|“Drawbridge Over The Manasquan River” Sue T. Oliver (edited)|
The bridge was midway, that I knew. I had done this late night walk from the beach bar to the house where I was staying a few times before. Now I was lost. This particular night I was sober, even with a belly full of booze. Bad company will to that to you. I noticed everything and knew nothing. I could not rely on my fail-safe drunken autopilot in this condition, I had to really think about this. As I walked down the other side of the bridge into the darkness I called my friend for directions. He didn’t answer so I left a message. At the bottom of the bridge I passed a bored looking girl calmly smoking outside a chaotic house party. Hey, she said, are you Irish? I hung up immediately upon seeing her. I heard your accent, she said. We chatted for a few minutes about how she was Italian but grew up in an Irish neighborhood in The Bronx. We talked, exchanged some Irish slang we both knew and laughed enough for her to invite me into the chaos behind her.
The back lawn had several tables on which people played beer pong, leaned drunkenly on, or both. At the far corner near the water was a beer keg and that was it. It was mostly all guys. Big tanned muscled Italian guidos with waxed eyebrows and tattoos of their grandmothers. Of the few girls I had seen, it was clear that I had been invited in by the most beautiful one. They all hated me. I knew this from the simple observation of how they stared at me in silence when I spoke. One guy with a crooked grimace and perfectly bleached hair never took his beady brown eyes off me.
The more we talked the more we laughed, you know how it goes. My head was spinning after only one beer. Good company will do that to you. I don’t know what I said but she laughed so hard that an angry guido ran inside the house and reappeared back on the porch with a Fender Stratocaster and Peavey amp. He was awful but he strutted about like a bronzed chicken for her attention anyway. What madness was this? She seemed completely oblivious to the growing guido tension.
She offered to get me a refill and took my cup. As she walked towards the keg, beady brown eyes turned his face to his friend’s ear beside me and said without breaking eye contact with me.
If that motherfucker drops that Irish accent for a second, i’m going to end him!
That was enough for me. I was drunk now and suddenly I remembered where I had to be. I left without saying goodbye and I never saw her again.
– June 2003
* New York Shots are those small moments that happen while living in New York. They’re so small that they are rarely mentioned yet take up considerable space in various notebooks I carry around with me at any given time. This blog was started as a writing exercise and I thought this would be a nice way to write shorter snippets of life in NYC. They won’t always be interesting but I don’t want them forgotten either.