Friday, September 23, 2011

The Enterprise - 31

On weekend nights—and some weekday nights—Sean and I drifted through the Village, the Lower East Side, seeking delirious fun, unusual experience, sex with strangers. I don’t know. That we should do this systematically went without question. Though we spent everything we had to spare. And were never satisfied. But again and again, the early evening atmosphere was recharged with the tantalizing promise of it all.

Sometimes we vomited in the street. Sue and Sean and I were at a 24-hour diner frequented by college students. Wasted. I made that feeble, desperate gesture that somehow seems heroic: I tried to drink another drink. In a moment there was a pall cast over me. One moment to the next. It’s good times. Then it’s very bad. I abandoned my pancakes, staggered down the steps and out the door. Got down on my knees and gushed a sour torrent of vodka-grapefruit puke into the gutter of little Stuyvesant Street as passersby smirked and walked around me.

On another night Sean called out to our cabbie from the back.

“Excuse me. Sir? Excuse me.”

“Yeah boss?”

“Would you mind pulling over, please?”

“Pull over? What?”

“Pull over. Please.”

“Where, boss?”

“Pull over. Here. Right here. Please.”

He stopped us along the Park Avenue median. Sean got out and stood between the cab and the curb, fingers in his pockets, hunched against the chill. He tilted his head ever so slightly forward and disgorged a stream of viscous, milky liquid on the street. He spat once. Twice. Straightened up and looked around. He wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his jean jacket and got back in the car.

You go out at night hoping to have sex. To wind up in the cushiony bed of some girl who’s fresh in town, living in a duplex with four or five friends from college, working as an associate producer at a startup that’s gaining traction in the mobile marketing space. You long to enter the rarefied space of her minuscule, shag-carpeted bedroom, redolent of rose perfume, sandalwood and cigarettes, cluttered with artifacts transplanted from her recently vacated dorm: the lava lamp; the shoes in a heap; the little all-in-one stereo; the dresser strewn with hair ties, nail polish, crumpled bills and change; the poster of “The Kiss.” To sit beside her in the loveseat, doing your best to caress her breasts, waiting for the requisite period to elapse before she ascends the ladder to her loft, expecting you to follow. Is that not where you belong?

But you vomit in the street.