Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sleeping in the City that Never Sleeps

 "Sorry buddy we're closed."

In my near three years away, I'd forgotten about the unique, "we're all pals here" chummery of the American vernacular.  The only customers within were a pair of stern-faced businessmen taking shelter in this darkened bar that smelled of ridiculously strong drinks. Based on their expressions, it seemed to be as necessary as medicine.

My former yoga teacher used to call our American society adrenally charged.  This applies too to our choice of depressants.  And here I was seeking out my own, a body clock set to Tokyo having wound up my mind.  But the bed I had been lying in for the past two hours was in midtown Manhattan.   I had been riding that push me-pull you feeling of insomnia, that tension between do I get up vs. I'm think I'm starting to drift.  The former won out, and as I made my way out I glanced at the clock.  11:03 pm.

There was a lounge on the 4th floor that had comfy sofas and internet.  But upon arrival I found that they'd stopped serving beer at the top of the hour.  The bar on the first floor was similarly closed.   As was the cafe across the street.  So too were the bars in the four hotels on this or the adjoining blocks.  In the last, I had found a sympathetic staff who told me that they'd like to serve me but had already dropped the register till down the safe.  I asked them, "What the hell has happened to this city."

I went over to visit Duane Reade.  They had a good selection of bottled craft beers, but were only sold as six packs.  The only singles available were the usual bilgewater of the American mainstream brands.

I returned thus to my bed, my frustration a stimulant, which did little to help with the drift.   

On the turntable:  "Friends of Old Time Music"

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