Saturday, March 27, 2010

Drinking water

Tubby queens gathered out front to smoke while their circus clown girlfriends hovered, giggling. Make-up had been applied liberally, but from a distance, using a scope and an unsteady hand. It couldn't look like you cared too much. Everybody wore black of one shade or another. It was a kind of uniform involving turtlenecks. This is what you're supposed to wear when you go look at art.

They were loud, talking music, politics and art like it all mattered somehow, like they had anything to do with it when it was clear they didn't. Power to the people and all that, but power to other people. Hopefully, power to people who know what they're doing or at least care enough to read through the jump over the advertisement for hair care products, cat food or the new rabbit vibrator.

I hear that's a big seller. A couple of friends of mine rave about it. One of them keeps a spare in the glove compartment of her car. It adds a hint of danger every time there's a traffic stop. You probably need a license to carry the thing --a conceal permit maybe.

The gang of six at the door had done me no harm except they were smoking and I wanted to smoke. They were a little drunk. The local galleries showing off their local hopefuls, some of whom were artists, many of whom were not regardless of their nifty business cards, had provided bottles of chilled, cheap wine and equally cool, proletarian beer. Pabst is in vogue or was in New York five years ago, which is why it's being served here now.

We import cool from up north where they make it fresh every day. Delivery can take a while.

I wanted a drink. I wanted great big bottles of plain old vodka, something without a lot of pretension. Vodka is a utilitarian sort of drink. Quality is determined less by taste and more by the likelihood that it will permanently blind you. The better the brand, the less likely you'll need a white cane. True, you can pay a lot for "good" vodka, but everybody thinks you're an asshole if you do. It's a front. You could be paying a lot for "good" bourbon or scotch or Irish whiskey.

It beats the hell out of me, but I wanted a drink. I wanted to go on a long, raging drunk, turn myself into a beast and wander the streets as an honest animal. The streets, it seemed to me, could have used it.

2 comments:

larry said...

back with a freaking vengeance.
there's a ton of lines in there worth stealing...or at the very least repeating and looking oblivious while your friends marvel at your cleverness.

most notably:
"...but from a distance, using a scope and an unsteady hand"

"We import cool from up north where they make it fresh every day."

"I wanted to go on a long, raging drunk, turn myself into a beast and wander the streets as an honest animal."

jesus bill, leave something for the rest of us.

zen said...

Welcome back. And back you certainly are. You were missed.