09 October 2012

The Day (Originally Published 6 Mar 2008)

Current mood:depressed

I finished up my entry on Lappy, making sure it was saved correctly both on the computer itself and the floppy disc.  I got off of my newly made bed, went out to the laundry room and moved my wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer and, passing my psycho-mate in the kitchen ironing his shirt for work (thank the gods he'll be out of the flat), made my way out of the penthouse.  I first went out on the porch in order to check the weather.  Living on the island makes me skeptical of the weather reports, it's usually either much warmer or colder than whatever's reported.  It was chillier but I decided on a hoodie and a denim jacket, warm enough if I stay in the sun that is rising earlier and setting later recently, signaling the onset of spring although the winter wasn't really all that wintry.  The fact that I was on the boardwalk this past November, December and January in nothing more than a T-shirt many days throughout those months is testament to the mild winter season.  Just wearing a T-shirt was not for today, though and I grabbed my sunglasses and off I went down the steps and through the front door, feeling the slight chill in the wind blowing through the city. 
I made my way up my street, noticing the beautiful clouds in the sky and the bright sunshine that warmed my skin, and found my way to Brittany's Café to see Nina and talk to her about her "appearance" at the Westside and my Café.  It was busy when I got there, people at nearly every table and along the counter but my usual table was available and I sat, contemplating the menu.  Nina was gushing and told me to order anything off the menu, to "go wild", it was in her appreciation of the show on Friday.  She was also generous with the compliments, making me blush in front of the patrons, who were curiously trying to figure what we were taking about.  I ordered the pastrami Rueben off the "specials" menu and had my coffee and tomato juice, everything was delicious, and when I went to leave, she would not take my money, keeping true to her word. 
I left there after saying a heartfelt "thank you" and went down Ventnor Avenue to see Becky and say "hullo" to the staff in the flower shop. Becky wasn't there, she was at the Atlantic City Public Library teaching "the old ladies" as they put it.  I took the advantage and jumped on the computer to update my Café while Jack replaced the few missing tiles in the floor of the shop.  Becky came in, we talked a bit, and I decided to take my constitutional through the city to enjoy the day.  I made it to my "addiction centre" and purchased my fix of warm, fresh pretzels.  Gods, they are good.  I picked up some for me mates at the shop as well.  I figured that misery loves company, let them get addicted, too!  Or, think of it this way, my mother taught me to share, I'm only following her teaching.  It was colder than I liked and the wind was blowing in my direction and I decided to take the route through Caesars' casino and wait for a jitney bus.  I got off at Trenton Avenue and wandered up the street, looking to my right at the parking lot that's there now.  It used to be the Atlantic City High School and I was trying to remember what it looked like from this end, which was where the back entrances were.  I didn't spend too much time outside the school, I was almost always either in class, the library or, truth be told, hung over from being out in the Studio Six the evening before.  There were also those study hall periods that we did Quaaludes.  Hey, it was the (decade deleted to protect State Secret 327d: Mortimer's Age by order of the Velvet Mafia). Each decade had its drug of choice, Quaaludes were wonderful things back in the day.   
I got back to the flower shop and delivered the goods and then went home to rest, get some grub and then go to the gym. 
I got everything together for the gym, my head, primarily, to argue with them about my membership woes.  As I was making my way down the steps from the penthouse, I realized I forgot my bus fare and, since I was running late, it would take too long to go back upstairs, all the way back to my room and get the necessary change. So, I decided to nix the gym and I did a few things around the penthouse for "THE RETURN OF CHUNKIE!" on the 'morrow. 
The time came to go to work, I got myself together and walked down to the jitney stop and got off at Caesars walking through the shops along the edge of The Walk, the outdoor mall in the middle of the city.  It wasn't until I got to the Convention Center that I realized how windy it was, the maritime flags that line the building were blowing quite fiercely, snapping in the wind and creating a loud noise drowning out everything else.  I entered the building and looked up at the atrium glass five stories above my head, where I could see myself, small and insignificant, walking along the tiled floor to the parking garage entrance, where I have to traverse to get to Bacharach Boulevard and the Westside Lounge.  Actually, where I walk used to be Arkansas Avenue, which was co-opted by the Convention Center and is now part of the building itself.  There are many areas of the city where the casinos and other projects have taken the very streets underneath our feet to expand or build their monuments to capitalism, greed or commerce (take your pick). 
I got to the club, looked over to the other side of the bar and saw this vision…this sight…this apparition that caught my eye.  It was Miss Tene and her new hair-do!  I wandered over to better admire this mane of wonder.  It was a bleached blonde homohawk that was just too fierce for words!  She explained to me that she had stopped in the bar after spending nearly the entire day getting her hair done at her hairdresser's place, which is right in the neighborhood of the Westside Lounge.  I relieved the day bartender, Ed, Miss Tene left for home, exhausted by the day of beauty, and I talked with Ed as he filled the beer coolers, preordaining my night.  I told him that I was probably going to have all the freaks out that night, those certain customers that we all cringe to see through the mantrap at the front door.  Believe me, these people can be so annoying they really make you think twice about buzzing them through the door.  We joked about that and off he went, to his home and safety.  I, on the other hand, was left to the madness of the night and the denizens that the evening brings.  The names of those that slowly came through the door, one by one, over the shift of hell that I endured, will remain nameless.  They know who they are, as do some who read this tome, and I will leave it at that. 
It seemed like a full lunar event outside with the lunatics that were in the Westside on Monday night, although I think there was no moon in the sky that evening.  It didn't matter, moon madness was in full effect and I had to take the brunt of it.  First, I inherited one of them from Ed and he was drinking our Merlot and was already two sheets to the wind and well on his way to many more.  If I had to "high five", "fist to fist" or simply shake his hand one more bloody time, I was going to cut it off. Everything he said demanded a manual punctuation point and I was the one he needed to provide it.  Then there was "B".  She came in and sat with "High Five" and proceeded to talk to me about everyone when she wasn't scheming or plotting about who-knows-what!  Later in the night, "S" came in and then I knew my night was compleat.  She of the, "I just stopped in for one drink, I have to get up early in the morning and take my daughter…" …wherever and believe me, hearing this story every time you see her and knowing that you will be shutting the bar and throwing her out, you get a bit tired of hearing her explanation/lie.  Back at the Brass Rail, "S" would come in and, since it never shut, she would still be there through my shift and well into the next.  Then there's the running dialogue she maintains THE WHOLE TIME SHE'S THERE!  It's…maddening!  Luckily she scared "B" away.  That was the only luck of the night.  There were other attendees to my luna-party; the drag queen that hates me/loves me/really hates me, the former lovers of a co-worker and the two Spanish hustlers that I thought were going to rob the place. I really felt like I was back at the aforementioned Brass Rail. 
I finally, mercifully shut the bar and didn't get out of there until well after four in the morning. 
Of course, that means I'll have no sleep for "THE RETURN OF CHUNKIE!" on the 'morrow!

As Steve Guttenberg said in that brilliant piece of celluloid, Police Academy: "Sleep is for fags!". 

No comments:

Post a Comment