disclaimer: this story is very long, and is probably not worth your time. unless like me, my coworker intern chris is your hero as well. he may very well be by the end of the story.
So on New Year’s, despite valiant attempts by the company I was with, my loser mechanisms went into full throttle chainreacting a propensive and definitive victory heretofore unseen since…well, last New Year’s.
Tales of this night usually run the gambit from quirky to wholesomely plain, but my night, as usual, fell shy as compared to the exploits of Intern Chris. In fact, from the very beginning, I could sense a sort of less-than-boldness on my part.
The morning of Intern Chris began with him sprinting after the Chinatown bus (it resolvedly decided to leave 31 minutes ahead of schedule) as I repeatedly asked the non-English speaking bus driver to stop the bus. His few words back to me confirmed the stagnancy of the situation. “Pah! You get off my bus!” I grimaced in horror as the bus continued onward without Chris, and he assured me with panting complacency via cellphone that he’d meet me, by hook or by crook, in New York City, Chinatown bus be goshdarned!
New York City had hardly changed since I saw it last, and yet, I purchased with some resolution, the hesitancy it visited upon my senses. I had been immersed, for the entire busride, in a journalistic account of breaking the 4-minute mile barrier and around my mind freshly whirled images of lean and statuesque human machines, of lithe calves pounding cinder tracks, the smell of fresh gunpowder of the smoking start gun, the austere discipline of straining to break a hallowed barrier. My mindset had little place or preparation for the kitschy city.
As soon as I stepped off the bus, a melting pot of winter precipitation showered my head as if I just won the Mother Nature lottery. As I started walking, strategically stepping as if walking on pillows, one footfall not quite expecting the success of the next, I could not comprehend where I was, let alone why I was there.
Flipside: Intern Chris had already arrived, half an hour earlier conveniently by train.
Thereafter, the day continued steadily onwards toward New Year’s Eve. I was graciously invited to a very grown-up dinner by Luci with Mary-Kate and Mary Ann. Salad, from a kit, was served. Wine was poured. Cider was chugged. In any case, it all ensued without incidents of a malign nature.
Talk quickly became encased in former schoolmates and idle gossip. I was thoroughly entertained. Sustained by the reverie of the meal, I resolved to attend a party thrown by, who would have guessed, other former classmates. As we walked to said party in the cold however, my festive spirit quickly dampened, and soon, matter-of-factly, eluded me.
Flipside: Intern Chris instead had a night of dancing ponies or to put it literally, embraced fancies. Entirely inebriated a full three hours before midnight, he and his friend walked down the streets of Soho opening random doors.
They stumbled upon a theater where some drugged-up youth appeared to be rehearsing a play. Doing what any other celebratory youth would do, chris and his friend went backstage, put on costumes (intern chris: a rather dapper jacket and a bouffant hat), and joined the rehearsal. They were welcomed and thereafter, incorporated afterwhich they bored themselves prancing around. They then took a sheaf of theater fliers and duly departed.
Once outside, they quickly began distributing fliers vocally advertising the grand opening of a show the following night starring Christopher Walken, with free admission upon possession of the flier. After a slight brawl with a young twentysomething slovenly sort who threw some fliers in the street, and told them to “Go f%$* yourselves!” at which Chris’s friend told him to “Go f$%^ yourself, Geoffrey Chaucer!” which said youth did not look very kindly upon.
Chris and his friend then realized something terrible. They both still had their costumes on! And upon looking for the theater again realized that they could not find it! After some careful drunken backtracking, they found the theater, returned the costumes to a rather disgruntled man, and told him guests might be arriving for a big show the following night.
I, on the other hand, had heard one too many bottles of champagne pop, and was extremely ready to bat off the next plastic hat I saw or those wretched pairs of glasses with 20-06 on them. After departing the party at which I failed to be one blodget social, I saw an entire family wearing them on the subway, and it was like the four horsemen of the apocalpyse bearing down on my sanity.
In any case, I returned to Chris’s friend’s apartment where both he and I were to be staying that night, and tended house. Literally, I removed some wires from being entangled with the heating pipes to prevent a fire. I tried to keep my eyes open so I could let Chris in, but they started to betray me.
He soonafter called to tell me he would not be returning home that evening. Hah! The player successfully play the game again. I wondered which lucky girl it was this time. And then realized I probably didn’t know her. I collapsed on the couch and toasted to my subconscious.
So here we are now, the two of us, on the Chinatown bus heading back to DC. Intern Chris is sleeping in fits and stutters. He twitches in unbearable amounts (on account of the multiple substances cavorting in his bloodstream).
We just stopped at a New Joisey reststop. And the woman in the aisle across from us just lit her bag on fire with her cigarette. The bus was only supposed to stop for 15 minutes but it’s been 30 and we’re just now pulling away. Immediately, several people come sprinting out of the rest stop dining pavilion complex. The bus keeps going. The driver snaps out the window: “30 Minute! It been 30 Minute!” (it sounds surprisingly like German) After we near the exit back onto the highway and at least one old lady has fallen by the wayside because her walker gave out, he finally pulls over. Happy frickin’ New Year.