I was walking home, drunk but more so hungry, walking home down Grand Street from the Pat party at Union Pool. I passed bars, familiar sights, this line of buildings that I feel so at home walking past. I looked up at the sky and told myself, told the sky, there is no place, not one other place on this entire planet, I would rather be.
I stopped into my bodega for a roast beef sandwich and started chatting with Lucky, the guy who makes the sandwiches there, the guy who I think is amazing and who I have had so many late-night drunk conversations with. "Where have you been?" he asked. He told me he had just been talking about me earlier, wondering why I haven't been there in a while.
The reason is because I have been eating lots of bagels and peanut butter. The reason is because I am trying to eliminate unnecessary expenses since I am unemployed. The reason is because I am broke and should not be going to various bars buying drinks, let alone buying sandwiches drunk afterwards. I didn't really want to go into all of this with him though.
He started asking me what's new, what's been going on in my life. Not much, I said. A lot of the same, nothing's really changed. And he asked if I had a girlfriend or a new job. He told me some saying that one of his uncles has which I am failing to remember now, but it was something like happiness is having a nice girl, a nice job, and a nice house. And how his uncle could never seem to get all three, that when he got one, he would always lose the other, never able to achieve his idea of happiness, one piece of the tower always falling away before the thing could be completed.
He asked me why I didn't have a girlfriend, what type of girls I liked, whether I liked Spanish girls, black girls, Indian girls. I just laughed. I didn't tell him that I don't have a girlfriend because I like sucking dick. I didn't want to scandalize him. I am not sure what I was afraid of. He told me he could set me up with some Indian girls but that they only spoke Punjabi, that we'd have to use Google Translate anytime we hung out. Again, I just laughed.
Somewhere near the beer cases, some man was saying something about some faggot.
Lucky wrapped my sandwich, smiling ear to ear, one of the most consistently happy people I have ever met, saying, "Have a good night, my friend." This is one of my favorite language quirks of immigrants, this habit of addressing people as "my friend." There is something so beautiful in that practice.
I walked home, smiling, happy to be here, happy to soon consume this sandwich.