It seemed to go with the rest of my disturbing day that pushed me right off the wagon.
I haven’t been drinking, and haven’t really fallen off…it was more like dangling my feet off the side, while it took a sharp corner.
From there, since yes, it was beauty day, I had my nails done, and said to the little girl, please don’t cut my cuticles…just trim, and now they’re biblically bleeding.
TAXI…76th and Madison…and HURRY.
So I’m at the bar, me and my black hair, my nails wrapped in cocktail napkins, when this man in a tweedy suit sashays over like Douglas Fairbanks fresh from the grave. 80ish, but well-preserved like Tut did the embalming…hair slicked with so much pomade moths could ski down his forehead. I’m not kidding, he was a dead ringer, for dead Dougie.
He even had one of those pencil thin mustaches, like John Waters, and oh, why couldn’t he be John Waters because, boy did I need a laugh. So as he arranges his crotch like a catcher for the Mets, before sitting on the stool next to me, without asking…not that I had any claims on that stool, but between his cologne and Rolex the size of my head, a booth was looking real good.
The barmaid said after I ordered my 24 dollar glass of wine that should have come wrapped in mink, “Are you celebrating?”
“Yes Laurie, I kinda am. It’s the first drink I’ve had in quite a while and boy, do I deserve it.”
Before you judge me as one grand spendthrift, there’s a method to my vino madness. By ordering one glass that expensive, I know I’ll only have one glass.
But back to,”Have we met?”
“NO, we haven’t.” (he clearly hadn’t heard about Matt Lauer)
“Well why not?”
BECAUSE YOU’RE DEAD?
No of course I didn’t say that. But he did look like an apparition from another time. Even his nails were buffed like hubcaps picking up the light, and Ling Ling didn’t machete his cuticles, I can tell you that.
“Potato chips?” asked Laurie with a wink, knowing I’d crawl for Lays, as long as they came in a bowl and not a bedroom.
But before I could claim them for my own, whose manicured mitt do you think shoveled in first?
My fuse was now lit.
“You know chips put weight on a girl,” said dead Dougie, munching away, little scraps of fried potato clinging to his furry lip.
I decided I’d just ignore him hoping he’d fade away, but no…he persisted.
“Hey doll, how bout a refill.” He was drinking straight scotch like it was water, and calling Laurie doll made me think, he thought, he was at the Copa.
“I like aloof women, they really turn me on.” Did his brows just do a little tango, or was it the price of the wine?
“I just want to sit and sip my drink…okay? Don’t want to be rude, but my store’s closed.”
“Well, let’s open it?”
Then Laurie comes back with more chips, places them on my other side and says,