Blacked Out and Loving It

At approximately 12:30 Sunday afternoon, I awoke to the sight of a painting on my apartment wall, one that hadn’t been there the night before, nor the day before that, nor any day or night prior to that afternoon.

Confusion is never welcome at Chez Flowers so early in the day (and particularly so on a Sunday). However, the painting's value as a curiosity served also a duel role of allowing me to focus my wits, and so led to the Rubbing of the Eyes, traditional with the Dawning of Any New Hangover. And it was at this point that I then remarked, “Dear Lord, I got so drunk last night I bought art.”

Good art, though. Familiar even. So familiar in fact that I recognized it -- eventually -- as a painting that hangs on the wall of a friend’s apartment, which, now that I looked about, is where I was, with my feet hanging off the sofa, in a position familiar to many an astronaut.

I had woken up in my friend Angelo’s apartment, located in Chinatown near where Canal and Bowery intersect. And, I thought, as I discretely removed myself from the proceedings, near a fantastic dim sum place that, were I not as greasy and disgusting as I undoubtedly was and -- checking my pockets -- were I to have more than ten and a half dollars (and by half I mean, literally, a torn half of a bill) --- perhaps I would feast on noodles, dumplings and shrimp, whilst repeatedly refusing the entreaties of my Chinese tablemates to share their tripe.

Instead I made my way home to Greenpoint, via the Hook and Crook lines, in order to watch the Redskins suffer yet another ignominious defeat to, well, Who Ya Got This Week?

But what happened last night? I remember the art show in Williamsburg (not to mention my Sore Thumb status there); the birthday party later on; and meeting friends from the first party even later. But that, I later figured, took me only to about 1:30 AM. What of the other, I was to later learn, four hours: what of THEM? What disaster did I let befall me this time?

Well, I was to learn, none: I was actually on quite good behavior, considering that I was, and no one knew this at the time, in full blackout drunk stage. There was no Angry Drunk present; no Depressing Drunk; No Hitting on the Girl with the Deep Voice and Hairy Arms Drunk. No, it was more gleeful, as if watching an alternate universe where Humpty Dumpty Doesn’t Have a Great Fall / He Just Sorta Sings Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day / And Everyone Lives Happily Ever After / The End.

Fortunately, my friend Cortez was available this afternoon to fill in the details and to ask and answer all of the important questions:

  • Upon re-meeting and re-greeting my friends from the Party of the First Part, was I spouting non-sequitars, something to the effect of “If you HAVE It, then you have to USE It?” And did one friend, Daniel, ask, “Well, what do you mean by It? Define It.” And was my response: “You will KNOW It, when you HAVE It.” Why, naturally.
  • Did friends get into a near-altercation with some overly aggressive Polish guys trying to take the drunk sister of one member of our party back home? Yes. And were I not talking to This Other Girl at the time, would I almost certainly have said … something? My friends are positive; therefore, I am positive.
  • At the After Hours bar, did I brush off my friends in favor of talking to anyone at the bar who happened to come my way and wished to share in the delight of polite conversation? I am told, “Yes.” Did the bartenders, according to my friend Cortez, take a liking to me, enjoying my antics and my willingness to engage in discourse as they do in the salons of Paris (though, no doubt, sounding more like a sailor from Sydney)? I’ll let you, the readers decide (myself, I’m voting ‘yes’).
  • Was it at this point, late into the night, that my friend Cortez, sensing the opportunity for a good joke, sent our friend’s date for that night, a J----, to talk to me, betting I was so far gone that I would remember nothing of having talked to her -- let alone having MET her -- for a solid 45 minutes on the way to the After Hours bar? Yes, and, apparently, I was as friendly as sunshine and apple pie.

So, you see: sometimes the hero gets his come-uppance before eventual triumph. And sometimes, it’s about the fight and not the victory.

But other times, dear readers, it’s good to know that somewhere out there is a man on autopilot, throwing caution to the wind and getting away with it.

Of course, now that I say that, I think we all know what Pride comes before ...

Today’s lesson: Happy Birthday to Catherine, friend of mine these past 10 years, who's had to roll her eyes at more than a few of my antics. And thanks, many, to Angelo, a kinder soul you will not find in the great City of New York.

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