Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The pre-Giuliani New York made its way into my living room last night. I never got to experience this New York, the New York of lore, of that subway scene in Adventures in Babysitting, and sometimes I yearn for this past, wondering what all I missed, what energies, what scenes, what stores, what culture instead of Barnes and Nobles and Starbucks and bougie NYU kids all over the East Village. But then, when I get mugged, or when things like last night happen, I know that I like the saftey enabled by this new bougie culture of New York.

Jamie and Derek came home around midnight last night and tried to open the door to the second floor apartment which they want to move into and which has been empty for about the past month. However, last night, it wasn't empty. One of the occupants, this Irish guy, had arrived back to pack up his things. So he showed the two of them around the apartment, showed them around while porn was playing in two different rooms and he was drugged out of his mind. Jamie and Derek then came upstairs and told Ramsey, Niki, and I all about it and Jamie mentioned how scared she was of him and how she was worried that he might come here, and sure enough, before we had to time to knock on wood, there was a knock on my front door. We all exchanged wide eye glances at each other nervously. Jamie ran and hid in Dara's room and I got up to answer the door.

Irish guy, who I should mention is married and has a child and some adult responsiblities, said he had a proposition for us, that he was leaving the country in a couple of days and had all these expensive electronics that he couldn't move back with him, and that he would sell them to Derek if they were going to move into the apartment. We all told him that we didn't have any interest in them, and wide eyed and obviously drugged out of his mind, he asked us if we knew anyone that wanted to buy them, asked us this as he started to make himself more comfortable and sat on the arm of my couch. The next ten minutes were so awkward and nerve-racking, Niki and Jamie hiding, Derek, Ramsey, and I sitting out there watching a movie, trying politely to get the guy to leave, but him telling stories about pussy and drugs, and how he only had a couple of days to get fucked up before he had to go back to his family. At one point he offered to buy Ramsey's sweatshirt for a buck fifty and a toke. Ramsey and I both tried to make him leave by saying we are in the middle of watching this movie. He ignored us and told us more dodgy stories, tried to sell us his watch, and then Derek finally ended the passiveness, and said, "Look, you need to go." He said "All right," and then proceeded to tell us he had liquid cocaine, explained what it was, and asked us if we wanted any. We said no, and finally got him out the door. I asked Derek to look through the peephole to make sure he went downstairs. He did not.

My bedroom door in the hallway was open as it always is (or was, now I am nervous), and I went in the hall to see him coming out of my room with one of my CD's, Creedence Clearwater Revival. He asked if he could borrow it. I said sure, just because I wanted him to go away, and I locked my bedroom door, then locked our living room door and sat nervously and watched the end of 24 Hour Party People. Jamie wanted to call the cops because Derek's cousin or someone is a captain of the narcotics division or something. I thought that would be totally unneccesary and mean. I hate how drugs have the ability to make people so nervous and so on edge. Jamie was obviously terrified. I was almost shaking when he was in the room with us, so nervous, having flashbacks to other nervous drug encounters with the sketchy people in Sarasota that somehow you ended up in the same room with just because you were on drugs. Some drug experiences are these horribly democratizing encounters, where you find yourself with people coming to things from totally different perspectives, dodgy folks of every variety all thrown together by whatever same substance they are ingesting. It also caused me nervousness just because this was an adult with a kid who was doing the wrong things, for reminding me of my own dad and his drug problems, and how sad human beings are, how willfully they will be ugly.

And the scary thing about pathetic people, the sadness that they inspire in you in just a recognition of how close you are to that also, how easily it is to tragress the lines that demarcate acceptable behavior from unacceptable behavior. That this is a man looking for kicks, looking for fun, and it is what so many of us do, what I do, and at one point do you have to change your method of getting kicks? Yesterday, I was thinking about the themes of private pleasure and how they are always transformed when they are brought into the light of public perception, how they become something else. But this man is different. I am scared to even leave my apartment now. I just heard a large crash from his aparment and then a loud scream and a bunch of pained yells. He is so terrifying. He is moving out Saturday. I cannot wait.

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