Archive for the ‘alcohol’ Tag

Hello DC: Sex, alcohol and Easy Drugs   Leave a comment

“Hey Marcus, you wanna do a line?”

This is how my Saturday night ends. I’m in a plush apartment somewhere near U street. Its so big that there are two couches; one near the front door, a beige couch that can seat three, and then fifteen feet away, is a black behemoth that can seat at least ten individuals. I’m at the tail end of a long night—several clubs and bars included—and now I’m being offered the tastiest of late night treats… coke.
I say no, because I’m not a coke person. I’m not a weed person either. People find it funny that I’m from Jamaica and I’ve never done weed. I find this interesting. I know doing coke, or “blow” as its commonly referred to in movies, doesn’t fit my regular racial demographic here in sunny ol’ D.C. People who make lots of money in high stress jobs tend to do a lot of blow. The ladies who live in this massive apartment are no different. They work for some massive business organization that probably pays them no less than one hundred K per year.
Me? I’m a lowly graphic artist who floats between interesting crowds. One guy in the group, a tall, burly fellow in a black t-shirt that reads “SECURITY” does a line. “Wow,” he says.” Its been like a year since I’ve done any coke.”
I stand there bemused. I’m in no way tempted to do coke—I’ve been in this situation many a time before—but I am feeling the effects of the alcohol I’ve been drinking throughout the night.
My night started out at Tryst, a small café in the middle of Adams Morgan. I was sitting there typing diatribes about my psychological issues with a good friend who lives in Atlanta, when I realized it was 10:15 p.m. I said a quick goodbye and hopped on the bus to go home. During this time, I received a text message:
Hey man, I’m on *** street and **** there’s a house party.
I think about heading to the spot but I’m unbathed and unprepared. Going home, bathing, heading back to the spot would take no less than 45 minutes. I’d reach there at no earlier that say, 11:30.
I’m heading out in a bit. I’ll let you know when I’m heading out. Is my reply.
I go home, briefly munch on some Candy Corn snacks (delectably disgusting) and then I don a vest, a pair of my favourite relatively tight pants, and an army green shirt, then I head out. While I walk to the bus, I’m listening to some hardcore dancehall music, which is the perfect fuel before going out. I hop on the bus five minutes later and feel my thigh throbbing. Its my cell phone buzzing. I answer, It’s my friend D.
“Hey what’s up man? “ I say.
“Nothing man, what are you up to?” he says.
“I’m on eleventh street.” I say.
“Oh cool, I’m on thirteenth.” he replies.
“Cool man, there’s a Rite Aid on thirteenth, I’ll ,meet you out front.”

I come off the bus and meet D. D is a relatively tall, handsome Asian guy—wearing a trench coat. “What’s up with the coat?” I say. “Hey man, I thought it was going to rain.” He says. I smell the slightest odor of liquor coming off him. Something rummy. Something strong. ”Were you drinking?” I ask. “Hell yeah man, I”ve been seriously drinking.” He replies. I chuckle to myself and we start walking. After exchanging the basic pleasantries (I.e a quick recap of some of my New York adventures), we head to a bar called Salam. This is an Ethiopian restaurant by day, weird indie bar by night. An Ethiopian man who looks like he’s sixty years old is checking ID’s. He looks at my passport and I walk in.
Salam is small—in that typical DC kind of way. A small bar is in front of me, somewhere music wafts through a door, and ten to fifteen people are milling about, having drinks. I immediately know this is not a place I’d like to be. D and I both grab drinks—Red stripes—and sip them as we catch up. I already know that I need to head to Adams Morgan, that smorgasbord of sweaty bodies, dive bars and impressionable women, but D hates Adams Morgan, but I’m intent on getting him to go there. After we finish our beers, we head outside and lean against some evil-looking railings.
“So what do we do now. Where do we head to?” I say.
“Let’s head this way, “ D says, pointing towards fourteenth street. (note we are on fifteenth, Adams Morgan is towards eighteenth).
I cajole him over a five minute period into heading towards Adams Morgan, making a careful note to mention this is probably the last time I’ll be in Adams Morgan for a long time (which is very true, since I’m leaving DC and probably won’t be back EVER) and we eventually start heading towards the A Morgan. D gets a text message. “House party at ***** off **** street. “ I pause as he says this. This place is unusually close to the abode of my ex-girlfriend who I really don’t’ want to run into, but I decide to go.
We walk for about twenty minutes and he in the wrong direction after we pass through the madness of Adams Morgan. Bodies are everywhere. Drunk girls roam the streets, and people walking with plates with pizza slices way too big for a human to consume traipse back and forth. It’s a blissful walkthrough.
I run into a back alley to take a piss. Luckily I miss a cop catching me sprinkle on someone’s garbage can by seconds, then we head to the house party. The party, like most house parties in DC (in this area) is mostly white. Guys in plain t-shirts and polos run about. Girls with glassy eyes, nice dresses and cheap heels walk oddly about, stilted by drunken gaits. I don’t’ feel very comfortable.
I don’t’ feel comfortable because I’m very used to this scene. I see two other black guys. One is very preppy with a calm look about him. He probably goes to GW or Georgetown.—the other is tall, with a small afro and a lightly muscled body. He looks like the archetypal Ivy-league black guy, and he floats into a room near the front of the house and talks to a girl with a large smile on his face. I scan the area, and see no one I’m interested in talking to. Most people are drunk, and the only person who speaks to me is a guy named Eric who’s playing beer pong. I have a few drinks and go back outside.
D decides to leave—he does this a lot, and I feel stranded. When D has a headache, isn’t feeling the party, or wants to go home, he does. This usually leaves me wingless (or wing-man less, and I don’t like it, because if you want to roll with your boy and have fun and he bounces on you, you become the sober guy talking to drunk girls… which ISN’Tcool.) So I start hanging with his ex-roomate, D2. I call him D2 because his name starts with D as well.
D2 says they are heading to Adams Morgan and I’m good to go. The party is a little bit too preppy, and I everyone who’s there seems ready to leave, as am I. I have a slight buzz from drinking two beers and two cokes heavily laced with a whiskey I can’t remember. We start walking and run into two other guys—a tall, burly fellow wearing a shirt with “SECURITY” on the front (I’ve already mentioned him) and another guy, a short, stocky fellow named Matt. With two girls in tow, miss J, and another one who’s name slips me, D2 and his roomie S, we head to the A morgan. We don’t go very far. At the top of the strip is a club called Chloe. We go in. At first there is some hesitance to enter—the cover is five bucks—but we all go in. Its like a typical club. It’s a sprawling expanse of cheaply tiled space with two bars. The only girls I talk to are the bartenders and a waitress ( who I didn’t realize was working that night). I drink some water, a cranberry vodka and then we head out. D2 starts pitching to me the positive reasons for smoking weed.
“Look man, I want you to blaze tonight. I can’t believe you’ve never smoked.”
I try to explain that weed isn’t my thing, partly because I think I have an addictive personality, and I’m constantly searching for happiness—two things that I think would make weed (supposedly a happy-inducing drug) something I’d want day in, day out.
We walk for a few blocks and D2 continues to pitch me, talking about how weed positively changed his life, affected his outlook and is incidentally better than cigarettes. I believe him, but I’m not inspired to smoke weed. I can see myself being in Europe, lying in bed with a smoking hot brunette who’s wet with sex and has the kind of skin bronzed from years in the sun. I can see this women pulling out a very distinguished looking bong (or pipe) and saying to me, “Markus, vould you like to smoke vith mee?” then I’d say yes, and smoke with her a bit, then return to coital bliss. Me smoking with D2 on a random Saturday night?
D2 warns me that the rest of the group will be doing blow, and that weed is the best choice. I tell him that I’d rather do blow that weed (this is true) and he says I shoudn’t. Naturally, I’m not interested in doing blow or weed, but I find blow more intriguing. Weed is in your mouth, blow is in your nose. Nose rules.
D2 tells me that where we are going (a girl’s apartment ) is amazing. When we enter (like I said before) she has two couches, nicely polished floors and a bedroom with gold sheets, and no less than twelve pillows. Her room looks like a miniature palace, not a place where someone sleeps, much less has sex. Having sex in that room would seem sacrilegious.
The counter (one of two ) in the kitchen has an assortment of alcohol on its surface. I grab some SKYY Vodka and mix it with some Coke (the soda!) At this point, a few people are trying to figure out the best way to do lines. “Use a twenty dollar bill” miss J says. This seems to work. A few Bank of America cards appear, and the coke is divided into tiny lines. These lines are less thick and obvious that the lines of coke that you see in movies.
Then the snorting begins. Again, this has no effect on me. I’ve been in rooms where people are doing blow/talking to me about world events. At this point, Mr. A, looks at me and says, “Marcus you wanna do a line?”. I politely decline.
A part of me is genuinely interested in the blow ( I mean, who the fuck isn’t interested in snorting some coke and flying sky high on a boring-ass Saturday night?) but I don’t listen to that voice.
Miss J has a hot, flat screen LCD TV. “I have free cable.” She says proudly. I actually marvel at this, because the apartment is at least sixteen hundred bucks a month or more, and the free cable almost feels like an oxymoron in a nice paragraph of prose.
D2 is sitting on the couch, staring seemingly at nothing. Mr S says he should like up his J (not to be

confused with miss J) and he says no. He shoots me a look, hitting me with a gaze from large brown eyes.” You wanna get out of here?” he says. I look around the room. One of the girls is on the couch, completely passed out. Miss J is watching Tv. She either wants to get laid or is floating on a coke high, and the other two gusy (high and drunk ) are also watching TV. Me in my semi-sober state wouldn’t’ survive another hour there. “Let’s go.” I say.
We head outside the apartment building and D2 lights up his spliff. We are walking on a public street in DC, and D2 is smoking weed. This is life.
We turn onto the main road and a guy on a bicycle and two other people walking see him. “Can I hit that?” one of the fellows says. D2 gives him the spliff, and he takes a huge puff. So does the guy on the bike. A converstation starts—where the guys on the bike are asking him where he gets his supply—then another person enters the fray. A guy who looks Italian, dressed in a dress shirt and ugly dockers is walking down the street with his arm around who I assume to be his girlfriend. He walks past us, then stops. “Can I hit that?” he says as well.

D2’s spliff has now united five people, all on a public street, in the middle of DC, where cops run abound. The Italian looking guy takes D2’s number, to figure out where to get some good weed. The other guys disappear somewhere near 14th, and I stop at D2’s house to take a quick piss.
I say goodby as I’m heading out, and start the long walk back to my apartment. I always pack my little ipod with me, to break the monotony of a long home walk, and I listen to hardcore dancehall all the way back home. I see the light on in my roomie’s room, (hers is right above mine) and I shoot her a text message. We have a light phone conversation where I basically say she has a dude in her room she’s trying to bang but hasn’t’, then I hang up.

I put on one of my favourite movies, Aladdin, and watch it idly. To anyone watching me, it would look like I’d actually done some blow. The alcohol has worn off (I need much, MUCH more to get drunk these days ) and I watch Aladdin on my LCD screen.

I’ve been in DC for 24 hours, and I’ve had drinks, Japanese green tea, horrible spaghetti, hung out with a Euro-girl, a few friends and offered coke. Let’s see what the next 72 hours bring.


Like the shadows, dear Brutus….   Leave a comment

A man with tight plaid pants on shakes his ass to the groove of break beats. Behind him, a girl with long braids mimics his moves, aligning herself to his gyrations without ever touching him. I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye, and as I stand in front of a shadowy column in The Darkroom, a club on the Lower EastSide, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else.

New York is many things. For some is spark of opportunity. Hidden between the folds of the highly contiguous buildings, packed streets and bright lights is a glimmer of hope. Hope of a dream of making it, doing what thousands (or more correctly hundreds of thousands have done in the past) which is make it big.
I’m not sure if I have these visions of grandeur. The pace of New York is getting to me. I thought girls in DC were flaky, but New York takes flaky o the Nth degree. I live in a world were people don’t answer their phones, sent stilted text messages to convey a point and only seem to want to say hello if they happen to see you online in Gchat.

.Quite disturbing.
Tonight, I floated between a few bars. I watched TV at this bar where the bartender, who is normally quite friendly, gives me a perfunctory hello. I’ve been going there for almost ten weeks and I sent her an e-mail, but something about me bothers her I’m guessing.

On nights like these I feel like the shadows themselves. I stand in the darkest corner, watching bodies float by like wraiths. Voices are obscured by loud music, and they all coalesce and sound like the humming of bees overlayed by whatever the DJ decides to play. Its all good and well to enjoy the night life, (I for one, go out mostly because I am bored), but its becoming increasingly pointless. I’ve found myself in various parts of the world doing this same activity; walking around, talking to people, listening to music, sipping on a nameless beer brewed in a factory I’ll never visit… and its becoming meaningless.

Tonight I met an English girl who is a designer for Urban outfitters. This brings the number of English women I’ve met since I’ve been in New York to probably fifty. She seems nice enough, telling me that “North England has the nicest people.” But I have no way to verify that. I have no sexual interest in her, even though she is cute. On nights like these I might say hello to certain girls to answer a pressing question. She didn’t look like an American (I thought her outfit looked ‘Mod’ style, and I was correct, but some would say it’s a lucky guess) so, I asked her. Therein lies the rub, dear Brutus.. or should I say Hamlet.

Sometimes I talk to break the monotony of my thoughts. At some point I was punching notes into my Ipod about what to write. Beside me, while I was doing this, a girl bounced into a tall fellow, spilling some of his drink on her arm. Of course, the guy she was with (quite wrongly) took offense to this most egregious circumstance and proceeded to confront the tall guy. What made this scene funny was the fact that the guy was French, and spoke broken English. The girl was fine, the guy didn’t spill much beer on the girl to begin with, but the French guy started going on off about something involving his “girlfriend and his sister” which I didn’t understand. Maybe he meant to say “lover” and got the words mixed up. Either way, the tall fellow laughed, patted the French guy on the shoulder and walked back to his friends, who were both a good three inches taller than he was. But you guessed it, the French guy returned, filled with the indignation that has been put on so many television screens in my lifetime. No fight broke out, but a part of me wished the French man would produce a glove, and slap the tall guy in the face, shouting, “Sur incompetent Americaaan!”
Sadly, my life isn’t that interesting. I knew tonight was a lame night because I didn’t even eat my ritual slice of pizza. New York, New York. Oh how I love this love and hate relationship I share with the big apple.
Tomorrow I’ll probably wake up blearly eyed, feeling better about my situation. I’ll forge on towards bigger and better things, or find myself in another shady bar in some other part of the city, standing  as always in the shadows, watching life pass me by. Or maybe I won’t do that. I might be jogging down park avenue, looking at the opulence around me, and find myself thinking about the past. Screaming to myself, “What the fuck did I do wrong?”

I’ve completely changed. I can’t even play video games anymore to interest myself. TV is boring and I find myself wanting to be far, far away. Maybe I was meant to be a world traveler, one of those guys who grows a thick beard and roams the earth, leaving mostly children in his wake. Maybe that’s my destiny. Who knows.
Yesterday I watched Forrest Gump for what must be the tenth time, and I found myself almost tearing up at certain scenes. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t really know what love was, nor did I have a strong grasp on the concept of death. Now, watching it after losing people in love and death multiple times, the move seemed completely fresh. I knew exactly how he felt when he was running. I’ve had my ‘Jenny’ on the mind too, and I’ve watched someone close to me die, seeing their life fade away in a few choked breaths while people around them screamed as if the resonance of their voices would trap the soul into the broken body.

I like the fact that even a simple man like Forrest Gump can find love, and find a wife. Since I’ve been in New York, I’m truly convinced that American television perpetuates the ideal of extreme beauty being the most desirable attribute of a mate (male or female)  is wrong. Real life shows you that most people are average, and like average people. Above average is scary, a frightening visage of something you can’t compare to. Run with the average joe and you are safe. Go with the smart intellectual, and things get fuzzy.

Either way, if we live in a world where Forrest Gump can get laid, then there is hope for anyone isn’t there? Who knows. Like I said before, I’m a fly on the wall. I stand in the shadows, watching people go by, hoping a big fucking swatter doesn’t mess with my flow.
Hah. Fly on the wall….

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