Archive for September, 2010


Tis a flesh wound

I am 32 years old and have never been on a proper vacation.  Not one that didn’t in some way involve my family or worse someone elses  family.  I am talking about one of those magical getaways you can only win on the Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune.  YOU HAVE WON A TRIP TO ARUBA!!!!  I have no idea where Aruba is, but I know I want to go there.  I long for a beach an umbrella a cocktail a Kitty Kelly novel and a half naked native waiting on me hand and foot.  Sounds pretty simple, a goal anyone could accomplish.  Two problems stand in my way.  Number one I hate to travel, number two being a proud member of the upper lower class I can’t really afford a fabulous vacation.  So a local getaway it must be.   Somewhere close,  and cheap,  and accessible by train as I don’t drive and my rickshaw is in the shop.  So I decide after 11 years in New York to break down and go to Fire Island.  Fire Island is like Coney Island to me.  Neither of these places evoke the island images in my mind like Gilligan’s or that stupid Island from Lost, and I am always looking for that elusive Island in the Stream.

The normally useless MTA offers a day package for 30 bucks which covers the train the taxi and the ferry there and back which is great cause I made a big pitcher of booze and have every intention of coming home drunk .  Taking my cue from the Barefoot Contessa herself I put together a wonderful picnic of salmon salad, roasted chicken thighs, fresh strawberries, and blueberry’s, a pitcher of white grape and lemonade with a pint of Vodka, who wouldn’t want that?  Here is where my inner Jew sprung forth and I decided rather than buy a beach umbrella I would fashion one out of a lost and found umbrella from the PIECES Bar and a shoot of bamboo from Fire Island and a little tape thus saving 5’s and 10’s of dollars.  This was to be my perfect little trips downfall.  In order to fit the umbrella in the bag I snapped off the handle creating a perfect jagged, rusty, spear like implement.

If you live on the east coast you understand that it’s the most inconvenient place on earth and something that would only take 20minutes by car can take up to 2 hours on the train.  So we were up at 7:30 to make sure we were on the 9:15 train to Sayville Long island which got in at 11:00 so we could catch the 11:30 ferry.  So from wake up to the Isle of Fire its 4 and a half hours of humid nyc commuting misery.

Once we get to Sayeville its beautiful breezy and stunning and reminds me of Amity Island from Jaws.  In fact everything feels so much like the movie Jaws right now I want to throw the loud asian gay with no chin sitting next to me off the ferry in hopes a great white shark will eat him and shut his damn trap.  Instead I cue up the Jaws Soundtrack (I have many film scores on my IPOD cause I am a dork) and listen to Promenade as the ferry pulls out and crosses the channel to the Fire Island.  We are surrounded by a flock of gays that would make Jerry Fallwell cry,  tan with popped collars and every single one of them is carrying a pure bred dog which they treat like Zsa Zsa on her death bed.  Gay people give gay people a bad name.

I must say that Fire Island is a beautiful calm and relaxing place, probably more relaxing if you are lucky enough to afford a share and stay most of the summer.  Much less relaxing when you know you have to head back on the 7:30 ferry.  You walk through a bamboo forest on elevated decks, and I can’t help but thank God I’m not tripping on mushrooms right now cause i would surely get lost and end up crying by the side of the road chewing on a stick of bamboo as if it were a sugar cane.  It’s a straight shot to the beach and on our way we each grab a stick of the aforementioned bamboo to fashion our beach umbrella’s.  We stroll down to the water and find a spot a with no children and lay out our spoils.

As Dan runs down to the water to pee in the ocean I start setting up our things.  First things first I take out my mangled umbrella and open it up plunging the ragged end into the fleshy part of the palm of my hand.  I can handle pain, pain is nothing to me.  I had an intense gall stone experience which was said to be more painful than childbirth and I took that pain like a pro.  Blood however makes me pass out almost instantly, not movie blood, real blood oozing (or in this case pumping) from my own body or the bodies of those around me.  I knew it was a deep cut because the fat in my hand is spilling out the sides like brains or tapioca pudding.

I yelled for Dan knowing I was seconds from losing conciseness.  He thought I was pointing out the little brown skittering birds darting this way and that.  I was not.  I passed out cold face first into the sand which tasted like shit, well actually i t tasted like sand, but was unpleasant none the less.  I threw up a couple of times when i regained consciousness and thought I bet Ina Garten and Jeffery have a much better time at the beach.  With an arm drenched in blood, fat oozing out of my hand, laden down with 50 pounds worth of beach gear we headed off to find a first aid kit.  Turns out there is no first aid available on the Isle of Fire.  The doctor’s hours are 1-2 and 4-5, this is the kind of job I dream of,  and we were told by everyone we ran into they’d be happy to contact the mainland and have me air lifted off.  Fun as that sounded, and believe meI wanted was a happy medium some hydrogen peroxide and some gauze, but a ride in a helicopter did sound fun.  I settled for a 10 dollar bottle of Rubbing Alcohol and an 8 dollar roll of gauze.  I looked around at the Island full of pretty much naked men, and looked at my bloody hand and decided I couldn’t stay at this place any longer.  We took the ferry back, and this is the song I listened to going back across the water…

and I cried…cause my hand really fucking hurt.  All in all a vacation to remember

Bobby Gentry

I am obsessed with Bobby Gentry.  If you are not aware she is a glorious songstress from the bygone days of the country music scene famous for her story songs Ode to Billy Joe (what did they throw off that bridge?) and Fancy which has been famously covered by Reba  Mcentire (who knew that’s how you spelled her name?).  I love the lazy southern ease of her voice, I love that every song starts and sounds just like the last one, but mostly I love her crazy way of dancing.  She retired in 1971 and has never recorded another album since.  Check out some Bobby Gentry videos as a Labor Day treat!

It’s always when I am afflicted with a particularity bad hangover that the worst of the homeless beggars seem to attack.  As New Yorkers we have heard all their tales about not getting to the shelter on time or their house burning down leaving them and their families homeless and destitute.   Their families being a pipe filled with crystal meth no doubt.  I get it, its all part of the circle of life in NYC.  They grift us we occasionally feel bad and give them change, they make 50 bucks a day they get high and leave us alone for a week and everyone is happy.

I admit it takes balls to get on a train and ask for money, or sometimes just an unfortunate amputation.  But missing a limb or moving your legless torso from car to car is a great way to score some serious cash.   Then there are the ones with no discernible injuries these guys are smart enough sing for their supper.  These are the homeless who make more money than I do in a year and the ones I hate and dread the most.  My heart sinks when I see that mariachi band coming between cars, or the black quartet singing Down on the Boardwalk.  They plague my commute between 59th and Lex and 34th street, praying on the out of towners who just love to be entertained on their way back to times square,  probably because they were too stupid to bring an Ipod or a book like all the real New Yorkers.  Investing in a good pair of noise canceling headphones and turning up the volume of my Ipod usually drowns them out but i still seethe in anger at the sheer audacity of these America’s Got Talent rejects and how they dare to interrupt my quiet time.  The absolute worst are the ethnic dancers, or the drum circle.  If they show up on my car I just leave.

Today I spotted the interruption to my commute before I even got on the train.  He was standing on the platform in a dress shirt, tie, and a sporty pair of dockers.  Bible in hand ready to spread fire and brimstone to the people of the N train.  I ran to the next car and he followed almost as if knew I sinned and that I sinned often.  The doors shut and he began his diatribe, I rolled my eyes and could hear him telling us we were all going to hell.  Now I love telling people to go to hell as much as the next guy, but I’d never stand up on a crowded train to do so…well not unless provoked.  So I turned my headphones up and closed my eyes.  I opened them again at 5th ave and fire and brimstone was still at it, “burn in hell” this, and “repent” that, all the usual religious malarkey.  When almost on Que from either side of the train the doors flew open in a hot gusty gale, and there were two more homeless!  A woman with soiled pants (good gimmick) and a black man with no teeth and yeasty swollen feet!  A good yeasty foot is sure to grab a few sheckles, but i am telling you loss of limb is the ticket to that refrigerator box in the sky!

All three of them stopped, like a cosmic coming together of craziness and despair, like the three moons in a Dark Crystal aligning so the Skexies and the Mystics could become one again.  Fire and Brimstone stopped his ranting, and looked at yeasty feet and soiled pants and then beckoned them forth.  Since he wasn’t asking for money, just our eternal souls, he did a little cross promotion.  Using yeasty and soiled as examples of the very lifestyle he wanted us to avoid while at the same time telling all of us this was a great time this might be to turn over a new leaf and help his two new stinky gross looking friends while we were finding the path to eternal salvation.  How I longed for the mariachi band and the blind accoridian man to get on at the next stop, hopefully ending in a West Side Story style brawl over territory.  Instead i got off the train and went to work where I sat on stage for 4 hours and delivered my own kind of sermon to the happy hour Bingo crowd at PIECES.  Telling all of them how Lindsey Lohan is a tramp ruining her life with booze and hotpants, complaining about the cost of a metro card and asking for a gratuity to help with my newly injured hand…look out yeasty and stinky pants I may need to work your territory sometime soon.