Oy. I am too old for day drinking.
The beginning of this week I was a very mature, cultured, New Yorker. I went to two, yes two book launch events. I went out to Astoria for the first event whereI saw some people I had not seen in years, literally. For a moment the clock slid backwards to a time where the only glasses I needed were for blocking the sun, and wearing comfortable shoes was a matter of choice, not necessity. And even though it had been so long, Aaron asked, “what happened to that essay you used to write every Friday?
You were blogging, pre blog.” My tender writer’s ego, not satisfied with what an enormous compliment that statement was in its own right, had to unpack its rod and reel and cast about for more “Wow. Thanks. I can’t believe you remember those [insert pause for compliment here]” More kind words followed and with my ego overly satiated, the fishing equipment was tucked away.*
The second event was at the new Steinway Hall in Manhattan. I felt mature, listening to a lecture by the photographer Chris Payne about his new book of amazing photos of the Steinway Piano factory. Jon and I, the epitome of a mature couple, savoring the culture of New York.
On Friday, the office where I am temping closes at 1 and yesterday was a beautiful day, so I spent it the best way possible. I met Liza at 2, we had a light, very girly lunch which included a bottle of Rose. It was just way more cost effective than buying by the glass. Liza had a bunch of errands to run, and I accompanied her, happily. We giggled like teenagers playing hooky, tramping about the upper west side, no agenda in mind. As we neared 5pm, Liza made the astute observation that her friend Scott was starting his bartending shift, and we must go say hello.
Mid way through my Rose at Scott’s bar, my brother called (he’s in town from Boston.) “Yo, where are you?” An hour later I’m having a beer with my brother uptown.
Cut to 9am. Saturday morning. Jon is kissing me goodbye (he is off to work) and I can’t open my eyes. I know it’s another beautiful day out there. I know the fresh rhubarb and the seasonal strawberries won’t last long at the market. I know I have to go around the corner and drop off the Allen key so Jordan can fix his fridge. I know I have to move. I rise, I fall. I rise. I fall. I rise for real.
I find it grossly unfair, that at this excellent stage in my life, I am punished for not having the alcohol recovery skills of a teenager. I’m drinking the good stuff. It’s wine for Christ’s sake not schnapps. And it’s PINK wine even. My point is this, I say I won’t do it again, but I will, I know will, and like the adventure of yesterday, it wont be planned, it’ll just happen. Why? Because I live in NY and on the days where the sun is shining I am not being bruised on the subway, stressing about work; or fantasizing about having outdoor space I will savor every damn moment. Unemployment be damned.
*Really irrelevant to the overarching theme of this post, but the reason I actually wrote the post.
Zora O’Neill has published “All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World.” Zora has travelled throughout the Middle East (I was lucky enough to be at a Syrian feast she threw one year). This book is about her travels in Egypt, The Gulf, Lebanon and Morocco. She’s an amazing writer, a thoroughly good human, and a great story teller. Check her out.
Chris Payne is a photographer and an excellent guy. For this book, Chris was allowed unprecedented access inside the Steinway Piano Factory. It took five years, countless visits to the factory, but holy mackerel what a book he has made, the piano from start to finish.