68Posted: March 10, 2016
Part of Tuesday afternoon I spent at the Restaurant Show at the Javits Center, which is a giant convention of restaurant food, supplies, furniture, cookware, stoves, you name it. There is a giant aisle of pizza cookers, pizza crusts, pizza sauce, then you walk over to the Japanese aisle, which is mostly whiskeys and sakes, plus these genius/scary machines that cook rice in top and then roll out a little rectangular carpet of finished sushi rice for the chef to make into a maki roll. One rice carpet about every fifteen seconds. I was also there to visit my friend Beth, who runs Beth’s Farm Kitchen, who was tabling, or boothing, in the Food Trends Experience section. I tasted lots of things, but mostly its all basically okay. Like, why does every new food idea have to be some kind of gross idea, like 50 kinds of martini rim salt, but not salt instead its candy of some kind. The more savory versions of these flavor crystals, or whatever they were called, like basil and cranberry, you could also just sprinkle onto a salad. Just what we need. It was entertaining as an experience, but now I’ve done it and I don’t feel the need to return.
As I was walking back to the train my friend Cory texted, and we made plans to meet for happy hour in Chelsea. Barracuda is the place to be, as it always has been. It’s one of the few dark dive bars left in that part of the world–or maybe I’m wrong? Maybe what I mean is that I am getting older and Barracuda is the only bar left from my time. I’m sure there are new and exciting places that I don’t know about. Or maybe I’m wrong? Anyway, getting older is actually the point of this post.
I ended up having maybe five rye whiskeys. Actually, it could have been six, I’m not sure because it was two-for-one and they kept arriving and I kept drinking them. This started at 5pm and I’d had nothing to eat since eleven except for sample portions of mozzarella, jam, cheese sticks, ham, and something called ProGel, which I think is like frozen yogurt. So, I’m enjoying myself, we’re talking about real stuff, and then I just get hit with it, as Sandra Bernhard might say, full tilt boogie. I’m sort of begging myself to puke in the bathroom but nothing happens, I just feel worse and worse and the room is spinning and Kip and I manage to get down 22nd Street over to 9th Avenue where we get into a cab and fifteen blocks later, I have to get the driver to stop and let me out so I can throw up along the West Side Highway. There’s a railing there, along the bike path, and as I’m leaning my forehead on the cold metal a guy whizzes past and says “Feel better dude,” and I suddenly see my life–throwing up, Kip standing there totally sober, I hadn’t worn a jacket because it was 65 and I hadn’t anticipated being out all night, and then here I am wishing it could all just be over. At home I passed out at 9:30. More like went to sleep–I was actually aware that I was going to bed, not passed out in that kind of drunk sense.
I don’t feel good about it. But I don’t feel any kind of way about it either, really. Stuff happens sometimes–and I used to be able to do that, I used to be able to drink whiskey all night and be fine. But I guess things are different now. Growing pains, growing up, throwing up. It’s something to think about maybe–I don’t usually put myself into situations like that, so out of control, so…mortal and physical. I’m actually pretty shy and anxious most of the time. Now that I am thinking about it–here’s the most interesting take away. When I say that I was leaning against the railing and then suddenly seeing my life–it was just a feeling. An in the moment observation. No big voices, no clear messages, just the facts of the situation. Even if you have to do something regretful and predictable to find them, it’s good to find the edges of who you are.