Saturday, July 17, 2010

Turksih Bars and Belly Dancing

I get up early and shower in the shared showers. I meet no one in the halls. The building is quiet and restful. I have a few days still before I get to my sublet. I decide I will do something in NYC, mostly look for a Starbucks, because I have work that needs to be done. I grab my computer and head out to look for the Starbucks I had seen the day before. I spend most of the day writing because soon I will disappear. After a day of that I want a break, something different. The day is warm, though, and I’m not sure what else to do, so I decide to take in a movie. I consult my little box of moving magic and it directs me to a movie theater on 42nd Street, downtown. I know how to get there and with the handy month-long subway pass I have purchased I'm able to get to it rather easily.

Later when I return to my area I am feeling an intense ennui. I feel this oppressive loneliness in NYC that I have not experienced before. I want to find a nice bar and drink but I also don’t want to spend an insane amount of money in the city. In the end on the walk back toward my room I decide on a Turkish restaurant that looks like it might be nice. The sun goes down as I enter. I ask if I can sit at the bar, which I do alone.

I order a glass of wine and like it. I order baba ganoush to eat at the bar, which is lovely. Before I know it I’m two glasses in and chatting up the Turkish bartender. He is friendly and reminds me of Hyun, my bartender in Seoul. He is also fairly well educated and we have a lovely discussion about Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. At some point he fills by glass for free and I find it sweet and it makes me a little homesick to think on it. We continue to talk. I stop paying attention to the time or the free refills. I get distracted the belly dancing that is part of the evening’s entertainment.

I should have paid better attention to the number of glasses I was having.

In hindsight I should also perhaps not have left my glass on the bar when I went down the long winding stairs to the bathroom. The bar closed around one and I was still there. I remember that much. After that, though it all gets a little fuzzy.

What I do remember is later being walked down the street by the bartender, he keeps saying something about rooms. I realize at this point that I’m not sure where I am. He asks me to get into a cab and go with him. I say no. I realize at this point that I am actually in trouble. I have my bag with me, and my phone, and start paying more attention to street signs and have a vague sense of where I am. I’ve not gotten to far from the hostel but am certainly about fifteen blocks away now. I start walking toward home, and bartender walks with me, persistent. He continues to talk up getting a room. I tell him that I need to go back to my own room. I’m tired, I don’t feel super well. I want to sleep.

Much wrangling ensues before I finally manage to get back to my hotel. He is with me the whole time, I cannot get rid of him. He implores me to invite him in. I explain the bunk beds and the roommates. He asks me to come to the bar tomorrow. I say I will see. I leave him on the sidewalk and get into my room and check the time, discovering to my dismay that is near five a.m. in the morning and I am not exactly sure how it got that late, or how I got to feel this drunk. I manage to climb into my bunk and pass out cold as dawn’s rosy fingers creep over the horizon and into my room.

The next two days proceeded to be followed by the worst hangover I have ever experienced. And being that I am a girl who can easily and happily do damage to more than my fair share of tequila that is saying something. I speculate about why I feel so crappy. In the end I find some other nice places to hang out in the neighborhood. I start to wonder about how long my love affair with New York will last.

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