we’re yelled at for being in their outfield.  What this means, then, is that we have to dodge all the fly balls that they miss, but we manage to spend a few nice hours throwing the Frisbee, kicking the soccer ball, and finding Alan and Sweeter’s old college buddy, Jan Warden, tossing the football around with some young blonde girls, he himself looking all collegiate and in charge, if slightly doughier, and in discovering that Jan had cut off communications rather curtly with my friends, that they were too proud or respectful to make waves by talking to him, I take it upon myself to yell at him across the park until he waves.  Jan and I, you must understand, have a history: he’s a nice guy, of course, but he’s quite stubborn (as I) and his priorities differ from mine.  This of course resulted in the famous incident at Sweeter’s parents’ house when Jan threw my spare undergarments out into the sprinklers and I slammed the door in his face, locking him out, breaking the front door in the process, blah blah blah.  He used to work for Giuliani’s presidential campaign, and for that he’s an asshole, but he’s a decent person and by the end of the day, comes to chat with us for a bit, he being the more mature man, no doubt.  Still, the conversation is awkward and slightly bitter, probably insincere on all sides, and we say goodbye.  Giuliani sucks.

            Um, I guess from there – oh yeah – we head to a market for some cantaloupe and beer, then go up to Alan’s apartment roof for the day.  It’s lovely and oh-so-slick, is his apartment, enough to make any vagabond jealous, and we enjoy chatting with his kooky roommates in the sun.  We head down later for dinner at Joy Burger, and upon our entry the cashier, seeing our collective haircuts, mouths, “oh my God,” and laughs in our faces, which is just awesome.   The burgers are good, too, and seeing Alan’s roommate and our old high school friend, Fin Chang, is such a fucking blast.  He’s simply a funny fellow, and perhaps one of the funniest.

            We later say goodbye to the Manhattan group and head down to Brooklyn to meet Eitan and his birthday friends at a beer/whiskey bar that has hundreds of delightful options.  21st Amendment is a great local brew, and this one is all dark and stout and chocolatey.  Eitan forces us to play conversational musical chairs, and we do so after Edna and Crystal have arrived, and it’s a genius idea for new conversations and friendships.  I end up chatting with a French fellow for a while and then everyone heads to Full Circle, a nearby skee-ball bar in Williamsburg whose owner is a friend of Tristan’s.

            Full Circle is great.  They serve beer by the can – Cream Ale and a hot dog for $4 – and obviously host a bunch of skee ball machines.  The owner, Eben, is full of enthusiasm for life and, having been warned about us previously, simply gushes of how cool he thinks the bus is.  He’s ridiculous, as for how cool Pearl actually is, a skee ball bar might be even cooler.  Turns out that he’s a writer and he and I spend a long time talking about “the process,” or other bullshitty things of passion.  What a sincere and interesting fellow with big non-balding Stephen Wright Hair and a fuzzy beard like a mask.  I share a watermelon wheat beer with Edna and it’s all quite too much fun.  Edna rides her bike into oncoming traffic unaware or unconcerned with the dangers surrounding, and the rest of us make our way back to Eitan’s by 4:30.  Sleep.
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Gantz on

hey dudes! give me a call and we'll meet up.

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