THE TIME SQUARE STORY – June 2005
(Names have been changed to protect both the innocent and guilty alike, as well as to protect my own arse from being kicked.)
Before I can even begin to start this story, you must understand a little bit about my friend, Diana. (Yeah, yeah, lame-o name-o for the alias.) She’s what I like to call brazen. You never know what will come out of her mouth. I’ve never known what to expect, and I’ve known her for at least six years. The other thing you must know is that she collects profanities. She makes a point of learning some of the crudest colloquialisms in as many foreign as she can manage.
So, I found myself in New York City with Diana. She was kind enough to offer to allow me to tag along on her trip to the Big Apple to take a class. The hotel was completely covered by her education fund, which is the only way I could have managed such a luxury. If I would have been footing the whole bill myself, who knows where I would have stayed. So, there we were raging out of control for many o’ night, but all those other nights were the appetizers, the lead up, or as Diana would probably call it, foreplay to the event that was Time Square.
The plan was to meet up with a former client of Diana’s, Brenda, who had recently moved back to Connecticut from our fair, if not foggy Bay Area. Diana warned me before the evening started that she wasn’t sure Brenda was the staying out and partying type, as she had never been out socially with her before. I’ve never really considered myself to be a Hilton, so I wasn’t too upset by the idea of a more mellow evening. Regardless of all that, we soon discovered that Diana didn’t know as much about Brenda as she thought she did.
The plan was to meet up with Brenda at the W Hotel. Time Square was chosen, because Diana and I hadn’t yet been there. I don’t recall what the reasoning was behind the W. It’s very chi-chi and not exactly my style. Let’s face it: there was a whole lot of not my style on this trip.
And so it began, at the bar of the Blue Fin Restaurant within the W Hotel. Brenda was there, and as Diana and I tried to settle on what to order (rather, Diana tried to settle and I said “make that two”), she ordered and sucked down a Tequila Collins. So much for the theory that she would be too conservative to keep up with Diana. We eventually outlasted some other patrons at the bar, and ended up sitting in a row, with myself in the middle, trying to remember to sip, as these two slammed cocktail after cocktail. I can’t say that I was successful. I can’t say, because I’m not sure how many I had. I didn’t fall on my face, so at least there’s that.
When it was decided that we would order dinner at the bar, Diana of course ordered a bottle of champagne. Brenda declined the champagne, and opted for more cocktails, which of course meant that I was once again splitting a bottle with Diana. I’ve never had as much champagne in my life as I did those three days in New York.
When the dinner plates were cleared, and the champagne was upended, Diana declared that it was time for Mai Tais. I was a little uncertain of this choice, considering that my first Mai Tai experience ended with me covered in bruises and coining the phrase “Never Let a Mai Tai Make a Decision For You.” Brenda also expressed some misgivings about the drink choice. It was also about this time that we realized that we had a new bartender, a nice Irish fellow. He told us his name, and it may have been Charlie, but that didn’t stick. What we did manage to remember was that he was from Dublin, and so, for the remainder of our sojourn at the W, we could be heard screeching “DUBLIN” in his general direction. “Dublin, we need Mai Tais!”
The first problem was that Dublin, or rather the bar, did not have all of the ingredients for a Mai Tai. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had actually gotten the Mai Tais. Dublin, however, being a good man, offered to make us a substitute rum concoction. Brenda and I still weren’t quite sold on the idea, though. She confessed, “Rum makes me angry.” And I added, “Rum makes me stupid.” (See veiled reference to mosh pits above.) Of course, Diana interjected, “rum makes me horny,” of course. Now, not only did we have a nickname for Dublin, but he had names for us, as we were Angry, Stupid, and Horny for the evening.
At around this time, my phone rang, and it was Cameron. (No need to change name; Cameron would be proud to be featured in this here epic.) So, I had to tell him that I love him, miss him, can’t wait to see him, and that he is, in fact, my best friend. At this point in the story, you know it’s about to get bad. I mean, Cameron is the best, I do love him, I always miss him, and I am always looking forward to seeing him, but the fact that I had to tell him all that while sitting at the bar at the W Hotel in Times Square should tell you something. I’m sure he enjoyed it, though, as he loves me, too. He’s a good friend like that.
So, after promising Cam that I would call him later and leave a drunken voice-mail, I continued to sip the rum concoction. Luckily for me, it was way, way, way too sweet. I couldn’t come close to finishing. Diana poured a little of mine into hers. Then, she starts leaning up onto the bar, saying, “I need someone to pull my hair, bite my neck, and fuck the shit out of me,” loud enough, of course, for Dublin, and many other people to hear. I was as red as the rum punch.
I wasn’t the only one using the phone at this point. You see, Brenda needed someone to pick up her rapidly getting drunker and drunker self from the train station. So, she got on the phone with her Booty Call Boy. When it seemed that she wasn’t being very successful at convincing this guy that he should pick her up at the train station in the middle of the night, with no incentive for him, Diana took the phone from her. Now, I only have hearsay to go on here, but I do know that Diana told him that he “had to” pick up Brenda, and he allegedly said, “I don’t have to do anything. I’m a pimp!” Somehow, though, this didn’t quite end up the catch phrase of the evening. Probably because about twelve million more wilder things happened, too.
And then, of course, we needed pretzels. Actually, I’m pretty sure that this was Brenda’s ploy to get moving, as she needed to catch a train back to Connecticut, what with no ride, and all. So, we spilled out into the street, back into Times Square, tumbled down the sidewalk to the pretzel man. The Italian Pretzel Man. I never caught his name, but it really doesn’t matter, because he was just a guy, on the street, selling pretzels, who happened to be in the later stages of middle age, a little dirty, and Italian. So, he was The Italian Pretzel Man. He had a friend. A nice older Puerto Rican gentleman was standing, chatting with TIPM when we walked up. Being drunk, I began testing my Spanish. Why do I start speaking Spanish when I’m drunk? For the same reason that everybody is my best friend when I’m drunk. Because I’m drunk.
Point being, Brenda and I were a ways off from Diana. Not far, but not right next to. She was standing closer to TIPM. Fate stepped in though, and moved me closer to her. My drunken ass spilled a little bit of the mustard from the pretzel onto my shirt. So, I happened to waltz over to the cart, for a napkin, just in time to hear Diana whisper her favorite Italian phrase, her only Italian phrase to TIPM. Her best friend is fluent in Italian. Just about the only thing she managed to pick up on was this phrase, which roughly translates to “put your mouth on my female genitalia” only far more crude. You’d think that at some point, I would learn to be less shockable, but I haven’t yet. I couldn’t believe my ears. And with no better idea of what to do, I took a few steps away, and continued to discuss Spanish Harlem in Spanglish.
And then it happened, and I don’t know how. All I could say was, oh damn! I looked back to the cart, and there was Diana, with TIPM reaching around from behind her, and kissing her neck. Time to get out of there. Just got to get right out of there.
I grabbed her wrist. I grabbed Brenda’s wrist. We left. Somewhere down the street, Diana pulls out the napkin. The napkin with TIPM’s phone number. I had to ask, and I was afraid, so afraid of the answer. She did it. She gave him her phone number, though she swore she gave him the wrong number.
And just when you thought that we couldn’t get into any more trouble, I saw him. I should have just kept my mouth shut. Could have just kept walking, but hey, I was feeling a little high, having dodged disaster. Right. So, as we caught up to him on the sidewalk, I opened my big fat mouth, and hollered out, “What’s UPS?” Such wit. So charming, yet somehow, I managed to get the United Parcel Service man, walking down Times Square, at midnight, in the shorts. I had his attention for about 2.5 seconds. Until Diana saw him. And until Brenda tugged at my arm, and whispered in my ear that she was going to grab a cab to the train station. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to use my newly acquired New York babe cab whistle. So, I stepped to the curb, and let her rip, gave Brenda a squeeze, and watched her hop into the cab that pulled up, as if by magic.
And by the time I turned around, Diana had her arm through The UPS Man’s, and we were off again. I should have known. He was gorgeous and dark skinned. Exactly Diana’s type, sort of. Sort of, because her fiancé, although a lovely man, is fair as can be. We, and by we I mean Diana, talked him into finding another bar with us. But we were getting further and further away from the square, and the pubs weren’t as plenty. And it was drizzling. And somehow, he pulled her into the shop doorway. He looked down at her with that look, and I knew it was time to go. He pecked her on the lips, and I suddenly, and without warning, began to you yell, “¡Necesito un baño!” Now, Diana doesn’t speak Spanish, or at least, she doesn’t know any clean words in Spanish, but she was drunk, so she understood. It was time to go. Once again, I dragged her off, and into the lobby of a hotel, and into the bathroom, where she disclosed another magic napkin, this time The UPS Man’s number.
Our potty stop complete, it was time for the evening to be over, at last. Once again, I pulled out my new whistle with attitude. The only problem was, we were short on cash, so I had to find the magic cabbie who would take a credit card. About three cabs later, the genie finally popped up, so I swung the door open, and began ushering Diana in, but she began to resist. Actually, that’s an understatement. She began yelping, “no, no, no, wait, wait!” But I was tired of the adventure by this point, and more than that, I was stone sober. At some point, it had become clear that someone needed to be sober. So, she was screaming “no” and I was still pushing. Pushing, and saying, “no, no, not stop, not wait, we’re out of here.” And once I had her in the back of the car, she says, “but there was a cute cop back there, and he was making a u-turn to come back and talk to me.” Awesome. That’s just what we needed: an Italian Pretzel Man, an UPS Man, and One of New York’s Finest. All she needed was a Contractor, and she’d have the Village People.
Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without a drunken phone call. Only, it wasn’t me calling Cam back, but instead Diana calling her fiancé. It went a little something like this, “I must be totally in love with you.” (Shouldn’t that have been obvious when you said you’d marry him?) “’Cause I had so many chances tonight, but I was sooooo good.” Just what every significant other wants to hear, their drunken, slurring, three thousand mile away loved one swearing that they could have totally could have gotten laid tonight, but didn’t.
The real fun came the next day, when her cell phone started ringing. You see, she was so drunk that when she was writing down her “wrong” number, she accidentally wrote down the right one. Both UPS Man, and The Italian Pretzel Man were hounding her. Good thing we didn’t stop for the cop.