Last night I walked underneath the BQE (because under the BQE is the only place that isn’t covered with six inches of slush) and went to Pete’s with P for some drinks. “Remember that weirdo who was buying us drinks last time?” P asked as we walked in the door. Of course, there he was last night too. The first time we’d talked to him obligingly, but for someone trying to woo us with the promise of endless alcohol he was surprisingly tight-lipped. A half-hour passed, and this much we got: he was an ironworker currently working on the Triboro Bridge with an encyclopedic knowledge of Nick Lowe. He was also incredibly drunk.

Now, I don’t mind making small talk with strange guys I meet in bars (hell, I practically made a career of it in college), but chatting with this guy was excruciating. Again, last night, he was wasted.

Strange enough, he recognized us when we walked in. We ordered our drinks hastily in an attempt to deflect his offers to buy them for us; talking to him was just too hard to be worth even free alcohol (a resounding gasp is heard the world over: There is something she won’t do for free booze?). He actually remembered what we’d ordered before. But we were frantically slapping our bills on the bar (Can you mix that Manhattan any faster? It’s only got three ingredients, two of which are infinitessimal in proportion…) before he even lurched in our direction.

Food for thought for those of you in the NYC area: it’s midnight; he’s hammered, and he has to be to work at 7 because he has to BUILD OUR MOTHERFUCKING BRIDGES.

Thankfully last night he left to run an errand shortly after we demurred his myriad free drink offers.

Later on, some other guy (this one more affable and not creepy) also offered to buy us drinks. Again, we demurred, but he insisted. We compromised: P and I split a gimlet. That satisfied him, and he went back to his end of the bar.

Our appetite for alcohol thoroughly sated (and then some), we left shortly thereafter. P made her way home to cook pork chops for her husband; I wended my way back under the BQE, dazily singing “Rapture” so as not to surprise any of the hidden, slumbering bodies; a warning of sorts: I am a stepping razor, don’t you watch my size: I’m dangerous. Or crazy. Definitely not to be trifled with. (I learned this from the Pygmies: they run through the forests clapping so as not to surprise the jaguars. Or something like that.) Made it home safely (well, safe but for one wet foot: the last leg of my journey found me partially submerged in an ice puddle disguised as pavement. This wouldn’t happen if the earth weren’t buckling and shriveling beneath my apartment building.), fell into bed, and still managed to make it to the gym at 7:30 am today.

(That last part is not really integral to the story but I just thought I’d brag.)

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