March 20, 2004

St. Patty's

Tonight I had to stay at work until 7:45, the worst part about it is that I had hardly anything to do all day until 4:00pm. Surprisingly, Iím not as pissed about it as I expect myself to be. It happened, itís over, whatever. The worse part about staying late is that asking for overtime is such a procedure and Iím never staying for my real boss, so I feel like I canít ask for it. Iíve decided that on Monday Iím going to ask for a raise instead. Iím long overdue for one anyway.

Tonight is a quiet night. Iíve decided that itís better to go out Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday than to go out Friday.

St. Patrickís Day was a bit of a bust. All the Brooklyn kids stayed home. Too scared of the snow I guess. No drink specials to be found. Should have gone to the Irish Bar near here. Theyíve got a fat black dog that lies under the pool table and nude photo hunt. If youíre really lucky youíll meet a leprechaun-ish crazy woman who calls herself Sparkle.

St. Patrckís day is a strange holiday anyway, this year it somehow seemed more noticeable that the whole holiday revolves around getting sloshed. It didnít make me all that proud to be Irish.

I met an alcoholic Irshman once. We were in Amsterdam, staying in the same room at a hostel. He was traveling as a means to cure his alcoholism. He said he wanted to find a place where drinking wasnít cultureís only means of socializing, but in every city he went to he always hunted out the Irish pub. In Amsterdam it wasnít even a real Irish pub, some awful Hard Rock Cafť type place that happened to serve Irish breakfast. He said the breakfast was the reason he went, but then heíd always end up staying on to watch the soccer game, heíd have a pint and then another and pretty soon heíd been drinking all day.

He had caught a parasite in Budapest that fucked up his stomach and had him laid up for weeks. Heíd been all gross and lost tons of weight. When I met him he wasnít totally better yet, but he was still cute.

He invited me out one night and we got drunk together. Thatís when he told me about his problem. It seemed like the worst thing about it was knowing. Knowing, and not wanting to drink all the time, but doing it anyway. Iíd never met anyone so stuck.

Sitting at the bar with him, I was conflicted. By the time he told me he was an alcoholic we were already drunk. It was too late to go back, so we kept on drinking. I kept thinking, this is his problem, this very thing is what he shouldnít be doing, but we were having the best time. It seemed so impossible any way, the problem was so much bigger than that one moment. I guess thatís how problems are, all those little moments added up.

He told me about some Native American girl heíd met who had a vision of him being hit by a car. It spooked him, the Irish really are superstitiousóhe was certain of his impending doom.

That night, after he drank me under the table, we walked back to the hostel. The streets were completely empty as we crossed back over the canals. All smooth cobblestones and black puddles. Such a quiet city. We lurched past the shadowy ally ways, burnt out neon signs. Just the two of us. I wanted him to kiss me. In the entranceway of the hostel he stopped to pet the cat and I waited, nervous and hopeful. But he didnít do it. We climbed the stairs to the room and tip-toed in, so as not to disturb the gang of Germans or the bassoon player in the other bunks. I went to use the bathroom and when I came back he started joking with me, teasing me about something. He was sitting up halfway in his bed and I wanted to climb in with him, but I couldnít do it. The way he was talking and leaning up out of bed, it was like he wanted an excuse to keep the conversation going, trying to draw me back again. I giggled at his teasing as I climbed into the top bunk, but really I didnít get it. Why didnít he kiss me when he had the chance? I settled into bed and passed out. Alone.

That was how it was meant to be. We were loners, me and all the boys I met in the hostel--the Irishman, the bassoon player, the artist, and the Canadian. We all moped around and drifted together, stoned and bored, after a few days I left Amsterdam and never saw any of them again.

Posted by at 12:16 AM