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Avenue C + Blonde Girls + Indie Music   Leave a comment

I’m leaning against a wall.

Above me strobe light casts a spasmodic, reverberating glow of multicolored light on pale bodies, all dancing to the frantic beat of The Killers. I’m in a club near Avenue C, a place called 40 C, and I’m standing quietly, watching everything and nothing.
As I close my eyes, I imagine myself running hand in hand with the girl of my dreams through a mystical meadow, naked and insouciant, as our body parts flap in the breeze like tissue paper caught under a car tire. This hasn’t been my first stop tonight. But for some reason, it feels like the thousandth stop in so many nights of my life.
An hour and a half earlier, I passed through a bar. As I walked in, a girl grabbed me by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.” She said. I sized her up briefly. She was tall, blonde, with dark piercing eyes, a long almost hawkish nose, and thin yet protruding lips. “I’m thinking of heading to this bar across the street,” I said. This wasn’t a lie—even thogh I’d just went into this bar for no more than thirty seconds—the bar across the street had better light and cuter girls.
She starts following me and then her eyes pop open like someone pulled the light switch in her head. “I have to find my friend.” She says. “When you see her, you’ll be amazed. She’s the most beautiful girl ever. She is amazing.”
This reference made me pause. Number one, why was this girl pitching her friend to me, and number two, why would I find this girl attractive? or even beautiful? Thoughts immediately came to mind of a tall, hideous woman, with sharp grating teeth and meaty breath. This thought flew away pretty quickly. We move through the thick crowd, wet with the smell of beer and sweat and went to the bar. There, I saw a girl with a head of large curls with dark features. Like her friend, she had piercing eyes. But I didn’t find her that attractive. Her friend (who remains nameless) says something to her and then grabs my arm again and heads towards the door. Then, a tall guy who looks like Mowgli from Jungle book (if Mowgli had grown up and started modeling for Armani) grabs “the beauty” and starts talking to her. We all go outside as a group and the friend (blondie) repeats the beautiful friend pitch. “Isn’t my friend the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?” she said.
I look briefly at her friend, and she gives me a look that can only be described as “eww”. I find this repulsive. “Hey lady, I didn’t say you were beautiful!” They say they are heading to some bar up the street. Mowgli gives me an uneasy look and grabs the “beautiful” girl around the waist.
I have known this group of people for all of three or four minutes. They leave, I don’t follow them.

As they leave, two cute girls walk past me to go into the bar. One of them girl rests her hand on my shoulder. “g’night fabulous.” She says nocomittaly, and disappears down a pair of dark steps. I’m tempted to follow her inside and say hello, but I decide not to. I have no energy to do this. My social desires to interact with people occasionally get scooped out like old moldy ice cream and tossed into a back alley somewhere.
I have a quick drink at a bar across the street, a place called Max Fish, and watch people play pool. At some point I realize all I do these days is people watching, walking around like a wraith, all but invisible, if it weren’t for this pesky thing called a body I’m wrapped up in.
I end up at this spot where a guy I know asks me what I’m trying to do.
“What kind of girls do you like?” he asks. “Women.” I reply with a smirk. “But generally, tall ones, with interesting dispositions, but generally girls who like me.” I say this with a smirk as well.
“Well you need to head to Nublue, a spot on Avenue C between seventh and eighth.” He said. This was coming from a guy who owned a bar in the area—mandatory ponytail included—and I thought about it. Avenue C was a good ten minute walk from where I was, and this place might not even be jumping. But face with another boring night of the same ol’ bars in the LES I decided to go. I walk slowly past a few clubs, seeing throngs of people outside talking, smoking and laughing.
When I reach Avenue C, I’m in a blank zone. I walked a block too far and ended up almost on Avenue D, had to sneak a tinkle in front of a bush (directly in front of what I think was a church), and then felt annoyed by the time I reached where I was supposed to be. I stop at a place labeled 40C, and ask a few girls in the line if this is NuBlue. “No,” a cute girl with platinum blonde hair says. The guy checking IDs, a flaming guy with straightened hair and pants that would make Dave Navarro blush tells me NuBlue (which, up to this point I believe is spelled “New Blue”) is a block down the road. When I reach, a (obviously black) bouncer sits in a cheap plastic chair, and gives me an indifferent look. Admission is ten bucks, and I don’t feel like making the investment. I ask him what kind of music is playing inside, and he says Brazilian and house. I’m still not tempted.
A few guys come out and tell me there are very few ladies inside. At 40C, the line was chock full of little indie chicks. I head to 40C.
This brings me back to me leaning on the DJ booth. After paying five bucks to get into the spot, I become lost in the noise around me. The girls here are dressed very nicely, but they aren’t any friendlier than girls anywhere else. Lots of guys with Pete Wentz hairstyles, float around with big smiles on their faces. It seems everyone has black hair, tight pants and an “interesting” fashion sense. I see one other black guy in the entire place, a man that looks like he’s in his forties sporting a head of thick locks and a sharp jacket. The music is very good, but this doesn’t inspire me to dance. I stand near one of the bathrooms for a few minutes, watching people interact. The indie crowd always fascinates me. People are more energetic and lively. The occassions are trumped up with energy and riddled with a hazy sense of the status quo. Everyone knows how to dress, people dance for the sake of dancing and the DJ looks like Edward Scissorhands. I can’t say it was surreal, but in some way it was cool.
At some point a song plays that I can’t name that takes me back to Barcelona. For a split second, I’m there beside my then-girlfriend, happy and blissful without a fucking care in the world. Then I blink, and I’m back on the dance floor, somewhere off Avenue C.
At some point, I end up leaning on the DJ booth disinterestedly staring at the people dancing in front of me. I find how sad this image must look—the tall (other) black guy in the indie club standing in the most obvious place in the club staring at nothing—and I think someone else notices it too. A girl beside me says something, and I realize it’s the girl I had spoken to earlier in the line. “Hey, didn’t you ask me earlier if this was NuBlue?” she says. I give a stilted response and entertain light conversation. She introduces me to her friends, but my social radar doesn’t’ inspire me to keep talking. She is cute, verily so, in a nice black skirt. She reminds me of Brittany Murphy, but that comparison doesn’t make me feel anything. She’s with two other friends and I my energy is low. I suddenly feel like sleeping, and lean against the DJ booth once more.
At some point, a woman talks to me. “I can hook you up with any guy or girl you want.” She says with a smile on her face. I’m not sure if should be flattered or wonder if I’m projecting a bisexual vibe. I ask her why she’s good at this sort of thing. “I’m freshly divorced,” she says, her eerie smile never losing its brilliance, “and I’m happy!”
I take this into consideration, nod, and lean against the wall again. I see the blonde and her friends leaving. She waves to me, and somewhere inside me, I curse briefly. The chick liked me.
After another ten minutes I leave. The music was getting better and the DJ was amped up, but I didn’t feel like staying, even after he shouted “Okay you sexy motherfuckers start moving! Two for one drinks for the next hour!”
When I went out side, ironically it was raining. It was fitting, as if the earth was aligned to my somber mood. I spend five minutes standing in a group of people that curse a lot. A drunk girl kept bouncing into me. She was literally inches away from me and acted like I wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt truly invisible. There I was, standing in a group of seven people, all talking around me, while I watched light reflect on falling raindrops on Avenue C.
I say screw it, and head out into the rain. By the time I reach my pizza place for my ritual slice, I’m soaked. I walk inside with a wet head of hair and a light chill running up my back. I wolf down the slice and go home.
Another wonderful night.

GIANT CUM   2 comments

“Is that Paris Hilton on your shirt?” A guy says to me. I’m looking straight down into a urinal, watching dark yellow liquid escape my body through a convenient route. Without raising my head, I say “No, its just a random blonde chick.” “Oh,” he continues (he himself relieving his body of fluids as well), “I just came back from the Las Vegas Porn convention and I might have met that little chick who’s on your shirt.”

This was in the men’s bathroom at Local 16, a bar on U St. It was weird enough that I had “urinal-side” conversation, but what are the odds that the guy beside me just happened to come from the city of Sin?

During the night, my shirt had been light conversational fodder, and I do mean light. Its a thin yellow shirt with an image printed on it. In full colour, it is a picture of an attractive blonde woman eating a half-finished donut. She is wearing a white shirt that reads “GIANT CUM” in large black letters. The shirt has been siting idle in my wardrobe for about three months as I couldn’t really decide where to wear it. I toyed with the idea of wearing it when I was at home in Jamaica but decided strongly against it. A guy wearing a shirt that said those words, girl or not, would probably be taken as gay and promptly dispatched.


It’s Friday, and its my friend’s birthday. I receive a long text message somewhere between six and seven p.m telling me to come to Saint Ex, a bar off 14th St. I fiddle with the idea of going (I am very tired from spending the entire day shuffling coffee and doing grunt work in Farragut North) and then I play an intense game of indoor soccer. A crushing defeat, a few wasted curses, one of which was “Fucking drop man! Mark you man! Come on! Come on!” which I blurted out three seconds before the end of the game.

When I arrived home, a warm, smelly mixture of sweat and raging hormones, I received a call from my friend Allison.

“Heyyy…” she says.


Her voice always sounds like she’s smiling, if that makes any sense. She says she and some people are traipsing about U st, and they were seeing what I was up to. “Give me a few hours to rest and then I’ll meet up with you guys wherever you are.” I eat a massive meal and try to sleep immediately afterwards. I spent thirty minutes staring at my curtain, realizing sleep will be impossible. I laugh to myself and play some music. This is a part of my Friday ritual—the wanton eruption of music from my speakers—and it fulfills two key things: One, it gets me in a good mood, no matter how boring or lackluster my week was. Two, it gets me a in a good mood, no matter how boring of lackluster my week was.


My track selections are based primarily on my moods from whatever events transpired during the week. I feel a sense of overwhelming Melancholy because some girl I liked pull the ol’ flakeroo on me again, I might start out with some touchy-feely Sugar Ray, segue into some disturbing yet pleasing Flyleaf then go ballistic and listen to some hyper-violent Dancehall music. At that point I am so charged that I am ready to run to the hills and have ten babies with a group of six-foot mountain women.

This never happens, but more often than not, I end up at bars talking to women in a five-foot four to five-foot eight range who are less than willing to be man handled in post-Mavado coitus.


So, like any Friday, I started playing some dancehall music. My mood during the week was somewhat flat. There was no crescendo, no up, no down. It was merely there. As such, a quick dose of dancehall always does the trick. After a few songs played and I heard “Boy get shot inna face”, “Boy get shot inna head”, “My gun…”, “Body on the ground”, Over and over in different songs, I turn it off. Hyper-violent music really does have its own time and place. I switch to the Garden State sound track and listen to some Shins. I felt much better. By no measure of the imagination was I in an excitable mood, but I put on my Giant Cum shirt anyways.


I hop onto my bike, a wobbly dangerous piece of Architecture and head out. I’ve been frequenting U St more it seems. Before it was almost foreign, merely that in between place from destination to destination. Saint Ex is where everyone is. As soon as I walk in, my friends try to zip up my shirt.

“Wow, your shirt says “Giant Cum”.” Allison says. Her friend, Christina, reaches over and attempts to zip up the jersey I’m wearing over the shirt. I laugh.


The conversation runs the gamut, from my non-fiction writing aspirations, using a journal as a tool to cross-examine one’s self with, a rotating story of how a friend spilled beer on someone’s shoes and other things. Downstairs, they are playing old-school hip-hop, which I do not enjoy. Allison and Christina make good fun of it, dancing in tune to the beats. I barely dance these days, much less to old hip-hop that I can’t relate to. Each time I hear “Engine Engine number nine, on the New York Transit line….” I cringe.


Not really because the song annoys me, but I’m in a bar with mostly preppy white guys who raise their hands as the songs come one, as if to say “Dude, that’s my joint!”. After a little while, my Serbian friend strolls in, tall and resolute with a swishy head of hair. I give her a perfunctory happy birthday kiss on the cheek and introduce her to my friends.

The night goes on like this for a while longer. A few people smile and point at my Giant Cum shirt, and I smile back.


We head to another bar, Local 16 briefly. They are playing house music, the kind I really love. I am however, insanely tired and my knees hurt. I won’t be the tall, sexy Euro-dancing Jamaican guy tonight. We sit at a table downstairs. There was a moment when I almost fell into conversation with the ladies about my current track record with meeting “qualified” women. After a few stops and starts, I successfully dodged the conversation,

Not before a few items slipped.

“Have you even been in love?” Christina asked.

“Of course.” I responded with gusto.

“Was she someone you knew?” she says.

“Yes, I knew her from school.”


Allison interjects.

“That is SO true! I remember when I was in love it was someone I had known for a long time before. He was a friend before I loved him.”

Allison goes on to mention a survey done by National Geographic about cities with the most singles, citing DC and New York as having some of the highest numbers. We chatted on the topic a little more, with me trying not to speak about certain flagging aspects of my life in a bar of all places, Allison no doubt reminiscing about her possibly current love, and Christina looking at me in a way that suggest that if I were to continue speaking, she would probably feel pity for me. I made sure to dodge the rest of the conversation.

“Listen ladies,” I said, straightening up.

“It’s nice to talk about these things if they are a prevailing thought in your mind. For me they aren’t. I don’t want to start chatting about these sappy situations and then you all have good reason to pity me and feel all sorry-like.”

They both reacted at the same time, like a set of Birds being startled in a cage.

“Oh no, No!” they said.

“This is nothing,” Christina started. ”We girls talk about these things all the time.”

“In fact, just before we headed out we were talking about a similar subject.” Allison added. I nodded for a second, then completely switched the conversation. A few minutes later, it was Ben’s Chili Bowl time.

Christina somehow gets served in three minutes behind a line of twenty people. She brings a large, disgusting-looking bowl of fries over. It looks like a cat threw up and then took a large, runny dump on a set of large fries. I was offered.

“I’ll pass.” I said. After some more light conversation, it was time to go.


By now the temperature had dropped at least fifteen degrees, and again I regret my Alfie-isms. I have no gloves and I’m riding my bike back home. I follow the ladies a few blocks from their house and jet home. Inside, I wolf down a donut I bought at 7-Eleven just before I reached home and sip on some soda. Friday was OK.


I flop into bed and wonder if I should watch a movie on Saturday, or walk idly around Chinatown watching out for some of those President’s day sales. No matter, I say, wrapping the covers around me, watching the word disappear under my closing eyelids.




Posted February 16, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

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The Super Pants Return!   1 comment

I’m sitting down, and breaking in a new pair of pants.
This amuses me, because breaking in a new set of jeans usually requires physical activity, a party or two, and a few thousand steps of walking. I recently bought a new pair of black fitted jeans (the word “fitted” is a gross understatement) and I’ve started the breaking-in process by wearing them and sitting at my computer desk. I was at my friend’s house last night, watching Live Free or Die Hard on his massive HDTV, playing Gears of War and eating a snack I’ve concocted which consists of Tostitos and shredded cheese (mixed cheddar.) “I got a new pair of paints today.” I say to him.
“Tight pants! Rockstar pants!”
He laughs. This observation is true because these are quite possibly the tightest pants i’ve ever worn (Purple versace jeans not withstanding). As soon as I tried them on, I knew they were me. They aren’t as bad as the “Skinny” jeans I tried on at Urban Outfitters two weeks back. Although these are skinny jeans, for some reason they don’t feel like fluffed up Spandex. They have a nice tight fit, have a little leg room and make me feel amazing. These are pants designed for men who wear briefs, but I dont’ fall into that category and I can’t see myself wearing no underwear (at anytime, not just wintertime). The pants are designed by a guy who named the line Bowie after the original pretty-man himself, David bowie. I didn’t spend that much time looking at the rest of his line, I just saw these jeans at a GREAT price and decided to “cop” them.
My last affair with the first pair of pants I dubbed the “super pants” was in early 2007. I was heading off to Europe and French Connection was having a sale. I couldn’t resist, as I had been searching for a pair of proper straight leg fitted jeans for a while. I had a venerable pair of black Dolce& Gabana jeans which put up a good two year fight. The Dolces had seen at least four tailors, had the crotch patched an equal number of times, and had a hole or two stiched up near the thigh. Now that I think about it, my D&G’s were my first real pair of super pants. When I wore those I felt powerful and classic. Ready for any number of paparazzi pictures with me walking with a nameless soon-to-be supermodel. In retrospect, there are many things I should have never done in those jeans:
1) Play a heated game of Badmington while wearing dress shoes
2) Play a second set of said game
3) Learn a German rave-ish dance called “Jumpstyle” in the jeans.
Now my D&G’s are lying on my floor. They are weathered and a little rugged with the tell-tale sing of faded black jeans. I still wear them on occassion, though they fit a bit loosely. The reigning set of super pants from FC still get regular wear, and they are well broken in. “Tight but not toight.” is what I like to say, following the description of Goldmember from Austin powers. If he were to see me in my jeans, he would say. “They are toight! Toight like a Toiger!”I am not entirely sure why I feel so drawn to a well-fitted pair of black designer jeans. I have an ongoing anti-blue jeans crusade ( fodder for another post) and I like to feel “snug” when I walk around. Either way, the current king will know soon enough that a new pair of jeans have creeped in to slowly dethrone him. As time passes and the jeans become more broken in, I will give them a test run, maybe even this Friday. However, walking to the bathroom I could feel the pants hugging my thighs like a lecherous woman and affecting the speed with which I walk.
Its a little sad when you begin to grade how tight your pants are by what you can’t put in the pockets. For a few pairs of my pants, they cannot hold my:Wallet, cellphone or keys… only chapstick.

I should call these the super-tight, superpants. A whole new category. Actually I think I have a name for them:

Pete Wentz Pants.

Yes! The super pants will remain as they are, and now these are the Pete Wentzes.


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