Thursday, May 10, 2007

El Toro Negro, May 4, 5 and 6

Herewith, in installments, the blow-by-blow of the 5-Boro Bike Tour. All dialogue guaranteed verbatim. All time (shown in military notation) accurate to within 90 minutes.


7:30 Wake up. Get out of bed. Drag a comb across my head.
9:30 Car is packed. Dave and I depart Leesburg, VA for Brooklyn, NY
12:00 Arrive at Mike's Famous Harley Davidson Dealership, located in Delaware at the base of the Del. Mem. Bridge.
12:15 It occurs to Dave and I that we are very much unlike the rest of the people milling about Mike's Famous. Aliens, if you will. Strangers in a strange land, if you will. The give away? Everybody but us is carrying the kind of wallet that attaches to your belt with a chain. I pause for a moment, wishing that I had enough money to warrant physically chaining it to me.
12:30 The food arrives. I ordered something with the word "Cincinnatti" in it. Chili (all the way) poured over top of some spaghetti. Tastey, in a sort of counterproductive way. What's that Paul Simon line? "All right, in a sort of a limited way for an off night." Something like that. I'm thinking about Paul Simon because Dave, who's car we are using, is playing a tape (TAPE!) of one of his more obscure albums.
12:36 It occurs to me that the waitress is kind of hot in that only-16-but-already-
worn-around-the-edges kind of a way. Her name might be Emily.
12:37 At one particularly surreal moment, I shout at the top of my lungs: "We're going to need golf shoes to get out of here."
12:50 Dave and I tour the Harleys. The one I want (a black V-Rod with a lot of chrome) costs roughly $21,000. This seems like a lot of money. No wonder these people chain their wallets.
13:00 Dave and I get the hell out of Dodge.
15:45 We arrive more or less at the corner of 6th Avenue and 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY--the rough location of Chuck's house. We unload our bikes and stuff.
16:00 Chat with Chuck and Wynne.
16:10 Take bikes out for a single circuit circumnavigation of Prospect Park's bike loop. Couldn't have been lovelier. I make a passing, regretful note that my friend Eric's suggestion that the women of New York are taking all their cloze off is not completely accurate. Perhaps it's more the case in Manhattan. Perhaps it's just a little too chilly.
17:00 Shower, nap
18:06 Watch the Kentucky Derby. My horse, Hard Spun, leads all the way, loses down the stretch to Street Sense. I am, nonetheless, pleased.
18:30 Dinner at a Japanese restaurant with Chuck, Wynne, Dave, Lenny the Vet and his wife Erica. Lenny, who, paired with Erica, would make a great subject for a painting--very vivid--tells us that racehorses are not nice animals. I file this away. I had, by the way, spicy seafood soup, seaweed salad with sesame, and a specialty roll called, perhaps, a Napoleon, and red wine and hot tea. Dave has a New York Roll. Both feature eel, which, I guess, is our nod to carbo-loading (Eels, as I understand it, are complex carbohydrates).
20:00 Arrive, en mass (this is not to be confused with post mass, as I believe I was the only Catholic in the group), at the house of someone named Judy. It is her house that will house, if you will, Don's house concert. We spend a good amount of time waiting for Judy to make an appearance, then the music starts.
20:15 I hope Judy doesn't mind that Don's burning the house down. I mean, burning it down! Late in the set he does an open-tuned Scottish number called John MacLean's March that is absolutely transportational. Likewise the next one, Great Dream From Heaven, played with a strong Ry Cooder feel. The urge to shout "I'll take another, on Ry," is almost beyond my ability to control.
21:oo Don takes a break. Thank God I have a moment to collect myself.
21:15 He starts back up, this time accompanied by his duet partner, Jenny. I find myself drawn to her in a number of ways.
21:55 I'm introduced to Jenny. Feeling a good bit of performance anxiety, I fall back on my most effective conversational gambit:
21:55:30 "Don't I know you from the cinematographer's party?" I ask.
21:56 She shakes her head and turns to speak to someone else. I think it is going well.
22:15 Walk home, bidding Lenny and Erica adieu at some point, agreeing to meet in front of Chuck's house the next morning at 7:15.
22:25 Brief ablutions. I put Dad in my fannypack so as not to forget him in the morning's rush.
22:45 In bed. At some point, I fall asleep. But not, however, before considering just how much onion dip I've eaten in Leesburg and how it was going to come back and haunt me the next day.


Post a Comment

<< Home