Carrying On

We’re in some bar/restaurant in the Lower East Side. They make some mean tequila drinks here, and how we ended up on tequila after all those Manhattans, I’ll never know. It is January or February, and I left my favorite scarf in the taxi, but I won’t discover that until later. The bar glows, warm and bright in the middle of the night, and my friend Chris is shooting the shit next to me. My cocktail is cool, but spicy hot, and we’re reminiscing of warmer climes, of a vacation in Puerto Rico, the beaches of San Juan, anything to get through the chill of a New York winter night. An incongruous glass of cognac, a $300 bar tab for two, a waitress named Yahaira, and loads of dookey love. The nonsensical meaningless in-jokes of a friendship going on two decades.

Afterward, a couple of slices of pizza, with a side of ranch dressing for Chris. ‘That’s so gross,” I tell him, before busting up in laughter. He shrugs and eats it down. The hours are young – only one or two – but it might as well be mid-day. We’ll take it now and sleep it all off later. We’re still young enough to do that, still unattached enough to get away with it. We walk a couple of blocks. Robert Pattinson spills out from some hole-in-the-wall, alone and seemingly unrecognized, but I feel foolish telling him what a good job he did in ‘Harry Potter’, so I simply stare a bit and move on. Chris has no clue who he is anyway.

It’s been a good night, but we’re out of money, and running out of energy. Maybe we’re not young enough anymore.

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