the blue skirt or the blue skirt?


i told him i wanted to take the l train to bedford because i'd heard it in a song. most of my sightseeing had to do with indie rock lyrics, i.e. stranded on bleecker and broadway, looking for something to do; i'm the luckiest guy on the lower east side; etc. he said, sure, we could take the l train to bedford. when we got to the subway station, he told me to note who was going where. all the little hipster bitches with their big sunglasses were going to brooklyn, and all the suits and fashionable women were going to eighth avenue. funny, i said.

we stepped off the train, and he told me to prepare to feel very uncool. i always feel uncool, i said. this will be nothing new. we got off the train, and we started walking. we stopped at a bar. me and rocky used to come here all the time, he said. let's go in. we went up to the roof, and got some coronas. it was only 3 p.m., and we were gonna wet our whistles (his phrase, not mine) early. all the tables were taken, so we found a little bench to sit on while we drank our beers.

this dude with a beard and red blotchy skin dropped his cigarette next to me. careful there, ed told him. i'm fucked up, the dude said. no kidding, ed said. the dude said, slide over. and then he said to me, take a look around, which one do you want? i'm gonna be your wing man, he said, and then he slapped me on the back. what's your story, the dude said. i'm visiting from seattle, i told him. nah nah, he said, that won't work. you work for a software company, and you're looking to bring your developers to the east coast. right? so what's the name of your company? i don't know, i said. i'm not drunk enough to have a good story yet. your story is fine, he reassured me.

we finished our beers, and the drunk dude disappeared. we decided to walk further down bedford avenue, stopping every now and then to get more drinks. we drank pabst blue ribbon with orange juice, and he called it a brunch monkey. we kept walking, and then we were in hasidic jewish territory. for many blocks, there were men in suits with yamikas and curls, and pretty jewish women with dark shiny hair and argyle sweaters and they were pushing strollers. there were little jews everywhere playing in the streets. it felt like a whole different time period and country. a group of small girls looked up at me, and i thought of francie nolan.

a few more blocks, and we'll be in bed-stuy do-or-die, he said. it's where biggie grew up. sure enough, we kept walking and there were no more jews, but instead, big black dudes with baggy clothes. there's a good wings place right here, he said. he ordered some wings, and we sat on a stoop and went to town on those wings. i dumped packets of hot sauce on mine. a combination of the heat, being drunk, sitting on a cool brooklyn stoop and thinking about how this was the setting for my favorite novel of all time made it the best meal ever.

we ran into his ex-girlfriend on the street, and she invited us up to her apartment. we drank wine on jenny's roof, and she looked at my buddy like he still meant a lot to her. i remember that look. it's been a while since i've seen it, but still, i remember that look.

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